A long, long time ago, I build this kit before. I think it was my second kit ever, period, made it my passion project to make it as best as I could. Granted, it still looked ugly as hell, but hey, I was a kid with limited resources. I can say right off the bat, the kit aged reasonably considering its mold dates back to the mid 1980s.
I mean, the decal sheet is barren and interior detail is… really, really low. Which granted is more or less the theme with mid 80’s Revell Monogram 1/24th scale kits, reasonable engine detail, high exterior detail and overlooked interiors. Also a theme is the plated light parts, like the tail lights and fog lamps, which lets be honest without the right paints looks like utter balls.
But I went into this kit semi-prepared, in hopes of one-upping my previous build. Bought a photo-etched set from Model Car Garage, some BF Goodrich Radial T/A white letter decals from Fireball Models, took the Magnum wheels from a ’70 Ford Mustang Boss 429 kit, bought a set of dash decals from Best Model Car Parts cause the kit has literally five decals, the HEMI stripes, a Plymouth logo and two North Dakota plates but none of them are a decal I actually want to use and mixed my own paint together to get the Sassy Grass high impact color.
There’s several variations of the kit on the market, some of which oddly enough pack a hell of a lot more detail to this mold, like the Nash Bridges ’71 Cuda convertible has a whole decal sheet that this one lacks including a better interior, though that being said the more stripped down bare essentials no-arm-rest-and-wood-inlays was the default option on the 426 ‘Cuda, but you know, it would’ve been nice to have the option of the arm-rest! One thing that carries over from all these kits is that the fog lamps have these giant plastic arms that are angled very wrong, and it’s a mold problem cause even the car on the box picture has it!
Also, my build had some… issues, so to say. The kit I bought was second hand and already opened, that’s me being a cheapskate cause it was only 7 bucks, but the owner said it had been “under a bunch of Monopoly game boxes for around a decade”, so I thought how heavy could a board game be? Well, it warped the chassis to a banana shape. Which is a issue when the exhaust system is molded onto the thing, and the exhaust tips form a bit of a puzzle with the rear valance and bumper. So they’re crooked!
I also did some really amateur mistakes, albeit it my first attempt to make a model with a full sheet of photo etched parts, I used satin clearcoat on parts that were on a glossy paint, matte on satin, so forth, cause, well I am a moron and didn’t pay attention. Though the PE parts make a world of difference, the badges are gorgeous and the keychains and stuff add a bit of a lived in feeling to the interior.
The other details that make a hell of a difference were the grille backs for the front, which I have to admit was a pain in the ass to make cause I had to chip out the plastic from the grille but the result is amazing.
Engine wise, it’s amazing like all Revell/Monogram kits. Wired it up as best as I could, the only downside to the older detail of the 1980s Revell/Monogram kits is that the firewall is just flat. No details, no wire impressions, just flat. And the gap between the front valance and the radiator mount shows the uglier non-detailed backside of the headlights and so.
But in the end, this kit didn’t bring back memories. It restored them, it made them better. I finally got my lime green ‘Cuda, with engine wires, with interior detail and finally after everything, made it look decent. It was worth sweating with the tiny little PE parts, worth buying around 30 bucks worth of extra bits to make it better. And if you can get your hands on this kit cause it’s getting rarer by the day, buy it, you’ll love it.
’71 Plymouth ‘Cuda 426 HEMI specifications:
Skill Level: 2
Molded in: White