|Overall Panel Fit:||5/10|
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Half-Life 2 Muscle Car The Philadelphia Experiment Charger
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Collier & Co: Hot Pursuit Traveller
A four-window box with a cool "retro" design, and a lot sturdier than it looks at first glance. The primary window on the front and top of the box has a Johnny Lightning logo centered above it on the top panel and below and to the left on the front panel. The front panel also has the make, model, and replica info, age recommendation, web address, and callout to look at the bottom of the box. This is because JL put a window there, allowing you to view the bare metal chassis with printed serial number. The bottom of the box also has all of the usual legal information, the bar code, the RC2 & manufacturer logos, and another call to visit the site. Each end flap has a window and the JL logo. The back panel has a huge JL logo and a checklist of the rest of the cars in this series. The Charger is held in place by a clear plastic tray at each end of the box, with a plastic band around the mid-section to keep the doors closed.
Solid work, though not 100% flawless. The body panels are all nice and smooth as usual, and the doors and fit well, but the hood doesn't close all the way. I can push it down against the top of the grille, but as soon as I let go it springs up a scale inch or two. There's also a rough spot along the inside edge of the left rear wheel arch. The paint is the same way: very good, but not perfect. There is a small flaw on the driver's side of the roof that looks like dust got into the paint before it dried, and the parking lights aren't quite centered. The door handles, window trim, emblems, and wheel arches are all very good, and the cowl vent has a black wash to give it some depth. Bright chrome is used for the grille/headlight surround, bumpers, wipers, taillight panel trim, wheels, gas cap, exhaust tips, and sideview mirror. It looks like the sideview mirror hasn't been seated all the way, but I can't force it into the door any further without disassembling the car. Clear plastic is used for the window glass, and the taillights are painted over the chrome parts. Under the hood is a nicely done representation of the 440, complete with ignition wiring and an air cleaner sticker. As with their Mustang, the wires are a little too neat, but otherwise well done. The interior is cast in black plastic and well detailed with paint on the dashboard, door panels, steering wheel, shift lever, and center console. The chassis is very well detailed, but unpainted to show off the fact that it's metal. The front suspension is a separate black plastic piece to allow for functional steering.
The hood and doors open, and the front wheels can be posed. The hinges work well and the doors fit nicely, though the hood not closing all the way looks pretty bad.
Johnny Lightning generally does a great job with accurately capturing their subjects, and the Charger continues that tradition for the most part. The grilles look a little off, but I think that's a paint issue rather than a sculpt issue. Speaking of paint, JL did make one major gaffe: the engine is orange, a color reserved solely for the Hemis of that era. The 440 should've been painted Chrysler turquoise out of the factory. Of course, the Charger is riding on aftermarket mags, so maybe this is supposed to be a mild custom? Scaling is a perfect 1/24, including the 14-inch wheels.
Overall a good replica, but there are a few things holding it back from being great. The hood is the most annoying trouble spot, and I really wish it had been done better. It's possible that not all replicas are like this, but since it's posed with the hood open in the box, there's no way of telling what your car will look like until you get it home. JL had a golden opportunity to provide us with a nice, affordable stock version, but it looks like a few too many corners were cut during production. The G2 Charger is a very popular subject, with models available from almost every diecast manufacturer - with so much competition, you'd think quality control would be a little more strict. As it is, I can only recommend this car if you're willing to do some cleanup work on it yourself.
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