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Rocketfin Hobbies Scale Model Kit Blog and News : Car Model Kits

Round 2 and MPC Snake and Mongoose Dragster Model Kits Keep the Rivalry Alive

Round 2 and MPC feature Drag Racing legends Snake and Mongoose Dragsters

Few drag racing matchups can compare to the Hot Wheels Snake and Mongoose Team, featurng Tom McEwen and Don Prudhomme. While they were actually on the same "Team", the Snake and Mongoose nicknames, and the on track "battle" between the two, made them household names. As competitors, there was no pulling punches at the drag strip: both men were out to win and grab the Championship for the season. But they were also more than friends, they were family off the track. It wasn't a perfect relationship, but in real life, what is? They had struggles,good times and bad times, but the magic they created has kept them popular, even nearly 40 years after their debut.

Round2 is going to release two separate MPC kits for the Snake and Mongoose and drag racing fans. While they're both MPC models, they're not the exactly same kit. Indeed, both kits have been modified to reflect the real cars accurately, making them the best examples of these specific dragsters ever released. The Mongoose kit itself features newly tooled rear wing struts, a more accurate injector scoop, as well as Round2's famous pad-printed rear drag slicks. To take it even further, there's a booklet with photos by Steve Reyes and some from Tom McEwen, so you get great reference right in the box. Want more? Cardboard backdrops depicting famous dragstrips for displaying the models are in both kits: one is Orange County and the other is Lions Speedway. (the Snake car gets upgrades to the tooling, such as new "bicycle" wheel halves for the front wheels).

While I've built a few dragsters in my time, it's been a few years since I've done one. But now I see two that I want to build. I think I'll make a dragstrip track section, probably from wood, to mount these two cars side by side, ready to race. If you're a Snake and Mongoose fan, or a Hot Wheels fan, check out the movie - Snake & Mongoose. It's more about how they came to be as a team, and features the funny cars they started with. But it's a well done movie, and really shows how much hard work it was back in the 1970's to compete in drag racing.

Once again, Round2 has found a way to bring us two classic model kits, but have made them better than ever for the modelers of today. Those Kats don't mess around !

round2 mpc snake mongoose dragster models


Airfix Aston Martin DB5 1:32 Starter Model Kits

Airfix Aston Martin DB5 - James Bond

It's no surprise Airfix would make Aston Martin models. I mean, it is a British car, and a source of pride for Great Britain. Plus, Aston Martin cars typically have some pretty desirable lines as far as their design. Even if 007 didn't drive the DB5 in the famous Goldfinger film, it would still be a classic form that car enthusiasts would want to drive and covet. (if I remember right, in the books, Bond drove a Bentley - another British car, though, probably not quite as "sporty" as the DB5).

Airfix is releasing their 1/32 Aston Martin DB5 kit again in new packaging. It will include paint, glue, and two brushes. I personally like the bright colors on the box, and the picture of an actual DB5 on the cover. This kit has almost been in constant production for decades, in one form or another. I have one, an original type kit, from around the 1970's, which is in an MPC box. I'm not sure if Airfix shared their tooling? or bought the MPC tooling outright, but in comparing the models they seem the same to me. The only major difference is the old MPC kit had chromed plated parts, while the Aifix kit does not (at least not the one I have).

Airfix also makes a 1/24 Aston Martin DB5. I originally thought this might be a reboxed Doyusha kit, but I don't see anything on the molded parts that says Doyusha (or Airfix for that matter). It's a curbisde model (as is the 1/32 kit), but the body and parts are crisp and have some good definition and details. Revell reissued their Aston Martin DB4 about 10 or so years ago, and I have one of those as well. The Airfix is 1/24, the Revell one is 1/25. The Revell is a 1964 car, which is different than the 1965 DB5. Noticable the rear window size, and the DB5 has slanted front headlights. I thought I might be able to combine the two kits, but I haven't dealt deep into that project yet, so the jury's still out on if that can be done. (the Revell kit includes a more detailed chassis, and an engine).

