The Jawbreaker Dragster is a Round 2 Models reissue of the old MPC kit. Round2models has recently purchased the rights to a number of old favorite models from the past. Names like MPC, AMT, Hawk, Lindburg, and Polar Lights all live again under this banner. All are friendly reminders of days past, and all share in a certain level of nostalgia. How many times have I said “Gee, I’d love to build that kit again.” Thanks to Round2Models, it’s now possible to build some of these classic kits once again.
The Jawbreaker Dragster is one of those kits. Originally produced by powerhouse MPC back in the day, this kit is a front engine slingshot dragster with a coupe body on the rear. A wing mounted on the roll bar and body work covering the front frame comes from a time when breaking the 200 mile per hour barrier on the dragstrip was considered a major milestone.
Mostly molded in white plastic the kit contains about 84 parts. A tree of chrome parts is included along with pre-stenciled rear tires, bicycle tires for the front, decals and instruction sheet, and a miniature model box. As is the case with some older rereleased kits, the kit shows its age. Most of the parts had injector pin marks and mold seam flash that took a good deal of effort to remove or fill. It was especially noticeable on the chrome plated parts.
The instructions contain 10 steps, laid out in a fairly logical sequence. However I would recommend familiarizing yourself with the construction sequence as some parts need to be assembled and painted before installation. Construction is fairly straight forward. I used a machinist’s plate when constructing the chassis. This allowed a square and true assembly, which is critical later in the build when attaching the front end, motor and drive train. I taped the chassis parts to the plate, and started the glue up in the rear to ensure everything lined up correctly.
The body parts are installed late in the build, but should be assembled and painted much earlier. The body parts go together with simple butt joints and are very weak. I split the seams a number of times during painting and finishing. I tried a new paint product on this build, having an issue during the application process and had to strip the body parts back to raw plastic to repaint. During this process, I took the opportunity to reinforce the seams with .15 sheet plastic on the interior. The firewall, forward roof section and rear panel below the insert were all reinforced in this way, and I had no more problems with split seams during sanding and polishing.
The kit has the option of two different style headers. I chose the ones shown on the box, which look cool. Care must be taken when installing the plates that attach them to the manifold sides. If misalignment occurs, the headers won’t sit at the required angle when installed. The second set are smaller, and chromed, so parting lines and injector pin marks must be dealt with. I painted mine with a few shades of Metalizer to replicate used headers.
In finishing my sample, I took a cue from the name Jawbreaker, and painted most of the parts red. The engine was painted in Chevy Engine Red. The frame and related parts panted Gloss Red, and the body pained Peugeot Red. As I mentioned earlier, I tried a new (to me anyway!!) brand of paint. I had an issue when applying the clear coat, and had to strip the paint with brake fluid. I repainted the body work using tried and true methods and was able to get a great finish. However I had used the kit decals on the first painting and had to go to the spares box for the second round. The kit decals went on nicely and encountered no problems using standard decal solvents.
All in all, this is a great kit, my problems notwithstanding!! The completed kit looks really good, and fills a nice hole in the available dragster kits. I spent a fair amount of time removing mold seams and filling ejector pin marks, but expect that from a kit of this age. I touched up the chrome parts where I scraped and filled carefully with Model Master Chrome paint being careful to get paint only where needed. After touching up with the chrome paint, I washed all the plated parts with Tamiya Smoke to add depth and as an attempt to hide some of the painted spots. While some difference can be noted, it looks much better than just leaving those areas raw plastic.
I like to overall shape and appearance of the completed model. It has a very cool stance, and looks fast even when sitting in the case. The other paint option in the instructions call for a yellow paint job. I’m not fond of yellow cars, so red was the way to go for me. Overall I spent more time on the kit but with the repaint and part clean up issues it wasn’t outrageous. There is plenty of room to add super details such as engine wiring, rigging for the parachute, and other such items. I’m happy with the finished result and would recommend this kit to anyone wishing to relive some old drag memories, start some new ones, or build a very cool kit!!
My thanks go to Round 2 Models for providing this sample for review, IPMS for allowing me to build it, and to Dave Morrissette for the patience shown me during a few trying moments I experienced during the build!!