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Civil Aircraft

Civil Aircraft in my terms mean airliners. Airliners are easy to find, but when you do see them, they are usually, 1:200 scale of B747-400, DC-10, and B-777-200 aircraft. This might seem odd since there are so many types of aircraft, but at the same time, the main manufacturer of these aircraft, Hasegawa, seems to only care about mainstream aircraft. In recent years they have come out with some others, but the scale is 1:400 which is too small to work with.

While Hasegawa used to be the main dealer of airliners, other companies have began to shape the airliner side of model building. Perhaps the best airliner manufacturers now are Revell and Minicraft. They have aircraft which you don't see everyday, especially since they are in a 1:144 scale.

Major Airlines:
The aircraft flown by the majors are numerous, but the problem is that the main manufacturers of airliners put Japanese, Asian, and European names on the planes. A truly American airline is tough to find, but now this has changed. With the help of a contact I found on the internet, Airline Hobby Supplies (AHS), airline decals are now numerous if you wish to order them. The new paint schemes of TWA and Continental are just a couple of what they have to offer.

Airline Fleets:

Continental Airlines Fleet 

About a year ago, I decided to build a fleet of airplanes from an airline, and chose to build the 2000 fleet of Continental Airlines. Part of the reason to build Continental was that I used to work for them through a strategic code-share, but the other reason is that their fleet is fairly simple, but still offers a variety of planes. I had toyed with the idea of building a fleet consisting of United Airlines planes, but since they have the entire Boeing family and a couple planes from other aircraft manufacturers, I decided it would be overkill, and so I settled on Continental. 

The current Continental fleet consists of Boeing B737-300, -500, -700, and –800; Boeing B757-200; Boeing B767-400; and Boeing B777-200 aircraft. Recently Continental ordered a hand full of B757-300 aircraft, so I decided to build this model too. Also, the current fleet has DC-10-30 and MD-80 aircraft too. The MD-80 is not available yet, but I have been told that Minicraft might release this kit in the winter of 2000 or spring 2001. My current fleet of Continental models include the B737-300, -500, -700, -800, B757-200, -300, B767-400, and DC-10-30. Below are all the explanations of how I built each airplane. 

Before I discuss each plane individually, I would like to say that all the decals were bought through Airline Hobby Supplies of Canada. AHS also sells airplanes that are hard to find, and has helped me in my quest to find many planes that you will not find in hobby stores due to the fact that they don’t carry them or they believe they are out of production and reach. AHS has many airline kits that have been discontinued, but are still available for sale. They can help find any decal you could possibly want, including Continental. 

As for the color scheme of Continental kits, it is fairly simple. The fuselage was painted a gloss white on the top and a light sea gray on the bottom. A gold cheat-line comes in the way of a decal, so it combines the white and gray perfectly. The wings and stabilizers were painted light gray with leading edges silver. The engines were the light sea gray for all kits except the DC-10-30, in which case the engines are painted silver. 

The decals go on with no problem at all, with the tail decal the blue and gold logo. Just remember, when I say that the tail logo is blue, I mean it is blue, so when you paint the plane initially, paint the tail white too. The only other idea to think about is that on all of my Continental planes, I place the aircraft type information under the windows in front of the rear exit doors. Continental might not do this on their real planes, but it helps distinguish between some of the planes and that way people won’t have to ask what kind of a plane it is. 

The only other hint is that for weight and balance, I glue five pennies in the nose of each kit. This will keep it nose-heavy so the tail won’t hit the ground when sitting on a shelf. Most models are tail heavy with the horizontal stabilizers, so it is a good and cheap trick. 

Boeing B737-300 (Continental Airlines)   

Of all of the B737 family members, the –300 is by far the most popular in this family, and possibly the world. With approximately 960 of the type flying, it is by far a plane that consumers and professionals both love. With a crew of two, this twin-engine aircraft can carry 128 in a typical two-class layout. A backbone for many airlines, the B737 is by far a plane that will live forever. 

When Minicraft decided to put out a model of the –300 a couple years ago, they made a great decision. The –300 was taken off shelves as quick as they could go on at the beginning, and while the demand has gone down, they are still an item of interest.  The kit, like all by Minicraft, is an easy one to assemble, with the exception of the windscreen, which comes as a part of the upper-forward portion of the fuselage. It is hard to explain, but if you buy the kit, or any jetliner kit by Minicraft, you will know what I mean. This isn’t really a big problem as long as you take your time and putty and sand the “canopy” before you paint the plane. However, I suggest using tape to “mask” the actual windscreen of the plane. 

After the plane was built and painted, the decals went on with no problem at all, with the tail making the plane all worth it. The gold globe brightens the entire room, with Continental being one of the top companies to work for in the United States. Just one thing to remember when painting the Continental planes is to paint the tail white since the decals have the blue tail that fits just fine. 

I decided to leave the gear in the extended position since I wanted to line my fleet up as they were finished. This project is now about halfway complete, but the other planes are either on order or haven’t come out yet. I hope to have it completed by the end of this year if all goes correct. But for now, I await to work on more planes as they arrive. If you decide to do a fleet, have fun, and enjoy the airline of choice and their paint scheme. If you see this kit in your local hobby store, I would suggest buying it and then ordering decals for an airline that flies the –300.   

Boeing B737-500 (Continental)   

When I was finished with the B737-300, I decided to try my luck building a –500. For comparison purposes, the B737-300 is 109’7” long, the –500 is 101’9” long, and the –200 is 100’2”. This gives a good look at how Boeing basically made a new and improved –200 planes and named it the –500. It isn’t really that simple, but the –500 has an updated flight deck, engines, and wiring. It might be about the same length as the –200, but it is much more fuel-efficient and meets stage III noise requirements without losing weight. But to further compare the aircraft, when you look at typical two-class layouts for the family you end up with the –300 holding 128 passengers, the –500 seating 108, and the –200 carrying 105. The conclusion is of course that the –500 is an updated model of the popular –200. 

Though currently no model company makes a scale –500 in 1:144th scale, I decided I had to have one for my Continental fleet. After looking at the dimensions of the –300 and –500, I decided that to make a scale model of the –500, I would need to buy a –300 and shorten the fuselage by 1-inch. Minicraft or course is a manufacturer that has been good about the B737 family with models of the –300 on the market currently. So with this in mind, I went out and bought a –300 by Minicraft and went to work. 

I cut a ½-inch section forward of the wing root and another ½-inch section aft of the wing root to shorten the plane by the “12-feet” on the real plane. After this, I had three parts of the aircraft, and so I had to paste these together and then use putty to fill in the gaps. After I let the putty dry, I sanded the plane down until the joined sections were smooth with the rest of the fuselage. The rest of the assembly was easy enough, but like all Minicraft kits, the exception of ease come with the windscreen. It comes as a part of the upper-forward portion of the fuselage. It is hard to explain, but if you buy the kit, or any jetliner kit by Minicraft, you will know what I mean. This isn’t really a big problem as long as you take your time and putty and sand the “canopy” before you paint the plane. However, I suggest using tape to “mask” the actual windscreen of the plane. 

I decided to leave the gear down so that I could set it on a shelf with the rest of my Continental fleet. If you want a –500 aircraft in your fleet, I suggest that you buy the –300 and challenge yourself to make your own –500. It is a creative challenge, but the end result is a masterpiece of a model that doesn’t exist.   

Boeing B737-700 (Continental)   

As time moves on, aircraft manufacturers must keep pace. It has been said that you cannot re-invent the wheel; rather you can only improve it. Boeing seems to have this ideology when it comes to aircraft. Not that it is a bad idea since they have found merchandise that the consumer likes. The B737 family is a perfect example to this theory. The –300 has seen many improves since it has been stretched and shortened, but through it all, Boeing must keep pace with the times. And while it costs so much to make a new airplane, Boeing has decided to upgrade their planes. 

The B737-500 was based on the old –200. The improvements were a glass flight deck, more fuel-efficient engines, and overall a newer airframe. The B737-700 is an upgrade to the –300. In fact it is just a little over 1-foot long than the –300, but holds the same amount of passengers in a standard two-class layout, being 128. The flight deck is all glass, the engines are the newest on the market, so they same fuel, and the airframe is hot off the assembly line. For airlines that wish to stay with the 737, this new old plane is the answer for an upgraded fleet. 

Luckily for all enthusiasts worldwide, Minicraft decided to put out a model of the –300 a couple years ago. The kit, like all by Minicraft, is an easy one to assemble, with the exception of the windscreen, which comes as a part of the upper-forward portion of the fuselage. It is hard to explain, but if you buy the kit, or any jetliner kit by Minicraft, you will know what I mean. This isn’t really a big problem as long as you take your time and putty and sand the “canopy” before you paint the plane. However, I suggest using tape to “mask” the actual windscreen of the plane. 

Of course since Minicraft and no other company makes the –700, a –300 kit has to suffice. But since the real plane is only a fraction longer, and the main differences are the internal parts of the plane, a kit of the –300 can easily be made into a –700. In fact, the only difference is a decal, since on my –700 I’ll have a title that says “Boeing B737-700. Easy enough, right? 

After I built, painted, and placed the decals on, the plane was finished. I left the gear in the extended position so that the plane sits with the rest of the Continental fleet. If Minicraft wanted to capture the attention of the model industry, all they would need to do is repackage the –300 kit and name it a –700, but get different decals. No one would know the difference. So if you yearn for a –700, get a –300 and put different decals on it. Just remember that when it comes to modeling, you have to be creative.   

 Boeing B737-800 (Continental Airlines)   

 

With success of the rest of the B737 family aircraft, Boeing decided to continue to lengthen the fuselage to make the –800. This airplane is 19-feet longer than the venerable –300 and can carry 162 passengers in a two-class layout. This in addition to a “glass” flight deck and fuel efficient engines make the B737-800 the newest airplane to fly with the “737” name. 

Continental has quite a few of the –800 on order and in its fleet, so I had to buy it. Luckily some decals are now available for the next-generation B737s in Continental livery, which I also ordered from Airline Hobby Supplies. 

Revell of Germany decided to recently make and release the B737-800 in 1:144th scale. The model, like all of the airline kits from Revell, is an exceptional kit. Gear well detail and even pitot tubes give the little additional detail that people love to see. The kit is in one way like those made by Minicraft in that the windscreen comes as a part of the upper-forward portion of the fuselage. It is hard to explain, but if you buy the kit, or any jetliner kit by Minicraft, you will know what I mean. This isn’t really a big problem as long as you take your time and putty and sand the “canopy” before you paint the plane. However, I suggest using tape to “mask” the actual windscreen of the plane. Other than that, the kit is awesome. 

While the model comes with Hapag Lloyd decals, as I stated before I ordered Continental decals instead. There are other airlines that fly this new plane, and you can order these decals as well from AHS. 

The decals went on fine, and with the next generation 737-decal sheet, I noticed that they have the titles for the “Boeing 737-200” up to the “Boeing 737-900”. So of course I placed the “Boeing B737-800” title on the plane, and saved the other decals for a later date. In fact, Continental has some –900 aircraft on order, so I might have to buy a –800 and lengthen it some time. 

I kept the gear extended so that I could either hang it or set it on the ground. This kit is a must buy for any enthusiast. If it is not in your local hobby stores and you want to order one, I’d suggest going through AHS of Canada.   

Boeing B757-200 (Continental Airlines)   

For the longest time, no model manufacturer had made a scale model of a Boeing B757, perhaps the second most popular single-aisle aircraft in the world, second only to the B737 family. Enthusiasts waited and hoped that soon Revell might release a version of the B757, but it came as a surprise when Minicraft launched the B757 project. The B757 came out in late 1999, and when it hit the shelves, people bought them as fast as they could. 

The kit of course came with America Airline decals, but for many people, they wanted a variety of decals for the B757. When it was first stated that Minicraft was working on this kit, decal companies began making numerous B757 decals of airlines such as Continental, Eastern, and United. The B757 became a success after the first day it was on the shelves. 

Even though I have bought many kits, I decided to buy yet another one, but this time I would paint it in a livery that would go with a special fleet in my house, Continental. I decided to build a Continental fleet of the 2000 fleet, meaning no B727 or DC-9 aircraft. The B757-200 is of course one of the main types of aircraft in the Continental fleet, so I had to buy a B757 and paint it in the Continental livery. 

The kit is like all of those made by Minicraft in that the windscreen comes as a part of the upper-forward portion of the fuselage. It is hard to explain, but if you buy the kit, or any jetliner kit by Minicraft, you will know what I mean. This isn’t really a big problem as long as you take your time and putty and sand the “canopy” before you paint the plane. However, I suggest using tape to “mask” the actual windscreen of the plane. Other than that, the kit is awesome. 

While the model comes with American Airlines decals, as I stated before, I wanted to paint the plane in Continental livery, so I ordered Continental decals instead. There are other airlines that fly this new plane, and you can order these decals as well from AHS.The decals went on fine, and with this airplane being the next generation 757, I decided to place on the place a title of “Boeing 757.” Unfortunately Continental doesn’t place the type of plane on their plane, but in this case I have placed these titles on the rear of the plane by the last windows. Once again the tail decals are blue so don’t try to paint the tail blue since the decal fits on very nice and snug. 

I kept the gear extended so that I could either hang it or set it on the ground. Currently, the B757-200 sits on my entertainment center with the rest of my Continental fleet.

Boeing B757-300 (Continental Airlines)   

Even though I have bought many kits, I decided to buy yet another one, but this one would be very unique in that it would be a kit that didn’t exist. Some of you might be thinking “this guy has sniffed too much model glue” but you’re wrong, I decided to build a kit that didn’t exist. In late 2000, Continental Airlines ordered a hand full of Boeing B757-300 aircraft from Boeing, with a delivery date of the first on in 2001. Of course since I have been working on a Continental Airlines fleet, I decided to buy a –300 and paint it even before they got their first aircraft. 

The problem I immediately ran into was that there are no kits for the –300, so I decided that I had to make one of my own. I went out and bought two B757-200 kits, and from one kit, took out 2-inches of the fuselage forward the wing root. The other plane I cut in half right in front of the wing root, and glued the 2-inch section in. The result was a scale B757-300. It took some putty and a lot of sanding, but the plane finally looked right, and so my goal to have a kit of a –300 was well on its way. 

The kit is like all of those made by Minicraft in that the windscreen comes as a part of the upper-forward portion of the fuselage. It is hard to explain, but if you buy the kit, or any jetliner kit by Minicraft, you will know what I mean. This isn’t really a big problem as long as you take your time and putty and sand the “canopy” before you paint the plane. However, I suggest using tape to “mask” the actual windscreen of the plane. Other than that, the kit is awesome. 

While the model comes with American Airlines decals, as I stated before, I wanted to paint the plane in Continental livery, so I ordered Continental decals instead. There are other airlines that fly this new plane, and you can order these decals as well from AHS. 

The decals went on fine, and with this airplane being the next generation 757, I decided to place on the place a title of “Boeing 757-300.” Unfortunately, I didn’t have any titles for this kit, but I did have extra titles from a 737 kit that had them for the “Boeing 737-300”. I cut the –300 off this decal and placed it behind the “Boeing 757” title, making it look just fine. Unfortunately Continental doesn’t place the type of plane on their plane, but in this case I have placed these titles on the rear of the plane by the last windows. Once again the tail decals are blue so don’t try to paint the tail blue since the decal fits on very nice and snug. 

I kept the gear extended so that I could either hang it or set it on the ground. 

Currently, the B757-300 sits on my entertainment center with the rest of my Continental fleet. Hopefully later this year or early next year, Minicraft will release a MD-80, so I can complete the current fleet, of course I am now juggling the idea of buying some of the older planes and using the older livery, but I’ not sure yet. I’ll have to think about it some more.  

Boeing B767-400 (Continental Airlines)

 After working with my first couple B767s, I had a period where I really didn’t care about building anymore of the type, but then as I began to work on my Continental fleet, the B767 crept back into my life. Of course Continental would have to be getting the B767-400, and so I had to buy the model. The problem of course is that there is no kit on the market for the –400, only the –300. This problem was easily dealt with.

 The –400 is 21-feet longer than the –300, and even though I have cut and lengthened models before, I decided that I wasn’t going to lengthen the –300. Instead, I just painted a –300 kit like it was a –400. In all reality, how much is 21-feet? Okay about 2-inches, and while a –400 would be nice, sometime down the road I might just build a –400 and put different registration numbers on it. Or maybe Revell will build a –400 kit sometime.

 While there is a considerable difference, I wasn’t about to lengthen this model kit. So I bought the kit, ordered the decals through Airline Hobby Supplies of Canada, and got to work. Of course with life being as difficult as it has to be, it came to my attention that since Continental didn’t have any B767-400s in their fleet, no decals would be available. This problem was solved when I decided to order A300 decals for the B767 kit. The A300 and B767 are comparable in size, so I assumed the decals would fit, more or less anyway. I was right, and they worked fine. So I got to work on the plane. 

On this model, I left the gear extended so that it could join the rest of my fleet on a shelf. The decals fit on the plane perfect and thus, my plane was almost complete. But when I finished the B767, Continental didn’t have any in their fleet, so I had to wait until the first B767-400 in Continental livery came on line and then I put on the registration numbers. I did this since I wanted an authentic B767 in Continental colors.

If you see this aircraft, go ahead and buy it. Decals for the B767 are nice that come with the kit, but as always, you can order other decals from AHS if you want something other than KLM, and in my case, if you want a Continental plane, order A300 decals.

  Boeing B777-200 (Continental Airlines)

 

 In 1994 Boeing released their largest twin-engine wide-body aircraft known as the Boeing B777-200. Though smaller than the B747 and larger than the B767, the B777 was the latest in technology from Boeing. Able to seat 305 passengers in three classes, this twin-engine, two-crew behemoth was by far one of the most beautiful aircraft to take to the skies, and so far, one of the safest. As soon as Boeing launched this project, airlines began jumping on board for orders, with many of them going to United Airlines, American, Continental, and Delta, but the launch customer came in the way of All Nippon Airways of Japan.

 With an aircraft like this flying around the skies of the world, and being so new, it is amazing that any model manufacturer would jump to the challenge of producing a 1:144th scale kit of this magnificent plane. Doyusha was the only manufacturer to do this, and yet, their kit is by far one of the best on the market. This Japanese model company released the B777 with All Nippon decals, a tribute to both the plane and launch customer. Though priced at about $50 USD, the kit is well worth purchasing. Unfortunately, the kit has since gone off the shelves, with only a limited number made so far, so I had a dilemma.

 When I originally got the B777, I was happy to see such a great plane in scale, but instead of painting it in the ANA livery, I decided to go with the US launch customer, United Airlines. I ordered decals through AHS, and began working on this plane. The detail is simply amazing, with a choice of engines (Pratt & Whitney or Rolls Royce) and gear that even swivels once put together. This is possibly the best-constructed model on the market today, especially since I didn’t need to place any weight in the nose, it is balanced already. However, since then, I have worked on a fleet dedicated to Continental Airlines. I have been trying to get a hold of a B777, but so far I have had no luck. I finally decided to repaint my United B777 in the livery of Continental, and so I ordered Continental decals through Airline Hobby Supplies of Canada. 

When I repainted the plane, the top was gloss white and the bottom was a light sea gray. The wings were painted gray with silver leading edges. The engines were of course the light sea gray, like the underside of the plane. The cheat-line of gold came in the way of a decal and went on perfectly, completing the main paint scheme. 

When I pained the tail, I painted it gloss white too, since like all Continental kits, the decals have the blue tail as a decal. The logo and titles went on finally, and I had before me, a B777-200 in Continental Airline colors. This airplane is now sitting on my entertainment center as a centerpiece for my Continental fleet. All I need now is a MD-80 and the 2000 fleet will be complete. 

