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Finally completed what began as a fall project of building a pair of 727s; it stretched into winter, and just now finished in spring. This was a first for me…building two models at once. Proved to be quite a challenge that was not only time consuming, but pushed the limits on space! My workbench just isn’t large enough for more than one-at-a-time, so new rule…just one…finish it…start another. No more “two-fers.” Here’s some history and photos posed in the bright sun and “in the hangar.”

 

First is the somewhat historic Northwest Airlines 727-51 (-100), N467US,  that became infamous during the only unsolved incident in aviation history…the D.B.Cooper hijacking on 24 November 1971. After jumping from the deployed rear air stairs of the airplane, Cooper was never seen or heard from again. Only remnants of the $200,000USD was ever recovered, found by a small boy  buried in a river bank nearly completely deteriorated, but still clear enough to read the traceable serial numbers as the bills from the ransom. The incident led to a new mandated installation of the “Cooper Device,” a small vane that attaches to the rear fuselage, activated by airflow from the slipstream preventing the rear air stairs from being deployed in flight.

 

The Airfix 727-100 is completed in the original livery as she rolled out in 1965. During the years leading up to the hijacking in 1971, she went through the paint shop at least twice as Northwest changed and updated the livery. She was sold to Piedmont Airlines in 1978; then in 1982 she went to United Technologies Flight Dynamics testing navigational equipment. In 1984 she was sold to Key Airlines for which she operated daily charter flights from Nellis Air Force Base to Tonapah Test Range, northwest of Las Vegas. She was retired and stored in Greenwood, Mississippi in 1985 then finally scrapped in 1996.

 

The Minicraft 727-200 is of N272US, an airplane that really has no “distinct” or famous career. She served at Northwest first following her delivery in 1969. She was leased to Pan Am in 1988, returned to Northwest in 1989, then retired and stored in 2007 at Smyrna, Tennessee, where she still stands on her own gear as a parted out hull to this day.

 

Both 727s were primed with Tamiya gray primer, painted with Tamiya TS-26 white and Alclad black base and polished airframe aluminum. Tamiya XF-8 dark blue was used for the cheat line on the -100, and Tamiya TS-49 bright red was used for both tails. Corogard on both models is an airbrushed mixture of Testors Modelmaster Metalizer  Non Buffing aluminum and Testors Modelmaster Flat Light Ghost Gray. Wings, wing fairings, and horizontal stabilizers were airbrushed with MRP Boeing gray. Livery decals on the -100 are from Microscale; on the -200 are from Draw and 26. Windows on both are from Authentic Airliners with details from Nazca. Nose gear on the -100 is from Authentic Airliners, while the main gear is SAC metal struts, Authentic Airliners wheels, and scratch made doors. Nose gear on the -200 is from the kit; main gear are modified from the Airfix kit, with Brengun wheels and scratch made doors.  Both airplanes received a brushed on clear coat of Future to finish.

 

Hope you enjoy!

 

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Wow!  Both of these jets look exactly right.  Did you re-do the nose contours?  I ask, because they are spot on.  Everything about these models looks perfect, and that red tail must have been a real pain to mask and get right, especially with delicate aluminum around it.  

 

I flew as a passenger on both the -100 and -200 and can attest they were smooth-handling, comfy jets from every standpoint, and I miss them greatly.

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Wow! Mee likee.

 

I used to see Northwest 727s fly over my house all the time on final to runways 11L/R at MSP. Have plans to (eventually) do a Northwest 720B, but i have to get my Super VC10 off the books first.

 

I just love the paint jobs, especially the early -100.

 

-d-

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They look great. I particularly like the 'Cooper' jet. When I get got a job with a cargo airline using 727s. I was shown the Cooper vane. A very simple device but effective. 

 

My best memory of Northwest airlines was from 1989 taxying out at Memphis Airport in my little Cessna 150 being cleared ahead of a whole line of Northwest DC9s and 727s. I distinctly remember the leading 727 nodding slightly as it braked to allow me pass. I felt so bad. Never did I take of so swiftly. 

