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Revel 1992 Mazda Miata MX-5

1992 Mazda Miata MX-5
Revell No. 85-4432
Model Type: Injection-molded
Molded Colors: White, clear, chrome and transparent red
Scale: 1/25
MSRP: $22.95
Pros: Engine/chassis detail, most parts fit well, nice decals, optional parts to make two versions
Cons: Wobbly wheels, ride height,
uneven windshield frame, wind wings are too large
This is a reissue of the original 1993 release, but with a new decal sheet. Due to the new rating system it’s now labeled as a Skill Level 4 instead of the previous Level 2. You get parts for a stock version and optional sport version with custom front and rear bumpers, and a fairing for behind the seats. A soft “top-up” piece is provided and a stock boot for a “top-down” look.

Its decal sheet includes the gauge cluster, badges, marker lights and license plates. There’s also black and white twin stripes, choices of windshield banners and “No. 5” roundels.

Decals fit well, but the hood stripes could be longer. Even with solvent, I couldn’t get them to stretch fully to the front and rear edges. I trimmed a section off the stripes from the lower front fascia and used them on the top of the windshield frame to mimic the box art.

Instructions are easy to follow due to well-engineered parts and they include paint color callouts.

An error in Step 3 incorrectly shows where to install the steering rack/tie rod in the location of the front sway bar. The rack should actually be slid in from the side and attached to the lower control arms.

There’s a little flash on some pieces, but otherwise it’s a clean kit. Fit is above par except for a couple issues, like the oversized clear wind wings. A good 0.060 inch needs to be trimmed off the bottom and rear edges or the interior will not seat properly and the clear will be visible beyond the window frames.

A portion of the windshield bottom edge should be removed too. I skipped this as it seemed to fit OK during dry assembly, but in final assembly it prevented the underhood part of the interior from seating flush to the inner fenders. 1/8-in. needs to be trimmed from the upper hose where it meets the radiator.

I used the custom body parts, but test-fitted the stock parts and all fit acceptably well. Even its stock rear bumper fits better.

One issue my sample had was a couple of short-shot pieces like the engine oil fill cap and the driver’s side windshield wiper. Since the fill cap was essentially nonexistent, I machined a new one from aluminum. The wiper was missing about 1/8-in. out of the middle, so while it was still attached to the sprue, I bridged the two sections with gap filling CA then filed it into shape.

I have a collection of built-up Miata models and all of them have some shade of yellow in their paint schemes, so I went with something different than the box art. I shot the exterior Tamiya pink (TS-25) and used navy blue for its main interior accent color.

I prefer to assemble as much of the body as possible in most cases, and while the instructions recommend the bumpers to be attached after the interior is installed, they can be mounted to the body before painting. I mostly followed the color call-outs in the instructions with just a few variations.

Wheels are plated and I toned them down with a coat of flat aluminum, but kept the “polished” outer rim and rubbed the paint off the Mazda lettering rather than using the decals. I shaved the inner rib out of each of the tires to get the rims to fit flush with the tires, but they stuck out a little too far. The engine cam cover was likewise dechromed.

The Miata’s chassis was sprayed light gray and the rest hand-painted and treated to a few washes and light weathering techniques.

I didn’t notice until applying the windshield decal to the installed glass, that the left side of the windshield frame is lower than the right side and was too late to fix.

The body doesn’t appear to be warped elsewhere or that this is from being bent even slightly, as sometimes happens in packaging/shipping. I test-fitted the ragtop and it does not quite line up along the top of the windshield, but it is not a huge misfit either. Not sure what the fix for that would be even if I caught it before painting.

The car sits a little high for my taste and its wheels are a tad wobbly. Both issues could be corrected when the chassis is under construction, by relocating the axle stubs.

I plan to build another Miata and would recommend this kit since its the only full detail Miata kit I’m aware of, and most of the issues are minor or possibly just unique to my sample.


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