THE AMT CUSTOMIZING BOAT KIT was first produced in 1959. The boat was presented in much the same way as a car kit of the time, with a three-way assembly and some custom parts.
Mat Irvine: And here it is in modern form. The manufacturer is unnamed, though it looks similar to a Chris-Craft of the time. The kit was last issued in 1999 (when Ertl still owned AMT) and was released in one of the then-current limited-production ranges. This latest issue uses the larger size of box presently used by AMT and MPC car kits, and neatly reworks the original box art. There is also a much improved decal sheet.
The build options more or less match those you might expect with an automobile kit – stock, custom, and competition. Here the stock version is a four-seater inboard runabout, powered by an engine (maybe a Mercruiser 6) positioned midships.
Up front there is room for a driver and passenger, with right-hand steering wheel, and car-type instrument panel. Two more passengers could sit in the separate aft section. Engine hatches can be opened, and details include a propeller, driveshaft, rudder, spotlamp, and a pair of small air scoops.
It's a pity that no figures are included, especially as they feature prominently on the box.
The custom speedboat leaves the front driving position intact, but the rear seat opening is covered over, its place being taken by a long, swept-back fin, with a pair on the sides
For the seagoing dragster, a different deck and a V8 engine are supplied. The V8 looks as if it was borrowed from a Ford Thunderbird, at least, that’s according to the engraved logo on the rocker covers. The driver/pilot sits aft, behind a centre-mounted steering wheel and new instrument panel.
A trailer is supplied in the kit, and this can carry any of the three versions. It’s fairly simple in construction, as there are no running lights or winch. But these details could be added later if you wish, and you do have hub caps and fender skirts for a custom look. The kit instructions suggest that you can swap parts around between versions.
The attractive side panels (below) show details of the build variations.
The box base (below) shows photos of fully-assembled models, useful as build guides.
The parts (below) include one hull, two top decks, and a pair of engines. Trailer wheels are in black vinyl.
The instruction booklet (below) remains virtually as the 1959 original. The decal sheet is new, and is very comprehensive.
The three variations (below) that can be built from the kit, though note that you need more than one kit to build all three. I chose to spray the trailers in matching colours.
The four-seater runabout (below).
I painted the custom speedboat (below) to give it a touch of the TV series Batboat.
The ocean-going dragster (below) looks convincing.
Two engines (below) are supplied, an inline six and a V8 for the seagoing dragster.
Comparisons between the original box (below, upper) and the new one. The bigger box now allows all three to appear on the box-top.
The new box box base has plenty of information (below, lower) to guide builders, a welcome change from the previous plain brown design.
Old and new decal sheets (below). The new one at bottom shows that hard work has gone into making a far better printed version.
A pickup hauling a boat (below) looks excellent, just right for a diorama display.
AMT: 3 in 1 Customizing Boat Kit
Assembled length: 205 mm (8 in)
Manufacturer’s ref: AMT1056
Note: AMT also made a 1:25 scale Rayson Craft Drag-Ski boat. A trailer was included, and the Rayson appeared in several guises over the years, though none recently.
Thanks to Round 2 for the review kit