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Revell 1978 Pontiac Firebird

RELATED TOPICS: REVELL | 1970S
1978 Pontiac Firebird
Revell No. 85-4927
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: white, clear
Scale: 1/24
MSRP: $23.96
Pros: Kit has held up well for its age; fun build
Cons: No TRANS AM scripts, which hurt accuracy; dash is too narrow
The engine is a 14- or 15-piece unit, depending upon which version you choose to build: stock, or as a dual-carb drag engine. It builds very easily, though a small bit of cleanup may be needed to eliminate the part-separation line that runs through the oil pan.

Unfortunately, when Monogram created this model, they decided to mold the entire exhaust system (minus the manifolds) integrally with the rear axle and leaf springs. This piece required a bit of cleaning up to make it look OK, and it makes detailing a bit of a challenge.  

The driveshaft is also molded integrally with the rear end housing top half. The front suspension system is one piece, and also benefits from a little bit of cleanup. The tie rod and antiroll bar look too chunky as well.     

I decided to go for a brushed-aluminum look on the wheels, and sprayed them with a flat clear. Six Centerline-style drag wheels are included.    

There are stock or street/race options for the interior. The interior tub is well done. Each of the front seats is a two-piece unit. The steering wheel would definitely benefit from some good detailing. The dash is one piece, and the instrument panel is engraved well.

It was difficult to mount the dash to the interior tub; the dash is too narrow. Optional parts for the drag version include a fire extinguisher and a roll bar.

The windshield is particularly tricky to detail because Revell says to paint the bottom edge of the part semigloss black. However, there is no way to define where to paint, as there is no frosted area or line molded into the part. You’ll just have to eyeball it!  

Other than the stock hood, there is a hood included for the drag version, which has a larger cutout to clear the dual-carb setup.  

A big decal sheet is also included, and it offers markings for several cars.

The biggest issue with this kit is that it is impossible to build an accurate 1978 Pontiac Firebird TransAm straight out of the box. The reason is simple, really; no TRANS AM scripts for the front fenders or rear spoiler are included on the decal sheet. Without those markings, you cannot build an accurate TransAm.  Luckily, with the aftermarket, and previously issued kits, this can be resolved.

This was a fun and enjoyable build for me. I am surprised that the tooling has stood the test of time well, for the most part. The end result here is a great- looking model car.  

Even with the Trans Am issue, which may turn off a few purists, I’d recommend this kit to anyone.

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