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Skodadriver

What (if anything) can be done with the Minicraft 777?

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I'm at the stage of needing a serious stash purge and I'm going to dispose of a number of kits which I know I'll never build.

 

Several years ago I acquired a load of kits from the estate of a modeller who had died.  These included a couple of Minicraft 777s in the American and United boxings.  Both are still shrink-wrapped.  I don't have a 777 in my collection and I've always rather liked it in Austrian livery which is available from F-DCAL.  I know the kit suffers from "shape issues" apparently particularly affecting the nose but I can't find a clear explanation of what exactly is wrong and how it can be corrected.

 

Can anyone advise me whether it is feasible and/or worthwhile to correct the Minicraft kit or should I just put the examples I have on eBay and build a -300ER from the Zvezda kit?

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I'm definitely no expert, but when I intended to build the one I had years ago, one thing that immediately stood out to me was the curve of the top of the cabin that blends into the flightdeck didn't look right at all. I wasn't sure the plastic would be thick enough to take sanding to shape so it would possibly need packing with miliput or similar. But more importantly I wasn't sure I have the 'eye' to ever get the shape right! I eventually sold it off, not so much because of the shape issues, but just the sheer size of the thing!

 

Others more knowledgeable will no doubt be along shortly!

 

Keith

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Hi -- basically, the trailing edges are too thick, and the nose is off in shape. The famous "hump" atop the fuselage is easily doable with nothing more than a modicum of sanding in the right spot. The flightdeck windows are best "de-emphasised" with a bit of filler and redone with decals as they are more redolent of a late 1940s futuristic exercise entitled something like "a glimpse into the shape of the giant flying-boats that shall, to-morrow, fly many dozens of passengers each across the Empire". On the plus side, the engines (all three makes are represented in diverse packings) are quite good and workable (though early kits had wrong fan spin directions...).

 

This is just my opinion, and not backed by any experience as my one and only attempted MC 777 has sat on what is often and increasingly irritatingly called the Shelf of Doom. I recall thinking at the time (2002-ish, I should think) the kit was about par for the course. (You know -- a kit gets released, favourable and balanced reviews come out, and then concerted hate mails that get repeated and embroidered upon go on to destroy it so thoroughly that the early reviews look like they were written under the influence of bribes or drugs.) The reason for its extended shelf-of-doomitude has not been any growing revulsion at its quality or anything like that, but ever more frequent lunges back to my beloved 1950s, 1960s, and early/mid 1970s.

 

Of course, since Zvezda released their 777, the Minicraft one has altogether lost what little shine it had.

Edited by skippiebg

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Dave

 

Other issues are the squared off leading edges of the vertical and horizontal stabs, which is easily fixed with some sanding.

 

The flap track fairings also suffer from being squarish in cross-section, also remedied with sanding and filing.

 

I have built 2 and 2/3s of these kits (2 finished and 2 in work) and they look like 777s to me. Here is a link to my current (stalled SIA build) with updated picture links

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On 3/14/2018 at 10:34 AM, Skodadriver said:

 should I just put the examples I have on eBay and build a -300ER from the Zvezda kit?

Without a doubt Dave.

On 3/14/2018 at 4:57 PM, skippiebg said:

 The famous "hump" atop the fuselage

 

Careful Peter!

You know what happened last time we referred to a hump.  Someone got one.  :rofl2:

 

Chris.

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11 hours ago, stringbag said:

You know what happened last time we referred to a hump.  Someone got one.

Well, don't remember it, but can't have been me! Not that touchy :)

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9 minutes ago, skippiebg said:

That's fantastic, many thanks indeed and thanks to Keith and Ray for their input as well.  It's frustrating that so many photos are missing from the Airliner Cafe article but it's still well worth having.  

 

It's a pity that the Minicraft kit is so poor because I'd rather add a 772 to my collection than a 773, if only because of space considerations, but the two I have will head for eBay in due course along with a trio of Airfix Tristars and some other kits I know I'll never build.

 

On 14/03/2018 at 4:57 PM, skippiebg said:

.. my one and only attempted MC 777 has sat on what is often and increasingly irritatingly called the Shelf of Doom...

