5 Knives: Best model on the market in all aspects
4 Knives: Very good model, but some items could be made better
3 Knives: Average model, not the best, not the worst
2 Knives: Mediocre model, not the best choice to buy, but could do worse
1 Knife: Terrible model, stay
away from these
Airbus A321 (1:144th) - Revell
Revell of Germany has once again made a new airline kits, and it is fabulous. Not
available in stores in the United States until mid-summer, the Airbus A321 will be much
sought after. Beautifully detailed exterior, gear, and engines, make this is a great kit.
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 Im not sure if they will have
A321s, so I decided on another airline. British Midland has some A321s in
their fleet, and while Im 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
juts 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 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 highly detailed. Perhaps the most unique part of the model is the wings. They come in
one piece so you dont have to glue each wing onto the plane separately.
I have enjoyed this model so much, I have ordered another one. This time I think I will
use the Lufthansa decals that came with the kit, so it should be interesting to see what
comes of it.
Overall this model deserves 5 knives. It is well constructed and is a nice plane for
any fleet. The detail is amazing and the decals that come with it are nice if you want to
use them. If not, order some other decals or make your own.
Airbus A330-300 (1:144th) - Revell
In recent years, one of the newest airplanes in Airbus family has come to the
forefront. The Airbus Industrie A330-300 is one of the most advanced twin-engine
wide-bodies available on the market today. It is comparable to the Boeing B777-200, but
the Airbus airplane is fly-by-wire and has similar flight decks to the rest of the planes
in the Airbus family.
Revell has once again done a superb job on the kit. You can get this plane in the house
colors of Airbus or LTU. I have gotten both kits, but instead of using the LTU decals, I
special ordered Northwest Airlines DC-10 decals for my first A330. Originally, Northwest
had options to buy this remarkable airplane, but opted for more A320s instead. The
current A330 will be in house colors of Airbus Industrie.
The plane is unique in many ways including a detailed flight deck, gear, and gear
wells. One item that might confuse some people is that in this kit, there is an extra
center wheel, but the A330 doesnt have this wheel. The reason Revell has included
this wheel is because the A340 kit of theirs has the center wheel, and it is more
economical to use the same mold instead of designing a separate one for the A340. I would
suggest to save the wheel in case you need it for another model.
It is interesting what Revell has done with the A330 and A340 kits. They are basically
the exact same kit except that the A340 comes with four engines while the A330 comes with
two. This is a very economical procedure for the company to make. For those of you who are
interested, the A340 comes in Air Canada and Lufthansa liveries, but other schemes can be
I would suggest to paint the entire plane white if you are painting it up with the
house colors. While many wings on jetliners are grayish, the hose colors of Airbus have
their wings white, so it is as easy to paint the plane this one color. Normally I say
paint the plane, then assemble it, but in this case I would suggest to put strategic areas
together first. The wings and fairings; stabilizers; and the fuselage. The fuselage is the
main part to put together before painting it since you might want to sand it. Also, you
seem to get a better finish this way. The only other color you really need is black for
After the initial painting, put the wings on the plane and give it one final spray. Let
this dry and then finally put on the gear. I would suggest to keep the stabilizers off
until the decals are in place since the Airbus tail logo conflicts with the stabs. Once
the decals have dried, put on the stabilizers and you have a finished product.
One hint I might add is the main gear. If you plan on having this plane suspended from
the ceiling, the main gear cants at an angle (such as this: / ). This is a design feature
that many airliners have. It will look more realistic if it is cut and glued in this way.
It is a significant change to the gear, but it is as simple as cutting and gluing.
This kit gets four knives. It took me about a week to complete. It isnt the
toughest kit, but it is a nice challenge and fun to put together. It also looks menacing
after completion especially with Airbus emblazoned on the tail.
Boeing B727-200 (1:72nd) - KMC
Though I keep saying that there are many anticipated models coming out, there is one
that has recently been released that has been the most anticipated perhaps in the entire
history of commercial modeling. KMC has brought out a Boeing B727-200 kit in 1:72nd
scale, in American Airlines livery. The model is about 2-feet long when completed,
with the wingspan being the same. It is a beautiful and challenging kit. And best of all,
it is a collectors edition, with only a certain number being made.
