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1/144 Air Finland B757-200


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Hi all,

I enjoyed so much the first GB that I joined the list for this one immediately after it was proposed!


Again I have too many fitting kits to start, this time I made a decision to enter first an airliner, maybe this will be easier to finish and give me additional time for a second entry.

So, my plan is to build the much cursed Minicraft B757 (not Zvezda, I still have to buy it) because I have it in my stash and this is a good excuse. Perhaps I will do some shape improvements, but we'll see.

For sure the livery will be this:




I made a return trip on it in 2006 for a holiday in Minorca. I have very good memories and the plane was quite comfortable compared to the run of the mill Airbuses and B737s.

Cheers Fabio



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welcome along Fabio, glad you enjoyed the first one so much..... I think a few others did as well!.


It's great to see another airliner in the build, there are some many nice schemes out there, they just brighten up the gallery.


Well good luck with the build, look forward to following your build/s.

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  • 2 weeks later...

@trickyrich @Col. thank for your kind words!


Unfortunately the Minicraft kit is not one of their best and gained a bad reputation over the years. Among the many possible corrections I collected the following from other modellers' builds who were so kind to report their impressions for posterity:


- the fuselage is about 5mm too long aft of the wing, somebody even wrote the excess is in the tail making also the fin chord too big;

- the engines point upwards so the pylons need reshaping;

- the nose is not entirely right in its peculiar shape;

- the top of the fin slopes downward instead of being level with the ground;

- the worst problem is reportedly the different thickness of the port and stbd wings, even the wing fairings would be different making the whole assembly very prone to asimmetries and bad fitting.


I'm not totally convinced of this last terminal flaw: from my observation of the parts and quick dry fitting I can't see those horrendous defects, but maybe I will change my mind after sitting at the desk with a well lit working area and checking again.

For sure the kit has very coarse moulding, thick trailing edges, approximate details, ecc. ecc. BUT if you wanted an injection kit of the 757 before the fantastic Zvezda kit, it was anyway better than the terrible Eastern Express one (which is said to be a bad copy of the Minicraft kit itself, what perversion! ).

I don't know yet what corrections I will use in my build, I will need much patience to make everything fit and give some refinement to a very poor kit, so probably it will depend on how much inspiration will remain in my heart after applying those basic improvements!


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  • 1 month later...

Hello everybody!

As I feared, I spent a good part of the past month doing some basic refinements to the Minicraft kit: now I feel I can see the light at the end of the tunnel so I decided to start reporting my progress here.

First, a look to the basic ingredients which I forgot to insert into the initial post.

This is the "horrendous" Minicraft kit I had in my stash:






I know, it has the wrong engines for the livery I chose to apply!

And here are the decals kindly provided by Nazca-Decals. They are laser printed and quite good to my eyes. We'll see once applied, it's the first time I use them.




So how will I solve the engine issue? Simple: I finally found in a local hobby shop the Zvezda kit at a reasonable price and saving shipping it was nealy a bargain, so I quickly grabbed it!

The kit includes both engine options and I will build it as a USAF C-32 with the Minicraft decals.


Thanks for looking! 




Edited by Whirly
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Ok Col. 


first, before glueing anything I added the lobe crease which is totally missing from the fuselage. I used an Olfa P cutter engraving heavily the thick plastic.




Then I widened the groove with a riffler file and worked again into the crease with sanding paper to open the sides.




Finally I filled the deepest part with Perfect Plastic Putty and here is the final result. Not perfect, but much better than nothing in my opinion.





Thanks for looking! 

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Another update, sorry for being so slow but time has been very scarce in the last few weeks.


One of the problems with the Minicraft kit are the gigantic trailing edges of the flying surfaces, they amount to over 1 mm!




A long session with coarse sandpaper followed to gain a better appearance...




the result is somewhat better but not as much as I'd liked.




I stopped here, both because I was tired and also for the damage I inflicted to the extreme tail while sanding the fin: here you can see the offending parts after joining the fuselage and repairing the missing material with superglue and baking soda.

Since work in the area was ongoing I also added a short lenght of brass tube for the APU exhaust.





