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FROM THE August 2009 ISSUE

MPC 1950 Mercury Patrol Car

1950 Mercury Patrol Car
MPC No. AMT705
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene snap kit
Molded Colors: Black, tan, translucent red
Scale: 1/25
MSRP: $16.95
Pros: Car number is 54
Cons: Some parts needed glue; tricky body/chassis fit; decals
Quite a few modelers look down on snap kits as simplistic or toylike, but I'm of the opinion that, because of their appeal to newcomers of all ages, snap kits are a vital part of our hobby, and should be treated with respect by modelers and manufacturers alike.

For that reason, I found this kit to be a bit disappointing. There were some "issues" during assembly - primarily dealing with parts fit - that could cause problems for inexperienced modelers, and we don't want that to happen.

The three-piece wheel-and-tire assemblies required quite a bit of force, and some trimming, to snap together.

I suggest that the plated exhaust pipes be omitted until final assembly. By design, it takes some bending and torque to get the chassis in place, and this can (and did) cause some parts to pop loose.

The interior parts are molded in tan, and I had a difficult time with the dashboard assembly. It has nice detail, but getting the steering wheel aligned (so it didn't contact the front seat) was not possible. I finally trimmed some of the steering column and superglued the wheel in position.

The chassis assembly mounts to the body/interior assembly by sliding the exhaust pipes through corresponding holes in the rear of the body, and after the body is spread to fit over the frame, the instructions call for the body's front mounting pegs to be bent backward until the corresponding chassis pegs mate with them. As mentioned earlier, this takes a fair amount of force to accomplish, and that caused the glass, dash, and exhaust pipes to pop loose, along with one wheel/tire assembly. Again, I superglued those parts in place.

I also superglued the bumpers, because the mounting pins were shallow, so the bumpers came loose easily.

I got a laugh from the decals, because the car's number is 54 - which reminded me of the 1960s TV series Car 54, Where Are You? Whether intentional or not, it was a nice touch.

The white decal for the hood was quite thick, and needed plenty of softening/setting solution to lay down properly; but the POLICE and other white decals were thin and tore easily.

Although it only took two or three hours to complete this model, I felt that assembly could and should have gone more smoothly.


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