Moebius Models 1/25 1961 Pontiac Ventura Kit Build Review
By Joe Morgan, Front Range Auto Modelers (FRAM)
|Date of Review||June 2018||Manufacturer||Moebius Models|
|Subject||1961 Pontiac Ventura||Scale||1/25|
|Kit Number||1221||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Subject, fit, detail is very good||Cons||Windshield glass fit|
|Skill Level||Moderate experience||MSRP (USD)||$29.95|
For a look at this kit out of the box, look here.
I will start this review by confessing to a huge bias regarding the subject matter. I am now and always have been a true-blue Pontiac fan. Secondly, the 61 Ventura/Catalina bubbletop is my favorite Pontiac. That said, let's begin!
The engine in this kit is a very accurate, and well-detailed 26-piece assembly representing the SD 368 horsepower version of the 389 did engine. The two most recognizable external features are cast iron long branch exhaust manifolds, and the upside-down starter mother (the starter solenoid is under the starter motor for manifold clearance).
For those wanting to build a stock non-SD 348 to version of the 389, just steal a set of stock log type exhaust manifolds from a Retell 1966 Pontiac GTO kit, fill the hollow inside of the starter and mount it with the solenoid on top. The result is, in my humble opinion, the finest early 60's scale Pontiac engine to date! The stock (Joe Weatherly) NASCAR racer has a single 4 big carb and intake as mandated by NASCAR rules. One curious inaccuracy in the Catalina kit. The air cleaner/s, 3x2bbl Rochester carbs are in the kit but the only intake is a 2x4bbl with 2 separate carbs. This intake was not available until 1962, and then only on the new 421 did SD. While on the subject of engines, taking a 3x2bbl intake and carefully removing the 2 end 2bbl mounts, leaving only the center carb would make a great base model 389 for those so inclined.
The instructions in this kit must be commented on! Simply put, they are superb! As in all Moebius kits that I've seen, clear pictures of the exploded sub-assemblies are the norm, as well as great printed text.
Next up, is the interior. The basic interior is a platform style with the platform extending from the front inner fenders all the way back to the rear bumper. The three kits differ at this point. The Ventura has the proper door panel and seat patterns and gives you a choice of front bucket seats or a bench. The Weatherly car has the Catalina door panels, but only one bucket seat for the driver. The Catalina has proper Catalina door panels and seat patterns on front and rear bench. Decals are included to simulate the cloth inserts on the Catalina seats. Parts count is between 16 and 19, depending on kit version.
When we get to the chassis, the level of detail is amazing. I am not even going to mention parts count. There is one issue that I will address at this point. Step 3 shows assembling the floor platform, frame, exhaust, front and rear suspensions and inserting this complete assembly into the body. This creates a real problem when trying to glue the front inner fender well slots to the tabs inside the front fenders and then gluing the front bumper/grill assembly in place. I recommend inserting the floor pan and complete interior into the body and then adding the frame, suspension, ECT.
The body itself is incredible. The detail is all there and finely engraved. The only problem I found involved the fit of the windshield. It mounts from the outside and must be carefully trimmed to fit. I reckoned doing this before any other body painting ECT. Commences!
The wheel and tire options are terrific. The four-piece 8 lugs are the best ever done in scale in my opinion. These wheels are in both the Ventura and the Catalina kits. The Catalina also has wheelies with pie pan caps and a beautiful set of Crater SS but with no emblem or name engraved.
Last but not least, the decals are unique in all three kits and dash gauges and proper scripts.
These are fine kits and I recommend them highly. The only short comings involved the windshield fit and floor pan fit that I covered in the story.
Thanks go to Moebius Models for the review sample.