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Boeing 727 Airliner

Atlantis Model Company 1/96 Boeing 727 Airliner Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2020 Manufacturer Atlantis Model Company
Subject Boeing 727 Airliner Scale 1/96
Kit Number A351 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Welcome return of a classic subject Cons See text
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $24.95

First Look

Boeing 727 Airliner
Boeing 727 Airliner

After the great commercial success of the Boeing 707 airliner and the slightly smaller KC-135 Stratotanker, the airlines wanted a smaller aircraft to operate on shorter routes and smaller airfields. While each airline had differing requirements on how such an aircraft would be configured, Boeing was able to gain consensus on a three-engine design that would support overwater operations while having the engines mounted higher on the airframe to reduce the risk of foreign object damage. Like the 707, the 727 was a great success and was in service with many airlines around the world with over 1,800 examples produced.

Aurora produced several airliner kits during its operations including the 1/72 737-100, 1/72 DC-9-10, and this 1/96 727-100. While it is a shame that this kit didn't share the same 1/72 scale as the other two kits, this was produced back in the days of 'box scale' where kits were sized to fit within standardized retail boxes. Despite the odd scale, this kit is still larger and has great potential compared to the 'standard'-sized kits in 1/144. Molded in white styrene, this kit is presented on five parts trees plus fuselage halves, and (in my kit) two windscreens molded in clear. The kit can be displayed on a stand (not included, but the slot is there under the fuselage) and it also has landing gear to sit on your shelf (or wherever).

The surface of the model provides details for the slats and flaps, as well as doors on the fuselage. If you want to display this model on a stand, I'd recommend the Polar Lights Universal Dome Base available in different sizes and plug the holes under the fuselage and wings where the landing gear is supposed to mount. As you would imagine for a kit that was first released in the early 1960s, the details are basic, and not that there is much to do to bring this kit up to date, but find photos of the subject you're planning to build to see what you might be missing. Things to look for include thrust reverser fairings on the engine nacelles, tail skid, antennas, etc. If you're really up for a little scratch-building, you can add wheel wells and stretch the gear struts to reach up inside those wells.

The kit provides nice decals for two subjects:

  • 727-25, N8107N, Eastern Airlines
  • 727-31, N850TW, TWA

Both of the subjects above are of the shorter -100 configuration. If you want to build the longer -200 version of this kit, you'll need two kits. The 727-200 had 10-foot extensions added to the fuselage, 10 feet ahead of the wing and 10 feet behind. In 1/96 scale, you'll need to cut these extensions out of one fuselage at 1.25 inches per extension and insert them into the other fuselage. I'm planning to build a -100 using the kit's TWA markings, then build the -200 and combine the decals and a little surgery for the stretched Eastern Airlines example, with changes to the N-number to match the aircraft I'm building. In Eastern's case, they had bare metal fuselages as well as white fuselages, all with the same two-tone blue stripes as provided in the kit decals. Eastern's nickname for their 727s was 'Whisperjet' which is ironic as the 727 was one of the few aircraft that couldn't be adequately modified to meet noise standards around the globe and was retired as one of the loudest commercial airliners (I think Concorde and the BAC-111 were much louder).

My sincere thanks to Atlantis Model Company for this review sample!