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737-8 MAX

Zvezda 1/144 737-8 MAX Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review November 2018 Manufacturer Zvezda
Subject 737-8 MAX Scale 1/144
Kit Number 7026 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice detailing Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $32.99

First Look

737-8 MAX
737-8 MAX
737-8 MAX

The 737 was first 'regional jet' of the jet age. As the 707 (and DC-8) series became more common on the rosters of the major airlines, the focus was shifting toward an aircraft that was more economical on the less-traveled routes and the tri-engined 727 was born. Even then, the need for an aircraft that could operate out of smaller airports with a minimum of support, as well as operate on the shorter hops was envisioned. Boeing developed the 737 to answer these needs. Designed to reuse as much of the engineering from the 707 and 727 programs, the 737 is a twin-engined aircraft powered by the JT8D engine and initially came in two configurations - the 737-100 and the stretched 737-200. The next-generation 737 was powered by the CFM-56 engine, which would power the next two generations of the aircraft. This included the 737-300, -400, -500, which were, in turn, replaced by the 737-600, -700, -800, and -900. The newest generation coming online is the 737 MAX, which adds addition aerodynamic enhancements along with the new CFM LEAP 1B engine.

Zvezda continues to turn out some interesting kits as well as evolve their kit engineering capabilities. Here's one of their latest masterpieces, the 737-8 MAX, which becomes the first kit of the MAX series to be produced in kit form. Let's take a closer look:

The kit is molded in gray styrene and presented on four 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
  • New winglets for the MAX version
  • Nicely detailed bypass fans in the engine face
  • Detailed engine compressor and turbine faces
  • Distinctive LEAP fan shrouds
  • Positionable landing gear
  • Optional in-flight display stand

Markings are included for two examples:

  • 737-8 MAX, VQ-BJF, UTair
  • 737-8 MAX, VQ-BJH, UTair

If you're waiting for a version of this kit with your favorite airline represented, you may be waiting for a long time. While Zvezda provided UTair markings with their 737-800 release, this time they provided the distinctive company scheme for the MAX. These days, most western (especially US) airlines charge licensing fees for the privilege of advertising their airline. As if they're not popular enough with all of the passenger, pet, luggage, and other mishaps in the news. If you shop around however, you may find the markings you seek in the aftermarket and you're not paying the additional licensing fee that is added to the kit's price for a scheme you don't want anyway.

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.