|PRICE:||$25.00 or so|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Includes resin and photo etched parts|
The Boeing 757 is an American narrow-body airliner that was designed and built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. The then-named 7N7, a twinjet successor for the 727 (a trijet), received its first orders in August 1978. The prototype completed its maiden flight on February 19, 1982 and it was FAA certified on December 21, 1982. Eastern Air Lines placed the original 757-200 in commercial service on January 1, 1983. A package freighter (PF) variant entered service in September 1987 and a combi model in September 1988. The stretched 757-300 was launched in September 1996 and began service in March 1999. After 1,050 had been built for 54 customers, production ended in October 2004, while Boeing offered the largest 737 NG variants as a successor. The largest operator of the type is Delta Airlines with 127 examples.
Up until a few years back, if you wanted a fairly modern airliner, you were fairly limited to getting a Minicraft kit. There were short run and vac builders, but for a mainstream kit, it was Minicraft. That changed when Zvezda got into the act. Their kits are very nicely molded and they are apparently accurate in shape, something that one could not always say about Minicraft. The 757 is not a small aircraft, even in 1/144 and its 32 centimeter length will take up quite a bit of space on your display shelf.
Zvezda has chosen to go the Airfix route when it comes to cabin windows by making them separate items molded open on the fuselage halves. While there are lots of clear bits gang molded, it does mean that the fuselage needs to be pre-painted or a fairly extensive masking set will be required. Some prefer a smooth fuselage and decals to use for windows. This makes sense in that not all aircraft had the same window arrangement and decals are less work.
This kit provides a cockpit that consists of a floor, bulkhead, seats, and controls, though not much of this will actually be seen through the windows. The nose gear well attaches to the bottom of this. 10 grams is required for nose weight to sit on the nose gear. I found it interesting that one will need to cut all the clear pieces to fit them into the windows. Unlike many kits, the windscreen is a separate item that is not molded in with the forward upper fuselage.
The wings are a loser section and two uppers. If using the display stand, you'll have to cut a slot. The aircraft on the box art uses winglets, but if you are using aftermarket decals to model a plane that doesn't have them, then you'll find a set of standard wing tips. Once the wings and stabs are attached the engines are next.
The sprues include both Rolls Royce and G.E. engines, the RR ones used with the kit decals. It is nice that both types are included. I really like that there is a separate cowling nose piece so no worries about having a clean forward engine. Landing gear are nicely detailed and you are provided separate gear doors for the gear up option. As I mentioned, you do have a hefty display stand, which is nice to see included.
Instructions are a single folded sheet which is fairly minimalist compared to other companies, but is quite adequate to build the kit. A separate painting and decal sheet is provided and uses Zvezda and Tamiya paints. The single option is an IcelandAir plane in its recent scheme with blue fin, lower fuselage and winglets. Upper fuselage is white. The engine cowlings are yellow while. Wings and tailplanes are in Boeing Grey. Leading edges are in unpainted metal. Two decal sheets are provided, one for the wing walkway areas and the other for the main livery. A nice addition are a couple of paint color rectangles to help with painting.
A few years back, I built the Minicraft kit of this plane. A look into the reviews section indicates that the fit as less than perfect and I'm really hoping for this one to do better. Not jazzed about the separate windows as I prefer a smooth fuselge and decals, but there it is. I do like that it comes with a stand as I sometimes use these when doing airliners. One thing for sure, the price is right and I expect it to make into a very nice model.
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