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Airbus A320 Etihad 1:144 Revell The first of the successful narrow body range from Airbus, the A320 flew commercially for the first time in March 1998, having completed its maiden flight in February of the previous year. Designed to compete for a share of the short to medium range market which at the time, was dominated by Boeing and Douglas with their B737 and DC-9 respectively, a production run of fewer than 1000 aircraft was originally intended. However, the success of the design, and the introduction of the longer A321 and shorter A319 and A318 derivatives has seen the A320 family become the worlds fastest selling airliner. As of April 2016, Airbus has delivered nearly 7000 aircraft, with a further 974 firm orders making this the worlds best-selling, single-generation aircraft programme. The kit. The Revell kit has been around for a while now, and has been issued in many different airline liveries such as Lufthansa, Eidelweiss, Air Berlin, and Condor. This latest release offers the rather attractive Etihad livery that has been recently introduced. The box is in Revell's new 'black' style with a side view painting of an A320 climbing to altitude. The instructions have likewise been revised and are now in full colour on glossy paper. The plastic parts are the same as previously issued, and are now beginning to show traces of flash in some areas, but nothing too serious. The first of the two main sprues holds the fuselage halves and undercarriage components. The passenger cabin windows are moulded open, so you will need to decide whether to finish them with one of the liquid glazing products such as Micro Krystal Kleer, or fill them in and use decals. Glazing is provided for the cockpit windows, but without any framing on the decal sheet (apart from outlines for the two centre panes), or a 'solid' decal option. I always prefer to retain the clear option and mask it, so this is no problem. Others who like to use decals will need to take one from the spares box. The second sprue contains the flying surfaces and the CFM 56 engines, but the V2500 engine option on some previous releases have been deleted here. The trailing edge flaps on all the Revell A320's need a little modification to remove some of the smaller track fairings, and this is clearly pointed out in the instructions. Note also that the inboard flaps need the 'sub section' engraved oblong filling in. The little 'winglets' on the wingtips are somewhat undersized, but larger replacements are easily fabricated from plasticard if you desire. All my previous builds of this kit have them, and it only takes 15 minutes to make a pair. Decals. The decal sheet is probably why most modellers will want to obtain a copy of this kit. Designed by DACO it provides a wealth of stencil detail, wing walks, door outlines, engine and pylon details, as well as the Etihad livery. It is all beautifully printed in sharp register and with excellent colour matching. Being a DACO design they should fit perfectly as well, no small consideration when considering all the decals to go around the rear fuselage and tail. The fuselage colour is suggested as mix of Revell's own paint, 75% White 04, 20% Orange clear 730, and 5% Aluminium metallic 99. Several other Etihad airliners have been posted on this forum over the last few years, and other suggestions may be available with them if you search. (My own Boeing 777 was done with nail varnish applied by airbrush). Whichever method you use, it is probably wise to mix up a batch and keep it for re-coating and touch ups. Conclusion. It is nice to have this kit back in such an attractive livery. The new upgraded box and instructions are also very welcome, and much clearer to read than the old instructions. Many of us will have already built at least one of Revell's A319/320/321 kits, so know that it is a trouble free build. The real 'icing on the cake' here is the beautifully produced decal sheet, and should produce a stunning model. Recommended. [EDIT] Under construction now ! Build log here [/EDIT] Review sample courtesy of
Lockheed Super Constellation Trans Canada Airlines. 1:144 Minicraft Surely the most graceful of airliners, the Lockheed Constellation is in my top 3 all time favourites.It wore many and varied schemes over its long service, but the TCA one is just about the most attractive. I have a family connection also, as my father flew these in his first airline job after leaving the RCAF. The kit is from Minicraft, and is a trouble free, if a little fiddly, build. The decals are from CanMilAir printed in 2 little sets. I was slightly wary of the 3 part cheatline, but it all worked beautifully and I was suitably impressed. The only thing I altered was the silver cabin (passenger) windows, which I overlayed with some clear decal sheet sprayed with Tamiya 'Smoke' to darken them a little. And a slightly unusual 'with something else' - An actual TCA Miniature of Canadian Club whiskey liberated from the galley of a TCA Connie all those years ago, still with us and holding its contents! Family heirloom I call it Thanks for looking, John
Aer Lingus Boeing 737 Authentic Airliners 1:144 This is the Authentic Airliners all resin kit, the most accurate Boeing 737 in any scale. They are pricey kits and I have long wamted to try one, and secured this one via e-Bay for a fair price. There are few parts, all beautifully cast and a small fret of photo etch to go with it. There were no instructions, which was not a problem for the main assembly, but left me wondering where a few of the etched parts were meant to go. This was an early release with a separate clear casting for the cockpit much like the Daco and Minicraft 737's have. Current kits are all-resin fuselages without the clear part, which I think is a better idea. 'With something else' - These 2 could frequently be seen parked near each other at airports in the early 70's. (Welsh Models Vac BEA 1-11 500) This project did not run smoothly, every now and then I seem to get a 'jinxed' build, and this was certainly one of them! It is a beautiful kit and well worth getting, just try to avoid the errors I made along the way! Troubles I had; Mixed my own Coroguard for the wings, and it looked too dark. Remasked, resprayed with lightened mix. Cockpit insert was fine and blended in well, fuselege sprayed with Appliance white. After a couple of weeks the join across the top of the fuselage began to show as a 'ghost'. Re-Milliputted it, blended it back in, reprimed, resprayed, remasked and redid the grey on the fuselage. The Appliance white on the fuselage then developed a 'micro-crazed' affect where I had re-filled the cockpit join. Happily this was solved with micromesh polishing cloths. I did not get the undercarriage right. the main legs were too 'stilty'. Cut them off, shortened and re-fixed them. Decals went wrong, I had to strip them off and buy another set. After the first attempt something did not look right. I realised that the cheat line was too high. The cabin windows needed to be lower, and the cheatline curve upwards to the cockpit window. The white paint under the green cheatline should be half the width of the cheatline itself. I had to strip it all off, and order a new set of decals. On the second attempt, I lined up the cheatline with the white underneath it, and curved the front 3cm or so up to the cockpit windows. It is a subtle change but makes a huge difference. A picture speaks a thousand words. Upper - first wrong attempt. Lower - second correct attempt. Another little 'gotcha' I noticed is that one of the Irish flags is upside down on the decal sheet. Simply cut if from the 'Aer Lingus Irish International' titles and rotate it 180 degrees, the green portion of the flag is always on the left. Top one is ok, lower one needs correcting; Well there were times when I nearly gave up on this one, but I am glad I persevered. It is a nice kit and a lovely looking livery, so don't be put off by my errors. I've now got an Authentic Airliners Boeing 707 to have a go at! Thanks for looking John