It’s been a couple of months since my last entry on the models I’ve made so I’ve been able to get some more airliner models made. They seem to be fairly time consuming, perhaps because there is so much masking associated with most airliners and it takes time to get myself motivated to do it.
First, a couple of New Zealand Airbus A.320s. Kiwi International started up in 1994 as a cut-price New Zealand airline offering cheap fares including on routes across the Tasman Sea to Australia. It started running scheduled services after a year using several airliner types, ending up Airbus A.320s. It was out of business by the end of 1996 because Air New Zealand had set up its own budget airline, Freedom Air, to drive Kiwi out of business. After it had dealt with Kiwi, Freedom Air stayed flying until 2006 when it was absorbed back into Air New Zealand.
This Revell 1/144 Airbus A.320 appears in the livery of Kiwi International thanks to Oldmodels decals. It is a very nice sheet though I think the stylized kiwi on the tail is probably a bit too small. The kit wingtip fins are far too small and were replaced by aftermarket ones. Apart from that there is nothing remarkable about this model.
Oldmodels offer sheets for Freedom Air A.320s which are probably very nice, judging by other Oldmodels decals I’ve used. However, I already had the Draw Decals set so I decided to use it, and felt few ill effects as a result. The instruction sheet says to use Tamiys TS-47 for the fuselage yellow and TS-15 for the tail, which looks pretty good to me. In making this model I used aftermarket metal undercarriage part for the first time. I am not a great fan of spending money on parts which look little better than the plastic parts in the kit, but the nose undercarriage has to be fitted at the stage in the assembly process of joining the fuselage halves together and is very fragile, so the nosewheel legs had not survived handling during the rest of the model making process for all my previous A.320s. The metal nosewheel leg I used this time survived all kinds of abuse, so I will be using them for the rest of these A.320s.
The PAS Decals resin 1/144 kit of the Airbus A.310 is probably more accurate than the Revell kit, if you can find a copy without paying a small fortune for one on ebay. However, it is not easy to put together and even liberating the parts from their casting blocks is manual labour. I don’t recall why I bought this expensive kit, but since I could not find a sucker to buy it from me, and I already had FedEx decals for an A.310, I cast caution to the wind and made it. It has not been one of my most enjoyable model making experiences.
I thought I’d made all the Revell 1/144 Fokker 100s I needed to make until I happened to be looking at Ric Warcup’s Facebook page and saw that he offered decals for a couple of relatively rare operators in Australia. Flight West was launched in Queensland in 1987 but went into liquidation in 2001 (it was sold to the parent company of Alliance Airlines, which Ric Warcup also offers decals for, of which more later). There is nothing exceptional about making this model except that the Warcup wing marking decals do not fit the wings comfortably so I used kit decals instead. Like the Revell A.320s mentioned above, the nose undercarriage looks nice and accurate but is also has little strength as a result, so I had to find something a bit more sturdy in my spares box after I accidentally destroyed the kit nose undercarriage.
I’ve written separately about mis-making this Welsh Models 1/144 Boeing KC-135A. It is a vacform and white metal kit, which would pose all kinds of problems for a modeller not experienced in these media so perhaps the simpler Minicraft kits would suit most people. Despite it’s problems, it doesn’t look too bad.
Here are two I made earlier.
This is the venerable Airfix/MPC 1/72 Dornier Do17F. So far as I am aware this is the only F model available, the other Do17s I’ve seen have been the Do17Z with the radial engines. I have a memory of finding this kit at the back of a shop in Honolulu when Valma and I visited the United States in 1974, the decals may have come with the kit but the transparencies come from the Falcon vacformed set for Luftwaffe bombers that is, I assume, no longer available. (The lesson, buy things when you see them because you never know when they will be sold out.)
Here is another of my set of BAC Lightnings, mostly made from the Trumpeter kit. This Lightning F.6 used the kit decals for XR753 flying with No 23 Squadron, RAF, around 1970.