Home  |  What's New  |  Features  |  Gallery  |  Reviews  |  Reference  |  Forum  |  Search

Varig Boeing 767

by Lee Coll


Varig Boeing 767

HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron




What motivates modelers to start a particular project ranges from the predictable attraction towards things dear and familiar to the spontaneous satisfaction of random whims. For this project, it was a bit of both, as I have recently become enthusiastic towards airliner subjects, and with a chance encounter fingering through boxes of decal sheets at Phil’s in Dallas, it was indeed a whim that led me to choose the subject described in the following feature.

Varig Boeing 767
1/200 Hasegawa kit 10135
Liveries Unlimited Sheet A2-091 (Varig 767s)
Liveries Unlimited Sheet A2-G04 (Coroguard Panels for 767s)
Braz Models Engine set BZ2KG26 (GE CF-80 engines)

I was already familiar with Liveries Unlimited fine selection of airliner decals, and in fact was searching Phil’s inventory to supplement several –737 projects I’d planned. When Sheet No. A2-091 was encountered, I knew vary little about Varig and didn’t even own a 767 kit.

The artwork, packaging, and quality of images was typical of Jennings’ line, and this subject fit in with my leanings towards what modeling friends have called “your fixation on stark, utilitarian schemes.” White over Deep Blue. Whatever.





A 1/200 airliner model has very few parts.

Hasegawa’s kit is an excellent molding, providing accurate shapes for the –300 version I’d selected as my subject. Even in 1/200 scale however, they do provide plenty of little holes in the fuselage that are supposed to represent windows. Since not all carriers configure their interior layout identically, a few manufacturers, most notably Minicraft, have entered the new millennium with the fuselage windows provided as decals. Nearly all aftermarket decal manufacturers provide exacting window configurations in both 1/200 and 1/144, the two most popular airliner scales.


The most time consuming portion of construction was filling these window holes. I covered the outer fuselage halves with transparent tape and dribbled medium-viscosity CA into each hole from the inside. I sprayed some accelerator onto this and added more super-glue to build up a thickness. An hour later, as I peeled off the tape, the results were inferior to what I’d expected. Virtually every other window had little pockets of oily, uncured CA that resulted in lots of filling from the outside. I hadn’t intended to do a lot of sanding on the outer fuselage surface, but as it ended up, by the time I’d fixed every little hole, I’d managed to reduce the adjacent panel lines significantly. Some rescribing was necessary, but eventual surface preparation and painting reduced all the panel lines to near-invisibilty.

The cockpit “bulkhead” that accommodates a metal screw (for a nose weight) was sandwiched between both fuselage halves. My advice is to add some additional weight beyond what the kit provides. I took measurements and made notes of the location of various antennae along the fuselage seams, cutting each off, and saving the blade-type aerials for later re-installation.

The wings went together without any problems and at this stage, before painting was initiated, these were test fitted to the fuselage to make sure alignment and gaps could be dealt with before finishing.

Another archaic feature was evident when addressing the engines provided with the kit. Most contemporary kits nowadays eliminate the internal nacelle seams by offering a ring-style forward nacelle. It would behoove Hasegawa and Revell of Germany to pay those mold designers a bit of overtime to engineer the nuisances out of their intakes, but there are alternatives such as those provided by Braz Models of Italy, who just happened to have a nice resin set for the B-767 in 1/200 scale. While the surface texture (especially the rear pylons) is not as crisp as Hasegawa’s parts, the fan face is fine, and there’s no seam to deal with. These went together easily although I slightly mis-aligned the front of one of the engines – there is a “top” that is slightly forward of the lower inlet.





After I was satisfied with the seamwork and had sanded the surface down with 600 wet-and-dry, I primed the fuselage, wings, and engines with Mr. Surfacer-1000 from the spray can (B-505). I really prefer this over the white Mr. Surfacer or Tamiya primers, as it’s easier to see your mistakes with the gray primer. The wings were easiest, but the fuselage took multiple applications after sanding each coat nearly back down to the plastic. As the upper fuselage would be white, I did use the MS-1000 white primer (B-511), again from a spray can as the final pre-coat before dealing with (quickly avert your eyes!) gloss white.

The nicest gloss white finishes I’d seen recently result from application of Tamiya Pure White (TS-26) in the spray can. I applied a mist coat and waited 10 minutes before covering the entire fuselage nearly to the point of “wet coat” application. This was allowed to dry overnight, and I wet sanded it with 1200 through 4000 grit MicroMesh sanding cloths, rinsed and allow it to dry. The next day I sprayed another coat of white and repeated the process. It took two more applications to apply just enough paint to allow the pigment density to adequately cover the fuselage.



The wings were no problem to paint, with Testor’s Canadian Voodoo Grey used for the Boeing Grey common to most wings. The leading edges were treated with Alclad Stainless Steel.

The masking of the fuselage to expose only the tail was straightforward with the use of thin strips of Tamiya masking tape, backed up with wider adjacent sections. The demarcation between the upper white and the lower blue slowed the process down a bit. Not only did it have to be clean, neat, and at the same elevation around the entire lower portion of the plane, but it also had to accommodate Varig’s “elongated cheat line” marking supplied with the Liveries Unlimited decal sheet.

The elevation was easy to determine; it is just about the center of the airfoil shape of the wings. To mark this line, I placed the fuselage on a flat surface (I use a machinist’s standard surface) and measured up to the point where the line would be from that surface. I used a spare chunk of Ren-Shape and drilled a hole that would allow a sharpened pencil lead to be inserted at that height from the bottom of the block. I was then able to lightly mark the line at the same elevation around the fuselage, and lay the edge of the masking tape here before spraying the lower fuselage Testor’s Blue Angels Blue. The nose and aft sections were masked to the line with multiple widths of tape cut carefully through the appropriate ellipses template. It took one coat only to cover, and a few touch-ups with a brush were necessary to get it just right after the tape was removed.



The wings and fuselage were mated, aligned, and a coat of Future was applied prior to the application of the decals.





I was in the home stretch at this point. Yeah, right. While the Liveries Unlimited decals are very thorough, with excellent image printing and registration, the sheet I’d started with had carrier film so thin that I had an extremely difficult time placing and aligning the windows on the fuselage. After fighting through the port side, I chose to section the strips into no more than 10 windows at a time to manage and control their placement. The most frustrating thing was the tendency for each decal to fold back under itself as it was being coaxed off the backing sheet. I ending up losing one of the elegant script “Brasil” logos and ordered another sheet from Airline Hobby Supply to complete the project. Lo and behold, the second sheet behaved nothing like the first – each transfer slid off the sheet without any fuss.

I also took the opportunity to order the Coroguard panels for this aircraft, also from Liveries Unlimited, that offer the gray Coroguard inspar areas as decals, which preclude the modeler from having to paint these on. The nacelles were then attached with CA after the Coroguard decal was scraped out of the slot that accepted the rear pylons. As the Braz replacement nacelles don’t have a guide pin to insert in the wing slot, I found one engine about a 10th of an inch ahead of the other. I eventually fixed it by detaching and repositioning it, trimming part of the pylon near the leading edge of the wing.





I believe only I could make such a seemingly simple project extend into months. The results however are close to what I’d set out to accomplish, despite how long it took. The combination of having a nice base kit to start from, with excellent aftermarket decals and resin engines, has provided the mix of modeling satisfaction and challenge most of us rely upon to obtain enjoyment from the hobby. I would encourage all modelers to follow a whim now and then; the results achieved here have been satisfying.



Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2003 by Lee Coll
Page Created 21 July, 2003
Last Updated 17 March, 2004

Back to HyperScale Main Page