Detail on the plane is amazing, especially when you look at the engines. The blades and
nozzle are made from resin, which make detail unbelievable. The blades fit in place
securely and are a joy to look at while the nozzles even have some screens in them. The
one problem that I came across with the nozzles is that they are a bit too large at their
base to mate with the engine cowlings, therefore you must sand them to fit. Just remember
it is a challenging model, so dont get discouraged, it might take sanding and
fitting, and some more sanding. However, once the engines are done, youll be happy
with the work it took, since they look fabulous.
The gear too is resin, which was a good idea since the plane is heavy after it is
finished. Resin seems to be very strong and I would see no problems in the future. The
gear should stand the test of time. In addition, the gear is detailed so it is another
nice bonus. Just a suggestion with the gear is to use super glue and then a glue
accelerator so that the gear will hold in place with some extra strength.
Other than those two features and stress, the rest of the plane goes together nicely. I
did put about 20 pennies in the nose of the plane for weight and balance purposes, and it
seems to be enough. Once the two fuselage sections were mated, I sat down and began
painting it. I used Model Master Stainless Steel spray for the plane. It looks
close to Americans paint scheme, though there is no way that I have been able
to figure out how to make it glossy, but the main color is present, steel. On the nose and
at the wing joints, the plane is painted a light gray. Just look at pictures and the
instructions to see where and how this should be painted.
I painted the wings with a gunship gray and then sprayed the leading edges with
the stainless steel again. After all was painted, I put the decals go on, which are
very nice. The decals fit perfectly on the windows and other parts of the plane. The nose
was a little tricky where the two sides meet, but I decided to use Model Master Metalizer
Seal to make the decals adhere to the plastic more. I have used this technique on other
models, and it works great, especially since the decals wont even come off to the
touch. Try it, its a neat little trick, just make sure not to touch the decal after
it is sprayed, a chemical reaction takes place that I cant explain, but it works.
After all decals are on I finally put the wings and gear on. Once this was completed,
the engines went on and it was completed. It looks beautiful in the American Airlines
colors. The plane took about a two weeks to complete, but it was challenging and a joy to
work with. It is the largest airliner you can buy with some of the best detail. The list
price is about $70, but for a collectors item, it is well worth the money and time.
If you need to order this plane, check out Airline
Hobby Supplies in Canada.
This model receives the coveted 5 knives. It has great detail, decals, and is a
masterpiece in general. I never thought anyone would ever make a B727 in this scale, but
it is impressive. I can only hope that KMC will perhaps work on other 1:72nd
scale commercial models in the future, such as the B757 and DC-9. Those kits would be
sought after just like this one. Though for a tribute to the planes livery would need to
be United (757) and Northwest (DC-9). This is just a thought, but the truth is that the
B727 is a great model.
Boeing B737-300 (1:144th) - Minicraft
Minicraft is a pretty good hobby company, and recently they came out with perhaps one
of the most popular planes, a Boeing B737-300. Used throughout the world, the B737-300 has
made a name for itself and continues to be produced by the Boeing Company. Minicraft has
come out with other aircraft in 1/144th scale including a DC-3 and B-1B bomber,
and while these other planes seem to have been constructed kind of poorly, Minicraft has
redeemed itself with the B737-300, kind of.
The model is crafted with good detail and comes with some great decals for an American
Airlines plane, but herein lies a problem. Unfortunately, American doesnt have any
B737-300s in service past, present, or future, so unfortunately if you paint it in
the American Airlines scheme, the plane is wrong. I think Minicraft has confused the -300
with the -800. However, the plane does go together easily, and while it doesnt take
long to put it together, it is a great plane to add to any collection. I didnt paint
it as an American plane since I already have an American Fokker F-100, and since it
isnt in Americans fleet. I ordered US Air decals for this model.
The decals I received were for the B737-200, but since US Air does have B737-300s
in the silver paint scheme, I put the -200 decals on. The only problem was that the
stripes wouldnt reach the length of the fuselage, but luckily Testors makes a great
red paint that fits the scheme. The only other problem is the dark blue stripe above the
red, but mixing in Testors blue with a hint of black, the stripe was completed.
