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Mike

Boeing 747-8 Lufthansa New Livery (03891) 1:144

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Boeing 747-8 Lufthansa New Livery (03891)

1:144 Revell

 

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At the end of September 1968, Boeing revealed to gathered crowds at its Everett factory, an aircraft that would forever change the world of air travel.  Taking advantage of the new generation of high by-pass turbofan engines capable of huge power output compared to the previously available power units, Boeing unveiled the B747 which would become affectionately known as the ‘Jumbo Jet’ due to its immense proportions.  Designs for the new Boeing747 had actually been started three years earlier when engineer Joe Sutter approached the airlines to discuss their proposals with the companies that would actually buy the aircraft, and it was to be the Pan Am CEO, Juan Trippe, that had the greatest influence in the final design.  Although intended from the outset to be a passenger aircraft, it was decided early in the design phase to ensure that the aircraft should be easily adaptable to a freighter; a decision that was to prove fortunate in later years.

 

The original high wing designs were discounted in favour of the more popular low wing position, and at the request of Juan Trippe, various options in upper deck layouts were explored. These designs led to the now familiar ‘hump’, a feature that in no way detracts from the graceful lines of the aircraft that was finally rolled out at the end of September 1968, and provided the airlines with the first jet powered airliner capable of carrying more than 400 passengers.

 

Over the next three decades, the original design was further modified by the enlargement of the upper deck and the introduction of improved engines and avionics.  Probably the most radical change made to the airframe was with the introduction of the 747SP which featured a significantly shorter fuselage and a re-designed wing targeted at the short to medium haul and high density routes.

 

In 1988, Boeing rolled out yet another variant in the shape of the -400 series, but it was not until November 2005 that the subject of this kit, the Boeing 747-8 family was launched.  Incorporating advanced technology developed for the 787 Dreamliner, the first -8 model to fly was the freighter with Cargolux being the launch customer and taking delivery of its first aircraft in February of 2010.  The 747-8i, the passenger version, made its maiden flight in March of the following year with the first delivery to an undisclosed private customer made in February 2012. Lufthansa, the original launch customer took delivery of their first aircraft in April of the same year.  On June 28th. 2014. Boeing reached a significant milestone when the deliveries of the 747 totalled 1,500 aircraft.  Deliveries of the 747-8 have been relatively slow with only just over 150 examples of both the freighter and passenger version ordered with only three national carriers taking options on the passenger version at the time of writing. 

 

(Preamble text courtesy of @stringbag)

 

The Kit

This is a reboxing of Revell's well-liked 2012 era 747 kit with a newly tooled -8i fuselage and new decals depicting the new, modern livery that was first unveiled in May 2018.  Inside the top-opening box (yes, you read that right) are two fuselage parts, seven sprues of white styrene, three clear sprues, a long sheet of decals and the instruction booklet.  The model is well-detailed, with fine engine components, engraved panel lines, landing gear bays and even a cockpit part, with the copyright marking on the inner wing showing 2012.  The fuselage has open windows along the side, with clear parts that are applied inside, so if you plan on using alternate solid porthole decals (some folks do), you'll need to fill and smooth them out.

 

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It's probably not all that often a civilian aircraft review starts with the words "construction begins with the cockpit", but this one does.  There is a tub that includes seats and instrument coaming moulded-in, plus a rear bulkhead with

crew door moulded-in, which you are instructed to paint up with basic colours.  If you're building it with the wheels down, you'll need to build the gear bays, which have some nice ribbing detail moulded-in, and add the landing gear legs, which are really well-detailed for the scale, with brake detail and retraction jacks worthy of a larger scale.  The windows, gear bays and the cockpit tub are all inserted into the fuselage halves which are then joined together, with a short bulkhead slipped into the wing root area to prevent the weight of the wings from pulling the seams apart later.  The underside is covered up by an insert which surrounds the main gear bays, and closes over those areas that are normally shut on the ground with additional parts.

 

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The wings have clear light inserts in the root, which are installed before the halves are brought together, with a standard tab and slot fixture to the fuselage, which is repeated on the elevators on a smaller scale.  The wings need their flap actuator housings adding, which are all separate parts made up from two halves each, and you will need to take care to get the correct one in the proper recess.  The engines are made up from a pair of fans on a central spindle, which is slid into the aft section of the engine which has another set of blades moulded into the rear.  The fans can be left mobile by carefully gluing the retaining ring in place, which is then hidden by the tail cone, and then further enclosed in the outer housing with the single-piece intake lip and the two different sized zig-zag exhaust lips that are there to reduce exhaust noises.  The engines are all handed, so take care with construction again, as the strake on the bypass housing faces the fuselage.  The outboard main wheels are added at the same time as the engines, and then it's just a case of adding some aerials, the main wheels and their brake assemblies, gear bay doors, and the clear glazing for the cockpit.  Instructions are also given for the installation of the bay doors for an in-flight model, which requires a little cutting of the parts, but nothing too taxing for even a novice modeller.

 

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As an addition, a three-part stand is included on the sprues, which fits between the landing gear into some holes in the belly.  A nice addition that will allow you to sprinkle a few smaller models around the 747 on your display shelf.

 

 

Markings

The new livery is a simple tail-band that you will have to mask and paint, with the Lufthansa logo on the tail, and the name on the familiar hump behind the cockpit.  The windscreen, window frames and doorframe decals are also included, plus many, many lengths of walkway markings for the gargantuan wings and tail surfaces.  A dark blue swatch of the correct colour for the dark blue is included for reference on the sheet, and as usual the colour call-outs are using Revell's own paints with the blue being a 90%/10% mix of gloss midnight blue and black.  If you're mixing your paint for this task, it's always best to mix too much and store the spare paint in an empty pot until the project is finished, in case touch-ups are needed at any point.

 

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Conclusion

It's a great modern tooling of the still-impressive former holder of the largest passenger aircraft trophy, and these new decals will look splendid on a well-painted model.  A cockpit and gear bays are good to see, all of which adds extra realism to the model.

 

Highly recommended.

 

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Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit

 logo-revell-2009.gif t_logo-a.png or facebook.gif

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