AMT 1/25 Munster Koach Kit First Look
By Phil Cooley, Front Range Auto Modelers (FRAM)
|Date of Review||November 2011||Manufacturer||AMT/Round 2|
|Kit Number||647||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Old Friend re-released||Cons||Plastic tires, no brass plating|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$20.49|
Back in the early to mid 1960s, there were plenty of “bizarre” television shows on the air, including Bewitched, My Favorite Martian, Lost in Space, Star Trek, the Addams Family and the Munsters. There were more, but the Munsters and the Addams Family were direct competitors, in that the shows were written about “monsters” living in suburbia and how they related to their neighbors, coworkers, the teachers of their children, etc.
The Addams Family was a“white collar”family while the Munsters were more blue collar. Herman Munster was a gravedigger by trade and got back and forth to work by hitching a ride in the hearse of the company he worked for. That arrangement didn't last for long, however, as Herman's wife Lily bought two cars from Diamond Jim's Used Cars, had them merged together and gave the outcome, the “Munster Koach” to Herman as a birthday present. It quickly became his daily driver.
In reality, the Munster Koach was designed by Tom Daniels and built in the custom auto shop of George Barris. Supposedly, the studio only gave him two weeks to do the complete the car. As you can tell by the shape of the body, it was built from 2 Model T's with plenty of massaging from Barris' shop. The engine is an bored-out 289 Ford V8 with 10 carburetors and velocity stacks.
But enough about the full scale car. You are here for a review of the 1:25 scale version. First, the bad news--this is a re-release of the original tool AMT made back in the 60s, wire axles and all. I remember building it as a kid—it was a fun kit then, and it's still fun today. Now for the good news ... it builds up to be a pretty faithful replica of the real thing, straight out of the box.
The model is molded in black with a one-piece body with separate rear fenders, firewall, and “Mother-in-law” seat. The interior is a tub type, with separate front bucket seats, shifter, dash and instrument panel. The engine is only 11 pieces, but has lots of chrome, including the “Cobra” valve covers, carburetors, velocity stacks and headers. The chassis is one piece and uses the previously mentioned metal axles. The mag wheels are chrome and the front and rear tires are 2-piece plastic. The decal sheet has the original decals, featuring several spider webs for the windshield and headlamps, plus gold colored overlays for the doors. It includes some new decals, as well—all it lacks is gold striping for the fenders, something you can easily add with some paint or pin-striping tape.
If you want to make as faithful a replica of the Munster Koach as you can, there are a few inaccuracies regarding pieces that are plated (or should be). The wind shield frame should be chrome plated (it's black) and the velocity stacks, headlamps, taillight, bulb horn, radiator and shell, laundau irons, and lanterns should be brass plated. You can fix this with just a little detailing (a yellow Sharpie over chrome comes acceptably close to brass). Also, in researching pictures online, I found there should be fringe along the top of the windshield frame.
When you build this kit, paint the interior and Mother-in-Law seat red and the curtains of the body tan, do the decals and gold accents on the fenders, and you've got a decent replica of the Munster Koach. I'm looking forward to building this one and seeing how much my modeling prowess has improved over the years. Thanks to Round 2 and AMT for working together to re-release this kit!
My sincere thanks to Round2 Models for this review sample!