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MPC 1/25 scale Sod Buster Chevy 4x4 pickup plastic model kit review

Retooled parts and incredible options make this MPC pickup a winner
Kit:MPC972 // Scale:1/25 // Price:$31.99
Retooled front grille; plenty of extra parts and options
Wheels could have been updated to fit the newly retooled tires
Injection molded plastic (white, chrome plated, clear, transparent red); 150 pieces (4 vinyl tires); decals
In 1981, General Motors gave its pickup trucks a facelift: a new grille that included square headlights for the first time. It was another big change to the third-generation GMC pickups, first introduced in 1974.

The MPC 1/25 scale Sod Buster Chevy 4x4 pickup reflected those new square headlights and has undergone changes of its own over the years. For this updated release, Round 2 retooled the grille and headlights, provided tires, and updated the back end with an all-new tailgate. Newly designed and printed decals with badging and gauges top off the improvements.

As it did in the past, the Sod Buster kit comes with plenty of extra parts, so it's a good idea to lay out a game plan before building and decide what you would like to use to make this truck your own.

The new tires are a huge - and much-needed - improvement over the original kit. An upgrade to the wheels would help, however, as I found the outer lip of the wheel doesn't fit the tire as cleanly as it should. Nevertheless, it works well enough.

The small-block V8 engine has more than 20 parts. You’ll need to clean up some of them, but nothing too major. Considering the kit’s age, the fine details remain in great shape. Chrome and stock valve covers are provided, and you can choose from stock manifolds or headers.

When assembling the chassis and suspension, I found it easier to build the front axle (parts 64 and 65) and then place the sway bar (Part 77) onto that assembly rather than follow the order presented in Step 6. When complete, then place the assembly on the chassis plate. Make sure to double-check the location of the front suspension before gluing it because the instructions are a bit vague.

Attach the exhaust before the rear-axle assembly. Out of the box, the exhaust system will not work with the headers. I wanted to see if it was possible to use the exhaust with the headers. With a little heat and some bending, I remeasured and cut off the excess length so the exhaust works with the headers. So, if you want to make use of those included parts, you can.

The suspension and chassis details are adequate, but I found these steps needing more cleanup than I’d consider normal. Flash and seams need extra attention.

Far from glamorous, the interior of the square-body pickup consists of seven parts. The seats could have fit better, but once they’re in place, everything displays well. Decal gauges for the dash are always a welcome addition to older kits, and Round 2 provides the Sod Buster with a black or white set for you to choose. Even a small thing like this can take an old kit’s interior to the next level.

The kit offers plenty of options to dress up the Stepside body, but you’ll want to test-fit it on the chassis before committing to glue. I couldn’t find a positive locator or mounting point for the body, so you’ll need to look for the placement that makes the most sense to you and then glue.

With the body on, you’ll finish up under the hood, including the radiator, battery, overflow bottle, front radiator support, and upper radiator hose. Optional wheel flares are available for the front fenders and rear quarters. Once you install the front grille and bumper, you can choose between two different brush guards and install a winch.

The newly retooled tailgate simply snaps in place. Easy!

Remember, I said Round 2 provided plenty of options? You can go all out with a roll bar that comes with either square or round lights, a CB antenna that sits just behind the driver's side door, a rear spare tire carrier, and a jerry can holder. How about a three-piece hitch that can be installed on the frame rails or a ball hitch that goes onto the rear bumper? And then there’s the decal sheet with plenty of markings to make this truck your own.

Overall, the MPC 1/25 scale Sod Buster Chevy 4x4 pickup plastic model kit displays well when finished. It's been a long time since we've seen the Sod Buster kit available, so don't miss out on your chance to add this build this kit and add a new model pickup to your collection.
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