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AMT Vantasy Chevy Van

Vantasy Chevy Van
AMT No. 691/12
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: White, black
Scale: 1/25
MSRP: $20.99
Pros: Remarkably straight body, floorboard, and frame
Cons: Heavy flash; major issues with parts fit; matte finish on decals
AMT has reached into its vault of tooling and reissued the venerable Chevy van kit. These kits were everywhere during the 1970s and early 1980s, then disappeared for a while. I would be willing to bet that hundreds of thousands of Chevy van kits rolled out of the AMT shipping dock during this time.  

Round 2 and AMT teamed up with pop culture artist Dirty Donny for this release of the kit. The box art and decal graphics were designed by Dirty Donny. A booklet with a biography of Dirty Donny is included.
The kit parts look like a direct reissue of the Kandy Van issue of this kit that I built back in the day. There are some custom body pieces that are from a different issue of the kit.  

Most of the parts are in the kit that would enable the builder to build their van stock. The only omission is the stock seats.  

There are two decal sheets, which feature several different mural and stripe motifs. The sheets are printed nicely, but curiously, they have a matte finish.

The years have not been kind to the molds for this kit. There is flash everywhere, and the mold lines on most of the parts are unusually large. There was so much flash around the windshield that it was difficult to make out where it ended and the part began.  I used a large file around the edges to get the windshield into shape.  

Major rework also needed to be performed on the engine and rear end halves to get them to go together relatively square.  

Even though the body had some major mold lines on it, I was pleasantly surprised that there was not even the slightest hint of a warp. The same must be said about the floorboard and frame.

The van’s interior is Spartan. It consists of the seats, dash, steering wheel and engine cover. There is nothing behind the seats but a blank canvas for a modeler to go wild in.  

The small-block Chevy engine is fairly well-detailed and can only be built stock. The hood is molded shut, but some careful cutting would make it separate from the body to make displaying the engine a bit easier.

One of the nice things about doing build-up reviews is the fact that we can report on how a kit actually fits together. In most cases, this is not much of an issue; with my kit, it was the issue.  

Very little of this kit fit together the way it should. There are few positive locating pins, tabs, or holes anywhere.  

One of the worst parts was getting the dashboard installed; I had to guess where it went in relation to other parts in the area. I guessed wrong, and had to remove and replace it several times before it fit properly.  

The other trouble spot was locating the rear end and leaf springs to the chassis. Using the mounting points provided, my finished model has the left side wheels about 1/8 inch too far forward.  

There are also vague or nonexistent mounting points for the front grille and bumper, and for fitting the engine into the frame.  

I was able to get the kit together, but I consider it a ten-footer – meaning that the finished model looks better from ten feet away than it does up close.

Unfortunately, I would not recommend this kit. It might be a good source for parts to restore an older kit, but it was not a pleasant building experience.


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