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Revell 1/25 scale Beatnik Bandit II

Kit: No. 85-7618
Scale: 1/25
Manufacturer: Revell, 8601 Waukegan Rd., Morton Grove, IL 60053-2295, phone 847-966-3500
Price: $10.50
Comments: Injection molded, 93 parts (4 vinyl), decals.

When custom cars and custom cultures are mentioned in the same breath, one name immediately comes to mind -- Ed "Big Daddy" Roth. Roth's custom cars and Rat Fink character epitomize the custom car craze of the 1960s -- cool, daddy!

The original Beatnik Bandit was built in the '60s and was a popular attraction on the custom-car-show circuit. Revell's kit of the original bubble-top show car was a best-seller, and now there's a kit of Roth's latest, the Beatnik Bandit II.

The kit is molded in white styrene, making it easy to paint the Bandit's bright pearl-yellow finish. Included are two figures, Ed "Big Daddy" himself, and his first son, Rat Fink. Both are split in front and rear halves, and Rat Fink even has an authentic-looking tail.

My sample's bubble top was scratched so I had to pull out my polishing kit to fix it. The instructions are easy to follow, but paint the engine and transmission satin black instead of gloss.

The upper and lower sections of the chassis fit well, and the fuel-injected Chevy Corvette small-block engine is easy to assemble and will delight superdetail freaks. My air cleaner fit loosely on the intake manifold.

The kit's front suspension has separate upper A-arms, while the lower consists of a one-piece steering rack, tie rod, and lower A-arms assembly. The coil springs are separate units.

Rear suspension is a simple affair using a conventional rear axle, coil-over shocks, and radius-rod assembly. The "big and little" wheels and tires look authentic. The interior bucket is easily detailed before the separate bucket seats are installed. Dash detail is "way cool" - a decal for the gauges is applied behind the clear lens that fits in the recessed area at the back of the dash.

The three-piece body (separate nose and tail sections) looks great once painted, decaled, and topped off with its yellow-tinted clear bubble canopy. I painted my model with a pearl white base coat (LMG pearl powders) and top coated with candy yellow to match the full-size car.

My sample's decals were a joy to use, responding well to Solvaset and adhering perfectly.

This model was a blast to build. The car took only eight hours, the figures a few more. If you have built several car kits, you'll breeze through this one, daddy.

Dan Janssen

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