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Galaxie Limited 1/25 scale 1948 Chevrolet Delivery Sedan and Ford convertible - double review

Chevrolet Sedan Delivery
Kit: No. 98021
Scale: 1/25
Manufacturer: Galaxie Limited, Box 655, Butler, WI 53007
Price: $26.95
Comments: Injection molded, 153 parts, self-stick chrome trim, decals.
Pros: Fine molding, excellent tires with white-wall inserts, engine detail.
Cons: Self-stick chrome trim is too flat and won't stick, incomplete parts for 1946 and '47 options, no detail paint instructions.

After World War II, Chevrolet returned to automobile production with updated 1942 models. The old Master Deluxe series became Stylemaster, the Special Deluxe versions became Fleetmaster, and the top-of-the-line models were named Fleetline. For 1947 and '48, the main changes to the Chevrolet lineup were mostly in changes to the grille.

I have been waiting patiently since I saw a preproduction version in the spring of 1998 to get my hands on this new kit. In addition to the Sedan Delivery reviewed here, an Aerosedan has also been issued, both in Fleetline trim. You'll find parts for 1946, '47, and '48 models, with options for stock, custom, or racing versions, in the box. Of special interest are the vinyl tires with plastic whitewall inserts and the self-stick metal trim.

All parts are crisply molded. The only flaws I found were an uncorrectable mold-seam line on each end of the chrome-plated front bumper, minute flash on some edges of the body, and a sink mark all the way across the top of the hood. After carefully studying the parts and references, I found that it would be difficult to build an accurate '46, as all models except the "Woody" wagon apparently had a full-length beltline trim strip, which is not included in the kit. Also missing are correct steering wheels and rubber stone shields for the 1946s and '47s.

Knowing all of this, I should have been content to build the model as a '48. But, I was swayed to do a '47 by the elegant beauty of its grille. It worked out pretty well, too. In the process, I discovered that the wheel trim rings were not introduced until '48, and I question the accuracy of the kit's hood ornament for a '46 or a '47. I probably should have sanded down the kit's chrome stone shields to simulate the rubber ones found on '47s. Also, the chrome headlight rings on my model were not available until '48. The thin, clear parts fit perfectly, but my sample had a blemish on the left side of the windshield.

The eight-page, 10-step instruction booklet includes a 1948 Chevrolet color choice list, numbered and named parts on the assembly drawings, and step-by-step written assembly instructions. While this made assembly easy, I was disappointed by the lack of detail-paint suggestions. The chassis drawing on the side of the box cover, the only color reference for details, is suspicious - I doubt the driveshaft and rear end were painted red. I painted my engine dark gray and the drivetrain black.

Kit engineering and parts fit are excellent, with the following exceptions. In step 1, exactly how the distributor (part No. 14), and oil filler (31) are to be mounted is unclear. The drawing of the battery in step 9 does not appear to match part 17.

The self-stick metal trim transfers present problems. The pieces that go on flat surfaces work OK, but they have no relief as did the trim on the real car. The pieces that go over the curves of the fenders must be bent to shape, but they are springy and difficult to get just right. The adhesive won't hold the trim down if the curves don't match the surface.

The starter (27) in step 1 won't reach the bell housing when the alignment peg is placed in the provided hole. Either the generator pulley (part of the fan belt, 33) is too thick or the generator (26) is too long, because it pushes the adjustment arm on the front cover out of alignment. The Wayne tappet cover (101) is too thick to slide between the distributor, oil filler, and the right engine half. In step 6, the left and right interior sides were warped and required clamping while the glue dried.

In step 9, the rear bumper must be left off until after the body is installed. The splash pan will not clear the bumper guards. Follow the sequence in the written instructions.

I was initially puzzled by the lack of a gas tank. Indeed, there were mounting holes for it in the bottom of the chassis, but no tank! Ah, but the sedan delivery had its tank beneath the floor near the center of the car (as evidenced by the relocated fuel-filler cap), so it wouldn't be visible on the model anyway. The Aerosedan kit comes with the rear-mounted tank.

I painted my Chevy with paint from Colors For Miniatures (11229 W. Florist Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53225 &414-353-0720). The top is '47 Chev No. 346 Lull-water Green poly, and the bottom is '47 Chev No. 351 Lakeside Green poly.

I used Bare-Metal Foil on the windshield and the side-vent frames. The kit's Micro Scale decals fit perfectly and snuggled down with an application of Micro Sol.

