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Lockheed C-140A JetStar

Roden 1/144 Lockheed C-140A JetStar Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2014 Manufacturer Roden
Subject Lockheed C-140A JetStar Scale 1/144
Kit Number 0316 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Unique subject now in plastic Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $24.99

First Look

Lockheed C-140A JetStar
Lockheed C-140A JetStar
Lockheed C-140A JetStar

The Lockheed model L-329 JetStar was a business jet designed in the 1950s to serve customers that needed a larger platform. It was powered by four Pratt & Whitney JT12A-8 engines which gave a unique safety margin for flight operations. With normal twin-engined business jets, when you lose an engine, you've lost half of your power and in the 1950s and 1960s, these engines didn't have much reserve power available. With the JetStar, you've only lost 25% of your power and have sufficient power even with full fuel to safely return to the ground.

The US Air Force purchased five JetStar I aircraft, designated as C-140A in 1959 to provide flight inspection duties. These were followed by five C-140B and six VC-140B airframes. Even though Lockheed had developed the JetStar II with more fuel efficient turbofan engines to replace the JetStar I's turbojets, the Air Force gradually replaced the JetStars with Gulfstreams.

Here's a nice kit from Roden in 1/144 scale, the first time I've seen the JetStar in styrene. This kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on four parts trees plus one tree of clear parts. As you'd expect for a business jet in this scale, the kit is simple and qill be a quick build.

The cockpit transparency is produced as a cap similar to the approach used by Minicraft which makes it nice to glue and fill the parts without harming the cockpit windows themselves. Unlike Minicraft, this kit also provides the main cabin windows as clear parts rather than decals.

Markings are provided for the final C-140A produced for the US Air Force, 59-5962 wearing a Europe I camouflage scheme and subdued markings.

This is another nice release from Roden and will fill another gap in the scale flightline history!

My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order for this review sample!