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Aoshima Mercedes SL65 AMG Black Series


Mercedes SL65 AMG
Aoshima No. 049624
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: White, black
Scale: 1/24
MSRP: $64.95
Pros: Detail, appearance, ease of assembly, detail-up pieces
Cons: Minor errors in instructions; engine not prototypical; sink marks on hood
When I built Aoshima’s Mercedes SL63 AMG (August 2010 expanded review), I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I hoped that Aoshima would eventually kit the ultimate SL: the SL65 AMG Black Series. Aoshima granted my wish.

There are numerous changes from the SL63: a new one-piece body with integral hardtop and bumpers, new racing seats, engine cover, exhaust tips, brakes, rear glass, and lower grille insert.

The new body is crisply molded and matches photos well, capturing the aggressively flared body.

Take note of a few instruction errors. On the photoetch instruction sheet, the front brake parts are 100 and 101, the rear are 102 and 103. In the main instruction sheet, valve covers 69 and 70 are mixed up in step 4, and decal 11 in step 5 is the one to use, not decal 12.

The engine is a carryover from the SL63, and it is the weakest part of the kit. The block and transmission are two pieces split top-to-bottom, and are non-prototypical. The SL65 is a V-12, the SL63 is a V-8, and the intake manifold and valve covers are also shared. There are no exhaust manifolds. The new top engine cover is nicely engraved.

There are decals for the AMG logos, but my kit came with the optional Aoshima photoetch and chrome transfer upgrade package. The chrome AMG transfers and photoetch Mercedes pointed star really dress up the engine cover.

In defense of the simplified engine, everything you would normally see under the hood is done quite well. Other underhood details are excellent, and there are a few decals for various components.

The chassis is well detailed and has springs at all four corners, though suspension travel is limited. The wheels are excellent, and the tires fit the wheels snugly (they were too loose on the SL63). The photoetched brake discs are excellent, as are the AMG caliper logos, but the plastic parts are well engraved if you don’t have or use the optional parts.

Learning from the SL63, I chose to install the wheels onto the hubs before assembling the suspension, for a snug, wobble-free fit, unlike the SL63 wheels.

The interior is well detailed, and the one-piece racing seats look good. The optional photoetched seat belt parts are a nice touch. Oddly, the shift paddles behind the steering wheel are not included on the photoetch fret; they would look much better than the thick plastic parts.

Final assembly was painless, though I chose not to use the photoetched lower grilles. They install on top of the solid piece, because that part is necessary to hold the chassis and headlight assemblies in place. The upper grille piece was tricky to install, and highlights the fact that there is no radiator in the kit – only a surround and fan shroud.

The molded upper grille has excellent texture. There are decals for all the emblems, and the etched and transfer logos (especially) are a definite improvement over the decals.

The finished appearance is excellent, with the model sitting squarely at all four wheels with a perfect stance.

A minor nit is that the decal sheet could have included carbon-fiber trim for the interior trim and engine cover; perhaps for the larger front and rear splitters as well.

Regardless of a few minor nits, this was one of the most fun builds I have worked on in a while, and I highly recommend this kit. 


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