1977 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Snap-Tite
The 1977 Chevrolet Monte Carlo was the 3rdgeneration of this up-scale marketed Chevy before its eventual downsizing in 1978. At the time, all of the Big 3 had a version of a “personal luxury coupe” in their lineup. The General had a full house mix of PLC’s with the Monte Carlo, Pontiac Grand Prix, Olds Toronado, Buick Riviera, and the Cadillac Eldorado. Vehicles of this era were an odd mix of early 70’s flash, style and inferred performance but with the 5mph bumpers imposed in 1973 and ‘74 as well as increased engine emission controls, performance became a shadow of its former self. The standard engine was Chevy’s infamous 305-2 CID design or optionally a 350-4 CID (California only).
This offering by Revell is a modified reissue of their original “Hopper” Snap-Tite kit series (skill level 1) offered several times in the last few years. This review kit retains the “Hopper” chassis of the original issue. This chassis is rather simplified but offers the builder the option to control the front and rear ride height by adjustable front and rear suspension assemblies that are pre-assembled for the builder. I chose to find the “stock ride height” and glued the adjustable axles to a permanent position. The red molded body was mostly molded well; some of the car’s moldings and script were a little ‘soft’ on the right side. The chrome pieces are fabulous and contain a new set of gorgious and well detailed Rallaye wheels replacing the goofy Hopper custom wheels. To a replica stock builder such as myself, I could finally produce a stock version of the last ‘Full Monte’. Of note is the interior tub which is composed of the bare tub with a molded in back seat, both right and left door panels with excellent detail relief (can easily be Bare-Metal-Foiled) , dash and of course nice Strato bucket seats. The dash itself is very nicely engraved for detailing. My build started by exploring the internet for reference photos of the Full Monte. Several sites contained valuable pictures and closeups of serviving 1977 Monte’s still on the street; I downloaded the images and printed them on 4x6 photo paper for quick and easy reference.
Next, a trip through my paint inventory turned up a bottle of Colors for Miniature’s GM 1979 Medium Green Metallic which was used mostly across the GM board. That decision was close enough for me and the Full Monte. With appropriate health and safety measures taken, the body was given a coat of grey primer (red plastic is notorious for bleed through) and allowed to dry; then the Medium Metallic Green top coat was air brushed on in one coat with my Paasche model H. After allowing the paint to gas-out for a week or so, I polished out minor orange peeling in the topcoat with 4000, 6000 and then 8000 sanding clothes. The landau vinyl roof was masked off using black electrical and blue painter’s tape to protect everything but the roof. The roof was then airbrushed with Tamiya semi-gloss acrylic paint and afterwards given a top coat of Modelflex Satin to even everything out. The interior was painted with the same Metallic Green as the body, however to change the hue and intensity of the glossy paint, it was overcoated with Modelflex Flat effectively making it appear lighter than the body. Finally the chrome trim was covered with Bare Metal Foil and the smaller items were painted with my DecoColor extra-fine “liquid siver” opaque paint marker pen.
Overall I had no real building issues with this kit, and it turned out a satisfying curbside model of a car I wanted to add to my collection. First and foremost this is a Snap-Tite model aimed at the novice modeler, however overlooking that caveat, it does build up into a nice model to grace your collection, don’t pass it up. If you are into cars of the 70’s you should add this kit to your collection. Thanks to Revell, Inc. and IPMS/USA for the pleasure of reviewing this kit for you.