Mel's Drive In

Published: May 5th, 2013     
Product Image
Box Art
Reviewed by: Mike Kellner - IPMS# 30864
Scale: 1/87
Company: Moebius Models
Price: $44.99
Product / Stock #: 935
Product provided by: Moebius Models

This HO scale rendition of Mel's Drive-In from the movie, American Graffiti, comes with a colorful and attractive box art. It's a multi-media kit, with the exterior structure in plastic, but with the interior supplied on pre-printed card stock. The instructions are easy to follow and consist of 7 steps.

The suggested colors are listed, but are basic, such as white, grey, and brick red. After a little online research I found an interior shot which I used for reference. The research indicated that the diner had a black and white floor. I simulated this by painting the floor white, then using black decal trim film for the tiles.

The clear parts are made of some unknown type of flexible material. At first they appeared cloudy, but upon closer inspection, I discovered a removable sticky protective film on them, similar to what comes on a Plexiglas sheet from the hardware store. I removed the film by using a sharp knife to turn up a corner, then peeling it off. This peculiarity isn't mentioned in the instructions.

The build is simple, but the fit isn't good on some of the components. The roof of the rectangular out-building needs to be trimmed down to make the wall corners fit better. Also, the mounting holes in the base for the interior walls and the columns of the round car-park/drive-in need to be drilled out for a better fit.

The paper stock booths need to have their backs vertical or they won't fit into the interior---there are miniature posters and menus provided to detail the model, and there's also roof signage which I elected not to use because I thought it looked somewhat cheesy.

I painted my example with acrylics and used a lot of white to cover the light grey plastic. The finished model measures 16-3/8" long, 7-3/8" wide, and 3-3/4" tall. It's somewhat plain, however, and more detail could be added. Overall, it's a good kit, fits better with some sanding, and would look good on an HO layout with some 1950's cars around it.

My thanks to IPMS/USA and Moebius for the opportunity to review and build this kit.

  • Mel's Diner by Moebius
    Mel's Diner by Moebius
  • Mel's Diner by Moebius
    Mel's Diner by Moebius
  • Mel's Diner by Moebius
    Mel's Diner by Moebius
  • Mel's Diner by Moebius
    Mel's Diner by Moebius

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