Zvezda 1/144 787-9 Dreamliner Kit First Look
|Date of Review
With the success of the 777 series, Boeing looked at the next evolution in airliner design. While Airbus pushed the huge A380 series with a passenger capability of more than 500, Boeing decided to push a different boundary, making a more efficient version of their 767 series. The resulting 787 Dreamliner was designed to be 20% more efficient in fuel consumption, lighter through the use of composites and electrically powered flight controls, and quieter through engine and aerodynamic advances. The first Dreamliner flight, a 787-8, took place in December 2009. Since that time, Boeing has developed the 787-9 which increases passenger capacity from about 242 to 290, and the 787-10 which further increases aircraft's length to accommodate about 330 passengers.
Zvezda continues to turn out some interesting kits as well as evolve their kit engineering capabilities. Here's one of their latest masterpieces, the 787-9 Dreamliner. Zvezda was the first kit manufacturer to produce the Dreamliner in kit form with their first release of the 787-8 in 1/144 back in 2009. Hasegawa followed suit with their 1/200 kit in 2012 and Doyusha would release their 787-8 in 1/144 the same year. Revell AG would offer a repackaged Zvezda 787-8 in 2011. Zvezda tooled the stretched fuselage to render this 787-9 kit in 2016, but it is only recently that this kit has become available in North America. Let's take a closer look:
The kit is molded in gray styrene and presented on five parts trees plus two parts for an optional in-flight display stand, and one tree of clear parts. Among the features and options in this kit:
- Simple construction
- Lower wing is one piece which also sets the at-rest dihedral
- Nicely detailed bypass fans in the engine face
- Detailed engine compressor and turbine faces
- Positionable landing gear
- Optional in-flight display stand
Markings are included for one example:
- 787-9, N787EX, Boeing Demonstrator
I'm not a fan of this kit's decals. The Boeing demonstrator color scheme is quite attractive to see but the decals to not provide the arrays of gray or light blue pinstripes that float above and below the sweeping white mid-fuselage stripe. Instead, the instructions provide some vague guidance to allow you to mask and pinstripe the scheme yourself. Fortunately, there are several aftermarket companies that produce decals for this kit with a variety of airliner liveries. Unfortunately, I haven't found anyone who has replicated the demonstrator scheme as depicted in this kit.
This is another impressive addition to the 1/144 scale flightline, and while some modelers may not consider 1/144 too seriously, I would dread giving up enough display shelf space for a larger scale model, especially given the size of this aircraft in this scale. As you can see on the box art, this kit is licensed by Boeing, and Zvezda has done a good job with this kit.