In 1997, Revell created the start of a family of model kits that is arguably one of the best ones on their release list to this day – the Coke bottle shaped, roaring, second generation of the famous Dodge Charger. Originally conceived as the ’69 Charger under their Pro Modeler line with exquisite build quality, the silk screen decals that can actually last twenty years in a musty box with ease and even some photo etched parts to complete the package. But they were clever, like usual; they put the parts that made it distinctly the ’69 Charger on separate sprues.
This led to a fantastic set of releases following that one; the ’69 Daytona and the ’69 Daytona 426 HEMI in 1999, the ’69 Charger re-release in ’08 and eventually the 1968 and 1970 Chargers as well, with the same quality build, just more parts and sadly less photo etched parts. In 2002, the ’68 was released as a drag Charger(Dick Landy’s drag beast, but with the parts to keep it stock if desired). This kit saw itself being re-released in 2012 under the “Special Edition” line and boy, it got some nifty extras cause of the special treatment. Namely, it can be build as one of three versions;
The 440 R/T with the stock steelies and the chrome hubcaps and redline tires, or the same version but with a scoop intake on the hood and Magnum 500 wheels(or y’know you could do what I did and just snag them Mags for the regular version) or turn it into the Dick Landy drag car, just without the Dick Landy decals. I think it may be a licensing ordeal for why its not the proper Landy car but a inspired version, but it still looks fantastic even as the “Hemified” set-up.
Its still such a good freakin’ kit after all these years, and it still is gonna be great when the 1970 Charger R/T arrives later this year which I’m told is still based upon this kit’s heritage. Granted, the body shape and the chassis stayed the same since 1968 and the only differences are the grille, tail and in some respects the interior saw some upgrades from ’69 on – it makes sense for the kit’s heritage to remain the same as well, it’s just fortunate that the heritage is so God damn good.
Something I’m also a giant fan of with these kits is when you get the choice of the 440 or the 426, you get a little display stand build to actually have some use for the parts and the engine without shoving it into a parts box. Especially since I got multiple Charger kits built now, I got both the 440 Magnum and the 426 HEMI engines on their little stands. Given the Dodge 440 and 426 engines by Revell are arguably their best mold jobs, it’s very fitting to have ’em up for display.
That being said though, it’s not all praise. For instance, Revell still hasn’t figured out after twenty years that a circle shaped decal won’t fit a cone without looking horrible or having to carve a stripe in and make it overlap itself, the front end of the car(something which I mentioned in the 1969 Charger article) is still a mess and requires some serious snapping, bending and cramming to get it all to fit as well as it should. The engine arms are still a smidge too large for the engine so it sits too high unless you grind ’em down some(this’ll result in the air cleaner sitting too high and not allowing the hood to come down), and the rear wheels sit a tad too deep in the wells but… well, it does too on the real Charger, so suppose that’s not exactly a fault.
I figured I’d go the off-yellow that Chrysler was a fan of in the late 1960s, it’s a nice neutral color, different shade of yellow than I always use and I wanted to use it for a Mustang build in the future so it’s perfect! Zinc-yellow on the RAL chart for you EU buddies, or “Sunfire Yellow” on the Dodge/Chrysler color codes. This kit fortunately doesn’t have the molded in vinyl top like the ’69 Charger does, however it does have some nasty mold lines where you can clearly see the ‘removal’ job they had to do to get the smooth lines, but a spot of sanding and a primer coat got rid of ’em quickly.
Some extras like the Goodyear Polyglas GT tire decals by Fireball Modelworks really put a finishing touch onto models like these, though that being said; the redline decals aren’t so bad either, I’m just more favorable to white letter tire decals.
The only two Chargers that remain in the line-up are the 1970s, I still got the Fast and Furious Charger sitting here that I’ll be finishing up in no time and sometime in the summer Revell will finally release the 1970 Charger R/T that people have been pining for. Perhaps, some day even the ’67 Charger’ll be built by me, but who knows!
’68 Dodge Charger R/T 440 Magnum specifications:
Skill Level: 3
Molded in: White