Revell 1/450 Boeing 747-200
KIT #: 03999
PRICE: $6.00
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Spiros Pendedekas
NOTES: 1974 Heller tooling


The Boeing 747 is a large, four-engined, long-range wide-body airliner manufactured between 1968 and 2023.The first flight took place on February 9, 1969, earning certification in December of that year. Entering service with Pan Am on January 22, 1970, the rest is history. It was the first airplane called a "Jumbo Jet" as the first wide-body airliner.

With a ten-abreast economy seating, it typically accommodates 366 passengers in three travel classes. It has a pronounced 37.5° wing sweep, easily allowing a Mach 0.85 cruise speed. Its heavy weight is distinctively supported by four main landing gear legs, each with a four-wheel bogie. The partial double-deck aircraft was designed with a raised cockpit so it could be converted to a freighter airplane by installing a front cargo door, as it was initially thought that it would eventually be superseded by supersonic transports.

A total of 1,574 (including prototype) have been built.


This kit was first manufactured by Heller in 1974, then reboxed another nine times from Heller itself, Lodella, Blue Ribbon Collectors Series (lovelily bagged, just like old times) and Revell (in two versions, “standalone” and “Model Set”, the latter including paints, glue and paintbrush). The specific kit is the Revell “standalone” version, bought for a mere $6 from a vendor during a model show/contest that took place in March 2023 in my hometown, Chalkis, Greece.

The kit comes in a small side opening “Revell style” blue box of good quality, carrying a nice box art of a KLM 747. Upon opening the box, I was greeted with 22 white styrene pieces, arranged in two equally sized sprues. Molding is definitely old school, with raised panel lines that are vastly off scale (in fact, given the minuscule 1/450 scale, maybe totally sanding away panel lines may seem more “correct”). A good amount of flash is evident and will have to be cleaned off.

Apart from the main parts’ seemingly correct general shapes, there are no other details to speak of. The engines are very simplified, not even featuring a hollowed compressor face. Landing gear is absolutely toy-ish and there are neither wheel bays nor doors. Of course, most of the above “simplifications” can be somehow justified by the kit’s small scale and mold origins.

There are no transparencies to speak off, all glazing having to be replicated by decals. Instructions come in the form of a double folded A2 paper, featuring a short history of the type, a parts diagram, with the simple construction spread in 6 very clear steps.

Only one, very charming KLM scheme is provided, with two alternate registrations. Colors are given in Revell codes, but also in generic form. Decals are superbly printed, presumably by Cartograf, promising to significantly boost the looks of the completed model.

Instructions want you to first join the fuselage halves, trapping 5 grams of weight in the nose, then assemble and attach the aerodynamic surfaces, engines and wheels, ending a build that could not be simpler.

Considering the Lilliputian 1/450 scale, maybe sanding off all panel lines might produce a more scale-correct effect. In addition, totally omitting the landing gear and filling the holes, going for a gear-up configuration might also contribute to departing from the kits toy-ish looks, only leaving the very simplified engine faces compromising the image.

This is a diminutive scale basic kit of the iconic airliner. While general shapes of fuselage and aerodynamic surfaces look correct, the engines’ faces are bland and the landing gear is toy-ish. On the other hand, the decal sheet is supreme and the construction is totally uncomplicated. Out of the box, a nice, small representation of the Jumbo jet will emerge.
Whereas a respectable number of “airliner” modelers will not consider buying, let alone tackling this kit, due not only to its odd scale, but also to its (at areas) oversimplifications, the plain fact is that this elderly fellow is a sweet little kit which, with some extra effort, will produce a fine desktop model.

Perhaps most importantly, this kit, offered at a very low price, is an excellent candidate for offering it to a youngster and, why not, building it together, introducing him to the magic world of modeling.

Happy Modeling!

Spiros Pendedekas

April 2023

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