Kenworth W-900 Wrecker
This is a nice kit, with good detail and nice fitting parts. There is some cleanup for seams and flash, but it’s a fun kit to assemble.
The Revell Kenworth has been around since 1996 and has been reissued in several configurations. It has included different sleepers, a previous wrecker, and even a dump truck. It appears that the only difference in this version of the wrecker are the decals.
This behemoth of a kit comes in a huge box that is 14 x 20 x 5" tall. The kit is part of Revell's Historic Series and is listed a skill level five for ages 14+. The kit is 14 inches long and includes 411 parts, many of them very large.
The kit includes eight large white sprues, three large chrome sprues, two small clear plastic sprues, one bag of rubber tires, one bag with a length of black string and black chain, decals, and instruction booklet. The large hood and cab are loose in the box, and have some minor flash and mold seems. They have good detail and appear to be free from distortion.
The chrome parts have a nice uniform finish that is not overly bright and the plating does not appear to be too thick. The flash is minimal, and hoped to use the chrome parts without re-plating. The rubber tires have a barely visible center seam but have a nice tread and sidewall detail. The decals are very sharp and have virtually no film beyond the colored image of the decal. The decal sheet has a copyright of 2015. The large side decals are about 7 1/2 inches long.
The instructions are an 8.5 x 11 stapled booklet of 32 pages with 45 steps. The booklet has a copyright of 2015. The instructions include color call-outs in generic paint colors, and a five-page listing of the individual parts that helps in identifying them. The instructions are exploded CAD drawings and include detail paint call-outs in the individual steps. Some decal placement is also illustrated in the assembly steps, and the last step is the overall decal placement. The instructions appear to be quite clear.
Construction starts with the frame and suspension for the wrecker in steps one through seven. Parts go together well, with nice detail on the chassis parts. In step six, the cast-iron rear axle and differential have nice texture.
Detail paint colors are called out in the assembly steps. I used the paint colors called out and painted the chassis semi gloss black, and then went back to do the detail painting.
The engine is assembled in steps eight and nine, with several sub-assemblies. The engine also goes together well, and I painted it prior to assembling it into the chassis.
Steps 11 through 14 install the radiator, chassis steps, and front fender home, and construction proceeds without any problems. The right side fuel tank is assembled in step 14. The mounting bracket, part 270, didn't have the mounting pins on the backside so I eyeballed the location. The pins on the fuel tank didn't align with the holes in the bracket.
I wanted to use the kit chrome without re-plating, but the fuel tank ended up with a nasty seam on the top edge. This seam is very noticeable so some touch up will be required.
Step 15 builds up the interior of the truck. The back of the interior tub part 74, will be visible through the rear window of the cab so it should be painted. The dashboard, part 82, has a decal for the instruments, but also has some large protruding switches. I didn't think the decal would settle down over the switches, so I shaved them off. Another option would be to avoid using the dash decal and paint the switches and dials individually.
The instructions show installation of the firewall to the cabin in step 16, and installation of the interior and part 17. These should be reversed so the interior goes in first, then the firewall, otherwise the interior won't go into the cab. This step also shows placement of the large decals around the cab. I started the decals at the firewall and worked around to the large decal on the back of the cab. This resulted in large gaps on each side of the rear window. It might be better to fit the decal on the rear of the cab first and then go forward. The cab has a nice solid attachment to the frame.
The air hoses, air tanks, and exhaust pipes are installed in steps 18 through 21 without any difficulties. These pieces were all pre-painted before assembling into the cab.
Step 22 shows installing the exterior lights, mufflers and exhaust stacks, horns, antennas, and rear view mirrors on the exterior of the cab. I suggest holding off the assembly all of these delicate parts until after the hood is assembled in step 25. I had to use quite a bit of force to get to the hood hinges (parts 150) located, and broke off some of the delicate parts in the process.
The kits tires are some of the best I've ever seen. They are molded hollow, have extremely sharp tread detail with a barely visible center seem, and nice sharp lettering detail on the side walls.
The bed of the truck is assembled in steps 29 and 30. The bed includes some large pieces that did not have any warp, and fit together very well. The remainder of the steps, from 31 through 43, assembles the crane, winch, and the associated hydraulic cylinders. The boom sections slip together to allow extension. String is provided to wind around the winches and over the pulleys.
The last step is the placing of the final decals. The large decals on the sides of the truck bed are challenging to place and to get good alignment with the fenders and other details. It took several applications of MicroSol to get the decals to settle down over the details. It might be easier to break the side decals into sections for placing.
The hood opens, and the boom extends on the finished kit. The wheels also turn.
This is a nice kit despite its age, with good fit of the parts, and only minor flash. This kit could be built by beginners, but would also be enjoyable for more experienced modelers.
Thanks to Revell for continuing to issue these nice models, and for supporting IPMS with review samples.