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AMT 1/25 scale F-100 Camper Pickup plastic model kit review

An all-new tool of a classic kit that’s better than the original
Kit:AMT1412 // Scale:1/25 // Price:$35.99
AMT (Kit courtesy of manufacturer)
All new tooling of a very collectible pickup/kit subject; tabs and pins make assembly easy and deliver a precise result; multiple building options
One-piece chassis/suspension; inflexible tires require alterations to wheel insert tabs; possible issues with decals
Injection-molded plastic (white, chrome, clear, transparent red); 122 parts (4 black vinyl WSW tires; metal axles); decals
In 1957, Ford revolutionized the pickup business with their new, all-steel “styleside” pickup box that offered a much wider-load floor vs. previous “Stepside” boxes. In 1961, Ford took the next step and integrated the styleside pickup bed and passenger cabin into a single, unified structure. When Ford returned to a design with a separate bed and cab in 1964, these 1961-63 “unibody” pickups became an evolutionary dead end, but today, they are highly valued collectibles.

Round 2’s new AMT 1/25 scale 1963 F-100 Camper Pickup plastic model kit builds an affordable scale replica of the last 1963 model year iteration of this unibody design with many improvements over the original AMT annual kit.

In the formative years of the model kit business, AMT produced annual kits of the 1960-63 Ford pickups. The company reissued the 1963 Ford F-100 kit with new box art as part of its 1964 kit lineup. AMT reissued the kit once more in 1968, with a new camper box design featured in the new box art. With no further reissues over the following 55 years, unbuilt 1963 F100 kits became a very expensive collectible.

When Round 2 acquired the extensive AMT tooling bank, the company confirmed the tooling no longer existed and that it would have to make an all-new tool to satisfy hobbyists who wanted a reissue of the original. The result is an entirely new kit clearly superior to the original in every possible dimension.
Most parts include tabs or pins for precise alignment, and the pickup bed and interior snap to the body without the use of unsightly screws. The windshield and backlight come as crystal-clear, separate parts, and the front end is improved by separate headlight lenses and a better-designed front roll pan. A separately molded and plated center front hood emblem expedites assembly, while outside rearview mirrors are also new. The tooling reflects factory-correct cutlines where the front fenders meet the rocker panels and the endcaps by the taillights.

The new kit represents a 1963 F-100 long-wheelbase Styleside Custom Cab pickup. Equipped with the wide rear window option and a 292 cubic inch Y-block V8 engine, the cab and pickup box come as a single structure with a separate hood. Any sink marks are so mild that they disappear from a few swipes with fine-grit sandpaper. Mold lines on the body are well hidden and quick to finesse. The upper bodyside trim is precisely engraved and arrow-straight.

Round 2’s new kit replicates the original kit‘s factory-stock, custom, and service/drag team support truck build versions. The custom version includes two grille options, a custom tailgate filler, and front/rear roll pans. (Some of the more kitschy custom parts in the original annual kit — rear fins, hood and roof scoops, a third custom grille inspired by a mid-1950s Desoto, and a tuck ’n’ roll tonneau cover with lifts — are gone this time around.) The drag team version offers a front push bumper, an external horn, a cab-top flashing beacon, and various tools and cans. An eight-piece late-1960s style camper setup further provides parts for an optional rooftop “sundeck.”

The Y-block engine omits stock induction and exhaust components in favor of racing-style exhaust headers, along with your choice of a tri-carb or very cool aftermarket supercharger setup. The seven-part interior includes a separately molded bench seat and optional under-dash accessory gauge panel. The engraved interior door panels are less defined than the original AMT kit, which is mildly disappointing. Decals are provided for two different instrument panel options.

Newer hobbyists unfamiliar with 1960s kit designs might be slightly put off by the simplified underbody treatment composed of a single chassis/suspension plate. However, deep engraving expedites detail painting for those so inclined. There are now five wheel choices: body-color steelies without hub caps; steelies with plated, 1963-style Ford hub caps; custom-style, full-wheel covers; plated-chrome reverse wheels; and plated, slot-style mags. Tires are pad-printed, narrow whitewalls that are very stiff. I had to clip back most of the center mounting flanges on the wheels to fit them in the tires.

The decal sheet is an all-new design. Even without a marking guide, most builders will have no problems figuring out where decals go. Although precisely printed, the carrier film seems thick, prone to trapping air, and unresponsive to the usual decal setting solutions. This was very apparent with the strip decal for the push bumper. While the other decals worked OK, proceed with caution.

What’s the bottom line? The new AMT 1963 F-100 with Camper Pickup plastic model kit incorporates numerous improvements over the original 1960s annual releases that inspired it. The assembly is quick and (other than the tires and decals) problem-free, and the result is demonstrably superior in detail and authenticity to the original. That’s a total win in my book, and hopefully yours, too.
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