Un-boxing: AMT 1/25 Scale 1976 GMC General Semi Coca-Cola Plastic Model Kit

This is a highly detailed special Coca-Cola version of the 1/25 Scale 1976 GMC General Semi Truck Plastic Model Kit made by AMT.

The skill level for this model kit is a skill level 3. It is normally recommended for ages 12+ but can be done at any age with adult supervision. Assembly is required for this model kit.

There are over 300 super-detailed parts that are molded in white, chrome, and transparent. There are ten black vinyl truck tires. This model is made for a sliding 5th wheel trailer. You have the option for tilting the hood/fenders or gluing them in place.

The kit comes with authentic Coca-Cola decal graphics with optional schemes. The special Coca-Cola packaging art is created by Don Greer. The decals come in a plastic bag with a protective yellow sheet over them and the other side gives directions about application of the decals.

The instructions for this model have diagram part numbers and assembly numbers. Each section of instructions state assembly of different parts of the truck. The instructions include sections for engine, wheels, basic chassis, front suspension, rear suspension, chassis, cab assembly, sleeper, hood, interior, and final assembly.

There are also 4 small sections of assembly information for the following items. Attaching oil filters and oil coolers to the engine, attaching roof lights to the cab of the truck, full assembly of the wheels, and the battery box. You can choose to keep the cab stock or attach the roof lights to it. This is up to the modeler’s preference.

Information is given on what tools are needed, what should be done before beginning the model, and a paint guide. Modelers have the option to paint the model identical to the box art.

There may be some spots on the part trees with over molding plastic not removed by the manufacturer, but it comes off with no issues. Some parts may need some extra care to clean the plastic off.


Bandai Figure-rise Standard Omegamon (Amplified) Model Kit – BAS5057816

By: Johnathan Fabrizi

     So back in the 90’s there were a few franchises popping up, most of those franchises have big names in modern pop culture. There was the release of the Super Nintendo, Space Jam, Beanie Babies, Pokemon and Tamagotchi. Pokemon had a competitor though which combined the Tamagotchi toy brand a similar system to Pokemon. This competitor was Digimon. Digimon had also been incredibly popular similar to Pokemon where they both had an animated series based on little monsters that follow their human companions. This led to a multitude of products ranging from toys to clothing. Sadly as of 2019 most of the popularity that Digimon had has since died down. However, the franchise is not forgotten. Bandai has released a new Figure-Rise Standard model based off of Omegamon, or Omnimon for western audiences. This will be a review of the Figure-rise Standard Omegamon (Amplified) model made by Bandai.  

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The box illustration is a 10/10. To me this is a fantastic piece of artwork that shows how awesome the Omegamon Digimon really is. The colors are vibrant and it shows how intimidating it can really be while maintaining the knight aspect of Omegamon and also making it look very mechanical. The looking being in accordance to the information on the box that states “Amplified” means a series which amplifies the features of characters while paying respect to their original designs and which also combines playabillity unique to plastic models. Well the box looks good now to see if what they advertise is what you get.

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Overall Look: 10/10
      This is an amazing representation of Omegamon and will definitely stand out of any shelf. The asymmetry is interesting and the mechanical design compared to original design makes it look exactly as the box described while maintaining the look of Omegamon. It stands a little taller than a 1:144 scale Gundam and it gives an imposing feeling when looking at it.

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Colors: 8/10
       The colors are pretty good, they are nice and rich which can also be a negative on this kit. The blues are pretty much perfect with the white and red and the main focus of the kit is drawn to the brightest parts of this kit. Unfortunately, the oranges are overpowering. They almost have a toy-like plastic look and unlike the rest of the kit they seem to wash out the other colors form rest of the kit. This is by far not the worst offender. The grey swords colors are just awful, they are molded in a solid white and it looks very flat and uninteresting. Even though there is molded detail on the blade itself. This kit’s solution is to use big and distracting stickers.

