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AMT 1/25 scale Hot Wheels Opel GT plastic model kit review

Hot Wheels lovers and beginning modelers, take note
Kit:AMT A1303-200 // Scale:1/25 // Price:$31.99
Round 2 (Sample courtesy of manufacturer)
Good body proportions; nice decal sheet; simple and fun
Stickers; slightly thick decals; no gauge decals
Injection-molded plastic (white, clear, clear-red, chrome); 8 vinyl tires; decals
The Opel GT was and still is considered the European baby Corvette, and the similarities are more than just skin deep. Chevrolet and Opel are both owned by General Motors. They share a number of the same styling cues, such as flip-up headlamps, a non-opening trunk lid, a two-seat design, and design lineage from the Mako Shark II show car. To appeal more to the European market, the Opel had a smaller stature and a more economical four-cylinder engine than its big brother, the C3 Corvette.

For this review, I wanted to look at building the AMT 1/25 scale Hot Wheels Opel GT from the vantage of a new modeler graduating from snap to glue kits. I used Tamiya liquid cement and a spray can of Dupli-Color Ford Medium Blue Metallic paint (No. EBFM03827). I did use two-part urethane clear, but that can be swapped out for Tamiya Clear (No. X-22) or other readily available and easy-to-use clear coats.

The black-and-white instructions are simple enough and provide three modeling options: stock, custom, or drag. Keeping with the Hot Wheels theme, I decided to build a close replica of the car on the box top—so, the drag version it was.

The basic, nondescript Buick six-cylinder can be built as a street custom or drag engine. Combining the custom front drive belts and the velocity stacks from the drag version, I concocted a street-freak version that fit the Hot Wheels feel.

The minimal, eight-part interior represents the Opel’s driving compartment fairly well. Add the three-piece roll bar, and now you have a drag interior. I painted the inside white, using Tamiya Fine Surface Primer (No. 87044), with Black Rubber (No. TS-82) seats. The taillights and windows install from the inside of the body shell, which is fitted to the interior.

All three options for completing the chassis are easy to follow. The drag version uses a straight front axle and a separate two-part raised rear end that gives it that street-freak gasser, nosebleed stance. I swapped in the front grille from the street custom parts—it had a lighter look that struck me as more fitting for a drag car.

The final assembly went without a hitch, and all the parts fit well. Realize this is a unibody car, so the chassis and body must be painted the same color, or your lower front facia will not be the same color as the body.

The Opel GT kit includes stock and custom rims, both of which fit the stock tires. To fit the drag tires, the kit provides chrome reverse wheels with baby moons.

You can choose between decals or stickers for body markings. I realize Round 2 wants to make this model accessible to younger modelers, but the stickers are too aggressive. Once they touch the body, they’re stuck; put one on crooked, crooked it will stay. That, I think, will be a source of frustration for young modelers.

On the other hand, the water-slide decals separated from the backing easily and went down without much effort. One area of the large Hot Wheels logo on the side did not want to conform to the flare over the front wheel. Rather than use a setting solution—what new builder has all the tools?—I worked the decal, and it finally settled, except for a small area on the passenger-side fender. Still, it’s hard to see unless you’re looking for it.

Overall, the experience of building a kit with basic tools—a hobby knife, sanding stick, liquid cement, and some primer and paint—was pure, fun, and fulfilling. A beginner looking to move on to glue kits will find the AMT 1/25 scale Hot Wheels Opel GT is a challenge, but not beyond their capabilities. And if the builder likes Hot Wheels, all the better!
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