According to measurements found in John Gunnell's Illustrated Chevrolet Buyers Guide 1946-'72 (Motorbooks Inter-national), the wheelbase of the kit is just about perfect. I think the vent window posts are a little thick.

Beginners should be able to follow the excellent instructions and assemble this kit, but even experts will be confounded by the self-adhesive trim.

I completed my model in just under 25 hours, a little less than normal because the kit is so well engineered. Painting and trimming took extra time, though. Galaxie's Chevy looks great sitting next to Monogram's '37 Ford Panel Delivery. I had forgotten how big these cars were.

- Al Jones
'48 Ford Convertible
Kit: No. 5952
Scale: 1/25
Manufacturer: ProModeler by Revell-Monogram, 8601 Waukegan Rd., Morton Grove, IL 60053-2295, phone 847-966-3500.
Price: $18.50
Comments: Injection molded, 145 parts (8 vinyl), decals.
Pros: Good choice of subject, excellent detail, stock and custom parts, good fit.
Cons: Instructions are sometimes confusing '47 options, no detail paint instructions.

The saying, "They don't build 'em like they used to," certainly holds true for the '48 Ford. It was a unique blend of power and style. Although I wasn't around to see this car in its original glory, the model made me appreciate the simple luxuries Ford offered to motorists in this timeless automobile.

ProModeler's kit allows you to build your '48 Ford either as a chopped "custom" or the stock version I chose. The pieces for stock and custom versions are mingled on the sprues, but the instructions for the two versions are separate. Raised or lowered "soft tops" are provided for the stock version, and a lowered soft top and instructions for chopping the windshield posts are there for the custom Ford. Chrome goodies for the engine are also custom parts.

It's especially important to review the instructions before starting. Helpful black-and-white photographs scattered through the instructions will help you add details along the way.

All the engine parts fit well and have good detail. The finished flathead mill looks good with the chrome and satin-black items on the blue block. Decals for some of the accessories provide the finishing touch under the hood.

Most parts have mold-separation seams, but these were easy to trim. Building the chassis was the most challenging part of the kit - there are a lot of parts. The biggest obstacle was interpreting the instructions when installing parts that didn't have typical pin-and-hole connections. Even with the inset view, I wasn't sure about the location of the rear stabilizer bar (part No. 70) in step 3.

At this point, ensure that your kit sits flat on all four tires. The wheel-and-tire assembly is flawless. The whitewall tires provided in the kit look and fit great.

If detail is your game, you'll enjoy the interior of this kit. The dashboard calls for a variety of colors and textures. In the real car, the dashboard and a narrow strip on the top of each door were wood panels. To simulate the wood grain, I first sprayed the pieces gloss tan. Next, I placed a dab of flat brown at one end of the part and dragged a stiff, short-bristled brush through the paint and down the entire part. A chrome inlay goes on the dashboard and houses the dials and buttons. Before adding the dial decals, trim the clear film to allow them to fit. Clear pieces provided for the speedometer and clock dials fit perfectly with a clear-drying glue.

I painted the interior with Floquil's British Dark Earth lightened with white - it's close to the color shown in an old Ford advertisement I found in a collectibles store. Remember to paint the visors on the windshield and the convertible top (if you use it) with the interior color. I had to drill holes in the floor to attach the gas and brake pedals. Other than that, the interior was wonderful!

The '48 Ford was offered in several colors, but I used "Monsoon Maroon" paint from MCW Automotive Finishes (Box 518, Burlington, NC 27216-0518, &336-228-0240). Although the instructions don't specify it, you'll need to paint the inside of the body and the bottom side of the interior because they will be seen when the car is assembled.

The chassis, interior, and body fit together very well. Do your final polishing and buffing of the paint before you add the chrome details. I finished the trim with Bare-Metal Foil, my first experience with the stuff. It looks much better than silver paint and was less tedious to apply.

The chrome pieces all fit well and show good detail. I used a pin to paint the Ford logos with Testor Ford Engine Blue. I attached the chrome pieces to the painted body with Goo adhesive. If you get the bumpers mixed up, the front bumper is the one with the posts close together.

The model looks sharp after about 27 hours put into it. I recommend this ProModeler kit to any experienced modeler. It not only gives you the option of building a custom or stock kit, but it provides the opportunity to sharpen many modeling skills.

- Jill Davis

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