      The stickers do not look to bad at first glance especially for the small detail color corrections, however the sword stickers look exceptionally bad. Not only do they cover the molded detail the finish on the stickers does not seem to match the rest of the kit and look not very appealing. I managed to salvage some of the detail in the plastic by using a cotton swab to lightly push in those details to give it more depth. Luckily the detail is molded in and would be easy to paint later on. The other stickers are acceptable and look rather decent on their own.

Weapons 9/10
     The weapons are great but are lacking in a few areas. They are interchangeable between arms being they have the same connection points. The only main issue with the weapons are the swords colors which I mentioned earlier.

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Articulation: 5/10
      The articulation on this kit is pretty bad. The legs are great with an exceptional extension outwards and to the side. The knee is double jointed and separates achieving a 90 degree bend. The toes can also move upwards but not at all downwards. The arms are unable to achieve a 90 degree angle straight out on both arms. The blue arm is able to achieve a 90 degree bend at the elbow but the orange can only do so at certain positions. The the waist has some bend to is but not to much which is good because this kit is a little back heavy due to the cape. The neck can only tilt up at about 45 degrees and can not look down at all. The cape goes up only about 45-50 degrees when not spread out and only about 30 degrees when spread out. However with some careful placement you can achieve iconic poses the character made from the Anime and the games.

 

Build Design: 8/10
       This kit is decently engineered with the two compatible weapons connections and the legs. The color separation in the chest is very good and the mechanical looks very good. I like the finish of the model and would look great on a shelf next to Gundam kits without looking out of place. However, the shoulders are not great even with a unique joint that would have given it more movement range but does not have enough room to do so. The horns on the orange arm are maybe to large as they get in the way when trying to pose the arm. The shield is on a ball joint and does not move out of the way for the arm to move in some directions. Even with the negatives this makes a great standing piece and looks great.

Fun Factor: 9/10
        This kit was pretty fun to build altogether. The only minus being the stickers and the articulation. It still poses well enough for me to be satisfied with it and the high detail looks great to. The unique joints were great to experience. Even though there are some problems, but this kit has a lot of potential as a whole.

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Bandai Figure-rise Standard Omegamon (Amplified) Model Kit – BAS5057816


Tamiya 1/48 Lockheed P-38F/G Lightning, Kit No. 61120

By: Jeff Brundt – November 2019

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If there was any subject that was crying out for a new tool injection molded model it was the P-38 Lightning. Prior to today the choices the modeler had for a Lightning were limited to the ancient Monogram kit, the newer Hasegawa, Academy versions that where then followed by Hobby Boss. While the Hasegawa and Academy kits are both are quite serviceable they still have a reputation for difficult alignment and poor fit. The Hobby Boss kit really has too many inaccuracies to even consider. Tamiya’s recent release however, leaves all those previous kits in the dust, in terms of engineering, fit, detail and ease of assembly. From start to finish it’s a joy.

Tamiya engineering has overcome many of the issues that have plagued other P-38 kits. Firstly the fit between the booms and wing has parts joined along natural panel lines. Parts interlock and fit without the need for glue to hold them together. Tamiya’s ingenious use of ball bearings and how they mount solve the ever present issue of tail sitting on this aircraft.

There are 207 parts, molded in Tamiya’s typical grey plastic, 18 clear parts with self-adhesive masks included, three chrome ball bearings for weight to prevent tail sitting and a decal sheet with markings for two aircraft. Surface texture is very nice with finely recessed panel lines and no pebbly finish. There are no gimmicks, open doors, moveable parts or photo etch to worry about. There are some inserts to allow future variants but these inserts fit beautifully due to Tamiya’s excellent engineering.

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You have options for building either the F or G variant. The instructions are clearly marked for so you do have to worry about a mix up when building. There are two canopy options depending on which version you choose. You can display either the opened canopy or closed canopy. You have the option of a boarding ladder to be displayed opened or closed, but will need to decide which you want early in the build, so plan accordingly. A seated pilot is also included. There are two full size color sheets that printed on both sides; one for each version with painting and markings.

