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Minicraft 1/144 kits.


stevej60
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Hi folks,just wondered what your feelings are on Minicraft,s series of kits,I notice what look like a few nice Boeing 707 kits

and also some "military" used types especially awacs and what looks like a beautifully schemed 757 or C32.

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Beware of the 707 range!!! IMO the Nose ends are awful ! Can be rectified with some filler and reshaping or buy a solid resin nose from Two Bobs resin or whoever might do a replacement nose.

The rest is not too bad.

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I've always stayed clear of the 707 range but I didn't realise that you could get an aftermarket replacement nose.

Thanks for raising the question Steve, and thanks for answering it Paul. Incidently, does anyone produce a good 707 in 1:144?

Mike

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I haven't built any of their civil range, but I'm not massively impressed with their military range, not great lines and not much detail.

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Steve,

The MD-80 and the DC-8 are quite highly regarded, the 777 and particularly the 757 are not. There are resin corrections (BraZ, Contrails...) for both, but if you ask me, 'lipstick' and 'pig' come to mind (I'd go for a resin 757 - PAS Models or Authentic Airliners - if you really want one (£££)). Don't know too much about the rest.

Cheers,

Andrew

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IMHO :

- DC-8s, 2 different engine types, overall mouth watering kit, 9.5/10

- KC-135s, 2 different engine types (TF-33 could be improved), cockpit windows look silly, overall very nice kit, 9/10

- MD-80s, nose a little fat, main ldg a little short, overall nice kit, 8/10

- 737s, rear fuselage a little fat (Skyline's is obviously better but Minicraft's will still build into a fine replica), overall nice kit, 7.5/10

- DC-4s, cockpit windows look silly, overall nice kit, 7/10

You will find great and accurized builds of Minicraft's 707s, 757s, 777s, Stratocruisers, DC-3s, DC-6s, Constellations and Electras, but I still think they are badly tooled and not very accurate.

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The propliner range by Minicraft aren't too bad. The DC-4 being the best of the bunch. The DC-3 is a scaled down clone of the 1/100th Nitto one with all its faults but OK ish, The DC-6 is Ok too and has scaled down reflections of the Heller 1/72nd one with regard to the tailplanes, undercart and engines re surface detail but the wing and fuselage lack all panel lines! The Connies are not too bad either. Yes they all have varying issues but workable. I favour the prop jobs from the range however. By the way the C-130 Hercules is fair to OK and suffers from incorrect, deep panel lines and is a bit angular around the nose. Almost exactly as seen in CAD images.

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Just a couple of points to add to what's already been said.

The propliners generally aren't bad although most require detailing. The major exception is the L188 Electra which is pretty inaccurate The best way to get a decent Electra is to replace the Minicraft fuselage with the Welsh Models item.

The Boeing 727 is weird with over-thick wings and engines that are too big. It might be possible to build a reasonable replica by combining the Minicraft and Airfix kits but Authentic Airliners is a lot less hassle.

Everybody raves about the DC-8 and the tooling is certainly beautiful. However to my eyes Minicraft have got the wing dihedral wrong. When I first noticed this I assumed that the wings in my example had warped but having looked at several kits in the box it appears to be a design error. It's hard to explain but they've moulded in a slight "arc" shape which looks peculiar (at least to me) and affects the sit of the outer engines, particularly the CFM56s. Correction should be possible but it will have to be done when the wings are being assembled.

Edited by Skodadriver
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Thanks for all the info guys brilliant! I really enjoyed the Airbus build and want to do a few more civvies every now and then so just sounding out whats

out there apart from Revell,s range which I pretty much know what to expect.I was surprised at the wealth of AM decals out there so in future would

like to do one of Easy Jets fleet and something in Alitalia colours putting another question out there what kits can be done in those schemes I know

Airfix boxed a DC-9 in Alitalia colours or am I wrong?

