Hasegawa 1/200 McDonnell Douglas MD-11






Three JAL aircraft


Scott Van Aken




The Douglas DC-10 has had a long and sometimes rocky history. Initially plagued with structural problems that nearly cancelled the program, much of it due to suspect construction by the California plant, the DC-10 became a modest success and was eventually purchased by the USAF as its next generation tanker, the KC-10. After Douglas was purchased by McDonnell, a 'new' aircraft, the MD-11 was revealed to the world. Basically, it was still a DC-10, however improvements in avionics, engines, and aerodynamics resulted in a much improved aircraft. Fitted with state of the art equipment and improved interior design, the MD-11 has become a successful aircraft and sells well to those who need an aircraft that holds a lot of people, yet don't need a 747 sized airplane.



Here is another very nice Hasegawa 1/200 airliner kit. At first glance, you might think that this is just another boxing of their older DC-10 kit, however close examination of the parts shows a completely new airframe. Panel lines are engraved as is expected in today's kits, and are very well done. Not to say that all the DC-10 bits are gone as there are a couple of sprues of landing gear, engine pods and other common bits that are direct carry-overs from the older kit. Like all the Hasegawa airliners there are windows punched out on the fuselage. Frankly, I would rather they not be there. Most airliner modelers will fill these and sand them smooth. In addition, the kit instructions tell you to fill a number of them, and the decals include a full set of windows anyway. Hopefully, Hasegawa will eventually see the light as has Minicraft and Academy and provide these kits with windowless fuselages.

Anyway, as befits a Japanese company, this kit comes with JAL markings. Apparently JAL names all their MD-11s after Japanese birds and this kit offers three examples. There are also two other 'J-bird' kits that offer other examples. The decals appear to be quite well done and provide all the decals necessary to complete the bird of your choice. This is, I believe, the most recent paint scheme for JAL as the kit is marked as a 1995 release. As such, it is mostly white fuselage with grey lower portions and grey wings with dark grey corroguard sections. A pretty simple scheme that can be done by even a beginning airline modeler. If this kit goes together as well as their DC/KC-10 kits, the average modeler should have it up and running in less than 2 weeks.

The instruction sheet is also typical of Hasegawa a very well done. Color callouts are from the Gunze range. The instructions suggest decaling the fuselage and then adding the wings. I see no problem with that as these kits usually fit very well. As with the other airliners in this range there is a display stand that you may use should you choose. Building the kit wheels up may require a bit of work as the main gear doors are one piece and will not fully cover the wheel wells. The nose gear door, like the older DC-10 kit, is molded in the open position so some extra work will be required there as well if doing an in-flight presentation.

Overall it looks like another winner. Not sure of availability of aftermarket sheets, but would be surprised if none were on the market.


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