While the Airfix 1/32 kit is being reissued (and can still be found inexpensively in older boxes), the 1/24 kit hasn't been out since I bought mine - I want to say sometime in the 1990s. Hopefully one day it will come out again. It still seems unusual that a plastic model company hasn't made a full detail kit. Airfix would be perfect for the job. While their cars aren't always the best (because of the age of some of their molds) their aircraft models are modern marvels in tooling. I know they could do an Aston Martin DB5 right and give it the details it deserves.

airfix aston martin db5 models

Above: I've laid out some of the kits in the image. The lower left DB5 is an original 1:32 1970s MPC kit (box is in the upper left). I modified it into the 007 car, with a bullet proof shield, machine guns, and other mods. But that was decades ago - it's had a hard life being moved around all these years and some pieces have fallen off. Note the chrome plated parts. The Airfix 1:32 body is shown to the left, the Revell DB4 body is in the middle, and the Airfix 1:24 body is to the far right.

Here below is what the new box will look like for the Airfix Aston Martin DB5 kit. Striking isn't it? The kit is not that bad, and for a quick build, and an inexpensive model, it can still be a fun project.

airfix aston martin db5 starter kit 1/32

As another note, Corgi makes a diecast Aston Martin DB5 that has some remarkable features. I actually had one of these when I was a kit - in the late 1960s! Of course, I have a newer one now for nostalgic reasons, but it's still cool. The roof opens and ejects the driver out! Another button pops out the rear bullet proof shield. Lots of fun here!

corgi diecast aston martin db5 cars


Revell Junior Snap Model Kits - A Real Bargain in a Box

Revell has come out with a new series of snap kits for youngsters. While snap kits are nothing new, I noticed the box said for ages 4+ and up. A model a 4-year old can build? I wanted to check this out a little closer and see what the model actually consisted of.

When the box arrived, I was surprised at the large size It's nearly twice the size of a standard car model box, but a slight bit thinner. Once I opened the box, out came the kit, and I was again surprised at the size of the body. While there's no scale on the box, this body looks to be around 1/20, maybe even 1/16 ? Even the price, which was quite low, didn't prepare me for this large scale kit. (In the photographed image I took, I used a tube of Testors model glue as reference so you can judge the size of the body, though glue is not needed to build it).

The body is molded in color, in this case, a medium orange. This particular kit is called their "Off Road Vehicle". I'm sure you noticed it resembles a JK Wrangler Jeep, or possibly a Troller T4 or Mahindra Thar. I'm thinking Revell went with a hybrid sort of look, which gives it a more International appeal. Not that a 4 year old would care. The rest of the body is molded in black, with silver-grey wheels. I especilayy like the idea that the hardtop is a separate part. You might even be able to squeeze some toy figures in the vehicle. The tires are hollow rubber parts, (rather than hard plastic), and you even get a spare for the rear! The unique part of this series of model kits from Revell is the tool. (noted with an arrow in the photo). The model is held together with large plastic "screws" (molded in orange, shown in the small plastic bag). Some of the parts click together like a regular snap model. The model includes some string to wrap around the front winch, and attaches to the included hook. Stickers are provided to dress up the kit.

Could a 4 year old build this? I think so. I think a child would enjoy screwing the parts together with the tool and understanding how that process works. The snap parts might need a little help from an adult (such as the windshield) to pop them in. But then, that's one of the fun things about snap kits is doing them as a family project, or for some quality father and son time. (mother and daughter time). I think Revell has a clear winner on it's hand with these kits.

Revell also has a mini-site for these models, where you can download the instructions, and see a video. Click Here for that site.


revell junior snap offroad model


MPC Model Kits - Coming Back Big

When I think of MPC models, I think of all those car kits that used to have all the weird and unusual features. The artwork on boxes showed the cars loaded with IMSA type panels, engine blowers, funky hood scoops and rear wings, side pipes, racing parts, dual engine options, and of course, who can forget the wild paint schemes and stripes for the decals.