The B737-300 by Minicraft turned out to be a great plane and was a lot of fun to work
on. It took about 6 hours to build, paint, and place decals, but it was well worth it. The
gear down and locked, US Air banks in the sky, perhaps turning for final approach.
As for those of you who are enthusiasts about airline models, Minicraft has announced
that they will be releasing the Boeing B757-200 later this year (also in American Airlines
livery), a model that has been long overdue in making its debut. We should thank Minicraft
for their enthusiasm about this subject.
This kit gets three knives. It wasnt really a challenging kit, but when finished,
it looks nice. The decals that came with it are nice but they dont exist in real
life. American has ordered B737-800s, but no -300s. Its too bad
Minicraft didnt put in decals for any other airline, since pretty much everyone else
has these planes. It is still worthwhile to buy, but to make it look authentic, different
decals are a necessity.
Boeing B747-200 (1:144th) - Airfix
A B747 added to my collection is nothing new since I already have a B747-200 and -400.
However, there are some decals that dont come along very often and when they are
found, you want to get them. One item of business that I like to work with when it comes
to American commercial carriers is to get a different airline for each plane.
Of course there are many airlines missing, but mainly I try to get commercial airlines
of American carriers. I do have most of them, but I miss a few of the majors. I recently
found decals for an old America West Airlines B747-200. Amazingly these are the only
decals for that airline, and more amazing is that there are no Southwest Airlines decals
on the market. This baffles me since both America West and Southwest are major airlines,
but there are no decals to be found. Since there are 747 decals for America West, I
decided to buy them so I could have this airline added to my collection.
The only data on the America West B747-200 is that it hasnt flown since the
company filed bankruptcy and came out of it. One of the planes currently sits off to the
side at Las Vegas airport.
As I have already built this airplane before in the way of a KLM plane, it isnt
that difficult to build, but when working with airlines, their livery is a difficult step.
The decals cover the majority of the paint scheme, and where the decals are included,
there is a detailed drawing of colors. The majority of the plane is white, with the bottom
silver forward and aft of the wing roots. The roots themselves are gray. Everything else
is covered by a decal.
The model itself is a nice piece of work. Airfix has done a great job with this B747.
It goes together nicely and stands out no matter what scheme it is painted. The engines
are the older version, but this goes with the model of the plane. Gear is detailed fairly
good and the clear cockpit windscreen fits in perfectly. The plane is a bit tail heavy,
but BBs in the nose will correct for this problem.
Overall this is a great kit and is easy to find at any hobby store. The kit is worthy
of four knives since a B747 is a true masterpiece and Airfix did a great job in the way of
Boeing 757-200 (1:144th) - Minicraft
Perhaps the most anticipated scale model of this century has finally become available
to the public. Minicraft has released its 1:144th scale, injection
molded, Boeing B757-200. Approximately 13-inches long and 4-inches tall, this plane is a
masterpiece for any enthusiast. Once completed, either hung from the ceiling or placed on
a shelf, it stands out from all the other aircraft in your collection.
The model comes molded in gray and with American Airlines decals. The decals are high
quality, but if you arent a huge fan of American, you can order other decals for the
B757. Some of the special order decals come in the liveries of United Airlines and Canada
3000, but if you are a huge fan of American you can order special decals for that airline
as well. As I do like American, I ordered the special "retro" colors, such as
the paint scheme seen on the older B707s and in the May 1999 issue of Airways.
When you first see the kit, there is one main problem that presents itself, and that is
the windscreen. As with all Minicraft models (B737-300, -400) the windscreen comes with a
large forward portion of the fuselage molded to it. The only nice thing about this is that
you can easily add nose weight once into the project, but the joining of the windscreen
and the rest of the plane makes for a pain and if not done correctly, you will be able to
see it on the finished product.
Another problem with the plane is that the windows are not molded into the plastic.