If you see this kit, get it fast. I haven’t seen any for about two years, so they are a collector’s item. If I do find another one some day, I might paint it in United livery, but that is a big if.

McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 (Continental)

Launched in 1968 with orders from American and United Airlines, the DC-10 was to be a direct competitor to the Lockheed L-1011 Tri-Star. This three-engine behemoth was to carry approximately 260 passengers and have a flight deck of three. It is no wonder that this aircraft has made a name for itself over the years with 400 of the type built and almost 300 still flying in the airways of this planet.

Revell of Germany of course was the only model firm to make a 1:144th scale kit of this aircraft. The only problem was that it wasn’t a commercial version, rather a KC-10 Extender. I of course wanted a civilian airliner kit in this scale, and so I decided to buy a KC-10 and go to work on a conversion. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it might be. In fact, all I had to do was cut off the refueling portal and cover it up with putty. After this was finished, it was work as usual.

The kit is a great one to work with and has great detail. Of course the KC-10 is a DC-10-30, so you have the third gear in the center, which worked perfect since many airliners have this aircraft in their fleet, including Continental. I ordered decals for a DC-10 through Airline Hobby Supply in Canada, and once I got them, slapped them on the DC-10.

The plane was painted white on top and a light sea gray on the bottom. The gold decal cheat-line went on between the gray and white, and thus that part was complete. The engines were painted silver as well as the leading edges. The wings and stabilizers are gray. The final touches were to put on the "continental" titles and the tail logo. Remember not to paint the tail blue since a decal comes for it.

The finished product is a main aircraft for many international flight of Continental’s right now. It will be replaced by B767-400’s in the years to come. This is a model to get, but right now it is in limited supply. In fact, the only place that I know you can get it from is Airline Hobby Supplies, so if you want one, get it before they are gone forever.

McDonnell Douglas MD-80 (Continental Airlines)   

On October 18, 1979, the DC-9-80, commonly referred to as the Super 80, took to the skies. This stretch DC-9 was to make history as being one of the most popular aircraft of the McDonnell Douglas line. This two crew, twin-engine aircraft was able to seat 142 passengers in a two-class layout. In 1983, McDonnell Douglas decided to change the name from the Dc-9-80 to the MD-80, and hence, the MD-80 was born. As of 1998, orders for the MD-80 stood at 1191, of which 1165 were currently in service around the world. 

In December of 2000, Minicraft released the MD-80 in an injection-mold kit. The kit comes in TWA livery, and looks very nice. While a TWA MD-80 would be a great airplane to paint, I have been working on my Continental fleet all this year, and the MD-80 is the last airplane that I need to complete the 2000 fleet, so when I was beginning to work on the fleet, I bought some MD-80 decals which have been sitting around until now. These decals were ordered from Airline Hobby Supplies of Canada, and are very nice once on the aircraft. 

The kit itself is fairly easy to put together, but like all by Minicraft there is an exception. The windscreen comes as a part of the upper-forward portion of the fuselage. It is hard to explain, but if you buy the kit, or any jetliner kit by Minicraft, you will know what I mean. This isn’t really a big problem as long as you take your time and putty and sand the “canopy” before you paint the plane. In the past I have suggested using tape to “mask” the actual windscreen of the plane, but in this case I wouldn’t worry about it since Minicraft put in a decal of the windscreen, a great thing to do. 

Since the Minicraft kit comes with TWA decals, and I wanted to make it into a Continental plane, I ordered the decals from Airline Hobby Supplies of Canada. They of course have decals for any airplane or airline you could possibly want as well as kits that are hard-to-get.  

The fuselage was painted a gloss white on top, and a light sea gray on the bottom. The engines were painted this white too. The decals have a gold cheat-line so that where the white and gray come together; the cheat-line lies on top of that. The decals also have a blue tail and globe logo, so just paint the tail white. The wings are a normal gray and the leading engines are silver. The decals go on smooth and the finished product is a Continental MD-80.  

I also left the gear in the extended position so that the plane sits with the rest of the Continental fleet. I did add about 5 pennies to the nose for weight and balance. This aircraft kit is great, and if you see it at your local hobby store I would suggest picking one up. I plan to buy some more as time goes on and paint them in other liveries, including TWA and possibly Midwest Express.  

Of course one item that really impressed me about this kit more than anything is the two types of tail cones. In theory if you wanted to, you could cut the fuselage down some and make the entire series of the DC-9/MD-80 family. There aren’t instructions for this in the kit, but if you see the curved tailpiece, it should show that you could modify this model, of course possibly this is a hint from Minicraft in the ways to come. Could we possibly see a DC-9 in the near future? Only time will tell.

Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia (Continental Express)   

On July 27, 1983, the Embraer EMB-120 took to the skies, and two years later entered service in the world of commuter airlines. Many airlines took the two-crew, twin-turboprop aircraft capable of carrying 30 passengers. The speed of this small aircraft was 300 knots.  

Unfortunately there are no injection-mold or resin kits available in the EMB-120 kit form, but there is a vacuform kit by Welsh available. A couple of years ago I built a vacuform ATR-42, and wasn’t too impressed with the kit, mainly because I wasn’t sure what I was doing, but since I saw the Brasilia, I wante4d to get it and try my luck again. The main reason for wanting the EMB-120 is that a umber of years ago I went to Milwaukee and worked on the Brasilia for America West Airlines through a code-share. Though there might not be anything special about this plane, I work on it, and therefore respect it. 

The plane I worked on those years ago was in the livery of Continental Express. It was my first Express airplane, so I was happy to work with it. When I ordered the Brasilia from Airplane Hobby Supply of Canada, I knew I wanted to make it into a Continental Express airplane, but wasn’t sure how to go about getting decals for it since there are none. It came to me a week ago that I could simply buy some Continental DC-9 decals in 1:200 scale and they should basically fit on the 1:144th scale Brasilia. It worked fine, of course I didn’t have the “express” title, so at some point I’m going to have to try to make that decal myself, but as for the rest of the decals, they worked fine, but then again all I used was the tail and “Continental” titles. The doors and all came from the actual kit, so they of course fit fine.  

The vacuform kit was tough, but I think I found the solution to making it. I cut the pieces out of the plastic and then sanded each piece a bit to get a little edge where I could glue the two of them together. The plane looks pretty good if I say so myself. The best part is that the gear and props are metal, which adds to the plane. The kit did not come with gear doors, but I have some sheet plastic lying around and cut the doors from that. 

I painted the plane a gloss white; wings too, and then put a coat of light sea gray on the underside. The engine nacelles are blue angel blue with black props. The leading edges are black to represent the de-icing boots. As I said before, I said 1:200 DC-9 decals for the plane, and they worked fine. All I need to do at some point is make the “express” title myself, but that will have to wait for a while. 

The finished product is a Continental Express Brasilia. It sits with the rest of my Continental fleet. The fleet in my mind is totally completed now, with an example of each plane from the mainline fleet and of course an example of a plane from the Express fleet. Though if the ERJ is released, I might have to buy that and place it in the fleet too. The Continental fleet is completed with the following aircraft:

Boeing B737-300, -500, -700, -800; Boeing B757-200, -300 (which will be in service in 2001); Boeing B777-200; McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30, MD-80; and Embraer EMB-120. 

 

International Airlines:
The aircraft flown by international airlines is many. B747-400, B777-200, A340, A330, A320, A300-600 Super Transporter, and even Fokker F100s. The model companies have began focusing on the airliner side of models, and the consumers have responded by taking them off the shelf as fast as they go on.

As I said before, Hasegawa is responsible for the best 1:200 scale models. Two recent models in this scale are a Virgin Atlantic B747-400 and a Korean Air MD-11. The detail is there in some form, but since they aren't that large, detail is left out. Besides, anymore it seems more logical to buy the Flight Miniatures planes with the better detail than to waste time and money on the unassembled planes in 1:200th scale.

Revell and Minicraft have been working on the newest and in some ways the best airliner models to date. I recently was at a hobby store and saw Revell's B747-400, A320, A330, A340, and A300-600ST as well as Minicraft's B737-300, -400 and B757.  At the time I bought only a few, but as time has passed, I have bought and assembled all of them. The detail is amazing in these, especially since they are 1:144 scale. The landing gear is highly detailed as well as the rest of the model. In fact, the A340 and A330 have flightdecks. The A340 I made into Virgin Atlantic since I had seen them in pictures and their paint scheme is original. The decals were ordered separately from AHS. One item of interest with the Virgin Atlantic A340 (or any plane in their fleet) is that the engines are painted red. It is a preference and a symbol for them.

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Manufacturers

Since the begining of this site, I have been asked to place information of differenet aircraft that I have built over the years. Under this section will be various sub-sections dealing with models and explanations of why and how I built them. They will be listed by aircraft manufacturer in series order. Please give any feedback on this new project.

AIRBUS INDUSTRIE:

Airbus A300-600ST Super Transporter / "Beluga" (Airbus Industrie House Colors)

Launched in 1991 under tight security and delivered in 1996, the A300-600ST was in effect a brand new aircraft in which the world had never seen. The Super Transporter was created by Airbus to replace the aging fleet of Super Guppies that they used to transport partially completed aircraft parts from sub-contractors to the home base in Toulouse where the aircraft are finished. The aircraft was basically an A300-600 with an added "hump" on the plane to allow it to carry many different shapes and sizes of aircraft parts such as two A330 wings or even two A310 fuselages.

There is currently no other plane in the world like it. The only aircraft that compare to the Super Transporter are military transports and B747s in the fright configurations. However, none of these aircraft are as advanced as the twin-engine Super Transporter, which of course separates it apart from all the other four-engine giants in the world.

Revell of Germany is the only manufacturer to made an injection-mold kit of many airliners currently in service, including the A330-600ST Super Transporter. The kit comes in 1:144th scale and has more detail than most would think possible for a plane of this scale and class. The gear and wells are highly detailed and this model even has a flight deck. The recessed panel lines on the plane also add the final touches to the aircraft, with everything from the doors and cargo doors to and flaps.

Unlike other planes where you have the choice of painting a variety of liveries, the Super Transporter has but single paint scheme, and that of course is the house colors of Airbus Industrie. The aircraft is an overall white painted in flat white, even though the real plane is a gloss white. I am not a big fan of gloss white, and therefore try to stay away from it. In addition, flat white seems to look just fine on the models, but the choice is yours. The entire plane is white, fuselage, wings, and stabilizers. All white. Only the leading edges are silver and the tires of course are black.

The decals that come with this plane are great to use. They include the doors, registration number, and the large "The Super Transporter" titles for the sides of the plane. For the tail the blue, orange, and yellow stripe presented as a decal. The final touch of course is the white "Airbus" title for the tail, which goes on top of the signature stripe. All decals go on fairly easy and the finished product is a plane that is sure to fly all over the world for years to come.

The model has the added option of being built with the forward cargo door in the closed or open position. In fact for a long time, I had the door open, but now it is closed and the aircraft hangs from my ceiling.

This is a great model to add to anyone’s fleet. As far as I know, there are four aircraft in the way of firm orders, and an option for a fifth. The decals also come with the numbers of 1 though 4, so you can decide which aircraft you wish to have in your collection. I chose to have aircraft number 2 for no specific reason. So look at your local hobby store, and be sure to pick one of these planes up.

Airbus A300 (Federal Express)

In the 1960s, a consortium of European manufacturers came together to find a common goal of building a new plane for commercial service. This plane was to be the first of its type, a wide-body, twin-engine airplane capable of carrying up to 300 passengers. At the time of the development of the A300, it was the only twin-engine plane on the market that would carry so many people, in many ways, Airbus was to "set the standards" for the rest of commercial aviation.

When the A300 was launched, the only other "heavy" aircraft were four and three engine airplanes like the B747 and DC-10 respectively. The A300 changed design and customer opinions overnight. As already stated, this aircraft could hold about 300 passengers, but as time progressed, cargo outfits became increasingly optimistic about aviation, and thus cargo planes. The A300, when converted into a freighter, could carry 20 LD3 containers.

For the longest time, and still now, no one made a kit of the A300 except Airfix. The Airfix kit was only on shelves for a little while, then they vanished. I was lucky enough to find one of these kits about 4 years ago and bought it, and since then there have been no more. However, I recently found out they might be re-released, but that is still only a rumor.

Anyway, when I first got the kit, I made a small mistake in the plane. I was just beginning my commercial airline career, and to get weight in the nose, I glued BB’s in it, but the problem that I ran into was that I used model glue, and it had a reaction that "melted" some of the plastic, so I have a warped nose. I never really made it better, so it isn’t the greatest plane, but it suffices. The kit originally was painted in the colors of Royal Jordanian, but since then I have repainted it. The Royal Jordanian paint scheme was all right, but it wasn’t the greatest, so I decided to repaint it in the livery of FedEx.

The decals were ordered from AHS, and so I went to work on a new paint job. I painted the entire plane a gloss white, keeping the engines, wings, and stabilizers gray. Leading edges were silver. I ordered decals of the "old colors" of FedEx, so I painted the upper portion of the plane purple, which was a new challenge since I had to match it up, but it worked out fin. The decals came, I placed them on the plane, and all was taken care of.

I left the gear extended as the original model was, and now it hangs with the rest of my aircraft. If this is re-released, it will be available through Airline Hobby Supplies of Canada. Check that web site and mine for any updates. If it is re-released, it will be a much sought after kit, so get one as soon as possible.

Airbus A310 (Aeroflot)

Airbus Industries’ A310 is one aircraft that most people seem not to know exists in the Airbus family, but in reality, it has become very popular in the last few years. Some airlines that fly them are Delta and Air Jamaica, but one carrier that most people don’t think about is Aeroflot, Russian International Airlines.

As I had said before, the A310 was discontinued when I wanted to paint it in Air Jamaica, but Airline Hobby Supplies of Canada (AHS) had some of the kits still available. When I got the decals for the Aeroflot livery, I decided that I wanted to have them on an Airbus, so I once again ordered a kit from AHS. This kit came with a livery for KLM, and that was a nice treat since I actually got to use the KLM decals in a manner of speaking.

The Aeroflot A310 was gloss white on the upper half of the fuselage and a light sea gray on the underside. There are also blue stripes over the windows of the plane, and with my luck, KLM had the same blue stripe over the windows in the form of decals. I simply cut the blue strip out of the decal sheet and placed them on the painted plane. They came with the model originally, and so they fit perfectly. The decals of the doors came from a B747 decal sheet I had laying around, and they too went on nicely.

The Aeroflot decals came from a model actually imported from Russia, an Antonov An-74 "Coaler." You can read about this model under it’s own category. Anyway, the An-74 came with two sets of decals with the Aeroflot name on them, so I built the Coaler and placed one set on it and kept the other set for the A-310. To try to bring the Aeroflot A310 back to the glory days of the Cold War, I placed the registration number on the plane as CCCP. This was used during the Cold War on all airliners. The Russian flag with the hammer & sickle also went on the tail of the A310.

Once all painted and decals placed on, it looked like a great model. To some it might just be another model, but since I am in love with Russian hardware, it is a great example to my ever-growing fleet of commercial airplanes. It is in fact one of my best models to date, and I will treasure it always.

Airbus A310 (Air Jamaica)

Airbus Industries’ A310 is one aircraft that most people seem not to know exists in the Airbus family. It is categorized into the A300 family, and while there aren’t many A310s flying, they are a popular aircraft. Air Jamaica is one such user of the A310.

When I first got a catalog from Airline Hobby Supplies (AHS) in Canada, I began looking through it to see what decals were available, and to my surprise, almost any airline livery you would want, AHS has. At the time I was looking to expand my fleet of airliners from just a few to many more. I saw that there were decals for an Air Jamaica Airbus A310, and since I had seen the kit once in a store, I decided to buy the decals.

Unfortunately I found out the next day that the A310 kits by Revell had been discontinued, so when I got the decals, they simply sat around for a couple months. AHS sent out a new catalog a while later to me and to my surprise, they had an A310 kit available, so I ordered it for the decals I had.

Revell’s kit was very nice as all their kits are. The detail was nice in the gear wells and so I began working on it. The paint scheme was mainly an overall gloss white, with the very top of the aircraft being yellow. The decals would cover the rest of the plane, which made it easy and difficult. It was easy since I didn’t have to worry about masking a fine line between the top and bottom of the fuselage, but with the larger decals, it took more care not to rip them.

The plane went together great, and the decals went of with ease, except for the tip of the nose, where I had to hand paint the yellow. In the end the plane looked very nice. My fleet now had a Caribbean airline flying in the proud colors of Air Jamaica.

Airbus A310 (Pan Am)   

Airbus Industries’ A310 is one aircraft that most people seem not to know exists in the Airbus family. It is categorized into the A300 family, and while there aren’t many A310s flying, they are a popular aircraft. Pan Am was one such user of the A310. 

I have a model of an A310 already that was painted in Air Jamaica colors, but due to an unfortunate cleaning accident, when I was dusting off the decals on this model, they began to peel off. Part of the problem is that the Air Jamaica decals are really big decals that cover the majority of the model. It was a bad design to do this, and it should have been painted on, but it wasn’t, hence my current situation.   

I decided at this time to go ahead and repaint the A310, and since I didn’t want to spend additional money on the Air Jamaica colors, I looked to see what I had laying around from other kits. Luckily I found that I had decals of a great airline Pan Am. The old Pan Am had A310s in the fleet, so I decided to make this A310 into Pan Am. 

Revell’s kit was very nice as all their kits are. The detail was nice in the gear wells and so I began working on it. The paint scheme was mainly an overall gloss white, with the very bottom of the aircraft silver. The wings were white too, with the leading edges silver. The decals went on nice and smooth, with the Pan Am logo emblazoned on the tail.  

The plane went together great, and the decals went of with ease. In the end the plane looked very nice. My fleet now had one of the greatest airlines ever to serve in the world, with an example from a great aerospace manufacturer, Airbus Industries. It make me wonder if Pan Am would have made it if they would have not been a B747 operator, and stuck to only the A310? That’s something that the gods can ask themselves.

Airbus A320 (Condor - English - German)  

Airbus Industries’ most successful family is the A320 series. The A320 was in fact the world’s first fly-by-wire airliner, setting the standard for the new century. Currently there are two model kits of this family available in injection-mold, the A320 and A321. As I have already built the A321 kits (3 of them) I have moved on to the A320 kits (I bought two). I am a big fan of Airbus Industrie myself, and when I found out that Revell of Germany was releasing an A320, I bought two right away. 

Revell of Germany’s new airline kit still hasn’t hit stores in the States, but when it does I’m sure it will be as sought after as the B757 was when it came out. Since it is not available in stores in the United States until mid-spring 2001, I had to order my kits from Airline Hobby Supplies of Canada (AHS). AHS is probably the best outlet to get the hard-to-find kits of commercial aviation.  

The kit comes with decals for a Condor A320, a charter airline based in Berlin. The Condor paint scheme was fairly simple. It was painted yellow on the bottom and gloss white on top. Though instead of messing around with the gloss white, I left the model in its factory colors of white plastic, and only painted the bottom yellow. It worked out good this way. The wings and stabilizers are white with silver leading edges. The engines are yellow.  

The decals went on really smoothly, and make the plane look great. The gear was left extended so that I could either hang it or place it on a shelf. I did place 4 dimes in the nose for weight and balance. I usually use 5 pennies, but with the added detail of the nose wheel gear well, it took up too much space, so the dimes had to suffice. The kit is beautiful when completed, so if you see one, pick it up. 

I have heard that Revell might be making an A319 to complete the A320 family series. I look forward to this possibility. Currently with this model finished, my A320 family stands at 5 kits, two A320 and 3 A321 kits.  

