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Revell-Monogram 1/24 scale BMW Z8

Manufacturer: Revell-Monogram, 8601 Waukegan Road, Morton Grove, IL 60053, 847-966-3500
Kit: No. 2332
Scale: 1/24
Price: $15
Comments: Injection-molded, 67 parts (4 vinyl tires), decals
Pros: Excellent fit, good decals
Cons: Incomplete plating of chrome parts, slight sink holes on body
In the last few years, many auto makers have looked at their past designs and found inspiration for their new models. BMW has followed the trend with its beautiful, powerful, and expensive Z8 roadster, clearly a descendent of the company's 507 roadster of the late 1950s. The sticker price? Around $130,000.

Originally kitted by Revell of Germany in 2000, Revell has reboxed the kit for the stateside market. All of the cleanly molded parts arrive carefully packed in sturdy plastic bags, inside a traditional two-piece box.

A seven-step instruction sheet describes construction of the curbside model. The illustrations are clear and easy to follow, but for more detailed painting instruction I referred to the May 2000 issue of Road & Track.

I started on the detailed interior. The cockpit floor includes the front wheel wells. Separate door panels make the assembly easy to build and detail, and four beautifully printed instrument decals decorate the separate sculpted dashboard. The interior assembly simply fell together. I painted the parts with Tamiya semigloss black (TS-29) spray paint to simulate a leather interior, then added a little black flocking to the floor for carpeting.

The chassis assembly will look familiar to anyone who's built one of Tamiya's recent curbside kits. It includes a four-piece rear subframe and a poseable three-piece front suspension that install on a nicely engraved platform. I painted the chassis assemblies, but didn't assemble them according to the instructions as test-fitting the components with the body revealed a potential problem.

The instructions recommend combining the cockpit and chassis into one large assembly before installing them inside the body. This produced a tricky final assembly. The Z8's bodywork has plenty of "tuck under," and you'll need to pry the lower edges of the body open a considerable amount before the interior will drop in. This would be even more difficult with a combined interior and chassis. I found it easier to install the cockpit inside the body first, then add the chassis plate.

The two-piece body is nicely molded with delicately engraved panel lines. My example had a couple of faint vertical sink marks due to ribs molded inside the shell. I test-fit the clear headlight lenses in their openings, and made any fit corrections before priming and painting the body. I painted my Z8 with Dupli-Color lacquer spray paint from an auto-parts store.

Chrome-plated grilles and front- fender vents install in the bodywork. The parts fit perfectly, but weren't completely plated in their recessed areas. Thankfully, most of these areas were inside the grilles and ended up covered with flat black paint.

The sharply printed decal sheet includes several BMW emblems as well as the front and rear turn-signal lenses. They went on beautifully, and responded well to a little setting solution. Curiously, the round red lenses flanking the rear license plate aren't included as decals. I covered them with chrome foil and painted them with Tamiya's clear red (X-27) acrylic paint.

Revell's BMW was a joy to build, went together easily over a few weekends, and looks great in my sports car collection. Modelers with a couple of cars under their belts will have no problems tackling this kit.


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