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Revell-Monogram Corvette 1978 Indy Pace Car

August 2005
1978 Corvette Indy 500
Revell-Monogram no. 85-2168
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: White, clear
Scale: 1/24
MSRP: $15.25
Pros: Accurate rendition, no major fit problems
Cons: Simplistic chassis, decals difficult to apply
The Chevrolet Corvette was 25 years old in 1978, and Chevrolet celebrated the event by introducing the most extensively redesigned Corvette since 1968. R-M's version of this special Corvette is a reissue of an earlier kit (no. 2444) that includes a new, expanded decal set with a complete gauge package and trim for the alloy wheels.

The engine block/oil pan/ transmission is molded in two pieces, with the oil filter molded to the left block half.

The intake manifold has the carburetor and distributor included in the one-piece molding.Although lacking in detail, the completed engine doesn't suffer too much - the air cleaner and ignition shroud mask most of the problem.

The lack of engine detail is not the problem it could be, but the chassis is another story. The front suspension has no spring, shock, or upper control arm detail, and the two-piece rear suspension is limited in detail to the same degree.

The 10-piece interior is more detailed than the other components of the kit. R-M has included separate armrests for the right and left door panels, with separate shift lever and emergency brake handle. There are separate decals for all the gauges, radio faceplate, air-conditioner controls, and an especially nice four-speed gearshift pattern for the console.

The body is a five-piece assembly. I had difficulty getting the front and rear bumper covers to match the body; they were slightly wider than the body at the mounting locations. I had to file the covers down to match the body contours, losing the body seams in the process.

The front air dam does not match the front cover's shape, leaving a gap, and the rear spoiler is too wide and leaves an air gap on both quarter-panels. Install the front and rear bumper covers and reshape before painting, and install the spoilers after the decals are installed.

I painted the body semigloss black and chrome silver for the second color (the lightest-color silver I could find, but still darker than the silver used in the decals). I added two coats of gloss clear as filler so the minor flaws could be removed before the decals were installed.

The decals are not for the faint of heart. They are thin, have a tendency to fold over on themselves, and tear easily. They did not want to lay down, even on the flat surfaces. I had to make several cuts in the decals over each wheel well and use a considerable amount of solvent to finally get them to lay down.

The colors used on the body stripes do not line up well, and leave a thin silver line above the black section of the decal that's readily visible after being laid over the black paint. I tried to cover the unwanted silver portion with a black felt-tip pen, with marginal results.

One option for the '78 Pace Car was polished 15-inch alloy wheels. R-M included red trim rings and center-cap logos for the wheels. The chrome feels oily, and when decals are applied, they fall off after drying. I ruined one of the red trim decals when it did not adhere to the wheel. With only three red trim decals left, I drew the trim on the wheels with a fine-tip red Sharpie.

The T-tops on the 1:1 prototype are tinted privacy glass, and the ones supplied in the kit are clear. I dusted semigloss black paint over the inside surfaces and sprayed two heavy coats of gloss clear. It's not perfect, but looks a lot better than the standard clear.

This kit will be a welcome addition to any modeler's collection.


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