Revell 1/144 Boeing 727-100 "Europa-Jet"
This is a 1982 German release of Revell's venerable 727-100 kit from
1964. The original issue date was 40 (!) years ago this year. Since I
can distinctly remember when this kit first appeared on Woolworth's shelves
in the American Airlines 'Lightning Bolt' scheme I must officially qualify
as an olde phart. The kit has been released with numerous different airline
markings in virtually every country where Revell in its heyday ever had
a factory - I can think of Mexico, Brazil, Great Britain, and Japan at
least and I'm sure there are others I've forgotten.
issued in a silver plastic this example is molded in white but is otherwise
unchanged from the first release out of Venice, California. There's some
flash on the 51 parts (including two for the display stand) but the tooling
had stood up well to this point, especially considering how much molten
plastic was forced through its cavities. I suspect that there must have
been more than one set of molds - if not this was some very well-travelled
Typical of Revell's airliner kits, the model follows their usual strange
practice of semi-recessed passenger cabin windows but open cockpit windows
with no clear parts to fill them. The landing gear and engines are fairly
well detailed but the gear wells are far too shallow and completely devoid
of any detail. There's absolutely no representation at all of the 'S'
leading to the number two engine and the assembly breakdown of the fuselage-mounted
engines makes smoothing the internal intake and exhaust seams a very difficult
and awkward job. In contrast, unfortunately, to petite surface detail
on most of its other airliners Revell represented the panel lines and
rivets with excessively coarse raised detail, worse even than in the companion
707 kit. On the plus side it outscores Airfix's effort, the only other
1/144 scale 727-100 kit, in the area of outline accuracy (especially in
the nose), has the wing fences correctly represented on the leading rather
than the trailing edge, and thankfully doesn't have Airfix's separate
and ill-fitting passenger doors.
The decals are typical Revell-Germany of the era; pre-yellowed for your
enjoyment, matte finished,
and probably stiff and unusable even when brand new; very reminiscent
of Heller decals. I certainly wouldn't want to even attempt applying that
huge one-piece decal to the tail, a much better option would be to use
either Revell's or Xtracolor's Lufthansa blue to paint both that area
and the cheat line.
This kit, while old, isn't especially rare since so many copies were
made and should be readily available on the secondary market at a reasonable
price if you're not concerned with which markings are included. For the
time being it's the best choice in 1/144 and I recommend it for that reason
alone. Looking to the future however, Minicraft is very close to releasing
a completely new-tool 727-200 kit that's reputed to be equal to or better
in quality than the best of their current airliners and I'm crossing my
fingers that they'll follow with a -100 some time later.
Till next month, "Build what YOU like, the way YOU want to",
and be sure to visit Al's
Place while you're surfing the 'Net!