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An-124

Revell 1/144 An-124 Ruslan Kit First Look

By Stephen Sutton

Date of Review January 2006 Manufacturer Revell
Subject An-124 Ruslan Scale 1/144
Kit Number 4221 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Accurate Engines and Interior Cons  
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $32.99

First Look

An-124
An-124
An-124
An-124
An-124
An-124
An-124
An-124
An-124
An-124

The Antonov An-124 was developed as a strategic long-range military transporter for the Soviet armed forces. This is Russia’s answer to the United States C-5A/B Galaxy cargo transport. It is the largest series produced aircraft in the world to date and is only exceeded by its six-engined stretched version “An-225 Mriya” which had been designed as a carrier for the Soviet spaces shuttle Buran but never went into series production.

Since its first flight on 26 December 1982, the An-124 has established quite a series of records of payloads carried. The second prototype was designated “Ruslan” after the giant in one of Alexander Pushkin’s works. Noteworthy construction characteristics are the nose that can be opened upwards and the large cargo doors in the rear, which enables the aircraft to be unloaded and loaded at the same time. In order to facilitate loading in the front, the nose wheel can literally “kneel down”.

The 24-wheel undercarriage allows the aircraft to use less well-developed runways. In addition to the huge cargo section, the An-124 provides optional seating for up to 88 passengers on the upper deck. While only few aircraft were delivered directly to the Soviet air force, the then Aeroflot airline received quite a number of An-124-100s for the transport of heavy goods for civilian use. Mainly however, they were used for the transport of military cargo for the Soviet armed forces.

After the break-up of the Soviet Union and its division into numerous republics, Aeroflot’s fleet, too was shared up among these new states. While most aircraft are now being flown by the new Aeroflot Volga-Dnepr and Russian Polet, some aircraft were delivered to the Antonov design bureau in the Ukraine. With the An-124 cargo aircraft being virtually without any competitors, there is also a great demand for it by western companies and armed forces, the German Bundeswehr being one of them. Also, An-124-100s flew for other airlines for some time, additionally carrying those airlines names. One of the first airlines to use them was the England-based cargo airlines “Heavy Lift” which also used the short Belfast for ferrying heavy goods. These aircraft still fly missions for the Russian military today.

The kit contains parts for 5 different options. The box is jammed with over 150 white plastic parts, and one tree with clear parts. No flash or sink marks can be found in the kit. The surface details have finely recessed panel lines.

The interior includes a detailed cockpit for a crew of 6, decals are provided for the instrument panels.

The cargo compartment walls and panels are present with very crisp details and included are 2 cranes and ladders.

A separate nose section is provided with nose ramp that can be built in open or closed positions.

The rear loading area with individual hatches, the rear loading ramp segments can also be built in different positions.

The undercarriage has 24 landing wheels with detailed landing gear bays and doors, and the landing gear can be built in normal down or in the kneeling position.

Four detailed ZMBK Progress D-18T engine assemblies are also included.

Separate navigation light lenses for the wings, antenna and pitot tube are included.

Super large decal sheet for 4 versions:

  • An-124-100s chartered by Heavy-Lift
  • An-124-100 of Volga-Dnepr
  • Aeroflot, Polyet Cargo Airlines
  • Russian Air Force

You’ll spend just as much time decaling this baby, as you would building it. The instructions are a 28-page booklet with very detailed color call outs and painting instructions for 5 different versions. This kit is highly recommended, why not get 2 kits and build the An-225 Mriya.

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