Minicraft 1/144 Super G Constellation






Two Aircraft


Scott Van Aken


1998 issue


The Lockheed Constellation ("Connie") was a four engine  propeller-driven airliner built by Lockheed between 1943 and 1958 at its Burbank, California, USA, facility.  It was powered by the 3,250 hp Wright R-3350 18 cylinder radial engine. A total of 856 aircraft were produced in four models, all distinguished by a triple-tail design and dolphin-shaped fuselage. The Constellation was used as a civilian airliner and as a U.S. military air transport plane, seeing service in the Berlin Airlift. It was the presidential aircraft for U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower.


Minicraft is the darling of airliner modelers. They have committed themselves to providing what has been missing from the shelves for many years and have done a rather good job of it. They have issued a B.377 Stratocruiser, DC-6 and other propliners as well as the usual jetliners. Some of the early kits were, well, less than perfect, though they could be made into nice models. This one is somewhat newer so more was expected.

The kit itself is well molded and flash free. It is molded in a grey plastic (yeah, the sprue shot is blue, but the plastic is the same).  Overall detailing is fairly good, though a bit 'soft'. There is little detail on the wings or fuselage other than door, aileron/flap lines and nose cone. The engines are little more than representations, though in this scale, that isn't really that bad as the Connie's engines were close cowled.  The kit offers an optional nose, but provides no information on which markings option, if either, is germane to this bit.  You can build it with gear up, though that is not shown in the instructions nor is there a stand provided. You will need a lot of weight in the nose to keep this one from tail sitting, but there is lots of room.

The instructions are well done and show you any important paint requirements. Nothing fancy, but more than adequate to build the kit. All the paint information gives FS numbers where they are required. You have two decal options. One for the box art plane from TWA and the other is for Iberia Airlines. The decals are nicely printed by Necomisa of Mexico. Personally, I'd test these with a small marking not being used and if necessary, recoat the decals.  Both planes are white over natural metal with FS 16515 light grey wing walk areas. The black trim line for these will have to come from the spares box.  


I have heard that there are some minor shape problems with this kit, mostly around the nose, but really, most of use aren't that into it to pick these out. It offers the opportunity to build a nice Super Connie and if you don't like the kit markings, there are others out there.

November 2009

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