Airbus A320 (Gulf Air

Airbus Industries’ most successful family is the A320 series. Currently there are two model kits of this family available in injection-mold, the A320 and A321. As I have already built the A321 kits (3 of them) I have moved on to the A320 kits (I bought two). I am a big fan of Airbus Industrie myself, and when I found out that Revell of Germany was releasing an A320, I bought two right away. 

Revell of Germany’s new airline kit still hasn’t hit stores in the States, but when it does I’m sure it will be as sought after as the B757 was when it came out. Since it is not available in stores in the United States until mid-spring 2001, I had to order my kits from Airline Hobby Supplies of Canada (AHS). AHS is probably the best outlet to get the hard to find kits of commercial aviation. I was pleased to get the A320 kit, and I began working on it as soon as it came.  

The kit comes with decals for a Condor A320, a charter airline based in Berlin, but since I had two models, I wanted to paint one in the livery of Gulf Air, in respect for the crash in the Gulf. In fact, I even have the tail number of the crashed plane on the model. Also, since I had two kits, I decided I’d paint the other kit in the Condor livery. 

The Gulf Air paint scheme was really easy, just one color, gloss white. The fuselage, tail and wings, all white. The leading edges on the wings and engines were painted silver. The rest of the color scheme came from the decals. The tail, nose, and “Gulf Air” titles all went on smooth. I even pt more decals on this plane since it was white, and since Revell includes every decal you could ever hope to find on a plane. The Gulf Air decals were also ordered from AHS. 

The plane completed, it now sits on a shelf, remembering the people who died so many months ago in the Gulf. This model is a tribute to the surviving family members, Gulf Air, and Airbus.  

Airbus A320 (US Airways  

Airbus Industries’ most successful family is the A320 series. The A320 was in fact the world’s first fly-by-wire airliner, setting the standard for the new century. Currently there are two model kits of this family available in injection-mold, the A320 and A321. As I have already built the A321 kits (3 of them) I have moved on to the A320 kits (I bought two). I am a big fan of Airbus Industrie myself, and when I found out that Revell of Germany was releasing an A320, I bought two right away. Of course after I got done with the first two, I was at a local hobby store and they had a 25% sale off kits, and they happened to have another A320, so I bought it. 

Revell of Germany’s new airline kit still has hit stores in the States, so if you see it at a hobby store, but it, it is a great model. The kit comes with decals for a Condor A320, a charter airline based in Berlin. I had already painted one of my kits in this scheme, so I wanted a different scheme. I decided to paint it in the livery of US Airways. In some ways I’m beginning to think that maybe I should just build the fleet of US Airways like I did with Continental. I already have an A330, 321, and B737-400 in US Airways colors. In addition I have a B737-300 in US Air colors and a B737-200 in MetroJet colors. I’ll have to think about it since I am now working on the sixth aircraft in the US Air/Airways fleet. 

 The US Airways paint scheme was fairly simple. It was gunship gray on the bottom and gloss black on top. Now I know the real paint scheme is gloss dark blue on the top, but the black makes it look so much more impressive, and depending on how you look at the plane, it sometimes looks black. Anyway, the wings and stabilizers are white with silver leading edges. The engines are gunship gray.  

The decals went on really smoothly, and make the plane look great. The decals are actually from a B737-400 kit that I had laying around, so that was cool and they fir perfectly. The gear was left extended so that I could either hang it or place it on a shelf. I did place 4 dimes in the nose for weight and balance. I usually use 5 pennies, but with the added detail of the nose wheel gear well, it took up too much space, so the dimes had to suffice. The kit is beautiful when completed, so if you see one, pick it up. 

I have heard that Revell might be making an A319 to complete the A320 family series. I look forward to this possibility. Currently with this model finished, my A320 family stands at 5 kits, two A320 and 3 A321 kits.

Airbus A321 (British Midland)

Airbus Industries’ most successful family is the A320 series. Currently there are for members to this family in the way of the A318/319/320/321. So far I haven’t seen any injection-molded kits are the first three types, but recently the A321 came out in Germany.

Revell of Germany has once again made a new airline kit, and it is fabulous. Not available in stores in the United States until mid-summer 2000, the Airbus A321 will be much sought after kit. Beautifully detailed exterior, gear, and engines make this is a great kit to have in a collection. Assembly of the plane is easy and any paint scheme will work.

The kit comes with decals for a Lufthansa A321, but since I already have a Lufthansa B707, I wanted to make it into another airliner. I had considered JetBlue, the new start-up carrier out of New York – JFK, but I’m not sure if they will have A321’s, so I decided on another airline. British Midland has some A321’s in their fleet, and while I’m not sure if you can purchase these decals, I decided to be creative and make my own.

The colors for British Midland are pretty simple. The top is a dark blue and the bottom is a dark gray. The lettering I used as Book Antiqua and the tail logo is "BM" so that was easy enough. The tail logo is a little more complicated than just two letters, but after some time on Microsoft paint, I got the logo to look pretty close to the one on the real plane. The "BM" tail has some lines running horizontal in it, but it wasn’t too difficult to make them.

The greatest part of this model has to be the ease of putting it together. The fuselage fits perfectly together and the engines are a dream to work with, fitting together easy and they are highly detailed. Perhaps the most unique part of the model is the wings. They come in one piece so you don’t have to glue each wing onto the plane separately.

After the plane was painted, I cut the homemade decals out and placed them on the plane. They slid on nicely, and I am impressed with the knowledge that ion the future, if I can’t get decals I need, I can simply make my own with clear decal paper. The only decals I placed on the plane that I didn’t make were the A321 name from the original decals and the British flag, which was also ordered separately. The A321 stands out in the air looking like it is climbing toward the heavens.

Airbus A321 (Swissair)

Airbus Industries’ most successful family is the A320 series. Currently the only model kit of this family available in injection-mold is the A321. As I have already built two of these aircraft in British Midland and US Airways livery, but I decided I wanted to get more of the A321. In fact I am a big fan of Airbus Industrie myself, and while I already had a couple A321s, I wanted more since the kit was such a joy to work with.

Revell of Germany’s new airline kit still hasn’t hit stores in the Sates, but when it does I’m sure it will be as sought after as the B757 was when it came out last year. Since it is not available in stores in the United States until mid-summer 2000, I had to order my kits from Airline Hobby Supplies of Canada (AHS). AHS is probably the best outlet to get the hard to find kits of commercial aviation. I was pleased to get the A321 kit again, and I began working on it as soon as it came.

The kit comes with decals for a Lufthansa A321, but since I already have a Lufthansa B707, I wanted to make it into another airliner. I decided to paint it in Swissair livery. The only problem with this decision is that you cannot order Swissair decals since they don’t make them except for a couple model kits. I was down since I was told by AHS that the only A321 kit available with the Swissair colors was a vacuum-form kit, and it wasn’t a good kit to begin with. So I decided to just go ahead and paint the plane in Swissair colors and then maybe make the decals myself.

With a little accidental luck, I went to Phoenix for a day just to bounce around the city and see some friends. I stopped by a hobby store, Hobby Depot, where a couple years before I had fond a Russian IL-96. I was looking through a box labeled "misc airline decals" and that’s when I found the sheet for the A321 in vacuum-form. The sheet was all that was there, so my guess is that someone made the plane into a livery other than Swissair and sold the decals to the store. I of course bought them at once and once I got home, placed them on the model.

The livery of Swissair is pretty straightforward. I used a gloss white on the upper half of the fuselage and a light sea gray on the underside. I placed a black strip on the cheat-line between the white and gray. The tail is of course red, so in order to get the cross, I took some of the clear decal paper, and spray painted it white, and then cut the cross out myself and applied it to the plane. In fact the ironic part of the model is that from the sheet I bought in PHX I only used the lettering titles "swissair."

The decals that I did use went on simple enough, and the finished product is magnificent. Hopefully Swissair continues with their master plane and operate a fleet exclusively of Airbus Industrie aircraft, with a mini-fleet of A321s. With just one more plane in just one more livery, my fleet continues to grow. For now the A321 of Swissair flies in the air with the other aircraft and airlines of the world.

Airbus A321 (US Airways)

Airbus Industries’ most successful family is the A320 series. Currently the only model kit of this family available in injection-mold is the A321. As I have already built one of these aircraft in British Midland livery, I decided I wanted to get more of the A321. In fact I am a big fan of Airbus Industrie myself, and while I already had an A321, I wanted more since the kit was such a joy to work with.

Revell of Germany’s new airline kit still hasn’t hit stores in the Sates, but when it does I’m sure it will be as sought after as the B757 was when it came out last year. Since it is not available in stores in the United States until mid-summer 2000, I had to order my kits from Airline Hobby Supplies of Canada (AHS). AHS is probably the best outlet to get the hard to find kits of commercial aviation. I was pleased to get the A321 kit again, and I began working on it as soon as it came.

The kit comes with decals for a Lufthansa A321, but since I already have a Lufthansa B707, I wanted to make it into another airliner. I decided to paint it in US Airways livery. The only problem with this decision is that US Airways doesn’t have A321s in their fleet, but since they have the A319/320, I’m sure that at some point they will expand to the A321. To get the decals for the US Airways livery, I had to buy a Boeing B737 kit, but now that kit will be painted in Colorado Springs livery of WestPac.

The decals for the B737 didn’t fit exactly perfect, but it worked all right with a little touch-up painting. The paint scheme for the A321 was a gloss black on top and a dark gray on the bottom, with the red and white decals working as the cheat lines. The real A321s of US Airways are actually a very dark blue on top, but to many people it looks black, so I cheated and used black. Besides, the gloss black makes it really stand out.

The decals went on simple enough, and the finished product is magnificent. Hopefully US Airways won’t merge with United and they will get A321’s in the future, but only time can tell, for now my A321 sits proud ready to take to the air.

Airbus A330 (Airbus Industrie House Colors)

Launched in 1987 and first flown in 1992, the Airbus A330 became a popular plane overnight. With the ability to carry some 295 people in a three-class layout, or a maximum amount of 440 passengers in a high-density layout, the A330 is a plane created to compete directly with Boeing aircraft such as the B767 and later the B777. A flight crew of two in this twin-engine, fly-by-wire wide-body offers an edge to older wide-bodies flying throughout the world with cable and crews of three. The A330 is well on its way to the top as one of the best planes in history, and a stepping stone for advances in technology for future aircraft.

Revell of Germany is the only manufacturer to made an injection-mold kit of many airliners currently in service, including the A330. The kit comes in 1:144th scale and has more detail than most would think possible for a plane of this scale and class. The gear and wells are highly detailed and this model even has a flight deck. The recessed panel lines on the plane also add the final touches to the aircraft, with everything from the doors and cargo doors to and flaps.

The aircraft is painted in an overall flat white. In pictures it looks to be a gloss white, but for added detail, I wanted to use flat white, so it is up to you. Either paint should look fine on this behemoth. When I say I used an overall white, I mean just that. The entire plane is white, fuselage, wings, and stabilizers. All white. Only the leading edges are silver and the tires of course are black.

The decals that come with this plane are great to use. They include the doors, registration number, and the large "A330" titles for the side and tail of the plane. The blue, orange, and yellow stripe for the tail is also presented as a decal. They go on fairly easy and the finished product is a plane that is sure to fly all over the world for years to come.

For an added bonus of detail I decided to cut the main landing gear and place it in the angled position as the real plane while in landing configuration. To see what I mean look at pictures of it on take-off or landing, and you will notice that the main gear flexes up in the front due to the design of the undercarriage. This is also noticeable on the B757, 767, and 777.

This is a great model to add to anyone’s fleet, and of course if you would rather see this model in a different livery, Airline Hobby Supplies has many different decals for this plane. So far I haven’t seen any decals for the US Airways A330, but hopefully in time they will materialize, since US Airways is the launch customer of the A330 in the United States. So look at your local hobby store, and be sure to pick one of these planes up.

Airbus A330 (Northwest Airlines)

After building my first A330 in the Airbus Industrie House Colors, I decided that I had to build another one. It is no secret that I am a big fan of the Airbus family aircraft, and therefore, I wanted more A330’s since it is just another airplane that I loved at first sight. Launched in 1987 and first flown in 1992, the Airbus A330 became a popular plane overnight. With the ability to carry some 295 people in a three-class layout the A330 competes directly with Boeing aircraft such as the B777. A flight crew of two in this twin-engine, fly-by-wire wide-body offers an edge to other aircraft in the skies today in the way of an advanced technology passenger plane. The A330 is well on its way to the top as one of the best planes in history, and a stepping stone for advances in technology for future aircraft.

Revell of Germany is the only manufacturer to made an injection-mold kit of many airliners currently in service, including the A330. The kit comes in 1:144th scale and has more detail than most would think possible for a plane of this scale and class. The gear and wells are highly detailed and this model even has a flight deck. The recessed panel lines on the plane also add the final touches to the aircraft, with everything from the doors and cargo doors to and flaps.

The choice for aircraft decals is of course a challenge since there are so many to choose from, but since I have always strove to have a fleet of various American airlines, I decided to choose Northwest Airlines as the livery for this A330. Now many of you might think that I’m nuts to paint this A330 in Northwest colors since they don’t have any planes of this type in their fleet, and you would be correct that at this time, they don’t have any A330s. However, they have 16 A330’s on order from Airbus, so I wanted the have a plane that Northwest Airlines will have in the future, only today. Though since Northwest doesn’t have any A330s currently, there are no decals for that either, so I ordered DC-10 decals in Northwest livery.

The scheme was fairly easy once the decals arrived. The plane was painted a flat white on the underside and a light gray on the upper side of the fuselage. The wings were also painted gray with the outer side of the wing-let painted red. The very top of the fuselage was painted red. The decals that came had the blue cheat line so that was one part of the aircraft I didn’t need to worry about. Of course when I painted each new color, I used packaging tape to mask the lines to perfectly straight.

The decals that come with this plane are great to use. They include the doors, registration numbers, tail logo, and "Northwest" titles for the sides of the plane. As stated before, there is also a blue cheat line that comes in the form of a decal. Once all are placed on the plane, it takes on the look of a plane that someday might be part of Northwest Airlines, but if not, it is what could have been. Interestingly enough, when I finished this plane, it was the day that Northwest began their three-week strike. Just one item to remember.

For an added bonus of detail I decided to cut the main landing gear and place it in the angled position as the real plane while in landing configuration. To see what I mean look at pictures of it on take-off or landing, and you will notice that the main gear flexes up in the front due to the design of the undercarriage. This is also noticeable on the B757, 767, and 777.

This is a great model to add to anyone’s fleet, and of course if you would rather see this model in a different livery, Airline Hobby Supplies has many different decals for this plane. So far I haven’t seen any decals for the US Airways A330, but hopefully in time they will materialize, since US Airways is the launch customer of the A330 in the United States. So look at your local hobby store, and be sure to pick one of these planes up.

Airbus A330 (US Airways)

It is no secret that I am a big fan of the Airbus family aircraft, and therefore, I wanted more A330’s since it is just another airplane that I loved at first sight. Launched in 1987 and first flown in 1992, the Airbus A330 became a popular plane overnight. With the ability to carry some 295 people in a three-class layout the A330 competes directly with Boeing aircraft such as the B777. A flight crew of two in this twin-engine, fly-by-wire wide-body offers an edge to other aircraft in the skies today in the way of an advanced technology passenger plane. The A330 is well on its way to the top as one of the best planes in history, and a stepping stone for advances in technology for future aircraft.

Revell of Germany is the only manufacturer to make an injection-mold kit of many airliners currently in service, including the A330. The kit comes in 1:144th scale and has more detail than most would think possible for a plane of this scale and class. The gear and wells are highly detailed and this model even has a flight deck. The recessed panel lines on the plane also add the final touches to the aircraft, with everything from the doors and cargo doors to and flaps.

The choice for aircraft decals is of course a challenge since there are so many to choose from, but since I have always strove to have a fleet of various American airlines, I decided to choose US Airways as the livery for this A330. US Airways recently was the first US carrier to launch the A330 into service in the United States, and it is now the flagship of the US Airways fleet. Though since US Airways only recently started flying the A330, there are no decals available, so I decided to Boeing B767 decals in US Airways livery.

The scheme was fairly easy once the decals arrived. The plane was painted a gloss black on the top and a dark gray on the underside of the fuselage. The wings were painted gloss white with the outer side of the wing-let painted just like that of the tail, starting from the bottom, black, a white stripe, and then red on top. The decals that came were short four doors, but luckily I had decals that matched the US Airways doors from previous kits and used these on the aft doors. The only other snag I ran into was that the red/white stripe didn’t fit all the way, so I took some clear decal film, painted it red and white, and cut out lines myself, solving this dilemma.

Of course some might say that I painted the plane wrong, and in a way I did. The real paint scheme isn’t gloss black on top but a very dark gloss blue. Unfortunately I haven’t found this color, and since if you look at the plane in real life sometimes it looks black, gloss black will suffice.

The decals that come with this plane are great to use. They include the doors, registration numbers, tail logo, and "US Airways" titles for the sides of the plane. As stated before, there are not enough doors, but if you save other decals sheets, you can use other doors for filling in. Of course you could also buy two sheets of the B767 decals for extra measure. Once all are placed on the plane, it takes on the look of a plane that flies overseas as the flagship for one of America’s strongest airlines, US Airways.

I left the gear down on this plane so that at some point I can place it on the ground for display, though at the moment it is flying side-by-side with my Northwest A330, which is still on order through Airbus.

This is a great model to add to anyone’s fleet, and of course if you would rather see this model in a different livery, Airline Hobby Supplies has many different decals for this plane. So far I haven’t seen any decals for the US Airways A330, but hopefully in time they will materialize since US Airways is the launch customer of the A330 in the United States. In fact, maybe sometime soon there will be US Airways decals specifically for the A330, but until then, get the B767 decals. So look at your local hobby store, and be sure to pick one of these planes up.

Airbus A340 (Virgin Atlantic Airways)

Launched in 1987 simultaneously with the A330, the A340 was the four-engine counterpart to the twin-engine A330. With the ability to carry some 335 people in a two-class layout, the A340 is a plane created to compete directly with Boeing aircraft such as B777. A flight crew of two in this four-engine, fly-by-wire wide-body offers an edge to older wide-bodies flying throughout the world with cable and crews of three. The A340 is well on its way to the top as one of the best planes in history, and a stepping stone for advances in technology for future aircraft.

Revell of Germany is the only manufacturer to made an injection-mold kit of many airliners currently in service, including the A340. The kit comes in 1:144th scale and has more detail than most would think possible for a plane of this scale and class. The gear and wells are highly detailed and this model even has a flight deck. The recessed panel lines on the plane also add the final touches to the aircraft, with everything from the doors and cargo doors to and flaps.

I decided to paint the plane in Virgin Atlantic livery since they are a new player in the aviation world and their paint scheme is very authentic and beautiful. The aircraft is painted in an overall flat white, though it could also be painted in a gloss white. I chose flat white since it is easier to work with than gloss white in my opinion. The engines, commonly known as BRTs (Big Red Things) are painted in bright red, as is the tail. The wings are painted a light gray and the leading edges are silver to accentuate them.

The decals that come with this plane are great to use, but I wanted Virgin Atlantic, so I ordered them through Airline Hobby Supplies. The Virgin decals include the doors, registration number, tail and nose logos, and the "virgin atlantic" titles for the s of the aircraft. The tail logo fits perfectly on the aircraft and makes it look fabulous. All decals go on fairly easy and the finished product is a plane that is sure to fly all over the world for years to come. Since this model was built, Virgin has changed their paint scheme to a more modern scheme in some respects, and if all goes as planned, at some point I would like to get another A340 and paint it in this new livery, though that is down the road a ways.

