AMT's mid-1960s 1950 Ford convertible kit is back once again as a "Nostalgic Series" reissue.
Inside the box you'll find parts molded in gray-brown styrene, as well as clear- and translucent-red parts trees. A large chrome-plated tree is included, too, along with a large sheet of instructions and a decal sheet.
Just like the old days, the box is jammed with parts and building options. There are parts to build a stock, flathead-powered car, but the box also includes almost every '60-era custom part you can think of, including three replacement front ends for the body, side pipes, a "De Ville" half top, a chopped windshield frame, bucket seats, teardrop pillar-mounted spotlights, bumperettes, a console-mounted TV, and the list goes on and on. Two sets of black-vinyl tires are included: stock Firestone skinnies and a less-realistic set of big-and-littles.
I know this is an old kit, but the quality of the molding in this issue was disappointing. The body in my kit had tricky-to-fix mold-separation lines and gaps, particularly around the headlights. The parts trees had a lot of flash, which made a lot of the chrome-plated parts unusable and led to a lot of cleanup time. Many of the parts were warped and had sink marks.
I decided to build a mostly stock top-down car, but I couldn't resist installing a mild-custom front end with the Plymouth-style floating grille bar. The hood was slightly warped, so I clamped it in position and glued it shut with gap-filling super glue. The front end has the classic "music wire through the oil pan" front axle, so building the model as a curbside isn't such a bad option.
The flathead is decently detailed, but superdetailers who solve the front-suspension problem will probably want to transplant a newer, more-detailed flathead, like the one in Revell-Monogram's 1950 Ford pickup kit. Replacing the chassis's molded-in exhaust would be worthwhile, too.
The interior goes together nicely. The steering wheel looks good with its chrome-plated horn ring in place, and the dash really comes to life with a little Bare-Metal Foil and some careful detail painting. The door handles and window cranks are molded in place on the interior bucket; I'll probably replace them with photoetched-metal pieces from the aftermarket.
I didn't expect a state-of-the-art model from such an old tool, but all the trimming, filling, and sanding, and straightening the kit require certainly took a lot of the fun out of things. I'm happy with the finished model, but I wish the kit's molding quality had been better so I could have made more use of the kit's custom parts.
- Matthew Usher