Fly Models DC-9-30

Fly Models DC-9-30

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

April 27th, 2018, 12:30 am #1

With last night's post of a really nice 10-series DC-9 from the Fly Models kit, here's my own just-completed build of the Series 30 kit:



This is one of the VC-9Cs that used to operate with the 89th Airlift Wing out of Andrews AFB, depicted more or less in the early '80s. Decals are mostly from the Liveries Unlimited VC-9C sheet, with pieces stolen from other sheets as needed. The blue on the decal looked off to me, so the blue sections are painted the proper BAC 5070 Blue (via Xtracolour). I love that paint scheme so I wanted to get it as correct as I could. The white sections are Tamiya White Primer polished out; the metal areas are Vallejo acrylic metal. The gray is my own FS 16515 mix.

The Fly kit offers a few advantages over the old Airfix kit - the lobe crease at cabin floor level (which looks a little too sharp to me), a nice and sharply-defined cockpit cab, recessed panel lines - but introduces some problems of its own. The fuselage on the -30 is slightly too long forward of the wing; the wing itself is much too thick; the nose gear well is too tiny; the engine pylons are too small, hold the engines too closely inboard on the wrong thrust angle, and make the engines sit too far aft; and the landing gear wheels are closer to MD-80 size than DC-9 size. There are also some smaller issues, but you kind of have to know where to look.

I fixed what I could - cutting a few millimeters out of the forward fuselage, sanding down the wing halves vac-form style, and building out the pylons according to some drawings I had on hand. Below you can see the pylons as built out. With those three fixes, that's most of the battle won.



I also added a few details, including the butterfly valve on the port side aft and improved thrust reverser fairings on the engines. The ones molded into the engine halves looked a little too much like ears to me. Replacement wheels came from my box of Airfix DC-9 parts. I know real DC-9s don't have big red and green light covers on the wingtips, but I didn't feel like carving out light recesses and putting clear sections in the wingtips on this one.



So there it is. It ain't perfect, but it makes a dandy shelf-sitter and is attractive at viewing distance, and I'm happy to have it completed. It's not my favorite DC-9 kit, as there's too much to fix for the price it commands (the old Airfix kit, simple but surprisingly accurate, remains your best value; if you really want a modern injection-molded DC-9, the new Eastern Express kit is a lot less hassle and costs only a little more than the Fly kit), but I was happy to turn this one into a finished model.

Jodie Peeler
"Competition brings out the best in products and the worst in people." - David Sarnoff
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Joined: July 29th, 2005, 2:12 pm

April 27th, 2018, 1:49 pm #2

Outstanding job, Jodie. Looks especially nice in those colors!

-Jeff Thomsen
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Joined: May 19th, 2013, 2:53 am

April 27th, 2018, 6:16 pm #3

Thanks, Jeff!

Jodie Peeler
"Competition brings out the best in products and the worst in people." - David Sarnoff
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Joined: July 7th, 2005, 12:09 pm

April 27th, 2018, 8:29 pm #4

Lovely model Jodie, cracking finish!

Must say though EE kits must be a lot cheaper where you are - their DC-9s are over twice the price of Fly kits in the UK! 

Keith
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Joined: April 20th, 2018, 10:12 am

April 27th, 2018, 11:13 pm #5

That is just outstanding, beautifully finished 😎😍
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Joined: March 6th, 2005, 3:23 am

April 28th, 2018, 3:54 am #6

Beautiful VC-9C.  
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Joined: March 29th, 2005, 10:41 pm

May 1st, 2018, 1:40 pm #7

Nice work, Jodie.
I remember reading your analysis of this kit back on Airliner Cafe a while back. I felt kinda crestfallen after i'd bought the FLY models DC-9 kit. Biggest thing about the model that bothered me were the engine pylons....and that was before i read your article.

Its amazing how good the Airfix DC-9 is, considering how positively antiquated it is by today's standards. Testament to the saying, "Just because its old, it doesn't mean its no good."

Thanks for posting.

-d-
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Joined: June 13th, 2010, 2:35 am

May 1st, 2018, 9:52 pm #8

Outstanding modeling work!
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Joined: May 19th, 2013, 2:53 am

May 2nd, 2018, 9:14 pm #9

HanmanRA5 wrote: Nice work, Jodie.
I remember reading your analysis of this kit back on Airliner Cafe a while back. I felt kinda crestfallen after i'd bought the FLY models DC-9 kit. Biggest thing about the model that bothered me were the engine pylons....and that was before i read your article.

Its amazing how good the Airfix DC-9 is, considering how positively antiquated it is by today's standards. Testament to the saying, "Just because its old, it doesn't mean its no good."

Thanks for posting.
Thanks for the compliments, but don't feel too bad about buying the Fly kit. It can be fixed and you can get a very nice model from it. It just takes a little more effort than you might like, but it's nothing beyond your means and I think you'll be happy with the result.

For my money the Airfix DC-9 is still one of the best deals in the airliner hobby, but it's too often written off because it's "old." It may be an old kit and it has some goofy things about it (those split engine pylons, for one), but they got the basics right and you can dress it up to your heart's content. And there's only been about 17,000,000 decals designed for the Airfix kit, too.

I'll post my full findings on Airliner Cafe when I finally get the other two DC-9s finished - I need to make a supply run first, and then I have to figure out what markings I want the Eastern Express kit to wear. There's more to come, so stay tuned.

To all of you who have commented on this thread, thanks for looking in, and thanks very much for your many kindnesses.

Jodie Peeler
"Competition brings out the best in products and the worst in people." - David Sarnoff
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Joined: February 26th, 2005, 11:38 pm

May 3rd, 2018, 5:20 pm #10

Beautiful, Jodie! I look forward to your findings.

Ben
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