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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Breaking (RV) Bad: 1986 Fleetwood Bounder RV



One show that I really didn't expect to become popular until I missed a few seasons and then all of a sudden it was an icon was the AMC TV series Breaking Bad.  Great story, mysterious clues as to what happens next, surprises, and its real TV not obscured by infotaimnet or cheesy special effects.  It's the real deal!  So it was no surprise that someone would make the vehicles of Breaking Bad, even though you can find Skyler's Jeep Grand Wagoneer (Johnny Lightning), Hank's Jeep Commander (Motormax), Marie's VW New Beetle (any maker as long as its blue), Jesse's Monte Carlo (more on that later) and Toyota Tercel 4WD Wagon (Majorette), and Walt's 2014 Chrysler 300 SRT-8 and Walt Jr's Dodge Challenger SRT-8 (Greenlight for both).  Still, we need Gus's 1995 Volvo wagon, Mike's Chrysler Imperial sedans, Walt's 1975 Cadillac Sedan De Ville, and of course Walt's Pontiac Aztek.  This time Greenlight decided to make the mothership, the RV used to cook meth and ultimately destroyed when Hank almost finds the rolling evidence, the 1986 Fleetwood Bounder RV.






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The story begins in the pilot episode when Walt runs into Jesse, a known Meth dealer, and with Walt's high school chemistry teacher skills decides to cook with him in order to raise money for his treatment of lung cancer.  Walt first orders Jesse to find a way to cook meth without doing it inside of their own houses; as it's revealed later on the RV was given away to Jesse for free by Combo after a night partying at a strip club with all of Walt's money given to him.  The 1986 Bounder RV was owned by Combo's mother who really had no more use of the RV, so it was only appropriate to give it to one of her son's friend.  The RV would play a critical role in the first round of buyers, set up in the desert, to show their product.  Not akin to get any chemical smells on his clothes Walt strips down to his white underwear, hanging his pants and shirt on the right-side rearview mirror.  When the deal goes sour, Walt creates a chemical explosion and locks the two dealers in the RV as they gasp for breath and shoot five rounds into the door.  With the mask on and the dealers dead Walt sets them up in their low rider, brings Jesse into the RV (both have mask and Walt still has his clothes on the mirror) and speeds off when he hears sirens and starts to panic.  After crashing the RV on an incline Walt retrieves his shirt and with a gun loaded tries to scare off the cops, only to find out that it was the fire department responding to a brush call down the dirt road.  This was just the beginning of a long-standing run with the RV used in the cooking, before being revealed to Hank as he was investigating, coming very close, and in the end with a new cooking place set up and the RV as a fugitive the RV was put to pieces in the junkyard.





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Fleetwood is a renowned builder of Recreational Vehicles, and one of their models (and now an icon) is the Bounder.  The base on the Greenlight version does not show much it does show the ladder frame, dual exhaust, dually rear tires, and drivetrain that uses a 454 CID V8 from the GM truck line that produces an estimated 245 hp. through a three-speed automatic.  Also visible is the shower tank drain behind the rear axle.  This RV is large, as it's even bigger than the International Durastar trucks in the Heavy-Duty line!  The wheels are silver 5-spoke truck wheels that are not shared with anyone else.  The color for both the Heavy-Duty Release 2 and this Breaking Bad hobby exclusive shown here are both tan with red, yellow, and orange stripes and a silver roof where the dual white AC units, skylights, and vent outlets lie and are accessible by a chrome step ladder and rails at the back.






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The front has a spear-shaped front-end with quad headlights reminscient of the GMC Motorhome., twin black grilles, body-colored bumpers front and rear, access panels for the engine, and a split windshield with wiper blade arms.  The sides have access panels at the bottom for luggage storage and access to the motorhome's internal systems like the water heater, septic tank, and propane gas for the stove.  The windows have slots where the window slides open for outside ventilation, while the right-side gets the access door, dryer vent, and a roll-out canopy to create a front porch.  The rear has the step ladder, tri-taillights, and a trailer hitch at the bottom.  Notable features that the Breaking Bad RV special has is the removal of the Bounder logos from the front roof and doors, a larger passenger-side mirror with Walter's green shirt,  New Mexico license plate, and Breaking Bad logo on the base.  I also added bullet holes to the door with a Sharpie, so if you want the bullet holes you'll have to create your own.





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The interior is a disappointment and here's why:  The front part of the interior is fine with the bucket seats and dashboard layout with gauges, steering column, and radio from a GM C/K pickup, and like the GM trucks all are located close to the driver.  In the middle is where the CB radio lies.  After that it's nothing but a blank canvas.  Yes, absolutely nothing!  Just like the Airstream Bambi Greenlight failed to fulfill the rest of the motorhome's interior.  Why can't they just put simple blocks for where the kitchen cabinets, front table, rear bed, and bathroom walls reside?  That should be sufficient enough.  It's truthfully ridiculous for a vehicle this size to miss out on the important features:  It was acceptable in the Bambi, but not here!!!



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Now as I mentioned before there is a way to get Jesse's "The Cap'n" Monte Carlo lowrider: either as a model kit or as this Johnny Lightning 1984 Olds 442 lowrider shown here.  While not the same car, it is the same platform shared with the Monte Carlo; heck, it has the same small lowrider wheels!  This unfortunate and ironic event occurred many years ago as I was trying to obtain a stock version of the 442 in the Johnny Lightning line.  This was the best that I could come up with!  Once I found a decent, stock 442 I decided to put this casting in the sell pile not knowing if it will ever sell or not.  Well thanks to Johnny Lightning's short life and even shorter experience into the lowrider arena, and now the Breaking Bad TV show, this 442 may have something valuable about itself.  The front has the quad headlights, waterfall grille, and signal lights integrated smoothly into the body.  The boxy side profile is supplemented by the purple body with wavy silver graphics, while the rear has the taillights and bumper pads detailed.



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The interior has the same layout as its platform mates with the 3-spoke steering wheel, horizontal speedometer, central radio and HVAC conrols, and seating for four.  The shifters in the middle are part of the automatic transmission that allows manual shifting in a more complicated fashion that the His/Her shifter from the Pontiac line back in the 1960's: You have four gears and for every movement into the next gear lever you have to put the rest of the levers in neutral.  The metal base shows off the drivetrain, suspension, and dual exhaust with precision.  JL did a nice job with this Olds 442 casting, too bad I could only find this lowrider.  Then again, since it's close to Jesse's car its doable now!

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Despite the lack of the interior home features this is one great and large casting and a great fit for any Breaking Bad fan's collection.  Now the question is how would Greenlight use the Bounder RV in future releases?

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