Archive for February, 2013
In any sport there is period of time you can look at and pinpoint the moment when the sport hit the big time. For drag racing, it was the late 1960s into the mid 1970s. That was when the sport experienced the perfect combination of extraordinary technological breakthroughs, record-breaking speeds, ground-breaking designs and a collection of legendary characters who were always ready to push the limits. It was that intoxicating mixture which took drag racing from a regional sport to one that captured the imagination of the nation.
In the late 1960s, model kit building was an extremely popular hobby. Millions of model kits were manufactured each year to keep up with the demand. Model Products Corporation (MPC), a fledgling model kit company based in Michigan, took notice of America’s attention to drag racing and began to produce 1:25 scale model kits of these cars. Everything from funny cars and rail dragsters to pro stockers and gassers lined store shelves. Names like “Grumpy Jenkins,” “Mr. Norm” and “Dyno Don” adorned the packaging. AMT, Monogram and Revell also produced drag racing models kits, but by the 1980s, model building began to wane and the tooling for most of these models was put into storage.
Today, vintage drag racing subject matter has become extremely popular in model kit and die cast circles. Many famous cars have been produced over the years, but it wasn’t until May of 2012 when Round 2, LLC announced the launch of their “Legends of the Quarter Mile” program that things really heated up. The Legends line was conceived to put a spotlight on the famous names and cars that put drag racing on the national map. Because of the diverse brands and categories under the Round 2 umbrella, “Legends” 1:18 scale die-cast replicas and 1:64 scale slot cars and drag sets are manufactured under the Auto World brand. Vintage model kits are also being reintroduced in 1:25 scale under the MPC and AMT brands.
The release of Harry Schmidt’s Blue Max Mustang Funny Car as a 1:18 scale replica signaled the beginning of a wildly successful program that has captured accolades from racing fans and hobbyists alike. Several original teams and drivers have contacted Round 2, asking to have their cars immortalized in this exciting series!
It was well before the first release, when work began to reintroduce several of the most popular drag racing model kits ever made under the “Legends” line. Some had been unavailable for decades and had been commanding big money on the collector market. The original tooling had to be scrutinized and in many cases, parts recreated. The artwork used to produce the decals in the original kits was long gone. Archival photos and other reference material was used to freshly replicate all the logos, badging and other markings in creating new, more detailed and accurate decal sheets. It was a challenge to find several of the original drivers. Some had moved on to other businesses and others had unfortunately passed away.
Late in 2012, Round 2’s MPC brand reissued Arnie Beswick’s “The Super Judge” GTO and Connie Kalitta’s Bounty Hunter Funny Car model kits in the Legends of the Quarter Mile program. These deluxe 1:25 kits are available for the first time in decades and have additional extras added, like the additional window parts in the Beswick GTO molded in clear orange, replicating the real car’s tinted backlight. You’ll notice the attention to detail with the kits’ extremely popular pad-printed tire lettering and a connection to the past with the vintage box artwork.
The latest Legends model kits include a special edition of AMT’s Ohio George Montgomery 1933 Willys Gasser and Carl Casper’s famed Young American front engine rail dragster, complete with bonus items and packaging that will delight any modeler or kit collector. For the Young American, Round 2 worked with Carl Casper himself to acquire a fantastic photo of the 1:1 car doing a wild pre-run burnout, to use on the packaging. It was a photo taken only seconds after the original one was used on the original release of the kit back in the 1970s. MPC’s team turned another photo Carl provided into a bonus card to include in the kit, featuring the specs of the car and a list of famous wins.
For the latest Legends of the Quarter Mile news, updates and offers, check out www.autoworldhobby.com/Legends. Get Legends of the Quarter Mile products at hobby stores, racing and die-cast related stores and www.autoworldstore.com.
We were proud to finally release the 1:350 scale ST:TOS U.S.S. Enterprise late last year. Expecting that many modelers would want to take their kit to the next level by installing lights, we offered two products featuring a light kit specifically engineered for the kit, MKA005 Deluxe Accessory Set and MKA007 Light Kit. Offer this kind of product was a first for us, and a few hiccups have been reported along the way. The primary complaint has been about the round PCB boards that go inside the Bussard collectors. We would like to take this time to review the problems and solutions.
Problem #1- Round (Bussard) PCB boards either fail from the beginning or perform correctly initially, but fail in whole or in part soon after.
We apologize for any frustration this might have caused. All boards were tested twice before being packed to ensure all lights came on and worked properly. Due to all of the possible variables, it has been difficult to diagnose the source of the problem. We have not been able to reproduce these results in our own testing. With this in mind, we will honor requests to replace the boards through our normal part replacement service via the link located at the bottom of our website. In addition to the proof of purchase, we are asking for all failing boards to be returned when sending your replacement form. These faulty boards will be returned to our factory for further examination.
If you have not yet assembled your kit and installed the light kit, please keep this in mind. The heat shrink casing mentioned in the instructions of the light kits was omitted by the factory. We will mail this to anyone that requests it, but common electrical tape (or wire nuts or any other common electrical wire insulating method) can be used. In all cases, be sure to properly insulate (with tape or heat shrink casing, etc.) all splices, especially those that connect the round PCBs to the rest of the system. This must be done to prevent raw wires from touching which would cause the PCB to short out. This is very important to do to ensure the lights will work once your model is complete.
