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Revell 1/25 scale 1971 Ford Mustang Boss 351 plastic model kit review

A freshly-tooled model of a special muscle car with spectacular detail
Kit:14512 // Scale:1/25 // Price:$29.99
Revell (Sample courtesy manufacturer)
Precision assembly; incredibly detailed; terrific value
Simplified front suspension; shallow door panel lines
Injection-molded plastic (white, chrome plated, clear); 129 parts (4 black vinyl tires); decals
The completed engine is hands down the best 351 Cleveland V8 in scale. Extensive decals, which perfectly match accurately restored 1/1 scale Boss 351s, add much authenticity. Interestingly, most Boss 351 restorations omit the “351 4V” and “Use Premium Fuel only” air cleaner labels seen here. You would be factory-correct either way. All restorations do include the decal Revell provides for installation on the left vertical portion of the air cleaner assembly.
The chassis rear includes all elements of the real car, including a delicate, in-scale rear stabilizer/anti-roll bar. I applied satin finish Bare-Metal Foil on the mufflers and painted the gas tank a flat gray metallic finish. The nose of the differential is rust-colored, just like the real car.
The front grille and rear panel feature superb engraving. I added chrome to the headlight border trim, but that didn’t appear on the full-size car. Avoid my mistake! Tamiya Metallic Orange (No. TS-92) colored the road lamps, and a mix of metallic orange and Clear Orange (No. TS-70) was applied to the back of the turn signal lenses. Testors Stoplight Red lacquer worked for the brake lights.
The just-introduced Revell 1/25 scale 1971 Mustang Boss 351 plastic model kit establishes new standards for scale muscle-car replicas and does so at a highly competitive price point. Revell has pulled out all the stops to create a new benchmark for scale models of American-market automobiles. But why?

Simple: The 1971-only Mustang Boss 351, with its all-new radical fastback body and solid-lifter, canted-valve Cleveland V8, is now viewed by some as being the best all-around performance Mustang of the entire first generation (1964 ½ to 1973). Six performance magazines back in the day achieved quarter mile ETs under 14 seconds in their 1971 Boss 351 test drives — a performance matched by only a very few (and almost exclusively big-block engine) competitors at the time. Until now, scale auto enthusiasts wanting to replicate this seminal vehicle in scale were faced with finding expensive annual kits and plenty of kitbashing and scratchbuilding work.

Revell’s extensive, four-color, assembly manual clearly guides you through building the kit, which starts with the engine, followed by the interior, chassis and engine compartment, wheels and tires, and, finally, the body. You’ll need to follow the instruction closely for best results.

Let’s be clear: Revell has produced a fully accurate 351 Cleveland V8 — only the second one ever kitted in 1/25 scale. It builds beautifully and provides you with plenty of opportunities for detail work.

The interior replicates the optional “Décor Group” upgrade (shared with the 1971 Mach 1 Mustang) with wood-grain interior decals, gauges, Hurst markings for the shifter. Make sure your modeling supplies include Microscale Micro Set and Micro Sol decal solutions and a fresh, fine-tipped Molotow Liquid Chrome marker — you’ll use them extensively during the interior build.

Revell’s recreation of Ford’s optional 15-inch x 7-inch Magnum 500 wheels is the best you’ll find in a scale model kit. The tires appear correctly sized, but you’ll have to add the sidewall Firestone Wide Oval raised white letters from the decal sheet.

Revell based the body proportions and details on a digital scan of a full-size, restored Boss 351 and, as a result, are highly accurate. The beautifully rendered kit body shows minimal mold lines. However, all-out contest modelers may want to pay extra attention when cleaning up the passenger side, rear quarter panel where it meets the C-pillar behind the quarter window. The door panel lines also could be deeper. Four shallow ejector-pin marks in the molded headliner inside the body.

Some modelers have criticized Revell for omitting separately molded under-hood ram air ducting; instead, it is molded in shallow relief on the underside of the hood. This is a compromise to account for the necessary depth of molded styrene and the full-scale components under the hood. In this instance, Revell chose to prioritize a correctly-scaled engine over height.

Most of the kit parts fit precisely with securely aligning pins and slots. However, I found that the holes on the underbody (Part 8) needed to be widened to accept the locators on Part 38. The forward extension of the rear differential (Part 68) needed to be clipped back about 1/32 inch to allow the driveshaft to fully seat.

The precise fit of the windows to the body may cause issues for modelers who use 2K paints due to paint thicknesses. And now might be a good time to point out that the full-size Boss 351s were originally painted with single-stage colors without a clear coat.

Decals and masking presented the most challenges while completing this the Mustang. The decals are thin and accurately rendered but require careful application to achieve the correct alignment on the body. The decal sheet includes renditions of both the silver and the black Boss 351 exterior graphics, including the lower body rocker panel areas.

Mask the hood and apply the decal around the outside edge of the blackout area. I masked to a depth of 3.8mm (about 15/32 inch for us non-metric types) with Tamiya tape (Revell supplies a masking pattern in the instructions) and airbrushed decanted Tamiya Semigloss Black (No. TS-29). I went with semigloss black even though the full-sized car’s blackout is flat black, but that flat a paint conflicts to a degree with the glossy finish of the blackout border decal.

Speaking of the blackout border decal, Revell prints it as one piece on the sheet, which makes it difficult to align properly. Consider cutting it into three pieces before application. I would have preferred Revell provide a decal for the entire hood blackout along with separately molding the inset NACA hood scoops that could be painted. As it stands, the scoops are too deeply inset to accept a decal treatment.

I built my model with full factory paint detailing, and, to my eye, Revell’s comprehensive paint instructions appear accurate. Between that and applying over 50 individual decals, I invested well over 40 hours in assembly. Moderately experienced modelers should have no difficulty assembling the Revell 1/25 scale 1971 Mustang Boss 351 plastic model kit; the ability to handle complex decal treatments will be a plus.

As today’s global kit makers continue to raise prices and often choose to simplify or even omit engine and under-hood details, the Revell’s ’71 Mustang makes a bold statement that freshly tooled and completely detailed scale model kits are still relevant to modelers. Combined with its modest price, this kit provides modelers with great value for their hobby dollars.

Click here for detailing and building advice about the Revell 1/25 scale 1971 Ford Mustang Boss 351 from Tim Boyd.

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