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ProModeler 1/25 scale '40 Ford convertible

Manufacturer: ProModeler, from Revell-Monogram, 8601 Waukegan Rd., Morton Grove, IL 60053-2295, 847-966-3500.
Kit: No. 5961
Scale: 1/25
Price: $19.95
Comments: Injection molded, 190 parts (8 vinyl), decals.
Pros: Top-notch detail, separate chassis, great clear parts, new tire sidewall-to-wheel design.
Cons: Some chrome plated parts marred by sprue attachments.
ProModeler's excellent new '40 Ford convertible reaches the high standards set by their previous kits. Clean, crisply molded white plastic parts are provided to build either a stock or a custom version. Chrome-plated and clear parts are separately bagged. With 190 parts in the kit, the view when you open the box is almost overwhelming.

The faultless 16-page instruction booklet begins with a brief description of the car, a list of the exterior colors available in 1940, a table of Ford specifications, and a good set of general model-building procedures. Assembly instructions are in the form of exploded drawings accompanied by black-and-white detail photos from a full-size car. All parts are named and numbered to match the parts numbers on the trees, and color instructions are provided for every piece.

For my review model, I chose CFM (Colors For Miniatures) '40 Ford M1787 Cloud Mist Gray (but it's really green!). I first applied a gray primer for the exterior and a military sand color for the interior.

With all major parts painted, I followed the 10-step assembly drawings and encountered only a couple of problems. The separate rear fenders, which require sanding and fitting, are difficult to mount after the body and fenders are painted. Could the fenders be mounted to the body before painting? Maybe!

Body paint filled the very shallow detail of the trunk lid emblem. The running boards (part Nos. 12 and 13) were a bit short, leaving little gaps where they meet the fenders. The front axles in my kit were also too short, preventing the wheels from locking. I had to glue the front wheels to the axles. The sprue attachments, while minimal, are located on visible areas of some chrome plated parts.

I was impressed with the excellent fit of the hood; I don't think I've seen better. The new design for mounting the tires on the wheels (with separate whitewall inserts to cover the edge of the wheels) is neat! Clear parts are thin, adequately clear, and fit perfectly. Adding chrome foil to the windshield frame made for an almost impossibly tight fit. All the chrome trim on my model (that wasn't provided in the kit) was covered with New Ultra-Bright Chrome from Bare-Metal Foil Co. The seven-color silk-screened decals went easily onto smooth surfaces, but required an application of Solvaset to stick to flat painted areas.

The finished model scales out close to the full scale cars, and sits the way that I remember them. My model's wheelbase came out a little short, leaving the wheels not centered in the wheel wells. On my next one (and there will be at least one more for me), I will fiddle with the location of the front axle so that it fits better. I also intend to spend more time in detail painting the interior. Engine wiring for these old flatheads was fairly simple and should be easy to add, too.

I spent about 27 hours, more than usual, on my Ford. Following the painting directions for all those parts took more time than I suspected. Ford lovers will want to practice on a couple of less complicated kits before tackling this beauty.

Allan F. Jones

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