Kit: No. 8060
Manufacturer: AMT/Ertl, P.O. Box 500, Dyersville, IA 52040-0500, 800-553-4886
Comments: Injection molded, 87 parts (4 vinyl), decals
AMT has released a 1/25 scale version of Chevrolet's Monte Carlo, which debuted in 1970. Although most '70 Monte Carlos had mild V-8 engines, 3,823 of them hit the streets with 360-hp 454-cubic-inch V-8s as part of the SS option. That's the version AMT's kit depicts.
I had several pleasant surprises when I opened the box. Like many of AMT's recent kits, the frame is molded separately from the floor pan. Air-conditioning equipment is included for under the hood, and the front and rear windows are flawless separate pieces. Mold lines and flash are at a minimum.
I found several flaws in the 10-step instruction sheet. In step 1, painting instructions indicate the carburetor (part 15) should be gloss black. Natural metal (flat brass or flat aluminum) is correct.
Installing the door panels (step 4, parts 48 and 49) requires care. Gluing the parts to the floor pan (part 47) and rear seat (part 65) can leave a gap that might haunt you when you add the body shell. Attach the fire wall (part 50) at this time too, instead of in step 5.
I'd modify the assembly instructions, mainly to make things easier to paint. Instead of attaching the frame to the floor pan as indicated in step 5, add the front suspension and rear axle so all of the parts can be painted at the same time. This way the shock absorbers, exhaust system, and the bottom of the interior tub can be painted separately, then added to the completed frame.
In step 8, install the steering column before you install the assembled engine. Also, don't glue the fan shroud to the radiator right away - slip the finished shroud over the fan on the engine, then glue it in place when you combine the radiator, chassis, and body.
AMT thoughtfully includes a table listing all of the GM exterior and interior paint combinations available for the '70 Monte Carlo. I sell automotive hardware for a living, and by coincidence, one of the body shops I call on was restoring a '70 Monte Carlo. The shop had mixed some paint to match the car's original "Green Mist" GM color, and I was able to buy a cupful for my model.
To keep the "hot" auto-body paint from ruining the plastic body, I first applied a smooth coat of primer. The body paint dried flat, so I had to clear coat it with Testor Glosscote to bring up the shine.
I was disappointed in the kit's decal sheet - it includes three pairs of license plate decals, but no engine compartment decals. I'll have to raid my spares box to supply them.
When I added chrome foil to the kit's nicely molded chrome trim, I found that the body doesn't have a key lock on the passenger door. Also, the absence of hood hinges means you have to remove the hood to display the engine.
I used the full-size car in the body shop to check the scale and accuracy of the model, and it looks like a good match.
The Monte Carlo is a welcome addition to my muscle-car collection. I spent 25 hours building the kit, which seems about right for most intermediate modelers.
- David E. Ligman