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Revell Germany Porsche 928

Kit No.: RMG7656
Scale: 1/16
Mfr.: Revell Germany,
Price: $55
Comments: 62 injection-molded parts (silver, black, tinted clear); four black vinyl tires; decals
Pros: New, gorgeous, comprehensive decal sheet; improved tire selection; nearly trouble-free build; cleanly molded for tool’s age 
Cons: Oversimplified suspension; interior and drivetrain inaccuracies; tinted clear parts
Can 62 parts be right? Even at 1/16 scale? Let’s remember, the tooling goes all the way back to 1980 and is a straight scale-up of Revell’s 1/25 scale 928. So, with half the parts count of today’s typical 1/25 kit, your expectations are probably tempered, but all the better to be surpassed!

Parts simplification is typical of most 40-year-old kits, kid friendly being the rule. Both the front suspension and the 928’s fabled Weissach axle at the rear are distilled to one piece incorporating inner rotor surfaces, suspension arms, and a central crossmember; no complete tie rods for the front and no drive axles for the rear. The inside rearview mirror is omitted and the entire interior comprises nine parts.

The barely representative intake and exhaust manifolds show some wonkiness, too. They’re wispy and undersized enough that a 1/1 engine so proportioned might as well breathe through drinking straws. Add in a blocky sideview mirror and front seats that are more “general idea” than exact match, and perhaps we’re not at 100% accuracy.

And yet. The tooling’s clean for going on four decades, with only light flash more often on the sprue than on a part. You might find the odd sink mark on some of the thicker moldings like the steering wheel center, a suspension crossmember or a seat. But the body molds were carefully designed to minimize those voids, betraying their age only in a slight misalignment on the leading edge of a passenger-side front fender on an otherwise smooth body shell.

What, then? A toy-like big scale kit with a good body? Maybe, except Revell has ditched the rudimentary decal sheets and blocky, oversized rubber GT radial tires, and the changes are downright transformative.

A raid of Revell’s tooling vault produced the first major improvement in this release: VR50 tires that first debuted with Revell’s ’87 update of its 1/16 third-generation Camaro/Firebird kits. Maybe anachronistic for a new ’77 Porsche, but they’re still vastly superior in size, shape and profile for the model; and they fit the wheels nicely.

Changing the tires might have been enough, but it’s the expansive, beautifully executed new decal sheet trumpeting this kit’s new-found transcendence: comprehensive engine bay markings down to a tag meant to be tied to an air cleaner intake; drivebelt stamps; European or U.S. marker lights; dummy rotors and calipers for the inner wheels; coil graphics for the rear suspension posts; and an embarrassment of license plates, all razor-sharp and in register.

All of which sets the stage for the heroic and dazzling show in the interior. Just about anything faint or omitted in the original tub is present on the decal sheet, including seat release buttons; speaker grilles; clock and gauges; glove box latch; even those odd 928 door lock dials.

All these are mightily impressive but thoroughly topped by this release’s true eye magnets, the op-art checkerboard seat graphics. Teasing them into the deep seat pleats requires some patience, but they’re impressively opaque, responsive to setting solution, and hugely effective.

You’ll need to come up with your own reflector for the sideview mirror since there’s no chrome, and the tint in the clear tree does the car’s various light lenses no favors. Without black pads on the rear bumper, it’s not truly a U.S. market car, and the stance may be a bit variable depending on the wheel you’re looking at. Nevertheless, with two deft updates, Revell Germany has made something else entirely of this kit. It may have always been a trouble-free build, but before now, it’s never looked as sharp as this.


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