Revell 1/25 '57 Chevy Bel Air Easy Kit Build Review
|Date of Review||January 2005||Manufacturer||Revell|
|Subject||'57 Chevy Bel Air Easy Kit||Scale||1/25|
|Kit Number||1931||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Great fit||Cons||Stickers vice decals|
|Skill Level||Beginner||MSRP (USD)||$15.25|
The 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air two-door hardtop is one of the most sought after classic cars for restoration and/or play. In 1957, Chevy had increased the displacement of their small block V-8 engine to 283 cubic inches, which made this engine sporty as a stock engine and hot when modified.
The Revell '57 Chevy Bel Air kit is out of their new "Easy Build" line which takes the old Snap-Tite kit to a higher level of sophistication. The kit comes with the body molded in hot orange, the chassis in black, the interior parts molded in white, and the grille, bumpers and wheels chromed. A one-piece front and rear window is molded in perfectly clear styrene.
Revell says this kit will go together nicely with no glue, no paint, and in virtually no time. Since I've been getting depressed lately when I see the child warning on kit boxes that state 8-10 years, I know they really mean that is when I'll get the bloody thing finished these days! With that in mind, I decided to give this a test of instant gratification.
While they provide some nice instructions, this is still what you'd classify as a no-brainer kit. The interior parts snap together, the window snaps into place inside the body shell, followed by the interior tub. The bumpers go into place before the chassis is snapped into location. This whole assembly is then held together with two screws which lock everything down nicely.
The low-rider-styled tires slip onto the chrome wheel hubs, and the hubs friction fit onto an metal axle. Before attaching both wheels on the axle, you must choose which holes in the chassis you'll install the axle through. One set puts the car at normal street height, the other sets the car as a low-rider. Install the axles and wheels according to taste.
The kit is completed with the help of stickers, not decals. I really wish they'd provide both so the builder has a choice. The stickers are a bit of a pain to apply, but the aluminum trim on the rear and the license plate are stickers. They provided a wealth of stickers for the various logos on the car, but since these very same logos are also molded on the car, you're trying to get these logos to conform with the raised details. I opted out of that frustration.
While the assembled model looks not bad as-is, I opted to apply a drop of Tamiya Transparent Orange on the front turn indicators and Tamiya Transparent Red on the tail light lenses. I added a touch of a black oil wash to the front grille to get some contrast, but that was all the painting done to the kit. The more detail-oriented builder might want to take a little more time with painting details.
Revell was absolutely correct about this kit. It goes together quickly, painlessly (except for the stickers) and is indeed instant gratification for the adult builder. This would be a great kit to sit down with your child and build together as it is rugged enough for play upon completion. If you don't have kids of that age (and can't borrow one), then this is still a quick build that might be something different to get your creative juices flowing again.
My sincere thanks to Revell for this review sample.