For an added bonus of detail I decided to cut the main landing gear and place it in the angled position as the real plane while in landing configuration. To see what I mean look at pictures of it on take-off or landing, and you will notice that the main gear flexes up in the front due to the design of the undercarriage. This is also noticeable on the A330, B757, 767, and 777.

This is a great model to add to anyone’s fleet, and of course if you would rather see this model in a different livery, Airline Hobby Supplies has many different decals for this plane. Recently the airplane was re-released in Air Canada livery, so that is one option to buy and paint in that scheme. I haven’t seen any decals for the House Colors but it would be nice to so that some people, such as myself, can make the entire fleet of Airbus in that livery as well. A boy can always dream and hope though. So look at your local hobby store, and be sure to pick one of these planes up.

Airbus A340-300 (Lufthansa)*

Launched in 1987 simultaneously with the A330, the A340 was the four-engine counterpart to the twin-engine A330. With the ability to carry some 335 people in a two-class layout, the A340 is a plane created to compete directly with Boeing aircraft such as B777. A flight crew of two in this four-engine, fly-by-wire wide-body offers an edge to older wide-bodies flying throughout the world with cable and crews of three. The A340 is well on its way to the top as one of the best planes in history, and a stepping stone for advances in technology for future aircraft.

Revell of Germany is the only manufacturer to make an injection-mold kit of many airliners currently in service, including the A340-300. The kit comes in 1:144th scale and has more detail than most would think possible for a plane of this scale and class. The gear and wells are highly detailed and this model even has a flight deck. The recessed panel lines on the plane also add the final touches to the aircraft, with everything from the doors and cargo doors to and flaps.

The kit comes with Lufthansa decals, and while my first A340 was painted in Virgin Atlantic colors, I wanted another one, and this time wanted to paint it in Lufthansa colors. The aircraft is painted gloss white on the top and light sea gray on the bottom. The engines are gray too. Finally, the tail is painted a blue angel blue. All wings and stabilizers are gloss white with silver leading edges. The gear has been left down since I have decided to display it on the ground.

The decals that come with this plane are great to use, and went on very easily. In fact, there are almost too many in my opinion, but if you want a very authentic kit, every decal has a spot on the plane. The finished product is a plane that is sure to fly all over the world for years to come. In fact, Airbus is now working on a –600 aircraft in Toulouse as we speak.

This is a great model to add to anyone’s fleet, and of course if you would rather see this model in a different livery, Airline Hobby Supplies has many different decals for this plane. Recently the airplane was re-released in Air Canada livery, so that is one option to buy and paint in that scheme. I haven’t seen any decals for the House Colors but it would be nice to so that some people, such as myself, can make the entire fleet of Airbus in that livery as well. A boy can always dream and hope though. So look at your local hobby store, and be sure to pick one of these planes up.

Airbus A340-600 (Virgin Atlantic Airways  

In the year 2000, Airbus Industrie began working on a new plane that is due to launch in 2002 under the livery of Virgin Atlantic Airways. This plane was to be by far the largest airplane Airbus had ever made, until of course the A380, which is due out in 2005. Until then, the Airbus A340-600 is due to take to the skies sometime this year, 2001, in a testing phase for an aircraft that will take on the Boeing B747-400. 

This two-crew, four-engine plane can hold 419 passengers in a typical two-class layout or 380 in three classes. The airplane is 15-feet longer than the B747-400, travels at Mach 0.86, and can fly 7,500 nautical miles. The A340-600 is an impressive aircraft even though it is still undergoing development. This aircraft is the only airplane in history to come close to carrying as many passengers as the B747, and will enter service in 2002. 

When I first heard about the A340-600, I wanted a kit of it, of course the problem I ran into was that there are no kits of this plane since even Airbus hasn’t finished the prototype. Therefore, I had to be creative and build my own. I bought two kits by Revell, an A340 and an A330 kit. Both kits are the same except that one has four engines and one has two engines, but other than that, they are the same kit. 

I decided to build the A340 kit first, and then the A330 fuselage. From the A330, I cut out a 3-inch section and then cut that section in half. These 3-inches represent about 42-feet in real life, the approximate stretch of the A340-600 from the –300. Next I took the A340 fuselage and cut it at two different places. The first was right in behind the wing, where I added a 1.5-inch plug and the second cut was in front of the exit door in front of the wing, where I added another 1.5-inch plug. 

After this, I put putty on the cracks, and then sanded for what seemed like forever. Finally, the two plugs blended into the fuselage, and the main work was completed. I painted the entire plane in a gloss white, in the colors of Virgin Atlantic. I wanted to paint the plane in the new paint scheme, but since I couldn’t figure out a way to duplicate the silver-white color, I opted to just use gloss white, which looks fine. The one option of painting on the new scheme is that the red tail extends to cover the doors of the aft fuselage, with a blue highlight. For a better example of this, go to www.airliners.net and you can see what I mean. 

Once painted, I went to work on the center gear. On the A340-300, the center gear is a single gear supporting two wheels, much like that of a DC-10-30. On the A340-600, there are two additional wheels, so this would seem like a problem, but since I had two kits, I simply took the main from the other kit, cut the bottom part off, glued it on the center gear area, and hence, I had the new and improved center wheel. 

The only other problem that I was to run into is that the –600’s engines are not the same as the current A340. Since the engines are new and improved, and much larger than the current A340 engines, I opted to use the engines from the A330 kit. Luckily, the A330 kits came with four engines, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls Royce. I have in the past built three other A330 kits, so I had extra engine lying around. I selected the Rolls Royce power plants, and placed them on the plane. These might not be the actual engines of the –600, but they look just fine for this kit, which doesn’t exist. The engines are of course painted red, and as everyone knows, the BRT (Big Red Things) stand out against the white fuselage. With this completed, I went to work placing the decals on the plane. 

The final product is a Virgin Atlantic Airways A340-600, which should enter service in 2002. I have the plane a year early, but it looks great. I’m sure that no one else in the world has this kit yet, and if Revell ever does make this plane in kit form, I’d probably buy it, but for now, the two kits have been combined into one, and the plane is amazing. When holding it up to a B747-400, it is longer, about 1.25-inches, which is about 15-feet in real life. This plane will now hang in my room, and is the pride and joy of my fleet. In fact it now is "flying" in formation with my other Virgin Atlantic A340-300 which is painted in the old colors. I hope to soon get some pictures of this and all the planes on my site, hopefully by Spring. 

In the mean time, if you want this kit, you’ll have to buy two kits yourself and “mate” them together to for the A340-600. Of Course if Airbus decides to make an A340-700, possibly even longer than the –600, I have a kit left over to use to expand that kit too. Who knows, maybe I’ll build another –600 in time. If you have the patience and creativity, then buy this and have fun, otherwise, just buy both kits and have an A330 and A340 from them. Either way, these kits are great to work with.

 

BOEING COMPANY:

Boeing B707 (Lufthansa)

The Boeing B707 was originally launched in 1958 and is still flying in the skies today in one form or another. With a crew of three and a maximum capacity of 179 in a single-class layout, the B707 paved the way for jetliners and airlines for the future. Over 878 types of the airplane were made in its service, and many still fly today. Of course the US military as well as others have picked up the B707 and adopted it for various roles. The KC-135 ariel fueling and E-3 Sentry AWACS are two examples of military variants of the B707.

Even though the B707 has been out for so long, it is difficult to find a model of this aircraft. Revell had made a 1:144th scale models of the KC-135/E-3, and for a long time that is all that was out. Since I wanted to have a B707 in my fleet, I decided to buy a KC-135 kit and simply paint it in an airline livery. Since I had Lufthansa decals from pervious kits, I used them on the B707.

The plane is painted dark gray on the bottom of the fuselage while the top is gloss white. The tail is a bright blue while the wings and stabilizers are gray. The leading edges are silver, as are the engines. The decals went on very nice, with the logo fitting on the tail snug.

The plane overall didn’t have all that much detail, so it wasn’t the greatest plane, but at least I can have a B707 in my fleet, once again placing me that much closer to having a complete Boeing fleet. That should say something considering that I like Airbus so much more, but than again, Boeing is a force to be reckoned with too. So if you are at your local hobby store and see this aircraft, go ahead and pick up three; one for the airliner, one for the KC-135, and one for the E-3. I have built all versions, and it is nice to have different models of each of the aircraft.

Boeing B707 (TWA)

The Boeing B707 was originally launched in 1958 and is still flying in the skies today in one form or another. With a crew of three and a maximum capacity of 179 in a single-class layout, the B707 paved the way for jetliners and airlines for the future. Over 878 types of the airplane were made in its service, and many still fly today. Of course the US military as well as others have picked up the B707 and adopted it for various roles. The Navy E-6 Mercury is an example of a military variant of the B707.

Even though the B707 has been out for so long, it has been difficult to find a model of this aircraft. Revell had made a 1:144th scale models of the KC-135/E-3, and for a long time that is all that was out. However recently, Minicraft released different versions for the B707 in Pan Am and TWA liveries. Since these came out, I have bought the TWA kit, and it is a nice kit to work with.

The kit, like all by Minicraft, is an easy one to assemble, with the exception of the windscreen, which comes as a part of the upper-forward portion of the fuselage. It is hard to explain, but if you buy the kit, or any jetliner kit by Minicraft, you will know what I mean. This isn’t really a big problem as long as you take your time and putty and sand the "canopy" before you paint the plane. However, I suggest using tape to "mask" the actual windscreen of the plane.

The plane was painted gloss white on top and silver (stainless steel) on the bottom. These are the classic colors of TWA. The decals came with the red stripe and the logo. The wings and stabilizers were painted gray with silver leading edges. The engines are the old "cigars" shaped, and were painted silver.

Of course you can always get other decals for this kit, but for once I am very pleased with the decal selection. The TWA livery is nice, but then again I do like TWA. I also have a B727-200 in their new colors and a MD-80 in the employee paint scheme (all reversed colors). This basically gives a "generations" fleet for TWA, with different colors from different eras. It is a nice memorial to an airline that has been around for decades, and will hopefully stay around for decades more.

If you see this kit, buy it. It is worth the time to get it. Of course if you aren’t a big TWA fan, the other B707 kit comes in Pan Am colors. So hopefully that would suffice. If not, you can always order other decals. I left the gear down, and now it sits with various other aircraft of a by-gone era.

Boeing B727-100 (United Parcel Service – UPS)

The Boeing B727-100 was originally launched in 1960, and went on to become the second most successful airplane family ever built. Originally this airplane was built for carrying a maximum of 131 passengers, but as time progressed, and the B727-200 came into service, the –100 seemed to be losing its purpose. However, later in its life, as airlines began to retire this airplane, cargo operators began picking them up for their operation.

Since I haven’t seen an actual kit for a B727-100, I decided that I would have to manipulate the system. It was actually a pretty simple process of purchasing a B727-200 kits in 1:144th scale. After that done, I calculated that the difference between the –200 and –100 in scale was approximately1-inch. I glued the fuselage together and cut out a 1-inch section just forward of the wing root. This completed, I glued the two sections of the fuselage together and the finished product was a shortened –100 aircraft. The rest of the model was assembled as instructed, though with some additional weight added in the nose of the aircraft.

After the plane was built, I had to decide which paint scheme to make it, and since I wanted to have it painted in a freight operator livery, I chose UPS. The problem I ran into was that there are no decals for UPS on the market, and since I really wanted UPS (I already have FedEx airplanes) I decided to make my own decals. I was difficult, but what I did was take a picture of a UPS aircraft tail, scan it into the computer, then crop just the "UPS" tail logo.

This completed, I printed the logo on clear decal sheets, and then for the "United Parcel Service" titles, I selected a print type similar to it, and printed that to the sheets too. Using a laser printer it is easy to get a good copy on the sheets, but to make sure that the colors don’t run, I sprayed a thin coat of lacquer on top of the sheet, thus securing the colors on the decal film.

The paint scheme of the UPS B727-100 is fairly simple. It is all white, with a brown stripe running in the middle of the fuselage over where the windows used to be on the passenger version. The tail is also brown, while the wings and stabilizers are gray. The engines are brown too. The underneath of the plane is silver, so look at pictures to get a better idea of where to begin this, and of course the leading edges are silver too.

Once painted, I placed the homemade decals of the plane, and it actually turned out pretty good. The tail logo doesn’t stand out the greatest, so I will have to work on that a bit, but the "United Parcel Service" titles look good. I also made the registration number too and placed that on as well. The only addition I added to the plane is a "Boeing B727-100" title to the number two engine (the middle one) just so people who don’t have trained eye can distinguish which aircraft this is.

This once again adds another aircraft to my airline fleet as well as the Boeing fleet. It is a pretty simple conversion, and I would suggest trying this type of a conversion before working on any other conversions. So if you see the Airfix B727-200 scale model at your local hobby store, pick one up and have fun at either making a –100 or –200.

Boeing B727-200 (Alaska Airlines)

With the fame of the B727-100, the Boeing Company decided to work on an upgrade to this aircraft, and so lengthen the fuselage to accommodate more passengers. With a fuselage stretch of 20-feet, the –200 entered service in 1967. Now more than 180 passengers could fly in comfort on a tri-engine aircraft from coast to coast.

It was difficult to decide on which airline to paint my –200 as, since there are so many airlines in the world which use this type. The Airfix kit in 1:144th scale comes with PanAm decals, but I wanted something else, and so I decided on Alaska Airlines. For a short-lived time, this airline used both B727-100s and –200s. Of course I didn’t have the decals, so I orders some Alaska MD-80 decals for my project.

The paint scheme is very easy since Alaska, as with most airlines, I basically a white plane. I painted the entire fuselage white, with the exception of the underside since this plane too has a silver belly. The stabilizers and wings were gray and all leading edges are silver. The engines are white too. I painted it a flat white just to make it easier on myself, though you can use gloss white is you wish.

The decals for the MD-80 fit very nice on the B727, with the finished product beautiful. The added detail that Airfix has on all of its B727s is the option for having the aft boarding ladder in the down position. I decided to lower it on this B727, and therefore make it a plane forever to be sitting on the ground. Of course weight was added in the nose so as not the have all that weight on the aft door. But in the end, this is a great kit and with many different airline liveries available, it is a must have.

Boeing B727-200 (Trans World Airlines - TWA)

With the fame of the B727-100, the Boeing Company decided to work on an upgrade to this aircraft, and so lengthen the fuselage to accommodate more passengers. With a fuselage stretch of 20-feet, the –200 entered service in 1967. Now more than 180 passengers could fly in comfort on a tri-engine aircraft from coast to coast.

After completing my first model of a B727-200, I wanted to have another one, though this time I wanted the aft stairwell in the up position so that I could hang the airplane from my ceiling. This time it was easy to decide on the paint scheme since TWA has a new livery on the market. The Airfix kit in 1:144th scale comes with PanAm decals, but I ended up ordering TWA’s new colors from Airline Hobby Supplies of Canada.

The paint scheme became a little more of a challenge and in fact a big problem. The underside of the plane is a dark blue, with the upper portion being white. I decided to finally try to paint this plane in a true gloss white, but the problem I ran into was that I got anxious and sprayed too much on the plane each coat. Therefore my problem ended up being that the paint ran and I had to sand this imperfection off. It never has looked the greatest since, so in the future I do plane on building another B727 and painting it in TWA colors, but for now it flies in the crowed skies over my bed.

The decals were a joy to work with and place on the aircraft, and if the white paint scheme looked better, then the plane would be perfect. The stabilizer and wings are gray with leading edges silver, and the engines are silver too.

The added detail that Airfix has on all of its B727s is the option for having the aft boarding ladder in the down position. I decided to keep it in the "up" position this time so that I could have it fly through the turbulent skies of "model-land: ATC’s worst nightmare" which is made up in my bedroom with over 50 planes hanging from the ceiling. While this wasn’t my best product, it was nevertheless a model that I built and took pride in building, so I am proud of it. This is a great kit and with many different airline liveries available, so it is a must have.

Boeing B727-200 (Pan Am  

Even though I have already built two B727-200 and one –100 model, my interest in this plane was sparked again while reading an article in Airways about Mid-America Airport in St. Louis. The Airport is 25-miles from downtown St. Louis, but located in Illinois. There is only one airline currently serving this brand new airport, and it happens to be Pan Am. The new Pan Am of course flies B727 aircraft, and more interesting, they use the QWS or Quiet Wing System to comply as a stage III aircraft. Now more than 180 passengers can fly in comfort on a tri-engine aircraft from destinations such as St. Louis, Chicago, and Florida on this upgraded B727 under the livery of the new Pan Am. 

The Airfix kit in 1:144th scale comes with PanAm decals, so it worked out really good to buy this kit. I have been worried since my local hobby store hadn’t stocked this kit for a while, but they have at least three more, so my fears have subsided.  

The paint scheme of the new Pan Am livery is very simple. It is all gloss white. I even painted the wings white sine it looked like they were from pictures I have seen on the Internet of the plane. The tires of course are black, and the leading edges of the wings and engines are silver. The decals were a joy to work with and place on the aircraft, and the white paint scheme couldn’t look any better. 

The only additional item I had to add to this kit was the QWS, or winglets. This seemed to be a tough project when I first worked on it, but after studying the winglets in a picture, I was able to cut my own from a sheet of thin plastic, and paste them on the wing tips. This added the final touch, and of course the plane looks fabulous. 

The added detail that Airfix has on all of its B727s is the option for having the aft boarding ladder in the down position. I decided to keep it in the “up” position this time so that I could have it fly through the turbulent skies of “model-land: ATC’s worst nightmare” which is made up in my bedroom with over 50 planes hanging from the ceiling. Currently it is not “flying” and is in my office at work, sitting next to an A340-300. This is a great kit and with many different airline liveries available, so it is a must have.

Boeing B737-200 (Canadian Pacific)

 

Few airplanes have a reputation for being not only the best in safety, but also the most in numbers. When Boeing decided to launch the B737 in 1968 they had no idea how great this aircraft family would evolve to in the years to come. Able to seat between 100 in the B737-100 to 189 in the B737-800 with a flight crew of two and two engines, this program would evolve into the longest running production of any aircraft in history.

Though I have not seen any injection-mold kits for a B737-100, there are numerous kits in the –200 range, and on up. When I first bought my –200 kit, I had a pretty good idea of which airline I wanted to make the plane into. I had recently built a B747-400 in Canadian Airline livery, and so I decided to paint a B737 in Canadian Pacific livery, a subsidiary I am told of Canadian.

The paint scheme was white on the top with a dark blue on the underside. The stabilizers and wings were of course gray with all leading edges silver. The engines were painted blue. The decals go on smooth and I have no real complaint about any part of the model. The only difficult part of the model was the tail, which is painted blue too. The difficult part on the tail was the logo and getting it lined up correctly, but after struggling with it for a little bit, it was complete.

On this model I put the gear in the raised position, and now it flies in the skies of my own personal class Bravo airspace.

Boeing B737-200 (Casino Express – King and Queen)

Few airplanes have a reputation for being not only the best in safety, but also the most in numbers. When Boeing decided to launch the B737 in 1968 they had no idea how great this aircraft family would evolve to in the years to come. Able to seat between 100 in the B737-100 to 189 in the B737-800 with a flight crew of two and two engines, this program would evolve into the longest running production of any aircraft in history.

Though I have not seen any injection-mold kits for a B737-100, there are numerous kits in the –200 range, and on up. When I first bought my –200 kit, I had a pretty good idea of which airline I wanted to make the plane into. In fact, I didn’t just buy one –200, I bought two, and after ordering my decals and waiting a couple weeks, I was ready to begin my Casino Express Airlines project. Casino Express is an Elko, Nevada-based charter operation that flies throughout the United States. I have seen their scheme on their aircraft, and I wanted to get the decals, which of course I purchased through Airline Hobby Supplies.

