|1/25 1970 Dodge Challenger RT/TA|
|Kit Number: 85-4213|
|Reviewed by Steve Jahnke, IPMS# 34991|
MSRP: $ 22.95
99 pieces molded in white, black, chrome-plated, red clear and clear
As the Pony Car market heated up after the introduction of the Plymouth Barracuda and 4 weeks later by Ford's Mustang, other sporty coupes arrived on the scene between 1964 and 1969 including models from Chevrolet, Mercury, Pontiac and American Motors. As one writer of the time noted, "horsepower ratings were escalating faster than the U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia". The Dodge boys hankered for a piece of this segment's action and in 1970 they got their wish. Both the new Dodge Challenger and the Plymouth Barracuda would share the all new wide-body "E" platform. For 1970 the Challenger could be had in numerous trim levels from mild to wild in a virtual rainbow of psychedelic colors. On the hotter side one could order the Challenger T/A (which stood for the SCCA Trans-Am race series) equipped with a small block 340CID topped by three Holley 2-barrel carburetors rated at a very conservative 290HP. Or for more style and power you could order up the R/T (Road and Track) version with a 383CID big block sporting 325HP. It was also possible to order up two additional monster motors, a 440-6 or the Hemi 426. By 1974 both the Challenger and Barracuda were orphaned and were no longer available.
Our subject kit comes from Revell packaged in their 'Revell Muscle" series. Although the kit is advertised as a 2 n 1, other model deviations can be built from this kit. Fans of the Mopar E bodies will recognize this kit as a plastic re-pop of the cast metal body series "Vanishing Point" from a few years ago and like it's shelf mate the 1968 Mustang GT ( see my review here ) that definitely does not make it a bad kit to build. This kit can be built as anyone of three variations from the parts included in the box. You can build (1) a 340CID 6 pack street T/A, (2) a 383CID R/T or (3) a 340CID 6 pack R/T simply by stuffing the 340-6 into the R/T and topping the build off with the T/A specific hood. I am sure my Mopar friends out there can suggest more alternatives. A blank canvas has been well presented by Revell.
I decided to build the R/T model because of the graphics and because I already had a T/A in my collection. The body was very cleanly molded with very little clean-up needed. After cleaning up the body, I attached the mirrors, front and rear clips and proceeded to prime the body with Plasticote sandable primer. As Mopar fans can attest, there were numerous wild and crazy hot colors available for this car. The box art depicts a Banana Yellow R/T and a Plum Crazy T/A. Since the R/T graphics were black and I wanted a lot of contrast for the graphics, I chose to go with Testors Go Mango orange/Wet Look clear lacquer system from the spray can. See my recent IPMS review of the 1968 Ford Mustang for more detailed painting tips and techniques. As with the Mustang from this series, I was well pleased with the overall look and "feel" of the body. I assembled the T/A hood and painted it Tamiya's Semi-Gloss black.
While I do not claim to be an expert on Mopar power our kit engine can be built as the T/A 340-6 or as the R/T 383-4. In real life the engines are very different; the former is a small block and the later one is a larger block motor and has different outward appearances. As I chose to model the R/T the engine conundrum was academic for my purposes because this motor more closely resembles the big block 383. There are many reference photos out on the net that will enable you to modify the 383 to make it look more like a 340. The most notable difference is that the 340 distributor is located behind the carbs not in front as on the 383. I was well pleased with the overall look of the assembled engine. The 383 decal had to be massaged with Solveset to get it to snuggle onto the air cleaner.
The chassis detail is decent and detail painting adds a lot of life and interest to the subject. Like the Mustang, the wheels are attached to the car via wires. The road wheels of the time were painted light argent (silver) while the "hubcaps" were painted a darker argent color; leave the outer trim rings chrome plated.
The interior is very nicely done. I chose to paint the seats and separate door panels' parchment (white) again for contrast and flair. I used burnt sienna acrylic paint for the wood appliqués in the interior. Instead of the kit supplied decals for the instruments, I chose to paint the faces flat black and then picked out the pointers with bright red paint and over coated the whole shebang with gloss acrylic varnish. I was well pleased with the results.
The kit R/T decals were applied without incident, again only the air cleaner decal needing chemical persuasion. The only thing of note is that the large hood decal has a mottled look to it and judging by other Revell kit reviews this may be a decal QC issue for Revell.
Overall I am very happy with the look of this car, ease of building and the amount of parts available in the kit to build additional variants. I congratulate Revell for bringing these previously available metal kits to us in plastic.
A big thank-you goes out to Revell for supplying this kit, and to IPMS/USA for allowing me to review it for you.