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MPC 1/25 scale 1971 Dodge Demon plastic model kit review

No exorcism needed here, though you may find yourself praying while applying the decals
Kit:MPC997/12 // Scale:1/25 // Price:$31.99
MPC (Kit courtesy of manufacturer)
All-new tooling based on the original Demon kit
Troublesome decals
Injection-molded plastic (white, chrome, clear, transparent red); 91 parts (6 black vinyl tires; metal axle); decals
The grille from the new kit
The taillights from the new kit
The grille from the original kit
The taillights from the original kit
At a local model car club meeting, I admit to getting into a bit of a back-and-forth with another member who forcefully argued that the recently released MPC 1/25 scale 1971 Dodge Demon plastic model kit was a re-pop of the original kit from back in ’71. Let me tell you, once and for all, it’s not. This kit comes from all-new tooling, designed from the ground up, based heavily on the original kit.

But I can understand my fellow modeler’s confusion. When I opened the box, suddenly it felt like 1971 all over again. Initially, the parts look like they did back in the day, but then you start to look closer, and you notice the improvements.

What are those? First of all, the parts are all cleanly molded, and there is improved detail under the hood and inside the passenger compartment. All the tires have printed branding, and the two wide slicks are provided if you prefer to build the “drag” version of the car (amounting to traction bars underneath, and a roll cage inside).

You build the 340 ci four-barrel Mopar engine from 20 parts, and it looks good nestled between the front wheel wells. While it’s not curbside, it’s also not a fully detailed chassis, either. The chassis plate incorporates a simplified front suspension. You’ll run pipes back for the dual mufflers and connect a driveshaft to a single-piece rear axle and sprints. Simple collars and pins hold the front wheels in place, and the rears are retained via a metal axle that runs through the rear suspension.

As with the original kit, you’ll find an interior tub with molded door panels, carpet texture, and a backseat. There’s really not much to fit in: two-part bucket seats, dash, steering wheel and column, and a shifter. If you want, you can add the roll bars for the “drag” version, but, if we’re being honest, this is a kit factory-stock car. Yes, I did put the traction bars underneath, but that’s because I think they look cool.

Really, this model car comes down to the body. It looks great! The hood is nice and thin, and it hits all the styling cues. Round 2 greatly improved the front grille over the original kit, allowing you to paint it the appropriate color and replacing the original chrome headlights with clear lenses. In back, the brake lights are red and the backup lights are clear — another improvement!

Overall, the assembly was a lot of fun and held no surprises. The difficulties came with the decals. The side stripes went on great, but the markings on the hood did not want to settle over the ribs and scoops. I had to coerce them with solvent and slicing and had to touch them up in a couple of areas with paint. Also, a word of warning: The instructions show the Sizzler option (Decal Option 2) with hood scoops. This is incorrect. The Sizzler did not have hood scoops. Option 1 should have the scoops, but they are not represented.

With its all-new MPC 1/25 scale 1971 Dodge Demon plastic model kit, Round 2 has successfully re-created a rare kit with modernized and improved details that have mostly stayed true to what you found in the box back in 1971. It took me six hours to build, paint, and finish. Now, as then, it would be appropriate for a beginner with a few kits under their belt. When assembled, it looks the part and will provide all the nostalgia you could ask for.
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