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Viking

Bombardier CRJ-200 - 1:144 BPK

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Bombardier CRJ-200 - 1:144 BPK
1:144 BPK (Big Planes Kits)

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The Bombardier CRJ (Canadair Regional Jet) is a highly successful small airliner which started life as a development of the Canadair Challenger, and has been developed and stretched from the -100 series right through to the -1000 series. Entering service in 1992 the 50 seat CRJ-100 was soon developed into the CRJ-200 with more efficient engines, and sold widely to many airlines around the world, with a total of 1,021 of both models being delivered. The stretched CRJ-700/900/1000 series is still in production, with over 600 having been delivered. CRJ's can be seen at virtually any major airport around the world, and are likely to be in service for many more years.

The Kit

BPK released a kit of the -100 series aircraft last year, and have now followed it up with a -200 series version. As the only major difference is with the engines, this kit contains almost the same plastic, resin, and photo etched parts as the previous kit, but with a completely new decal sheet and masking set.

The box has a side profile of a CRJ-200 in a British Airways livery, which is one of the six options provided. Inside there are 3 grey plastic sprues of components, 1 clear sprue, 1 photo etch fret, resin engine parts, a sheet of masks and a decal sheet.

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The first thing to notice is that model has a complete flight deck, with pilot’s seats, instrument panel, centre console, and rear bulkhead. Decals are supplied for the panel and console, and even for the rear bulkhead. This assembly fits into a separate nose moulding, which itself is in clear plastic, which is then fitted to the main fuselage sections.

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This is a great idea, which makes it very simple to obtain a flush fitting clear windscreen. It is even easier to use than the ‘top half’ windscreen inserts found in some of the Minicraft and Revell airliner kits. It is so much better than using decals, and the cockpit interior is actually visible on the completed CRJ-100 kit reviewed previously.

Also unusual is the treatment of the cabin windows. The fuselage has recess running along it, into which you fit a clear plastic strip each side. Window masks are the placed over these, and removed after painting to reveal the cabin windows. Having used this method on the -100 review build, I was very impressed with the results.

spruea.jpg


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The rest of the construction is conventional, with a 1 piece lower wing with 2 uppers, and a main gear bay. The 'T' tail and undercarriage complete the model.

sprued.jpg


The tailfin moulding on the main sprue in the original release did not meet BPK’s high standards as it had a small ‘sink’ mark near the top (barely noticeable), so a resin replacement was supplied. The -200 kit now has 2 fin halves as injection moulded pieces to correct this minor flaw. The engines are made from injection moulded upper and lower halves and pylon, with resin exhaust cones and intakes. Having the intake and fan detail as a single piece like this is by far the best way of doing it, as there is no awkward join inside to clean up.

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All detail is finely engraved on the kit, just as it should be on an airliner. Although difficult to photograph in grey plastic, hopefully it is visible here;

spruec-det.jpg


Decals are provided for 6 liveries.

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  • Lufthansa Regional (Lufthansa CityLine)
  • Lufthansa Regional (Eurowings)
  • British Airways (Maersk Air)
  • UTair Ukraine
  • Air Canada Jazz (Red)
  • Air Canada Jazz (Green)

The decal sheet is silk screen printed with good colours and in perfect register. All the edges and lettering are crisp and sharp. A large range of tiny little stencils are supplied.

decals.jpg


The Air Canada ‘Jazz’ liveries are partly supplied as paint masks, to produce the ‘Jazz’ titles on the fuselage and maple leaf on the fin. Fine detail for the stalk and veins on the leaf are on the decal sheet. What better way to get that ‘painted on’ look than to paint it on. I am really interested in this, as I've never used pre-cut masks to create markings. I would think that lining up the masks accurately and using an airbrush will be essential, but results should be really good.

mask.jpg


Conclusion.
It is obvious that BPK have set themselves very high standards in engineering their kits, as the surface detail and fit are extraordinarily good. When I built the previous CRJ-100 kit, the dry fit of the lower wing to the fuselage was so good that the join line was all but invisible. Few manufacturers can achieve this, so full marks are due here.

What I really like though is the way that BPK think of new solutions to problems. The clear moulded front fuselage section takes a little care, but is not difficult, and gives an outstanding result. No doubt this is the best way to do it.
Likewise the cabin windows. A little filler will be needed to blend the clear strips in, and then the masks need to be applied. The result though is top quality, clear windows with perfect smooth surfaces. Just imagine if other airliner kits were offered like this, how easy it would be to represent different window layouts.

The choice of 6 alternate liveries is the ‘icing on the cake’. I would like to do all of them but can’t quite decide which one it will be yet. I like the British Airways one and it would fit in my other BA models. I’ve flown several times on Lufthansa CRJ’s so I could add that option to the ‘airliners I have been on’ part of my collection, and the Air Canada ‘Jazz’ ones look really interesting, the masking intrigues me and should give a good result.

Whatever I decide, this kit is heading straight for my workbench ahead of ongoing projects, as I enjoyed building the last one so much. This is a beautiful little kit, do yourself a favour and get one. But I warn you, you’ll want another after that….


Highly recommended.


Review sample courtesy of
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Footnote:

The build thread of the previous CRJ-100 kit is Here

Last picture, the completed CRJ-100 previously reviewed on Britmodeller;

CRJ-100.jpg

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A lot of thought has obviously gone into these kits John.

Some nice livery options to choose from as well.

Thanks for the review.

Chris

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