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Julien

Antonov An.225 Mrija (04957) - 1:144 Revell

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Antonov An.225 Mrija (04957)

1:144 Revell

 

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Beginning life as an enlargement of  the An-124, the An-225 was developed to carry the Soviet Buran Space Shuttle, which obviously wasn't to be a long engagement, and after a period in mothballs, it was re-engineered to be used by Antonov for carrying oversize loads, which it now does all over the world.  There is only one airframe in existence due to the expiry of funding during construction of the 2nd airframe, which after more than a few false-restarts, only now might see completion to be used by another carrier in China.  It holds a few world records for wingspan of an operational aircraft and for carrying the heaviest single load.

 

The conversion of the An-124 involved lengthening the fuselage and wings to accommodate another two engines, and of course the number of wheels and gear legs were increased too to spread the load around, with the innovative "kneeling" nose wheel arrangement that makes loading cargo through the front visor an easier task.  Its first commercial flight involved transporting four main battle tanks, a task that gives an idea of the huge capacity in terms both of volume and weight that this monster has.  It has been surprisingly active, as its capacity and cost hits the right spot on more occasions than you would think.  It also pinched the title of largest cargo plane in service from the American C-5 Galaxy, which it is fairly substantially bigger than, even in 1:144.

 

 

The Kit

This is a re-release from Revell of their completely new tool. At first look it might seem an odd choice when you consider that there is only one airframe extant on this blue marble of ours.  That said, it is a stunningly massive monster of a gigantic behemoth. Seriously though, if you've ever seen this aircraft at a show or in the air, it will have made an indelible impression on your retina, as your mind struggles to comprehend just how large it is.  The same thing will probably cross your mind when you admire the box on the shelf of your local hobby shop, or when it arrives at your front door.  It's a big'un with the box measuring 43 x 60 x 12cm, and yes.  It's also a top-opener, which is nice.  There are only seven sprues of white styrene, plus one of clear parts, but with the exception of the clear parts, they're pretty large sprues, and there are a lot of parts. The boxing is very much a paired down version of the original kit, there is no separate nose, no interior and no landing gear, indeed a stand is now included to display the model on.

 

First impressions are excellent.  The quality of the tooling is very fine and crisp as befits a 1:144 model, with lots of detail..  The breakdown of the parts also shows a great deal of thought has been put into the construction and long-term welfare of the model once it is on display.  

 

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Construction begins with the interior structure that will support the massive kit, there are to bulkheads and a linking part. The tiny cockpit is a single part that is painted up and attached to the top of the roof at the front, while another spacer is fixed to the roof toward the rear of the assembly.  At this point the fuselage is still open aft of the wing leading edge, which is closed by the large T-shaped insert that has a sturdy spar applied to its inside, and includes the inboard upper section of the wings for strength and to prevent any tricky seams being pulled open by the weight of the wings.  At the rear another spar is installed in the tail to accept the empennage later in the build.  The canopy is fitted at this point too, sliding in from the front.  A similar insert is fitted under the fuselage straddling the main gear bays.

 

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As already mentioned, the upper wing root is a single part that spans the fuselage, and has a stiffening spar fitted to stop the model's own weight from pulling it apart.  The upper wing panels are attached to the end of this centre section, with a portion of the spar and a U-shaped mating surface also helping seam integrity.  This is all then hidden away by closing up the wing using the full-span lower panel, which is repeated on the other side, with clear wingtip lights added.  The Mrija's angled H-tail is next, with the upstands and the horizontals made up from two parts each, fitted together over the aft spar to obtain the correct angle, with the uprights perpendicular to them, as shown in a scrap diagram.  The two dorsal humps over the wing roots are made up from two parts each and applied to the surface on their raised positions.  At this stage the 225 is looking like the world's biggest glider, as the wings are devoid of engines, of which you must now build six.  The internals are identical, so with the fan, trunking and intake lip added together, they are inserted into the six external housings and pylons that are all different, so take note of which construction step each one represents  with a mark inside the pylon or similar.  Each wing also has six flap actuator fairings, which are two parts each and again fit in only one slot on the wing, so be careful not to get them mixed up.  With those in place, the engine pods are added to their recesses on the wing, locating with two pins for additional strength.

 

As this is the in-flight option has all the bay doors fitted flush.  After a few aerials are fitted on the nose, additional drawings show how the two open options should look once complete.

 

Markings

One airframe in existence, so there's one scheme, right?  Not quite, this decal sheet has markings the airframe wore 1992 to 2007, and the slightly different ones 2007 to 2008 The decal sheet is very long, as it has a set of cheat lines, they are printed for Revell by Cartogrf (designed by Daco), with good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas.  The only thing that I will mention is that the yellow in the Ukrainian national markings is printed as orange for some reason?

 

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Conclusion

It's hard not to be impressed by this kit, and not just from a point of view of size.  The quality of the tooling is excellent, the level of detail is first-rate, and the engineering expertise that has gone into creating it is impressive, demonstrating a desire for the complete model to sit on your shelf for years to come without concern for it pulling itself to pieces under its own weight.  Splendid!  The price-point represents good value when compared to other similar-sized kits, and what's included improves that further.  If you have the space in your stash and/or on your shelf, there's nothing holding you back, and even if you don't have the space, when has that ever stopped us?

 

Extremely highly recommended.

 

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

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It's gonna take a lot of Appliance White.

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Does this version cost less then? 

I think not including the gear might be a mistake but dependant on the price I would be tempted to hang one of these up

Edited by Adam Poultney

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2 hours ago, Adam Poultney said:

Does this version cost less then? 

I think not including the gear might be a mistake but dependant on the price I would be tempted to hang one of these up

About £20 less depending on where you shop.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Julien said:

.....The boxing is very much a paired down version of the original kit, there is no separate nose, no interior and no landing gear,

 

You're going to have to explain that to Mr Thicky over here?

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Its the wrong picture.

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2 minutes ago, 71chally said:

Ah, so does the fuselage have the nose cone molded on to it?

This photo from above wold suggest this

 

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Thanks AR, the original picture didn't feature that and my post has been edited by a mod.

 

All makes sense now.

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7 minutes ago, 71chally said:

Ah, so does the fuselage have the nose cone molded on to it?

In this boxing yes it does. I used the wrong photo earlier

 

. Your post was edited to remove the massive photo quote.

julien 

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