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And speaking of thickness look at thos tailplanes! Below is the part as supplied, above after some vigorous sanding.




More work was needed also to refine the shape and remove panel lines which did not match with the coroguard area.




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The fuselage joint is not even and much filler is needed to smooth the lines....






Before adding the clear cockpit I poured some resin inside the nose to reinforce the plastic before some reshaping I will do later.




Fast forward a few days and finally I could assemble the airframe.


This is the most critical part in my opinion because the joints are very sloppy and don't help at all a positive location of the flying surfaces. The wings are the worst part because too much incidence is forced so I filed away at least 1mm from the recesses in the fuselage to lower the leading edges. Whatever you do, big gaps appear everywhere so I finally added some 5 min epoxy glue in the biggest ones.




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@Adam Poultney @Col. @desert falcon thank you all for the kind comments!


Some more info on the kit woes: 🙄


I read a lot of comments stating that the wings have different thickness and the wing attachment points are at different heights. Well, I found none of those issues in my kit, maybe I corrected the second one without noticing while I struggled to obtain the correct wing incidence.

A less recurring problem is positioning the clear cockpit part. I tried to use the cutouts in the fuselage as reference points to place it exactly vertical before glueing the wings and tailplanes, but found the starboard one to be lower than the port one. This throws out of alignment also the cockpit windows line, so I added a thin plasticard shim (about 0,75 mm) to the starboard side. The joint was anyway very bad, as you can see from the amount of white filler in the above image.


Then there is the fin 🤨


Most obvious is the top line going towards the nose instead of  being level with the ground, many builders noticed that.

The fix is not too difficult, just some plasticard added to the front and some filler to smooth the lines.





More subtle is the anomaly with the fin chord.

I read very few comments about it so started to investigate better. 

First I compared the brand new Zvezda kit with a supposedly correct profile drawn by Jennings Heilig. Match is perfect, no surprise since he claims to have supplied Zvezda with a lot of references.




Then I compared the Zvezda kit with the Minicraft one and this last has a much bigger fin chord, at least 3 mm difference.

What confused me a lot is when I compared also the fin of the resin Authentic Airliners kit and found it identical to the Minicraft one!




Seeing that this method was inconclusive I searched for at least a couple of different images on the web where the photographer took the fin straight on, to reduce as much as possible any distortion.

I imported these images in Corel Draw and superimposed in different layers both, together with a scan of the Zvezda fin: they match nearly perfectly!


So, how does all this fall together now? My reasoning is that Minicraft failed completely to capture the right shape of the fin, then a lot of decal sheets appeared being out of necessity tailored to the wrong fin.

A few years ago we got the Authentic Airliners kit, a real gem as every other in the range, but probably they chose to supply a not so accurate fin to avoid issues with the available decals.


The bottom line to remember very well is that any decal sheet issued before the Zvezda kit which has a strict relationship with the fin shape WILL NOT FIT!

A good example is my Air Finland livery where the script and logo would be too big, so in a way I'm lucky to have the Minicraft kit! 🤣


Thank you for reading this far my ramblings!

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wow, she's making you work for it, but I like all your correction work, nicely done! :thumbsup:


That's not the first model to have sooo many issues, I've issues with decals & tails before (Tamiya F-14 and Hasegawa F-14 based decals!), it'd quite hard to get the proportions right with the tail logo if you correct the tail, so guess you are stuck with it. But overall it won't be noticeable.


Hopefully all your "correction" work is done. Looking forward to seeing colour on her.

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Hello, some more progress on this fight :hypnotised:


I tried to improve the look of the nose by adding filler to the cabin roof and vigorously sanding the nose tip to obtain a more pointed shape.

You can see the Authentic Airliner fuselage side by side for comparison. One feature nearly impossible to correct is the insufficient slope of the windscreen which would mean re-doing from scratch, this time the kit supplied item will need to suffice!











And finally paint is on, as per @trickyrich's request! :D

I had a much loved tin of Xtracolor Coroguard which unfortunately turned to a grainy goo, so this time I used Testors Metalizer Magnesium. I quite like it, a different metal hue but maybe even more appropriate for the 757 wings.

