Revell 1/144 scale
RAAF Boeing 737
by Ray Seppala
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In late 2002 the Royal Australian Air
Force (RAAF) was ushered into a new era of VIP transport with the
arrival of 2 Boeing 737-7DT BBJ and 3 Bombardier Challenger 604
Corporate transport aircraft to be operated by No 34 Squadron. The BBJs
were obtained to fulfil the role of International Special Purpose
Transport, replacing the Falcon 900 and Boeing 707 on overseas and long
range VIP tasks.
With the issue of the Revell(G) Boeing 737-800 kit, the RAAF BBJ decal
sheet from Hawkeye Models and 737 winglets by both Braz and Hawkeye
Models it is now possible to reproduce the RAAF BBJ in 1/144 scale.
The Revell kit is packed with detail,
finely recess panel lines, detailed wheel wells, and landing gear
struts. Also included are a number of antenna and drain masts which are
mostly not included with other 1/144 kits, these items usually have to
be scratch built from card. The kit has been issued with KLM, Hapag Loyd
and Air Berlin decals. The latter kit also includes winglets (which look
to be too short compared to photos and aftermarket offerings).
The kit represents the -800 version of the Next Generation 737 and needs
surgery to reduce it in length to make it a -700/BBJ. The Hawkeye decal
sheet comes with instructions on how to shorten the fuselage. Another
source for the surgery and how much to remove is the Airliner Modelling
Digest at Yahoo Groups. The Files section contains conversion info on
the 737 and many other aircraft. You can also pose a question to the
1100 strong membership and someone will have the answer for you.
Well this was my first attempt at hacking up a fuselage, though it is
not noticeable in the photos some join areas are evident. I chopped and
then assemble each fuselage half. The danger here is that one half will
be longer than the other. Another method is to glue the fuselage halves
together and then cut. I thought my method worked OK but I will try the
other method next time. Keeping everything straight is the big concern.
After some putty, sanding and rescribing it was done.
The wings went together without fuss, then came time to add the wings
(with fuselage centre section) to the shortened fuselage. Being in the
usual rush I am in I slapped the assemblies together a resultant step
occurred between the fuselage and wing assembly near the forward wing
root. A bit of for thought and more test fitting may have prevented
this. Anyway I had to do some sanding and puttying to get rid of the
The engines assemble well. The only problem is the shape of the intake,
the nacelle seems to represent those found on earlier models of the 737
(-300/-400/-500) and is too flat at the base for a NG737. Replacement
resin versions are available from InFormation Parts but I just decided
to build up the bottom of the nacelles with putty and took some of the
bottom intake lip down with a file.
The winglets were the next trial. I used a set from Braz. I already had
these so I didnít require a set with the decal sheet from Hawkeye. I
glued them on with thick superglue. The problem was that every time I
handled the model I would bump the wingtip and off the winglet would
come! I can tell you that this model almost met with a bad accident a
few times. I must have re-glued the winglets (on both wings) about 10
times! Need less to say after I glued them the last time I left the
model for some time to pursue other projects. As a result of all the
gluing and filing the shape of the wingtip and winglet changed. A friend
suggested inserting short lengths of piano wire into predrilled holes in
the wingtip and winglet to give the joint more strength (thanks Todd). I
will try that on the NG737 I build.
The RAAF BBJ is fitted with some extra lumps, bumps and antennae, these
were manufactured from plastic card scraps.
dramas with the paint, I used Humbrol Gloss White, Testor's FS16440 grey
and SNJ and Testor's metalisers to complete the paint work.
Decals went on fine, as usual each of the
decals from the Hawkeye sheet had to be individually trimmed. They
settled down well and accept a lot of manipulation to get them in the
right place. White disks are provided as a backing to the roundels.
So all in all a good build and another Military VIP type for the
collection. I got all my reference photos from Airliners.net, a great
source for any civil or military modelling project.
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Page Created 13 April, 2004
10 May, 2004
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