1970 Chevelle SS454 'Easy-Kit'

Kit Number 85-1932

Reviewed By Steve Jahnke, #34991

MSRP: $15.25 MSRP

This snapper kit contains 36 pieces including a one piece body and rear bumper valence molded in medium blue plastic, clear windshield/rear window and headlamp lenses, red tail lights, a black chassis pan, an eight piece chrome tree that includes 4 billet style custom wheels, 4 low profile wide tires, a nine piece interior and “peel and stick” flame and checkered flag Mylar decals.  This kit is a “curbside” model, therefore does not contain an engine.

1970 was a great year for the car enthusiast; the Detroit auto industry led by the Big 3 and AMC were delivering awesome factory hotrods by the hundreds of thousands into the hands of hard core car enthusiasts.  The General (General Motors) fielded a number of intermediate sized factory hot rods from each division; Pontiac had the GTO, Buick had the Stage II Gran Sport, Olds had the 442 and Chevrolet had the SS 454 Chevelle, the subject of this kit.  Many GM “A” body fans agree that the 1970 SS 454 model was best looking and baddest of the bunch.

Our review kit is a modified re-issue of Revell’s “Wheels of Fire” 1970 Chevelle SS 454 issued in 2000 as a stock Muscle car under kit number 85-1917.  This reissue reflects our current real world car culture.  You will find many examples of modernized and updated muscle cars of the 60’s and 70’s era in the pages of Hot Rod and Car Craft magazines.  As part of the re-issue, the kit now offers oversized “billet” style wheels and wide low profile rubber in lieu of the stock SS Rallye wheels and stock Goodyear’s in the WOF issue.  The reissued graphics are a combination of flame and checkered flag motifs instead of the stock “SS” graphics of the WOF issue.

Now that we have sorted out what makes this kit different from the original issue, lets look at what makes this one of the best kits of this legendary car.  The 70 Chevelle SS 454 is a very popular subject and has been kitted in many variations by Monogram and AMT as glue together kits for years.  Our review kit’s body is molded in one piece, exhibiting very little to no flash; it is well proportioned with all chrome moldings and trim well defined for foiling.  The nine piece interior appears untouched from the original issue.  The snap in front bucket seats are made up of two press together pieces; seat and seat back (seat backs on snap kits are not as common as you might think).  The only draw back of the seat assembly is the attaching boss that sticks through the seat back requiring putty to smooth over and hide the boss if you are so inclined, I chose to leave my model as-is.  The rest of the interior goes together in a snap; the side door panels are molded separately, easing the task of detailing and foiling the door and window handles.  The dash is also well molded; the dash instruments have enough relief detail to lend themselves to some very realistic dry brush detailing.  There are no separately molded chassis parts, as the chassis and running gear are molded as one in relief in a nice semi-matte black plastic.  The chassis can easily be detailed with just a little extra work.  One thing you will want to do if nothing else is to paint the dual exhaust tips bright silver.

On to the build!  I chose to paint my Chevelle in “Citrus Green Metallic”, a popular bright green metallic color for that year.  Using my Paasche Model H airbrush loaded with Cobra Colors VX primer, the body and valence were airbrushed and then wet sanded until the parts had an overall even coat and felt smooth to the touch.  Next several coats of Cobra Colors Citrus Green Metallic lacquer were airbrushed on and wet sanding with a 3200 grit polishing cloth.  Finally several coats of Cobra Colors “Ultra Gloss Clear” were applied; again wet sanding between coats to seal the bright green color coat.  Cobra Colors primer, gloss and other exotic car colors are available online directly from Cobra Colors and are of the highest quality.  It should be noted that the Cobra Colors paint system consists of automotive grade acrylic lacquers and their use requires proper ventilation and approved respirator style face masks for safety.  The body’s chrome and trim was then treated to “Bare Metal Foil” detailing.  All interior parts except the floor and dash were painted Tamiya flat white to simulate a parchment colored interior.  Again using Tamiya paints, the dash was painted semi-gloss black and the textured floor was brush painted flat black for extra texture.  The door panels and dash were then treated to dry brush detailing and foiling.

I decided to leave the chassis as-is except for painting the exhaust tips bright silver.  The tires slipped easily over the large billet wheels which were attached to wire axles inserted through the bottom holes in the chassis pan.  Final detailing called for painting parts of the grill flat black as was custom for SS models and applying the decorations.  Up to this point the kit held a very strong 4-1/2 lug nuts out of 5 rating.  I chose not to use the flame and checkered flag stickers (Yuk! but the younger set will probably enjoy them) and instead pulled a set of SS stripes out of the WOF kit.  My first attempt to put the black SS stripes on failed due to excessive buckling and other problems, and were quickly peeled off.  I tried a set of Fred Cady Design SS decals but didn’t have too much luck with those either because the hood stripes were too long for this kit, and I had not pre-measured them as I should have (my fault, not the decals).  In desperation I applied the white mylar SS stripes and this time they went on beautifully… except that the Mylar does not lay flat on and around the compound curves of the induction hood.  I tried puncturing and slicing the stripes to remove the captive air pockets which improved it somewhat but it still is not perfect.  Because of the Mylar graphics, I downgraded this kit to 4 lug nuts out of 5.  This is really a very nice and under-appreciated kit in my opinion.  It builds up into a very nice replica of an extremely popular car that today in real world pulls down super heavy dollars at car auctions.  The only thing that stops this kit from a 5 lug nut rating is the decorations, and at $15 retail, adding a set of decals would not break Revell’s bank.

Information, images, and all other items placed electronically on this site are the intellectual property of IPMS/USA ®.