There are two main planes in the Casino fleet, the King and the Queen. Each airplane was painted an overall gloss white, which this time worked fine for I placed about five thin coats on the plane. The stabilizers and wings were of course gray with all leading edges silver, as well as the engines. The hard part came when I started to paint each plane in their Casino paint scheme.

After the white coat has dried, I began to paint each p[lane a different color on the bottom half of the fuselage leading aft to cover the tail. The "King" is green, while the "Queen" is red. Of course I used packaging tape to mask the lines so that they would be straight. After each plane was painted in its various color, I placed the decals on, which applied with ease.

The finished product is a King on one tail and a Queen on the other. The interesting part of the decals, which is always nice, is that the registration numbers are correct on the decals as they are on the real plane. One added option I did for these aircraft is that I left the gear extended on the Queen’s aircraft while the gear on the King is stowed in the "up" position. These kits are made by Airfix and are a nice model to work with. Just remember that for this plane, and any others, you might want to place weight in the nose for balance on the ground.

For now these two aircraft fly proud in my room, possibly the only charter carrier I have for the moment. Hopefully someone will come out with decals for the "Red Lion" paint scheme of Casino, and hopefully the registration numbers and an additional "casino express" title would be on the same sheet as the other new plane in their fleet, the "white" one. Have fun with this kit and the rest of the B737 family as they appear on the market.

Boeing B737-200 (Metro Jet  

Few airplanes have a reputation for being not only the best in safety, but also the most in numbers. When Boeing decided to launch the B737 in 1968 they had no idea how great this aircraft family would evolve to in the years to come. Able to seat between 100 in the B737-100 to 189 in the B737-800 with a flight crew of two and two engines, this program would evolve into the longest running production of any aircraft in history. 

Though I have not seen any injection-mold kits for a B737-100, there are numerous kits in the –200 range, and on up. Even though I already have an extensive number of B737-200s in my fleet, I decided to buy yet another one. The problem that I have seem to run into lately is that there are not any really new models in the commercial industry coming out that I haven’t bought and built, so I start to buy more of the same kit and place different liveries on them. This isn’t bad, and I’m not complaining, just pointing out the fact. Anyway, when I was at the hobby store, I found another kit of the –200 from Airfix, and found some decals for US Airways low cost carrier, Metro Jet. I decided to buy it. 

The paint scheme was bright red on the top with a dark gray on the underside. The stabilizers and wings were of course gray with all leading edges silver. The engines were painted gray too. The decals go on smooth and I have no real complaint about any part of the model. There is a white and blue cheat line to go on between the top and underside, so this was easy to place on too. The tail has a decal, but even so, I painted it red. The tail decals are blue, but the darker color under the decal brings out this decal even more. 

On this model I put the gear in the down position, like I do for so many other of the kits I have anymore. I figure that someday I’d like to build my own airport diorama, and place airplanes at gates, terminals, taxiways, and runways, also in the sky above or in the pattern. For now it sits on a shelf surrounded by other aircraft from Boeing, Airbus, and British Aerospace.

Boeing B737-300 (US Air)

Of all of the B737 family members, the –300 is by far the most popular in this family, and possibly the world. With approximately 960 of the type flying, it is by far a plane that consumers and professionals both love. With a crew of two, this twin-engine aircraft can carry 128 in a typical two-class layout. A backbone for many airlines, the B737 is by far a plane that will live forever.

Lucky for all enthusiasts worldwide Minicraft decided to put out a model of the –300 a couple years ago. The kit, like all by Minicraft, is an easy one to assemble, with the exception of the windscreen, which comes as a part of the upper-forward portion of the fuselage. It is hard to explain, but if you buy the kit, or any jetliner kit by Minicraft, you will know what I mean. This isn’t really a big problem as long as you take your time and putty and sand the "canopy" before you paint the plane. However, I suggest to use tape to "mask" the actual windscreen of the plane.

The kit of the B737-300 made by Minicraft comes in the colors of American Airlines, but for those of you who know airline fleets, American doesn’t have any –300s, just –800s. This was misfortunately overlooked by Minicraft, but it is all right since you can always order decals for other airlines to make this correct. I decided to order US Air decals. After receiving these decals, I went to work painting the fuselage all silver. The wings and stabilizers were painted gray with leading edges silver. The engines were gray too.

Of course the decals went on with no problem except when I got to the red stripe. The problem that I had overlooked was that I ordered decals for a B737-200 instead of the –300. This could have been a problem, but with a very steady hand, I painted the rest of the red stripe on. It was easy enough to do.

I decided to leave the gear in the extended position, and now it hangs from my ceiling, climbing out from one altitude to another. If you see this kit in your local hobby store, I would suggest to buy it and then order decals for an airline that flies the –300.

Boeing B737-300 (Southwest – “Lone Star”)   

Of all of the B737 family members, the –300 is by far the most popular in this family, and possibly the world. On top of this, some airlines have based their fleet on the B737 airframe, and if this isn’t enough of a hint, the airline is Southwest. Southwest of course has a main paint scheme of tan, orange, and red-orange, but they also have planes painted to commemorate different states. One of the most famous paint jobs this airline chose was “Lone Star/Texas.” With a crew of two, this twin-engine aircraft can carry 128 in a typical two-class layout. A backbone for Southwest, the B737 is by far a plane that will live forever. 

Luckily for all enthusiasts worldwide, Minicraft decided to put out a model of the –300 a couple years ago. The kit, like all by Minicraft, is an easy one to assemble, with the exception of the windscreen, which comes as a part of the upper-forward portion of the fuselage. It is hard to explain, but if you buy the kit, or any jetliner kit by Minicraft, you will know what I mean. This isn’t really a big problem as long as you take your time and putty and sand the “canopy” before you paint the plane. However, I suggest using tape to “mask” the actual windscreen of the plane. 

The kit of the B737-300 made by Minicraft comes in the colors of American Airlines, but for those of you who don’t want to paint it in the livery of American, you can always order decals from Airline Hobby Supply of Canada. I of course decided to order “Lone Star” decals in the special livery of Southwest and after receiving these decals I went to work.  

The fuselage was painted three different colors in an unusual design. The front portion is navy blue with the aft section a wavy red (on the bottom) and white (on the top). It is hard to explain, so you should take a look at airliners.net for a better explanation. However when painting the red/white scheme, it was a hit and miss game for me, since I laid tape over the one half, and simply cut the design in the tape with an exacto. After the first half was painted, the other half was easy to mask over.  

The wings and stabilizers were painted a flat white with silver leading edges. Most of the times in the past I have painted the wings gray, but I have began to paint wings white now mainly because they add color and of course many of the Airbus wings are white, so I decided to paint the wings of Southwest white too. Believe me, they look great. The engines were painted blue and red mix. Once this was completed, I placed the decals on. 

I first placed the star on both sides of the fuselage since the windows would lay over it. Next came the windows and the doors, which went on perfectly. The final item was the tail. The decals for the tail were a white and red-orange decal as well as the Southwest title. To make sure the tail had the tan and orange look, I sprayed the tail tan and then painted half of it orange. The white decal was placed on top of the orange/tan joint and then the orange-red decal was placed on top of the white. The tail was complete. The final decals on were the registration number, “Lone Star” title, and the nose wheel door numbers.

Just for a hint, I would suggest to leave the horizontal stabilizers off until you have the decals on. It is just easier to work with the decals without the added hassle of working around stabilizers. I decided to put 5 pennies in the nose of the plane for weight and balance, like I do for all my kits anymore, but once I got to working on the plane, I decided I wanted the gear to be retracted, kind of. I placed the gear in a state of cycling, with the nose wheel doors shutting and the mains almost retracted too. The final product looks great.  

Lone Star currently flies in my room with a fleet of distinguished aircraft and airlines. If you have been looking for Southwest decals in 1:144th scale, look no further. Jet-Decal of Poland has made a variety of the Southwest schemes, and they are currently available for order from AHS of Canada. If you want a Southwest plane and a challenge, get the model kit, and the decals, and have some patience and fun.  

Boeing B737-300 (Southwest – “Spirit of Kitty Hawk”)   

Of all of the B737 family members, the –300 is by far the most popular in this family, and possibly the world. On top of this, some airlines have based their fleet on the B737 airframe, and if this isn’t enough of a hint, the airline is Southwest. Southwest of course has a main paint scheme of tan, orange, and red-orange, but they also have planes painted to commemorate different places. One of these interesting paint jobs this airline chose was the “Spirit of Kitty Hawk.” With a crew of two, this twin-engine aircraft can carry 128 in a typical two-class layout. A backbone for Southwest, the B737 is by far a plane that will live forever. 

Luckily for all enthusiasts worldwide, Minicraft decided to put out a model of the –300 a couple years ago. The kit, like all by Minicraft, is an easy one to assemble, with the exception of the windscreen, which comes as a part of the upper-forward portion of the fuselage. It is hard to explain, but if you buy the kit, or any jetliner kit by Minicraft, you will know what I mean. This isn’t really a big problem as long as you take your time and putty and sand the “canopy” before you paint the plane. However, I suggest using tape to “mask” the actual windscreen of the plane. 

The kit of the B737-300 made by Minicraft comes in the colors of American Airlines, but for those of you who don’t want to paint it in the livery of American, you can always order decals from Airline Hobby Supply of Canada. I of course decided to order “Spirit of Kitty Hawk” decals in the special livery of Southwest and after receiving these decals I went to work.  

The fuselage was painted in the main paint scheme of tan, orange, and red-orange. Tan on top, red-orange below that, and just plain orange on the tail, behind the other two colors. The engines were painted tan on top and red-orange on bottom. Between all the colors are white decal cheat lines, which went on fine. The “Spirit of Kitty Hawk” decal went right below the flight deck, and the ever-present heart went on below the windows on the forward fuselage.  

The wings and stabilizers were painted a light gull gray with silver leading edges. The other decals were the “Southwest” titles placed on the tail; the doors, windows, and of course the registration number, which is a perfect match to the real plane. 

Just for a hint, I would suggest to leave the horizontal stabilizers off until you have the decals on. It is just easier to work with the decals without the added hassle of working around stabilizers. I decided to put 5 pennies in the nose of the plane for weight and balance; like I do for all my kits anymore I left the gear extended for this model with the possibility of sometime placing it on the ground. For now it is in a steep climb for the heavens. The final product looks great.  

If you have been looking for Southwest decals in 1:144th scale, look no further. Jet-Decal of Poland has made a variety of the Southwest schemes, and they are currently available for order from AHS of Canada. If you want a Southwest plane and a challenge, get the model kit, the decals, and have some patience and fun.

Boeing B737-300 (Southwest – “California”)  

 It’s kind of ironic, but even though I am a great fan of the Airbus aircraft family, I continue to buy more and more Boeing B737-series aircraft. In fact, the B737 continues to grow on me, and as odd as it might seem, I am beginning to like Boeing more and more, though I am still an Airbus fan, I now respect both of them equally. Anyway, I bought another B737-300 to once again expand my fleet of Southwest aircraft. With a crew of two, this twin-engine aircraft can carry 128 in a typical two-class layout. A backbone for Southwest, the B737 is by far a plane that will live forever. 

Luckily for all enthusiasts worldwide, Minicraft decided to put out a model of the –300 a couple years ago. The kit, like all by Minicraft, is an easy one to assemble, with the exception of the windscreen, which comes as a part of the upper-forward portion of the fuselage. It is hard to explain, but if you buy the kit, or any jetliner kit by Minicraft, you will know what I mean. This isn’t really a big problem as long as you take your time and putty and sand the “canopy” before you paint the plane. However, I suggest using tape to “mask” the actual windscreen of the plane. 

The kit of the B737-300 made by Minicraft comes in the colors of American Airlines, but for those of you who don’t want to paint it in the livery of American, you can always order decals from Airline Hobby Supply of Canada. I of course decided to order “California” decals in the special livery of Southwest and after receiving these decals I went to work. Just a note, the decals are made by Jet Decals of Poland, and they have done a remarkable job with these. In fact, I do wish Jet Decals would work on the special livery of America West airlines in the future for the B757 fleet. Anyway, on with Southwest.  

The fuselage was painted two different colors in an unusual design. The front portion is gloss white with the aft section a wavy red (on the bottom rear). It is hard to explain, so you should take a look at airliners.net for a better explanation. However when painting the red/white scheme, it was a hit and miss game for me, since I laid tape over the one half, and simply cut the design in the tape with an exacto. After the first half was painted, the other half was easy to mask over.  

The wings and stabilizers were painted a dull gray with silver leading edges. Believe me, they look great once completed. The engines were painted white first, and then decals overlay on top for the paw of the bear. The final paint job was the vertical stabilizer, which is painted overall Model Master sand beige, and once this dried, I painted the aft portion of the stabilizer orange. There is a red decal and the “Southwest” title that overlays on the tail. Once this was completed, I placed the decals on the main fuselage. 

I first placed the bear on top of the fuselage. As the g\bear decal is one piece, it simply falls on both sides of the plane. Make sure to look head-on at the plane to see if the bear is equal on both sides. After the bear was in place, I put on a red star on the front portion of both sides of the fuselage and finally placed the windows and doors on. The final decals on were the registration number, “California” title, and the nose wheel door numbers. Just for a hint, I would suggest to leave the horizontal stabilizers off until you have the decals on. It is just easier to work with the decals without the added hassle of working around stabilizers. I decided to put 5 pennies in the nose of the plane for weight and balance, like I do for all my kits anymore. The final product looks great.  

California currently flies in my room with a fleet of distinguished aircraft and airlines. If you have been looking for Southwest decals in 1:144th scale, look no further. Jet Decals of Poland has made a variety of the Southwest schemes, and they are currently available for order from AHS of Canada. If you want a Southwest plane and a challenge, get the model kit, and the decals, and have some patience and fun.  

Boeing B737-300 (Southwest – “Pigskin One”)   

Once in a while creativity gets the best of us, and this is a good thing. I was trying to decide on a way to enter a Southwest Airlines model in a local scholarship contest, and was having “writers block” as to what to make. It hit me one night when I was trying to get to sleep, and that’s when I had the vision for Pigskin One. The next day I worked on a picture of the plane and the dream scheme, and decided to work on the project. Unfortunately I never was able to enter it in the scholarship since the University decided to change the rules mid-way through the semester, but what I have is a great scheme that I personally believe, as well as many of my friends, that would be a great scheme for Southwest to adopt as one of their special liveries.   

The scheme represents Southwest as the official sponsor of the NFL. I was considering painting this scheme on a B737-800, but decided to opt for the B737-300, since this series number seems to be what the majority of the Southwest livery aircraft are. Luckily for all enthusiasts worldwide, Minicraft decided to put out a model of the –300 a couple years ago. The kit, like all by Minicraft, is an easy one to assemble, with the exception of the windscreen, which comes as a part of the upper-forward portion of the fuselage. It is hard to explain, but if you buy the kit, or any jetliner kit by Minicraft, you will know what I mean. This isn’t really a big problem as long as you take your time and putty and sand the “canopy” before you paint the plane. However, I suggest using tape to “mask” the actual windscreen of the plane. 

The kit of the B737-300 made by Minicraft comes in the colors of American Airlines, but for those of you who don’t want to paint it in the livery of American, you can always order decals from Airline Hobby Supply of Canada. I of course decided to paint the plane in my own special scheme, so I had to work from scratch pretty much. I did know that I wanted the normal Southwest tail as all the special liveries have, so I ordered “Spirit of Kitty Hawk” decals from AHS of Canada. The sole purpose was for the tail, windows, and doors. Once I got the decals and the courage to work on this scheme, I went to work.  

The fuselage was painted an overall gloss green to signify the football field. This was an easy enough task, and was completed with a couple coats. The wings and stabilizers were painted a dull gray with silver leading edges. Believe me, they look great once completed. The engines were painted a gloss brown to represent the football, and then decals overlay on the sides of the engines making the football threading. Above the threading is the title “NFL.COM,” to sponsor the NFL in the interest of Southwest. The final paint job was the vertical stabilizer, which is painted overall Model Master sand beige, and once this dried, I painted the aft portion of the stabilizer orange. There is a red decal and the “Southwest” title that overlays on the tail. Once this was completed, I placed the decals on the main fuselage. 

I took a sheet of white decal and cut it into multiple strips. From there I went to work laying these strips on the fuselage to form the year lines. I started in the middle of the plane and worked toward each end, placing a total of nine white stripes on the plane, signifying yard markers 10 through 50, and back to 10. The goal lines were then made with a couple yellow stripes. I decided to place the titles of “10” and “50” on the yard markers to show where they fall, but I thought if I would have placed 20, 30, and 40 on the plane it would have been too crowded.  

After the yard lines were in place, I put on the Southwest heart on the front sides of the plane, and finally placed the windows and doors on. The final decals on were the registration number (which I made up as N340SW). I hand painted “Pigskin One” on the front sides of the fuselage in sliver, and the plane was finished. Just for a hint, I would suggest to leave the horizontal stabilizers off until you have the decals on. It is just easier to work with the decals without the added hassle of working around stabilizers. I decided to put 5 pennies in the nose of the plane for weight and balance, like I do for all my kits anymore. The final product looks great.  

Pigskin One currently sits on a shelf in my room with a fleet of distinguished aircraft and airlines. If you have been looking for Southwest decals in 1:144th scale, look no further. Jet Decals of Poland has made a variety of the Southwest schemes, and they are currently available for order from AHS of Canada. If you want a Southwest plane and a challenge, get the model kit, and the decals, and have some patience and fun. And who knows, maybe one day Southwest will use this scheme on one of their planes.

Boeing B737-300 (Western Pacific – "The Simpsons")

Of all of the B737 family members, the –300 is by far the most popular in this family, and possibly the world. On top of this, the most famous paint jobs by an airline chose the B737-300 for its livery. Western Pacific, a now defunct airline, decided to advertise on their airplanes and by the grace of FOX, "The Simpsons" flew in the skies above the USA for a time. With a crew of two, this twin-engine aircraft can carry 128 in a typical two-class layout. A backbone for many airlines, the B737 is by far a plane that will live forever.

Luckily for all enthusiasts worldwide, Minicraft decided to put out a model of the –300 a couple years ago. The kit, like all by Minicraft, is an easy one to assemble, with the exception of the windscreen, which comes as a part of the upper-forward portion of the fuselage. It is hard to explain, but if you buy the kit, or any jetliner kit by Minicraft, you will know what I mean. This isn’t really a big problem as long as you take your time and putty and sand the "canopy" before you paint the plane. However, I suggest using tape to "mask" the actual windscreen of the plane.

The kit of the B737-300 made by Minicraft comes in the colors of American Airlines, but for those of you who know airline fleets, American doesn’t have any –300s, just –800s. This was unfortunately overlooked by Minicraft, but it is all right since you can always order decals for other airlines to make this correct. I decided to order Western Pacific decals in the livery of "The Simpsons." After receiving these decals, I went to work.

The fuselage was painted all yellow, with the wings and stabilizers gray and the leading edges silver. The engines were painted blue. Once this was completed, I had a model that could easily have passed for a banana, but before any of my roommates could eat it, I placed the decals on.

Working from the tail to the nose, I placed Marge on the tail. Moving forward, right in front of the aft door was Bart, and then Homer went on right behind the wing. "The Simpsons" title was place over the wing. In front of the wing went little Maggie, and finally in front of here came Lisa. The WP logo went on right behind the windscreen. After the characters were one, I placed the window and door decals on the plane.

