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AMT/Ertl 1/25 scale Ford F-150 Raybestos

Kit: No. 8242
Scale: 1/25
Manufacturer: AMT/Ertl, P.O. Box 500, Dyersville, IA 52040-0500
Price: $12
Comments: Injection molded, 119 parts (4 vinyl), decals.

There were some doubts among race fans when NASCAR announced the formation of a pickup-truck-racing series. But these bonafide racing vehicles are based on modified Winston-Cup chassis powered by 9:1 compression V-8 engines. Sponsors such as GM Goodwrench, Sears Die-Hard, and NAPA Auto Parts soon were involved. Even Chrysler, which had been absent from major-league auto racing for nearly two decades, sponsored several Dodge Ram trucks.

AMT's Raybestos F-150 is the first Ford-bodied super-truck kit. The parts are molded in light gray styrene and show good detail. The six-step instructions are easy to follow and all the parts are named and numbered. All five views of the truck are provided for decal application. Shots of the engine and interior are printed on the box top and are helpful for painting.

The kit goes together well, with only a few glitches. The front fascia needs a little massaging for a better fit and the rear window leaves slight gaps that must be filled. Mounting holes in the fire wall are absent for the steering gear (part No. 31) and the brake/clutch reservoir (77). Also the hole in the floorboard for the center roll-cage brace (54) is missing.

The rear axles must be drilled out to accept the wheel-mounting pins. The front brake calipers interfere with the upper control arms and must be trimmed. You'll also have to trim the ends of the exhaust headers to get the engine to fit properly on the chassis. A tab on the oil-pump pulley must be removed to fit the pump, and the left-side pulley on that assembly is missing the power-steering pump. No hood pins were provided.

Chassis detail is weak, but it represents a correct unit. Padding is included on the roll cage, and the excellent seat has holes in the backrest for the racing harness (not provided). The headrest (69) should be mounted horizontally, not vertically as shown.

The wheels are excellent, but the tires represent the 1979-vintage Goodyear Blue Streak Stock-Car Specials and no tire-brand decals are included. The best fix is to reverse the tires so the smooth side is out and use aftermarket Goodyear No. 1 Eagle decals or dry transfers.

Installing the rear window, roll-cage support bars, and bed cover all at the same time is tricky. I inserted (but did not cement) the support bars through the bed cover and glued the cover in place. Next I glued the rear window to the body. When it was dry I placed a drop of glue on the upper tips of the support bars, carefully fed them through the holes in the glass, and set them in place.

Certainly the most difficult stage was painting and decaling. I painted the body overall gloss white, airbrushed the yellow and red sunbursts, then masked and applied the blue with Testor Model Master Olds engine blue.

My sample's decals were beautifully printed and accurate, but slightly translucent. The decals for the painted-on head- and taillights look great and wrap around the corners perfectly.

When completed, AMT's Ford is a fine replica of a colorful race truck. The model sits low, has proper tire-to-fender clearances, and appears proportionally correct according to my photos of the real vehicle.

My model took about 25 hours to complete. Although the box indicates a "skill level 2," I think the complicated paint scheme and the assembly tricks will require the skills of an experienced modeler.

Mike Dowd

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