Testors 1/4 Dodge A990 426 Hemi Engine Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||June 2006||Manufacturer||Testors|
|Subject||Dodge A990 426 Hemi Engine||Scale||1/4|
|Kit Number||453||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Visible Engine Block reveals all of the inner workings of the engine; mechanism is motorized to put everything in motion, motor is sound-synched to audio chip in base to provide realistic sound||Cons|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||Out of Production|
The Dodge name is synonymous with muscle cars and high performance racers. During the mid 1960s, the A990 Hemi engine was introduced to muscle cars. A Hemi differs from normal engines with a hemispherical combustion chamber, relocated valves and spark plug to optimize combustion without any increase in displacement. A 426 Hemi refers to the displacement - 426 cubic inches which nominally produces around 425 horsepower, but the racing engines could crank out more!
This is Testor's ultimate salute to the poster child of all muscle car engines - the Dodge 426 Hemi. This kit is every bit an engineering marvel as the engine it represents! Check this out:
Designed in 1/4 scale (one inch on the kit equals four inches on the full-scale engine), this will build up into a respectable sized model. Seven parts trees are molded in clear and represent the walls of the engine block, cylinder heads, valve covers, manifold, oil pan, etc. In other words, you can see into the inner workings of this beast from just about any angle.
Thirteen parts trees are molded in metallic gray and provide the parts for the pistons, push rods, crank shaft, carburetors, fan, and exhaust pipes.
Two parts trees molded in black provide the motor mount that attaches the engine to the base unit and a few other detail parts.
Two more parts trees plated in chrome contain the air cleaner cover, optional valve covers, and one of the pulleys. You have your choice of clear or chrome valve covers.
The base unit is already assembled and ready to go out of the box. Once you have your engine built and mounted to the base, the motor inside will turn over the engine while a sound chip in the base provides realistic audio to accompany the movement.
The instructions for this project are some of the best I've seen produced for a kit. These are very well illustrated with detailed narratives to accompany the illustrations to ensure a clear understanding of each assembly step. Each step is logically laid out and they do not try to cram too much activity into any given step. Well done!
Looking at the level of detail versus the complexity of the kit, I only rate this kit at an intermediate level due to the work with lots of clear styrene and the quantity of parts. Nevertheless, virtually any experienced modeler can achieve nice results with this project. This Hemi will look great on display or even as a teaching tool to show how engines work.
My sincere thanks to Testors for this review sample!