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AMT/Ertl 1/25 scale '60 Ford Starliner

Manufacturer: AMT/Ertl, P.O. Box 500, Dyersville, IA 52040-0500, 800-553-4886.
Kit: No. 30044
Scale: 1/25
Price: $11
Comments: Injection molded, 109 parts (4 vinyl), decals.
Pros: Separate frame and floor pan, excellent engine detail, good interior, front wheels can be posed, hinges provided to pose hood open.
Cons: Frame slightly warped, hood hinges do not operate and must be removed to show hood closed.
It was a year of total redesign for Ford. Remember the boxy '59s? The new '60 designs are still among the sleekest to come out of Dearborn. The Galaxie and Galaxie Special series (which included the Starliner) were the top of the line for 1960. For a factory price of $2,723, you could have purchased one of the 68,641 V-8 powered 2-door Starliner hard tops produced.

I appreciate AMT's policy of bagging the clear and chrome-plated sprues separately - this prevents scuffs and scratches to their fragile surfaces. The instructions include a Ford OEM color chart and exploded parts drawings arranged in seven assembly steps. All parts are named and numbered to match the sprues, and color suggestions are provided for every piece. Four decals are included for the engine compartment as well as two sets of decal vintage license plates.

Assembly is straightforward - nothing unusual here. You will notice that a lot of extra detail is provided such as cylinder bores in the engine block, valve springs on both heads, a headliner and dome light in the interior. I can't remember ever doing another car kit that had an oil breather tube (No. 13) as a separate piece. Even the carburetor has venturi detail in the throat. Once parts are cleaned up, fit is excellent. I painted most parts before assembly.

In step 2, the inner and outer wheel pieces are wider than the tires once they are glued together. I left much of the excess on the inside of the tire, but might try to thin the wheel halves down a bit next time. In any event, the wheel rims are thick and stick out from the tires more than I like.

Masking and painting the highly detailed interior in step 3 was the most difficult and time-consuming part of this kit. The result, however, is well worth the effort.

The only real trouble I had occurred when I glued the chassis to the floor pan; the forward portion of my chassis was warped. With the rear portion already mounted, I had to clamp the front portion with alligator clips and clothespins for a day while the glue bonded the parts. Also, the molded curve of the heater hoses (No. 54) wasn't right to reach the front of the engine block. I tried to bend mine some more, but was afraid of breaking the part.
The kit's hood hinges are designed to hold the hood open, but they will prevent the hood from closing.

I used Bare-Metal Ultra Bright Chrome Foil to replicate the extensive trim of the '60 Starliner. I made the mistake of trying to use Model Master White enamel for the whitewalls - it wouldn't dry. After removing the enamel, I had success with Testor Model Master Acryl 4701 Semi-gloss White.

Detailers will want to add ignition wires to the engine and replace the overly thick clear plastic at the wing vents. The finished model matches the specifications in the Standard Catalog of Ford 1903-1998. It sits right and looks right.

With over 25 hours spent masking, painting, and applying chrome trim, this model took more time than I usually spend building a car kit. Excellent engineering and great parts fit make this a kit suitable for modelers with some masking and painting experience.

Al Jones


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