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Revell-Monogram 1958 Chevy Impala

RELATED TOPICS: REVELL | 1950S
1958 Chevy Impala
Revell-Monogram No. 85-2703
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: White, clear, transparent red, black
Scale: 1/25
MSRP: $17.95
Pros: Sharpness and accuracy, nice design features
Cons: Some tricky fit issues; severe parting lines
Unlike the last time they tackled an Impala first produced by AMT/Ertl, Revell-Monogram now follows a much tougher act: AMT/Ertl's vintage kit. So how does the new kit fare?

As a conversion from a diecast kit, this plastic iteration suffers from none of the slab-sidedness that characterizes other ex-diecast tooling. In fact, for overall accuracy, the R-M model enjoys a subtle but decisive edge over its AMT/Ertl predecessor; subtle around the front fenders and wheel openings, and more decisive in the chassis.

The suspension is simplified but sturdy and correct, with a straight axle in the back and shorter pins up front. The separate chrome saves tedious foiling, and you can flatten the mounting pins inside the body with a heated screwdriver. The headlights feature webbing between each pair of lenses, which provides a gluing surface for the chrome nacelles and prevents unsightly pin mounts. And R-M's signature metal exhaust tips look really sharp on this model.

But an unusual amount of parting-line cleanup is necessary, especially where the molds join around the rear quarters and the B-pillars. The fit of the opening trunk lid is about as sloppy as the 1:1 cars were in this area.

Parts is largely agreeable, but this kit doesn't fall together as easily as most new R-M offerings. You may have to finesse the windshield, and the fender skirts have long pins you need to obliterate in order for them to settle against the body. If you use the continental kit, attach the license plate before you apply one of the three decals, and R-M is ambiguous about the wheel-lock lever and how you're supposed to attach it. Don't put the oil filler on the water pump where indicated; there's a divot for it, properly located, on the driver's side of the radiator-hose inlet.

The stock trunk insert presents the biggest fit issue; you must file down the upper edge of the insert or trim off the interior panel that sits underneath it. Otherwise, you're left with an exaggerated rake, visible chassis misalignment at the rocker panels, and a hollow spare tire well jutting below the fender line on the passenger's side.

The decal sheet is up to R-M standards, with ghost flames, pinstripes, instrument panel gauges, and body scripts. There are also nice seat inserts, but they're only two-color rather than the three you see in most 1958 Impalas.

You have a choice of finned valve covers, individual air cleaners for each carb, big rims, and a straight bumper in addition to the stock wheels, skirts, and continental kit you see here. But many of the low-rider parts from the diecast are missing, making this kit more truly consistent with the "California Wheels" series. You'll also have to dechrome parts like the starter, air cleaner, and stock valve covers if you want a more "factory" appearance.

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