- Published on Wednesday, 11 January 2012 00:01 James Hatch
1:16 Phantom II Continental (1934)
Catalogue # 07459
The Phantom II was introduced in 1929 to succeed the Silver Ghost's successor, the Phantom I. The Phantom II was a large car, being over 5 ½ meters long, with the 'Continental' having a shorter wheelbase of 3.7 meters and a stiffer suspension that the regular model. It's hardly surprising that this type had something rather large under the bonnet, and in this case it was a six-cylinder, 7.668 litre engine with top positioned valves and also a reputation for quiet running, despite the amazing 120BHP which could be achieved. Out of the 1700 vehicles produced on the American assembly lines of Rolls Royce, 1300 of them made their way to the UK, where almost 300 of them were finished to the very high 'Continental' specification. The actual bodywork of the Phantom II was sub-contracted to a number of high quality coachbuilder firms.
Revell's Phantom II Continental depicts the vehicles which were produced to the 1934 standard, and comes in a large top opening box. The box artwork depicts a burgundy and black gloss car, with its roof deployed. The box sides show some nice images of a finished model.
Inside the box we have FIVE large sprues with a separate chassis part moulded in silver. All of the sprues are packed into three bags, meaning that yet again Revell hasn't seen fit to bag them individually, despite the cost of this kit. The plastic comprises of two pale blue-grey sprues similar to the plastic seen on the 1/32 Junkers Ju 88 kit, one silver sprue and a separately bagged chrome sprue. The single clear sprue also lives in its own bag too, thankfully. A coil of wire, four rubber tyres, and a single decal sheet complete the part contents.
This is by no means a new tooled kit. The plastic undersides to show that this was originally released by 'Revell Inc' in 1978, and has seen at least one subsequent release since that date. Let's see just how well this kit has fared in the 33 years since its first appearance.
The pale blue-grey sprues by far carry some of the most impressive parts of this kit. The lower body, complete with its sweeping wheel arches and running boards are moulded as a single part, incorporating the textured floor for the cab. The moulding in general of this part is very good, although my sample does have a few rough, raised, grainy areas on one of the running boards. Otherwise, it more than passes the test. The forward cab/engine firewall is moulded as a single part too, and here you can perhaps tell the kits age as the side louvres are moulded solid, and it would be very difficult to change this. Bulkhead detail is very good though. The seats, retractable roof, trunk and trunk lid are also on this sprue. An alternative part is included in the kit for use with the rear roof in case you wish to display the main roof in a retracted position. The seats look quite simple but do have a reasonably good texture. The trunk lid is designed to be lifted in order to display a fold down tool kit. Leather effect interior wall parts are moulded here too, and they look very good.
The second sprue of the same colour contains the dual rear seat and the rear cab, as well as cab doors and their interior walls. The very large rear roof section with its textured finish is here too. I have to say that despite some of these parts being very large, the engineers who designed this kit ensured that the modeller wasn't troubled with any ejector pin marks. What there are, are so very easily sanded away due to their shallowness, or the designer has made sure that none of them interfere at all with the parts. The same goes for the inside of the engine bonnet parts too. Here again though we have some of those louvres which are solid. This is really only a minor irritation to me though as the louvres are so shallow as to not really matter too much in this respect. The spare tyre on these vehicles was enclosed in a shell and mounted on the rear. This is supplied as a two part assembly, complete with spokes and air valves; all very crisply moulded. A little flash is apparent on this sprue, but nothing at all to be worried about.
The silver sprue, as is traditional with multi-coloured plastic kits, contains the more technical aspects of this mode. This kit comes with a fully detailed engine, and the main body of this is moulded as halved, and it looks very impressive with its sheer size. Detail is also very good and sharp in execution. The cylinder head rocker cover is a separate part, complete with the 'RR' emblem. This engine is designed to be wired up too! The included roll of stiff wire must be cut into pre-prescribed lengths and then added to the engine to create the ignition leads. Nice touch! The engine is a very detailed part of this kit, and will look great with the engine covers raised.
Where the detail does look a little soft on the silver sprue is on the transverse suspension arms. A number of cab parts are moulded here such as the dashboard, steering wheel, pedals, gear stick and the hand brake. A little flash is apparent on these parts and a few seams, but nothing major. The dashboard has a wood effect grain moulded into it. Of course, you would never be able to see any raised grain on this area, so I would either sand that off, or lessen the effect.
A full exhaust system and parts for the underside chassis detail etc. are included on this sprue, as are various wheel hub parts. Generally, this sprue is very good, but peppered with flash in some areas. I wouldn't expect anything less on moulds of this age, so taking that into account, and the ease of its removal, this is just another minor criticism.
Most of these classic car kits come with a chromed sprue, and this is no different. You either love or hate it the finish, and some modellers would prefer to Alclad these parts instead after stripping the chrome in brake fluid etc. This is quite a large sprue and thankfully low on flash too. There are seams in places, so you may have to weigh up removing the seams against destroying the chrome finish. The running boards of the Phantom II have chromed inserts. These should look excellent in application. This sprue had moulded upon it the usual parts for this treatment, such as the famous Rolls Royce radiator grille, window frames, headlights, horn, bumpers, door handles etc. Some of the chrome is a little scuffed in places, and noticeably for me, on the bumper. This will need to be fixed.
The small clear sprue contains parts for the front and rear windows, plus the headlamp lenses. Clarity on these is very good despite the age of the moulds. No flash is apparent on any of these parts.
I know rubber tyres can be a contentious issue for modellers, but these are very good, with crisp tread definition and almost invisible and cleverly placed seams.
As previously mentioned, this kit does supply some rigid electrical type wire for the engine detail.
Revell's instructions are printed on a twelve page manual, with instructions that are mostly clear, if not a little crowded in places. Construction is spread over a typically high Revell count of SEVENTY-SEVEN sequences, and paint notation is given throughout in Revell paint codes.
A single decal sheet is given which gives the builder an option of licence plates, plus two American plates, namely 'KANSAS ROLLS' and 'TEXAS ROYCE'. I suppose it's the British part of me which means that the American plates don't appeal to me on a Rolls Royce car. Decals are also given for the instrument board and coachbuilder bodywork plates. This sheet is printed in Italy (Cartograf?) and is in perfect register with solid colour. They are a little thicker than I'm used to, but for a subject as this, and the location, that is pretty irrelevant.
So what do we think?
Yes it is an old kit, and perhaps the RRP of nearly £37 is a little high in that respect, especially since the brand new London Bus costs around the same price, but it is still a model very worthy of consideration and will undoubtedly build into a really stunning, large scale Phantom II. I do like this one!
Our sincere thanks to Revell UK for the review sample. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit www.revell.eu