This does present a difficulty if you use decals other than the American decals that came
with it, but then again, you can always order window decals separately. Also, the other
bonus of this style of design means that you can make freighter versions of the B757
Other than these slight design flaws if you will, the plane is marvelous. Detail on the
gear, engines, and wings is nice with recessed panel lines. The fuselage has the doors
recessed into the plastic so it is easier to place the decals too.
To assemble, simply follow the directions, paint it, and place the decals. The only
other item to do if you want to is the cut the gear and hinge it if you plan on hanging it
from the ceiling. The gear on the "real" plane is hinged when in the air. To see
a good example of this, look at a picture of the plane at http://www.airliners.net/.
Other than this, if you really wanted to you could put the flaps down, but if you do
that the slats should come down too, and that entails more headache. Basically you can
just leave it as is since it looks fine without any adjustments. It all depends on how
creative you want to get.
This model gets three knives. Of course it has been a highly anticipated kit, but the
windscreen does mean more work for the builder. The decals are nice, but in some ways it
is too bad that they arent United Airlines livery, since it would be a tribute to an
airline that has so many in its fleet.
Boeing B777-200 (1:144th) - Doyusha
One very interesting kit is the Doyusha 1/144th scale Boeing B777-200. It
measures approximately 18-inches long, and is constructed fairly good. The detail shows
the doors, bin doors, and recessed panel lines. There is no flight deck for this model,
ands while flight decks are nice, in this scale it is hard to see when the product is
The only major drawback to this model is that it isnt that involved. There
arent that many pieces and it does assemble easily. It is basically a big version of
the 1/200th scale B777s out on the market, but at the same time it is fun
to build. Perhaps the only other drawback is the price, but since it is made by a Japanese
company, the price will be higher. Of course for the price you are getting a great plane.
Doyushas plane comes with decals for an All Nippon Airlines (ANA) airliner, but I
chose to special order United Airlines decals for this one. The main reason is that I try
to build American Carriers to hang from the ceiling, and the other reason is that I have
an ANA B777-200 and -300 in 1/200th scale, so I wanted a different airline for
my collection. The decals that came with it of the ANA livery are very nice to use if you
wish to use them. They too are detailed and of a high quality, just as one would expect
The United decals on my B777-200 were specially designed for this particular kit so
they fit great. The only major job on the plane is to paint it for the scheme. The decals
are for the tail and the red, blue, and orange stripe on the plane. Doors are also
included, but in order to get the paint scheme right, I masked off the plane and sprayed
it blue on the underside and gray on the top, then put the decals on.
The final product is a United B777 with gear extended, and looking like its
coming in for landing.
This kit receives five knives. The time to complete this plane was about a week with me
putting in an hour a day. It was very challenging and the specially ordered decals make
the plane. The gear is highly detailed and swivels. The other interesting aspect were the
selection in the engines. You had your choice of Pratt & Whitney, or Rolls Royce.
De Haviland Canada DHC-8 "America West Express" (1:144th) -
I have always built injection molded plastic kits, and I have never considered
expanding my horizon. However, there are some aircraft that you cannot get in this form,
so I decided to try something new and get a resin kit. The kit I so desired was a DHC-8.
The dash-8 is a great plane and is flown by many commuters including Mesa and Horizon.
Being a high wing makes it unusual since most commercial aircraft employ the low wing.
However, this high wing has made it very popular.
The DHC-8 resin kit is different in that the parts arent thin, but rather bulky.
Also, there are no fastening points, so you have to match up the pieces by eye and feel.
The plastic is heavy too. There are approximately 18 pieces in the kit, with the body
molded in tan and the rest in white. Decals that come with it are for America West. When
America West first started out, they flew some DHC-8's until they began their commuter
service under Mesa, America West Express.
Building the model is fairly simple once the main parts are glued together. The only
problem with resin is that the detail isnt found, but the decals of course help
solve this problem. As for the gear, I decided to substitute the original gear with a
1:144th scale B737-200 gear. They are almost the same size, and the B737 gear
is more detailed. Once the plane is assembled, place the decals on and you are finished.
It took me about six hours in the process.
