Moebius Models 1/25 1965 Plymouth Belvedere Kit First Look
By Jeff Conrad, Front Range Auto Modelers (FRAM)
|Date of Review||May 2016||Manufacturer||Moebius Models|
|Subject||1965 Plymouth Belvedere||Scale||1/25|
|Kit Number||1218||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nice details and options||Cons||Nothing Noted|
|Skill Level||Moderate Experience||MSRP (USD)||$32.49|
The Belvedere held a place in Plymouth's lineup for twenty years, originally as Plymouth's full size sedan in the middle price range. Even though the Belvedere had only cosmetic changes from the previous year's full size model Plymouth reclassified the Belvedere as an intermediate sedan when it reintroduced the Fury as a full size model. The Belvedere came in three trim levels for 1965, the sporty top level Satellite (reviewed here) the mid-level Belvedere II and the economy priced Belvedere I, the subject of this review. The Belvedere I was available in three different body styles, a two door sedan, a four door sedan and a four door station wagon. Those three body styles could be ordered with six different engines, from a 170 cubic inch slant 6 to the 426 cubic inch Commando V8 sporting 370 horsepower. While not the preferred Plymouth model for stock car racing in 1965 the Belvedere I was a popular platform for drag racing since it was both lightweight and low cost.
Moebius comes out of the gate strong with this kit - the first thing you see is the eye catching box art, very reminiscent of sales brochures of the 1960s. When I first saw this release I figured it was just a re-released Satellite kit with a different body, and who could blame Moebius if they did that, as tooling and production costs often require model companies to make compromises. Not here though – this kit contains many parts trees different from its Satellite brother, including new engine sprues, interior panels with correct upholstery molding, different front and rear seats, unique front exhaust sections, different glass sprue, different wheels, an expanded chrome sprue and, of course a different body casting. The second thing you notice is the instructions - Moebius kit instructions are typically very thorough, and this kit is no exception. Exploded views of subassemblies and part name callouts are all included. The extensive paint guide, a Moebius hallmark, is complete with factory color codes from both Plymouth and Ditzler, and the instructions include paint color suggestions for the parts as well as color photos of the components. One departure from the past is the format of the instructions, as Moebius went with a large flat folded sheet, rather than the book style instructions in the past.
This 130 piece kit is molded in white and clear styrene, with six flexible vinyl tires and 45 parts chrome plated. The instructions start with the 22 piece engine assembly. Moebius has given us two choices here, a Max Wedge motor with a dual four barrel cross ram intake and chromed oval shaped intake, and a Commando 426 engine with a single four barrel carburetor and chromed circular air cleaner. The Max Wedge engine represented in this kit seems to be the street version of this iconic engine. The components are very well done, with no visible flash or sink marks in the parts, and very nice texture is present on the cast iron headers and intake manifold. Unlike the Satellite version this engine sports a manual transmission – perhaps a clue as to what's ahead from Moebius.
Next up is the rolling stock, and here Moebius has given us more options, as we have a choice of factory stock steel wheels with small dog dish hubcaps or, for a custom look, chromed five spoke 'mag' wheels. For the rubber we have four no-name street radials all around. We also have the option to put two no-name drag radials on the rear for a racing version.
Next up is the 33 piece chassis assembly. First the engine sub-assembly is mated to the sub frame and upper K member, which shows very fine detail and nicely scaled torsion bars, possibly the best I've seen in a Mopar model to date. Spindles, shocks and the lower K member complete the front sub frame assembly. Next to install is the firewall and engine/front sub frame assembly to the large floor plate. Moebius has done well by using the top of the floor board as the floor of the interior, with all those components locating to that component later in the instructions. Next the inner fenders, radiator and core support are installed, followed by the rear suspension and wheels.
The interior comes next, and for the front seats we have two bucket seats, rather than the bench seat typically found on a budget model Belvedere I. These seats look like the buckets used in the Drag Pack versions of many Mopar products, and good representations as well. Twelve pieces make up the interior, and of note here is the correct four pedal cluster correctly representing the clutch pedal for the included manual transmission.
The body assembly steps consists of thirty six parts, including four side window glass pieces, parts not usually seen in model car subjects. Two items of note here – first, the interesting way the headlights are represented, with the clear lens of the headlight being trapped between the headlight bucket in the back and the grill in the front. Both the lens and the bucket are keyed with tabs that locate to pins on the grill. Second, the body casting is very nice – straight with headliner detail molded into the underside of the roof and very fine engraving for the chrome trim and body scripts – so fine in fact that I fear a single layer of paint may render them invisible. Fortunately there are decals for the 'Belvedere' fender scripts and the 'Plymouth' lettering on the truck and hood, just in case the paint does cover everything up. Finally, the body surface is very clean and smooth – no visible mold seams to clean up, and the surface is very smooth and shiny, a bit of a departure from the last few releases from Moebius.
All in all another great looking kit from Moebius, and one I am looking forward to building soon.
Thanks go to Moebius Models for the review sample.