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Revell 1/25 scale '30 Ford Model A Coupe 2'n 1 plastic model kit expanded review

The best hot rod model kit to hit the market has a couple of spots that need work

Kit:85-4464 // Scale:1/25 // Price:$29.99
Revell (Sample courtesy of manufacturer)
Popular traditional hot rod body style; parts for two highly differentiated building versions; best Buick Nailhead V8 found in 1/25 scale; brilliant chrome plated parts; excellent value
Prominent ejector-pin marks; molding issues on 1932 Ford highboy frame; non-prototypical firewall and roof opening shapes
Injection-molded plastic; 155 parts; decals
Revell’s new 1930 Ford Model A Coupe 2’n 1 kit gives modelers a choice between two highly differentiated themes: a traditional highboy (body on top of a 1932 Ford frame) and a 1950s-style channeled (body sunk on a Z’ed Model A frame) hot rod.

Arguably the most popular current genre in the world of hot rods today is the “traditional hot rod.”  Driven in large part by an influx of younger hot-rod builders and owners, the focus is on recreating the types of hot rods seen on the streets in the 1950s and early 1960s. For many of these builders, the 1930-31 Model A five-window coupe is the preferred body style. 

Kit builders wishing to duplicate five-window coupe hot rods in scale were previously limited to a somewhat primitive 1/24 scale Monogram offering tooled in 1961. In 2016, Revell came to the rescue with an all-new Model A five-window coupe hot rod kit.  

Unfortunately, there was a critical production interruption at the factory just after the first batch of these new kits reached completion. The kits quickly disappeared from hobby stores and became pricey aftermarket collectibles. Now, Revell has reintroduced the kit to the marketplace. 

Other than a revised decal sheet and fresh box art, the new kit is mostly the same as before. Exceptions include the Buick “Nailhead” V8 that replaces the small-block Chevy in the original kit release, and the omission of a second set of Salt Flats mag wheels. 

Revell includes many options in the kit, among them two different build configurations (highboy or channeled), two different interiors (traditional upholstered or a stripped down “skeleton”), three wheel and three headlight variations, two taillight choices, two steering wheels, two engine intake options, and a selection of decals. As a result, while you can build only one completed model from each kit box, you’ll also be left with large amounts of leftover parts destined for future hot rod kitbashing projects.  

To show some of the included build options, I completed models sourced from two kits.

You’ll find the channeled kit buildup straightforward but follow the instruction assembly sequence to the letter. The highboy version will benefit from a bit of builder assistance.  


First up, choose between the traditional highboy, which builds atop a 1932 Ford frame (top) or the channeled version on a Z’ed Model A frame (bottom). Much of the rest of the kit contains parts unique to each version. 


Comparing the reissued kit to the original release from 2016, there are several areas the new kit’s quality has suffered a bit. The inside and bottom rail surfaces of both frame options reflect EDM (Electronic Discharge Machining) marks on the tooling (highlighted on the highboy frame here in orange) that should have been polished before the kits went into production. These are relatively easy to remove with filing and sanding. The 1932 frame also shows various sink and tooling marks (highlighted here in black) that require filling and sanding. 

Several (but not all) of the kits I examined showed various degrees of twisting (from front to rear) of the 1932 Ford frame, possibly resulting from improper handling after the parts were removed from the mold. Throughout the kit, a number of parts exhibited ejector-pin marks you’ll need to remove to ensure proper part fit and appearance.   

On the positive side, the flawless chrome plating on the parts trees in the new kit was noticeably brighter than the original kit, and it is among the best you’ll find in scale kits today.


The five-window coupe body builds up with a separate greenhouse that locates to the main body. The separation line between the two parts is aligned with the upper body character lines and will remain well hidden if you use darker exterior paint colors.  


While the box art and instructions show a 1930 Model A grille for both the channeled and highboy options (upper grille at far left), another option is included in the kit but not referenced on the box art or assembly instructions: a 1932 Ford grille (lower grille at far left) for the highboy version. You can also see the radiator choices for the channeled version 1930 Model A grille (yellow), the radiator for the highboy version of the 1930 Model A grille (blue), and both the grille shell and radiator for the 1932 Ford grille highboy version (red).  

I built my highboy version with the 1932 Ford grille and shell parts.


If needed for additional reference, the applicable part numbers are shown in this photo of the assembly sheets for the original 2016 kit release (top of photo) shows the 1932 Ford grille shell and radiator option, while the 2021 assembly sheet shows the Model A highboy grille and radiator option.  Both sheets show the Model A channeled grille and radiator option. 