The only other problem is that the plane is very tail heavy, and there is no room for
weight in the nose, so you might want to hang it from the ceiling. If not this, be
prepared to have it on a stand or have some kind of support for the tail. While I am happy
to find that resins arent as much as a pain as Ive heard, the injection molded
models are still by far my favorite. However, I see more resin kits in my future.
This kit received three knives. The detail wasnt there in the gear, but luckily I
had extra gear from a B737. The rest of the plane was nice, but if you plan to have it on
the ground, think again. It seems no matter how much weight you put in the front, it is
just too tail heavy. If you have any suggestions, let me know.
McDonnell Douglas/Douglas Commercial
Continental Airlines DC-10-30 (1:144th) - Revell
Perhaps my most favorite airplane of all time is the McDonnell Douglas DC-10. There is
no reason why it is my favorite really. I suppose it is the third engine on the tail of
the airplane makes it look menacing. Nevertheless, it is a plane that is popular with many
I have many DC-10s in scale models so far. Two are Air Force KC-10s in 1:144th
scale and two DC-10s in 1:125th scale, British Airways and Federal
Express. Even though I have so many, I still needed one in 1:144th scale of an
airliner. There were many choices in the way of decals to buy for the model, but I decided
to get Continental since they have a fairly large fleet of DC-10s and more importantly,
since I dont have a Continental Airlines model airplane so far.
The only problem that I ran into in this quest is that there are no DC-10s on the
market except for the KC-10 model. I decided to buy this model and do some conversion work
to it. The main item of business is that I had to cut off the refueling probe housing.
This was easy enough to do, but then there was a good sized hole where the housing had
been. To cover this, I took a sheet of plastic and cut it in a square about an inch and a
half. Before I glued the two fuselage halves together, I glued the square in one of the
halves and let it dry. Also, I put about ten pennies in the front of the plane for weight,
and this is a perfect weight for the plane.
After this I glued the two halves together and after they dried, I placed putty in the
hole. It took about three applications of putty and then some sanding, but after about 6
hours of letting it stand and sand, it was completed. I worked on the rest of the model
like all the other KC-10s I have done. The wings were painted gray, the leading edges were
painted silver. The top of the plane was painted white and the tail blue. The only item of
interest that I would like to mention is the underside of the Continental DC-10. The color
I used was Testors spray paint number 1226. The color is named Dark Aircraft Gray. This is
the closest paint on the market that matches Continentals color scheme.
The gear was placed exactly how it came since the gear on real planes dont swivel
like some of the Boeing and Airbus products. The only other thing is that the DC-10-30 has
a middle gear, like the KC-10. This is in the down position like the actual plane would
have. I special ordered the decals and they came with the name, gold stripe, doors, and
golden globe. After the globe was placed on the plane, I used a professional brush
and painted the white highlights on the tail.
The only other problem I ran into were the windows. There are 14-17-26 windows on the
plane, starting between the first and second door, then the second and third, and finally
the third and the fourth doors respectively. Luckily I have windows from other planes
sitting around, which is a good reason of why to keep all decals that are not used. After
the decal windows were place on, the plane was completed. Once again fishing line holds
the plane on the ceiling.
This plane gets four knives. It was easy to assemble and the extra work made it into a
plane which once again there is no model out on the market for. The decals went on smooth.
Overall, it was an easy model to build and paint, but challenging enough to convert from a
tanker into a passenger plane. Revell has done it again with this plane.
Delta Airlines Lockheed L-1011 (1:144th) - Modelcraft Canada
One of the most successful airplanes in the world might have been the Lockheed L-1011
Tristar. Only 250 were built, but most of them are still flying in one form or another.
Delta airlines and ATA are two of the biggest users, so when I found out that Modelcraft
of Canada was releasing the former Revell kit in new packaging, I had to get one. Luckily
Airliner Hobby Supplies in Ontario, Canada was able to acquire some and sold one to me.
The kit is very nice. Just like other Revell models, this kit has nice detail and is a
good plane to buy since its size is impressive. The model comes with PSA or Court decals,
but since I am striving to have the main air carriers in my "fleet," I special
ordered Delta decals. The only problem I ran into was that there are no decals for Delta
in the L-1011 scheme. Therefore, I ordered B767 decals for Delta, and they fit perfectly
on the L-1011.
