KIT:

Revell 1/24 Volkswagen Bus

KIT #

2355

PRICE:

$18.98

DECALS:

See preview

REVIEW &
PHOTOS :

Zeljko Segin

NOTES:

Hasegawa mold

BACKGROUND
by Scott Van Aken

Zeljko doesn't give a historical section, so I'll give it a try. To those of us of the Baby Boomer generation, the VW Microbus came to be tied in with hippies, flower power and free love. Actually, the hippie and flower power part were easy, the free love was NEVER free as there were always strings attached! In reality, the VW bus was probably the world's first SUV. It was able to carry an entire soccer team in a modicum of safety and comfort. It also was able to do it while getting pretty decent gas mileage, despite the higher gearing required to move the additional weight.

Initially powered by a 1200cc flat four that was incredibly easy to maintain, it was increased in size as the engines in the sedan were increased. My father owned a 1960 camper version of the Microbus and it was a car that I learned to drive in. This was a 1200cc engined version at with the pedal to the metal, it would do an honest 60 mph; 65 if drafting behind a semi! Trouble was that this sort of maxed out the RPM of the engine and could lead to engine failure. The Microbus also had less than perfect cooling for the #3 cylinder so warped valves could happen. Thanks to gearing, if the car was put in first gear and just left to idle, one could get out and walk along beside it.

Since it was basically a box on wheels, it also had the aerodynamic qualities of one. Any strong head or side wind was definitely noticed and could lead to it swaying around the road or losing speed in a head wind. If one opened the front doors while going down the road, they acted just like speed brakes and it visibly slowed down. Long hills required getting up a head of steam on the previous one to maintain the minimum 45 mph speed limit on several highways.

Instrumentation was an all-encompassing display. The only actual analog information it gave was speed. It had a high beam indicator and an oil pressure light. No gas gauge. You knew when you were low on gas by the engine cutting out. You then turned a knob under your seat to open the 1 gallon reserve tank. Woe to those who forgot to close the knob when refueling! Sitting right in the nose of the beast was quite a treat as you could get very close in to a parking space. You could also open the bottom of the windscreens to get a decent airflow when things got hot, provided you didn't mind eating the occasional insect! In the winter, one dressed warmly unless outfitted with an optional catalytic heater.

As progress moved forward, the original design was modified to a level where one didn't recognize the beast. Liquid cooling and actual power replaced the air-cooled flat four as the demand for amenities like gas gauges and heaters and air conditioning became the norm. You can still see a few of the old buses around, but they are few and far between.

THE KIT

 

Parts: 74

Kit is molded in white color. Parts are molded on 15 trees but some of them just have few parts so that doesn't mean anything. 2 of that trees are chromed parts, one clear parts. Body is separated from trees.

Chassis is very simple and have simple front and rear suspension. Front suspension can be steerable. Kit is curbside, means that is no complete engine in kit. You can see it bottom parts only. The wheels presents VW steel wheels and on them going hubcaps. Too bad that they didn't make chrome-plated hubcaps. You will must to paint it yourself. Tires are normal rubber tires.

Like the whole kit, and interior is simple. Three bench seats goes on floorpan, but there is no more details. You can't find any interior door details or driver pedals. On floor you can find only shifter. On dashboard you can find only raised radio details and details for instruments which are made with decals. On dashboard will be attached steering column with steering wheel. And that's all.

Now about body. Body is made from one piece and have nice raised and engraved details. VW emblem on front of bus in molded with body. I wish that they made it as separate chromed part. Door handles are chromed, same as headlights both bumpers which must be partially painted in other color. Side mirrors can be small made with chromed parts or bigger which you will paint. Other details there are vipers, license plates and clear parts for lights. Canvas roof is molded with body, too. I wish that detail with separate part, too. Windows are made with couple big clear parts which cover many windows and few separate which cover some rear windows.

Kit can be made in 2 version: stock - cream/red or custom cream/sea foam green. Same decals for both versions are decals which goes for body side lines which are chromed on real car. Custom version is Hippie version with lots of flowers, peace sign and 'Love' , 'Flower Power' stickers. There are 2 version of license plates decals, too. All decals are very nice.

CONCLUSIONS

Warning for European buyers Revell Germany have same kit but only with stock version.

Even is simple kit is very nice and flower decals make him very nice. I bought it for my wife which like it very much and it can be very easy for her to make because she have little experience with models. Very recommended for your collection.

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