Just for a hint, I would suggest to leave the horizontal stabilizers off until you have the decals on. It is a necessity for the placement of Marge. The only other decal was that of FOX, which went on the engines. The finished product is a plane that was possibly the most famous WestPac paint scheme, and probably FOX’s favorite airline. It is too bad it went belly-up, but it happens.

I decided to leave the gear in the extended position, and now it sits on a shelf. In some ways the same fate has reached this plane as the real one, in that it doesn’t fly with the WestPac livery anymore. If you see this kit in your local hobby store, I would suggest buying it and then ordering decals for an airline that flies the –300. I would especially suggest to order "The Simpsons" plane if you are up for a challenge and a great outcome.

Boeing B737-400 (US Airways)

Of course if a manufacturer has a good product, instead of making a new one from scratch, the theory is to lengthen it. The B737-200 was lengthened to form the –300, and after the success of the –300, airlines wanted a longer plane still. With this need came the B737-400 of which US Air was the launch customer. With approximately 400 of the type flying, it is once again a tribute to the Boeing Company and the B737 family. With a crew of two, this twin-engine aircraft can carry 146 in a typical two-class layout.

When Minicraft decided to put out a model of the –400 a couple years ago, they made a great decision. The –400 was taken off shelves as quick as they could go on, just like the –300. This time Minicraft got it right when they put out the decals in US Airways colors. The kit, like all by Minicraft, is an easy one to assemble, with the exception of the windscreen, which comes as a part of the upper-forward portion of the fuselage. It is hard to explain, but if you buy the kit, or any jetliner kit by Minicraft, you will know what I mean. This isn’t really a big problem as long as you take your time and putty and sand the "canopy" before you paint the plane. However, I suggest using tape to "mask" the actual windscreen of the plane.

The kit of the B737-400 made by Minicraft comes in the colors of US Airways, in their new colors of black with the red and white stripe. It is a great paint job in my opinion since it looks beautiful and menacing at the same time. Of course if you don’t want to make the plane in the livery of US Airways, you can always order decals of another airline from AHS.

The fuselage was painted a flat black, but in hindsight I should have painted it in a gloss black. A mistake I made up for when I bought and painted an A320 in US Airways colors. The top of the fuselage is black and the underside is a dark gray. I masked between the two colors and placed the red and white cheat-line decal on which worked perfectly. The wings and stabilizers were painted gray with leading edges silver. The engines were the gray too.

The decals went on with no problem at all, with the tail making the plane all worth it. The USA flag showing the pride for the airline and the country.

I decided to leave the gear sucked up and hang the plane from the ceiling. For now the US Airways B737-400 flies in the skies of my house. Perhaps someday United will merge with US Airways, but for now it is a separate entity. If you see this kit in your local hobby store, I would suggest buying it since it is just one more aircraft in a family that has taken the world by storm.

Boeing B737-400 (Western Pacific "Colorado Springs")

Of course if a manufacturer has a good product, instead of making a new one from scratch, the theory is to lengthen it. The B737-200 was lengthened to form the –300, and after the success of the –300, airlines wanted a longer plane still. With this need came the B737-400 of which many airlines bought right away. With approximately 400 of the type flying, this twin-engine aircraft, capable of carrying 146 in a typical two-class layout, is once again a tribute to the Boeing Company and the B737 family.

When Minicraft decided to put out a model of the –400 a couple years ago, they made a great decision. The –400 was taken off shelves as quick as they could go on, just like the –300. This time Minicraft got it right when they put out the decals in US Airways colors. The kit, like all by Minicraft, is an easy one to assemble, with the exception of the windscreen, which comes as a part of the upper-forward portion of the fuselage. It is hard to explain, but if you buy the kit, or any jetliner kit by Minicraft, you will know what I mean. This isn’t really a big problem as long as you take your time and putty and sand the "canopy" before you paint the plane. However, I suggest using tape to "mask" the actual windscreen of the plane.

The kit of the B737-400 made by Minicraft comes in the colors of US Airways, in their new colors of black with the red and white stripe. But since I already had a US Airways B737-400, I wanted to paint it in a different livery. I had already bought some WestPac decals in the Colorado Springs livery, but they were for a B737-300. I thought about buying other decals, but then decided to just slap them on the bigger B737-400. Of course WestPac never had any –400s, but I wasn’t that concerned, and actually, they look a little better and fit a little better on the longer plane.

The fuselage was painted a gloss white with the wings and stabilizers painted gray with silver leading edges. The engines were painted white. The decals are challenging to place on, but as you work with them, they do look nice on the finished product. The tail has blue decals with a rising sun. The Rocky Mountains start on the forward portion of the tail and move down the fuselage until just aft of the wing. The "Colorado Springs" titles are placed above the wing under a blue decal on the top of the fuselage that when blended with the white fuselage, takes the shape of clouds.

The WestPac logo covers the doors in the front of the plane and the door and window decals go on last. I painted the bottom of the fuselage silver since some of the decals didn’t match up, but it worked good and added some color to the intricate design of the former COS hub plane where WestPac was based.

I decided to leave the gear in the extended position and now it sits next to "the Simpsons" –300 with pride. If you see this kit in your local hobby store, I would suggest buying it since it is just one more aircraft in a family that has taken the world by storm.

Boeing B737-800 (Hapag Lloyd)

With success of the rest of the B737 family aircraft, Boeing decided to continue to lengthen the fuselage to make the –800. This airplane is 19-feet longer than the venerable –300 and can carry 162 passengers in a two-class layout. This in addition to a "glass" flight deck and fuel efficient engines make the B737-800 the newest airplane to fly with the "737" name.

Revell of Germany decided to recently make and release the B737-800 in 1:144th scale. The model, like of airline kits from Revell, is exceptional. Gear well detail and even pitot tubes give the little additional detail that people love to see. The best part might just be that right now you cannot buy it here in America, and can only import it, so if you can get your hands on it, you will have something that few other enthusiasts in America will have.

The kit is in one way like those made by Minicraft in that the windscreen comes as a part of the upper-forward portion of the fuselage. It is hard to explain, but if you buy the kit, or any jetliner kit by Minicraft, you will know what I mean. This isn’t really a big problem as long as you take your time and putty and sand the "canopy" before you paint the plane. However, I suggest using tape to "mask" the actual windscreen of the plane. Other than that, the kit is awesome.

To paint the model in the Hapag Lloyd decals that came with it is simple too. I painted the entire fuselage a gloss white as well as the wings and stabilizers. Of course the leading edges are silver. I did have to paint the tail orange, and while I don’t prefer to brush paint on, I did in this case, and actually it come out pretty nice. After painted, I placed the decals on which went on perfect. The finished product is the launch customer for the B737-800.

I kept the gear extended so that I could either hang it or set it on the ground. Of course I did place about 5 cents in the front (5 pennies) for weight and balance, like I do with all models that I build anymore, it is a good number and a cheap way to use pennies that are just laying around.

This kit is a must buy for any enthusiast. If you need to order one before it gets into the stores here in the states, go to AHS and place an order, since that is where I got my copy of the plane.

Boeing B737-800 (One World Alliance)

   

With success of the rest of the B737 family aircraft, Boeing decided to continue to lengthen the fuselage to make the –800. This airplane is 19-feet longer than the venerable –300 and can carry 162 passengers in a two-class layout. This in addition to a "glass" flight deck and fuel efficient engines make the B737-800 the newest airplane to fly with the "737" name.

Of course once the B737-800 was launched, it seemed that everyone and their brother wanted the type. Continental, Hapag Lloyd, Delta, and American are just some of the carriers that use this aircraft now. The B737-800 is sure to be another aircraft that will make a long-running production history for itself.

Even though I had already built a couple of the B737-800’s, I decided that I wanted to buy one more, but I wasn’t sure what to paint it. Since my fleet of models has basically every US airline, I had to consider what to paint it. I looked around my room and noticed that my only American Airlines plane was a Fokker F100. So I thought to myself, why not upgrade the AA fleet. So I decided to paint it in American colors when it hit me, why not make an airplane in tribute to the One World Alliance. American Airlines and British Airways started it, so how about a paint scheme for them.

I decided to paint the –800 the same way that Northwest painted one of their DC-10’s, with Northwest on one side and KLM on the other. So it was simple, I’d place American on one side and British Airways on the other. This of course presented a unique challenge. I decided to paint both sides before I placed the fuselage together. The American side was silver with a gray tail. The British side was white on the top 2/3 and blue on the bottom 1/3. The engine on the AA side is gray while the BA engine is blue.

After this, I glued the two halves together. Next I applied the decals for both airlines, and then placed the wing on as well as the gear. The Revell kit for the B737-800 has a one-piece wing, so it is easy to place on at the end. I of course placed five pennies in the nose for balance. The plane complete, I placed on the rest of the decals, and used the American Airlines registration since BA doesn’t have any –800’s.

The aircraft complete to that point, I had to add something so that other people could know it is the airplane to signify the One World Alliance. So to accomplish this, I placed engine covers on the engines. They were made from clear decals and then once they dried, I painted them purple, the alliance colors. On the covers I placed a "1" and underneath that a "world" title. The plane complete, it now sits on a shelf with a fleet of other aircraft.

Though this paint scheme doesn’t exist, it would be very nice to see it some day on one of American’s B737-800s. This kit is a must buy for any enthusiast. If you need to order one before it gets into the stores here in the states, go to AHS and place an order, since that is where I got my copy of the plane.

Boeing B747-200 (KLM: Royal Dutch Airlines)

Launched in the 1970s, the Boeing B747 family was to become the first true "jumbo jet" family the world had ever seen. With the family beginning with a –100, the economy soon demanded a plane that could carry more passengers and freight, and thus the –200 was created. This four-engine, three-person crew aircraft was certified to carry 452 passengers in a typical two-class layout. It truly was a plane to rule the skies for years.

As I have said before, the B747 is one of the mainline aircraft available in 1:200 scale, but the 1:144th scale is a little larger and offers more detail, and that is why it is great to see that Airfix has made the B747-200 in 1:144th. The kit is rather large coming in at 18-inches long and of course the kit is easy to work with. It comes with decals for KLM: Royal Dutch Airlines.

When I painted the plane, I wanted to take extra time and make it a very precious plane to remember. I painted the underside of the fuselage gray and then to top of it in a "French blue." Right above the gray I painted a single white stripe and above that I placed a single dark blue strip. I could have used the decals, but wanted to take my time on it, and it looks just as good this way. The tail is white while the wings and stabilizers are gray with silver leading edges. An additional option I did was paint the engines blue just for added effect, even thought the real plane doesn’t have this feature. I just wanted to be creative.

The gear is down but in the recycling position, so it is either taking off or preparing to land. As another added bonus, I cut the flaps out and place them in an extended position, This was a lot of work, but in the end it paid off with a great-looking model. The only decals used were for the logo on the tail, the titles on the side of the plane and the doors. Other than that all of it was painted by hand. It now flies in my room with the other "heavies" in the congested airspace above.

This kit is nice since if you want to be really creative, you can keep the doors and cargo doors in the open position, since they come as separate pieces of the model. I have yet to do something like that, but it is an option for the future. Until then, if you see this kit, go ahead and pick it up and have fun. If you want to paint it in a different airline livery, go ahead since you can order the decals from AHS and most every airline has flown them at some point in their lives.

Boeing B747-200 (America West)

Launched in the 1970s, the Boeing B747 family was to become the first true "jumbo jet" family the world had ever seen. With the family beginning with a –100, the economy soon demanded a plane that could carry more passengers and freight, and thus the –200 was created. This four-engine, three-person crew aircraft was certified to carry 452 passengers in a typical two-class layout. It truly was a plane to rule the skies for years.

After building my first B747-200, I wanted to build more of this jumbo jet. Since one of my goals has always been to have a fleet of aircraft with American airline liveries, I began looking for decals of airlines that had flown the –200. While I glanced through a copy of the AHS catalog, I accidentally found deals for an America West Airlines –200. I immediately bought them since I didn’t have any AWA planes in my fleet.

On a side note, it is interesting that you cannot find decals for America West or Southwest in the mainstream decals made today. In gets really interesting when you see decals for Midwest Express and even Casino Express and yet you can’t get decals for two of the main airlines in the American skies. So of course when I found these decals, I had to get them. Just remember that AWA doesn’t fly any B747s after their bankruptcy, but since they are the only decals available for AWA, you have to settle for what is available.

Airfix has made the B747-200 in 1:144th scale and it is a great model. The kit is rather large coming in at 18-inches long and of course the kit is easy to work with. It comes with decals for KLM: Royal Dutch Airlines, but as I did in this case, I bought other decals in America West livery.

The plane is painted in a flat white so that the gloss white wouldn’t run. At this point in my model career I was having trouble getting nice even coats of gloss, so I was painting planes in flat white instead. The upper part of the plane is white with the underside silver. I masked between the two colors to get a straight edge. The wings and stabilizers are gray with silver leading edges while the engines are white.

The gear is in the extended position so that I can place it on the ground or in the air. Detail is good again since the doors and cargo doors have to be glued on instead of being molded into the fuselage. The decals went on very easily and now the B747-200 that America West used to fly in the skies above America and Japan now flies in my room.

This kit is nice since if you want to be really creative, you can keep the doors and cargo doors in the open position, since they come as separate pieces of the model. I have yet to do something like that, but it is an option for the future. Until then, if you see this kit, go ahead and pick it up and have fun. If you want to paint it in a different airline livery, go ahead since you can order the decals from AHS and most every airline has flown them at some point in their lives.

Boeing B747-300 (All Nippon Airlines - Japanese - English)

With the success of the B747-200, Boeing decided to once again stretch their plane and make a new variant known in the aviation community as the –300. The simple stretching of the upper deck increased the capacity another 609 passengers. Though not the most popular aircraft in the jumbo jet family, the –300 still earned its keep in the books by selling 81 of the type.

Though I have not seen a kit for the –300, I decided to modify a Revell B747-400 to make the –300. The main difference seen between two aircraft is that the –400 has wing lets and –300 doesn’t. Both however have the extended deck. Other than the wingtips, they look similar on the exterior, so in order to make a –300, simply buy a –400 and keep the wing lets off.

The B747-400 kit I bought was made by Revell and came with United Airlines decals. The problem with my conversion that I initially ran into was the fact that United has never flown the –300 in its fleet. The problem was easily solved when I began looking at other decals that I have save throughout the years. In with all the other decals were decals for an All Nippon Airways B777. When I painted my B777, I used United livery, so in turn, for this B747 I used those ANA decals that were left over from the B777 project.

The paint scheme of the ANA plane was an impressive and difficult one. The underside is an intermediate blue while the top is gloss white. While this seems easy, and it is, the challenge came when I decided to paint the stripe on the plane. ANA livery calls for a diagonal stripe that begins as a point and runs to the tail, across windows and doors. The stripe is a dark blue on the upper portion and a light blue on the bottom of it. The tail is just dark blue. For a better idea of this, go to Airliners.net and type in All Nippon Airways B747 to see the paint scheme. The wings and stabilizers were of course gray with silver leading edges. The engines were the intermediate blue like the underside of the fuselage.

After the painting was finished, I placed on the decals in the way of doors and the tail’s "ANA" title, as well as the registration. The plane looks magnificent as a –300 since I left the wing lets off. Now it banks to the right to get onto a new heading in my room. This kit of course is a B747-400 kit, but works as either the –300/-400 and is easy to assemble. Of course if you make it either variation, you can always use the decals it come with or order other decals too. The kit is a must have and is available at most hobby stores for about $20.

Boeing B747-300 (Ansett Airlines)

 After the success of the B747-100/-200 Boeing had to continue to develop the aircraft further to keep consumers satisfied. This came in the option of the current B747-300. The main difference between the previous models and the -300 was the extended upper deck, allowing for more seating.

The main external difference from the –300 is that the –400 has wing lets, which helps reduce drag and in turn make the plane more fuel-efficient. Also helping on the efficiency are new engines.

So when Revell decided to release the B747-400 here in America, it was a hit at once. One reason for the success is that the model came in United Airlines livery, an airline known the world over. The detail was of course high since Revell made it, and coming in at $20, it was a steal. Since I had already bought a –400 and made it into a –300, I had to buy another one. 

I had been at a local hobby store one day and had found decals for the old colors of Ansett Australia. I decided to go ahead and buy them, and so they sat in my room for a while. Finally I decided to buy a B747-400 and make it into a –300. It worked fine once again, making the plane as normal and just leaving off the wing lets.  

The entire plane is painted gloss white; with the tail painted “blue angel blue.” The wings were painted a flat white, and the leading edges on the stabilizers, wings, and engines were painted silver. With the painting done, the rest of the plane was a piece of cake.  

The decals went on easy, with the “Ansett Australia” title going on between the upper and lower deck, and the tail had the flag on the tip. The one problem I ran into was that the decals are actually for a B767, so I have the tail minus the stars, but it still looks good. The registration number went on, along with a small Australian flag, and then to add to the model, I placed a “Boeing B747-300 title beneath the windows in the rear. This way people can tell that it is in fact a –300. 

It was a very fun project to work on since it is currently the largest American-built commercial passenger transport flying today. If you see this kit in the hobby stores be sure to pick it up since it probably won’t be sold long at those low prices and many commercial airplane seem to be discontinued before their time. Now, Ansett flies with the rest of my expansive fleet. This B747 is the 6th kith of the type, with the full series excluding the freighter version, I have the B747-100/-200/-300/-400, and hopes to some day make an E-4B. More to come.

Boeing B747-400 (Air Canada)*

For decades the Boeing B747 has ruled the skies as the largest commercial passenger transport ever mass-produced. Seating between 400-530 passengers and with well over 1,200 types of the 747 family flying around the world, it by far a prize to any fleet. Since 1969, the B747 has served with many airlines, and today the newest variant, the B747-400 continues to bring passengers to new, exotic places ever day of every year.

It is no doubt that the plastic modeling industry has made many kits of the B747, and probably sold just as many if not more than the actual plane. In fact, the B747 in kit form comes in various scales, from 1:400, 1:200, 1:144, and most recently, 1:100. I personally have every scale from the 1:200 up to the most recent acquisition of a 1:100 scale.

Made by Hobbycraft of Canada, this behemoth comes in at an incredible 3-feet long. The color scheme is that of Air Canada, Canada’s largest operator of the B747. It costs only $30 and is a joy to work with and display.

I painted it all in a gloss white, with the stabilizers and wings gray. The leading edges are silver. It didn’t take too long to put this together since there aren’t many pieces. In fact this plane doesn’t comes with any gear, but then again, to get the full effect it needs to be hung from any ceiling. My plane hangs in front of a poster of the B747-400 flight deck.

The decals are great to work with too, but one snag I ran into was what color to paint the tail. It says that it is a very dark green, but since I couldn’t find this color anywhere, I decided to paint the tail black. This worked very well and so I placed the Maple leaf on the black tail, and called it good. The rest of the decals went on smooth even though they are so large, and the finished product is a plane flown by Air Canada.

If you see this kit around, don’t let it pass you buy since I haven’t seen one since I bought and assembled mine. These usually don’t come up very often, so snatch them as you see them, even if it means that you have to stockpile them for a rainy day.

Boeing B747-400 (Canadian Airlines)

After the success of the B747-100/-200/-300 Boeing had to continue to develop the aircraft further to keep consumers satisfied. This came in the option of the current B747-400. The main difference between the –400 with the rest of the family is that it was the first jumbo jet to have only two crew members instead of the normal three that the rest of the series had. The flight deck was all "glass" and with the capacity to carry up to 412 passengers in the three-class layout or a maximum of 660 in an economy layout, the –400 was to become the king of the skies.

The main external difference from the –300 is that the –400 has wing lets, which helps reduce drag and in turn make the plane more fuel-efficient. Also helping on the efficiency are new engines.