I didnt have to do any type of modification on this kit, so I was very pleased
with that. The toughest thing was that the bottom side is silver plate and the top is
whit. I masked these two areas off and painted the plane. The wings are gray with silver
leading edges as are the horizontal stabilizers. You do need to add some weight to the
front of the plane to balance it out, and about seven pennies should do the trick.
The only other problem I had with the plane other than the weight and balance was the
nose paint scheme. It is black, white, and silver. I painted the black first, then place a
white stripe on it. Finally under the white I painted the silver. It took a couple tries
to get it right, but the finished product is nice. Also, on other item of interest is that
the panel on the windscreen are silver, so make sure you use a good brush for that.
This plane is a masterpiece when completed I is worth of four knives. It is worth
buying and fits together easily. It took me about a week to get the plane how I wanted it.
The only problem are the decals. PSA and Court are two airlines that arent in
business anymore, and actually I hadnt heard of them until I got this kit, and since
this was a repackaged model, its too bad Modelcraft couldnt get decals made in
ATA or other livery. Other than that, it is worth buying and building.
Revell Rockwell B-1B Lancer (1:48th) - Revell
Every once in a while, a modeling company puts out a new model on the market that
cannot seem to be described by words. It usually is a plane or vessel that looks
unbelievable and has no match to it. This past month, Revell has done just this.
It seems that since the Rockwell B-1B Lancer dropped bombs in the Persian Gulf as its
initial wartime experience, and the mission went off without a hitch, the Lancer has
become a very popular plane. It is not to say that it hasnt been popular in the past
since there have been 1/144th and 1/72nd scale models on the market
for some time, but since this deployment and success, the B-1B is now modeled in 1/48th
Revell has done what few could think possible. A plane of this size in such a large
scale is amazing. With over 238 pieces, rubber tires; movable nose wheel, ladder, wings,
and horizontal stabilizer, and many more unique features, this aircraft model might be the
best one on the market. Enthusiasts are always looking for a challenge, and with the B-1B
being a skill level 3, it meets that challenge.
For a moment, there are three different skill levels to be explained. Number I is
usually snap together, which of course is the easiest. Number II is glue together, which
is more challenging and the mainstream in the world of modeling. Number III is the most
challenging, with movable parts, extreme detail, and many pieces.
From the initial glance at just the box, the B-1B looks larger than life, but when
opened up and seen for the first time, it takes your breath away. Comparing it to the
largest fighters of today, such as the F-14, -15, and Su-27/35 it is incredible how large
it is. The main fuselage is molded for convenience, then the front section and tail
section are molded to be fused together later on in the production of this beast. The
detail is astronomical, with the gear, flight deck, and basically the entire plane. There
is the option to have the side of the cockpit open to see the detail within, as well as
the radar in the nose. The model measures 36-inches long, and has a wingspan of almost the
Armament includes 16 SRAMs with rotating pylons. For addition comparison, I would
suggest to display 1/48th scale ground crew and support vehicles with the
plane. The crews can be bought separately. If there are any major problems with this
model, they will come to bear.
Before I begin the plane, I would like to point out one shortcoming, and that is the
decals that come with the plane. Not that decals are my favorite part of modeling, but the
decals enclosed with the kit seem to be too few for such a large plane. Also, the
"art seems to be mediocre." However, fear not, for decals can be bought
separately. I bought a set with the art of the "Spectre" which adds some
great finishing touches. This is not a requirement, but other decals will make it stand
out a bit more, though the 3-foot model itself will stand out plenty by itself.
As I have done for a few of my models, I will once again log the time it takes to
build, and throughout the construction, I will update this report with key features and
hints as to how to make a great model even better. So sit back, and enjoy the B-1B Lancer.
It has taken approximately 10 hours so far to build the nose of the plane. About one
hour was some research on the plane. As always whenever I get a new plane, I get on the
Internet and download pictures of the aircraft to go by. I found some nice sites which are
The other nine hours have come from painting the behemoth and actually assembling it.