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The cockpit and wheel wells are very detailed for a kit straight from the box. There are decals for the instrument panel, one for each depending on which version you build. The doors for the main landing gear are cleverly designed so they can be installed later, after you paint. They simply slot into the booms. The doors fit into the slots well enough you don’t even have to glue them. The door parts are marked and keyed so you don’t have the risk of installing them incorrectly. The decal sheet includes small chrome pieces to simulate the chromed cylinders on the gear struts. That is a first.

Masking clear parts with lots of glazing frames is never fun but Tamiya’s masks make the job very easy. Just use a sharp knife to cut them out and place per the instructions. Each mask is labeled with an ID and orientation arrow. The fit of the clear parts was well enough I was able to use the closed canopy and temporarily glue it in place with white glue to use as a mask instead of having to mask the cockpit opening. Tamiya has also correctly depicted the counter rotating propellers. The propellers mount using nylon bushings in the hub and have the ability to turn. Just make sure to put the correct prop on the correct side of the plane.

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With all the good that’s not to say there aren’t some issues. For some reason Tamiya chose not to depict the cooling holes in the nose mounted .50’s. They opted to use decals to represent the gun barrels. I can honestly say this is a first that I have seen this in all my years of modeling. I opted to use the Master Barrels P-38 early brass gun barrel set to replace the kit offering. Another minor issue is the tread pattern on the tires. Early Lightnings had a block tread on the nose and main wheels but the kit wheels have a diamond tread. I thought this was odd but after doing some Google searching and seeing the exact plane that Tamiya used for reference during their design I can see why they did the tread the way they did.

Tamiya is always faithful to the research subject they use. Lastly, Tamiya chose to use decals to depict the seat belts. I can see why they do this. It’s easy and to be frank, nicer than molded in belts (which would not easily allow a seated pilot which is included). Some modelers will want to replace the belt decals with either photo etch or fabric belts for added realism. These issues are minor and in no way lessen the enjoyment of this kit.

Both depicted versions in the kit are in the early version of OD on the topside with neutral grey underside. I chose the P-38F, White 33, 39th FS, 35th FG, 5th Air Force, Port Moresby, late 1942. This aircraft features sharks mouths and eyes on the engine nacelles. The other included markings are for a P-38G Lightning – White 147 of 339th FS, 347th FG, 13th Air Force, Operation Vengeance (attack on Admiral Yamamoto’s aircraft based on Guadacanal in April 1943).

I used MRP paint for my model for the main airframe colors but the instructions call out all the required Tamiya colors. There are a lot of stencil data decals to apply (over 100) so be prepared. Don’t worry though, the marking guide shows where they all go. It is just very time consuming to put them all on if that’s what you choose to do. I used Solvaset sparingly as Mark Fit Strong didn’t seem to affect them. The shark mouth decals fit very well with little fuss.

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Assembly of the kit is straightforward. The cockpit is first. I was able to do most of the part painting while they were still on the sprue trees. For the supercharger exhausts I did not glue those in early as the instructions would have. That was so I could paint them their rusty color separate and install later once the airframe was painted. If you keep the pieces separate you can fit them later and they will drop right in. There are some holes that need to be drilled for the aux fuel tank mounts and these are different depending on which tanks you decide to use. The larger tanks have additional sway brace mounting holes and if you forget those, it will be harder to figure out where they need to be drilled once the wing halves are joined.

I also left off the landing gear and gear doors until after the main colors were painted. You will have some gear door link rods that are thin and fragile to deal with so try not to set the plane down on them during the build and painting process. Care is also required when masking the main gear bays with these rods because they can be easily damaged. The only real tricky part was the armored glass behind the wind screen. The instructions were a bit unclear to me at least, on how to go about the installation. I did some Google image searching and was able to see how the real thing looked and that helped a lot. Since these parts have to be glued to the clear windscreen piece I used Micro Krystal Klear for these parts. It helps that the IP coaming cover is part of this and helps hold things together but anytime clear parts and plastic cement meet anxiety levels increase.

