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Good evening so finally i decided to post a progress report of my MD11. There's a lot to tell, but lets start first with some facts. The Kit is an Eastern Express, ordered from 26decals. So i got the kit with some decals, i did not want to use on this one, instead i will go with Liveries unlimited FEDEX stuff. Some big decisions had to be made in advance, like the RCI windshield. I am not advertising my own products, since i stopped producing them, but obviously the reason why i used it here is the reason why i created this stuff, i think it is better than the window decals and also the clear part, which comes with the kit. I usually only build cabin windows, since this is really hard to do on this one, i've chosen a freighter from Fedex. Believe me, it was not easy to get the Tailnumber right so lets start... this is my own clear part i sold until a few months ago... i think up until now there is no clear part depicting the real thing as good as this, the MD11 geometry is quite special, and this is what i had in mind: As you can see ( and some of you probably know) this one can be quite painful regarding fit and sanding... i decided to first match all fuselage parts, so that there is a complete half (like standard kits)
McDonnell Douglas MD-11 1:144 MikroMir After the first generation wide body airliners were established into service, thoughts naturally turned to the future. Of the major companies, Boeing continued to develop the 747 whilst also working on 767 and 777 next generation wide bodies, as did Airbus with the A330 & A340 . Lockheed were unable to do much more than offer minor variations to their Tristar, and Douglas were similarly short of cash, meaning that they too were not able to look at creating a new aircraft. There were several proposals from the 1970’s onwards to develop the DC-10 with fuselage stretches and reductions, but for one reason or another they came to nothing. It was not until 1986 that the MD-11 was finalised and offered for sale. The design featured a 5.6 metre fuselage stretch, redesigned wing & tail, a glass cockpit, and the use of composites in construction, and new fuel efficient engines. The MD-11 program suffered from various delays, and the first flight was seven months late, in January 1990. Performance was also below forecast, with the aircraft unable to meet its range/payload figures. December 1990 saw Finnair introduce the MD-11 into service just days before Christmas 1990. Several airlines were disappointed with their MD-11’s, American Airlines keeping their fleet barely 5 years and Singapore cancelling their entire order. Production lasted just seven years for the passenger version, with the final cargo MD-11’s being built in 2000, giving a total build of 200 MD-11’s of all versions. Of those still flying, all are cargo versions, with FedEx and UPS having the largest fleets. The Kit <EDIT> The completed model can now be seen in Ready for Inspection </EDIT> Developed in partnership with Eastern Express, the MD-11 is an all new tooling of this much wanted subject. Upon opening the box it is quickly apparent that it shares the same design approach as the Eastern Express L1011 Tristar released last year. The plastic is very similar, with the same delicately engraved panel lines and detailing, and most obviously a separate rear fuselage and fin unit. The two fuselage halves are quite big and will need their mating surfaces cleaned up and smoothed off with a sanding block. There are some sprue attachment and a little bit of flash, just as there is on the Tristar kit, and having built a Tristar I can say that it is a simple and quick job. Construction starts with the cockpit, which is very unusual for a 1:144 airliner, but most welcome if like me you sometimes find yourself scratch building to fill the empty space. With those large cockpit windows I expect that this detail should be visible on the completed model. With 10 parts to make up the nosewheel bay and leg there is also more detail than usual. We have come a long way since the shallow recesses provided as wheel bays on the likes of Airfix airliners. With the bay and cockpit completed, they can be inserted into one fuselage half, and fuselage closed up. The instructions show the two main fuselage halves being joined, then the two rear fuselage sections being joined to each other, before bringing the two units together. Personally I prefer to avoid this method, as it often seems to result in a ’step’ on the join. I have not tried it on this kit, so it may be feasible, but on my Tristar I joined the tail units to their respective fuselages, to make two ‘normal’ fuselage halves. If you do the job on a flat surface, everything should be in line. The Tristar came out with an almost perfect join, so I will be tempted to do it this way with the MD-11 kit as well. The cockpit glazing is done with a complete unit, including the roof. The moulding captures the look of the DC-10/MD-11 cockpit windows very well, so I’ll be interested to see how it looks on the completed fuselage. A set of pre cut window masks is on the main masking sheet. The wings have restrained engraved panel lines and are nicely shaped, having the distinctive kink at the roots from mid chord to trailing edge Not easy to photograph, but I’ll give it a try. The engines in this kit are the General Electric CF6-80C2D1F, with separate hot and cold sections, compressor and turbine fan discs. The no.2 engine (tail) is also provided in full, which is pleasing to see. Most MD-11’s used this engine, although there was the option of the Pratt & Whitney 4460 or 4462. I believe that a version of the kit may be produced in the future with the P&W engines. The fuselage underside has a large insert for the wing box, in a style that will be familiar to anyone who has built any of Revell’s wide body Airbus kits. Interestingly a spar is also provided, which goes in before the under fuselage part. The wings later slide over this stub spar, which should add strength and assist in getting the wing to fuselage join lined up. . The landing gear legs are well detailed, including the characteristic central main gear leg, but all the wheels are in halves. The hub detail on them is excellent, and very sharply defined. It is a small point, but I always appreciate the wheel hubs being clearly defined from the tyre like this. It makes painting them so much easier, quite important when there are 24 hub ‘sides’ to do. Decals and markings. The box top has a very distinctive looking MD-11 of Finnair on it, and you can’t fail to notice all the cartoon characters down the side. These are the ‘Moomins’ from the childrens stories by Finnish author Tove Jansson. I know this because when my daughter was young, we had Moomin books, videos, and toys in the house! The big decal sheet contains all the Moomin decals for OH-LGF, and an alternative Santa and his sleigh scheme for OH-LGC. The printing looks really good, the colours are right, the print itself is razor sharp, and everything is in perfect register. Without a doubt these are the best decals I have yet seen from MikroMir. It they work as good as they look, I’ll be well satisfied. The Belgian airline CityBird is provided as a third option, but is only shown on the side of the box, so airliners.net will be your friend if you go for this one. The big ‘CityBird’ logos are not decals, but come as masks, meaning that you really need to spray these. (Or maybe its just me, but I’ve always had paint ‘creep’ under masks when using a brush, whereas I’ve never had any trouble with spraying I used masks on a BPK ‘Air Canada Jazz’ Bombardier CRJ-200, and was very impressed with them). Conclusion Airliner modellers have long had the MD-11 near the top of their with list, so this release is very much appreciated. It has a slight ‘limited run’ look to the plastic parts, with the fuselage mating seam needing cleaning up, the rear fuselage being separate, and the wheels being all in halves. None of this will be of much importance to most builders though, as at long last we have an injection moulded MD-11 . The quality of all the mouldings look to be very good, the fine recessed lines are very restrained and delicate, to the point that you won’t want to lose them by using too many coats of primer and paint. Undoubtedly it will build up into an impressive model, I think it is a good looking aircraft, and an essential one to have in any collection of modern airliners. It’s great to see that after many years of ’drought’, new airliner models have been released in the past couple of years, and with the Argosy & D-11 MikroMir provided a couple from near the top on many peoples ‘wants‘ list.. Already the aftermarket producers have released numerous decal sheets for the various airlines who operated MD-11’s , so it looks set to be a popular model, and deserves to be. Highly Recommended Review sample courtesy of