Atlantis 1/48 '55 Chevy 2 ton Stake Truck
|PRICE:||$20.00 or so|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Reboxed Revell kit.|
In 1955, pickup trucks were still very much work vehicles, and not the do-everything-well family utility machines they have evolved into today. However, the ’55 Chevy Task Force truck represented an important step forward for the category, with design and amenities offering unprecedented refinement for the day.
Any Chevy Truck enthusiast will recognize the era from which the Task Force trucks hail, even without an encyclopedic knowledge of the name plate. The truck’s signature wraparound “Sweep-Sight” windshield and Stepside truck bed make a ’50s Task Force instantly recognizable.
Though modest by today’s standards, a lot of thought and engineering went into keeping drivers comfortable over a long workday. The “Nu-Flex” bench seat was advertised as providing a better ride, thanks in part to improved springs and multiple “air relief valves.” Truly luxurious Task Force models might offer the optional “Airmatic” bench, which let driver or passenger tailor their seat firmness by way of manually adjustable air pumps. Talk about swag.
Half a century removed from the concept of “infotainment,” the Task Force trucks were nevertheless jampacked with practical innovation. “Concealed safety steps”—essentially a step into the vehicle cab hidden by the doors—made for easier ingress and egress in wet or snowy weather. Even windows with exterior moldings, known as “Glass Guard,” showed the way forward in terms of protection and durability, as they were less prone to breakage.
While the Task Force was available with a number of different powertrains in 1955, the star of the engine lineup was undoubtedly the then-new Taskmaster V8. The 265-cubic-inch engine (that's about 4.3 liters for you whippersnappers) made a robust 145 horsepower and 238 pound-feet of torque, and could turn your Task Force into a true powerhouse work machine.
Back when Revell USA was bought out by a German hedge fund, they did not want any of the older kits from the 50s and 60s. Atlantis saw an opportunity to enlarge its catalog and purchased the molds. These are kits from not only Revell, but the various companies absorbed into Revell USA that include Renwall, Aurora, and Monogram.
In the 50s and 60s, Revell did a number of interesting kits of vehicles in 1/48 scale that include this 1955 Chevrolet Stake Truck. Molded in blue, the molding looks very nice for its age. One 'feature' of these older kits is that the parts seem to depart from the sprue on their own and such is the case with this kit as there were many loose in the sealed bag.
While lacking in the sort of detail we expect today, this one is not a curbside, but comes complete with a Blue Flame six cylinder engine. The interior is built onto the frame and this is followed by the multipiece cab and engine minus the hood. The suspension and the various single piece wheels are then attached before moving on to all of the stake pieces that fit onto the flat bed. Unlike the original releases of this kit, Atlantis has provided clear bits for the windows and windscreen. I have been informed by John Scott that this will be a continued feature of these old Revell kits as Atlantis continues with their release schedule and it is a great addition. There are no chrome parts as working trucks like this had very few items like that. For those bit you may which to have look like chrome, you'll need to paint them. The kit comes with a nice load of barrels and boxes as well as two figures.
Instructions are basically what Revell offered in the day. Construction steps are well done and the back of the instructions provides an overall painting guide as well as decal placement. In addition to decals for the cargo, there are two options for the doors of the truck. No front license plate is provided, though there is one for the rear.
You are thinking that this would be a nice nostalgia build for those of us old enough to remember its first release and you are correct. However, it would also make for a very nice diorama piece. These trucks were used quite a bit in the military and they came with a variety of different items for the bed. The kit is not expensive and is something that will add nicely to any 1/48 vehicle collection.
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