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MPC Cosmic Charger

Cosmic Charger
MPC No. MPC826/12
Model Type: Injection-molded
Molded Colors: White, clear, black
Scale: 1/24
MSRP: $29.99
Pros: Nice pamphlet to use for reference; blower parts update
Cons: Brittle decals; parts fit tests a builder’s patience
Round 2 has released another old classic MPC drag kit: Carl Casper’s wild “Cosmic Charger” front engine dragster. I have never built the original, but I can say that for the rerelease there have been some nice upgrades.

The contents are what you would expect from on old 1970s kit.

Everything is molded in white plastic, along with a clear windscreen, a large chrome tree, and a nice set of tampo- printed rear slicks. There is also a full- color decal sheet, containing all of the car’s signature graphics.

This version also includes a really nice full-color pamphlet, with some great shots of the Cosmic Charger as it is today, to use for reference.

Another nice update is a set of parts to convert the engine to the lay-down blower style that gave the car a more streamlined look, compared to the standard blower that has an Enderle injector hat.

Getting into the actual construction, this model was a real challenge for me. Some of it was my doing, by gluing body panels together before painting to eliminate seams; some of it was just realizing that I was dealing with an older kit that doesn’t have the precision of today’s kits.

It is important to really study the instructions and double-check each step before moving on.

The body paint needs to be broken up between the metallic red and metallic blue. The included color pamphlet will  help with showing where the masking needs to be done.

One of the biggest challenges for me was the decals. There are a lot of them, and they can be brittle at times. There were several cracks and wrinkles that just wouldn’t come out, no matter how much setting solution and finesse I used. So definitely take your time with them.

Moving back to the engine, there is a separate step added in the instructions to show how to do the lay-down blower. I opted for this version, but ran into fit issues getting the body to sit down over the intake after it was all installed. A bit of grinding on the underside of the hood helped, but it still doesn’t sit down all the way.

The last step of the body is to install the clear window, and the front wheel pants. These have the front tires molded to the bottom of them, only needing some flat black paint to give the illusion that tires are there.

There is a set of rubber front tires and chromed spoke wheels included, if you choose to grind the pants out and install actual front tires. But little of them is seen, so painting what was there seemed like the best option.

Overall, I am still glad I built this car, but it was really a challenge at times.  The shape of it and the graphics really make for a cool model, but it will test your patience throughout.

Even with the difficulties, I am happy to have the chance to build these old kits again.


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