Minicraft 1/144 C-22C USAF Kit First Look
|Date of Review||December 2008||Manufacturer||Minicraft|
|Kit Number||14577||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Best styrene 727 'out there' in 1/144 scale||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$26.95|
The Boeing company wasn't the first with a jet-powered airliner, but it wasn't long before their Model 367-80 (Dash 80) was flying which led to two parallel production families, the 707 series for commercial operations and the C-135 series which gave the US Air Force its first jet-powered air-refueling platform. While the four-engined Boeing was the cornerstone of the company's new jet pedigree, it was the tri-jet 727 that was its first big hit.
Originally forecast for a total production run of 250 airframes, the 727 would remain in production for about 20 years with over 1800 built. The 727 was adopted by most of the world's airlines at one point or another, and while the type has been retired from US airline operations due to more stringent aging aircraft maintenance requirements, you'll still find 727s in smaller operations in the US and abroad. The USAF adopted a small number of 727s for military transport duties. A lone 727-30 became the C-22A, the 727-100 was designated as C-22B while the 727-200 became the C-22C.
We looked at one of Minicraft's earlier 727-200 releases in USPS markings (look here) earlier this year. Minicraft has since re-released this kit this time in USAF markings.
The kit is molded in white styrene and presented on three parts trees, plus a single tree in clear styrene with the cockpit 'cap'. Out of the box, the kit looks as good as the test shots did several years ago at one of the hobby shows, but there are evidently a few issues that need to be addressed:
- With some careful sanding/filing and dry-fitting, the aircraft will go together with minimal filler. The clear 'cap' might be a bit of a challenge depending on part shrinkage
- The number two intake is a bit on the narrow side but can be opened up with a drill bit
- The landing gear may need to be trimmed to achieve a proper height (Google some of the online builds for ideas) and the nosegear is definitely fragile and will require modifications to strengthen the strut
- None of the three engines have thrust reverser actuator fairings. This can be easily remedied with some strip styrene and a couple of good photos
The Scale Master decals are nicely done should you want to build this as the USAF C-22C.
Kits like this one are nice subjects, but not for their own sake, rather these models are simply blank canvases. Upon these canvases you can apply a wide variety of colors and marking to replicate any of the colorful liveries that have adorned these aircraft in their service with the world's airlines and air freight companies. The paints and aftermarket decals are out there. Go have some fun!