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MPC Tiger Shark

MPC No. MPC876/12
Molded Colors: White, chrome, clear, clear red
Scale: 1/25
MSRP: $30.95
Pros: Nice choice of tires with Firestone gold-stripe tampos, fun and relatively easy to build
Cons: Old tooling related flash and molding imperfection issues,
fit issues with the interior to the body

The “Tiger Shark’s” roots are in the Car Craft “Dream Rod” built by Bill Cushenberry. Based on a 1952 Jowett Jupiter chassis with a VW’s front suspension and powered by a Ford V8, its body was an eclectic mix of other cars’ body panels and joined the show circuit in 1966. When made into the “Tiger Shark,” its rear was modified, and a hood scoop and new front fenders were added along with unique paint.

MPC modified AMT’s  “Dream Rod” kit and released this model with 100 pieces, some of which were for a rubber band-powered display turntable. Four, beautiful pad-printed Firestone gold-stripe hollow vinyl tires, two sets of windows, a sprue of chrome, and a clear red taillight are found in the box. 

Some parts have moderate flash, but none terribly heavy. The hood refused to stay open and its doors fit sloppily when shut. The front wheels are poseable and can be made to roll, but have somewhat tight wheel wells.

While one of the mag wheels was heavily flashed over, I painted its centers to hide the loss of chrome.

Filler and shaping with 320-grit sandpaper are required to get the rough-fitting nose to appear better. Note that little bumps or nubs on several of the pieces need to be cut off and sanded.

In the early 1970s my brother gave me this kit, but it had been started by someone else. That model is long gone, but I recall trying to paint it like the “Mako Shark” show car based on the Chevy Corvette and not being happy with the results. Since the 1/1 has undergone multiple changes in its life, I wanted another bite at a shark-themed paint job that seemed so appropriate. 

The base is Tamiya Ocean Gray (AS-10) shot from the can, with neutral gray (AS-7) used on the sides, inner wheel wells, and top accents. Light gray (AS-16) was blended along the lowest edges and the tiger stripes were cast with Gray Violet (AS-4). Its sides, nose and tail undersides, and inner fenders were given a few coats of Pearl White (TS-45).

A tiny Pearl White overspray on the upper surfaces made a sparkling water effect and I used my old Paasche VL for the stripes and shading. Then it was cleared with ScaleFinishes 2Klear mixed with old PPG activator and Matrix medium urethane reducer.

The interior, engine, and chassis fit OK as the individual subassemblies are mostly simplistic. The front suspension fit well too, but the rear suspension didn’t line up with the engine or frame. Extra attention is needed to get the parts aligned. I sanded the tail shaft of the transmission until the mounting points on the rear end and frame joined. If I did it again I’d relocate the mounting pin on the rear end so the rear wheels would end up a tiny bit rearward.

A nod to the water theme, the interior was done in blues with hand-painted Tigerwood accents on the console and door inserts.

The dash mounts to the windshield, but when the glass was installed, the angle of the dash was off and had to be rotated upward for the steering wheel to be properly positioned. The dash interferes with the gauge pod mounted to the console but an easy fix was to install it after the interior was in place.

The display turntable is a relatively useless gimmick, but a nice piece of nostalgia.

While not a model I’d likely build again, it was an enjoyable experience. If the subject is something that is of interest it is well worth the time. It went together very quickly and was a low-stress, fun project!


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