I used to get most of those kits from a KMart close by in the 1980s and 1990s. The shelf was always chocked full of those kits, and they were hard to pass up.

Lately, Round2 has been bringing back some of those past kits. The outlandish and wild looking ones. The ones that most likely won't be built stock (if they can be built stock at all). I think it's about time for these models. The Monzas, Mustang IIs, the Pintos and Novas. It's time to put away the factory stock builds and step up with some imagination!

I hope Round2 keeps digging out these old molds and releasing them soon. I'm looking forward to them. The Pinto one for sure. That kit (or at least, the original one I have, from 1978) features a V8 engine option, and some custom parts. The old decals are not so good in the box, they are quite yellowish, but with a reissue, I can use the new 1970s stripes and really go retro! Should be fun!

What MPC kit would you like to see?


mpc model kits


Lindberg Plastic Model Kits - Made in America


There was a time when almost all the larger model companies made their models here in the U.S.A. Those days are gone for the most part, but there are still some that are made right here locally. One of the largest is Lindberg models. Founded around 1933, and now owned by Round2, Lindberg kits are made in Michigan.

I know what you might be thinking. You're thinking hey, Lindberg has those old kits that are really old, and difficult to build. While that may be true compared to modern technology today, Lindberg does make newer kits that are exceptional, and are just as good as any other company. The Dodge 330 Super Stocks are a good example. Their 1953 Ford, available in a hardtop or convertible is a modern kit, and their 1966 Chevelle builds into a very nice example of the popular Chevy. The Lindberg 1964 Belvedere is a nice kit as well as their Dodge Charger Super Bees. Besides, ALL the model companies have old toolings. Revell, AMT, MPC, even companies like Tamiya and Hasegawa (remember all those Japanese motorized kits from the past?).

When it comes to big scale Hot Rod models, few can compare with the stable of kits under the Lindberg name. The Bull Horn, Bobtail T, Big Red Hot Rod. They OWN the big scale Hot Rod model market for good reason. Sure there are a lot of classic kits in their portfolio, but I don't see anything wrong with that. Sometimes you just want a simple kit to build without getting bogged down with 800 parts or $ 200.00 worth of photoetch and aftermarket accessories.

When you choose a kit, especially a car kit, explore the Lindberg line of models. You know it was made right here in America, and there's some really popular examples I'm sure you will enjoy building. If it's an American car subject, what better place for the kit to come from than the Motor City, Detroit?

P.S. By the way, HAWK models are also made in the U.S.A.


Scale Model Beach Surf Boards 1/25 - 1/24

If you're looking for some surf boards for your latest car or truck build, check these out. They are just right, and very inexpensive. They come already prdecorated, but they're plastic, and you can primer and repaint them easily. I bought the 12 pack, but they are available in larger quantities - probably enough for a lifetime of building beach buggies. Hit the waves and add some cool surf boards to your ride!


1/24 - 1/25 scale surf boards for models


Resin Model Cars Online Database with Search - it's back!

Actually, it never really went anywhere. Those of you who use it and visit it regularly already know this. But I've negelected it for a couple of years. Yeah, it's been that long. But it needed some serious updating, and I've taken care of that. Updated web links and new information should make the product pages a little better.

I started the resin car database as a base point, as a hub, as a place where no matter how much time went by or what happened in hte modeling world, there would be a record of some of the greatest resin model cars and trucks ever produced. It's the single most expensive and time consuming part of the entire Rocketfin webste. But I feel it's important, and it needs to be done.

Over the years, (and I've been buying resin models since the late 1980's), there have been dozens of companies, and individuals, that are gone from the business of casting resin car bodies and kits. This happens for several reasons. Many times resin models are made by a person who is a craftsman, and is able to form a car model that is typically not available in plastic kit form. This person has a certain kind of skill that's not very common. They make products that are desirable, of high quality, and are literally hand made, one at a time.

