- Stock # AMT705 - #5 Mark Martin - $24.99
- Stock # AMT706 - #24 Jeff Gordon - $24.99
- Stock # AMT707 - #48 Jimmie Johnson - $24.99
Introduced mid-season 2007, NASCAR’s “Car of Tomorrow” (COT) hit the track in an effort to improve driver safety, decrease operating cost, and level the proverbial playing field between the monster multi-car teams and the smaller race teams competing in the Sprint Cup Series. Although received with skepticism and initial contempt by some drivers, the “wing thing” proved to be a more rugged, reliable, and measurable machine than its predecessor. With COT’s arrival, manufacturer’s body styles settled in around 4 core models: Chevy Impala, Ford Fusion, Dodge Charger, and Toyota Camry.
Round2, under their AMT brand, has rolled out a set of “Snapit” Chevy’s capturing the essence of the 2010 NASCAR Impalas, including 4 in the Hendrick Motorsports liveries of the #5, #24, #48, and the #88 cars, and a “generic” version marketed for use with aftermarket decals – the first 3 being featured in this review. Having reviewed the generic version a few months prior, both my 6-year old modeling offspring, Camden, and I thought it would be fun to tackle these bright pre-painted versions. Camden, though young, has many a build under his belt, and loves it when Skill Level 1 review kits show up on the doorstep. With this shipment, ground rules were set that Camden would do #24 and #48, and Dad would do #5 – with Dad painting the interior and underside to determine how well these kits could position themselves on the contest table.
AMT’s Impala, although a snap kit, sports a nice amount of detail for the more discriminating modeler, although it is “sans engine.” Finish quality and finish detail is noteworthy – pre-lettered seamless vinyl tires, prepainted window trim and wedge wrench locators, prepainted wheels, and steel axles. Interior and chassis parts come crisply molded in light gray, black, and clear. Unlike the generic version, only parts for the spoiler configuration are included, as NASCAR reverted back to the traditional spoiler mid-season 2010. Seat, dash, and basic interior detail are well-executed and sufficient for an out-of-box build.
The build was very simple and fairly friendly for small hands. Camden easily assembled most of the cockpit interior, but struggled just a bit getting the shifter in. Although the snap engineering is very good, we touched all the joints with some liquid cement for survivability purposes (these will be handled by a 6-year old on a regular basis). Also very welcome were the handful of screws for securing major assemblies to one another. Body, hood, spoiler, and chassis assembly was easy, but placement of the splitter braces required a bit of finesse, so Dad needed to chip in here. Big hands were needed to press wheels into the tires, and even that took a bit of effort. Since #24 and #48 were kid builds, we opted to not paint, but Dad’s #5 interior and underside painted-up very nicely, using mainly Polly Scale Light Ghost Gray and Engine Black.
Although primary markings are prepainted on each car, secondary sponsor, faux-lights, and grille decals are included to bring the exterior appearance up to snuff. Each kit offers a choice of peel-and-stick and waterslide decals. Camden chose the peel-and-stick option for his cars, and Dad chose the waterslide decals for #5. The peel-and-stick markings were fairly pliable and conformed and adhered surprising well to some of the compound curves, and prove convincing at arm’s-length. Similarly, the waterslide decals conformed well around the compound curves and responded well to Micro Set and Micro Sol – with the only disappointment coming from their matte finish. All-in, Camden spent about an hour per car with peel-and-stick decals, and I spent about 5 hours on the one with painted interior and chassis and waterslide decals.
We really enjoyed this father-son project, and I highly recommend these kits for any NASCAR modelers looking for an affordable COT Impala kit or for a fun modeling project to do with a little one in their sphere of influence. I liked it so much, I grabbed a set of #14 aftermarket decals and plan to build one in honor of the 2011 Sprint Cup champion!
Many thanks to the visionary crew at Round2 and to IPMS/USA for the sample kits and another fun build with my son!