So there you have the high points. I cannot state enough how well engineered this kit is. Tamiya seems to out do themselves with each new release lately. If you love the P-38, World War II warbirds or are just a fan of great kits then this one is for you. The phrase ‘highly recommended’ is greatly overused in the model review world but in this case it is justly deserved.

Many thanks to Kevin and Mark Twain Hobby for the kit.

 


Celebrating 40 Years!

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Picture from Model Retailer Magazine with Dennis Babbitt at Mark Twain Hobby Center in the fall of 1997.

Mark Twain Hobby Shop opened it’s doors to the public on December 5th , 1976 in the outside lower level of the Mark Twain Mall in Saint Charles Missouri. Since that time, products have changed, customers have changed but in reality every thing has remained the same. The same great service, the same great pricing, the same great place to find your dreams.

Don Babbitt opened Mark Twain Hobby Shop as a dream to owning a business. As a sales tax auditor for the state he did not feel a desire to spend the rest of his career in that position. An avid model builder for years, Don wished to spend time helping others enjoy that same passion. So the story begins. It took over a year before Don could work full time at the store, utilizing part time help during the day and working in the evenings and weekends with his brother Dennis who went from part time to full time in 1980.

As times and people changed,the store changed and grew, leaving the mall in 1987 to a location at the the corner of Fifth Street and Boonslick Road. Dennis bought out Don’s interest in 1990 and Don started his second, or was it his third career as a college teacher eventually retiring in 2016.

Dennis has continued to build the business with the help of many great employees and managers including Darren Vancour, who started out part time as a college student. Darren has been with the company for nearly 26 years. Others with many years of experience include Kevin Thompson, Bret Babbitt, Bill Holmes, Dan McEntee and too many more to mention. The business would not be here today without the great employees.

Mark Twain Hobby Center moved to a larger building on West Clay Street at Zumbehl in October 1996, expanding again in 2000, 2006 and 2011. Each expansion has help position the business for helping our customers better in the future. With a mail order business that ships worldwide MTH has the ability to serve customers from the United States to nearly every country in the world.

This year we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Mark Twain Hobby Center, thanks to all of our many loyal customers and employees.

Dennis Babbitt


Revell 1929 Ford Rat Rod By Rick Hopkins

Here is a newer kit done up for you guys. this one is a re-release of the old Revells 29 Ford closed cab pickup truck. This re-release has the new style pop-in white walls with steel wheels. The kit also has several options like a roadster style truck cab with or without a canvas roof. The kit still only comes with the flat head four cylinder engine, but you can add supplied chrome racing / street rod parts (as in the old original kits)
I decided to do mine as the closed cab mild rat rod. I painted it in hot rod primer gray with a little rust here and there. I really enjoyed doing this retro model. It reminded me of when I was a kid in the 70’s building it for the first time and lots of fun!
As the old type Revel kits, these are really detailed and sometimes over-detailed! There are many parts that are very thin and hard to work with. If you take your time and look carefully at the directions it does go together and looks great when you’re finished!


Moebius 1969 F100 Review by Wes Salazar

20150821_162943The 69 Ford F-100 has become popular with collectors and customizers alike. Now model builders can have the opportunity to build their own with Mobius’ new 69 Ford kit. Just like the Mobius kits from last year, this one is very well tooled and thought out.

