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Revell Thames Panel Truck

Thames Panel Truck
Revell No. 85-4199
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: White, clear
Scale: 1/25
MSRP: $24.95
Pros: Parts trees bagged separately; body parts fit well.
Cons: Front suspension a bit fiddly
The Thames Panel Truck was a  plentiful, low-cost, lightweight vehicle that found success in drag racing during the 1950s and 1960s. By replacing its anemic four-cylinder engine with V-8 power, the little Thames Wagon was always a contender at the track and continues to be popular with nostalgia racers today.

Inspecting the contents of the box, you will notice all the trees are bagged separately, leaving parts blemish-free.

The 102 parts included for this build are cleanly molded in white and chrome, with nice vinyl race tires and a sheet of flat clear plastic for the windows and a nicely registered decal sheet that can be used to build one of two different versions.
The V-8 engine and transmission consist of 30 pieces, and they build up into a clean representation of a generic, possibly Chevy-style fuel-injected race setup that may have been used during the 1960s.

The chassis/interior floor comes as a single piece, to which all suspension and body parts attach.

The nine-piece ladder-bar rear suspension builds into a nice representation of the style of rear-end treatment used for drag racing.

The 14-piece front straight axle suspension is a little fiddly, and care must be taken to fit all pieces. With a little patience, the front end goes together well. When complete, it is a lot stronger than it looks, and gives that correct Gasser stance.

Fitting the engine and transmission to the rest of the completed chassis was a breeze. All parts slipped into place without any fit issues at all.

Rounding out the chassis was the radiator and hoses.

I was expecting some issues with the fit of the body parts, becasue this Panel Truck comes with all doors open. That leaves the main shell a little flimsy, and care must be taken in handling.

Warpage was another concern that was unfounded. All parts – the firewall, doors (front and rear ) and the hood fit together as they should.

Painted with Testor’s Lime Ice lacquer, the little Thames looks to be a close match to the green used on the box art. Decals were then easily applied as instructed, and Testor’s clear lacquer was used to finish off the painting.

The instructions come complete with full-size templates for making all the glass, and on my build I had no issues fitting the glass as instructed, using a little Pledge with Future Shine to hold the glass in place.

Before attaching the body to the chassis, the minimal interior pieces were painted white to contrast/complement nicely with the green interior components and exterior of the little wagon.

The rear floor pan was then painted various shades of brown tones to show off the grain of the wood rear floor.

Attaching the body then commenced with no issues, and only minor flexing of the body to fit snugly onto the completed  chassis.

Placing the headlights and taillamp, the batteries in the rear along with large wind up key, a Moon-style gas tank and hood assembly round out this build.

I had never built the previous issues of this kit, and did not know what to expect, because this is not the type of car I would normally build.

I did find this little Thames truck to be a delight to build and really would recommend it to anyone.


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