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Revell 1/24 1913 Ford Model T Roadster (07661)

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1913 Ford Model T Roadster
This is a kit that's been around for a couple of years, but I've not seen it reviewed before so I thought I'd give it a look in. My interest was first piqued when I saw it in the Hobbycraft Black Friday sale last year, enough to persuade me to grab one. The box is very seductive and yells 'buy me!' at you and I found the subject matter appealing in any case. Why has it taken so long to review? Basically a comedy of errors, Revell erring in the first instance by packing a kit with missing parts and myself in the second instance by not realising exactly what was amiss. That's to say at my first attempt to get images of the sprues I realised that the wheels were missing. No problem, it took a few weeks, but the Revell spares service sent the parts. But wait, the wheels have separate rubbery tyres and there aren't any, agh! Back to spares, yes I now have tyres. I can now get the frames images shot - but not yet, there's a missing frame containing the windshield frame and lamps. I don't believe it. By now I'm losing the will to follow through with this, but raising my game I made a third request to spares. When the package arrived, the penny dropped. All the missing parts were contained in a single cellophane pouch that had not been packed in the kit originally. So after the passage of some time and a lot of faffing about I have a complete kit. Whilst it's annoying that it was missing in the first place I must give credit to Revell spares for dealing patiently with the numpty who didn't look properly in the first place...
On to the Model T, which has to be one of the most recognisable cars ever, short of the VW Beetle or Mini. It appeared in myriad forms and, notwithstanding Henry Ford's famous 'any colour as long as it's black' quote, in varied liveries. It standardised the format of literally millions of vehicles to come and Ford were an early proponent of mass production, allowing the motor car to be something that everyman could aspire to. On the topic of livery, the box art features a deep blue with gold pin striped Model T roadster that looks extremely sweet.
The white rubber tyres, gorgeous. Did you know that carbon black pigment is added to rubber to make it more resistant to wear and to improve lifespan and durability? Otherwise we'd still be driving around with white rubber tyres. I digress, the box is fairly well stuffed with parts that originate from ICM tooling that dates back to 2014 (but check that you have everything required...), mainly in grey plastic, a transparency frame and very neat looking white vinyl tyres. Starting off with frame A containing a floor pan, engine block, radiator and suspension.
The floor plan has a very solid feel to it that gives you confidence in a completed model being robust rather than fragile. The mouldings are clean with no evidence of flaws or sink marks. I wondered about the raised seam lines, but they appear to be prototypical, albeit a little on the heavy side. Next up, frame B contains a mixture of transmission, exhaust and interior fittings including a very nicely moulded steering wheel.
As with frame A, the moulding quality is very good. On to frame C with mostly body components, seat and hood.
All these parts are moulded in robust looking thick plastic, perhaps a little unfortunate in the case of the hood, but given the potential fragility of using thin mouldings this may have been a deliberate choice. I can't take any issue with the body parts and seat, these should form a very strong assembly. The moulding quality looks very good overall and the deep buttoned/tufted upholstery looks very effective, the trick will be in replicating a leather look finish. The last of the grey plastic frames are those pesky ones, D, E1 and the white vinyl tyres E2.
The vinyl tyres look very true to shape, perhaps a little bit shiny in appearance(?), but impressive. The wheels themselves are beautifully moulded, it took me a while to get them, but it was worth the wait! Frame D is the only one where the parts exhibit visible flash and mould lines, this should be easy enough to deal with and thankfully the the windscreen frame looks as clean as a whistle. Last of the plastic is the transparencies.
These parts are quite thin and scale-ish, clear, glossy and free from distortion as evidenced by all the flecks of dust visible on my black background. The rectangular pieces that fit into the lamps will require a little clean up and polishing, but everything else is looking very good. Moving on to the decals.
These are beautifully printed, the image doesn't do them justice, the gold has a nice hue and looks metallic. There are enough wheel trims to permit you a couple of mistakes per wheel. The large pieces are printed on to carrier film that encompasses each design. I have two misgivings with this, in the first instance the difficulty of overlaying the graphic onto the raised panel seams, the second in the possibility of air entrapment and silvering in the carrier film. You could remove the seams and lay the decals on a flat surface which would make life a lot easier, but the panelling is representative of what the bodywork looks like. The truth is, this is probably the most effective way of applying the pinstriping, unless you're up for painting the seams. I think I'll pass on that. Here's some samples from the instructions, including the list of paints, paint guide and a couple of representative pages.
This is a very nice looking package from Revell, utilising ICM tooling that has come on leaps and bounds over the last few years. I think it would provide a project that shouldn't be rushed and that might be quite challenging due to the nature of the subject matter. Further to this will be the challenge of painting and finishing, including metallic effects and the pinstripe decals, but something that's worth persevering with because the end result could be quite spectacular. I'd like to get this kit onto my bench at an early date to have a go myself, that to me is recommendation within itself.
Kit sample courtesy of my wallet.
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Looking forward to seeing what you do with this Paul. 

Yeah, that's something a lot of modelers get wrong with vehicles and a/c before the 1920's: the tires could be gray, white, and I've even seen reference to some pink tires.

Henry Ford was also very creative and progressive when it came to manufacturing and employee working conditions and ergonomics. 

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52 minutes ago, Jessie_C said:

I've always wondered why such an influential car wasn't better served by the model companies until ICM came along. There's so much potential for variants.

And there are so many really cool variants too. 

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Great review, Paul, many thanks for your trouble.  I want one of these (just for different), my abilities with gloss paints/finishes could make for an interesting project!  I tend to buy a kit and just expect - not unreasonably, I think- that everything will be there.  This should serve as a reminder to check!

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