So when Revell decided to release the B747-400 here in America, it was a hit at once. One reason for the success is that the model came in United Airlines livery, an airline known the world over. The detail was of course high since Revell made it, and coming in at $20, it was a steal. Since I had already bought a –400 and made it into a –300, I had to buy another one.

When I was in Canada at Vancouver, I saw a B747-400 that stuck in my mind as having a great paint scheme. The airline was Canadian, and so I sat down and looked for decals for this airplane in an AHS catalog. I found the decals and ordered them at once, but instead of waiting for them to come, I started on the plane at once.

The underside was painted "blue angel blue" while the top was white. The tail too was painted blue, but with gray lines in it and a red arrow. The gray lines and arrow were decals, but since I didn’t have them yet, I decided to press my luck and hand paint it on. It turned out really nice. The gear was left in the extended position and I even rotated the mains in the way that they look when the plane takes off. To see what I mean, look at a picture of any B747.

When the decals finally came, I used the doors, "Canadian" titles, and the registration number. It was a very fun project to work on since it is currently the largest American-build commercial passenger transport flying today. If you see this kit in the hobby stores be sure to pick it up since it probably won’t long at those low prices and many commercial airplane seem to be discontinued before their time.

Boeing B757-200 (Canada 3000)

For the longest time, no model manufacturer had made a scale model of a Boeing B757, perhaps the second most popular single-aisle aircraft in the world, second only to the B737 family. Enthusiast waited and hoped that soon Revell might release a version of the B757, but it came as a surprise when Minicraft launched the B757 project. The B757 came out in late 1999, and when it hit the shelves, people bought them as fast as they could.

The kit of course came with America Airline decals, but for many people, they wanted a variety of decals for the B757. When it was first stated that Minicraft was working on this kit, decal companies began making numerous B757 decals of airlines such as Continental, Eastern, and especially United. The B757 became a success after the first day it was on the shelves.

When I bought my kits, I already had two decal sheets for the B757. I of course had United colors and also Canada 3000 decals. I worked on the Canada 3000 plane after the United plane, and therefore I knew what to expect when it came time to build it. In other words, I knew how to make it a better plane. I painted the entire plane flat white. The engines were painted gloss red with silver on the front of the engine cowling. Wings were gray with silver leading edges. The decals went on fine.

The model of course was great with one exception. The kit, like all by Minicraft, is an easy one to assemble, with the exception of the windscreen, which comes as a part of the upper-forward portion of the fuselage. It is hard to explain, but if you buy the kit, or any jetliner kit by Minicraft, you will know what I mean. This isn’t really a big problem as long as you take your time and putty and sand the "canopy" before you paint the plane. However, I suggest using tape to "mask" the actual windscreen of the plane.

The only other problem that I ran into with this kit is the height of the plane off the ground. If you see a B757 in real life, it sits off the ground fairly high, especially the engines. When I first put the gear on, the engines touched the ground. I had to play with the gear a little until I got it to the point where the space between the ground and engines was comfortable. After this, the rest of the assembly went just fine.

Most decals have windows for the B757, but if they don’t, you’ll need to order windows separately, since the model comes without windows cut into it. Other than that, the model is a piece of art. I placed the gear in the recycling position, so they are neither all the way up nor all the way down, they are half way. It gives the impression that it is either just taking off or preparing to land. For those of you who want to have it sitting on the ground (or a shelf), I would suggest putting five pennies in the front of the nose for balance. This has worked for all of my B757 fleet.

If you see this at a local hobby store, buy it. It is a great model for any fleet in any colors.

Boeing B757-200 (United Airlines)

For the longest time, no model manufacturer had made a scale model of a Boeing B757, perhaps the second most popular single-aisle aircraft in the world, second only to the B737 family. Enthusiast waited and hoped that soon Revell might release a version of the B757, but it came as a surprise when Minicraft launched the B757 project. The B757 came out in late 1999, and when it hit the shelves, people bought them as fast as they could.

The kit of course came with America Airline decals, but for many people, they wanted a variety of decals for the B757. When it was first stated that Minicraft was working on this kit, decal companies began making numerous B757 decals of airlines such as Continental, Eastern, and especially United. The B757 became a success after the first day it was on the shelves.

When I bought my kits, I already had two decal sheets for the B757. I of course had United colors and also Canada 3000 decals. I worked on the United plane first. I painted the top of the fuselage gray and the bottom a blue angel blue. The engines were painted blue too. Wings were gray with silver leading edges. The decals went on fine with the red/orange strip laying over the connection of the blue and gray on the fuselage.

The model of course was great with one exception. The kit, like all by Minicraft, is an easy one to assemble, with the exception of the windscreen, which comes as a part of the upper-forward portion of the fuselage. It is hard to explain, but if you buy the kit, or any jetliner kit by Minicraft, you will know what I mean. This isn’t really a big problem as long as you take your time and putty and sand the "canopy" before you paint the plane. However, I suggest using tape to "mask" the actual windscreen of the plane.

The only other problem that I ran into with this kit is the height of the plane off the ground. If you see a B757 in real life, it sits off the ground fairly high, especially the engines. When I first put the gear on, the engines touched the ground. I had to play with the gear a little until I got it to the point where the space between the ground and engines was comfortable. After this, the rest of the assembly went just fine.

Most decals have windows for the B757, but if they don’t, you’ll need to order windows separately, since the model comes without windows cut into it. Other than that, the model is a piece of art. I left the gear down even though it now hangs in my room. For those of you who want to have it sitting on the ground (or a shelf), I would suggest putting five pennies in the front of the nose for balance. This has worked for all of my B757 fleet.

If you see this at a local hobby store, buy it even though they are easy to get a hold of.

Boeing B757-200 (American Airlines "Retro")

After completing two B757 model kits myself, I wanted more, or more like friends of mine wanted some kits too. One friend is an avid fan of American Airlines, but instead of using the American decals that came with the kit, he wanted the special "Retro Anniversary" colors. Of course I once again ordered them from Airline Hobby Supplies of Canada, and they are fabulous. For those of you who don’t know what I am talking about, it is the American Airlines B757 that bears the livery of a highly polished body with red stripes adorning the sides, like the B707 scheme of American used to wear. The only main difference is that the Retro scheme on the B757 was red instead of orange, and this confused some people, but the model makers released the decals as orange for the true "retro scheme."

When I decided to take on this project, I wanted two Retro planes, one for myself and one for my friend. It was the first time that I simultaneously worked on two planes, but it worked fin. While I waited for the decals to arrive, I built the plane and painted it, so that I could concentrate on only the decals in a few weeks when they arrived. The fuselage was painted in stainless steel, with the wings and stabilizers gray. The tail and engines were painted flat white.

The model of course was great with one exception. The kit, like all by Minicraft, is an easy one to assemble, with the exception of the windscreen, which comes as a part of the upper-forward portion of the fuselage. It is hard to explain, but if you buy the kit, or any jetliner kit by Minicraft, you will know what I mean. This isn’t really a big problem as long as you take your time and putty and sand the "canopy" before you paint the plane. However, I suggest using tape to "mask" the actual windscreen of the plane.

The only other problem that I ran into with this kit is the height of the plane off the ground. If you see a B757 in real life, it sits off the ground fairly high, especially the engines. When I first put the gear on, the engines touched the ground. I had to play with the gear a little until I got it to the point where the space between the ground and engines was comfortable. After this, the rest of the assembly went just fine.

When the decals came, both aircraft were done, so I began applying the decals. They were a pain in the ass, but after a couple days, they were on. When I mean a couple days, I am literally saying it took a couple days. It was time consuming and difficult, so I wanted breaks. But the end product was a great plane and model. It now flies in the sky in my house, with the anniversary colors of American Airlines. My friend too was happy with the job.

I left the gear down even though it now hangs in my room. For those of you who want to have it sitting on the ground (or a shelf), I would suggest putting five pennies in the front of the nose for balance. This has worked for all of my B757 fleet.

If you see this at a local hobby store, buy it before they go off the shelf.

Boeing B757-200 (United Parcel Service)

After completing my American Airlines Retro scheme, another friend of mine approached me and asked if I could build him a B757 in UPS livery. I told him of course without thinking about it, and then the truth hit, no one makes UIPS decals. While this might stop some people, I was undeterred. If I couldn’t buy UPS decals, I would make them.

I found a picture of a B757 on the Internet, and after much cutting and pasting, I had a jpeg file that I could use. I pasted it on Microsoft word and print out copies of it. At the same time, I printed off titles of "United Parcel Service" as well as registration numbers and titles of "Boeing B757-200." Once all of this was printed (in color) onto a sheet of paper, I took that and a sheet of clear decal paper to a photocopier and made a copy. It worked perfectly. I now had UPS decals.

The plane itself was fairly easy to put together with the exception of a couple items. The model of course was great with one exception. The kit, like all by Minicraft, is an easy one to assemble, with the exception of the windscreen, which comes as a part of the upper-forward portion of the fuselage. It is hard to explain, but if you buy the kit, or any jetliner kit by Minicraft, you will know what I mean. This isn’t really a big problem as long as you take your time and putty and sand the "canopy" before you paint the plane. However, I suggest using tape to "mask" the actual windscreen of the plane.

The only other problem that I ran into with this kit is the height of the plane off the ground. If you see a B757 in real life, it sits off the ground fairly high, especially the engines. When I first put the gear on, the engines touched the ground. I had to play with the gear a little until I got it to the point where the space between the ground and engines was comfortable. After this, the rest of the assembly went just fine.

The plane was painted in an overall gloss white with a brown stripe over where the windows would go. In fact, it was nice not to have to worry about blocking out the windows, so I do have to complement Minicraft on this factor. If you want a B757 cargo version, it is a great kit for that. Anyway, the tail was also painted brown. The decals went on nice, and now I have a UPS B757. The decals are not available, but maybe someday they will be, until then I might have given my friend the only injection-molded UPS B757 in 1:144th scale in the free world.

If you plan to make your own decals, I would suggest to print the final decals on clear decal film via photocopier, since the decal paper is $2.00 a sheet and if you mess up, you’ll be aggravated, as I have been before. So buy this model and be creative and have fun. I left the gear down and it now sits on my friend’s desk, waiting to move even more cargo around the world. For those of you who want to have it sitting on the ground (or a shelf), I would suggest putting five pennies in the front of the nose for balance. This has worked for all of my B757 fleet.

If you see this at a local hobby store, buy it before they go off the shelf.

Boeing B757-200 (US Airways) 

To date I’ve built more B757-200 kits than any other kit that is out on the shelves at local hobby stores. I’ve built them for myself and for friends, and still I build more. Just to name off the ones that I have built is interesting. United Airlines, American Airlines Retro (2), UPS, Canada 3000, Continental (-200 & -300), and a C-32 (Vice President’s plane). All of them were a challenge and interesting to build, and yet I have more to build.  

The kit of course comes with America Airline decals, but for many people, they want a variety of decals for the B757. When it was first stated that Minicraft was working on this kit, decal companies began making numerous B757 decals of airlines such as Continental, Eastern, and United. The B757 became a success after the first day it was on the shelves. 

Since I have already built some nine kits, it was once again a challenge to build another kit for yet another friend of mine. He wanted a B757 in US Airways livery, so I went to work on the plane to prepare it as I waited for the decals to arrive, which I ordered from Airline Hobby Supplies. When they came, I slapped them on the plane and yet another plane was done, my 10th B757.  

The kit is like all of those made by Minicraft in that the windscreen comes as a part of the upper-forward portion of the fuselage. It is hard to explain, but if you buy the kit, or any jetliner kit by Minicraft, you will know what I mean. This isn’t really a big problem as long as you take your time and putty and sand the “canopy” before you paint the plane. However, I suggest using tape to “mask” the actual windscreen of the plane. Other than that, the kit is awesome. 

While the model comes with American Airlines decals, as I stated before, I wanted to paint the plane in US Airways livery, so I ordered those decals instead. There are other airlines that fly this new plane, and you can order these decals as well from AHS. When I painted the plane, the upper fuselage was gloss black while the bottom was a gunship gray. I masked between the two colors and as always, placed the red/white stripe between them, making a perfect fit. The wings and stabilizers are white and of course the leading edges are silver. The engines are the gunship gray too. 

Of course many people might be thinking to themselves, “why paint the plane black when it is a dark blue?” Well, the reason for this is if you look at the plane in pictures or real life, many times the paint looks black, and since I haven’t been able to find a nice dark, dark gloss blue on the market, I paint the planes black. And believe it or not, they still look great. 

The decals went on fine, and to add some more decals, I decided to place on a title of “Boeing 757.” Unfortunately US Airways doesn’t place the type of plane on their plane, but in this case I have placed these titles on the rear of the plane by the last windows.  

I kept the gear extended so that my friend could either hang it or set it on the ground. Of course I did place about 5 cents in the front (5 pennies) for weight and balance, like I do with all models that I build anymore, it is a good number and a cheap way to use pennies that are just laying around. 

Currently, the B757-200 sits on a shelf in my room waiting for delivery. I kind of feel like Boeing now, waiting for the customer to arrange a time to deliver the aircraft to its final destination. This is of course a great kit, so if you see it at a local hobby store, pick it up, and possibly build a fleet of B757s yourself.

Boeing B757-200 (Northwest)

 

Boeing B767-300 (KLM: Royal Dutch Airlines)

With the success of Boeing products worldwide, a need for a larger aircraft was needed. Instead of working on yet another plane, Boeing decided to kill two birds with one stone, and develop the B767 in tandem with the B757. The result was similar flight decks and the ability to be type-rated in one airplane, but actually use the same rating for both.

The twin-engine, two-crew wide-body B767 was to carry up to 210 passengers in a three-class layout. As it rolled off the production line, orders for the plane began to mount, and so another aircraft would forever take to the skies in the name of Boeing.

Revell of Germany decided to make a model of the B767 and put KLM decals in it. The kit of course has the high standard of all Revell kits, and though it is a little more expensive than other kits, the detail is fabulous. Gear wells, and engines have enormous amounts of detail, as do the recessed panel lines on the wings and fuselage.

When I put this kit together, it was in the early stages of my commercial aircraft line. I used the KLM decals that came with it, and actually they made a nice finished product. The underside was painted an intermediate blue (as were the engines) and the upper surfaces a French blue. The wings and stabilizers were painted gray with leading edges silver. The decals had a nice cheat-line of white and dark blue, so it wasn’t too difficult to get the top and bottom colors to match up correctly, though it is good for practice.

On this model, I also painted the flaps silver so they would stand out. The gear was left up, and now it flies with the other "heavies" of a fleet that seems to keep on growing. This kit was fun to work with, and since then I have built two more of these kits with some extra manipulations that I will explain about in other sections.

If you see this aircraft, go ahead and buy it. Like all Revell model kits, the windscreen is just that, a nice piece of plastic. Decals for the B767 are nice that come with the kit, but as always, you can order other decals from AHS if you want something other than KLM.

Boeing B777-200 (United Airlines)

The mother of all aircraft in the Boeing fleet came off the assembly line in June of 1994. Though smaller than the B747 and larger than the B767, the B777 was the latest in technology from Boeing. Able to seat 305 passengers in three classes, this twin-engine, two-crew behemoth was by far one of the most beautiful aircraft to take to the skies, and so far, one of the safest. As soon as Boeing launched this project, airline began jumping on board for orders, with many of them going to United Airlines, but the launch customer came in the way of All Nippon Airways of Japan.

With an aircraft like this flying around the skies of the world, and being so new, it is amazing that any model manufacturer would jump to the challenge of producing a 1:144th scale kit of this magnificent plane. Doyusha was the only manufacturer to do this, and yet, their kit is by far one of the best on the market. This Japanese model company released the B777 with All Nippon decals, a tribute to both the plane and launch customer. Though priced at about $50 USD, the kit is well worth purchasing.

When I got it, I was happy to see such a great plane in scale, but instead of painting it in the ANA livery, I decided to go with the US launch customer, United Airlines. I ordered decals through AHS, and began working on this plane. The detail is simply amazing, with a choice of engines (Pratt & Whitney or Rolls Royce) and gear that even swivels once put together. This is possibly the best constructed model on the market today, especially since I didn’t need to place any weight in the nose, it is balanced already.

When I painted the plane, the top was a gray primer and the bottom was a dark blue. In fact, the wings were painted with the same gray as the top of the plane. Engines of course were painted blue like the underside. The cheat-line of red, blue, and orange came in the way of a decal and went on perfectly, completing the main paint scheme.

When I pained the tail, I used a light sea blue since the decals came with the striped dark blue. The logo and titles went on finally, and I had before me, a B777-200 in UAL colors. This airplane now flying in the skies of my room, ironically in formation with two other modern marvels, an A330 (Northwest) and Bae Concorde (British Airways).

If you see this kit, get it fast. I have been told they are hard to find, and proof of this is that I need one for my Continental fleet, and have been waiting for suppliers to get a hold of a few of them. It might be pricey, but it is worth it.

BRITISH AEROSPACE (BAe):

BAe Concorde (British Airways & Air France)

 

By all means, the fastest commercial transport the world has ever seen, the BAe/Aerospatiale Concorde is a beautiful plane to see. Capable of Mach 2 supersonic dashes across the Atlantic Ocean between New York and Britain or France, this two-crew aircraft is 30 years old, and until recently, had never had a problem. A couple of weeks ago, an Air France Concorde crashed killing all on board. While this was a tragedy, an even more unfortunate circumstance came to the headlines that the airworthiness certificate was to be pulled. The result was no more Concorde flights now, and possibly forever.

While this went on, and long before that, Airfix designed and produced a model kit of the Concorde, putting either British Airways or Air France decals in the kit. I of course bought two kits of the magnificent plane, and made one for each airline. British Airways was to have the gear up, and Air France has the gear down. Both were great kits to work on. The kit was detailed, and yet was fairly inexpensive, and now with the actual plane being grounded forever, these kits are sure to be collector items.

Both kits were painted in an overall white. BA was gloss and Air France was flat. The reason for the different colors was to see which one would turn out the best, and they turned out equal in my mind. The entire plane was white of course, the fuselage, engines and wings, everything. The only color was on the Air France plane in the way of black tires.

I of course used the decals that came with the kits, since only British Airways and Air France fly the plane, or do they? In all reality, I might buy one more Concorde and paint it in Singapore colors, because for a time, BA lent Singapore a Concorde. That paint scheme would be rare and sought after, so for those of you who are thinking what I am, get it. If I do that scheme, look for it later on.

After both planes were painted, the decals went on, and both were hung from the ceiling. Unlike the real plane, my models are where they belong, in the air. However life is not without irony. I made these planes about a year ago, and of course kept the gear on the Air France plane extended. The nose of the Concorde warped some when the super glue and BB’s reacted, and so it was damaged. For the longest time I had thought about replacing that plane, but now it makes me wonder if it was a sign for things to come. Tough thing to think about.

If you see this kit on the shelves, I would suggest to buy them quick, for it seems whenever there is an accident, the plane that crashed becomes a sought after kit. Blood on the runway works for safety, and collector items.

BAC One-Eleven (Braniff)

 

BOMBARDIER DeHAVILAND

DeHaviland Dash 8-100 (America West)

One of the most successful airplanes in the commuter industry to date has been the Dash 8 series. Capable of carrying 40 passengers some 820 nautical miles, this airplane has proven itself time and again. In today’s market, many commuters use this airplane, and in fact, a new version of this aircraft family, the Q400, has recently entered service. This new version can carry 70 to 78 passengers. We will surely see this airplane in service well into this new millennium.

When I found this model through Airline Hobby Supplies, I was very happy indeed since this plane is one of my favorites. The high-wing on the Dash 8 just makes it look menacing. When I ordered the kit, it came with America West decals. I was kind of confused at first since I thought that Mesa operated these aircraft in America West Express colors, but I soon found out that when America west Airlines originally started out, they actually bought some Dash 8’s for their own fleet to help establish local routes.

