’55 Chevy Badman Funny Car
This 1/24th scale 1955 Chevrolet hardtop is another re-release of an older model designed by Tom Daniel for Monogram Models. As you may know, Tom Daniel designed 87 model cars for Monogram between 1967-1976. Most of his kits can be built in an evening or two, and this one is no exception. There are only 68 parts in this kit. It can be built straight from the box for an attractive model, or extra time can be spent in detailing the engine compartment if that is what floats your boat. The interior is decent with racing seats, a 2-piece roll bar, etc. However, once the red-tinted windows are in place, nothing of the interior can be seen, anyway. There is some compromising of detail – Monogram used the body and chassis from another release of the ’55 Chevy and, as a result, the molded exhaust pipes and muffler are still present on the chassis. This is in spite of the racer having header pipes attached that exit out the sides of the chassis.
There is no doubt that the ’55 Chevy is popular with the funny car crowd, and no other vehicle has been used more often for custom show cars, street rods, and dragsters. It has beautiful body lines and good, solid construction. As is typical with this series of Tom Daniel models, this “Funny Car” assembled quick and easy. However, the ease of assembly usually means that some simplification of detail is necessary. But this simplification of detail does not deter one from building an attractive model.
The instruction booklet has 12 pages which include a painting guide and, like in the “Old Days”, a parts list that gives the names the part. I remember as a young modeler learning the names of the components as I glued them on. It made my experience more enjoyable, not to mention somewhat educational. I, for one, am glad to see the return to this kind of instruction booklet.
Construction starts with the blower assembly. The chrome plating is rather thick on the plated parts. After scraping off the plating from the mating surfaces, assembly was straightforward with no fit problems. The magneto is a separate part, but both the oil filter and starter motor are molded onto the sides of the engine block pieces. This simplicity of detail is one of the compromises seen in older kits. The headers and blower belts are glued on the engine next, then the whole assembly is glued to the one-piece chassis. This part includes the chassis, floor pan, and all underside details, including molded mufflers and tail pipes which are a leftover from previous releases of the ’55 Chevy.
The interior is next, with the one piece tub which includes the rear seat and side panels. The side panels have molded window cranks, door handles, and interior trim. To this tub is added the foot pedals (brake and clutch) and center console with shifter and fire extinguisher. The dash panel includes molded instruments and buttons. The bucket seats are glued to pedestals molded on the floor of the interior tub. Finally, a 2-piece roll bar is added, and the sparse interior is completed. This interior tub is glued to the chassis assembly and then, along with the one-piece window set, the interior and chassis are glued into the body. The windows are tinted red and, as such, very little of the interior can be seen once assembled.
Once the body with interior is added to the chassis, the front and rear axles are assembled. The front straight drop-down racing axle and tie rod are glued to the front springs. All these parts are chrome plated and require scraping before gluing. Unfortunately, this also makes for a weak assembly, and extra care needs to be taken to get them straight and on the chassis without problems. The rear axle is a little easier, as the only chrome plated parts are the two traction bars. Again, these parts require a little work since the fit wasn’t the best. The exhaust collectors are made up of two parts, and after gluing the parts together I sanded away the seam and painted them header white. I placed them aside to be put on the model later. The chrome plated wheelie bars were glued to the chassis rear, and the spoiler to the front, and this completed the underside assembly.
With the entire assembly flipped over, the battery and “Moontank” are added to the engine compartment and the chrome headlight rings added to the front of the fenders. The small tires are sandwiched between the inner and outer front wheels and then glued to the ends of the front axle. Cut the molding strip from the inside of the hood scoop opening and clean up the edges, then glue the red molded engine scoop back onto the hood. Scrape the chrome plating from the back of the grille and glue it to the front of the body. The completed hood can now be placed on the body. This can be left loose to remove and expose the engine compartment if you do any extra work you want to show off. Moving to the rear, the chrome taillight housings are added to the body along with the rear bumper. The rear racing slicks are sandwiched between the inner and outer rear wheels and then glued to the ends of the rear axle. Gluing the rear license plate frame to the trunk lid completes the model. Once the rear slicks were in place, I did have to bend the wheelie bars upwards in order to get the rear racing slicks to touch the bench top.
Because the kit is molded in yellow plastic and the color scheme is gloss yellow, I was a bit concerned about getting a good, even coat. So I started the paint job by priming the entire model with a light grey primer. Once that was dry, I sprayed all the body and window trim Chrome. After masking that, I painted the body and hood with Tamiya Lemon Yellow (X-8). The entire underside and chassis is painted Tamiya Flat Black (XF-1). I then gloss coated the model in preparation for decaling. The decals went on very well without the use of any setting solutions. There are only 12 decals total, and they add a nice touch of color to the overall yellow paint job.
In spite of being a very old kit, the Monogram (Revell) ’55 Chevy Badman still builds into a nice, colorful model. It is quick to put together and a fun model to build. If you find yourself in the need of an easy build to escape from AMS, then this is the perfect choice. And, as usual, a Tom Daniel kit promises something a little different.
My thanks to Revell for providing the review kit and IPMS/USA for allowing me to review it.