Vintage Flyer 200-185, 1/200 Wien Air Alaska B.737-200
PRICE: $12.50
KIT: Hasegawa or Revell/Matchbox
UNITS: 1 option

Wien Air Alaska was an airline that served remote communities in Alaska, USA, up until 1985. For some of those routes to oil drilling facilities, the Boeing 737-200C with gravel kit was the only plane that could get people and equipment in and out of the gravel airstrips. A gravel kit is an awesome device which allows a 737-200 to land on a gravel strip - it has a "vortex dissipator" which basically blows bleed air into the area in front of the plane's intakes, breaking up the sucking power of the whirlwind there and preventing the engines inhaling all those pebbles. A gravel kit also has a special adaptor, not unlike those skis for landing on snow, which prevents the nose wheel kicking up stones onto the plane's belly.

This is a cool little decal sheet from an outfit called Vintage Flyer Decals. I'd never heard of it but found it after googling around for decals for my 1/200 737-200 from Revell. VFD gave me great service. His selection is pretty esoteric but comes in all scales.

You get a decal sheet, which includes cabin windows and three different options for your cockpit windows, and decals for the cargo doors including the large fueslage side door on the "combi" -200C variant of 737 flown by Wien. On top of that there's a colour diagram showing you the decal placement and colours, and on the flipside (not pictured) it shows you how to use the provided masks. 

The picture shows a large yellow thing beneath the decal - that's a paint mask that comes with the kit. In between is a colour chip to help you mix up the right colour for the tail. It's just a coincidence that the masks are a similar colour to the ochre tail.

All in all this is a neat little set. I haven't tried it, so I can't vouch for actual use, but I look forward to giving it a go. (scroll down a bit for pics of a Wien Alaska plane with gravel kit)

Richard F

July 2015

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