Red and orange cars always take well to chrome detailing and of course this great new Ertl product is no exception. This car has great lines and just enough chrome trim to really take well to the detailing. It is so nice to work with a car out of a fresh mold. The edges of the body are always more smooth and crisp on a new-mold car. This series shows the full blown detailing. The Big Bad Orange cars need a little more attention that the others to make the grill and wheels look correct.
The paint and stripe application on these cars is almost flawless. I've always liked the look of a car with body color bumpers. Even though the AMX doesn't have a rear seat, there does seem to be a fair amount of room back there. Not much head room though! The tail pipe tips got a little flat black paint and the chrome is pretty obvious. If I could change two things, I'd have Ertl add clear red plastic tail lights and molded in front fender side marker lights so they could be properly chromed.
Here you can see the important details Ertl left out and that I've added. Amazing what a little research can tell you. I found that on the Big Bad color cars AMC added a strip of chrome to the top edge of the bumper to complete the chrome line around the grill. There is also supposed to be some body color showing between this trim and the main part of the grill which you can see still peeking out. I have also painted the grill surround a satin gray metallic. Without this treatment the whole grill looks too chrome unlike the real cars. You'll also notice the chrome eyebrows I've added over the headlights. Funny thing that AMC didn't also add chrome under the headlights as under the grill, but I've detailed things to look like the real cars. I've also added a satin aluminum air dam under and below the bumper. From what I can tell, only the Big Bad cars seem to have gotten this item, but it must have been optional as not all Big Bad AMXs have this item.
The trunks on these models really give the models more appeal. The trunk is nicely detailed with a spare and a quick-fill air bottle. I didn't add any detail here but I felt I should add a picture of this part of the car since it helps the overall look of the model. I wonder if the inside of the trunk should be body color? I'll have to do some more research and fix this area if necessary.
The wheels got a little paint to the lug nuts, the rest of the wheel except for the outer rim has been painted black and the side pipes got some flat black to the background which helps the ribs to show up like they should. On the Big Bad color cars the wheels were painted black for some reason. Personally I like the look of black background with chrome spokes but I gotta be accurate! The door handles got some satin foil so they would look like the brushed metal look the door handles on the 1:1s have. Unfortunately that doesn't show up well in the picture. It is a subtle detail, but does improve the look of the door handles. The fit and finish on these models is superb.
I found through my research that the air cleaner lid, valve covers and oil spout cap should be chrome on the AMX 390. It was quite a bit of work, but I've added chrome to all these items. While I was at it I also detailed the power steering cap wing nut, hose clamps and firewall motors. Ertl did a nice detailing job and I especially like the safety warnings on the shock tower and by the battery but I can't believe Ertl missed the chrome on the air cleaner and valve covers. You can also see here the detailing added to the grill.
I found in my research that there are some big details missing on the interior. The seat hinge/latch assemblies are supposed to be chrome. Ertl already did a nice job on the steering wheel, shifter and dash. The chrome on the seats really helps finish off the overall look. Ertl also did a nice job on the door panels. According to the pictures I used for reference, the dash doesn't seem to have any chrome knobs at all.
I have a feeling that the undercarriage should be a combination of body color and primer like on many Mopars and Fords, but I haven't been able to determine that for sure. The AMX was unibody so this would seem likely, but on the other hand, AMC seemed to emulate GM products and processes and the unibody Novas and Camaros got black paint underneath so maybe the AMX did too. Until I find out for sure my model will stay like this. It has received details on the gas tank, springs, drive shaft, strut supports, steering link, anti-sway bar, fuel pump, oil filter and starter. Ertl had already detailed the exhaust, shocks and transmission.