I’ve had these couple of Zvezda 1/144 Airbus A.321s in the works for a while. They are made more or less straight from the box and by now I reckon I’ve figured out their little quirks so that they are not hard to make. The main trouble comes with the slats and flaps that are designed to be shown in three different positions but don’t fit so well when you want to fit them how they spend most of their time, up and clean. Apart from that these are excellent kits and portray what an A.321 should look like very nicely.
Jetstar has four or so A.321s in its fleet in addition to a lot of A.320s. Hawkeye make very nice decals for two different liveries of the A.320 and it is not too hard to convert one of them into decals for the A.321. Because this airliner is longer you need more windows to go alongside the fuselage and a longer orange belly. I bought two of the Hawkeye sets to provide the additional windows and for the orange belly but it turned out that it was easier to mask and paint the orange section rather than to use the decals. The other problem was that the doors of this aeroplane are outlined in white but the Hawkeye decals don’t provide then. Eventually I solved this problem by using the door decals from an Ascension decal set for Air New Zealand all black A.321. The mica silver comes from a Tamiya rattle can and looks very nice.
I was keen to include a Qantas Link A.320 in my set but decals for it are not yet available, so I was delighted to see that Ascensio (a Russian company) have produced decals for the Australia Post A.321 freighter flown by Qantas Freight. The freighter version is simple to make, simply fill in and smooth the fuselage windows and place a small stip of semi-round card in exactly the right place on the fuselage top to replicate the hinge for the large freight door in the fuselage side. Apart from that, making this kit is fairly routine but the result is rather spectacular.
Here is one of those Anigrand ‘bonus’ kits, this one came with the Anigrand 1/144 Republic XF-12 kit and is not terribly well detailed. However it is probably the best kit of the Northrop F-15 Reporter that there will ever be in 1/144. Only a few of these aeroplanes were made so there is little option for colour schemes, which is a pity because I decided to try a new construction technique with this kit and it didn’t work very well, resulting in some unexpected lumps and bumps which the bare metal finish shows off very well.
Earlier this year I wrote about modelling the Grumman F8F Bearcat and mentioned that a Hobby Boss kit of the F8F-1 was due any day. It has now arrived and it is an excellent though simplee kit of this lovely little aeroplane. Print Scale have published a decal set to go with it that includes decals for all the air forces which flew this aeroplane and I chose the Armee de l’Air version for this model.
From the Time Vault
Back around 1980 the French kit maker Heller was at the height of its powers, making excellent kits of popular subjects but also some oddities. Their 1978 release that included kits of the tiny Bachem Ba349 Natter and the Fiesler Fi103R Reichenberg aircraft demonstrated the quality and quirky nature of their kits. I made these two models around 1981, they have been re-released under a couple of imprints and are well worth chasing up.
This little Airfix 1/72 Messerchmitt-Bolkow-Blohm Bo-105 helicopter is so old and obscure that even Scalemates (for source of all knowledge about kits) doesn’t list it. This kit came to me in the old Airfix blister pack and I made it in 1983. It is not one of the high points in my modelling career but it still looks cute.