'51 Henry J Gasser
reviewed by Paul Canney

What does it say, when a model company needs to have an independent person finance a model reissue under that companies brand? It tells me someone's not paying attention and is out of touch with the market. Thankfully, David Burket (aka Model King) had enough clout and wallet matter to get this kit back on the shelves.

This is an old school "gasser" model that was originally released in 1969, Then re-released in the 80's with a decal sheet and wheel change to the then popular Cragar Super Trick wheels that remain in this "Model King" reissue. The box art has been upgraded from the dismal 80's version (below) that pays a fitting tribute to the original 1969 release.

This time around the kit is finally molded in white. The kit is very clean with nary a bit of flash. The single tube chassis is the same as in the Willy's pick-ups that have been reissued over the years, but, without the one piece straight axle those got. There is a new decal sheet included in this reissue as well. The decals are of high quality, but the artwork borders on silly. During the build up of mine, I passed over them as well as the obviously 80's wheels for a more traditional spoke design. Speaking of tires, this reissue got a serious dose of tire upgrade. The 'new' rubber tires in this kit are spectacular! Gone are the vinyl 2 piece jobbies. These one piece tires are soft and pliable and rival the Polar Lights funny cars meats.

with mags from an ultra rare mint 1971 MPC Blue Max kit.
I recommend assembling all this (minus wheels) before painting

Overall, the kit is very straight forward in it's assembly, and everything fits. The 7 pieces that assemble into the one piece tilt front end all align perfectly.  Being a near straight reissue, the glass needs to be cut from a single clear sheet, but that adds to the nostalgic aura of building this kit. The splash panel below the grille depicted on the current box art is not present, nor was it ever present in any of this kits trips to market.

A little web research revealed that early version Henry J's didn't have a trunk, so the fact that the kit doesn't represent one is actually accurate. The body is a neat little package that you'll find yourself just staring at when assembled. 

With a little wheel and decal help from the parts box, this can be built into a vintage 60's gasser model. 

It doesn't get any better than this when it comes to reissues.            Canney says.. !

The original 1969 box art: 
thanks to Dean Milano and Marty Neyrinck for supplying these pictures

photo courtesy of Marty Neyrinck via Hobby Heaven message boardphoto courtesy of Dean Milano via Hobby Heaven message board

There is no reason to buy an aftermarket resin 1 piece tilt front end unless the builder messes up big time. That and the example below (not recommended) costs as much as the kit itself, and is missing the very important horizontal accent line from the headlight center back. (Not to mention a 4 week delivery time based on previous resin orders)


Wednesday, December 03, 2008