I have been a fan of Tom Daniel and his hilarious model concepts since I can first remember building model kits. The very first model I built was the Red Baron and the second the Paddy Wagon. Over the last 45 years, I’m pretty sure I have built well over 75 of Tom Daniels models.
Enter the 2015 reissue of the Monogram “Jinx Express” which was originally minted in 1971 and then again in blue plastic as the “Fast Buck” in 1973. Conceptually it appears to be just a hot rodded armored car but as you look closer you will find a combination lock on the rear panel where access doors should be and on the roof there is what appears to be a coin slot. YES, this “thing” is actually a piggy bank in disguise. Monogram refers to it as the “screamin’ Fort Knox.”
- 34 parts 1 Chrome tree
- 35 parts 2 Silver styrene trees
- 6 parts 1 Clear green styrene tree
- 4 parts Vinyl tire tree
- 1 3 x 4” Multi-color decal sheet
- 1 8 page instruction sheet
As with all newer Monogram/ Revell kits the first three pages of the instructions give you lessons in modeling basics, and then there is a painting guide, and the component layout by part number. From there you proceed to the normal automotive assembly sequence; engine, chassis, interior, body and finishing features.
Of note, the Monogram silver styrene that this kit is molded in is extremely hard and resists solvent style glue. You will need to have a little more patience and eventually the glue will melt the plastics together. It just takes a little longer than normal. Secondly this silver plastic holds a tremendous amount of swirl marks so the body will definitely need to be primed and repainted silver or steel for the desired finish.
My assembly process began by identifying the chrome parts that need additional attention and Alclad II style re-chroming. I choose to re-chrome the injector stacks parts 46 and 47, the front axle assembly parts 53, 35 and 42, the rear end assembly parts 48, 35, and 31, and the rear trailing arms parts 32 and 33. The front bumper part 49 also needed to be re-chromed. This process was completed by stripping the factory chrome with Purple Power, prepping the parts for spraying with polishing sticks, spraying with a gloss black base, and then lightly airbrushing with Alclad II Chrome.
The front vinyl tires where poorly molded that I just threw them out and pulled an identical properly molded pair out of the spare parts box.
Some little things I added to the build were a Morgan Automotive Details distributor and wires under the hood and valve stems to each of the rims. I also chose to drill out the injector stacks, header pipes and gun tips. Unfortunately once closed up, all the details to the engine bay are lost behind the clear green hood scoop.
Exterior of the armored cab and chassis was painted Citadel acrylic steel paint thinned with Pledge Multi Surface Floor Finish. This is the first time I have tried this combination and was amazed with the results and strength of the finish. Citadel and Pledge together are extremely durable. The wing was assembled and painted separately off the body allowing for better paint coverage. I decided to paint the interior of the cab and vault “money” green. Tamiya acrylic paints were used for the rest of the build.
Once all the sub assemblies were finished (engine, front axle wheels, rear axle and wheels, vault lock, front cab, trim items) I began the process of assembling the balance of the kit. Fit on all the parts is fairly good considering the age of the kit.
Many of the trim pieces such as the “guns” parts 6 and 22 are easily broken so I left them off until after the decals were set and all the final touch ups were done. The decals settled easily to the paint surface with only a small dose of Microscale Decal Sol to encourage the stubborn ones. I stole the white walls tire decals from the new Revell ’29 Ford model A.
My “Jinx Express” looks pretty Kool sitting next to rest of my Tom Daniels models and like all the rest was a fun build. It took just a little over 20 hours to build this kit of which most was reworking the chrome finishes and adding those little details I love. I’m sure this kit Out of the Box could be easily finished in a day, but what’s the fun in that. My only negative comment about this kit would be the poorly molded front tires ( they were square) which would have totally discouraged a first time or junior modeler.
Thanks to Monogram/Revell, Dick Montgomery, and Dave Morrissette, the rest of the IPMS Reviewer Corp assistants and IPMS/USA for the chance to build and review this subject. And thanks to Tom Daniel for helping me get started in this hobby I love so much.
Oh, I almost forgot, if you loose the combination to the lock and need access to your funds; the combination is printed inside the cab on the top of the bulkhead above the seat or R-1, L-36, R-19.