Revell Lockheed Electra
Here's another of Revell's classic airliner kits, this time unfortunately to about 1/110 "fit the box" scale which makes it incompatible with any constant scale airliner collection.
The kit contains 48 parts molded in silver plastic including a bogus two piece tail support (missing from my example but it's no great loss) and a mounting ball for the display base, plus three clear parts and a metal ring for the famous Revell swiveling stand. Control surfaces and flap lines are finely recessed while finely raised detail is used to represent rivets and most major panel lines. Strangely enough, and common to almost all of Revell's jetliner kits of the 60s, the windscreen is molded open but there is no clear part to depict the glass and the passenger windows are only partly recessed rather than being completely open. Landing gear is simple and sturdy with overly thick gear doors and the typically shallow gear wells but entirely adequate for the scale and acceptable for all but the most fastidious.
Catering to the "action" features popular at the time, Revell included rolling wheels and spinning props. Thankfully the props look all right if one carefully glues them to the spinners and forgoes the toy option. Passenger and crew doors are separate, allowing the builder to glue them in the open position to display a completely empty fuselage interior! Fortunately, they fit quite well in the closed position, as do the gear doors - a welcome option for those who like to display their models "in flight". This is a very tempting proposition if, like me, you're nuts about the Revell swivel stands.
My kit is very smooth and cleanly molded with virtually no flash and very fine mold parting lines on the detail parts. The instructions are excellent; very clear and with color call outs throughout. The decal sheet appears to be of very high quality and mine would probably be usable after being bleached out in sunlight. Testors orange in the small bottle is a good match for the decal color.
The only problem I can see with building this model is deciding how to do the windows and windscreen so that they're consistent. Either the passenger window indentations will have to opened the rest of the way through or they and the windscreen need to both be filled in and replaced with decal windows. Otherwise this is an outstanding kit other than the unusual scale, and is certainly much more accurate than the recent (and very disappointing) Minicraft 1/144 scale Electra.
Sadly the Electra suffered some mishaps during its early service and was rapidly eclipsed by pure turbojet powered airliners, leaving Revell to suffer poor sales of the model. In an effort to recoup their losses the tooling was modified to produce an inaccurate P-3 Orion so a reissue of this great old kit is out of the question. Because of this the kit is definitely a keeper despite its odd scale and any airliner fan that runs across one should snap it up if the price is anywhere near reasonable.
See you all again next month with another yet golden oldie from Revell's halcyon days. Till then, model on and "Build what YOU like, the way YOU want to."
Be sure to visit Al's Place while you're surfing the 'Net!