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First Peek with Rusty Hurley Edition Date
5-01-06
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GMP 1:3 Scale Fender Stratocaster Guitar
GMP 1:18 1993 Ford Mustang Cobra SVT

 

GMP 1:3 Scale Fender Stratocaster Guitar GMP 1:18 1993 Ford Mustang Cobra SVT
 
     
 
Rusty Hurley
Rusty Hurley
 

Both of these models may make you want to sing and dance.
 

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  GMP 1:3 Scale Fender Stratocaster Guitar

If you haven’t discovered it yet, there’s a great site on the Internet called Wikipedia - the free internet encyclopedia. If you want to do some light research, it’s a great little reference tool.

Anyway, so I get a sample from GMP of a 1/3 model of a classic Fender Stratocaster guitar in the signature black and amber color combination known as “sunburst”. Now, I sold guitars so I know a thing or two about them, but I decide to go to Wikipedia to get a little more history and what do you know: the Fender Stratocaster pictured there is the famous “sunburst” color. You can look it up. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stratocaster

If you are a rock’n roll aficiando then I probably don’t need to tell you the Stratocaster is the classic rock guitar. While it’s easy to spot the tone of a Gibson hollow body or the straight forward twang of the Stratocaster’s great uncle the Telecaster, the Stratocaster has the personality of a chameleon. Depending on where you strum it, and how you set the pickups (pickups are what look like bars of metal dots called the neck, middle, and bridge) can give the guitar everything from a cool country feel to a full metal blast.

The GMP 1/3 scale model features wood construction that emulates the material found on the Strat. This version is at least from the second generation of Stratocasters as it has a rosewood fret board (original Stats’ were maple). The body is wonderfully shaped, and from a side profile note the perfectly countoured front. The Strat body is ash with graining that appears to be accountable to scale. I have no idea how they did that.

The classic sunburst finish allows that graining to come through, but turning the guitar model over on it’s back you’ll notice careful attention to the wood finish, including the maple neck with rosewood in-lay complete with fret markings. Talk about limited editions: because of the woodwork no two of these models will be exactly alike.

The fretboard is accurately detailed with well spaced frets leading to the patented swooping headstock. While the strings are not tunable, the chrome hardware is thoughtfully crafted and mounted so that the tuning keys are individually positioned, not standing in rank like a cheaper replica. The only time the tuning keys are exactly aligned on a guitar is the day it comes home from the store with you.

The real action here is the solid body which contains white thermo-plastic shielding screwed on with scale chrome hardware front and back. In front, it’s mounted by 23 jewel-like screws and supports the three single coil pick-ups, the working selector switch and the volume and tone knobs. While each component is a miniature marvel, the tone knobs should be a little more closely spaced, as the one next to the low e string could interfere with strumming. That said they are proportionate and do allow for easily read wording and numbers on the knob itself. The tremolo bar. better known as the whammy bar, (a Stratocaster innovation) comes packaged separately and mounts on the bridge. There’s more distance between the bar and body then you might expect, but it displays well and helps give the bar dimension. There’s also the standard plug-in and bolts in place to attach your strap.

If the model’s detail by itself wasn’t enough to wow you, then the fact that is comes on an adjustable guitar stand should. It includes rubberized arms so as not to mar your new Strat and is finished in a flat black so as to frame this masterpiece, not overwhelm it. There’s even a wall mount that comes with it, in case you’ve seen Spinal Tap or The Song Remains the Same a few too many times and you want to start building your own little guitar room.

This is one very cool piece. A great gift idea for Father’s Day for a “too old to rock n roll too young to die” Dad. That said, anyone who could use a little soul vaccination will enjoy this staring back across the desk or rec room. Every time I look at it, the epic roar of Layla plays in my head. A model that gives you goose bumps: not a bad thing at all.

