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Harley Kit

Testors 1/9 Harley-Davidson FXSTC Softail Custom Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2005 Manufacturer Testors
Subject Harley-Davidson FXSTC Softail Custom Scale 1/9
Kit Number 7205 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Highly detailed kit Cons Chrome plating
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look

Harley Kit
Harley Kit
Harley Kit
Harley Kit
Harley Kit
Harley Kit

Harley-Davidson motorcycles are an American icon, just like John Wayne, muscle cars and country music. If you were to ask virtually anyone on the street for the name of a motorcycle maker, the majority would respond with Harley-Davidson.

Harleys remain one of the top selling bikes in the world. There is nothing that sounds quite like a Harley. With the advent of the motorcycle television shows on the Discovery Channel like American Chopper, motorcycles are popular forms of transportation, especially with $2+/gallon fuel prices!

Testors has released a kit of the Harley-Davidson FXSTC Softail Custom in their 'Lincoln Mint' line. This 1/9 scale kit consists of four styrene trees of parts molded in light gray, two trees of chromed styrene parts, and a single tree of clear parts. The kit also includes rubber tires and a supply of metal springs and wire to add detail to the kit.

Assembly of the kit is straightforward with painting of the subassemblies required first. If you've watched American Chopper, you know the drill. You'll have to decide the colors that your bike will wear and finish the subassemblies accordingly.

Many will find the chrome parts convenient and will be satisfied with them as-is. My main gripe with these parts is that a certain amount of mold-line and sprue stub clean-up is required and there is no product on the market to touch up the chrome parts. Many experienced (and die-hard) modelers will simply drop the chrome parts into brake fluid to remove the chrome, then apply their favorite metalizer when the parts are cleaned up.

I would respectfully request that Testors (and other manufacturers) consider providing a duplicate unchromed tree for each chromed tree in the kit. This will give the modeler the option of using the chromed part (or all of the chromed parts) or the bare parts as needed. The exhaust pipes for example are nicely chromed, but I wouldn't dream of leaving the mold lines. The resulting clean-up of these parts will ruin the chrome finish. The transmission cover, on the other hand, doesn't really need any major clean-up and can be used as-is.

Markings are provided for the fuel tank, fenders, and instrument cluster.

This is a nice looking kit that will build up into a beautiful bike.

My sincere thanks to Testors for this review sample!