Interestingly enough, the pilots I was going to place in the ejection seats dont
work since the seats have some arm rests which dont go with the modeled pilots,
however, this is fine since I plan to display the Lancer with the gear down and access
Before I painted the plane, I had to make a decision on the color of it. Some are black
and some are camouflaged in a gray and green, but I wanted it to stand out so I decided to
try a different color. I was considering black at first, but then saw a concoction of blue
and black. The name of the paint is Dark Sea Blue. It looks very dark as advertised, and
it looks especially good on the B-1B "Lancer" Bomber. As I have stated before, a
model can be painted however you want it to be, and for this model, I used this odd color
to make it stand out, especially since it will hopefully be the prize of my collection.
That is unless Revell ever considers putting a KC-10 Extender in 1:48th scale
out on the market.
The nose was fairly easy to put together if you follow the directions. The model has
the interesting feature of a movable access ladder. When I first read about this, I
though, yeah, right, but now that it is in place, it is a great design feature that Revell
has added. Once the nose section is complete, the access ladder can be open or closed, and
you can actually do this. Open it, then close it, and when it is closed, it lines up
perfectly in the plane. In other words, youd never notice it closed if you wanted it
in the air, but if you wanted it on the ground some time, then you simply pop it open. A
great challenge and feature.
The first 10 hours have been a lot of fun. The nose section itself measures about
9-inches long and 2.5-inches high (without the gear attached) so you can get an idea of
what the final product will be like.
One more item of interest is that Hasegawa makes a kit of grown accessories for 1:48th
and 1:72nd scale kits. I decided to buy the set "A" to spice up the
scene of the finished B-1B Lancer. It came with two support vehicles and about 12 figures.
Also included are chocks and a fire cart. It might be a good investment for those of you
who want some added detail and comparison.
After another six hours of the plane, I have completed the missile bays and the main
gear bay. I also have completed the nose section landing gear. The nose gear is of course
interesting since it turns. A fairly simple process and outcome if constructed correctly.
Also impressive is the fact that the missile spindles actually move as well once
completed. There are 16 SRAMs in the kit and fit onto the spindles.
The next part of assembly will be the fuel tank and then the wings. As always the most
time takes when painting the plane. The missiles and all interior bays were white. The
bays had a hint of silver in them too. It wont bee too long until the two middle
halves of the fuselage are merged. Once this happens, the plane will take on a new shape
On a side note one very important thing to do with a new kit is to inspect it to make
sure all the parts are there. In my old age I became too complacent and didnt
inspect it. My lesson has been learned since my kit came with no tires. However, Revell
has an 800 number on the kits, so if you do not have the parts, you simply call and talk
to an operator there. I must say they were very helpful with the service. The tires should
be here in 10-14 working days, and by then I hope to have most of the plane together, so
tires will be all that is left.
Four hours later, the two halves of the fuselage have been mated. But before we go into
this, you must first place the fuel tank in the rear weapons bay and then put the wings
together and paint them. The only thing I didnt do as instructed was painting the
fuel tank the correct color. It is supposed to be a chromate-green, but since I
didnt want to by a can of this one-time color, I sprayed the tank with a silver
paint then lightly sprayed normal green on it. This gives it a metallic-green look, which
looks just as good as the chromate, and youve saved money.
The wings are of course painted the same color as the rest of the plane, and they are
easy enough to put together. Just make sure that you put the correct wing on the correct
side and before gluing the fuselage halves together, go on a dry run to see how they will
The mating process (of the fuselage) always seem to be the most difficult phase of any
large model since if you neglect to take time and patience, then you will misalign the
fuselage. The mating of the top and bottom half went pretty good. I would suggest to use
the accelerator to help this process go faster and smoother. Just make sure everything is
lined up before spraying the accelerator. Also, make sure that you dont
inadvertently glue the variable-geometry wings, since they are meant to move. If all goes
well with this main process, youll have a part of the model that measures
18.5-inches long and 3-inches high. Of course the other important dimension now is the
34-inch wingspan (with wings extended forward). Very impressive.
