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Revell 1968 Chevelle SS 396

Revell No. 85-4445
Molded Colors: White, clear, clear red, chrome, soft black
Scale: 1/25
MSRP: $24.95
Pros: Crisp molding; popular subject; good decals
Cons: Minor fit issues; short-shot part
Revell has given us a new tool of the 1968 Chevelle SS 396, and it was worth the wait. Cleanly molded in white, the body is one of the kit’s standout features. The decal offerings are another.

The instructions are in Revell’s latest format: a booklet featuring a brief vehicle history, parts index with descriptions, paint guide, and visual assembly steps. There are 18 of these steps, plus a page showing decal placement.

Twenty-three pieces comprise the 396 big-block engine. The water pump, oil filter, and oil pan are molded separately. The mounting bracket is molded to the alternator, but there isn’t a bracket for the power-steering pump.

On my sample, the fan clutch (Part 101) was short shot without the pin that mounts the fan-belt assembly to the engine. Not a major issue. The decal sheet provides markings for the valve covers, oil filter, battery, and air cleaner.

The instructions say to install the engine prior to attaching the frame to the floor pan. Shorten the mounting pin on the transmission and you can slide the engine in later if you want.

The front suspension features individual coil springs. The steering linkage has contact points for the Pitman and idler arms. The five-piece rear axle and suspension builds up as a subassembly. I suggest you temporarily fit this assembly to the frame and floor (before attaching the exhaust) and let the glue dry to keep it properly aligned.

Redline tires come in the kit. One had a small gap that was easily touched up. You can choose between a pair of wheel styles: GM rally or Magnum 500. I went with rally. Wheels mount to the axles using metal pins, but I had to shorten the rear pins to get the wheels to fit properly.

Inside, the dash, door panels, console, front buckets, and rear bench are all separate parts. The rearview mirror mounts to the sun-visor assembly. Decals detail the gauges and radio. The windshield, vent windows, and rear glass mount from the inside and fit well.

The body requires hardly any cleanup. Take care when mounting the rear corner caps (parts 150 and 151), otherwise the rear bumper assembly won’t mount correctly. The seams around these caps should be there, so don’t fill them. Test-fit the front grille and bumper along with the rear bumper to get a good fit. The rear bumper needed some filing behind the license-plate recess. I filed down the ears on the firewall (Part 28) to fit the body to the underbody and interior.

The comprehensive decal sheet includes white, red, and black body stripes. The stripes are easy to use if you keep things wet while aligning. No tearing or curling.

I was pleased with this kit and recommend it to intermediate and advanced builders.


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