Reader reviews of a kit featured on Starship Modeler.

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Your Two Cents: Mach 5

The following are reader's opinions of the Mach 5 made by Polar Lights.

Reviewer   Zach 'Malto' Largo
Date Reviewed   Oct 22, 2000
Overall Rating       Well worth getting.
Comments This is a beautiful kit, the exterior is very close to the real thing, Myself being a Mach five/speed racer obsseive. The sad but true news is (well noticable to me anyway) is the fins are wrongly shaped and the eingin is in the rear; and well other then the cockpit being slightly too short it is a beautiful kit.

This is an excellent kit and I am not overcritising I am just pointing out the small problems in it. PEACE ZL

Reviewer   Philip Gruver
Date Reviewed   Dec 10, 2000
Overall Rating       Well worth getting.
Comments This is a fine kit and Jim James gives a great review. I like the idea of cutting off the nose to eliminate the seam. I do recommend completing the steering assembly as instructed. If carefully assembled, the steering wheel will turn the front wheels (you cannot, however, turn the steering wheel by turning the wheels). How to do this? First insert the steering shaft into the axel assembly. Then mount the completed cockpit onto the chassis allowing the other end of the steering shaft to slide through the steering column. The steering shaft will have to bend a little to clear the homing robot bay support structure, but not enough to impede motion. Try it, you won't be sorry!

Reviewer   Christopher Doll
Date Reviewed   Jan 15, 2001
Overall Rating       Good kit, but with some problems.
Comments I'm just completing my PL Mach 5 and I'm mostly pleased with the results. The downfalls involve the order of construction which isn't described very well with the given instructions. Jim's suggestion of splitting the bottom to build the top of the chassis is right on. I found the decals to be a bit of a pain, they wouldn't snuggle down very well on what should be a smooth surface.

It builds a nice kit and is worth the money if you want your own Mach 5.

Reviewer   Simon McCaffery
Date Reviewed   Apr 18, 2002
Overall Rating       Well worth getting.
Comments I recently completed the glue-kit version of Polar Lights' Mach 5, and had fun making it as accurate as possible. Many potential problems were avoided by reading Jim James' review -- he's right about the wheel/axle assemblies, etc.

To accurately paint the cockpit/steering wheel/dashboard, an easy reference is the compilation "Speed Racer: The Movie," available on VHS and DVD. You can probably rent this at your local Blockbuster, etc. The very first episode on the tape runs through all the Mach 5's special features and includes detailed scenes of the steering wheel and cockpit details.

I added working headlights to this model using small 3V incandescent lights. These are typically used by folks who light dollhouses. I drilled small holes through the area where the chromed headlamps would be affixed, and snugged down the bulbs. The wires were run through the bottom of the wheel well and out the back of the diorama case, soldered to lead wires from a small AAA battery pack with an "on-off" switch, available for a couple of dollars from Radio Shack. I painted the interior of the headlamp wells yellow before affixing the clear headlight covers. The effect is very realistic and fun!

I also removed the chrome from the wheel hubs (oven cleaner) and painted them metallic aluminum for a more realistic look. All in all, a great 1/25 kit!

Reviewer   chris
Date Reviewed   Apr 25, 2002
Overall Rating       Well worth getting.
Comments Overall very nice. If you want to be nitpicky, or are a Mach 5 purist, then this is not the best kit out there. However, taking general accuracy of the body, fit and finish, and price, into consideration, then by all means get and build one. The body is faithful to the cartoon in its lines and ratio. The engine was nice, although of course the cartoon car did not have a rear turbine engine. Forget about the horrible cutters and jacks unless you modify them--they are very untrue to the cartoon. The interior, while generally inaccurate, was acceptable. The whole kit was molded beautifully with little or no flash, and everything went together very easily. I was able to make the steering work, but I had to shave the shaft down to fit and I greased the linkage/mechanism with some silicon grease. It works but it's still iffy. The undercarriage I felt was very lacking in detail or realism/faithfulness to the cartoon. Once again--five hole wheels--the mach 5 has six hole wheels. Few representations of the mach 5 get that detail correct. Clear parts aren't clear, but I'd hear PL was releasing replacement clear parts, which I've never seen. I really liked the inclusion of the bubble canopy--another rarely seen item in mach 5s. I finished mine in two-tone, white over light grey, as I feel the cartoon car was "painted" as such, but there's debate on that. Instructions are good only as a drop cloth to keep your table clean, or as paper airplane stock. Decals were pretty nice, though the door markings could have been bigger. This kit is so easy to paint and build, I would say forget about the snap kit which has far fewer features and go for the glue version, even if you're inexperienced at model building.

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