However, since the nose section of the plane is completed, I decided to merge this on
with the fuselage. After this was completed, the total measurement of the fuselage (minus
the tail section) is 27-inches long. The wings (swept) go further back than that, but
after the tail is completed and mated, then the real size will take shape. Already it is
unbelievable to see.
Its now been another five hours of painting and gluing. When last I wrote, the
nose and main fuselage had been mated together. By now I have been able to put on the
engines, main landing gear, gear doors, and bomb bay doors. I have also began the tail
The engines are an interesting part of this model since you not only have the outer
shells, but also the inner ducts, blades, and nozzles. To make the plane look realistic, I
would have to say take some stainless steel spray paint and add this to the inside of the
ducts, spray the blades this color too. It is good to do this, however once assembled, it
is basically impossible to see inside the ducts, especially back to the blades. The only
real way to see this is to take a flashlight and look into the engines. Still, the added
work will pay off if you ever want to show the detail to friends.
Instead of following the directions to a "T," I opted to bypass the step of
putting the top engine cowling on and waiting to assemble the entire cowling (cover)
before placing it on. This worked out very good.
The main landing gear is a treat to work with. It is highly detailed and at first as I
looked at it, I thought there was no way it would support the weight of the finished
product, but amazingly it does. However, for added support, I used the ever present glue
accelerator. The chemical reaction it creates actually strengthens the glue and almost
makes it into a type of plastic itself. This of course ensures the gear is very durable
and wont break. The gear doors were simple enough to put on, as long as you follow
There are three weapon bays, so there are six bay doors. The directions of course say
that to glue the doors in place, but Id suggest not to do this since someday you
might want to reposition them. They do stay open quite well without glue, so take it from
me, it works great this way. Also, when gluing you risk gluing the rotating pylon the
missiles are on, so this is another reason not to glue the doors.
After this, I decided to give the beast one more coat of paint. I covered off the
windows and open bays, and sprayed. The final coat is a good idea since there are always
touch-up areas as well as fingerprints. Thought the plane still isnt finished, it is
good to spray now in my opinion. The tail has been started with the two halves glues
together. Next will come the merging of the tail on the fuselage.
On a side note, while other parts were either drying from glue or paint, I worked on
the ground crew set that I bought for support. The equipment wasnt that difficult,
and neither are the support crew, however it is a pain staking task to paint each figure
is. The figures were painted and they turned out very nice, however one problem is that
they dont stand up that good. The solution to this is to take a sheet of clear
(overhead projection) plastic and cut out small rectangles. Simply put glue on the feet of
the figures, attach them to the clear plastic, and they stand great. Also, you dont
even see the plastic at a glance, so it looks more realistic.
The final seven hours have come and gone. The paint has dried from the final coat, the
tail is merged, and the plane looks great. The weight in the nose is probably sufficient,
but I like to play it safe so I put pennies in the nose section before placing the radar
dish on. This give added total weight so I wont have to worry about tail strikes.
The radar dish went on perfectly as did the glass windscreen.
I would suggest to not glue the nose on the plane since it comes on an off easily with
the design. Therefore you can have the nose on and you can still take it off to show the
detail inside. I also would suggest not to glue the escape hatch for the back-seaters.
This will stay on without glue, and can once again be removes to see the interior.
The final part of the project was putting on the decals. I do like this step since it
adds color and detail, but it is also a time-consuming process, but it needs to be done.
The decals went on fairly easy and they look great on the B-1B Lancer. Displayed on my
entertainment center with the supporting ground crew, the plane dwarfs any other model I
have ever assembled, including the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise in 1:350th
By far this model deserves five knives, and in all honesty, it deserves six. Revell has
gone beyond the call of duty for this beast. The Revell B-1B Lancer is an exceptionally
detailed model. It has many great features as rotating spindles, sweeping wings, and
especially size. It is great to see this bird of prey in 1:48th scale. The
plane is a centerpiece for any enthusiast who has the time and desire to make the dream
come alive. I did some things differently than some would do, such as use a dark sea blue
instead of gray or black, but it turned out nice, and is something I will come to treasure
and show off in years to come.
If you happen to see this monster at a hobby store near you, get it, it is worth it.