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Boeing 777 - 1:144 Zvezda. Etihad Livery


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Boeing 777, Draw decals 'Etihad' livery.

 

Zvezda 1:144

 

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This was an eagerly awaited kit of the Boeing 777-300ER, which made it to the shops just at the end of last year. I bought one immediately, and set to work on building it straight away. I already had Draw Decals 'Etihad' decals in stock, ready for the moment the kit was released.

It is well up to the standard of previous Zvezda airliners, that is to say it is a real beauty, with excellent fit and surface detail. I did have trouble fitting the 2 small heat exchanger units in the underbelly, but aside from that it went together faultlessly. The jet engine fans are real works of art, and actually rotate in the nacelles if you blow on them!

The Draw Decal sheet is the new 'Digital Silk' type on continuous carrier film, once you cut each item from the sheet they go on beautifully, and match the quality of the kit itself. Be sure to read the instructions, and press them down with a hot cloth after application, and the carrier film will all but disappear.

Unusually this model was painted with ladies nail varnish! As suggested in Draw decals instructions, I used 2 bottles of NYC 'Mulberry street' thinned with laquer (obtained on ebay in the uk), and airbrushed on for the main colour.It gives just the right pearlescent finish needed. A tip is to spray an undercoat of a very pale sand first, (I mixed a shade from Tamiya Acrylics), as when I did it over white, it needed a lot of spraying.

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On with the photos. It is big and difficult to photograph!

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And 'With something else'. A smaller brother, the Boeing 737-300 with Draw Decals 'Jet 2' livery. ~(It shows what a monster size the 777 model is!) Both these aircraft are frequently seen at Manchester Airport;

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And a final 'something else'.

I spent 2 weeks out of every 6 in Thailand with my day job in 2015, necessitating a lot of flying to and fro from Manchester via Abu Dhabi on Etihad, hence the inspiration for this build. Mostly it was on 777's (and more often than not A6-ETC seemed to be doing the Manchester-Abu Dhabi sector), but sometimes A300-200's were used. I snapped a few shots on my phone over the course of the year, a few of which follow;

Taxying in at Manchester;

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It's one of those!

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6 AM disembarking at Abu Dhabi. No terminal gate, so out by bus to the transfer lounge to wait for the next flight. Shame about the bus window reflection. It was TC again.

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Taking off from Abu Dhabi headed for Bangkok

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Ahh, Thailand!

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And who could forget the restaurant opening on the the beach, with the warm breeze and setting sun.

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Maybe I will do an A330 next.

Cheers

John

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Smack my gob !

Excellent stuff John although the "final something else" has really set the bar high.

mike

P.S. Nice to see you back on civvie street..... :wicked:

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Never heard of using nail varnish before John, but looks like it works a treat in competent hands. Cracking build and despite the PITA of going to Thailand a lot, it's obviously fed plenty of inspiration :)

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How did you handle masking, or painting, or decaling all the small windows?

All the passenger windows are on the Decal sheet I attached the clear parts and filled them with Milliput and smoothed off with sanding.

The cockpit glazing is clear. I made a mask with Tamiya tape by laying a sheet of celluloid over the decal sheet cockpit frame and putting a strip of tape on. Then cutting it to shape as you can see through to the decal underneath. Made in 2 halves. peeled off and placed over the clear part fixed on the model whilst it was painted (nail varrnished?). All credit to Draw, when I put the silver frame decal on, it fitted perfectly!

Another tip - if spraying the nail varnish, do it outside. I got banished from the house after the first spray session for making it smell like a tarts boudoir! Not that I know what one smells like, honest, but I can guess. The strong perfumed scent was everywhere for days.

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I'm amazed with each and every one of your builds, John. It's amazing how much life you put into these planes. I feel like I'm not looking at a model, but a real life plane whenever I see your builds. Amazing job on this kit!! Love seeing your irl pics!

All the best,

Drew

Edit: What is your photography set-up? Do you have a separate room where you have some sort of light set-up, or is the lighting natural? It looks so professional! Great job!

Edited by DrewP
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I wonder if pooling Humbrol Clear in around the clear parts with a tiny dropping tool (the numerous windows) can help close the gap and help make the windows flush with the hull surface. Hm.. I might try that myself.

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That really is stunning John. I wouldn't have believed it possible but your models just keep getting better and better. :clap2:

Thanks also for the practical advice about painting the Ethiad livery. I think this is the first time I've seen an actual result from nail polish as opposed to somebody suggesting it "might" work!