I put the plane together and once again got to sand for a great amount of time. When I finished with that task, the plane already looked beautiful, but I was only 1/3 of the way done. I painted the entire plane a gloss white and let it dry. The leading edges were painted black to signify the de-icing boots. This aircraft came with gear, but I didn’t like to the look of it, so I got rid of it. However, I wanted the gear down on this plane. My dilemma was solved when I bought a B737-200 kit.

On the B737 kit, I put the gear in the up position, so I had extra gear left over. I simply placed it on the Dash 8, and believe it or not, it worked out great. No one even can tell the difference, it looks like it belongs. Once this was completed, I placed the decals on the plane, and the white Dash 8 became an America West plane. The final item of business was to place the props on the plane, and then hang it from the ceiling.

This aircraft is a great one to have in your fleet and is really worth the money since it is a decent sized model when finished. It currently flies by an A330 on the right wing and an A300 on the left. This commuter eaves between all the "heavies" around it. Like a small fish in a big pond.

 

FAIRCHILD DORNIER

Dornier Do-328 (Horizon)

 

In 1993 a new type of commuter aircraft took to the skies in the shape of the Dornier Do-328. With a flight crew of two and a capacity to carry 30 passengers, this twin-engine turbo-prop could fly from one airport to another at speeds reaching 335 knots. With over 100 orders and half of them delivered, the aircraft flies for many commuters of the world, with Air Wisconsin and Horizon being a couple of them.

Once again, this kit came in the form of a resin model. As I stated when discussing the Beech 1900D, the resin kits are a little time consuming and sometimes a pain, but they turn out to be a nice plane when finished if you take your time. When I got this aircraft, I decided to make it in the livery of Horizon Air, the Alaska Airlines commuter.

The plane went together fairly smooth, but the problem that I had with it was that the gear wells went on in an odd way, sticking out but leaving a gap between them and the fuselage. I had to use some putty to fill in the gaps, and then sand that part as well as the rest of the model. After a while it began to look good. The kit came with gear, but since it’s a pain to get the balance right in resin models, I decided to leave it off and have it "flying."

I painted the entire plane white, wings, fuselage, everything. The leading edges of the wings and horizontal stabilizers were painted black, to signify the de-icing boots. Props were painted black and then placed on the plane. The decals went on last, and made the plane look complete.

Horizon now proudly flies in my room mixed in a jumble of commuter and mainline air carriers. If you want a challenge and a nice finished product, get this resin kit of the Do-328 and take your time on it. It will add diversity to any fleet.

 

LOCKHEED:

Lockheed L-1011 Tri Star (DELTA)*

In 1968 Lockheed launched the newest airplane for the world, a three-engine wide-body that would be known as the L-1011. With a flight crew of three and a capacity of 256 in a two-class layout, the L-1011 was to go into the history books as the last airline Lockheed ever built. After the L-1011, Lockheed got out of the airline business and concentrated on government contracts, but this airplane is a testament to Lockheed since many still fly today.

When the Lockheed was originally popular, Revell launched a kit of the –1011. Unfortunately in time it was discontinued and taken off the shelves, but Hobbycraft of Canada got its hands on the –1011 kit and released the in a couple years ago. Of course there are only a limited number of kits left, but when I heard about this model, I immediately bought it. Right now there are still kits available at Airline Hobby Supplies which you can order.

The kit comes repackaged with Court and PSA decals. It is a 1:144th scale model, so it is a nice one to have and is highly detailed. Coming in at approximately 14" in length, it is worth the money. However, like many kits I have bought, I wanted other decals for the plane. I decided to get DELTA decals since I didn’t have a DELTA kit in my fleet yet. I ordered these decals through AHS.

When the kit and decals arrived, I went to work. The kit is beautiful, and very nicely constructed. It goes together easy enough, but is still a challenge. I painted the top white and the bottom stainless steel. The wings and stabilizers are gray with leading edges silver. The engines are white. The decals that come for the actual kit are nice, and I’m sure they would have looked great on the plane, but my DELTA decals worked perfectly. I left the gear down so I could hang it or set it on a shelf. Since I’ve built it, it has been in both positions and even seen a local model contest.

I would suggest buying it since there is a very real possibility that once the remaining kits are gone, they will never be re-manufactured again. Of course if you want to use the PSA/Court decals, go ahead, I’m sure they would look great. But once again, if you want to order these decals, use AHS since they seem to have the best selection. This kit is a centerpiece to my collection in many ways, and will continue to be a prized possession.

 

McDONNELL DOUGLAS:

McDonnell Douglas MD-11 (Citybird)

With the success of the DC-10, Douglas decided to launch an upgraded aircraft to their family known as the MD-11. Basically the –11 is a stretched version of the DC-10 with an upgraded two-person flight deck and wing-lets. This three-engine behemoth was to carry approximately 350 passengers and was the forerunner of the Airbus A330 and Boeing B777, yet there were only a few orders for this aircraft. In fact, since Boeing has merged with Douglas, the MD-11 program has been shut down. However, there are still about 200 of the type traversing the airways today. One such airline flying the MD-11 is Brussels-based Citybird.

Revell of Germany of course was the only model firm to make a 1:144th scale kit of the DC-10 aircraft. The only problem was that it wasn’t a commercial version, rather a KC-10 Extender. I of course wanted a civilian airliner kit in this scale, and so I decided to buy a KC-10 and go to work on a conversion. At first it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it might be. In fact, all I had to do was cut off the refueling portal and cover it up with putty. After this was finished, the real work began. To make the MD-11 to scale, I had to place an additional 2-inches of fuselage on the plane. So just like Douglas, I got to lengthen the original aircraft.

I put the kit together and then cut it in half right in front of the wing. I placed 2-inches of sheet plastic in front of it and placed the nose section back on. After this, I used putty and sandpaper to make the new section smooth. It worked out fine, and so I continued on the project. The wings were lengthened on the real plane too, but on the kit I left them as is except that I added wing-lets.

The kit is a great one to work with and has great detail. Of course the KC-10 is a DC-10-30, so you have the third gear in the center, which worked perfect since the MD-11 has this gear too. I ordered decals for a DC-10 through Airline Hobby Supplies in Canada, and once I got them, slapped them on the DC-10.

The plane was painted a metallic green on top and silver on the bottom. The wings and stabilizers were gray as were the engines. The leading edges of course were silver. The final touches were to put on the "citybird" titles and the tail logo. For this aircraft, since I lengthened it 2-inches, I had to place windows on the aircraft too in the form of decals. You will figure out how many windows to put on once you count them on the real deal.

The finished product is a main aircraft for many international flight of Citybird’s right now. It is a great tribute to the nation of Belgium, and a great conversion to have since no one has made a MD-11 kit yet. In fact, the only place that I know you can get the KC-10 from is Airline Hobby Supply, so if you want one, get it before they are gone forever. If you plan to convert it, take your time since it is frustrating, but believe me, it is worth your time and effort.

DC-3 (Eastern)

 

FOKKER:

Fokker 100 (American Airlines)

In 1983 Fokker launched the F100 program simultaneously with the F50 project. The ’50 was a turboprop while the ‘100 was a twin jet. The F100, capable of carrying 100 passengers with a two-person crew, launched its largest plane ever. Used by airlines and corporate flight departments alike, the F100 was a great airplane by a great company, unfortunately tragedy fell upon Fokker when it closed in 1996. However, still today F100s and other aircraft traverse the globe.

Revell of Germany of course builds this aircraft and many other airliners, but since I saw the Fokker 100, I wanted a kit of it to expand my horizons. The plane I decided to build was to be in the livery of American Airlines, and once again Airline Hobby Supplies came to the rescue. I ordered AA livery, and set to work building and painting the plane.

The plane was easy to build since it is such as small plane. In fact, there are very few parts, so it is easy to build in one sitting. I left the gear up on this plane so that it could soar through the skies for eternity. The aircraft was painted overall silver with gray engines, tail, wings and stabilizers. The leading edges were also silver.

When the decals arrived, I placed them on the plane, and it became part of the American Airlines fleet. For the longest time I didn’t see this model anywhere, but I have recently seen it re-released in Swissair livery, so they are still making them. The kit I originally got was in the Fokker Company demonstration scheme, and since I have been impressed with the company paint jobs, I might have to buy another one at some point and se those decals. Until then, if you see this plane, get it. While easy to build, it adds diversity to any fleet.

 

ILYUSHIN:

Ilyushin Il-96 (Russian State Transport)

In 1992 the Il-96 wide-body airliner took to the skies over Russia. This four-engine, three-crew aircraft is capable of carrying 275 passengers in a typical two-class layout. Built by Ilyushin in Russia, the company now has approximately 15 of the type flying with Aeroflot: Russian Airlines and a few as State Transports for VIPs and the Premier.

The information on the model kit I that have is sketchy. I found it in a hobby store in Phoenix, Arizona in 1998 and decided to buy it since I had never seen the plane before. It was an imported kit from Russia, and cost approximately $30. I brought it home with me and went to work on it. I’m not sure which company made it, but if I remember correctly, it was imported from the Ukraine.

The paint scheme was for the Russian State Transport, so of course I made it into that aircraft. I would have liked to buy Aeroflot decals, but for some reason, you cannot order them from anyone. This in itself is too bad since Aeroflot is one of the largest airlines in the world, or at least used to be. Anyway, I began putting it together.

The kit is unique in the way that it has a resin fuselage and engines. The wings and stabilizers are mold-injection. I painted the entire plane white along with the engines. The wings and stabilizers are of course the usual gray with silver leading edges. Once put together and painted, I placed on the decals. They went on smooth and so the plane was completed. Unfortunately the plane doesn’t come with any gear, but that’s okay since it hangs from my ceiling with the other aircraft.

This is perhaps the rarest plane I have in my collection. I have never seen it again and have been told that no one knows how to get their hands on these kits. If you ever see one of the imported Russian airliner kits at a hobby store near you, pick them up because they are rare and will probably be worth some money someday.

JUNKERS

Ju-54 (Lufthansa)

 

RAYTHEON BEECHCRAFT

Raytheon Beechcraft 1900D (US Air Express)*

In 1991 a new and improved version of the venerable Beechcraft 1900C went into service with the airline industry in the form of a 1900D. This aircraft was a two-crew, twin-engine airplane capable of carrying 19 passengers. The first aircraft went to Mesa Air. The main difference between the "C" and "D" model was that the "D" had stand-up headroom. Since these have gone into production, more than 300 have been ordered with over 60 being flown by Mesa Air.

This kit was found after I received my first catalog from Airline Hobby Supplies. In one of the sections of the catalog is a list of resin models. In this list was a 1:144th scale Beech 1900D for about $20. Though I knew it wold be a small plane, I decided to order it and see what it wold do for my fleet. When it came, I was surprised by how small it actually was, but it was still a good aircraft to get.

It went together fairly easy though it took quite a bit of sanding to make it look right. After all the sanding, I painted it an overall white, fuselage, wings, everything. The decals went on next with a little patience, and finally the props were added, painted black. The decals that come with the kit are for US Air Express.

The kit is an easy one to build, but does take time since you have to sand the resin to have a smooth fuselage. The de-icing boots were painted black for extra detail. One thing you do have to remember about resin kits is that they do not have the detail that injection-molded kits have. You get the basic shape and that’s about it. There are a good number of decals though to help make it look more realistic, but that’s about it.

If you want to increase the diversity of your fleet, I’d suggest considering buying some of the resin kits. AHS has the 1900, DHC-7, -8, Beech 99, Shorts 330, and 360 just to name a few. I have bought some of the kits, and plan to buy more in time. It might be a pricey investment, but the finished product is nice. In fact, one of my friends who flies for Mesa had me build him a US Air Express kit. So if you do want diversity and a little challenge, then consider buying a resin kit.

TUPOLEV:

Tupolev Tu-334 (Aeroflot

In 1986, the Russian manufacturer Tupolev decided to build a new airframe for short-haul routes that would hold about 102 passengers. The Tu-334 was the answer to the airline industry, or so many thought until the break up of the Soviet Union. During the economic crisis, the two Tu-334 prototypes sat in idle, waiting for their moment of glory, which will now seem to never materialize. With Russian Airlines such as Aeroflot now purchasing modern equipment from Boeing and Airbus, manufacturers like Tupolev are having an ever-increasing difficult time to launch new products. 

In 1999, the Tu-334 took flight for the first time, powered by two V.A. Lotarev D436 turbofans even though Rolls Royce had signed with Tupolev in 1997 to use their very own RR BR710-48 turbofans. Certification is now targeted for late 2001, with Pulkovo Airlines taking delivery of the first two aircraft. However, when I made my Tu-334, I placed it in Aeroflot colors hoping that same day the Russian flagship would fly this plane themselves. 

Even though many Russian kits come in resin, this plane did not; instead it came in mold-injection form, which was very impressive. The model itself is a good one to work with. The bottom part of the wing is one piece, which makes it very durable. The fuselage halves went together nicely. One part I did have to sand for a while is the wing joint, but after this is sanded and smooth, the wing goes on very smooth and secure. 

The paint scheme for the plane is light sea gray on the bottom, with gloss white on top. The engines are gray too. The wings are all gloss white with leading edges silver. The decals were very troublesome. I was going to paint the plane in the factory test colors, but the fuselage stripe seems to fall apart at the touch. I did manage to get the tail decal on that has the titles “334.” However, that’s the only decal I got on. The “Aeroflot” title came from spare decals from a Tu-104, but even these were flimsy. Before I build the Tu-104, I’m going to make a copy of the decals onto clear decal sheet to be on the safe side. 

While I have seen better models, this one is very close in professionalism to Revell. Most people probably don’t have a Russian kit, and I am proud to say that I now have 4 airliners and one military fighter. One note for the Tu-334 is I placed about 6 dimes in the nose for weight and balance. This aircraft now flies under the Aeroflot livery in my fleet of mixed aircraft. It has the “334” numbering on the tail to signify the first aircraft of the Tupolev Tu-334 line, and while Aeroflot may never fly this plane in this scheme or at all, I am proud to have it in my fleet. If you are curious about this kit and others, check out the OKB website. 

YAKOLEV:

Yakolev Yak-40 (Czechoslovakia Airlines

In 1965, the Central Committee for the communist Party approved the development of a new regional passenger jet. Yakolev made the maiden flight of this three-engine jet in 1966. By 1968, the Yak-40 was in full production. The first aircraft held 24 passengers, but as airlines wanted to utilize these aircraft more and more, they packed 36 seats into this tiny airplane. A total of 1011 aircraft were produced between 1968 and 1981. Czechoslovakia is by far the largest country outside of the former USSR that operates the Yak-40, with a fleet of 26 of these aircraft. 

For the longest time, if you ever dreamed of having a Russian kit, you could only do that, dream. But about a month ago, I found a web site where Russian model kits are sold. I ordered a few of these kits, including the Yak-40, Tu-104, and Tu-334. It took about a month to reach my house, but it was well worth the wait. 

One thing to remember about many Russian airliner kits is that they are resin. Some people don’t like this, but I find it a joy to work with. Of course some say resin doesn’t have as much detail, and while this is true, the Russians go above the call of duty and include a lot of photo-etched parts in the kit. This makes for great detail. 

The other nice option that this kit has is the option to make three different aircraft liveries. One is the Russian State transport, another is Aeroflot, and the final is Czechoslovakia Airlines. I decided to go with Czechoslovakia Airlines since this is so unique, and of course I like to have new airlines in my fleet when possible. 

The model itself is a good one to work with. The bottom part of the wing is one piece, which makes it very durable. The fuselage halves went together nicely, and it took just a little sanding to make the fuselage smooth at the joints. One part I did have to sand for a while is the wing joint, but after this is sanded and smooth, the wing goes on very smooth and secure. The photo-etched parts worked good too, with them being the wheel covers and gear doors. One other nice option is the speed brake which can be left open, which I of course did. 

The paint scheme for the plane is light sea gray on the bottom, with gloss white on top. The engines are gray too. The wings are all silver, as said so in the instructions. I used a stainless steel metalizer for the wings. The decals went on very easy, and the plane is a Czechoslovakia Airlines Yakolev Yak-40. 

While I have seen better models, this one is still good, especially since it is from Russia direct. Most people probably don’t have a Russian kit, and I am proud to say that I now have 4 airliners and one military fighter. 

One note for the Yak-40 is I placed about 6 BB’s in the nose for weight and balance. This aircraft now flies under the Czechoslovakia Airlines livery in my fleet of mixed aircraft. If you are curious about this kit and others, check out the OKB website.

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General Aviation

General Aviation aircraft are on the market, but they are limited. The best I have seen are the 1:48 scale since they give the most detail and are the largest in that field. Also, they help show size between them and the military aircraft.

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Corporate Aircraft

Though there are some of these aircraft on the market, there aren’t very many. One that I got a while back was a Learjet 25. It was only $9.00 and made by Revell, so I thought it would be a good investment, especially since I haven’t explored the realm of corporate planes ever. The model itself was easy to put together and had some nice detail.

The interior has a nice cockpit and for the back of the plane, there were some first class seats and even a couch. I painted the seats and couch brown, to make it look like leather, and also the floor, to make it look like wood. I put in the front windshield, but left the windows in the back out. I decided to leave them out so people can see into the plane better.

The paint scheme was fun since I decided to make it sparkle and shine. I had some left over metallic blue and purple from other models, so I had the top blue and the underside purple. There are silver stripes running on the side of the plane and the wing tip fuel tanks are silver too. The finished product has black lightning bolt decals on the fuel tanks, American flags on each side of the plane, and a spade on the tail.

It turned out nice for the price and time spent building it. It is 1:48th scale and fits in nice with the rest of my fleet, even though they fleet is military. I do hope to find more corporate aircraft in the future.

Airshows present a good amount of aircraft that you could build. Though I don't really have any airshow aircraft yet, I have taken pictures of many aircraft at numerous air shows and am planning on working on aircraft that they fly today.


Airshows

Airshows present a good amount of aircraft that you could build. Though I don't really have any airshow aircraft yet, I have taken pictures of many aircraft at numerous air shows and am planning on working on aircraft that do fly today.

Warbirds:
Warbirds are nice to build since there are so many from the different wars. Mainly World War II models can be found in 1:72nd and 1:48th scale, so it is a good choice since there are so many. In the past I never built warbirds mainly since I grew up with jets all around, but recently I have begun to make the World War II planes.

To date I have seven single engine fighters. The most unique plane is probably the Soviet Yakolev-1B fighter. I saw it and thought it look interesting, so I bought it. The detail is amazing on it. I did pay for it, but still, it was a great model to build. I painted it blue as shown on the box and the decals completed the plane. This is probably one of the best planes I have ever done. The funny thing is that I never worked on prop jobs until only recently.

Another plane in this era I had fun with was a P-38 Lightning. I painted it silver and it turned out great. Instead of using the decals that came with it, I bought some other decals. In fact, even decal manufacturers have a sense of humor since the decals I found had nude artwork. This artwork, including the Japanese flags (showing how many planes fell to this plane) made the P-38 look great.

The only problem with this plane is that it is too tail heavy. No matter what or where I places the forward weights, they wouldn’t keep the nose down. Luckily, Revell knew this so they put a piece of plastic on the boom to keep it level. The final item I added to the plane were red fuel tanks. This was simply done to bring attention to the silver plane.

Demonstration Teams:
The only demonstration teams I have now are the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds. These are in 1:72 scale, but I plan on getting the current aircraft in 1:48 scale and building them.

The only 1:48 scale demonstration team at the moment is the Su-27 of the Russian Knights.

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