Is it profitable? Probably not. And many resin casters may not be the best business minded. They do it more for their own personal satisfaction than anything, but that doesn't always mean the cash comes flowing in. No matter how well the final resin casting is, a small business can fail. So in many cases, eventually, through loss of money or time, the business closes and that's the end of the line. Another great resin car body is no more.

Sometimes, the folks who cast these products may be older than most of us. They might suffer from an unexpected life or heath problem, and that ends their resin casting days. In some cases, unfortunately, they pass on and die, then their knowledge and highly cultivated skills are gone ... forever. So once again, great resin products are no longer available. But as modelers, we remember their names, and we remember their resinproducts.

Many of the models you will see in the databse are no longer available. But the images and information is a tribute to the skilled masters who may have passed on, or just no longer make resin car models. If you come across such a resin kit, think about the craftsman, of his / her skills and abilities, making such a great casting that, at least in this database, lives on. The database is a living history for all to see and use, a history of resin cars and truck models, going back decades. Even after past Masters are gone, we will never forget their work.

At this time, there are over 1500 resin models in the database. But more are being added. Several generous people have contributed their own images, to preserve them, such as Dave from SoCalCarCulture and Tom at Spotlight Hobbies. Others have contributed as well, to help make it grow, and keep a record of the great resin cars and truck models that have been produced. Do you have a resin model that's not included yet? Have some good images and info? Feel free to share them with me to add to the database.

While the resin database preserves model kits that may not be in production any more, it also has current and new products. Those products have links to where they can be purchased, and I hope you will support those small business' that make these models, ONE BY ONE, BY HAND, so that they can continue to make the cars and trucks we all look forward to building.

Want to support the Database and spread the word? Here are some web banners for your site. Or just link to the Database Search page. Let's keep the current resin casters going, and preserve the heritage of those who went before.


resin model cars and trucks


MPC Model Car TV Commercial - 1970's

How about a rare TV commercial for MPC Model kits? Check it out for a nostalgic trip back in time.

What's interesting too is that the model in the commercial, the MPC 1970 AMC AMX car model is still available today, 40+ years later!!

mpc models tv commercial


Speedhunters History of Drag Racing Models

Speedhunters has a good article about drag racing model kits. There are plenty of models you will recognize, and some custom ones you will want to see.

The models are on display at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, California. The have a great level of detail. The photos in the article are well done, so you get every bright color and nuance to the builds. Check them out.

speedhunters drag racing models


All New Tamiya La Ferrari Model Kit 24333

New Tamiya La Ferrari Model Kit.

All new for 2013, and quickly produced, Tamiya has issued a 1/24 scale La Ferrari model.

As with all their kits, it' highly detailed. Covering every scale inch of the body, chassis, interior, and above all, the engine. The real car is a hybrid, with a 963hp V12, 900lbs of torque, and only 499 are being sold. (I suspect there is a 500th car, but it's not for sale, maybe for Ferrari's own use or stable. Though they probably own the No. 1 car, the first example). A 7-Speed gearbox doesn't hurt either. You can bet Tamiya has brought everything to the table in this kit. I'm sure it will be a hit.

While this kit isn't in the book (maybe the next one I write), check out Building Scale Ferrari Models: of Great Italian Sports Cars. It would be a good primer for tackling these complicated model cars, and you'll end up with a great replica.


tamiya 1/24 scale la ferrari car model kit


Revell Jägermeister VW T1 Transport Model Kit.

Revell Jägermeister VW T1 Transport Model Kit.

Revell Germany has now released it's Jägermeister VW T1 Transport model, which includes decals to make the famous liquor brand very visible on the model kit.

The VW Transport has been issued before, but maybe not quite so colorful. (The kit actually includes two different sets of decals). The model also has an interior and engine for more detail.