Dave

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Ok, so I'm a bit confused as to what the painting instructions are at this point: "...spray an undercoat of a very pale sand first,". Maybe I'm just reading it wrong, but for clarification - by sand, you mean color sand or actual sand on the model. Actual sand sounds kind of weird to me so I was guessing the former, but just to be clear? Great, amazing, unbelievable job!

All the best,

Drew

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Looks awesome. Such a clean build all the way around.

How did you find the fit of the windshield part, and what did you use to glue it in to get such a good fit? I'm thinking of going the clear window route for my Zvezda 777 and want to know what to expect.

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Hello,John - I'm delighted to have seen this beautiful build of your Etihad 777.Superb modelling as always.What really makes it for me is that you've had a very well-deserved vacation to such an exotic destination.Fabulous photos and thank you for sharing them on the Forum.Happy Landings!! ;) All the very best,Paul.

Edited by mcdonnell
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Thank you guys. I'll try to answer a few questions.

Edit: What is your photography set-up? Do you have a separate room where you have some sort of light set-up, or is the lighting natural? It looks so professional! Great job!

It is very simple. A flat wooden board on a chair, covered with a large pale blue sheet. It is in my conservatory so it gets plenty of natural daylight. I only use a fairly basic pocket digital camera, and usually take pictures between 11 am and 3 pm when the daylight is clearest and strongest. High tech it aint!

Achhh drat you beat me to it. Lovely model, I'm in the process of building the same model, did you use a wash on the wings, and if so what did you use.

Yes, I did use a wash. It is subtle and shows up nicely in real life but hardly at all in the photos. It is tube oil paint 'Paynes grey' thinned with white spirit and painted along the panel lines quite heavily. Left for 30 minutes and then rubbed off with kitchen paper to leave just a fine trace.

by sand, you mean color sand

Sorry Drew , I wasn't very clear on that. Initially I primerd the model with Halfords rattle can white primer. I sprayed the engines first and they came out fine. But when I did the fuselage the first coat looked blotchy, largely because of the big area and difficulty of spraying a smooth consistent coat of the nail varnish over it. As the nail varnish is quite transparent, I realised that I was going to need gallons of the stuff to build it up to cover the white.

So I decided to mix up a base coat closer to the final 'sand' colour. This was Tamiya XF-54 Buff, mixed about 50/50 with X2 White in an empty (cleaned out) Tamiy jar. The fuselage was sprayed with this, over the single coat of nail varnish I had already done, to give a consistent base coat. I then started again with the nail varnish spraying and after about 3 coats got the finish you see in the photographs.

How did you find the fit of the windshield part, and what did you use to glue it in to get such a good fit? I'm thinking of going the clear window route for my Zvezda 777 and want to know what to expect.

Nick, The windshield was a very good fit. I dry fitted it in place and just touched the edges with Tamiya 'extra thin' cement, using the brush in the bottle. If you do it delicately you will see capillary action draw the cement along from where you apply it. It only needs touching in about 4 places to get glue to flow all around.

Alternatively you can lightly draw the brush around the edge of the windshield, but 95% on the fuselage, just touching the join.

you've had a very well-deserved vacation to such an exotic destination.

Thanks Paul, I got to do a bit of sightseeing at the weekends which was great, but the heat outside was something else! The rest of the time I was working, never less than a 12 hour day and 16 hour days for the final week. It is nice to work overseas, but they get their moneys worth out of you!
Cheers

John

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Oh my word, but that is gorgeous John. Never had ever heard about nail polish being used before, so an unusual first for me.

Enjoyed the whole post, and by adding the photos, as Mitchem says, you have certainly raised the bar here.

Cheers,

Mike, the impressed

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That is an absolute stunner John, a simply beautiful model!

I used to use nail varnish a lot when building Nascar race car models as the real things use some weird colours that rarely have matches in model paints! The only smell I can remember from them was of the cellulose thinners needed - that also got me banished to the garage to spray them!

Keith

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A stunning finish on tjis model John - thanks for sharing it.

I'm pleased to hear that the fit is excellent - have one waiting in the stash, which will probably be done in BA livery.

Regards

Mike

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Super result John.

Probably the best match available for the colour I've seen and looking forward to seeing the beast up close

All the best Matey.

Chris.

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