Out of Box Reviews

Like all modellers, I have a large (500+) 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! WhamMPC 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) 001MPC 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-002MPC Non-Scale”Evil Eye”: Kenner’s Fast 111’s Racing Rig in kit form!
 type-23-oob-001Trumpeter 1/144 Type XXIII: The Nazi’s “brown water” sub in the handy Gundam scale! wirbelwind-oob-001Arii 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-002AMT 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!
 Revell 1/25 ’64 Chevy Fleetside: One of America’s classic trucks from the twilight days of modelling.
Fujimi 1/76 Type 97-Kai: One of Japan’s heaviest WWII tanks in awesome old-school small scale!
Arii 1/48 J2M3 Raiden: A classic big-scale model of a very small plane! Great for its age, too! Monogram 1/20 1981 Turbo T/A Pace Car: Big-scale version of  the last purebred T/A. Poncho Power Forever!
Hasegawa 1/72 Isuzu TX-40: An unsung hero of the WWII Japanese air forces! Heller 1/72 Amiot 143: A best-left-forgotten abomination of the interwar skies!

Round 2 (MPC) 1/25 1975 Datsun 620 Pickup: It may be a mini-truck, but it’s a maxi-cool kit, save for the wheel issue…

 Crown Non-Scale X Fighter: Check out this “Star Warrior” classic here! I’m sure it’s Red 4…
 Meng Non-Scale Lexington: A cute rendition of a legend. The first surface ship here at the Lagoon! Airfix 1/72 Supermarine Swift FR.5: Finally! A nice new kit of a rather unknown, and pedestrian, performer.

Lindberg 1/20 Stealth R/T Turbo: A supersized helping of Dodge’s budget supercar!

 LS 1/75 D4Y2 “Judy”: The IJN’s inline-engined dive bomber: excellent ancient sprue in a glorious box!
Aoshima 1/20 Rex Combi: Subaru’s tiny Kei-Car in large-scale, but medium-sized, glory! Fine Molds 1/72 Me-410: Willi’s less-than-stellar successor to the venerable -110, in a slightly less-than-stellar form. Bandai 1/144 U-Wing and Tie Striker: A neat four-pack of pint-sized buy hyper-detailed Star Wars craft. Revell (Matchbox) 1/76 Pak 40 and Sdkfz. 11: Classic Matchbox armour with a new lease on life!
AMT 1/25 1978 Subaru BRAT: The Chicken-tax evading unsafe-motoring-of-the-year award winning mini car truck of ages! Matchbox 1/72 Percival Provost T.1: The classic RAF prop-trainer as only Matchbox could mould it! Brengun 1/72 Natter M23: The only piloted Natter ever launched, and with good reason! Bandai 1/1700 Albion: The main ship from 0083 in a handy small scale! Bring your modelling skills!
Round 2 (AMT) 1/25 1977 Ford Cruising Van: Ford’s “corporate cruiser” reissued with two flavours of striping! Revell Germany (ICM) 1/72 Type XXVII Seehund: One of the Kriegsmarnine’s better midget subs, in handy aircraft scale! Round 2 (MPC) 1/25 Squad Rod Nova: A weird police hot rod of the last of Chevy’s rear-drive compact. Revell 1/16 “Movin’ Out” Custom Big Rig Van: A giant-scale show van for a special occasion – 250K hits!
Matchbox 1/72 F-101F Voodoo: A classic 3-in-1 kit of McDonnell’s Cold War interceptor and recce bird. Matchbox 1/72 Brewster Buffalo: The USN’s first monoplane is a bit of a loser, except to the Finns! Bandai 1/144 Dragonar 1 + Lifter: Classic hero mech from the largely forgotten Dragonar series. Round 2 (AMT) 1977 Pinto Runaobut: An ugly update to Ford’s Automotive Dark Ages “firecracker”. Maybe the ultimate losermobile?
Zvezda 1/72 Mig-29 SMT: The newest “old” Fulcrum, with a hunch back (at the office?). Dragon 1/144 Stealth Blackhawk: All the drama of the Bin Laden raid in the palm of your hand – x 2! MPC 1/25 “Street Spyder”: This is one wild IMSA H-Body for the Streets! Matchbox 1/72 Fairey Seafox: An obscure Fleet Air Arm observation plane from WWII; of course it’s a Matchbox!!
Tamiya 1/24 1993 Volvo  850 Turbo Estate: Sweden’s classic “rounded square” suburban people-hauler! FROG 1/72 Blackburn Shark: The predecessor to the Swordfish, with options a-plenty! Classic sprue attack! MPC Monzas: A kit-by-kit rundown of four MPC Monzas from ’76 to the ’80s. Flame Toys Furai Drift: The Autobot’s master swordsman in his new, official third-party guise!
Monogram 1/24 LUV Street Pickup: Resurrected Captive Import Custom Craziness! Revell goes retro, and how! Matchbox 1/72 Hs-126: The Luftwaffe’s little-known pre-Storch spotter! Classic sprue, weird subject! Matchbox 1/76 LRDG: The famous desert raiders, in a handy size! A classic masterpiece. Tamiya 1/24 Ford Sierra XR4i: Ford of Europe’s sporty aero-coupe. So good, Tamiya gave it an ENGINE!
Monogram 1/24 Corvette America: An abortive attempt to create a Vette four-seater. Truly wretched excess! 1/100 Bandai F-90Y Cluster Gundam: A repopped classic from the days of yore! Bandai does Retro! Pioneer2 Su-15UM Flagon G: A brutish kit of a brutally simple-but-effective Cold War airliner killer. Monogram 1/24 El Camino Camper: Customized and Macho-fied, this is one bad-arsed malaise-era car truck!
Hawk (Kaysun) 1/24 Hupmobile: From the earlier days of kits comes a car from the earlier days of Motoring. RIP Unk, too… Revell 1/25 1992 Thunderbird SC Coupe – Ford’s import fighting personal car with the unnaturally-aspirated edge! Takom 1/35 G6 Rhino: Thundering across the South African wastes comes the sports car of SP guns! New Monkees (OOB) 001Monogram 1/24 New Monkees Mustang GT Convertible: A little-known TV-car cast in a weird colour!
Stranraer (OOB) 001Matchbox 1/72 Supermarine Stranraer: Classic take on Supermarine’s last big seaplane. Slow as she goes! E555 (OOB) 001Revell Germany 1/72 Arado E555: The Luftwaffe’s flying wing Amerika Bomber. Premium Luft ’46 content! Scirocco (OOB) 002AMT 1/25 VW Scirocco: A Rabbit with some pinnache! VW’s classic econo-sportster in it’s original issue format! Spitfire 16 (OOB) 001Matchbox 1/72 Spitfire Mk. IX/XVI: A late-issue 2-in-1 remoulding of the classic Spit – now with bubbletop!
Char B1_FT-17 (OOB) 001Matchbox 1/76 Char B1.bis/FT-17: Repop of the classic two-fer of French armoured ineffectiveness! Foxy Vette (OOB) 032AMT 1/25 Farrah’s Foxy Vette: A custom Vette for America’s late-’70s sweetheart… and a really low-effort product on AMT’s part! Laura (OOB) 016Fujimi 1/72 Aichi E11A “Laura”: An obscure night-recon flying boat given a great kit form! Homer 001Heller Non-Scale Homer Simpson: Springfield’s most famous father brought to you from France. What?
Mazda K360 0131/32 Arii (LS) Mazda K360: The Midget’s closest competitor in the post-war three-wheeler market! Twogar (OOB) 001Sword 1/72 TF-9J Cougar: The long-lived “Twogar” all dressed for battle! 1910 Buick (OOB) 002Life-Like 1/32 1910 Buick Model 10: A classic look at the dawn of an evergreen brand! Monza S (OOB) 003MPC 1/25 1978 Chevy Sportback (Monza S): A cut-rate, econobox, Frankenstein’s monster; just like the real car!
Matsuri Van (OOB) 001Aoshima 1/24 Suzuki Carry “Festival Wasshoi!”: It’s an entire Japanese festival on the back of a tiny truck! Of course it’s awesome! FROG Javelin (OOB) 001