The Jägermeister is a natural drink with liquor added, and it's a popular German beverage with racing fans. There are actually other models kits available with the markings, such as a BMW 635CSi, and a Porsche Turbo RSR 934. You might as well build the whole collection, especially if you like the color orange.


revell vw t1 transporter kastenwagen model kit


Movin Stuff Around

Movin Stuff Around

When you think about it, several companies are making 1:35 scale cars that are far better than the 1/32 kits from the past. While most 1/32 kits are probably geared towards kids, these new 1/35 cars feature details in and out, many of them include a full engine, unlike the the older 1/32 scale kits that are usually a curbside (with the hood molded shut).

The scales are somewhat close. Maybe they could share some parts, it's right on the edge there. But some of the military civilian cars can easily be painted a non-military color, and displayed as an everyday car. After the war, you can imagine that there would be hundreds of these cars (and trucks) left over, and many would be pressed into service as everyday civilian transportation.

Check out some 1/32 and 1/35 models and see what you think.


Recent Model Kit Updates

Just some quick updates on some pages, with new products added.

  • I added a few Ford model kits.
  • I added a few Ferrari model kits to the site. With a few updates. Check them out.
  • I added a couple of Monster kits to the site.
  • There are a lot of new truck models coming out at the end of this year. Be sure and check back with us to see what's coming soon.
  • The Moebius Tumber Batmobile is finally out. They are available here.


moebius tumbler batmobile model


Classic Plastic Lago Talbot and Alfa Romeo 2 Pack

Classic Plastic Lago Talbot and Alfa Romeo 2 Pack

The Atlantis Model Company has issued a Limited Edition model package, which contains two models, a Lago Talbot and an Alfa Romeo..

These depict open wheel racers from around the late 1940's and early 1950's. To be honest, if I were to guess, I would say they are Smer molds? Though they mention they were originally issued by the Merit model company. Which is not a bad thing, these kits can be fun to build, and the cars are not really available in plastic from any other company. The Alfa is molded in red, the Lago is molded in blue.

I've built the Smer Lago Talbot before, and while it's a simple kit, it's not bad at all. Thanks to the Atlantis Model Company they have packaged this kit and the Alfa together at a special price. Acording to their website, they have only produced 500 of these, so you might want to grab one while you can. Both kits are 1/24 scale.


atlantis model company lago-talnot model


MPC - Round 2 1976 Rescue Chevy Blazer

MPC and Round2 have released their Chevy Rescue Blazer model kit.

This model has not been issued for quite some years. It's still a good choice if you build Chevy trucks and want to replicate the 4X4 K5 models. The kit includes a light bar for the roof. It's a curbside kit (the hood does not open and there is no engine), but I am sure modelers can easily altar that by opening the hood and using any number of chevy truck frames and engine choices. (how about a 454 ?).

It's molded in three colors, and one tree is full of chrome parts. The wheels are two piece snap tires. I would recommend you get at least one of these for your GM truck projects, simply because the full size Blazers are not available any other way in plastic. And you know something will come to mind later. (Hunting truck? Border Patrol? etc.)


round2 mpc chevy k5 rescue blazer model


Polar Lights Tommy Grove Ford Mustang Funny Car

Polar Lights Tommy Grove Ford Mustang Funny Car.

Polar Lights has issued a new Funny Car kit, drag racing legend Tommy Grove's Ford Mustang.

The model includes two fascias, one for making the 1969 car, the other for the 1970 version. Lucky for modelers, the kit is molded in white. The slicks are "pad printed" with lettering. Of course, it includes a colorful decal sheet and chrome parts. The model features a fully detailed tubular "Logghe" chassis.

When you look at the illustrations in the directions, and indeed, if you look at the chrome tree, you will see parts for a Chrysler 426 engine. But never fear. Round2 has included a 427 SOHC to make this model very accurate ! Are those Kats the best or what?? They must have a drag racing fan on their team. Lucky for us !

