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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Welly 1:24 2005 Ford Mustang GT and Maisto 1:24 2006 Ford Mustang GT

One of my most favorite modern Ford Mustang's is the 2005-2009 body style, yet as much as I like this generation I can never seem to find one with the proper details and dimensions of the actual car.  Well I finally found one from Welly, of course, but it needed some added flare, so once again the project of enhancing a 2005 Ford Mustang GT in 1:24 scale was underway.

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Long-overdue makeover

By 2004 the Mustang has finally risen itself far past the dead after a near-miss being a front-drive sports car, which eventually became the Ford Probe in 1989 and it disappeared after 1997.  Still, it was old, the V6 mustangs looked like cheap plastic toys where the V8 GT models had some polish, the platform was old as well still dating back to the Fox body shared with the long-deceased Ford Fairmont.  It was time for a change, so the 2005 Ford Mustang finally did so starting with a new platform, the DEW 98, shared with the Jaguar S-type, Lincoln LS, and 2002 Ford Thunderbird (all long gone by now as well).  The new platform stretched the length and wheelbase for a more neutral look than the very long hood and very short deck of the Fox-body Mustangs; this also relocated the fuel tank from the rear bumper to a more safe area under the rear seat, just ahead of the rear axle.  The suspension still uses the front Strut and rear live axle, but the latter has more linkage to control axle movement and wheel hop.  The powertrains carry-over, but both have reworked intake manifold and engine bay layout to the point that it's hard to decipher between the V6 and V8 models unless you look at the engine block.  The GT has the 4.6L SOHC V8 that produces 300 hp. and 325 Ib-ft. of torque through a 5-speed manual or a 5-speed automatic.

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The exterior was more retro and inspired by the 1965-1969 Mustang's.  The front has round headlights behind covers joined by a large honeycomb grill with the prancing pony in between the foglights mounted in the grill.  The wheelweels have rounded flares that give some character to the otherwise flat sides, and that fake side scoop has finally been eliminated to just a crease (but it would return later on a few special models).  The rear has smaller tri-taillights on a flat panel that includes a faux gas cap that also hides the key hole for the trunk, trunk lid spoiler on GT models, and the dual exhaust cutting out of the rear bumper.  The fastback roofline returns over the hardtop-over-convertible of the previous-generation.  The styling was first previewed by the 2003 Mustang GT coupe in silver and roadster in red concept cars.  The interior still has the twin-cockpit layout, but is more square surfaces than rounded that recall the first Mustang models.  Up the trim levels and packages will gain you silver accents across the dashboard, and also a red interior package that features red leather seats, red door panel inserts, and red floor mats.  The 3-spoke classic steering wheel is ahead of retro gauge cluster that can change colors thanks to LED that offer plenty of colors to choose from.  The interior, compared to the Fox-body, was more roomier and larger, but still suffers from the cost-cutting areas of plastic that Ford was still prone to at the time of introduction; today's 2015 Mustang has a much better interior quality and feel than the 2005.

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Maisto's so-so attempt on a Mustang GT

Back in 2006 the Maisto 1:24 2006 Mustang GT was not a bad car: It looked good and had some nice touches, but when you compare it to other manufacturers, especially Welly, the results are dissatisfying.  The front has the grill details with the prancing pony, foglights, and lower bumper, but the headlights seem flat (a common detailing problem with a few diecast manufacturers and this body-style Mustang) and the lower bumper slots don't show enough 'deep' detailing.  Note that this is a 2006 Mustang which features the new ground effects and the 5-spoke 18 inch wheels; as you can see having individual wheels is nice but they tend to sag at an angle on this casting.  The sides have a pretty decent profile, while at the rear the taillights are, again, flat, and the gascap is not a separate piece as in the Welly.  Thankfully the rear spoiler is.  The chassis shows off excellent drivetrain and suspension components, with the added detailing of the rear axle links that are missing on the Welly version.  The exhaust, unfortunately, are not chrome so they don't stand out as much as the Welly does.

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The engine bay looked good back then with crafty detailing of the yellow labels on the engine compartment, but lets be honest it's just a plastic pan not a 3-D view!  The interior at least shows off a dashboard with silver accents and a nicely-detailed shifter with silver accents and if you look closely you can make out the gear pattern on the shifter.  Then things get flabby with the thin seats, pedals that are a part of the interior pan and not the dashboard, and fuzzy detailing on the controls.  Again, it wasn't a bad choice at first, especially with more colors offered, but as you'll see the Welly version is more superior.

