Airliners, classic airliners...kits and such (my first post here :-) )

Joined: May 8th, 2018, 6:24 pm

May 15th, 2018, 9:44 am #1

I've taken to watching some airliner videos on Youtube, especially older videos from the golden age of passenger air travel.  I  LOVE THAT 1970's  Southwest commercial for one where the 737 roars over head of the  cough, cough, sexy looking stewardess. 😉 But  I love seeing the older jets and props. Seeing well dressed and well mannered passengers, flight crews and stewardesses makes me so want to go back in time flying on such  airliners in the 1960's and 70's.

 BUT! what I like most are  the GREAT and IMO most TIMELESS paint liveries. The modern paint liveries in general just lack that visual  joy and classic style, colours of these  great old planes. I really like Air Canada's classic red and white  livery and  more so love CP Air's Orange colour livery.  Eastern, Pan Am, United,  TWA, American, BRANIF, B.O.A.C  and others  all looked so good  too and  I do not know why modern  liveries   just do not seem to look as good  and timeless in  general... THOUGHTS ON SUCH ANYONE?

Also any favorite plastic  air liner kits you all like, I'm pretty  weak on airliner kits and quality as such.

Joined: July 29th, 2005, 2:12 pm

May 15th, 2018, 2:36 pm #2

Me too, Gordon. The old liveries were beautiful and I'm really into nostalgia these days (as I get older).

Here are some websites that might give you ideas. You can get decals for just about any airline livery, and the newer photo-style windows really will make all the difference.

Not knowing what scale you'd prefer makes it difficult to suggest kits. Most build in 1/144 scale, but there's a huge variation in quality among available kits. Some of my favorites are the Minicraft DC-8, Daco/Skyline 737-300, and Revell (newer) Constellation. There are also some very nice kits of newer generation airliners by Revell Germany and Zvezda (mostly Airbus and newer Boeing subjects). Some of the old Airfix 1/144 series, though lacking finesse, had fairly accurate shapes and could be made into gems. In 1/72 the Revell DC-4/C-54 is a beauty. Authentic Airliners makes excellent resin kits in both scales but they are pricey. 

Here's an airliner enthusiast website you might like:

Lots of info there.

Hoping this helps!

-Jeff Thomsen
Last edited by rjefft2001 on May 16th, 2018, 3:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: May 19th, 2013, 2:53 am

May 15th, 2018, 5:59 pm #3

Seconding the recommendation of Airliner Cafe. There are a lot of good people there who will help (although don't let yourself get too bogged down by some of the more nit-picky debates that will take place). 

For those entering the airliner end of the hobby, Minicraft's 737s and MD-80s are easy to build, reasonably accurate and have plenty of markings options for them (and since the Minicraft 737s are second-generation 737s you can get in on some of the colorful liveries of the '80s). For propliners you can't go wrong with the Minicraft DC-4, which is just plain nice. Minicraft's airliners are hit-and-miss but those three are solid choices.

The Airfix DC-9-30 is incredibly common and can be had inexpensively, but it remains a very nice kit and very easy to build even though the tool's probably older than I am. There are about 18,000 decals available for that kit. Newer issues sometimes have warped parts so look for an older release of it. The Airfix 737-200 isn't quite as accurate but still produces a very satisfying model when you're done, and there's about 18,000 decals out there for it as well.

Daco's 737-300/400/500 are great kits, if you want to get a little more complex (although they're still easy to build, and give you a more accurate model than the Minicraft 737s). If you ever want to go ultra-modern, the Zvezda 737-800 is one of the best airliner kits I've ever built and is an absolute pleasure to put together. Authentic Airliners makes are some of the best kits you can get and aren't complicated to build, but they are expensive.

A few years ago Aaron Skinner wrote a book about building model airliners, and it was published by Kalmbach as part of the FineScale Modeler series of books. He pretty much covers everything you'd need to really get going on modeling commercial aircraft and I really recommend it.

Good luck and have fun!

Jodie Peeler
"Competition brings out the best in products and the worst in people." - David Sarnoff

Joined: March 29th, 2005, 10:41 pm

May 16th, 2018, 3:39 pm #4

Hi Gordon,

I too really like the early paint schemes on jets. Maybe it's nostalgia, bringing back childhood memories of what airline travel is SUPPOSED  to be like. Aircraft of the day had much more variety. Today's jetliners can be mostly described as two-engined shiny tubes that become indistinguishable outside of a couple miles away.

Jeff Thomsen and Jodie Peeler are both experts in this field, and you cannot go wrong with the recommendations from either. Bradd Shinn and Tom Kalina are two more experts worth seeking out.

I second the endorsement for the Minicraft DC-8, and two more airliners that are worth considering are the RODEN 720B and Super VC-10. Some of Rodens earlier airliners were problematical builds, but they are getting better with each release. Authentic Airliners models are the last word in accuracy, but of course that comes at a price. RODEN has a Convair 340/440 in development and i think Minicraft still has a Convair 580 in the works, so better stuff is on the way.

Attached are some photos of the 720B and DC-8, built by Steve Bakke. Have fun!

720H 005.JPG
SB DC8-62 015.jpg