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80383 - E-3F/E-3B "AWACS"

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This will be my entry, though I am unsure at this stage whether it will be an A, B or C model. I depends on what sort of photos I can find for reference.


The box



Contents, yes 2 kits! There is also an Airfix boxed Sentry (minus the E-3D specific parts) in there in the lighter plastic



Kit decal sheet



Aftermarket decals for the build, the VM Decals sheet allows any serial inthe USAF fleet to be built. The Wolfpak sheet has the correct colour tilting, so I will use those and cherry pick from the other sheet for other markings.



And finally the aftermarket, soe is for  KC-135s but usable on the 707/E-3



If I go a wheels up build ( which I an contemplating) them half the extras won't be used.


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As was discussed in the chat, according to the reference tome, the E-3 was a variant of kit 305, which was the catalogue number of the original Boeing 707 release from 1985, just under the wire.


Looking forward to seeing how this one comes out Ray.

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27 minutes ago, Planebuilder62 said:

Hi Ray


Drawdecal make a nice Nato Anniversary decal set for this kit.


regards Toby

Cheers Toby,


This kit came with that scheme, but I gave it away years ago, I am planning a USAF E-3

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1 hour ago, Dom Barr said:

My LHS down here in Melbourne has one of these going cheap. I've been tempted- will have to see how this goes, for sure. It will be big and beautiful!

Here is a taster, I built the Airfix version back in 2018 for a RAF 100 display and GB here.


I might add some detail to the cockpit like last time.

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19 minutes ago, Romeo Alpha Yankee said:

Here is a taster, I built the Airfix version back in 2018 for a RAF 100 display and GB here.



Wow how time flies!  Nearly two years ago already!  A real shame this year has been cancelled. 


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1 hour ago, JOCKNEY said:

Good luck Ray

What's the saying " Go Large or Go Home "

Have you made space in your personal hanger for it when its finished  ?

Cheers Pat

I might have to rearrange the parking arrangements, but I'll make it fit 👍

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Ray, that Airfix E-3 came up a beauty! Reading your build log, I was inspired by your commitment to large models- like, real large! I've got many big models waiting under my bed for me to show a similar level of commitment. It always comes down to space with these ones, but boy, when they're done it's so worth it. And there is all that ceiling space just going to waste, you know?

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Well here is a teaser, I have brought the E-8 down from the top shelf to prep it for completion, some rescribing, filling rubbing back of dodgy pain and refitting broken off antennas before a prime and final paint. Not a small model, that is an A2 sized mat it is sitting on.



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Well with the E-8 giving me some grief with botched rescribed panel lines and not wanting to be finished,  I thought I would take a break from it and have a go at a more easy build (well that is what I thought before inspecting the parts).



To start with I found the cockpit clear part cracked, so I will use a decal for the windscreen and not worry about adding anything inside. I also found a crack in the left hand fuselage around the cockpit, this Heller plastic is far more brittle than the Airfix poured plastic I have used on the E-3D.


So I taped the fuselage halves together to find this....



And then an inspection of the wing parts found this... if you look closely at the first picture (above) you may also notice part of the gear door on the RH fuselage has also gone adrift which isn't an issue as I have decided on a wheels up build so the moulded on doors will come off and be replaced with card to fill the opening.



Next up I decided to put the easy bits together, the flying surfaces that is, and there was warping!



This was overcome with lots of tape.



Here is the new nose doors test fitted, they will be cut down width wise. You can see the repaired cockpit crack in the lower fuselage half.



A few holes drilled out for an intake of some sort and the radome mounts.



For the radome mount I decided to glue the stand sections together only taping the base parts to get the right angle as I had trouble when building the E-3D attaching the dome when it was all painted. The instructions would have you assemble the dome and free moving mount and plonk it on the mounts at the end of the build. Oh and look another broken part, the base of the vertical stab.



Finally I removed the Contrail mod parts from the resin pour stubs and found the shapes to be very basic and perhaps oversized, The chin part has too much material on one side which will have to go. I will have to consult a some walk arounds to see how it sits. Same goes for the tail protrusion, not sure where it actually goes! It is a bit misshapen and will need squaring up and some detail added to it.



On the plus side I have put glue to plastic, but on the other there is a lot to do just to return it to a whole kit. Here is the last kicker, Heller moulded the main gear doors in the open config as one piece so I will have to make new doors from scratch. Not too hard, I did it with my RAAF 707 build. I'll be able to use these doors on the E-8 as I have misplaced the originals for it.




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Seems you’ve got yourself a real builder there Ray. Nothing that I’m sure you haven’t come across before so it just adds to all the enjoyment and frustration that this hobby can bring. Press on champ, she’ll be right! 

Cheers.. Dave. 

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Nice work, pity about the broken parts, but you have dealt with these. I too have noticed the brittleness of the Heller plastic, as the sprue with the smaller parts seems to lose a part each time I pick it up.

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