Now I'm perfecting the joint with the Zvezda engines before painting the metal leading edges.


Thanks for looking! 








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Thank you @reini, the paint hides everything but you know all the effort that went underside! 😉


I wrote before I was going to use for the first time Nazcadecals. Well, I just applied the tail decals since they are the most critical and I'm not really happy with the result  😡

I already used in the past laser decals from other brands and I know what to expect and all the problems with color transparency, but wasn't prepared to deal also with very stiff decal film!

All decal setting solutions were experimented, also DACO red brand, with no visible effect. In the end I had to use Tamiya extra thin cement to bend the edge around the fin cap, but this is quite extreme and surely cannot be used in other places.

After drying out I see a lot of lighter areas where air was trapped by poor adesion of the decal. Really bad.

Anyone can suggest a remedy for this? 





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I've heard some recommend using a cloth dampened with hot water to help bed a decal down into position but extreme care is needed with that method!

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  • 3 weeks later...

wow this build is really putting up a bit of a fight!!


For the decal issue, try using a needle on the affected area gently poke holes* in the decal, then cover that area with decal softening solution. leave for 20-30 seconds then use a damp cloth/peper towel (whatever you use for decal, just make sure it's damp. You may have to do this a couple of times but than should get rid of those annoying air pockets.


* I normally would say p r i c k holes in the decals... but the word filter used here changes that word to something completely different!!!! ie: gentleman's parts holes  :rofl2:

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You'd think I gave up the fight but no, I'm not beaten.

@trickyrich your advice is certainly very useful when the decal film shows some kind of reaction to softening solutions, unfortunately this is not the case 😡

@Col. this other method proved useful but, as you wrote, it's very risky and I learnt something for the future 😭 Will show you more once I take a good image of the result.


On a better side, I assembled and painted the Zvezda RR engines which are miles better than what Minicraft could have provided had I bought the right boxing.

See below all the details included for the exhaust section.




Having said that, I think they are quite overengineered and the benefit of the separate intake ducting is greatly diminished by the split construction of parts D19 & D20.




Once assembled it is very difficult to hide the joint because of a subtle S-shape of the duct: maybe it's there in the real intake but in my opinion it is a useless feature that makes the assembly unnecessarily tricky.

I finally solved with many contorsions of sandpaper.




Then I had to change the mountings on the wings because the Minicraft kit is obviously different, so I removed the tabs supplied and replaced them with short pins.




Not only that, but the leading edge shape is also different being more blunt and thick: I applied a glob of tamiya filler on the front of the pilon and dry fitted to the wings with some sellotape to protect the wing surface.

Once dried I shaped the filler obtaining a more or less correct fairing.




You can see here the decals are on: more images will follow soon.


Thanks for looking!

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Best wishes to all and your families!

I found under the Christmas tree a GB extension and it is very much welcome, since the latest progress in construction was not easy.


@CliffB: yes, but I got some scars too! 

As you can see I managed to settle down the decal on the fin, but the heat treatment has some drawbacks: next time I will pay attention and use a microfibre cloth which won't leave a visible texture as it happened this time. Also, there is a bit of discoloration which can ruin everything if too visible.




Again on the decals, for some reason the registrations changed over time from light blue to black and obiously I had the wrong ones for summer 2006...

Since I already had to print my own 'Livingston' sticker I added the black versions too.

You'll notice also some oddities in the sheet, since there is a black antiglare panel (can't see a use for this livery) and an upper wing registration which I think has been dropped for a long time on all commercial planes. The detail sheet is nice to look at but I could not locate many items comparing with images of the real aircraft, while some are missing like the engine pilon grilles or the overfuselage red cut panels.




Here are the Zvezda engine completed: very nice really.




I tried to refine a bit the front undercarriage which is very complex on the 757, not a great deal but still some improvement over the basic part.




And then we come to the really bad news. You will remember I didn't agree with the comments on asimmetries of the airframe.... 

I was wrong 😭

The trailing edges are at differing heights throwing out of alignment the u/c attachment points.









And here is the result. Several curses and work on the left main followed.




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