by: Gabriel [ ]
Originally published on:
’70 Plymouth Superbird is related to Dodge Charger Daytona 1969, the first American car with aerodynamics designed using computer analysis. Characteristic features were the prolonged front cowling and the high rear wing.
Superbird is directly based on Plymouth Road Runner, a street version of Dodge Charger. Superbird retained the cowling and the wing but has a few modifications reported to NASCAR version: smaller diameter wheels, retractable fiberglass headlights, prominent radio antenna.
Manufacturer: Chrysler Corporation
Production year(s): 1970 (only)
Production numbers: 1935 (2783)
Body: 2 door coupe
Engine(s): 426 Hemi V8
440 Super Commando V8
440 Super Commando Six Barrel V8 (featured by the kit)
Transmission(s): 4 speed manual
3 speed automatic
2 speed automatic
Dimensions: wheelbase: 2941 mm
length: 5613 mm (!)
width: 1941 mm
height: 1560 mm
curb weight: 1742 kg
Despite its impressive appearance and performance, Superbird was not a hot selling car. Last examples were sold in 1972 and many of them (official numbers unavailable) were retrofitted to Road Runner which matched better the customer’s taste. To complicate things further, two companies provided conversion kits from Road Runner to Superbird. Today is difficult to estimate how many original Superbirds are still alive; a commonly accepted number is around 1000 units.
Revell’s kit ’70 Plymouth Superbird reference number 85-4921 was released in 2011, according to copyright marked on the box and the printed leaflet. According to the stamp molded on the body, the release year is 1995. In fact, this kit is a re-box of and older Monogram backdated in 1987!
Plymouth Superbird in 1/24 scale
1987 – Monogram – ref. 2758;
1991 – Monogram (re-box) – ref. 2758;
1995 – Monogram (re-box) – ref. 2758;
2001 – Revell – Richard Petty’s ’70 Superbird (re-boxed Monogram 2758 with new decals) ref. 85-2360;
2011 – Revell (re-box, new decals) ref. 85-4921 (the reviewed kit).
The Superbird comes in a nearly cubic box. The box-art represents a completed model painted bright orange. After a careful analysis I have noted that the builder has deleted the front under cowl spoiler (he had a reason for it, as I discovered later). Otherwise, neat job, except a couple seam lines on the engine and the deletion of the lanyards securing the hood at high speed.
3 plastic bags with sprues;
1 instruction sheet;
1 loose vinyl sprue with tires;
1 decal sheet.
All white plastic sprues are packed together with the body. Inside the common bag, the body is protected by its individual bag (good idea). Upon unpacking, I found one of the exhaust manifolds loose; fortunately, it broke from the attaching point, so no damage to the part itself.
The White Plastic parts
The kit contains three sprue molded in white plastic, beside the body, molded and packed separately.
At first glance, looks neatly molded and shows no sink marks. Also the leather texture on the top is convincing. The lines of the car are beautifully reproduced and it needs no identification tag: it looks like a Superbird from every angle. I observed right away a chip on the triangular window on the right side… quite bad, but not so obvious. I haven’t seen until the construction phase the four parting lines at the corners of the cupola… they are not too big, but nonetheless they will look awfully out of place on the finished model. The position is not easy because is a lot of detail around. Maximum care needs to be employed in removing them. Also, the fit with the front cowling is bad; I had to use putty to fill up the gaps and a lot of sanding to eliminate the step between parts. The rear wing is not much better; also needed putty and sanding. The front spoiler is very tricky to install, because the shape is a little warped and it has no firm support: basically is “hanging” from the body. The patience is the key here. The other exterior details are either missing (radio antenna), either simplified (rear spoiler, door handles). With all the shortcomings, upon completion the body looks impressive and is dwarfing everything on my collection.
The engine and engine bay
the power plant is a collection of ill-fitting parts. The two halves of seem to come from two different engines. A deep seam remains all around the engine molded together transmission upon gluing. Cylinder heads, carburetors, exhaust manifolds are all difficult to align because of poor engineering, over-present mold lines and flash. The engine bay detail is molded with the body and, although simplified, looks quite convincing. The only difficulty is to paint the molded detail without messing all around… yet, once the engine is installed in its bay, the whole is appealing, even without super-detailing.
again, the suspension, steering components and exhaust system are a little poor in detail and the flash is a real nuisance. The fit with the engine is far from precise. Again, the patience and careful painting can render a good enough replica.
in this particular kit, the interior is the most contrasting I ever seen: the dash board is accurate, the seat detail is just about superb in replicating small soft leather while the pedals are not from a Superbird and the doors interior detail is so flat that is mostly impossible to paint! The fit of the few parts completing the interior is better than the undercarriage parts. Some other detail is lacking completely: no roof panel, for instance.
The chrome parts
The worst I seen in a long while. The detail is soft, the flash is abundant, and the chrome plate is overly thick. The thickness of chrome goes very well for the rear bumper and air filter cover making them look massive, bur for the more detailed parts, as carburetors, mirrors, shift stick and specifically alternator that is a disaster. All those parts had to be reshaped or build from scratch by the ambitious modeler. To add injury to offence, the instructions are calling paint over chrome in situations one cannot scrap the chrome without damaging the parts!
The clear parts
Bad. Very bad. Overly thick plastic with uneven bubbly surface. I was compelled in using them by lack of suitable replacement. They look like glass blown by a mad sorcerer’s apprentice.
The Vinyl Parts
The tires are delivered together with the injection spine in a distorted heap. The detail is soft and the injection points are too big: the tires cannot be removed without leaving big ugly scars.
They look well printed and the carrier film thin enough. Unfortunately, the dials detail is barely visible, being printed red on black. A confusing omission makes the matter quite sticky: Superbird had three distinctive round factory decals depicting the Road Runner: two of them each rear wing pole and another one in front, on driver’s side. Unbelievable to me, exactly those are missing. For whoever likes colorful cars or wants to build a racing car, there is a full collection of sponsor and manufacturer decals to choose from…
Rating: 7/10 (penalty for embarrassing miss)
At this point, Revell confirms its excellence. Well designed and comprehensive instructions, virtually eliminating any possibility of error. I found only a little gap: the central console in Superbird is laminated wood and the instructions are not calling the color; otherwise, no complaint whatsoever.
As most of Revell re-boxes, this kit is in the lower wing of the market. Can be bought new from resellers for around USD 20.00. Such a tag will be more than acceptable if the shortcomings inside the box wouldn’t be so many. I bought for just a few more dollars another Revell kit, VW Beetle which was just delightful under all aspects. I dare to say the kit is a little overpriced reported to quality
2. Chrysler engine red
3. Flat white
4. Gloss orange (body color)
5. Semi-gloss black
9. Transparent red
The kit is designed to be easy to build (skill level 2 on Revell scale; the layout comprises 65 parts, almost all used). The shape of the body is accurate and so are the main features. Unfortunately, the molds are very old and the age transpires on the quality of the kit: most of the chromed parts are impossible to fit without surgery; the white molded parts are full of flash and parting lines (not so obvious in the photos, but very obvious in construction phase); the vinyl parts are contorted and distorted, cannot be removed without cutting ugly scars; the clear parts are the worst.
Another observation to be made: the kit offers two options: the racing version and the street version: none of them can be accurately build with what is provided in the box: the racing version requires bigger wheels while the street version is missing radio antenna and very distinctive factory standard decals!