| By Jay
Adan - images & text © 2000
As a fan of the Road Warrior movies I was really excited to hear about the impending release of this kit from Planet X. I'm not much of a car modeler. The last one that I built was back when I was in elementary school, but something like this car transcends the lack of enthusiasm I might otherwise feel for building a Ford Falcon. Of course, I think that I would be less interested in building the original kit that Planet X did based on the clean version of the car from Mad Max. The addition of the big tanks in the back of the cargo area along with the chance to do the post apocalyptic weathering job puts this kit firmly into the realm of Science Fiction.What's in the Box?
What you get in the kit is about 50 parts of a mixture of both cast metal and smelly resin along with a couple of clear styrene bits. There are also a few decals for the dash board and a rudimentary set of instructions. I know this sounds a little silly but the total sum of the parts makes the kit "feel" like your getting a good sized kit for your money. Anybody who has ever opened up a box after spending a hundred bucks only to immediately think "that's it?" knows exactly what I mean. No worries about that here.
So, how does it look?
The casting of the resin bits is pretty good overall. There are some air bubbles here and there. Mostly, they're in areas that are never going to show anyway (which shows good forethought on the part of the mold-maker), but there are some areas that will need repair as well. The most distressing of those were on the tail lights.
The cast metal parts are extremely clean and since all of the finest detail parts are cast in metal there wasn't any breakage on the kit at all.
When it came to time to evaluate the detail and accuracy of the kit I did two things. I watched the movie since I hadn't seen it in a couple of months. Then I did a quick search of the web to find out if there was any good reference on line. Fortunately, the definitive resource for all things Road Warrior turned up rather quick. Madmaxmovies.com has an extensive history of the car used in Mad Max and Road Warrior (which really were the same car for both movies) and many photographs which should make up nicely for the inadequacies of the instruction set.
What I found by going over the photos on the site was that the kit is actually very accurate on the exterior. The details that exists on the interior aren't bad either as far as it goes. A motivated scratch builder could really have some fun with the interior though. The kit just gives you the bare bones inside but there is a lot of post-apocalyptic detritus that could be added to really make it believable.
The underside of the kit is a mixed bag. Frankly, I don't think that it makes that much of a difference since, for one thing, you can't really question the accuracy a part of the car that you never see. For another, if you mount the model to a base nobody will ever see it. Still, Planet X does provide you with pieces that you can use to detail it to a certain extent so they were expecting you to look at it. If you plan to detail the bottom you'll have your work cut out for you. All of the voids and bubbles in casting are mostly on the underside of the kit. Also, the detail for the underside is a little soft. It's as if you were looking at a second or third generation casting. In my opinion you should just get the pieces on there, get them painted, then mount the thing so that nobody turns the thing over to look at the bottom.
It's hard to test-fit parts on a kit like this. The majority of them are small detail parts that won't easily drop into were they're going. The large pieces (body, interior, underpanel) pieces all seem to go together well. It took me a while to puzzle through how some of the pieces around the tanks in back went. The instructions just don't go far enough in explaining things and the pictures that I could find don't really cover that area in enough detail. Fortunately, like a puzzle if you move the pieces around enough you can finally see how they go together. The windows will all need to be hand cut out of sheet styrene and fitted by hand. The instructions do include templates to use for cutting out those windows luckily. Tentatively it looks like the kit will go together without much fuss. You should have some solid modeling skills if you're planning to do it - It's not for the beginner. It might be a good kit if you feel that you want to "graduate" to the art of resin kits.
The Survey Says...?
I must say say that I've been burned in the past by kits from the UK. SpaceMam had some real stinkers that left a real bad taste in my mouth. Since then I've been very wary of kits coming from that side of the pond. Luckily, things are really looking up. This is my second kit from Planet X, and the second winner from them. No, it's not going to set any new standards for quality but at the same time you shouldn't be disappointed by the kit either. It's one of those kits that you'll get more out of it if you put more into it.
Many thanks to Tony James and Comet Miniatures for providing the review sample. Look for a full buildup review soon! Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized on a site averaging 2900+ readers a day? Contact us!
This page copyright © 2000 Starship Modeler. Last updated on 14 June 2000.