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Smart Car

Revell 1/25 ProFinish Smart Car Kit Build Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2000 Manufacturer Revell-Monogram
Subject ProFinish Smart Car Scale 1/25
Kit Number 1347 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Very easy build, three different exterior colors provided Cons  
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) Out of Production


A few years ago, Daimler Benz AG partnered with the Swiss Swatch Company to develop a small class of in-town automobiles targeted at urban professionals in Europe. The newly formed business unit of Daimler Chrysler was given the design to build and distribute. For whatever reason, the car has not achieved the hoped-for sales in Europe.

The car is powered by a three-cylinder engine, which can propel the 1600 pound car up to 60 mph while achieving an average of 47-49 miles per gallon! While the Europeans may not care for the car (it would not survive long on the autobahn), there are other markets. With gas prices soaring to record levels (for the USA) here, they ought to bring the car to the United States.

The Kit

We did a quick-look at this kit last month, and among the various releases that Revell-Monogram has issued recently, this one somehow caught my attention. Revell designed this kit with a choice of bright yellow, hot red, or lime green fenders and front-end to compliment the fluorescent blue interior. All three are provided in the box. However, if Daimler-Chrysler is using these as color options on their cars, I have an inkling why sales aren't soaring over there.

Smart Car Nonetheless, the design and molding of this kit is top-notch. This is the first Revell-Monogram car I can recall from recent history that has featured opening doors. While the colors caught my eye, it was the engineering in this Snap kit that caught my attention.

Smart Car My first step was to extinguish that blue interior. I sprayed all of the interior components with a light grey, and then began picking out details in black, dark grey and silver. I also primed all of the interior body surfaces (wheel wells, etc.,) and the chassis underside with Testors ModelMaster Gunship Grey. As I had chosen the red body panels for this project, the application of dark grey to the inside significantly toned down the red plastic on the outside.

Smart Car I assembled the interior per the kit instructions, and supplemented the 'snap together' assemblies with a little liquid cement. The seat halves needed a little extra convincing to stay 'snapped'.

Next, I decided to have a little fun with the chassis underside. I've seen what were supposed to be highly detailed chassis frames and engine mounts turn out very bland. Conversely, I've also seen some impressively detailed undersides on what turned out to be a single piece of molded plastic. The trick is in the painting and weathering. For this project, I elected to paint the underside with a few colors just to test my techniques without getting carried away.

Smart Car What I find fascinating about this ProFinish kit is that you can literally assemble the kit without any paint, should you choose to do so, and have a very acceptable model as a result. One example is the taillights in this kit. The clear taillight is pre-painted with a black exterior to blend in with the rear colors, and clear red and amber lenses are present for the stop and turn indicators, respectively. Only a touch of black paint was required to cover up where the taillight was removed from the

Smart Car Installation of the rear window was the only challenge in this kit. While it was supposed to drop into place, it did not have a very good mechanical hold on the rest of the kit. A little white glue convinced it to stay put.

Once you pop the hubcaps onto the wheels, the wheels on the axles and onto the chassis, the interior installs next. Over the interior/chassis subassembly goes the body, and you're now in the final stages. This kit even includes windshield wipers.


Smart Car As you'd expect with a Snap-Tite kit, assembly is very straightforward, and this kit is no exception. The ProFinish approach that Revell-Monogram has been offering has been equally impressive in the levels and completeness of details. When they create a ProFinish Snap-Tite, as they did with this kit, the result is a very nice kit that does not require any work to assemble or finish, but leaves you with the option to add detailing as you see fit.

I highly recommend this kit. And if you find yourself at a point of burnout due to excessive detailed projects, grab one of these kits just for fun. It will help put your modeling back into the perspective that it is intended to be - recreation. My sincere thanks to Revell for this review sample.