Regardless of which versions you choose to build, you’ll find what is the finest hot rod Buick Nailhead V8 ever placed in a model kit box. As seen here, the transmission pan, oil pan, valley cover and the two valve covers all feature ribbing that begs for detailing with thinned enamel or lacquer. 


A choice of induction options includes a six two-barrel carb setup on log manifolds (black engine) and a Hilborn-style fuel injection setup (blue engine). For the latter, Revell even includes a scale fuel block with eight miniature fuel lines to the injectors! 


The skeleton interior used with the channeled build is largely a first in 1/25 scale kits. It faithfully replicates the metal body structure that would be seen on an interior missing its door and back-panel upholstery. This pairs with bomber bucket seats to replicate an interior popular today with full-scale hot rod builders.


The highboy uses an entirely different interior with more traditional narrow pleat upholstery and seating. While the body omits an opening trunk lid, both interior choices come with a complete trunk outfitted with a fuel cell and enclosed battery box.  


Revell’s suspension layout results in a body/frame that is ever so slightly raised in the front, while most traditional hot rod builders prefer a raked appearance making the rear slightly higher than the front. I built the channeled version straight from the kit, but, for the highboy, I slightly lowered the front by removing the top leaf engraved in the transverse front spring (compare the modified part on top, to the unmodified part below). This required shortening the front shock absorbers. I also slightly raised the rear axle on the highboy. 


As assembled out of the box, you may find that the highboy places the body in a slightly raised position relative to the frame rails at the firewall, whereas it should sit directly on top of the frame rail. You can resolve this by filing off the bottom tabs (shown in red) of highboy firewall and by drilling through the recessed areas on the underside of the floorboard (also in red). The seats cover the resulting holes in the floorboard. These two changes help the body snug down to the frame rails as it should. 


Here are the completed channeled and highboy versions in two of the four possible marking provided in the kit. The “steelie” wheels can be built without hubcaps (left), with hubcaps only (right), or with plated hubcaps and trim rings (not shown). 


As noted above, the highboy (right) supports both a 1930 Model A grille as well as the 1932 Ford grille and shell (shown here). The largest (left) and smallest (right) headlights are complimented with a third, medium-sized option. 


You can clearly see the difference in height between the channeled hot rod and the highboy. Taillight choices include 1948 Chevy (left) and the 1939 Ford teardrop (right) styles. 


Separately molded top inserts allow you to show off the interior. The shape of the top openings is not factory correct, nor is the degree to which the firewalls extend forward beyond the body. You can modify the parts as shown in the April 2017 issue of Scale Auto magazine (Page 32) or use aftermarket parts to correct them.   


The finished engines are a real highlight of this kit. Be careful to test-fit the radiator hoses before assembly; I found that the lower radiator hose (Part 173) fit best on the channeled version and the lower radiator hose (Part 167) on the highboy — opposite of the assembly instructions. I used upper radiator hose (Part 172) for both builds. There are many other radiator hose choices provided in the kit if these do not work for you.    


Underneath, both versions look largely the same when finished. Note that while the kit instructions show two possible driveshafts (parts 137 and 210), only one driveshaft is provided (Part 106). You’ll need to trim off about 1/32 inch of the nose of the differential front cover (Part 41) to get the correct fit with the driveshaft.    


Should you be looking for even more personalization beyond the kit’s many options, both the Salt Flats mag wheels and the blown small-block Chevy engines from Revell’s companion ’29 Model A Roadster 2’n 1 (No. 85-4463) are engineered to be direct swaps into this 1930 Model A hot rod kit. For the small-block Chevy, use the radiator hoses marked 170 and 171 in combination with the 1932 Ford grille shell and driveshaft (Part 137) from the roadster kit for this application.   

Further general building hints:  Avoid using the pins for the brake drum to axle assembly unless you must have rotating wheels; while attempting to locate these you could damage the delicate suspension components. Note that there are two different engine mount locations engraved on the engine block and keyed to the two different frame options. Microscale Micro Set and Micro Sol decal setting solutions are mandatory if you plan to use the checkered firewall and rear tire whitewall decals.   


No matter which configuration you choose to build, you’ll end with a very realistic replica of the real cars you’d see driving through the entrance of the Lonestar Round Up in Austin, Texas, considered by many to be the ultimate traditional hot-rod event. Even with the quality concerns noted above, the Revell 1/25 scale 1930 Model A 2’n 1 kit is a blast to build, includes a gold mine of extra parts that reflect current full-size hot rod trends, and is designed to encourage all types of kitbashing modifications. Some, including me, consider it to be among the very best 1/25 scale hot rod kits ever introduced to the model hobby. 

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