Out of Box Reviews

Like all modellers, I have a large (300+) stash of kits. I have cars, planes, tanks, mecha, submarines and Lord-knows-what-else hanging around in various closets and on various shelves.  Since there’s no way I can get to them all in a reasonable time (Or even a lifetime?) I thought it would be a good idea to have a “first look” kind of section.

Here, in the OOB Reviews, you’ll find a variety of “first impressions” of a kit. I take a look at the parts, instructions, etc. and let you know what I think.

You’ll find a bit of everything here, so poke around, explore and enjoy!

Click on the name of the kit (which is hyperlinked) to see a full article on it, with pictures! Every unbuilt kit has a story too!

 Dynamic, snazzy and yet surprisingly simple, the art on the HG AGE kits never disappoints.1/144 Shaldoll Custom: Cannon-Fodder suit from Gundam AGE  bf_109_inbox1/72 Heller Bf-109: Messerchmitt’s famous fighter greatly defaced!  Look how cute he is! The Honda Today was Honda's "kei" class car in the 1980's. Driven primarliy by single women, it was a perfect urban commuter box. 1/25 Honda Today: Japanese micro-mini commuter car from the 1980’s! LiteAce 0031/20 Toyota Sports Van: A hybrid of American Vannin’ and Japanese compactness!
Oh dear... This is how they want to attract your attention? Man, this is boring and out dated all at once. It's not even cool in a retro way. It's just lame. This doesn't bode well at all...1/72 Harrier T.4: Humbrol’s ancient model of a “Long Sting” Harrier two-holer. Yikes! Strap in! The Pfeil's box art may be the most detailed thing on or in the box, and is definitely the most exciting. Old box art just rules compared to most newer stuff.1/72 Do-335 Pfeil Trainer: The “night fighter” (trainer) variant of Dornier’s push-pull fiighter. A classic from FROG!  This is the box of the new Spitfire F.22. It looks exciting and the red really grabs your attention. It's a good diversion from what's IN the box.
1/72 Airfix Spitfire F.22: Newer doesn’t mean better, and this “new tool” Airfix kit is little better than the FROG to its left!
Who's got the coolest binder in school? The kid who took the only stylish part of the Rainbow's box, that's who! See what I mean about a Brinks Truck?

1/24 MPC Ferrari 308 GT Rainbow: Bertone’s bizarre sharp-edged Ferrari concept from the 70’s

Perfect Gundam 012
1/100 Master Grade Perfect Gundam: A (somewhat) spastic child’s custom of the original Gundam. Seeing is believing!
Well, it's not the meanest Mopar of all time, but the Caravan may well be the most influential, sociologically. This is, to my knowledge, the only kit of one, though!1/25 Lindberg Dodge Caravan: A curbisider snap fit of the original minivan! The suburban microbus that created a million soccer moms! Wow. Could you DO a worse photoshopping job than this? I mean, really?? This "art" alone has kept me from buying this thing for years! "Can you see the string?"

1/72 Hobbyboss MiG-15 UTI Midget: While the box might look crappy, the kit inside is amazingly nice looking! Check it out!

 This is a slightly later release (early '80s) of the G-91Y kit that first hit the shelves in 1979. The box art is nice, but the striping really gives the age away!

1/72 Matchbox Aeritalia G-91Y: Long before Meng’s beautiful new G-91, Matchbox gave the world its only kit of the twin-engined Gina!