I'm glad to see I'm not the only person who gets annoyed by that daft expression. 

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6 hours ago, Skodadriver said:

I'd rather add a 772 to my collection than a 773

Dave, the Zvezda -300 to -200 conversion isn't difficult. The biggest thing is you'll need to buy different engines, Bra.Z do them and they are beautiful but cost the same as the kit. Other than that it's obviously a fuselage shortening, chopping off the wingtips, (Bra.Z do replacements for those too), removing the tail bumper and snipping something off the main landing gear but I can't remember what exactly at the moment and Bob's your uncle you're done! I've got one on the go at the moment just waiting for paint.

Cheers,

Ian

Edited by Turbofan

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11 hours ago, skippiebg said:

Well, don't remember it, but can't have been me! Not that touchy :)

I know it wasn't, you don't have an American accent either.  Let me know if you need another clue.

 

Chris.

Feeling mischievous tonight.

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3 hours ago, Turbofan said:

Dave, the Zvezda -300 to -200 conversion isn't difficult. The biggest thing is you'll need to buy different engines, Bra.Z do them and they are beautiful but double the cost if the kit. Other than that it's obviously a fuselage shortening, chopping off the wingtips, (Bra.Z do replacements for those too), removing the tail bumper and snipping something off the main landing gear but I can't remember what exactly at the moment and Bob's your uncle you're done! I've got one on the go at the moment just waiting for paint.

Cheers,

Ian

Thanks Ian that's worth knowing although I'm already considering two possible conversions (Britannia 100 and Standard VC-10) to start once my current builds are out of the way.  I think a 777 on top of that might be a bit much!  Looking forward to seeing yours in RFI.

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I have a few of the MC 777, and 2 left of the Doyusa ones (sold off 4), which I had got in Japan for about 900 yen off the 4000 yen price.

The MC ones I got very cheap when a LHS went out of kits (Toys R Us) as no one wanted the airliner stuff and I did it on a bulk buy.

 

I think that I could easily use the engines from the MC kit, pass the rest onto a mate who insists on thinking about building paper ideas or projected versions eg BAC 3-11, DC10 twin 

I bought the MC kits for considerably less than the Braz engines, and I'm thinking you would be in a similar position, the great advantage with the Zvezda kit is it can be had on auction sites quite reasonably, unlike the EE/Mikro Mir stuff which cost a kidney.

 

If you got the kit from an estate, I assume you didn't pay a retail price for it, so I think you could still sell off the MC kit minus engines and get some return, and end up with a very nice 772

of course this would only work if the economics worked out, which for me they really do.

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13 hours ago, Graeme H said:

If you got the kit from an estate, I assume you didn't pay a retail price for it, so I think you could still sell off the MC kit minus engines and get some return, and end up with a very nice 772

of course this would only work if the economics worked out, which for me they really do.

 

Interesting idea Graeme.  I bought a bulk load of about 30 airliner kits from the estate for an inclusive price so I've really no idea how much I paid for the 777s.  I'm not too bothered about making a lot of money but I do need to create space by selling off unwanted stuff, particularly larger kits.  I have a vague feeling that there might even be a Doyusha example lurking somewhere in the stash, which just goes to show how out of control it's got!

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8 hours ago, Skodadriver said:

 I'm not too bothered about making a lot of money but I do need to create space by selling off unwanted stuff, particularly larger kits.  

:lol:  Yeah, I know all about that, I now need to offload about 100 1/200th scale kits

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The big weakness of the Minicraft 777 is the cockpit shape.  The nose cone and windshield area is too fat and bloated.  I bought a resin drop in replacement off ebay for about $10 usd that seemed to fix the worst shape issues.  Other problems are the oversimplified landing gear, crazy thick trailing edges, trench like panel lines, and mis-shaped engines.

 

Of course the Zvezda/Revell 777 blows it out of the water but I've been debating what to do with the three or four Minicraft 777's I have lying around.  Seems a shame to bin them after spending so much!

 

If you have to have one 777 in your collection, just build the Zvezda and dispose of the Minicrafts.

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