This kit makes me feel so conflicted, cause the Cougar Eliminator is a beautiful car. And with respect to AMT for trying, the bodywork and the chassis are very well done! But that’s where the train stops and derails entirely.
Quality wise this kit is so, so poor it’s unbelievable. And I don’t mean that it’s just a crappy kit, I mean that with the quality of the bodywork and the fine details of the rims and whatnot, it’s such a massive disappointment that everything else around this kit is just half-assed.
I’ll go through a list of things that didn’t fit, work or had to be cut to pieces in order to wanna sit together with other parts, in segments cause there’s so much!
The front grille and valance don’t fit in the bodywork, the air dam underneath isn’t molded straight so it doesn’t sit correctly, the scoop on the hood has no way to sit perfectly other than to place it where it doesn’t quite belong, the hood is a tiny tiny bit too large for the bodywork so you gotta force it shut between the fenders, there’s no inserts for the radiator whatsoever so had to glue it awkwardly to the frame, the firewall is meant to just sit loosely behind the engine on also no supports/inserts and the engine has no proper pillars to rest on so it sort of floats on the front-axle.
The decals fell to about 4-5 pieces before even being touched in the water so had to painstakingly piece them together on the body, the rear wing has no sockets and placing the two tiny wing feet onto the body and keeping it in place was a nightmare, the interior detail is non-existent with the only highlight being the dials properly detailed, the rest is almost just flat. And just like almost every kit by AMT, the fact that you can steer the wheels means you have to fight gravity for a lifetime and work with two pieces that are meant to hold the entire wheel but literally will never ever be capable of holding said weight. I ended up cutting out the entire front wheel axles out and gluing the rims to a piece of the parts frame that I then glued to the bodywork, that was the only way it would work.
So that’s just about all the stuff that made making this a fair bit of a nightmare and just simply not fun. However, there’s many good things about this kit too that need to be mentioned that redeem it a fair bit, like the nice pad-printed Goodyear Polyglas GT tires, the very nice bodywork detail and the instructions being very, very clear.
The on-the-box-mentioned paint guide is very useful and it mentions the possible combinations of exterior and interior colors that were factory stock, so that’s nice!
The problem with the kit roots from the fact that AMT doesn’t do change very well. The kit from 1993 was molded pretty poorly too and since then all they did was up the quality on the wheels, body and engine block. The horrible way of putting together and utter lack of any support for most the pieces was a problem then and it still is now.
I would say it’s worth it considering the massive amounts of trouble I had to go through to get it to look as good as it does but, yeah this is a warning if anything just as much.
’69 Mercury Cougar Eliminator specifications:
Skill Level: 2
Molded in: White(Kit #912 is Orange)