This is the box of the FROG Meteor IV. While it's not super-exciting, it is a nice peice of art; it's a shame that it doesn't span the full width of the box like the Pfeil's did. 1/72 FROG Meteor Mk. IV: An old version of Britain’s first mass-produced jet fighter from the masters at FROG! This is the very rare Bandai 1/20 Familia Rotary Coupe kit. A cute car and an amazing effort for a kit that's over 4 decades old!1/20 Bandai Mazda Familia Rotary Coupe: This is the supremely rare kit of Mazda’s first Wankel-powered family car!  Here's the box for the Tamiya Buccaneer. It's fairly exciting, if not dated. The khaki green stripe gives it the right air of mud-moverness. 1/100 Tamiya Buccaneer S.2/S.50: Britain’s  superb Cold War low level striker! At long last, one of MPC's Pacer kits is reborn! The folks at Round 2 decided to bring us the most awkward of them all, the 1978 Pacer Coupe!1/25 MPC 1978 Pacer “X”: Round 2 resurrects MPC’s rendition of AMC’s lamentable egg-shaped loser!
Where do I start? The MPC 1979 Chevette is America's best-selling compact car, sure, but as Bear Bait it is SO MUCH MORE! I think... Seriously, though; what the what is this all about?1/25 MPC 1979 Chevette: Chevy’s “World Car” from the 70’s in its second guise! No, it's not "Mi-6: The Boardgame" or "Hookopoly"! Granted, the box looks a lot like an ancient boardgame, but the contents are a bit less precise. It's an interesting piece of art, though, both stylistically and subject-wise.1/75 KVZ Mi-6 “Hook”: The East German take on a Russian monster chopper – in AIRLINER dress, no less! Knight Rider OOB 0011/25 MPC KITT: A late-edition original release of the famous TV T/A. Soon to be rereleased, but likely not like this! With its snappy oh-so-80's sunset stripe and bold use of colours, it's easy to almost gloss over the fact that you're seeing a Blue Diamonds Hunter T.7 on the box lid. Note the "unpainted" model drawn on the side. That's what your 3 colours will get you! 1/72 Matchbox Hunter T.7/FGA.9: A neat old 2-in-1 kit that allows you to make both versions of Britain’s jet success!
The Dovenwolf's box makes the mech appear extremely powerful, which it is. It's also a nice piece of art, which never hurts!1/144 Bandai Dovenwolf (UC ver.): The first of the Dovenwolf’s new incarnations! The box is kind of lame, and it doesn't really make you want to buy the kit. However, the SVO's unique styling certainly jumps out at you!Monogram 1/24 1985.5 Mustang SVO: This was Ford’s attempt to put some Euro-flair into America’s pony car. An oddball, for sure! Makin' its way, the only way it knows how... SLOWLY! The box art on the Trumpeter attacker is suitably non-dramatic for the rather sluggish machine reproduced within.Trumpeter 1/48 Attacker F.1: The Royal Navy’s first jet wasn’t much to write home about. However, that hasn’t deterred Trumpeter from giving us a new 1/48 kit! The box art on the Astute doesn't make me want to join the Royal Navy or anything, but it is a nice image, and rather classic in its approach to illustrating such a modern subject.Hobby Boss 1/350 Astute: This is Britain’s newest attack sub. Something of a problem-child early on in service, time will tell if this ship sinks of swims!
 TT1 Pinto OOB 001Strombecker 1/42 TT-1 Pinto: An ancient kit of the Navy’s only jet basic trainer! A true blast from the past! Wellesley OOB 001Matchbox 1/72 Wellesley Mk. I: Revell’s “Matchbox” reissue of Sir Barnes Wallis’ long-range, interwar bomber and record breaker! The box is typical Revell Germany, with the blue "pinstripe" background and some fairly nice artwork. It's not very exciting, but then again, the 1.44 hasn't led an exciting life, either!Revell Germany 1/144 Mig 1.44: This was Mig’s attempt to make a Russian  5th Generation fighter. It lost out to Sukhoi, but the kit is nice!  What the... As if the Citation wasn't lame enough, someone had to go and do this. I don't think real Lowrider fans would take this serious. Of course, real car aficionados can't take the stock Citation seriously, either... Revell 1/24 Citation Lowrider: The lowest of Detroit’s lows, the awful Citation, is resurrected as a lowrider. It can also be built stock or custom. TRIPLE FAIL!!!
 Sure, it might be as practical as the proverbial "screen door on a space shuttle", but the boxtop illustration of the RX-75 makes this bad idea seem bad-assed! Kudos to Bandai's art department for making the Guntank look killer, instead of cannon-fodder!
Bandai 1/100 MG Guntank: The Federation’s goofiest Operation V mobile suit gets the MG treatment, and how!
The red and white of the Swedish version compliments the AZ box well. It's also a nice piece of art!AZ Models 1/72 Grunau Baby IIb: This one’s  twins! You get two of this iconic glider in the box, with decals for 4 machines! Death by choice! HighJacker (OOB) 043 Round 2 (MPC) 1/20 “HighJacker”: A classic example of MPC scale Vannin’ is reborn! Big scale retro-awesomeness!  This is the rather interesting box are for the Biber. "So, Karl, what do you think of your new ride?" "Well, mein Kapitaen, I think I should have joined the Luftwaffe. At least there, suicide machines don't pretend to be anything else!"Italeri 1/35 Biber: An infamous German midget sub from WWII comes alive in a surprisingly big scale!
Farpro Zero (OOB) 0011/72 Farpro A6M2: The “export version” of Aoshima’s ancient Zero kit. A real fossil! You have to love Matchbox's flair for colour! The artwork is nice, but not overly exciting, like the Skyknight itself!1/72 Matchbox F3D Skyknight: The USN/USMC’s first night/all-weather fighter, in full 3-colour glory! It's a toad! It's a Kammback! No! It's MPC's Vette Van! Get ready Show Rod fans, this one's gonna get weird!MPC 1/25 Vette Van: From  the era of Show Rods and disco, MPC brings us a fine example of wretched excess! AT-3 (OOB) 001LO Models 1/72 AT-3: Taiwan’s indigenous trainer and attacker as kitted by LO in Taiwan. Quite the little oddball!
Panzer II (OOB) 0011/76 Matchbox Panzer II Ausf F.: Matchbox’s small-scale take on Germany’s Europe-conquering stopgap tank. Classic! Wham

MPC 1/25 “Wild Breed” Mustang Cobra: Tasteless stripes can’t stop the “suck” of the weakest Mustang V8 ever! This is the Mustang’s nadir, for sure!