Assembly begins with the frame and front suspension. Be mindful of the different sides to the I-beams and stabilizer bars, as it is easy to put them on the wrong sides. You will have to sand the seam once you put the rear axle together as well. The steel wheels with separate dog dish hubcaps are a nice touch as well. Next is the motor assembly. This kit only comes with the option of a straight 6, but you could easily swap the V-8 from the 71 Ford kit if you’d prefer. The 6 cylinder, however, builds up very nice and is pretty straight forward, with plenty of opportu
nities for detailing. A separate transmission makes paint a breeze for both it and the block, and it fits snuggly onto the frame.20150821_16313520150821_163356

The bed is another nice feature of the kit, as it has all separate pieces. Besides, inner bed tubs, floor, and front and rear portions of the bed make painting a snap and fit it second to none. The step-down bumper is optional, but I did not see a substitution for it if chosen not to be used. There are very little mold lines that will need to be removed from the cab as you go to paint it. There is a separate firewall along with all the other goodies under the hood. When it was fully assembled though the engine bay looked like there was something missing, or just bare. This could be another awesome place for some heavy detail. One problem I ran into while assembling the cab was the fitment of the glass. The rear fit just fine, but the windshield, however, was a royal pain. The sides snap onto the outside of the A-pillars, but the glass is installed from the inside. This makes for a very tight fit (no need for glue), but also a nightmare to get it in. I actually chipped the clear coat on the cowl trying to get it into place. The other problem I ran into was the fitment of the hood once the core support piece was in place. It’s as almost if the support is too tall and makes for a sloppy hood fit.20150821_163236

All in all this was a very nice kit to build. Despite the two issues I had, I think Mobius hit it out of the park with this one. I can’t wait to build a custom version next with my own touches to it. I recommend this kit to moderate to advanced builders who are looking for something to cover a wide range of styles and trends. Mobius has definitely become a player in the model car category, and if this kit is any indication, they plan on staying, and climbing up the rankings among model car kits.


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Too Late for Jake, but At Last a Train in Sterling

Richard Jacobs pauses just before returning to the nursing home after the last railfan outing of his life. He would die nearly two weeks later. Richard Jacobs pauses just before returning to the nursing home after the last railfan outing of his life. He would die nearly two weeks later.

A westbound manifest freight cruises through Sterling on a late Sunday afternoon on the day of Richard Jacob's funeral. A westbound manifest freight cruises through Sterling on a late Sunday afternoon on the day of Richard Jacobs’ funeral.

Richard Jacobs wanted one last outing in Sterling. It would not be an easy one to arrange.

Cancer was eating away at his body and he could not move on his own. Nonetheless, he arranged for a specially-fitted van to take him to Sterling on a Wednesday for one more outing with the Loopers, as the group that gathers there weekly calls themselves.

He made sure that I knew about his planned outing and I said I would be there.

Given Jake’s condition, it wasn’t a sure thing that he would be able to make it. The date was set for Wednesday, June 10.

As that…

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Review of the Trumpeter 1:24th Bf 109 G-6

Trumpeter 1/24th scale Bf 109 G-6 Trumpeter 1/24th scale Bf 109 G-6 Trumpeter 1/24th scale Bf 109 G-6 Trumpeter 1/24th scale Bf 109 G-6 Trumpeter 1/24th scale Bf 109 G-6

Trumpeter 1:24th Bf 109 G-6 By Rick Hopkins
I’ve recently had the pleasure of building the Trumpeter 1/24th scale Bf 109 G-6 early version. This was a very detailed model kit with loads of options and super detailed parts. The surface detail on the model was also very nice and realistic and made to accurate scale.
This trumpeter kit came with the regular gray plastic fuselage parts and it also came with clear fuselage halves along with other outer items like the lower cowling and rear wings air scoop and more. It also came with two full sets of cockpit canopy class for two different versions.  As normal Trumpeter kits go together great as this one is no exception! I had no problem with parts fit and following the nicely illustrated instructions. The kit comes with pro grade decals but I built this one for Kevin at Mark Twain and he supplied some aftermarket decals to fit his taste and desires.
This is a very well done kit and I highly recommend this one, although it might be a little difficult for the beginner but not discouraged!