FROG 1/72 Gloster Javelin Prototype: What has two deltas and is slow as heck? You guessed it! Check this ancient relic for more neolithic modelling fun!

California Sunshine (OOB) (2)MPC 1/25 California Sunshine: Radical Show Truck from the tail end of the Vannin’ Era! Ho-Ni (OOB) 001

Fujimi 1/76 Ho-Ni Type 1: A tank destroyer by any other name… might destroy tanks!

Airwolf (OOB) 002AMT 1/48 Airwolf: Supersonic ’80s super-copter bringing the retro thunder!! Potez 540 (OOB) 018

Heller 1/72 Potez 540: Because “ugly” and “interwar French aircraft” go together like a social disease and  swelling!


  1. […] really a thing, this will prove how wrong you are! Check out this pre-Swordfish stringbag on the Out of Box […]

  2. Pierre Lagacé · · Reply

    I never realise you had so much.

    1. The frightening thing is that that is only a tiny fraction of my stash.

      My wordiness, and my love of actually building kits, prevents me from getting any more up there faster than I do. 🙂

      Just in Gundams alone I must have a couple of hundred kits, and I’ve bought 50 models (mostly planes) this year alone!

      1. Pierre Lagacé · ·

        You’ll be fine Adam. This brings me solace when I see my collection. I don’t regret a single thing especially when prices have gone through the roof on Amazon.

      2. LoL! Well, I’m glad I can help! 🙂

        I have a few things I wish I’d not bought, but they’re few and far between. It is scary how much some of this stuff gets up do, price-wise, isn’t it?

        If anyone asks, I just say I’m investing. Having a big storehouse of kits and supplies sure has been a Godsend during the COVID days!

      3. Pierre Lagacé · ·

        Maybe some of my descendants might thank me for a model kit I bought in the 1980s like the Revell B-1 B…

      4. You know, that’s not so crazy as it sounds. I don’t know if I have much valuable, but it’s never a bad thing to have lots to choose from, either!

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