 

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  GMP 1:18 1993 Ford Mustang Cobra SVT

Teal excites the senses because it’s a bold combination of two colors. It isn’t as commonplace as other colors like orange. It’s probably not going to be listed as many people’s favorite color, yet when done well it is striking and subtle at the same time. I personally really like teal, but when I look at the street cars in my diecast collection, there isn’t a teal car to be found - until now.

GMP has filled in a gap for the Mustang collector by producing the 1993 Mustang Cobra. The car comes in three colors, a typical mustang RED, a wicked BLACK and this wild TEAL with grey interior.

Packaging is, as always GMP first rate with some additional protection for the roof against potential package rub. There’s something about the colorful box, styrofoam coffin and GMP branded closure that always excites me about opening a new model form Tom Long’s love bunch. I think it’s because without fail I like what comes out. In this case, the model’s color is instant curb appeal as you plop it on the desk. That teal has a metallic bent and really pops and is evenly applied with no tool marks, drips or chips.

The car sits with perfect stance and at exact scale. Shutlines are tighter then Carmen Electra's tukus and all emblems, markings and trim are done to spec. GMP has been making these Fox body cars for awhile now and they’ve got them down to a science. But they don’t just stamp out another piece of pot metal from the same old mold, they really take good care to make sure all Cobra appearance package elements are well executed.

For example, the front has a valance that was unique to the Cobra, including fog lamps and a unique cutaway center. The grille features the pony logo specifically applied to the Cobra model, the other fox body cars had blue ovals front and center.

Lifting the hood, we might have one of GMP’s best engine executions yet – and that’s saying something given what they’ve accomplished in the 2005 GTO and some of their most recent offerings. The hood stands up fine on it’s own, however there is a prop that is available use, which makes a nice display feature. The Cobra 235 hp engine is fully plumbed and wired and made using the kind of mixed media that adds to the build cost but makes the model so satisfying: rubber fan belts, wiring and tubing of varying gauges, metal radiator fill caps and clamps, detailed engine stickers and embossed warning on the fan guard. It’s an immense achievement.

There are two elements that you have option on adding to the car, the aerial and the Cobra branded floor mats. Both are no-brainers, so after mounting the aerial, let’s open the interior and put the floor mats in, shall we? A pull on the solidly mounted door leads you to the grey interior – a perfect contrast to that flashy teal. Super-detail is the rule from the door interior (note electronic controls detailed in the arm rest and door lock) to molded, foldable bucket seats to the nylon seat belts with photo-etched hardware. The dashboard, pedals and levers are all replicated flawlessly.

The chassis is superbly crafted from exhaust system to the axles. I really like the suspension detail and the wired brake lines. GMP in fact seems to spend a great deal of time getting braking and suspension details accurate but often these gems are semi-hidden. Maybe we can convince them to execute removable wheels on their 1:18s one day. The 17” Cobra wheels sport Goodyear Eagles that are soft and scuffed. The model rolls effortlessly.

The rear of the car features a lift, the special Cobra rear valance and taillight package. The rear exhaust looks a bit undersized but it’s well placed and nicely chromed. That cargo area is nicely flocked and the rear seats have the fold down levers built in (Non operable).

Adding to it’s collectibility is history: this was the first year for the Ford SVT cars (Special Vehicle Team), niche performance cars made by Ford on existing platforms. The Performance vehicles at SVT are characterized by increased power, supple road manners, and balance among engine, suspension, and braking systems. There's an element of exclusivity as well: SVT produces only 5,000 vehicles yearly. GMP is producing only 3,500 of all three colors.

One can only be impressed by the scope of effort here and the commitment to faithfully replicating the model without shortcuts. So whether you’re a Mustang completist or dabbler, this model should shoot straight to the top of your 2006 must have list.

All three colors of GMP's 1993 Ford Mustang Cobra are in stock at Legacy Motors.


How to Get YOUR Models Listed in First Peek!

If you represent a diecast manufacturer and want to have your models reviewed in First Peek, contact me directly at rusty.hurley@gmail.com
 

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