Minicraft 1/144 DC-4




$18.99 MSRP


 One option


Scott Van Aken




The Douglas DC-4 was a natural follow-on to their hugely successful DC-3. The DC-4 was designed for longer distance flights, which not only meant fewer stops, but also gave it trans-Atlantic capabilities, even if it meant stopping in Iceland and/or Labrador during the trip to Europe. They were able to easily make the journey from San Francisco to Hawaii and thanks to their increased speed, were the final nail in the coffin of flying boats.

It was larger and held 44 passengers. The airlines liked what they saw and ordered 44 aircraft. However, the start of WWII put a screeching halt to their delivery and every one of these planes was taken over by the military and designated C-54. Production continued through-out the war, though nearly all were C-54 transport versions.

With the end of the war, many planes were surplus to what was needed and the airlines bought up these cheap ex-military planes. This had a detrimental effect on new production DC-4s and only 79 new-build planes were delivered before DC-4 production stopped in favor of the new DC-6.


Like many airliner enthusiasts, I have been awaiting a decent DC-4/C-54 for quite some time. I just like propliners and the DC-4 was one of the best. Minicraft have basically taken over the airliner market with their many different aircraft kits. Some have been lambasted for inaccuracies here and there, but since I'm not an expert on these planes, they have all looked pretty good to me. This particular kit is molded in white plastic and has engraved detailing that is really way over scale, but it is what is expected from kits nowadays.

There is no interior at all, which is not unexpected as many airliner kit builders would rather use decals to represent the windows in this scale anyway. The cockpit section is clear plastic and includes the surrounding sheet metal so that fairing it in place is simple. Frankly, since they kit comes with cockpit window decals, I wonder why they bothered with the clear parts. It would make molding much easier to just include those parts in the fuselage halves.

All these tricycle landing gear propliners are going to be tail heavy so you'll need nose weight. Minicraft have molded the nose gear a bit more sturdily than the prototype would have been and that is good. I've built the Heller DC-6 and broken the nose gear a number of times. This thicker nose gear will help keep it intact. No wheel well detail is provided and the engines are just representations, but in this scale, that is more than adequate.

Instructions are well done, though I'm not sure why a 707 is prominent on the first page! Painting info is provided in the construction sequences as needed. Just generic colors are provided, which is fine. Markings are given for one aircraft from Pan Am. These are superbly done and printed by Cartograf in Italy. They include the wing walk areas as well as the de-icer boots, so you don't have to paint those areas. Getting the nose decal in place properly will undoubtedly be a bit tricky, but from the look of the decals, it should work well.


I'm sure that this kit will do well. Propliners have always been popular and with this kit, nearly the full line of Douglas airliners is available from various producers.

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