Zvezda 1/144 Tu-134A/B Civil Airliner Kit First Look
By Fotios Rouch
|Date of Review||April 2013||Manufacturer||Zvezda|
|Subject||Tu-134A/B Civil Airliner||Scale||1/144|
|Kit Number||7007||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nice exterior detailing||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$27.19|
The French Sud Aviation Caravelle made a great impact in the aviation industry in the 50's with its pioneering rear fuselage pylon mounted engines. So much so that United ordered 20 Caravelles for its fleet. Douglas followed with their own interpretation of this configuration with the DC-9, the UK followed with the BAC-111 and the Soviet Union followed after that with the Tu-134 in the early 60's.
The Tu-134 featured a sharper sweepback with its wings than either the Caravelle or the DC-9. It carried somewhere between 50 and 56 passengers depending on configuration. Later, the fuselage got lengthened by about two meters which increased the passenger count, it received an APU and got upgraded engines with thrust reversers and the Tu-134A entered airline service in 1970. The B entered service in 1980 with a solid nose now and a 96 passenger capacity.
The Tu-134 was certified to fly internationally and was sold to many different air carriers. Noise regulations took the plane out of circulation in Europe in 2002 but it was still flying in Russia. Aeroflot retired the Tu-134 at the end of 2007. The Tu-134 was a successful jet not only in the passenger role but in many different capacities ranging from a space shuttle working model, to an astronaut trainer, to a Blackjack trainer, crop surveyor, etc.
The Zvezda kit is molded in light gray styrene for the fuselage sprue and the wings sprue and in clear styrene for the cabin windows and windscreen. Zvezda has done a great job with the scribing of all the panel lines but also with the detail of the smaller parts such as engines faceplates, exhausts, engine cooling screens, wheels, landing gear struts, etc.
The clear cabin windows fit perfectly into the fuselage openings but it would take some serious skill to preserve them after painting and decal overlaying. The decals look pretty good but there are aftermarket options for those who want something different.
One item that brought back memories is the inclusion of a real to goodness display stand! I have not seen one of these since the Airfix and Matchbox days!
Markings are provided for two examples:
- Tu-134, 65694, Aeroflot
- Tu-134, 65085, Aeroflot
This subject has been released in this scale by Eastern Express, AZ Model and Bra.Z Models. The Zvezda kit is the best effort so far.