In the tradition of the iconic Mercedes-Benz 300 SL gullwing coupe of the 1950s and the McLaren-built SLR (2003-10) comes the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.
While the SLR’s doors were a cross between scissor and gullwing styles, the SLS returns to the classic gullwing design — and Revell Germany has engineered working doors that are the showpiece of the kit. As you collect references, try “building” your own car on the Mercedes-Benz website (mbusa.com) to see different interior and exterior schemes.
Inside the box, well-packaged sprues are grouped by color. Many parts, including the body, are molded in a light green/gray, others in silver. A chrome tree provides wheels, emblems, light bezels, and some of the body trim.
The body is cleanly molded and crisply engraved. A few parts have minor flash; slight sink marks on the fascia, body, and hood can be easily sanded smooth without filler. The hood and bumpers fit perfectly. The two-piece doors have an internal frame including the door panels and the outer-door skin. The inner panel requires careful masking because part of it is the body color, part is the interior color, and some is flat black.
Minor warpage of the doors, frames, and chassis was easily corrected with careful bending. Plan ahead to make sure the gullwing doors fit properly; I did this before beginning the rest of the build. Fit the inner door panel first, and don’t be afraid to bend the window frame so the panel seats properly. I spent about an hour getting precise fits (no need to add or remove any plastic), and the pieces retained their shape throughout the rest of the build.
There is a slight mismatch of the fillet area of the doors between the side-glass surround and body versus the same transitional surface between the B pillar and the body. The chassis warp took only a moment to straighten; modern plastics like this can handle careful deflection with no heat necessary.
The engine and chassis are nicely detailed, though for some reason the area where the master cylinder would be is blank. The serpentine belt and accessories are one piece, but much of this detail is covered up by the intake and trim under the hood. I cut off the hood’s hinge pins instead of gluing them, allowing me to open or remove the hood; it sits well closed.
Crosshatch decals help detail the open-mesh grilles. I only used the decals on the chrome-plated hood and side vents, as I wanted to retain the chrome, though the mesh areas had a thick, clear undercoat beneath the plating that filled in some of the fine engraving.
The breakdown of the seats allows cleanup of mold lines and easy painting of the separate seatbacks. Seat-belt latch detail is molded in the lower corner of the seat cushion as well. Decals provide emblems, gauges, center-stack, and center-console details. The interior bucket does not include door panels, as they mount directly on the doors.
The dashboard is nicely engraved; decals and detail painting complete the look. The dash attaches to the cowl inside the body, not the interior tub. This was the greatest difficulty of the kit (besides the fragile side-mirror indicator lenses I broke trying to remove from the sprue). The A-pillar trim kept the dash from seating firmly, and I had to trim a little from both. The doors and hinges fit well, open and close smoothly with no slop, and (mostly) hold themselves open. Small pins help align the doors when closed.
I painted my SLS to match the box art. The instructions call for “K” code Ferrari red, but the SLS red is called LeMans red, a slightly darker and cooler metallic shade. I chose Testors Honduras maroon lacquer and airbrushed a decanted mid-coat of Tamiya transparent red prior to the final clear coat.
With the dash in place, final assembly was a breeze. The kit captures the car’s look and stance. Take your time fitting the doors before you begin painting and you’ll be rewarded with an impressive model.