Moebius has followed up on their previous release of the 1965 Plymouth Satellite earlier this year with the Belvedere I, the economy priced B- Body. Referred to as a B-Pillar (“post”) vs. the B-Pillarless Satellite (“hardtop”), the low end Belvedere I was the basis of many a drag race car in the 1960’s, either in the super stock or altered wheel base classes. The kit is not a factory stock car as purchased off the dealer lot, nor the extremely rare A-990 super stock cars. As Moebius Kit Designer / Project Manager Dave Metzner said, the kit is meant “to represent the kind of Belvedere Sedan you'd see at a cruise night these days”. (For those awaiting a super stock drag car, stay tuned for the next version with a Hemi 426 engine.) This kit includes a very nice replica of the dual carb cross ram 426 Max Wedge engine or you can build the engine as a 426 cubic inch Commando V8. It also includes the super stock style interior door panels, A-100 style bucket seats, a full exhaust system with underbody exhaust dumps, 5 spoke mag-style wheels, 4 radial tires and 2 rear cheater slicks. Unused parts making an appearance include Hemi valve covers and hood locks, the latter used in my build. My car was modeled as a Friday night cruise car / Sunday racer- street legal, but taken to the track every so often to exercise the 426 big block and cheater slicks.
This 130 piece kit is molded in white and clear styrene, with six flexible vinyl tires and 45 parts chrome plated. All parts are very detailed, and the fit is excellent throughout. There are no sink marks or flash to sand off. The body is highly polished with a minor seam on the rear roof to be sanded off. If you use Tamiya acrylic lacquer spray, like I did, you don’t even need to prime the body. But please test on scrap sprue trees first. My only minor complaint is sanding tiny seams off small highly detailed parts. The kit instructions are very thorough with exploded views of subassemblies and part name callouts. The extensive paint guide is complete with factory color codes from both Plymouth and Ditzler, and the instructions include paint colors for each part as well as color photos of the built up kit. My only complaint is the color codes are not included in the sub assembly instructions, but listed on an entirely separate page.
The instructions start with the engine assembly with the choice of the Max Wedge or Commando engines. I chose the Max Wedge engine with a dual four barrel cross ram intake and chromed oval shaped intake, and painted the block with Cobra Color’s Mopar orange. The headers and manifold each have very nice rough texture. Chassis assembly begins by gluing the engine sub-assembly to the frame and upper K member. Installation of the spindles (I flipped them around to get a higher ride), shocks and the lower K member complete the front sub frame. You then install the firewall and engine/front sub frame assembly to the large floor plate. Of note, the top of the floor board is used as the floor of the interior. After the inner fenders, the radiator and core support are installed, then the full exhaust system with underbody exhaust dumps. The end of the exhaust is recessed, so you don’t need to drill it out, just paint it flat black. The rear suspension and wheels follow. You have a choice for wheels, either the steel wheels with dog dish caps or 5 spoke, torque thrust type wheels. I chose the 5 spokes up front (front wheels are posable), and the steel wheels painted the body color in the back. And of course cheater slicks in the back- this was to be not just a cruise car but a Sunday warrior.
The interior comes with two bucket seats upfront (no bench seat usually found on the budget Belvedere I). These seats look like A-100 buckets from Dodge vans, often seen in Mopar drag cars. I painted the interior a mix of insignia red and brick red, then glossed the right/left side of the front and back seats, to pop out some of the color. Twelve pieces make up the interior, including a four pedal cluster with decals for the radio, steering wheel hub, and instrument panel. I added some photo etch seatbelts (GM logo flipped over).
The body is glossy and smooth, has few seams to sand (rear roof and sides), and ready to paint. I sanded off the scripts, using the decals provided instead. A coat of Tamiya fine gray primer spray, and the body was ready for Tamiya white acrylic lacquer (3 coats). Micro mesh cloths were used to finish the body: 4000, 6000, 8000, and 12000 grit. I then foiled the trim, and installed the windows- note: the front and rear windshields are installed from the outside in, the side windows from the inside out.
Final assembly involved the headlights (a neat 2 piece assembly) front grill, parking lights, etc. As one would expect with a well-designed kit, the body has front and rear tabs to hold the chassis, unfortunately the rear panel popped off the body in the process. Fortunately, it glued back to the body, flush to its original position. The kit supplies body script decals, and I applied all 4, having sanded the scripts off prior to painting. Last pieces were the windshield wipers, rear driver side mirrors and the tiny door handles.
This is another great looking, well designed, excellent fitting kit from Moebius, kudos on the nicely done retro box art. There will be more versions of the Satellite / Belvedere coming soon for the racing fans. Thanks go to Moebius Models for the review sample.