Further, if you are testing the boards or system before final assembly, make sure not to let any exposed wires or un-insulated splices touch while the power is on. Failure to do this may cause the boards and/or LED bulbs to short and destroy the system.
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Problem #2- LED bulbs installed on PCB boards stand on their leads rather than being properly mounted flush to the board. This prevents proper assembly of the Bussard collector.
We apologize for any frustration this may have caused as well. All samples reviewed up until final production showed that all bulbs were properly mounted to the boards. This was a problem that occurred during production. Though they were all inspected twice for their functionality, they impact on the assembly was not foreseen by the factory.
If the parts have not been cemented together there is an easy modification that can be made to the clear bulb parts included in the kits that will solve this problem. Simply clip off 2mm from the pin on each bulb (plastic parts 142 & 143). The remaining section of pin will be enough to cement them into part 42 and allow enough clearance to accept the extra length of the LED bulbs.
If these parts have been securely cemented together, we will either replace the bad board, or we will replace all colored clear bulbs and part 142 to allow you to make the above modification for use on your model.
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Lastly, We have gotten multiple complaints about two more problems with plastic kit parts in the POL880 (1:350 scale TOS Enterprise) and POL878 (Premiere Edition) kits themselves.
The most well-known is the problem with bent or warped shafts on the fan blade dome (part #140). For people building their kits without lights, this shouldn’t be a huge concern. We have replacement parts available for anyone that runs into this problem. We had the tooling modified to fix this problem as soon as we heard about it. So future production of the kit should not have the same concern.
The other problem is that we have gotten several requests to replace pylon parts due to warping. However, we have not been shown examples where warping is so severe that replacement of the parts is warranted. We have found that cementing the long edges of both parts and placing these sub-assemblies under a significant weight such as a stack of books will eliminate warping in the final subassembly. Allowing the parts to dry under weight will ensure they will stay straight. If you think you have a such a significant amount of warping that you feel it can not be corrected, please use the “contact us” link on our website and we will respond to see photos of your parts to judge these extreme cases.
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For anyone finding a problem with their kit (be it the 1:350 Enterprise or any other kit we offer) please note the part replacement guidelines on our website. Replacement part requests are addressed almost daily, and they are usually shipped within two weeks or less.
What could be better in the winter months than enjoying time at your modeling workbench, jammin’ on your latest and greatest build? Finding a Katch the Kat version of AMT’s upcoming “Sock It To Me” 1962 Chevrolet Corvette kit, that’s what! The Kats are at it again, getting ready to reissue a perennial favorite kit, in the most desirable format ever seen in its history: SOCK IT TO ME! Back in the day, the original AMT Kats cleverly created issues of select kits named after popular catch phrases of the time. The “Sock It To Me” ’62 ‘Vette oozed additional coolness, with it’s psychedelic “airbrushed and pinstriped” box artwork and fluorescent orange lettering.
The FOUR different mod car illustrations on the box made you want to build one, or more, “real bad!” As a special bonus, inside the kit was a bonus Sock It To Me bonus sticker, printed with day-glo ink. The model could be built as a sporty stock replica, but also included a myriad of performance parts to create several different inspiring custom and racing variants: a blown quarter miler, a DOUBLE-blown salt flats rocket, or a totally mod custom with mind-blowing pinstripe and flame decals! Dig? Dig!! When the Kats decided to reissue the kit in the SITM packaging, they went all out, making sure it was just as sweet as the original… even better! They’ve included pad-printed “pie crust” M&H Racemaster slicks along with “wide whitewall” Firestone Deluxe Champion tires. They even restored the vintage slotted Astro mags back to their original appearance by adding back the textured center sections, for the ultimate in retro realism. The super-colorful decal sheet has been completely recreated from scratch, and we think you’ll agree, they are beautifully brighter than the originals! The Kats like the feature-packed ’62 Vette kit so much, they’ve decided to include it in the exclusive “Katch the Kat” program. Just like the Meyers Manx and Grandpa Munsters’ Drag-U-La, one in every twelve Sock It To Me ’62 Vette kits is molded in a special metallic color. Every metallic kit includes a confirmation card inside the box to let you know you’ve found something special! This time, and in keeping with the groovy box art, the metallic color is far-out orange! But every kit, whether it’s molded in white or metallic orange, includes a reproduction bonus “Sock It To Me” sticker, just like the original. It’s fabulous fun – only from the Kats at AMT!
Round 2 is offering several popular 1:25 scale models in 2 colors. The series began with the Silver Screen edition 1957 Plymouth Belvedere – “Christine” available in Red or White. The newest release is the AMT Buick Opel molded in your choice of White or Yellow. Includes 9×12 frameable print, large format Original Art Series packaging featuring vintage painting from AMT archives, all new and expanded decal sheets, and 3 hood options allow for the car to be built drag, custom, or stock. Be sure to watch for the final car in this series a ’67 Shelby in Black or White.
This iconic set of three 1:2500 Scale Star Trek models is a great way to pass the
snowy winter days. It includes three mini snap kits, featuring the U.S.S.
Enterprise along with the newly tooled Romulan Bird-of-Prey and Klingon D7
Battle Cruiser. Molded in silver and green the Romulan Bird-of-Prey and Klingon
D7 Battle Cruiser have never before available at this scale. These simple snap
assembly kits are great for beginners and include detailed decal sheets
featuring all three ships’ markings.