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Ken Koll
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Porsche 356C Cabriolet (Revell GmbH 07043)

July 18, 2020 · in Automotive · · 11 · 2.2K

At long last, Finished! (more about that later). I took the paint inspiration from several 1-1 cars I found online. The body is a blend of decanted Tamiya spray: British Racing Green, Brilliant Blue, and White. The interior is two different blends of Tamiya Acrylic: Red Brown, White and a touch of Yellow. All applied by airbrush. The chrome is Bare Metal Foil when appropriate or some ACE Hardware Gloss Aluminum spray enamel I had laying around. A few parts like the wheels were left with the factory chrome but most required re-finishing due to problems with the molding that required lots of trimming and sanding.

I had been wanting to build a 356 for some time. I'm a big fan of ragtop roadsters so when Revell released the 1/16 356C Cabriolet I had found my kit. I had high hopes for a great build. It was a new tool 2018 Kit. I had previously built Revell's 1/16 BMW Isetta 250 and thoroughly enjoyed the experience (

Unfortunately, this would not be a fun build. From the beginning it was “the kit from Hell”. It came close to being flung at the wall several times but ultimately it became a test of wills. I was not going to give up!

I hesitate to turn this post into a rant but as a service to the modeling community I will explain a few of the problems with the kit. It is a unique kit of an iconic classic but prospective builders should be prepared for a rough ride.

A partial list of problems with this kit:

  • The molding is horrible. Sink and flash everywhere. The problems are both with part design and execution. Gates placed on cosmetic surfaces. Multiple gates on tiny chrome parts made nearly all chrome parts require strip and paint. There was even an unpolished area with grinding marks near the headlight. Lots of putty and sanding required and I still did not completely fix all the problems. It's clear the tools were not working correctly as they added overflow features to many parts in an effort to make them fill properly. For years I was engineering manager for injection molded components at a division of Siemens. These tools should never have been released to production.
  • There are multiple errors in the instructions. Incorrect part callout like door handle and window winder reversed on one door. Other places they just reference the wrong component. They even got the gauge placement wrong. Anyone who has ever seen a Porsche knows the tachometer is the center instrument. Apparently Revell does not know this.
  • Many parts do not fit without modification. Nearly every part with alignment pins had to have the receiving hole relieved. Pre-fit everything carefully.
  • Some things are simply wrong. The headlight assemblies had to be re-engineered to eliminate dark ‘dots' on the lens caused by unnecessary alignment holes in the reflectors. The aspect ratio of the US license plate frame is wrong and does not even match the decal (which amazingly is the correct ratio).

Rant finished. Apologies to the community.

Next up: I've got a couple beautiful Aoshima “shake and bake” models on the shelf. Will it be the classic 1968 MGB or the Mazda Autozam AZ-1. Decisions, decisions.

Reader reactions:
13  Awesome

12 additional images. Click to enlarge.

11 responses

  1. Great build! I built the Fujimi kit of this car (you can see it in my blog), coupe version. That was a very good kit and worth building.

    • Thanks for your comment. The Fujimi coupe looks like an interesting kit. I like that it has the Carrera engine (well detailed). You did a beautiful job on your build despite the kit issues you mention. I've been thinking about building a 356A coupe. My neighbor has an un-restored 356A as a daily driver and I would try to replicate his car.

      1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  2. Beautiful model from a difficult kit. Revell are similar to Italeri, great choice of models, often poor quality kits, I try to steer clear of both.

  3. Ken’s a neighborhood buddy of mine. I watched him build this Porsche from the minute he opened the box as our jaws dropped looking at the crappy parts, sink holes and fit. Revell G should feel highly embarrassed for releasing this shoddy pile of miss engineered plastic. Yet Ken has managed to to make a diamond studded purse out of this styrene sow’s ear. Congrats!

  4. Definitely a silk purse from a sow's ear. Looks beautiful. A triumpj of stubbornness over plastic.

  5. 🙂 … Greetings … 🙂 :
    Nice model of the Porsche 356 Ken. All the set backs and your ability too go on and repair paid off, and it shows in a very positive way.

  6. Fantastic job, Ken!
    It's great you persisted: now we have your 356 to admire.
    Regarding the shortfalls, it looks like the kit was designed, or implemented by s different kit than that of the Isetta!

    • Thanks Spiros, My assessment was that Revell contracted the project to a company that was not experienced with plastic models. A number of parts had features that would engage the mating part in a way that could not be easily reversed making it difficult to check fit pre-assembly. Similar features are used on consumer products designed for no-adhesive assembly.

  7. Well done Ken, it really looks good, especially after you detailed all the issues with this kit. Job well done.

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