Jump to content
This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

Sign in to follow this  
Viking

McDonnell Douglas MD-11- 1:144 MikroMir

Recommended Posts

McDonnell Douglas MD-11
1:144 MikroMir

 

box.jpg

 

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

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.

 

sprue1.jpg

 

sprue1-det.jpg

 

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. 

 

instructions.jpg

 

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.

sprue2.jpg


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.

sprue9.jpg

 

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.

sprue6-det.jpg

 

sprue6.jpg

 

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.

 

sprue4.jpg

 

sprue5.jpg

 

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.

 

sprue8.jpg.


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.

sprue7.jpg


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.

 

options.jpg

 

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.

 

decals.jpg

 

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.

 

options2.jpg

 

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).

 

mask.jpg

 

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
logo.gif

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I hope there's been some improvement in the masks.

 

While MikroMir can be relied on to issue kits of some of the most interesting and unlikely subjects [imho], they are let down badly by the quality of masks that accompany the kits.

 

A stiff plasticised material which point blank refuses to conform to the slightest degree of curvature, often will lift, in all or part, especially in cockpit canopy areas which often require filler and subsequent sanding.

 

The lifting will, of course, encourage paint creep which, as the reviewer observes, will occur with brush painting and, in my own experience, with the airbrush.

 

Come removal time, those masks which have achieved a proper adherence will be a fight to remove, and will often leave much of the adhesive on the clear part necessitating a clean up with e.g. IPA and risking damage to surrounding paint.

 

Such a let down, because I love MikroMir's catalogue of subjects - just a shame about their masks !

 

I look at the masks above with a degree of trepidation.........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×