|KIT:||Testors 1/4 Harley Davidson Twin Cam 88|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
Harley-Davidson was one of the earliest motorcycle maker, beginning operations in Milwaukee in 1903. The name of the bikes come from the last name of the two originators of the company. They are not the first motorcycle, the Indian being the first in 1901. All this was possible because of the development of a single cylinder gasoline powered engine that became available in 1901. This small engine was light enough to put into a strong bicycle frame and the motorcycle was born.
However, it was the two-cylinder engine that made the Harley such a popular motorcycle. Thumping out its horsepower, this engine was the cause of many a breakdown as it vibrated various bits and pieces off the motorcycle. However, time went on and the engine evolved through the original 'Knucklehead', 'Shovelhead', 'Panhead', and Evolution engines to the Twin Cam 88. It stayed as the classic 45 degree vee twin, only this time there was serious engineering into this 88 cubic inch (1450cc) engine, one of the largest displacement motorcyle engines around. Debuting in 1999 this engine is available in either carbureted versions or with fuel injection and is the current mainstay of the company.
This kit is part of its "Lincoln Mint" series so that means that there are metal bits in it. In fact, the cylinder body is cast metal. It is prepainted and I have to tell you that most of you reading this review could have done a better job of dry brushing the silver on the cylinder cooling fins. However, most who buy this will be more interesting in assembling it than painting it and when it is done you'll probably not notice the little slips.
Most of the rest of the kit is done in a very bright chrome that is very nicely done. The air cleaner cover has been removed from the sprues and separately wrapped as the name has been added to this particular part. The rest of the plastic is in a rough black that is quite similar to the look and feel of cast metal for the engine block itself.
For many modelers, kits like this provide a bit of a dilemma. On one hand, the plating is excellent. On the other, the mold seam lines are still there and when you remove a part from the sprue, there will be a black sprue attachment point to deal with. So what do you do? Will you strip all that chrome, clean up the part and repaint, or will you leave it as be, carefully sand down the sprue attachment bits and then apply some Bare Metal Foil to cover it?
The truth is that the market for which this kit is aimed, will probably just leave things as they are, build the kit and have a very nice display model for the shelf. While this is as much a glue kit as any (and super glue or epoxy will be needed for some of this), there are other parts that are to be either snapped together or screwed into place. I think that Testors has aimed this directly at the casual modeler, though those of us who are more 'intense' about the hobby will also find it of interest.
The instructions are a series of photos or photo-realistic artwork, with no more than one or two parts assembled per construction box. The images are a bit on the dark side, making some things a bit difficult to discern, but most of us won't have any real problems. No decals are provided as all marking are pre-applied.
Like them or hate them, die-cast and die-cast kits are here to stay. There is obviously a market for these sorts of things and from what I've seen from Testors, they have some of the finest kits of this type on the market today. If you have a Harley freak as a friend, you could do no worse than to grab one of these kits, build it, and provide it as a gift for their birthday or other special occasion.
Thanks to for the review kit. You can find Italeri kits at your favorite hobby shop or on-line at www.testors.com
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