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Dodge A990 Hemi Engine

August 2007
Dodge A990 Hemi
The Hawk Model Co. No. 11055
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene and cast metal
Molded Colors: Orange
Scale: 1/4
MSRP: $49.99
Pros: Well-engineered, accurate, prepainted parts done well, an impressive display model
Cons: Gluing with heavy parts, mislabeled parts in instructions, fuel-line buildup a bit tricky

If you've built one of Testor's "Visible Engine" Hemis, this kit might look familiar; it's based on Testor's incredible set of clear plastic Hemi kits (reviewed in the April 2005 and October 2006 issues of Scale Auto).

Besides the maker's name, the most obvious difference to the Hawk kit is that it comes painted. With the exception of the crankshaft, all of the nifty internal moving parts found on the Testor kits are omitted. The crankshaft connects the flywheel to the fan, so some hand-induced movement is possible.

With the exception of the deleted internal parts, the building sequence is primarily the same as with the Testor kit. The 30-page instruction booklet is clear, but should be studied before starting. Use a good sprue cutter for removing pieces from the trees, and have model cement and super glue on hand. You'll need to hold the parts together while gluing them, to ensure a strong bond (using tape works well too).

The basic block parts are the only cast-metal pieces. They screw together, then the block is screwed directly to the front and rear base supports. All of the other parts are injection-molded plastic, painted directly on the sprues. I found the paint to be well done with accurate colors and little orange peel.

The kit went together fairly quickly, without having to construct the intricate internal parts found in the clear kit. I did find one mislabeled piece while building the alternator, and two pieces while building the starter. The fuel-line buildup was tricky, and the fan belt is a tad too small, making for a tough fit. These minor annoyances are easily overshadowed by the amazing engineering and tight tolerances. I wrapped up the build with the valve-cover and oil-filter decals, and some light touch-up painting to cover up cut marks made when I removed the pieces from the sprues.

I am glad that Hawk released this kit. Although I like the sheer coolness factor of Testor's clear working engines, they tend to show glue marks; and after a year or so, many of the internal parts aren't working any more on my builds. Having an accurate, painted version saved me the time and money of having to paint one of my clear versions. It's a nice kit. Thanks, Hawk.


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