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Hornet

Moebius Models 1/25 1954 Hudson Hornet Build Review

By Jeff Conrad, Front Range Auto Modelers (FRAM)

Date of Review March 2016 Manufacturer Moebius Models
Subject 1954 Hudson Hornet Scale 1/25
Kit Number 1213 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Extensive details, excellent fit of all parts Cons Slightly vague instructions
Skill Level Moderate Experience MSRP (USD) $32.49

The Build

In my earlier out of the box review of this kit I felt this kit would be an enjoyable build and result in a great replica model for my collection.  It wasn’t long after I wrote that review before I happily got started on this kit.

As with most auto models the Moebius instructions have you start with the engine assembly, but with all my builds I tend to stray around the steps a bit. I like to prep and assemble as many like-color assemblies as I can before painting to maximize glue bonds while minimizing finish imperfections.    

Body

In this case I started prepping the body for paint. The Hornet body had some very fine mold lines that were barely visible along the tops of the fenders, as well as one along the hood, but nothing a bit of careful work with a sanding stick couldn't fix.

Hornet

I then prepped the body with 70% alcohol to remove the mold release and hit it with a coat of Dupli-Color Auto filler/primer.  This primer does a good job of sealing the plastic and filling fine scratches that are left from the seam removal.  It’s also light enough to reveal any other imperfections I may have missed. A couple of depressions showed up in the hood area, so I highlighted them with a black marker and used some cyanoacrylate and accelerator to fill the depressions. Another round of light filler and primer to make sure everything was smooth and flat and the body was ready for color coats.  For 1954 Hudson offered the Hornet Club Coupe in 14 different colors, and Moebius has included the Ditzler and Hudson paint code numbers for all of them, allowing factory stock builders to source accurate reproductions of these colors.  There were also 22 different two-tone color combinations available for 1954, and I chose one of these for this build: Beret Blue Poly on top and Silver Blue for the bottom (Hudson code RX-169.)  To simulate these colors I used paint from the Tamiya Aircraft Spray line.  AS-8 (Navy Blue) for the Beret Blue Poly on the roof, and AS-19 (Intermediate Blue) for the Silver Blue of the lower body. To me these paints were very close matches to the Ditzler paint chips I found after a quick internet search.

Hornet Hornet

Engine

I then moved to the engine assembly.  28 parts make up the entire motor and two decals on the air cleaner canisters round out the details.  The instructions have excellent color call outs for all the parts, so the engine was painted in Chrysler Engine Red from the Model Master enamel line.  After attaching the various accessories (12 parts in all) Moebius gives us a great set of decals for the air cleaner canisters to finish the assembly. 

Hornet Hornet Hornet Hornet

Rolling Stock

Wheels and tires are next, and these went together very well with no problems at all.  A light application of Tamiya smoke (X-19) on the wheels really brings out the spokes, and contrast well with the white wall tires.

Chassis

The chassis assembly comes next, and the instructions call for most of the parts to be painted semi-gloss black.  I painted the front A arms (parts 20 & 21) sway bar (part 44) and tie rod (part 25) a glossier shade of black than the frame (part 4) and floor board (part 5) so they would stand out a little more.   It’s important to note here that the driveshaft (part 26) and exhaust pipe (part 28) pass through a hole in the frame at the rear cross member, then are trapped by the upper rear cross member (part 29).  This is the first step in building the chassis, and cannot be skipped so all parts in this assembly need to be painted first.  Once the drive shaft and exhaust are installed the frame and floor are mated together and the suspension parts are installed.  I didn’t encounter any problems or fit issues, and as a bonus the manor in which the front wheel assemblies connect to the suspension parts allows for poseable steering if you wish (I did.)

Hornet Hornet Hornet

Interior

The interior is the next assembly to tackle.  The instructions give great painting tips for the upholstery colors – Hudson appointed the Hornets in a three shade monotone interior scheme: Gray, Tan or Muted Blue.  I chose the Gray triad to complement my exterior colors.  German Grey from the Vallejo Acrylic Model Color line (#70995) for the carpet, Tamiya’s Gunship Gray 2 (AS-27) and Haze Grey (TS-32) for the upholstery, dash, side panels and rear package shelf.  Interior assembly is platform style, with the seats attaching to the floor and the side panels closing them in.  Take care to follow the steps closely, as there are a number of small decals to apply to the dashboard, heater and steering wheel – do this before installing the right interior side, as the dash installs with tabs that insert into slots in the interior sides.  Take care with the steering column as well, as it must install in a notch in the floorboard, otherwise final assembly can be affected.

Hornet Hornet

Final Assembly

At this point the engine and transmission assembly are mated to the chassis and frame assembly.  The radiator and hoses are next – positive connection points on the hoses make this step fairly easy.  Next is the firewall, and fantastic detail continues here as well, as there are no less than eight parts and a decal to go on.  Final body assembly is next, with the glass, lights, bumpers and grill to be installed.  If you want to foil the model now is the time.  I used “New Improved Chrome” from Bare Metal foil for this build – and a lot of it.  Cars from this era were usually loaded with bright work and the Hornet is no exception.  The biggest challenge for this kit was applying the BMF on the lower rear quarter panel trim, just ahead of the fender skirts.  The engraving here is light, making it difficult to get a positive edge to trim the foil against. Take your time trimming in this area and your efforts will be rewarded.

Hornet Hornet

A note about the front and rear glass – there are raised edges on each that should be foiled in addition to the roof trim.  I tried foiling them prior to installing them into the body, but tolerances are so tight on this kit it just damaged the foil – I advise you to install the glass first and then foil the roof and glass – you should get a better result. 

After foiling I installed all the lights, wipers, hood trim, door handles and rear valence panel, but left the bumpers and side view mirrors off until the body was installed on the chassis.  Test fit everything first, as I found I needed to open up a few locating holes that had become too tight from paint application (again, tight tolerances on this kit!)   The body fit is very good, but take care as you’ll need to spread the body a little in a couple places to clear the floor boards. There are a couple of solid glue points on the front and rear of the chassis that lock the body down tight, and once the body was secured I installed the bumpers and side view mirrors.

Conclusion

A quick clean up (to remove finger prints) and an application of “The Treatment” model wax and my 54 Hudson Hornet was done.  I really enjoyed building the 54 and it will look great on the shelf sitting next to my 53 Hornet.

Hornet Hornet Hornet Hornet

My sincere thanks to Moebius Models for this review sample!

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