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1/200 Hasegawa Airbus A300-B4 (1981) ++ Finished ++


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Hi all,

My entry will be this 1/200 scale, Hasegawa Airbus A300-B4 which, according to the instruction sheet, was first released in 1981.

 

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I bought my example a couple of years ago via eBay, and is an example of the first boxing.  The tatty box comes complete with its original £1.99 'Taylor & McKenna' price label.  This name meant nothing to me, but a quick Google revealed that Taylor & McKenna were a chain of model shops, which mainly operated in London and the Home Counties.  Some of you may remember them!  Apparently they were bought out by Beatties in 1987, so my kit is definitely a yuppie child of the 80s :coolio:.

 

Hasegawa almost single-handedly established the 1/200 scale for plastic airliner kits and I've made a few over the years.

This one runs true to form with nicely moulded parts.  I'm not anticipating any significant fit issues :).

 

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Clear parts are provided for the cockpit screen and a stand.  There's also a tube of glue.  I'll only be using the first of these.

 

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My second-hand example came with its original Singapore Airlines decals, plus a much more accomplished set of JAL decals from a 2003 re-issue of the kit.  I'll be filling in the cabin window holes on my model, so the JAL decal sheet will be great for replacing these.

 

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Separately, I've bought a set of Flightpath decals for a Laker Skytrain A300.  This is the scheme that I'll be using.

 

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A bit about the A300 (thanks to Wikipedia):

The A300 was Airbus's first airliner, with the protype flying in October 1972.  It established a number of 'firsts', including:

  • first twin-engine, wide-bodied airliner
  • first aircraft to achieve Extended Range Twin Operation (ETOPS), certification
  • first commercial aircraft to employ fly-by-wire for its control surfaces
  • first commercial aircraft to utilise structural composite materials

The A300 first entered service in 1974 (with Air France), and within 10 years of its official launch had captured 26% of market share (based on $ value).  This success formed the foundation of Airbus's subsequent development.

 

A bit about Sir Freddie Laker (again thanks to Wikipedia):

Sir Freddie Laker had a long and distinguished career in aviation which included the trading of second-hand aircraft (apparently the Berlin airlift was good to him), and the establishment of a number of airlines.  In 1966 he resigned as Managing Director of British United Airlines, in order to set up Laker Airlines.

 

Initially Laker Airlines operated charter flights from Gatwick, but in September 1977 Sir Freddie launched his Skytrain venture, being only the world's second long-haul, 'no frills' scheduled service (the first having been by Iceland's Loftleioir).  It operated between Gatwick and JFK.  Initially, Skytrain used DC-10s (Laker being first airline outside of North America to operate the type), and in its first year returned a profit of £2 million.  In 1978, Laker acquired three Airbus A300-B4s, making it the type's first UK customer.  Sadly, Laker Airlines was unable to weather the recession of the early 1980s and filed for bankruptcy on 5th February 1982.

 

Outside of aviation, Sir Freddie Laker's other great passion was horse racing and he was a well-respected owner.  The Laker Airlines red, white and black livery was derived from Sir Freddie's racing colours.

 

Cheers

 

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Nice choice Cliff . Nice choice of livery . You could fill the cabin widows with crystal clear .Will be watching this as I have the same kit which may make an appearance depending on time . Best of luck 

Martin H

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1 hour ago, Grandboof said:

Nice choice Cliff . Nice choice of livery . You could fill the cabin widows with crystal clear

 

Thanks Martin.  To be honest, I've never tried using crystal clear in 1/200.  My concern is that the thickness of the plastic may make the windows look at a bit clumsy?

The other consideration is that I've got a couple of display cases worth of 1/200 'liners and every single one of them has decal windows.  I'd hate this one not to match ;).

 

Of course, when the Hasegawa decals start to disintegrate (I've had it happen before), I may regret my decision to fill!

 

Cheers

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So cool!

 

I'd love to see a pic of your cases full of 1/200 airliners. I've got a case full of....unbuilt 1/200 airliners, haha! But I have finished about 5 or 6.

 

I had a chance to get this and an old DC-10 and like a twit i passed on it. Wish I hadn't!

 

looking forward to seeing this built!

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12 hours ago, JOCKNEY said:

Looks the business Cliff and the blast from the past Laker Airlines is truly iconic.

 

Cheers Pat

 

Thanks Pat.  Fingers crossed that the old Flightpath decals work OK.

 

9 hours ago, bianfuxia said:

I'd love to see a pic of your cases full of 1/200 airliners. I've got a case full of....unbuilt 1/200 airliners, haha! But I have finished about 5 or 6.

