Schwinn Continental 10-Speed Racer
If you are looking for something a little different for your next build, want to have some fun, and even possibly remember your youth a bit, the folks at Round2 have released the kit for you! This Schwinn Continental 10-Speed is part of the MPC line of kits and follows their previous release of the Schwinn “Classic Krate” bikes. This was a quick build with no construction issues, and I would highly recommend it for modelers of all skill levels.
First released in 1960 for an astonishing $86.95, the Schwinn 10-speed was produced for 22 years and was the American standard for this style of bike for many of those years. While the steel frame is now incredibly heavy when compared to the materials used today, for a generation, these were the gold standard. Available in an assortment of sizes and colors, the bikes remain collectors’ items even today.
I still remember my first 10-speed, which I purchased at a garage sale when I was a teenager. It was a huge improvement over the tank-like adult bikes that my parents owned that I was riding. With the 10-speed I could actually keep up with my friends when riding far better than on the single-speed bikes. I lost that bike in an accident (I was fine, the bike did not survive) and replaced it with a new 10-speed that I rode often, even after getting my driver’s license. Anyway, this kit brought back some great memories, and maybe will even inspire me to get back in the saddle after the fun and games of 2020 are behind us.
When you open the box for this kit you will find everything well packed in standard plastic bags as well as some heavy-duty plastic bags. My sample was molded in red plastic, and there are also chrome sprues, black thermoplastic parts, and a vinyl cable tube and tires. Wheel construction is simplified as you simply hold the two chrome halves together and wrap the tire around them.
During construction, I tried a few adhesives on the thermoplastic and found that a gel CA seemed to work best. I also found that my old reliable Tenax 7R (yes, I still have a small stash) worked best for the plastic parts. I glued the right rear frame (part 5) to the main frame prior to painting, leaving the bottom of part 5 loose to support installation of the chain and gears (part 3) after the painting was completed. To add some rigidity to the cable sheaths, I inserted 20 AWG solid conductor wire with a lacquer insulation. The 0.0285-inch wire fit perfectly in the sections of sheath that I cut to length per the instructions.
I used Model Master Lacquer Gloss Red for the frame, Stynylrez Black for the rubber blocks on the pedals, AK True Metal Gun Metal for the chain, and Molotow Liquid Chrome pens for chrome touch-ups as well as covering items like the seat post and gears. I also used Letraset Letraline 1.17mm black flex tape for the handlebar tape. The decals sat easily with Micro Set and Micro Sol, which I then covered with Alclad Aqua Gloss.
My hits for this release start with how much fun I had building the bike with no fit issues encountered. I also appreciate the added extras of a storage rack, baby seat, thermos bottle, air pump, tool kit, rearview mirror, headlight, rear reflector, and sleeping bag. While I wanted to build my bike clean to match memories of my bike, there are plenty of options for others.
My only real miss was that a cross brace on the frame (part 1) that should extend across to the right rear frame (part 5) appeared to be short-shot and only made it about halfway across. I nipped the molded part flush then used a piece of round plastic stock to make a new brace. There are several ejector pin marks present, but they are not too difficult to remove.
As mentioned up front, I would highly recommend this kit to modelers wanting to add something completely different to their collection, and maybe bring back a memory or two. With a nice selection of spare parts, you can go from racer, to weekend camping, to taking a child out for a ride. With the ease of assembly, even I was able to build my bike in about a weekend, so with winter approaching you can still get out and have some fun!
I would like to thank the folks at Round2 for providing this kit to the IPMS-USA Review Corps for assessment, and to Phil Peterson for leading the Review Corps, and allowing me to perform this review. I would also send out kudos to all of the folks behind the scenes at the Review Corps who help John with his efforts, and as always, my sincere appreciation goes out to all the folks who take the time to read my comments.