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A fabulous Welly Mustang with some added details and changes

Sporting the Torch Red paint, this GT really stand out.  The front has the lower bumper slots that are open in the two central units, the signal lights are separate lenses, the headlights have the perfect shape and pitch in their housing, and the grill has the foglights and more realistic prancing pony despite the grill being upright.  The hood has more curves and little black dots for the windshield washer nozzles and antenna, while the sides show off a little more flair in the body sculpting occupied with the 5-spoke mag wheels that look really cool and stand up straight thanks to the solid pin axles, though it was a little bit early for separate brake rotors and calipers to be floating behind the wheels (and this car needs them evidentialy).  The roof has the detailed rail tracks in black, and yes the rear spoiler is a separate piece with side marker lights and the trunk-mounted third brake light also separate lenses.  The rear has a separate chrome gas cap that looks better than the Maisto, as does the taillights with more visual pop than the Maisto, the rear plate is a separate piece, and check out those chrome exhausts!

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Open the hood to a relieving sight: an engine that is 3-D and not a plastic pan!  The silver block is visible from behind the maze of hoses and intake manifold, though it lacks the drive belt but then again its hard to see it with all of the resovoir's and hoses in the way!  In addition Welly also added detailing to the strut towers and battery cables, and even the cutout for the front hood latch.  The base underneath lacks the rear axle links but makes up for it with chrome rear exhaust and muffler and front suspension and anti-sway bar links.  I added more detailing to the suspension, drivetrain, and exhaust with a silver sharpie to add more visual appeal.

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So far, looks good.  Now to the interior where things get a bit unsettled:  It's nothing but a dark coal bin with, what the heck, an automatic transmission on a GT!  This is where the major work needs to be done.  The plan:  Add the deluxe interior package (with the silver dash accents) and the red interior package to the seats, door panels, and floor mats, and finally remove the shifter for the 5-speed manual shifter, add a clutch pedal (and detail the pedals), and round off the transmission pan on the base.  The donor for the shifter?  A second Maisto 1:24 2006 Ford Mustang GT that I had laying around, while the clutch pedal came off of a former AMT plastic model kit's accelerator pedal, trimmed to size.  The dashboard was simple and has the same detailing with a silver sharpie that I conducted on the Welly 2007 Shelby GT500, though it was a tight fit to reach some crevices.  The door panels were equally tricky as well, especially around the arm rests.  The rest of the red interior was painted with red paint instead of a sharpie.  End result:  Man does it pop out now!!!  To add to that, the door panels have nice detailing (note the exterior mirror knob on the driver's door), the detailed gauges, the detailed 3-spoke wheel, the thick seats, and even the controls for the radio and HVAC.  The shifter sits a bit high, but at least it still fits like a glove!


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So while the Welly version has double the appeal and level of detailing over the Maisto 1:24 equivalent, the interior was a let down.  However, if you have creative talent and artistic abilities you can turn that right around to finally conceive the Torch Red, 5-speed Manual GT with two-tone interior that you always imagine.  This is a car i'll cherish for years to come!


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Update 12/19/17: Having been smitten by the Welly version I got a second 1:24 version of the 2005 Mustang GT, this time in yellow.  However, unlike the red version that got a total makeover with red interior and five-speed manual transmission, the yellow version retains the all-black interior and 5-speed automatic transmission.  Still either way it's a great casting!

1 comment:

  1. First off... I LOVE YOUR BLOG NAME! a good pun on Two-Lane Blacktop ;)

    One thing is important with 1:24 cars in my opinion (and I'm talking from a dad's perspective)... the age limit.

    Maisto are telling the truth when they say that their 1:24 cars are for kids ages 3+. Some diecast brands out there like Bburago say it but they break so damn easily. My kid dismantled a 1:24 bburago within a week when he was 4. We had to glue the parts together, patch on the wheels and what not :(

    The Maisto's on the other hand seem indestructible. The Ford Mustang I got him 4 years looks like it came out of a mad max movie but it can still run! If you wanna see what they look like after years of play check out my article 1:24 diecast cars.

    I plan on featuring other brands in the future there. My kid just got a Welly Land Rover, he begged to get it even though he is 6 and the box says they're for 8+. I do not see it surviving for long, the attention to detail is amazing... but it kinda seems fragile when you compare it to the Maisto 1:24.