 

 

Thanks bianfuxia.  It's hard to photograph the cabinets, but here's my best effort ;)

 

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Just over 40 models and all but one are commercially produced diecasts! :tomato:

 

Over the years I built around a dozen kits as well, but when I rationalised to 'British built or owned', most had to go.  Many were Yugoslav subjects and have gone to a friend of mine's collection and a few I sold on eBay.  The latter was quite lucrative (built 1/200 stuff seems to sell quite well), but P&P was stressful.  Luckily all arrived with their new owners OK!  I've still got about a dozen 1/200 airliner kits left to build, of which this A300 is one.

 

Here's a picture of one of my previous Yugoslav builds - a Hasegawa DC-9, but with the fuselage cut down to -30 length.

 

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Cheers

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Morning all and this one is underway.

 

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The major parts required some minor tidying up, but now fit together nicely.

The weird construction in the foreground (which looks like a collection of gas cylinders), is actually the nose weight. The block of cylinders was made from six interlocking parts (like some kind of 3D puzzle). Good fun, but I've got no idea why things had to be so intricate :shrug:.

I'll be filling the cabin windows using epoxy putty which may alter the model's CoG, so I'll add some extra nose weight to be safe.

 

The surface detail is a mixture of fine raised panel lines and deep trenches around the moveable features (doors, flaps etc.).  I'll keep the trenches around the control surfaces, but everything else will have to go (the JAL decal sheet has some nice replacement doors on it).

 

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Cheers

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It's time for another update, as the filling is now all done and the fuselage/wings have been glued together.  The stabilisers have been left loose to help with painting.

 

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A tip I learnt from BritModeller is to drill small holes into key windows, in order to help with decal placement once the model's been painted.  I use a thin strip of masking tape to help get the holes at a consistent height.

 

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The kit's looking very Matchboxesque in its two-tone plastic and Hasegawa obviously had junior builders in mind when making this choice.  In addition, they provide two sets of tail markings: R4 & L4 if you're going to paint the tail, and R3 & L3 if you're not.

 

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Cheers

 

 

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13 hours ago, bianfuxia said:

That's a great tip about the holes to help with decal alignment.

 

I just wish I could remember who'd recommended it to me!

 

Meanwhile, it's taken a few boring prime/sand cycles but the fuselage is now fully primed in white.  In addition, I've started to add a few metallic details, starting with the NMF panels that surround the stabiliser mountings.  I've sprayed these Dark Aluminium, prior to masking and further coats of white.

 

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These panels actually form part of the kit's original Singapore Airlines decal sheet, but aren't very convincing.  Instead I've stuck masking tape to the back of the decal sheet and then cut round the panel decals to form a pair of masks.  It seems to have worked OK.

 

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Cheers

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Time for another update, as painting of the wings and fuselage is now complete.

 

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I've used Alclad products throughout - in addition to the metallics, the white and light grey are a couple of their primers.  These smooth up beautifully with Micromesh and can make an effective colour coat once glossed.

 

Decals next - a mix of anticipation and apprehension.  I've already scanned the sheets as a precaution and it should be possible to paint the cheatlines OK, should the decals fail!

 

Cheers

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Hi again.  A big sigh of relief here, as I've managed to get the Flightpath cheatline decals on without too much drama.

They performed impeccably, although inevitably they struggled to cope with the sharp curves of the nose.  

 

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As you can see, I ended up losing a few chunks out of the black stripe, but fortunately none from the red.  The black was relatively easy to touch in using well-thinned paint, but matching the red would have been harder.

 

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The cockpit windows are from the Hasegawa JAL sheet and also performed well. 

I'm more optimistic now about the cabin windows (which will be next) :)

 

Cheers

 

 

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21 hours ago, Jinxman said:

Very smart - 🙂

 

Thanks Jinxman.  Airliners fit naturally with my style of modelling - everything clean, neat and precise.  Definitely no entropy on my shelves!

 

13 hours ago, Lex77 said:

Nice one!

Seeing this one got me thinking i've got some 1/200 kits in the stash as well so probably will be joining this GB.

 

Thanks Lex.  I've just seen your DC-9 :thumbsup:

 

Cheers

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Windows and doors on now :)

 

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I'll probably take a break from the decals now and finish painting the engines and u/c.

 

Cheers

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On 3/13/2023 at 1:44 PM, AdrianMF said:

I had no idea Airbus went back to the 1970s. Every day is a school day! Also a very informative lesson in how to deal with airliner windows. Your finish is, as ever, looking immaculate!

 

Regards,

Adrian

 

Thanks Adrian.  I can remember my first flight in a 'fly by wire' Airbus and was nervous of the technology throughout (probably due to my experiences with PCs at the time).  Truth be told, I'm still happier in a Tiger Moth where you can actually see the physical control cables!

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21 hours ago, Grandboof said:

Looking very smart . 

Martin H

 

Thanks Martin.  I'm looking forward to getting it finished over the weekend ...

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  • CliffB changed the title to 1/200 Hasegawa Airbus A300-B4 (1981) ++ Finished ++

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