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AMT Ford Model T Depot Hack

Round 2's classic 1/25 scale automobile kit can be built as a 1923 express wagon
An oldie but goodie is back for the first time in 45 years: AMT’s Depot Hack. This time molded in white with all 90 original parts present (nine of them won’t be used). An Express P.U. can be built as an alternative. The four-page instructions are the same except that at the end instead of customizing suggestions there is a paint chart. The exploded views show parts numbers, part description, and paint call out. Refer to the bottom of the box when matching the part to the part number. 

The build started with a basic 10-piece engine — but then a Model T engine is pretty basic. I recommend placing the head (Part No. 41), as far forward as possible to provide clearance for the cowl. On this build the upper radiator hose did not reach the radiator tank (Part No. 52). Moving the head forward might correct this. There is no lower radiator hose. 

It is critical to get the five-piece frame both square and flat. Consider installing the muffler (Part No. 43), at this time. Front and rear axle assemblies come next. This is another step that you need to make sure they are square to the frame. I checked the positioning of the engine at this point but did not install it, suspecting test-fitting the body might reveal issues. 

The lower body is another multi-piece assembly. Make sure the sides are 90 degrees to the floor and the three seat bottoms fit. Test-fitting the body to the frame is when clearance issues arose. There is a positive location for the rear spring to the floor that determines where the cowl will fall. That put the cowl in contact with the engine and correcting this required sanding on the rear of the head. Test-fitting the fenders to the floor revealed that the cowl extended too far below the floor to allow proper positioning of the fenders. The bottom of the cowl needs to be flush with the floor, so the offending plastic was removed. The exhaust pipe (Part No. 43) did not clear the cowl. 

Next is where I deviated from the instructions. This is the point where you decide whether to build the Hack or the Express P.U. I wanted to show both, but the instructions tell you to cut off the upper pillars above the driver’s seat back (Part No. 81), for the Express, meaning you can’t build the Hack. I made a second seat back from plastic sheet to use for the Express. For the Hack, I made a separate assembly using the roof, front seat back with pillars and the rear pillars making sure they all lined up with the lower body. Using these interchangeable assemblies, I could now show both versions.

From here on assembly was straight forward. I attached the fenders to the floor, mounted the engine, and attached the frame to the floor. Mounting the radiator shell required a spacer made from scrap plastic to mount it to the frame. I’m not sure if this was due to the kit or pilot error. 

The tires are vinyl with the exception of the spare that is plastic. The wheels have misaligned spokes, creating a step. Metal axles connect the wheels for the front and rear. 

The small decal sheet is a duplicate of the original release. It has nice pinstripes but with the dark wood they wouldn’t have been noticeable, so I did not use them. The license plate decal was placed with no issues.

This is kit that needs an experienced builder to make the most of it. I spent 52 hours on it, but in fairness probably a third of that time was spent creating the wood effects using Tamiya acrylic paint. Having built different versions of the AMT Model T family was a big help in anticipating problem areas.

Thanks to Round 2 for resurrecting these older kits. 

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