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Revell-Monogram 1966 Chevy El Camino

February 2008
1966 Chevy El Camino
Revell-Monogram No. 85-2045
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: White, clear, clear red
Scale: 1/25
MSRP: $16.95
Pros: Trouble-free build; optional wheels and tires
Cons: Out-of-register decals; some flash
Revell-Monogram's El Camino, first issued in 1998, is a sweetheart.

Reboxed under the California Wheels label, the kit features optional performance tires and wheels, and a big decal sheet with multicolor flames for the hood and body sides.

The 22-part engine has chromed cylinder heads, air cleaner, and carburetor. There are color callouts, but they indicate painting the major engine components metallic purple to match the custom car's exterior paint. Because I was building the stock version, I painted the block Chevy Engine Red, but followed the rest of the callouts. The parts fit well, requiring little sanding.

Inside the cab are separate door panels with good detail; a center console; dashboard with decals for the instruments, radio, and climate controls; two-part seats; and a chrome horn ring for the steering wheel.

The nicely-molded body and separate hood captured the car's unique shapes, and only needed a little cleanup to remove mold lines. The most persistent mold line - between the corner of the doors and the top of the rear window - was easily removed with sanding and an application of Mr. Surfacer 500.

I painted the body with Tamiya Gloss Black spray lacquer and clearcoat, then buffed it out. The chrome parts include the rocker-panel strips, but I used Bare-Metal foil for the windshield and side window surrounds, as well as the chrome trim around the lip of the bed. Distinct molding makes it easy to trim the foil.

I glued the suspension and exhaust parts to the chassis, attached the engine, than finagled it into the body; it was a tight squeeze that made it necessary to pull the sides of body out a bit, but the chassis locked into place so well that I didn't need glue.

I attached the radiator and plumbed the engine; here again, the instructions for attaching some of the hoses are unclear. The clear washer fluid reservoir is a nice touch, though.

Lastly, I installed the chrome trim, and front and rear bumpers, and lights. Separate headlight lenses, turn signals, and taillights are supplied. When they are attached to the chrome pieces, the effect is quite realistic.

The decals were the kit's one disappointing feature. The white is slightly out-of-register; not such a big deal on a black car, but on another color, the effect would be distracting. Close examination of the flames revealed a visible dot pattern too.

My El Camino looked a little empty, so I assembled the custom wheels from the kit to fill the bed. Pay attention if you use these tires and wheels, because the wheels and tires should be matched.

I had a great time building Revell-Monogram's El Camino, and it looks great. It has the stance and character of Chevy's personal pickup.


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