Minicraft 1/144 C-18A US Air Force Kit First Look
|Date of Review||February 2010||Manufacturer||Minicraft|
|Subject||C-18A US Air Force||Scale||1/144|
|Kit Number||14594||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Beautiful kit||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$30.95|
The Boeing 707 was America's first jet-powered airliner and would become the backbone of international air travel for many global airlines. It was only natural that the aircraft would find its way into military service, initially as one of the Presidential fleet VC-137s, and later as the E-3 Sentry. As the 707 was being retired out of airline service, many more were acquired initially as parts to upgrade the smaller KC-135 with the larger 707 tails and TF-33-type fan jet engines, then as whole airframes as the E-8 JSTARS and as a number of other special purpose aircraft.
The 707 was a unique configuration as it was a four-engined transport certified for extended operations over water. If it lost an engine, it could easily reach land on three. This was the reason the airframe was popular for special missions - four engines mean up to eight generators and the aircraft was cheaper to operate that the only other four-engined option of the time - the Boeing 747. Now that confidence is being built-up with these newer generation of twin-engined intercontinental airliner, more special mission duties are falling to the twins such as the P-8 Posiden from the 737, the Wedgetail AWACS also on the 737, the Japanese AWACS on the 767, and many more. For those who are still old school or need the extra engines for the generator capabilities, there are still 747s out there plus the Airbus A340 and the huge A380.
Minicraft has released the C-18 Sentry in 1/144 scale with this release representing the latest version of the 707 airframe in this scale. As with the others in this series, the tooling is laid out nicely for easy assembly.
The instructions indicate that you'll need 1/2 ounce of ballast in the nose to allow the model to sit on its nose gear. If you put the cockpit enclosure on last, you can adjust the ballast as needed to keep the model from being a tail-sitter.
The kit features nicely detailed landing gear should you want to display your aircraft on the ground but you do have provisions in the kit to build the kit gear-up.
Markings are provided the following options:
- C-18A, 10895, CMMCA, AFSC, USAF, late 1980s
- 707, 86005, AFMC, USAF, 1997
- 707, 19996, NATO AEW Force, 1990
This is a nice kit that will go together quickly and provide a colorful addition to your scale flightline. This is another nice installment in Minicraft's growing line of 1/144 scale aircraft.
My sincere thanks to Minicraft for this review sample!