|PRICE:||$25.00 or so|
|DECALS:||A very nice sheet|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
A redesign of the D series trucks for Model Year 1972 introduced a more rounded look for the third generation. This redesign, which lasted until 1980 with minor changes, included new features such as an independent front suspension and pocketed taillights (the distinctive reverse-on-top lights were recessed to .25 in (6.4 mm) to avoid damage in loading docks and confined spaces). Styling cues, such as the scalloped hood and rounded fenderwells, were similar to the rounded, smooth look of the 1971 Plymouth Satellite. These trucks were built with a considerable amount of galvanized steel to resist rust and corrosion, making them very durable.
Dodge pioneered the extended-cab pickup with the introduction of the Club Cab with the 1973 models. Available with either a 6.5 ft (2.0 m) or 8 ft (2.4 m) Sweptline bed, the Club Cab was a two-door cab with small rear windows which had more space behind the seats than the standard cab, but was not as long as the four-door crew cab. Inward-facing jump seats were available, providing room for five passengers. 1974 saw the introduction of the 440 cu in engine as an option for the light trucks, as well as a "Dyna-Trac" dual-rear-wheel option on D300 pickups with a 10,000 lb (4,500 kg) GVWR.
The 1972 D series was made famous in the television show Emergency!, where a D300 chassis cab was the featured paramedic rescue squad vehicle for all seven seasons.
This is one of Round 2's many reissued MPC and AMT kits. I'm not sure how often this particular kit has been re-released, but it is one I don't recall seeing on shelves back when I had an LHS. An inspection of the parts shows that the tooling is still in very good condition as I found not flash and no obvious sink areas, though it can be hard to spot these in white plastic.
The kit is standard fare for US designed car kits of the time. Produced in 1/25 scale, it comes with metal axles and rubber/vinyl tires along with a sprue of red for the tail lights. The chrome is fairly extensive for a truck and is well done without some of the small 'pips' one can find in poorly done chrome work.
Since kit companies don't like to include straight six engines in their kits, this one has the usual V-8. I am not sure of what the displacement may be, but I guess it does not really matter all that much to most builders. There are no hot rod or custom parts in the with the kit so your engine has cast iron exhaust manifolds. The exhaust itself is a two into one that has the muffler molded in place.
Suspension is independent with A-arms in the front and leaf springs in the rear. All this is attached to the floor pan along with the engine, exhaust, drive shaft, and a spare tire. Wheels and axles are then inserted. This is followed by the firewall, radiator, and battery. The simple interior is then built up and after the clear is installed into the cab, the interior follows. Of course most of us will prepaint the body and interior before assembly.
The hood is installed into the cab section before it is attached to the floor pan. This is followed by the grille and bumpers. The standard bed has a separate tail gate which is to be modeled closed, though if you wanted to make hinges, that shouldn't be too difficult. This is then attached to the floor pan followed by the tail light assembly and bumper. There is a large chrome rear view mirror assembly for both sides that is butt joined. Added into this kit is a tool box, floor jack, and a minibike.
Instructions are standard fare for MPC kits with generic color information. The fairly large decal sheet has a number of company and license plate decals and is nicely printed
I'm not really a car or truck modeler, however, one of my stints in the military was as island security and this is the truck I drove during that time. You see, I wasn't getting any work in avionics repair when I was on Diego Garcia in 1979/80 as the deployed P-3 unit found it quicker to send equipment to the Philippines than to have it repaired locally due to the long time it took to get repair parts. So I was seconded to island security for 90 days and this is where I became familiar with this truck. When I build it, it will be in a proper Navy Grey.
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