by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
Revell's Ford GT Le Mans 2017 arrives in an attractive end-opening box that's certainly eye-catching on the hobby shop shelves. End-opening boxes are never my favourite, and this one is typical in being somewhat flimsy for its size. That said, it clearly did its job of protecting the parts fine, because my kit was in perfect condition when I opened it.
That's surely also due to the parts being so well wrapped in clear plastic bags. The resulting bundle is hardly the most attractive piece of presentation I've ever seen - in fact I'd go so far as to say I was disappointed initially at the sight of it - but all that padding must help keep the sprues safe in transit.
The kit comprises:
72 x white styrene parts
8 x clear styrene parts
2 x clear red styrene parts
4 x soft tyres
A pair of metal rods for axles
Decals for 4 vehicles
The moulding is pretty clean, as you'd expect in a new-tool kit, with very little flash and no signs of sink marks or other problems. Some of the detail looks a little soft, but that may be partly down to the white plastic. I'd have preferred the parts to have been moulded in a more "modelling friendly" (and, certainly “camera friendly” - my camera struggled on some of the shots included here) neutral grey than stark white that Revell have used, but I must admit it will help ensure the exterior colours are vibrant without priming. Conversely, because I find it harder to spot where any clean-up's required with white plastic, I may well apply a grey undercoat while the interior and engine parts are still on their sprues.
A Few DetailsConstruction begins with the interior, which is constructed from around 15 parts. The detail looks pretty good - and I'd say it's perfectly adequate unless you intend to slice open the doors - in which case you'll definitely want to replace the decal seat harness (you may well want to anyway, but I think it's good that Revell do at least include seatbelts) and add a lot of cabling that's evident in shots of the full-sized cars.
The one part which I think I won't be able to live with is the heavily moulded webbing beside the driver's seat. This is so hefty, it actually looks like a structural element (almost a futuristic roll-cage), so I'll just use it to measure lengths of tape to make something truer to scale.
The basic engine is built up from 13 parts, around which fit intakes, ducting, radiators and an extension to the role cage. As with the interior, how much added detail will be visible on the finished model is questionable, but it's always satisfying to know it's there.
The wheels simply attach onto metal rods for axles, so the model should be pretty sturdy. The downside is that it means the front wheels aren't steerable.
The material used for the tyres is quite firm and glossy (more akin to vinyl than rubber), so it will definitely need dulling down to look realistic. Decals are provided for the logos, but I'd imagine there's a danger they'll flake off if you're not careful.
One really nice touch (not shown in the instructions) is that Revell supply the windows with their frames pre-painted black. The edges will still need touching in on my kit, but the pre-painting will be a huge time saver and avoid the need for tricky masking. The windows have been removed from the main clear sprue and are packed in little heat-sealed pouches to keep them safe. Very neat - and, for me, one of the stand-out points of the kit.
Instructions & DecalsThe instructions are produced as a 20-page A-4 colour booklet, with the construction broken down into 48 stages. That sounds pretty daunting, but many only involve one or two pieces, so it obviously helps keep things manageable. The illustrations themselves are fine, but the layout can appear rather cluttered at times, primarily on account of the sheer number of decals to apply as you construct the interior.
Colours are keyed to details throughout the assembly and, not surprisingly, Revell only list their own-brand paints - which means doing some mixing at times to create the desired colours.
When it comes to the exterior finish, the kit includes markings for cars number 66, 67, 68 and 69, and Revell do a great job keeping everything clear, with 3 full pages devoted just to the individual car and sponsor decals. You can look forward to several quite complex sessions applying the myriad of markings.
The decals themselves are printed in Italy and look very high quality, with a gloss finish and minimal excess carrier film.
ConclusionDespite its quite modest parts count, Revell's Ford GT Le Mans 2017 looks to be a very decent kit that includes plenty of detail to serve as a basis for experienced car enthusiasts to build on, while still catering for casual and younger modellers. With an m.r.p. a shade under £30, it's fair value for money, but you can easily find it cheaper if you hunt around (mine was a lot cheaper in a local model/toy shop). Being a Revell kit, it should be easily obtainable worldwide.
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