Corvette ZR1

Published: November 13th, 2010     
Box Art
Box Art
Reviewed by: 
Walt Fink, IPMS# 2447
Scale: 1/25
Company: Revell, Inc.
Price: $23.00
Product / Stock #: 85-4216

The Kit

Revell's new release of Chevrolet's uber-Muscle Car is molded in white plastic, and is a modification of their basic Corvette mold, with extra parts included specific to the ZR1. A little reference to part numbers is needed because the regular Corvette C6 ones will fit on the ZR1, but I'm not sure things like the exhausts and headers would match up if they were interchanged.

The build is straightforward with no vices, though a little parts cleanup helps things fit together better. The four-lobe Eaton supercharger isn't a great fit to the engine block unless the top of the block is sanded flatter along its seam. On the plus side, the headers have real locating pins to fit into the block, not just nubs which sit in shallow depressions.

Among the ZR1-specific parts are the bigger Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes, having nice detail on them, and which will be visible through the alloy wheels. I thought the chrome wheels were too bright for model purposes, so I oversprayed them with some clear gloss acrylic to knock down the shine a little bit.

The interior is nice, and the decal sheet provides tan center inserts for the bucket seats, with matching panels for the door interior trim and the instrument panel. I elected to paint the seat centers, as I was concerned that the decals would obscure some of the detail there. The photos of the finished model on the box pretty much show an all-black interior without the tan seat accents, but I elected to go with the instructions. Photo 1 shows the all-but finished interior/chassis assembly - at this point I hadn't added the engine shroud or wheels, so the supercharger, engine, and brakes are clearly visible.

The tires are low-profile ones, and like their real counterparts, don't have a lot of sidewall flex, so installing them on the chrome wheels is a matter of brute force. Putting the tires in hot water for a few minutes first really helps ease the job. The rear wheels attach to a single metal axle running through the rear end, while the fronts are held in place by individual metal pins and retainers. The front tires and wheels are smaller than the rears, and the instructions note that the tire tread is directional - a nice touch, but the tread didn't match the drawings.

The drawings didn't match the body shell either, being at least in part for the regular C6. The ZR1 has an additional front valence, whose upper surface is molded to the front of the body shell. From the photos I used for reference, this should be black, as should the fender flares, the rocker panel flares, and the inside periphery of the windshield and rear window - all omitted from the instructions. Some of this is shown in the painting guide and the box art photos, but isn't called out. I didn't catch this until late in the build after I'd already painted the body shell red, and I apologize for not being a very knowledgeable car guy. Hey, that's what you get when an airplane builder does a car kit review.

The real ZR1 uses lots of weight-saving carbon-fiber panels, notably the roof, hood, and splitter. The hood, with its polycarbonate window over the engine, is painted the body color on the exterior, but its underside is left in raw carbon-fiber color, while the splitter and roof are clear-coated, but retain the carbon-fiber appearance. I used Tamiya acrylics to finish the model - gloss red acrylic for the body, gloss black for the roof, and various shades of Tamiya and Gunze Sangyo blacks for the interior and chassis.

(I was pleasantly surprised that the Corvette emblem decals looked almost as good as photoetched replacements, sitting proud of the body shell surface as they do. With a six-figure base price and more than 620 horses under the hood, the real ZR1 is probably not on most modelers' budgets, but boy, wouldn't it getcha to the hobby shop in a hurry!  I'll be satisfied with the model, I reckon.

Summary

This is very nice kit, with some flaws in the instructions. The car modelers will know what to do with those, so they won't be as big a hindrance as they were to a wing nut like me. The finished model has the right sit, the right rake, and is well-engineered. And lastly, the kit is a super spares-box contributor with all the regular C6 parts (not for use on the ZR1) left over for other model projects.

Thanks to Revell and to IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review this kit.