BOOM! Is this the cover to a Warlord Boy's Annual or what? You want action, adventure and suspense? This furious box art has it all!Matchboxk 1/76 M16 Half-Track: The “Meat Chopper” lives! Toting four .50 Cals, the M16 was a threat to anything it could target! You want basic? DONE! This art is neither exciting nor even all that accurate, but it is striking in its simplicity.

Farpro (Aoshima) 1/72 C6N1 “Myrt”: The IJN’s ultimate recon bird in as rough a kit as possible! Neolithic modelling at its finest!

This is the box. It does not really excite or draw your attention to the kit, I find. However, what you see is remarkably close to what you get.

Lindberg 1/25 Sebring Convertible: It’s a kit that’s a promo – literally!

Dude! Enough with the CG effects! The Legilis' box is very busy and excBandai 1/144 Gundam Legilis: The final enemy machine in AGE is a Gundam?! Mercedes G4 (OOB) 002 Marui 1/35 Mercedes G4: Hitler’s ultimate ride, and a G-wagon for the ages! Daewoo LeMans (OOB) 001Academy 1/24 Daewoo LeMans: Perhaps one of GM’s most offensive “captive imports” in a kit from its homeland!
This is the box. It's nicely illustrated and you can't say they left any white space on the lid!

Heller 1/170 Noratlas: An ancient and overly simple kit of France’s indigenous airlifter. Got rivets?

Gold Rush (OOB) 001

MPC 1/25 Gold Rush: This is Vannin’ at it’s finest! Check out one of MPC’s classic stable of street vans!

Lucky Strike! The box of the Defiant is very eye-catching and is some of the more exciting Airfix art of recent times.

Airfix 1/72 Boulton Paul Defiant: The RAF’s failed turret fighter, in an all new, New Airfix rendering!

Very classy with less of a busy feel: Nice box art indeed, Bandai!

Bandai 1/144 Gusion Rebake: The Barbatos’ beige brother-in-arms in its small-scale form!

And "BAM"! It just hits you. Only MPC could make a box like this. Kudos to Round 2 for reusing this epic piece of retro packaging!

MPC (Round 2) 1/25 Pony Express Pinto: Ford’s ultimate loser IS the herald of THE sweaty man-horse.

Umm... Okay. So, not really going for the "excitement" angle on the box art, then... Farpro's Shiun shares the same deeply bland box as its brethren.

Farpro Japan 1/72 E15K1 Shiun (“Norm”): The IJN’s failed high-speed recon floatplane as only Farpro can make it!

BOOM! Here's some in-your-face MPC Vette action! Check out that stripe and how shiny that Vette is. Also, check out the Kar Kraft refugee behind it!

MPC (Round 2) 1/25 ’75 Vette Convertible: The open air take on the slowest Vette ever!

What the...? MPC, will you PLEASE apply good taste to customs in the future? What, you won't? Oh, well, okay. Clearly, Fuzz Duster is not classy or restrained in any way, except performance.

MPC (Round 2) 1/25 1980 Volare “Fuzz Duster”: Extreme lameness meets extremely bad taste in this awesome reissue!

Ching-Kuo (OOB) 002Zhengdefu 1/48 FCK-1 IDF: Taiwan’s own 4th Gen superfighter in fully injected form! pacer-wagon-oob-003AMT (Round 2) 1/25 Pacer Wagon: Bug-eyed pride ready for a trip to the mall! Complete with tonnes of outrageous custom bits! "Over the river and through the woods..." but where are these L/70s going? That's the question, isn't it!

Matchbox 1/76 Jagdpanzer IV L/70: The Wehrmacht’s heavy-gunned tank killer in the convienent small size!

 evil-eye-oob-002

MPC Non-Scale”Evil Eye”: Kenner’s Fast 111’s Racing Rig in kit form!

 type-23-oob-001

Trumpeter 1/144 Type XXIII: The Nazi’s “brown water” sub in the handy Gundam scale!

wirbelwind-oob-001

Arii 1/76 Flakpanzer IV Wirbelwind: A failure of a model of a failure of an AA tank. Birds of a feather…

This oddly-weighted box art is what bad Photoshopping looked like... before Photoshop!

Hobbycraft 1/72 Su-22U: Russia’s first swing-wing two-holer in a simplified form!

 tc3-oob-002

AMT 1/25 Horizon TC3: America’s badge-engineered “sporty” econobeater in its rarer Plymouth guise!

Bandai 1/144 FFA-02 “Schwalg”: A next-gen flying bad guy from Gundam’s failed successor!

Monogram 1/32 Mercury LN7: The EXP’s “fancy” older brother – a big-butt bug-eye!

 

Trumpeter 1/72 F-107A Ultra Sabre: A mainstream release for this interesting USAF prototype strike fighter!

 

Wave Non-Scale Solvalou Fighter: Straight from the ’80s arcade hit Xevious to you!





 

 

 

 

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