AMT 1/24 Amtronic Kit First Look
|Date of Review||December 2007||Manufacturer||AMT|
|Subject||Amtronic Concept Car||Scale||1/24|
|Kit Number||30273||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Futuristic concept car with aircraft and maglev features||Cons|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||Out of Production|
WAY back in the late 1960s, AMT developed a kit of a concept car that was very optimistic of our future around the turn of the century. About the time this kit was being designed, man had not yet reached the moon, but the space race was still running. Whever the concepts behind this vehicle originated, the designers had assumed that our transportation infrastructure would evolve and become more efficient. Little did they know...
The Amtronic was actually two vehicles in one. The two-place forward section could separate and travel on its own. For longer trips, the rear "station wagon" module would attach to the forward section for significantly more capacity.
You'll note the aircraft-like retractable wheels. For longer range transport, this vehicle would engage a magnetic rail system that would allow the car to be propelled several hundred miles per hour. The car would generate its own lift thrust using two turbine-powered lift fans while engaged on the magnetic rail system.
Perhaps someone should dust this concept off and look again!
I was recently posting the latest hobby news from CultTVman and spotted several gems that had come into his store, this Amtronic concept car being one of them. Given its aircraft-like futuristic appearance, I knew I just had to have one. After getting the in the mail, I figured I should stash a few more away as this kit is a beauty, but alas, they were evidently gone not long after I ordered mine. There is always eBay...
This kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on eleven parts sprues, plus two sprues of chromed parts, plus two additional sprues of clear parts. One small tree of clear red lenses and a set of six rubber tires complete this kit.
This kit is out of production. The original release was (I believe) 1969, and was only released one other time - 2000. AMT/ERTL is all but shut down now and the fate of these molds as well as many other kits from this long-time kit maker are up for sale.
Make no mistake, AMT and ERTL kits were never easy kits to build straight from the box. While acceptable results could be achieved by the basic modeler, these kits would look best when tackled by the experienced modeler with good gap-filling, scratch-building, and finishing skills. This kit is more complex than their average car kit, so this is definitely one to take a little extra time and care to 'tweak' the fit of the parts. Most importantly, like any more complex kit, study the diagrams in the instructions to understand what will be happening in each step.
Something I found odd on the kit boxart and in a few online builds I've found of this kit - the front forward-hinged clamshell entry door is left unpainted except for a centerline beam, yet clearly present in the clear clamshell part and even replicated on the boxart is the real outline for the main windshields, aircraft-like side vent windows, and lower view windows. The rest of the frame should be painted. That is something I'll take a closer look at once I get a crack at this project myself.
While these molds have withstood the test of time very well, there is still the hint of flash here and there. I particularly dislike chromed parts, so I'll be using my ultrasonic cleaner with a special fluid to take those parts down to the bare plastic, cleaning up the flash and mold lines, then refinishing them my way.
It has been seven years since this kit was last reissued, and given the state of limbo that AMT/ERTL is in at present, it isn't likely that we'll see this kit again anytime soon. I was pleasantly surprised to see it show up on CultTVman's website at such a reasonable price. Keep an eye on that site for other reasonably priced gems!
I'm definitely looking forward to playing with this project once I get caught up on a few other backlogged projects on my bench.
Definitely recommended, if you can find one!