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Thanks for all the info guys brilliant! I really enjoyed the Airbus build and want to do a few more civvies every now and then so just sounding out whats

out there apart from Revell,s range which I pretty much know what to expect.I was surprised at the wealth of AM decals out there so in future would

like to do one of Easy Jets fleet and something in Alitalia colours putting another question out there what kits can be done in those schemes I know

Airfix boxed a DC-9 in Alitalia colours or am I wrong?

Easyjet pretty much speaks for itself - Revell A319 or A320 and decals by 26.

I don't remember Airfix boxing the DC-9 in Alitalia livery although I might be wrong.

There are plenty of decals available for Alitalia -

F-DCAL do the A319/320/321 (Revell) and the ERJ-145 (Welsh or Authentic Airliners).

26 do the early Boeing 747 (use the Revell kit rather than Airfix), Boeing 727 (Airfix or Minicraft), Caravelle VIN (Airfix), Embraer E170 (Hasegawa), DC-8-62 (Minicraft) and A300-B4 (Airfix). Not all these kits are currently in production but Airfix Caravelles and A300s turn up regularly on Ebay. The Revell 747 is on the market as the E-4B. The engines are horrible but can easily be replaced with aftermarket items from BraZ .

Edited by Skodadriver
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Can I also direct you to the Roden Boeing 720 in Pan AM decals:

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234967976-boeing-720-g-azfb/?hl=%2Bmonarch+%2Bboeing

Roden do another version with different engines that are suspect apparently but on the whole is a nice kit. 26 Decals do several suitable alternative decals too. The above link to my recent build may help.

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.............. so in future would like to do one of Easy Jets fleet and something in Alitalia colours putting another question out there what kits can be done in those schemes I know

Airfix boxed a DC-9 in Alitalia colours or am I wrong?

Hi Steve,

I have a set of Alitalia decals for a Boeing 747 (I-DEMA). I don't know which kit they are from but you can have them if you want to do a B747?

Mike

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the question has been pretty much covered but keeping to the minicraft issue -

All of their kits, without exception, can be made into very good replicas of the real thing...IF....you're prepered to work at them.

The advantage Minicraft has over most evrybody else is the kits are cheap.

So you get what you pay for.

Yes you can replace noses and other parts but the cost of all the extras can soon make a cheap kit into an expensive one so

it can pay to do the corrections, or learn how if you don't know. Most are relatively straightforward, with one or two being a bit more complicated, but it can be worth it.

The key factors are knowing what needs correcting so use the internet to find as many photos of a real one and d

on't be shy about asking on forums like BM for help and advice, there's a brilliant resource here and a lot of very nice people.

In general, Minicraft kits have main gear legs too short, strange noses and wing mounted engines that point up too much, plus a couple with odd wing dihedrals.

Fix those and they're fine.........

I've never had an authentic airliners resin kit becasue I've never had enough money for one and people have a tendency to go a bit misty-eyed over revell's kits but they also have some issues (eg, the window band on the 737 NG is too low and the winglets aren't right either (plus they have one or two build issues)

Whatever kit you acquire, there wil be *something* not as it should be.

On the other hand you could just build any just as it comes, out of the box, and it will still look more or less like the aircraft it's supposed to be. Get the basics of building right and it will be a good model.

But it does depend on how picky you are.....

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As promised , some pics of my Minicraft 707 finished as a CC-137.
IMG_1639_zps770250b2.jpg
This shows the new nose. The join can just be seen. I also replaced the fin with a resin one from the German resin kit maker, Authentic Airliners. (Plastic kit fin in front)
IMG_2071_zps825098d2.jpg
The finished article.
IMG_2079_zpsd01450b8.jpg
Nose close up

More pics here:

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234937429-boeing-cc-137-1144th/?hl=%2Bcc-137+%2Bhusky

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Hi Steve,

I have a set of Alitalia decals for a Boeing 747 (I-DEMA). I don't know which kit they are from but you can have them if you want to do a B747?

Mike

Thanks for the offer Bootneck,I,ll be in touch if I get the nerve to attempt one of those beasts.

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