AMT 1/25 White Western Star Kit First Look
By Aaron Thomas, Front Range Auto Modelers (FRAM)
|Date of Review||September 2012||Manufacturer||AMT/Round 2|
|Subject||White Western Star||Scale||1/25|
|Kit Number||0724||Primary Media||Molded in white, amber, red, and clear styrene, chrome, black vinyl tires, and metal axles|
|Pros||Reissue of one of the Holy Grails of big truck kits||Cons||Some parts warped-Shallow tire tread|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$42.95|
White Motor Company was an Auto and Truck manufacturer from 1900-1980. Before World War II, the company was based in Cleveland, Ohio. The company sold 10 per cent of all the trucks made in the United States and earned recognition for their high quality of production. During World War II, White also produced the M3 Scout Car and the M2 and M3 Halftracks. After World War II, the company made the decision to only produce large trucks. During this time, White acquired several companies, namely: Sterling, Autocar, Diamond T, and Reo. In 1967, White Trucks started the Western Star division known as White Western Star. A new factory was started up in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. By 1980, White became insolvent. VolvoAB acquired the United States assets and a couple of energy-based companies acquired the Canadian assets, including the British Columbian factory, the Western Star nameplate, and its product range. In 1990, Western Star trucks were purchased by an Australian businessman then sold to DaimlerAG, North American Division, also known as Freightliner. Today, all Western Star trucks are manufactured in Portland, Oregon.
First of all, let me start off by saying that having been in the trucking industry for 27 years and 3 million miles, I have a huge soft spot for these kits. This kit represents a White Western Star from the mid-70s and was originally issued in 1977 as Kit #541. It was also issued around that same time as Kit #546 with Georgia Pacific decals. Since that time, to my knowledge, neither kit has ever been reissued until now.
After purchasing this kit, the first thing that you will notice is the box art. AMT-Round 2, as with many other recent reissues, has decided to use the original box art. It is very nostalgic and brings back a ton of memories, especially for the adult builders. Upon cutting the plastic wrap, the excitement will build as you open the box. It is packed full of parts, 335 to be exact. A good-looking decal sheet and, of course, the original nostalgic instructions are included.
One of my favorite things about these old kits is that the parts are labeled with a number and the actual name of the part. I wish that all model companies would do this, instead of just drawing pictures with arrows. Labeling the parts is a great educational tool, especially for the younger modelers. One word of caution! Be careful when removing the parts' trees from their respective bags. I found several parts that had broken off of the trees and could have easily been thrown away accidentally, like I almost had happen to me. Also, considering the age of the molds, the parts are relatively "flash free" and will only need a minimum amount of clean up.
Assembly begins, as for most of the kits of that era, with the engine and transmission. A total of 31 parts will be used for this step. Next, will be the assembly of the wheels and tires. This process is very straightforward and should be simple. There are 34 parts that will be used for this assembly.
Next up will be the basic frame and chassis assembly. USE CAUTION! This is the most critical step in the assembly of the entire model. Everything from here on out is dependent upon the frame being straight and square. There are 12 steps to this process. If the frame and chassis are not straight, none of the other parts will fit correctly.
The next three steps deal with all of the springs, axles, wheels and tires, and miscellaneous suspension pieces. After this much of the assembly has been completed, this is when this great old kit begins to take shape with the installation of the engine, radiator, fuel tanks, bumper, fifth wheel, and other miscellaneous parts. The next three steps deal with the interior, cab accessories, and installing the cab to the chassis.
You will also install the mirrors, ac unit, exhaust stack, and all of the lights, and the horn. Now, the model is actually starting to look like a big truck. The placement of the hood and grille is the next step. This was the only disappointment that I found with this kit. And it's a big one. The hood in my kit is badly warped. It probably can be fixed but it will take a few dips in some boiling water to even remotely get it back in shape. Hopefully, your kit will not have this issue.
The last step is the assembly of the sleeper. This is one of the coolest aspects of this kit. It has a Mercury sleeper with the ribbings on the sides and back and the small windows, giving the truck a very nostalgic look. The instructions do not go into detail about the placement of the decals, but should be self-explanatory using the box art and your imagination.
Kudos to AMT-Round 2 for bringing these great nostalgic kits back. These were mainstay kits on the shelves of hobby shops and department stores back in the day. Thanks for bringing back the memories. What's next? Maybe, a Peterbilt 359? Or one of the Kenworth 925s? Or maybe …………..?
This kit is highly recommended!
My sincere thanks to Round2 Models for this review sample