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Revell 1957 Chevrolet Black Widow

Widowbox
’57 Chevy “Black Widow”
Revell No. 85-4441
Model Type: Injection-molded
Molded Colors: White, clear, chrome and clear-red
Scale: 1/25
MSRP: $22.95
Pros: Good overall fit, easy to build, unique and popular subject
Cons: Difficult mold lines, inaccurate sponsor decals, lack of competition-spec equipment
Widow1
The base model 1957 Chevrolet was called the 150, and this reissue can be built one of two ways: as a stock 150 or a “Black Widow” tribute car. Racing “Black Widows” were shipped and specifically modified by Southern Engineering and Development.
 
Kit instructions consist of line drawings with parts called out by number and suggested colors by letter. Each part number corresponds to a description chart with paint letters matching to a color chart.

Its engine can be built as a fuel-injected block teamed with three-speed manual or as an automatic with a four-barrel carburetor. Chrome plating on the fuel-injection parts can be stripped then repainted a dull metallic color.

Decals are supplied for the “Chevrolet script” on the valve covers, oil filter and generator. Sadly, the valve cover decals folded up during installation, but the valve covers have raised script and a silver pencil saved the day.

Its chassis is molded as one piece with the interior floor forming the drive shaft tunnel. The fuel tank and tire well install as an insert. The car’s rear axle has a separate differential, leaf springs and two shocks, while the front suspension has two upper control arms, coil springs and a lower control assembly with tie rods. There are no front shocks and the kit includes a dual exhaust system.

The interior builds from the floor up, featuring a front bench seat, but no rear seat. Insert decals are present for the seat, sidewalls, and gauges. A rear roll bar and tachometer are optional.

Instructions call for attaching the firewall to the interior assembly at this time. This resulted in the top of the firewall not reaching the bottom of the cowl. To fix it, the firewall was removed and attached to the bottom of the cowl, but still resulted in a slight gap between the firewall and top of the floor pan. The windshield, rear, quarter and front vent glass pieces all fit together well.

Wheels are six-lug and correct spec for the “Widow.” Standard small-dish hubcaps hide lugs on the non-racing, 150 model. Tires are generic blackwalls and with a little sanding on the hubs, the wheels snap easily to the axles.

The one-piece body comes with a separate hood. Mold separation lines need attention as there’s a line running parallel to the accent line on each front fender that’s difficult to remove without damaging the accent line.

All chrome bits fit well but watch for a clearance issue between the frame ends and the front bumper. Instructions say to partially remove the frame ends. Either cut them farther back or sand the tops where they slide into the bumper.

A decal sheet has numbers for three NASCAR “Black Widows.” Choose between Speedy Thompson's No. 46 car, Jack Smith's No. 47 or the No. 87 car driven by Buck Baker. Driver's names are not included and the "Chevrolet, Inc. / Atlanta, Ga." sponsor decal isn't correct. All three cars ran at times without these particular markings, but a good, correct alternative is Powerslide’s decal sheet. The decals performed well except for three out of the four small, No. 9 "Chevrolet" scripts. These folded up, but with a lot of patience, water, and colorful language, were untangled and saved.

I made earlier reference to the "Black Widow" being built as only a tribute car. The reason being, is that this kit lacks many race-ready components such as a correct exhaust, additional shocks, and a larger fuel tank. Apart from a few minor issues, 1957 Chevys continue to be popular among builders and this kit will be too!



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