Another Monogram release! And this time a proper of-the-era version no less, molded in color and all. Well, sort of from the right era, the very first release was in 1983 and I got the 1991 re-packaging, the Dodge Super Bee kit seems to have flown under the radar for a lot of folks.
Granted there’s a lot of the Coronet models out there, AMT’s been making the ’70 Coronet since the seventies and let’s be honest; with the surplus of Plymouth Road Runner model kits around, why grab a slightly aged ’69 Super Bee?
Well cause it’s a nice model and it was one of the few that wasn’t completely ruined on eBay at the time of writing(think of stuff like the box having been crushed, a open box with what I can only describe as someone having slapped it with a plate of spaghetti at some point, loads of loose parts in a box, so on).
Though I seem to have screwed myself whilst being a cheap-o, the kit’s missing a single headlight! Impossible to see from the sellers’ pictures and Goddamn does it set off my OCD when I look at the front of this thing, and giving Monogram a ring over a 25 year old kit missing a single headlight unit, yeah that’s not gonna happen.
But I digress, it’s a over sight that I’ll get to fixing sooner or later with a spare part kit purchase or something. The kit other than that is in perfect shape, the molded-in-color thing holding up very, very well. Especially on the body, I didn’t even go for a clear coat on it cause the gloss seems to have held up rather spectacularly.
So in anticipation and knowing the Monogram kits are sort of bare with the decal sheets(and age really, really poorly), I went for a Keith Marks decal set to accompany the stuff I’d get as it is, so I could apply the dials on the dash, the bumble bees on the grille, so on. Though I bought a black set cause I wanted to make a bright orange Super Bee with black decals, but when I spotted just how nice the blue metallic was I figured I’d abandon that idea in favor for the blue.
Generally, very much like nearly all other Monogram releases, it is a very pretty kit with standard Monogram staples like simplistic interior, very highly detailed engine, bit of a choppy engine bay and a downright gorgeous body, though this like a few others got the better treatment due to the “Metal Glow” high gloss plastic giving it a nicer sheen and less of a dull blotchy metallic color casting. In the end, the glossy metallic looks amazing and the body detail is beyond crisp. It’s right up there with the best of what Monogram has to offer from that era in specific.
But anyway, about the car for a moment. I’m a big Chevy and Mopar fan and I seriously adore the cars that had this super stock set-up that just made them so… brutal looking. One thing that always stood out to me as a kid was the matte black hoods, and the Super Bee had it for a couple of years as the Coronet before it became a Charger starting in ’71. This giant black air grabber, the lift off hood that could sit on four stands, the absolutely colossal 440 cubic inch(that’s 7.2 freakin’ litres) that became a mainstay in nearly every over-the-top powerful Plymouth, Dodge and Chrysler of the time.
This kit’s focused on the later of the ’69 Super Bee models though, the epic A12 version without the vinyl roof, Magnum 500 wheels, those sort of goodies and they’re all present in the kit.
The only two downsides to the kit are a bit fussy. For one, the whole thing’s a bit of an awkward fit. Especially the chassis to the body which takes a stupid amount of manhandling to get it to slip into place where it belongs. The other downside is that time hasn’t been friendly to the kit and as always the decals go rancid before long, even if the kit’s brand spanking new. I wouldn’t have had the issue if I used the Keith Mark decals but… yeah I liked the blue and now I’ve got the same “decals are milky and raggedy looking” issue as with nearly all old Monogram kits.
But beyond that? Absolutely fantastic. The result is gorgeous, there’s no questioning that with the right amount of effort it looks amazing. Added an antenna, some BF Goodrich Radial T/A tire decals from Fireball Modelworks, wired up the engine to make it look some more cluttered and realized too late that nearly all ’69 Coronets/Super Bees had orangey-red air cleaners… I just liked the chrome too much for once!
All in all, it was a fun kit to work on without a shred of a doubt and man I’m super happy with the result.
’69 Dodge Super Bee 440 Six Pack specifications:
Skill Level: 2
Molded in: Metallic Blue