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AMT/Ertl 1/25 scale 1958 Edsel Pacer

Manufacturer: AMT/Ertl, P.O. Box 500, Dyersville, IA 52040, 800-553-4886.
Kit: No. 300323
Scale: 1/25
Price: $10.99
Comments: Injection molded, 156 parts (4 vinyl), decals.
Pros: Captures the classic Edsel shape, good fit, good detail, separate chassis, good clear parts, vintage tires, engine has radiator and heater hoses.
Cons: Assembly steps sometimes out of order, front suspension not tied together, some chrome parts marred by sprue locations.
Long among the most wanted kits of car modelers, the famous (or is it infamous) Ford Edsel has finally arrived from AMT/Ertl. The classic intake-like grille and raised-eyebrow tail lights accent the exterior, while the unusual steering-column-mounted push-button transmission controls set off the interior.

AMT has produced a fine, all-new kit of the Edsel. It is easy to build, once you get past a few assembly glitches. Most all the parts fit well, but sometimes you need to assemble them differently than the instructions suggest. The kit features four fine BF Goodrich Silvertown tires and, strangely, five plastic whitewall inserts. Gray, plated, and clear parts are separately bagged.

As with several recent AMT releases, the Edsel features a chassis separated from the interior body pan. Barely visible mold seam lines on the body are easy to clean up, but two large ejector pin marks at the rear of the detailed roof interior are unsightly. Decals for '58 license plates from Michigan, Iowa, and New York are included.

The large six-step set of assembly drawings include original Edsel specifications and a full list of 1958 "preferred" color combinations. Specific Pacer colors are not indicated. Part numbers, names, and colors are provided.

Assembly is straightforward, and parts fit is generally excellent. Watch out for a couple of errors in the instructions, though. In step 1 the engine heads (part Nos. 10 and 11) appear identical, but they are not. The coil mounting notch should go on the front end of the left head.

In step 4, the spindles (32) are designed to be installed without glue so that the front wheels can be posed, but the tie rods are part of the lower A-arms and don't tie the front wheels together. You'll have to pose each wheel separately.

Step 5b shows the body being installed after the radiator wall (59), but the wall is too wide to clear the fender wells and must be installed after the body and chassis are mated. Also, the plans don't show where the upper and lower radiator hoses mount on the engine. After a brief search, I found prominent pin mounts for both hoses on the water pump at the front of the engine.

Four bumperettes (64) in step 6 are shown to be painted flat black, but a look at the box art color photos shows them as white.

I purchased Edsel Sunset Coral paint from Colors For Miniatures, and used Testor Model Master Classic White for the Frost White top and sides. The gold Edsel lettering on the grille and side scallops is also Testors Model Master. I painted the engine block a creamy yellow, and the valve covers and air cleaner white. One box top photo shows a model with a three-tone paint job, but Pacers had one- or two-color schemes. The three-color option was for the Citation only.

Quite a bit of trim is molded onto the body, so I "chromed" it with Bare-Metal Foil. Sprue-attachment points are located on the exterior of some chrome-plated parts. For example, the interior rear-view mirror's overflow sprue is in the center of the mirror surface. I repaired all of these the best I could with Bare-Metal Foil.

The clear parts fit well, but a dip in Future floor polish helps keep them shiny and clear. At low viewing angles, the mounting holes on the windshield and rear window are visible.

The finished model sure looks like an Edsel. My measurements compared with the instructions show it to be a tad larger than 1/25, but I can live with that.

I spent about 18 hours on my model, most of that masking, painting, and applying foil trim. If you have used foil and you have painted a model or two, you can match or better my review kit. AMT has made Edsel fans happy with this one.


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