KIT: Glencoe 1/126 Convair 880
KIT #: 05502
PRICE: $9.99 when new
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


When the jet age reached the airline industry, Convair was sort of left out of things. Boeing was first in the US with the 707, followed soon after by Douglas and the DC-8. Convair had considerable success with its short range 240/340/440 airliners, but wanted to play with the big boys and that meant a four engine jet with continental range.

Not wanting to follow directly in the heels of these other guys, Convair decided to be faster than the others. To that means, it built its 880 a bit smaller than the others, but with the same or more powerful engines. The result was an aircraft that was able to beat the Boeing and Douglas aircraft. However, faster didn't sell as well as Convair had hoped and while they did sell quite a few to many US and foreign carriers, the 880 and later 990 didn't meet the expectations of Convair and it was their last foray into the large airliner market.


This particular kit is merely an older kit that Glencoe has obtained the rights to and stuck in their box with new instructions and vastly improved decals. I'm not sure whose kit this was, but it is an oldie. All of the detail is raised and there are no clear parts. In fact, parts count in total is somewhat minimal. There is no engine intake compressor that you normally see on similar models. It looks like it would be easy to build this with the wheels up if you had a stand to use. In fact, many who build airliners feel that the only way to properly display an airliner kit is on a stand. Typical of most Glencoe kits I've bought, this one had most of the parts already detached from the sprues and languishing in the bottom of the bag!

Instructions are basically five construction steps. No color information is provided during the building, but it does state that 1/4 oz of weight is needed to prevent tail sitting. Decals are probably the highlight of this kit. They are Scalemaster and superbly printed, offering two liveries. Both aircraft are natural metal with white-topped fuselage and white fin/stabilizers. Im sure that the center of the wings was also in corroguard, but that is not indicated. Liveries provided are TWA in the old 'twin worlds' scheme and SwissAir with the red tipped fin. It would have been nice if Glencoe had provided cockpit windows as a decal for those who would like to fill in the cockpit windows and have decals for all the 'clear' parts.


To my knowledge, this is about it when it comes to models of the Convair 880, unless Revell did one way back when. The kit is currently (2004) out of production, but they are not impossible to find. The odd scale may turn off some modelers, but it is basically 'box scale' or what would fit into a standard box, a normal way of doing things in the 50s and 60s. Thanks to the few parts, it should be pretty easy to build and will be something different from the norm.

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