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In-Box Review
Chris Craft Cabin Crusier
''Marlin'' Sportfishing Boat
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
Model Shipwrights

Long before I was born, Revell was making injection-molded models. In 1953 they issued this kit, 42' Chris Craft Cabin Cruiser. They made at least two versions, Sportfishing Boat, item H387 - the subject of this review - and Flying Bridge Cruiser (item H302). These were part of their Coastal Series models.

This model was re-released for Revell's 50th anniversary. That special boxart is the header image, courtesy of Old Model Kits.com.

I don't recall the date nor order of acquisition but this model was probably one of the first five (5) models I ever built. I still have a couple of pieces in my parts bins.

Revell ceased releasing it sometime after 1968 and I have always wanted another. Recently, I acquired another one, which I intend to build sometime "soon." But first, I'll show you this old model!

The Model
Revell molded these models in two colors, white and brown. The white plastic is white but the brown is that curious swirly patterned plastic of the olden days. Sportfishing Boat is molded in white.

This model is advertised as a misfit 1/56 scale. That is what is known as "box scale," when manufacturers bought many standard boxes and engineered their models to fit into the box with no though to a uniform scale. The kit has a little over 50 parts, including two metal rods and a sheet of clear plastic. Rigging is left for the modeler to supply the thread for.

The parts are not as rough as I expected them to be and yet suffer from the state of the art of the day: flash, visible ejector marks, some sink holes, and seam lines. Many details are molded on, such as the life preservers.

Assembly consists of left and right hull halves, crew decking and weather decking, the top of the cabin, and the screws and shafts and rudder. A bow extension fishing platform, seats, and various masts and outriggers are included. What few stanchions there are for the deck are individually molded.

No interior is provided. Clear sheet is provided for windows, and blinds are printed on the instruction sheet for to be glued on the inside of the clear "windows."

Common for maritime vessels, a stand is provided.

Surface detail consists of raised and recessed designs. Life preservers are molded onto the sides of the cabin. There are several separate items like chairs and benches, masts, spotlight, and a ensign mast, that are not molded onto a main part. Both shafts and screws are separate assemblies.

The fisherman and the captain are poorly molded.

Placing the hull onto blueprints, it appears that the overall shape of the vessel is accurate.

Instructions and Decals
A single page instruction sheet is printed with line art. It is clearly designed. Each piece is numbered and keyed with a part description. Painting guidance is simple and basic.

Simple decals are provided. The void of the interior can be masked with the paper blinds printed on the instruction sheet.

By no means is this model up to today's standards. It suffers from the state of the art of the early 1950s: flash, visible ejector marks, some sink holes, and seam lines. Many details are molded on. Still, Revell put effort into the model and with minor effort it may build into a good looking model.

I look forward to reviving this old friend of mine.

Please remember to mention to vendors and retailers that you saw this model here - on Model Shipwrights.
Highs: Several individual detail parts to attach. Overall good shape of the boat.
Lows: "Box scale." Fair molding with molded-on detail. No interior.
Verdict: With minor effort it may build into a good looking model. I look forward to reviving this old friend of mine.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: 0387
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Aug 06, 2018
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright 2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. All rights reserved.


Looking forward to your build. I have the same kit in my stash
AUG 06, 2018 - 09:23 AM
If it didn't have so much molded-on detail such as the anchors, life preservers, etc., it would be a more appealing model.
AUG 06, 2018 - 09:58 AM
Ahh, I remember growing up seeing Chris Craft cabin cruisers plying both the Great Lakes and in Florida. I have this kit which is a rebox from the early '60's. I opened the box, poked around, saw what you posted. I carefully put everything back in the box and put it proudly back in the stash. I had this odd idea of recreating something from my youth but... I think I like it in the box just as it is I will, however, observe how you tackle this thing. Heck it just might motivate me. Na Cheers
AUG 06, 2018 - 11:33 AM
Where did you find blueprints for the Chris Craft?
AUG 06, 2018 - 02:55 PM
Hi Rusty, No blueprints. This is a plastic model with assembly instructions. Is that what you meant?
AUG 08, 2018 - 02:09 PM
Hi Frederick, thanks for the review. Even though it is a fairly basic model kit, that Chris Craft looks mighty appealing with John Steel's magnificent artwork on the box! These older models can definitely be a challenge to bring up to a higher standard, but they can also be fun to just assemble and paint as they are. Either way, I look forward to see what you do with this one!
AUG 10, 2018 - 03:03 AM
To help you with your 'Soon' comment, here is some motivation though on a larger scale, LINK Cheers
SEP 09, 2018 - 04:06 AM

What's Your Opinion?

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