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Monogram Kurtis Kraft Racer

Kurtis Kraft
Kurtis Kraft Racer
Monogram No. 85-0012
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: Yellow
Scale: 1/24
MSRP: $18.93
Pros: Simple to build, with low parts count
Cons: Seam on two-piece body; decals difficult to apply
Upon opening this kit, two things will strike you: It’s a simple kit, and it’s all yellow! The contents are pretty slim compared to today’s kits, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Inside is a complete fictional decal sheet that allows you to duplicate the box-art car. There’s also a set of nicely done instructions, with a supplement sheet that covers a few corrections, and a small square of clear plastic for the windscreen; the rest of the kit is molded on five yellow sprues.

There are no chrome trees, or rubber trees for the tires. Everything is molded in yellow plastic.
Monogram Kurtis Kraft Racer
The body is separated into four main pieces: two long sides, a hood, and a nose. The instructions call for starting to assemble the front suspension first, then joining the body halves, similar to model airplane construction. The problem with that is that it will leave a noticeable gap down the fuel tank, and all the way down the underside of the car.

I opted to join the halves first, sand and putty the joint seam, and deal with the front suspension when the time came. After the main body is together, the hood and nose will be added later.
Offenhauser engine
A fairly simple, but accurate, Offenhauser engine is built from two pieces. It also has a nice exhaust pipe that hangs out the side. Some Alclad chrome and a bit of heat-staining paint will really bring the pipe to life. It has a large positive mount on the engine side, and a small tab that holds it to the side of the body.
Kurtis 1
One thing that did concern me was the yellow plastic. Because I was doing a yellow car, it wasn’t a big issue, but after a base gray primer and several coats of white primer, the yellow was still coming through it. If you choose to paint your model in a light color, make sure the plastic is sealed extremely well.

The decals took a lot of work, and a lot of solvent to make them conform. I decided to skip the maroon graphics part. I just didn’t want to fight trying to get them to form around the nose cone, so I opted for a clean, all-yellow racer.

I painted the entire suspension parts tree Krylon Chrome Silver, and cut the parts off as needed.

The rear suspension is a breeze; it went together in a few minutes. The front suspension took a bit more work. There is a primitive steering system that connects the steering wheel to the front axle, making the steering somewhat workable. Rather than fight with some vague connections and unneeded parts, I skipped the steering and built up the suspension with the steering blocks fixed straight ahead, and glued pointing straight ahead.

The two-piece tires were sanded smooth and painted, and the wheels were masked and sprayed Alclad Magnesium. The tires slip right over the axles, and are captured by the separate knockoffs.

My first attempt with the kit-supplied plastic windscreen did not go well. It was too rubbery, and hard to conform to the inside of the cockpit.

I made a second attempt with some .005" clear sheet plastic, and it went much better. I have zero experience with figure-painting, so I left out the driver and crewman.

All in all, it really is a simple kit, and a very quick build. I was glad I decided to merge the halves before I painted them; fitting in the front suspension really wasn’t an issue, and it made for a much nicer model without the seam running through it.

It’s an enjoyable little kit to have around again. 


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