You can see this and many other drag racing kits here at Rocketfin Hobbies, be sure and check them all out.


round2 polar lights tommy grove ford mustang funny car model


Fujimi Mclaren MP4-12C GT3 Car Model Kit

Fujimi has issued an all new tooling kit in 1/24 scale, the Mclaren MP4-12C GT3 car.

It's a surprise kit, not much has been mentioned about it. Still, it's a unique car and great subject to build for exotic car fans.


fujimi mclaren gt3 car model kit


Italeri Porsche Model Cars

Italeri has reissued three of their Porsche kits. A 928s-4, 944s, and 911 Turbo. As a Porsche fan, I look forward to these kits.

The Porsche 928 was introduced in 1977. Made with a new body with a large tailgate, the new car was equipped with a new aluminum V8 engine with electronic fuel injection, capable of delivering power of 235hp. Designed according to the formula "Transaxle", with front engine and rear gearbox, the car was also equipped with independent suspension and Weissach rear axle type, optimized to reduce under stear. The S4 version was produced in 1986, and was characterized by a more powerful engine that delivered 330hp. This 928 kit features 86 parts on colored sprues. The 944 features 91 parts on precolored sprues.

The Porsche 944 was produced from 1982 to 1991 and was an evolution of the model 924 maintaining the aesthetic line. The car was originally equipped with a fuel injection engine from 2479 cc capable of delivering power of 163 hp. and made according to the Transaxle concept (rear engine and front shifter). The 944 was produced in different versions with different engines and extensive redesign of the interior in coupe and convertible configurations. In particular, the S variant, introduced in 1987, was equipped with a 16 valve engine generating 189hp and able to achieve speeds from 0 to 100 km / h in 7.2 seconds. Only 9800 were built.

The model 911 Turbo was introduced in 1975 with an engine of 2994 cc with the assistance of the turbocharger and intercooler could offer power of 260hp. Over the years a series of technical and stylistic improvements were introduced that have made this car, characterized by broad wheel arches and the large wing, an authentic symbol of the ultimate sports cars. The model kit features 84 parts on precolored sprues.

All three model kits have full engine details.


italeri porsche model car kit


Monogram Revell Big Daddy Ed Roth Ford Pickup Truck 85-4914

Big Daddy's Ford Pickup is getting small, and just the right size for you to build your own version at home!

Before Ed "Big Daddy" Roth became famous for designing wacky hot rods, he had a popular pin-striping business in southern California. Roth even gave his own '56 Ford F-100 the "Big Daddy" treatment, customizing it with red flame pinstripes and a mural on the tonneau cover. Kit features a detailed Thunderbird V-8 engine, multiple interior style choices, opening doors, soft black tires, chrome-plated parts and Ed Roth decals with wild flame graphics and a tonneau cover mural.

Don't think this is a model to cash in on Ed Roth Big Daddy's fame. He REALLY DID have a Ford pickup like this model. Click HERE for pictures of the real truck!


revell monogram ed roth big daddy rat fink ford pickup truck model kit


Monogram Revell Tom Daniel Bad Medicine Hot Rod 85-4937

Revell Tom Daniel's Bad Medicine model car kit.

Tom Daniel fans can celebrate today as an old favorite returns, the Bad Medicine hot rod. Note that the driver, Mr. Bones, will be at the wheel for your travels.

Bad Medicine is one of Tom Daniel's craziest concoctions, and Monogram (Revell) has given it the 1/24 scale treatment it deserves! This time out, Daniel has transformed a lightning-fast dragster into a prescription delivery service that can set new land-speed records. One thing's for sure: your pharmacy doesn't have anything like it! Kit features a long, low dragster body, assorted eye-catching goodies, soft black tires, chrome-plated parts and decals with authentic Tom Daniel graphics.


revell monogram tom daniel bad medicine model car kit


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