 

Beautiful models! 

 

 

 

 

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really nicely done mate! i prefer the later scheme, allthough my favorite is the bowling shoe. great theme as well... what a weird mysterious story it is until today. hope to see more from your bench soon ... 👌

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21 hours ago, TheyJammedKenny! said:

Wow!  Both of these jets look exactly right.  Did you re-do the nose contours?  I ask, because they are spot on.  Everything about these models looks perfect, and that red tail must have been a real pain to mask and get right, especially with delicate aluminum around it.  

 

I flew as a passenger on both the -100 and -200 and can attest they were smooth-handling, comfy jets from every standpoint, and I miss them greatly.

 

Thank you so much for your kind words! Yes, I used Miliput around the noses, especially on the Airfix -100. Lots and lots of shaping, then curing, then wet sanding to get it as correct as I could. Thank you for noticing! And you are so right...the 727 was and still is very popular among the crews who flew/fly them...all  have pleasant memories and engaging stories to tell. 

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21 hours ago, David H said:

Wow! Mee likee.

 

I used to see Northwest 727s fly over my house all the time on final to runways 11L/R at MSP. Have plans to (eventually) do a Northwest 720B, but i have to get my Super VC10 off the books first.

 

I just love the paint jobs, especially the early -100.

 

-d-

 

Hi David!

 

I am so glad you "likee!" The 727 is one of my favorite airliners, as she was among the crews who flew and still fly them. I knew when I began this project that I wanted to do these two liveries in particular, because I think they are the most attractive ones that Northwest ever dressed their airplanes with. 

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As I understand, the 727 was a "0 squawk" aircraft from a mx standpoint.  It was ultra-reliable.  The triplex controls made for assured controllability in all speed regimes, and coordinated (aileron-rudder-elevator) turns using 45 degrees of bank were/are a breeze.  Biggest problems were fuel consumption and noise, and of course the expense of having three persons in the cockpit.  Wish to heaven someone would do a new injected kit in 1/72 scale, as KMC's attempt 22+ years ago was...unsatisfactory.

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There are some nice airliners posted on here, but those two are truly exceptional. Absolutely beautiful finish, and as others have said they look spot on. Reshaping the nose really does stand out, an massively improve the look. Fabulous!

 

Cheers

 

john

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These are just 2 superb build 727s.

Awesome in every aspect...build,paintjob,presentation👍🏅🏆🎖

I never saw a Minicraft 727 built up before,looks spot on.

 

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Another superb build! Thats why I like the golden age of aviation and trijets. Wonderful aircraft accompanied to master modelling skills. I always love your high shine metallic finish. Thanks for sharing.

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Two absolute beauties Paul, congratulation and thanks for sharing them.

 

I always had a soft spot for the Northwest Orient silver top livery which I remember seeing on DC-10s at PIK in the 1980s. There was something slightly unfinished looking about it but it could never be mistaken for anything else.

 

Dave G

 

 

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On 4/24/2021 at 5:17 PM, busnproplinerfan said:

If that don’t win something, there’s something wrong. I faintly remember these some years ago coming into Winnipeg. 


Hahaha! Not out to win anything...just to show a pair of beauties in a really classic livery! Thank you for the kind sentiment! 

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On 4/24/2021 at 5:41 PM, Eric Mc said:

They look great.

 

Airfix or Revell?


Hi Eric!
 

Thank you! the -100 is the old Airfix kit; the -200 is the Minicraft kit. Both kits have their own unique challenges, which make for a good journey researching and studying photos for a good finish, then tons of patience modifying and reshaping to make accurate. 

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4 hours ago, Challenger350Pilot said:


Hahaha! Not out to win anything...just to show a pair of beauties in a really classic livery! Thank you for the kind sentiment! 

I don't build for contests either. If I have something ready I'll put it in.

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