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AMT 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 XL

Kit No.: AMT1186-200
Scale: 1/25
Mfr.: Round 2,
Price: $29.99
Comments: Injection-molded parts (white, clear, clear red, and chrome plated); four, pad-printed, vinyl tires; decals
Pros: Superb decals; many custom parts; easy assembly    
Cons: Basic chassis; lacks detail under the hood
Produced from 1959-1974, the 1963 Ford Galaxie was graced with a more streamlined roof than previous years. The XL range boasted more comfort features than baseline models. AMT’s ’63 Galaxie kit dates all the way back to 1964, and has been reissued numerous times over the last 40+ years in various forms. Round 2 tags this latest release as an “advanced customizing kit” with parts for a stock, custom, and advanced custom Galaxie.

The engine appears to be an FE 390 V8 with options for a stock induction system or a Roots blower which would require a hole cut in the hood. The kit contains one style of exhaust header for both engines. Unfortunately, the engine shows its promo-style heritage with a hole through the oil pan and block to accommodate the metal front axle.

The kit contains a set of no-name whitewall tires and options for stock hub caps or open chrome reverse wheels with or without baby-moon caps.

The interior gives you optional parts for seating, stock or custom steering wheels, a roll bar, and additional console parts. The door-panel engraving inside the tub is a bit light, but the seats more than make up for it. The dash can be completed with one of two decals for the gauges.

The platform chassis comes with the exhaust, suspension, transmission tail and driveshaft molded in. The only parts added are the metal axles and wheels, engine, and battery.

The instructions show uses for some of the advanced customization parts. While I didn’t go all in, the options can be used to create wild variants of the Galaxie. Sticking to the idea of a mild custom, I opted to keep the body stock with the addition of rear wheel skirts and twin rear antennas, which seem out of scale but looked the part.

The glass fit well inside the body and the interior slipped onto mounting posts without modification. The chassis with the grille and bumper assemblies fit snugly into the body, but not so tight that I had to force the issue.

The decal sheet has more emblems, side spears, license plates, and more custom graphics than you’ll use, but it’s an incredible addition to the kit and gives you plenty to work with.

Overall, AMT’s Galaxie 500 XL builds up nicely. The simple chassis and sparsely detailed engine compartment do not detract from its cool factor but aren’t up to today’s standards. Relatively easy to assemble with good body proportions, the 500 would make a great first-time glue kit, while providing advanced modelers with a nostalgic build and a good base for customization.

– Tom Valenta


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