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Minicraft 1/144 Iron Maiden 757


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I was so inspired by Alex's recent build of the Minicraft DC-4 that I resolved to dive into my own stash of airliner kits and try to get some built. This is part of a loose goal I have to finish a kit every month during 2021; naturally, I'll have to focus on shelf-of-doom projects and relatively straightforward builds like this one if I'm to stand a chance of achieving that goal! It does help that my stash of 1/144 scale airliner kits is relatively healthy.

 

Now, onto this build, which features the much-maligned Minicraft 1/144 scale Boeing 757-200 kit:

 

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Apparently it has loads of problems, but for this build I've decided not to care, as I'm dying to use these decals on it:

 

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They look unclear because they have a protective sheet stapled over the top of them, which I've elected to leave in place until I need to use them. I bought these many years ago from a fellow calling himself "babibi model", but they're basically home printed. This livery is available from other (possibly better) sources these days, but I'm going with what I have. There's no painting guide with the decals, so I'll have to refer to photos for that, but hopefully it'll be pretty straightforward - which is, after all, the point of the project!

 

Many airliner models are moulded in white plastic for some reason, and Minicraft is especially fond of doing this. This plastic has an issue with translucency, so whenever I come across this situation, the first thing I do is paint the insides of the fuselage halves in flat black:

 

IkRDtR.jpg

 

This provides some pretty effective light blocking, and the main benefit of that is that you require less paint on the outside of the model to achieve the same result. Here's a demonstration of the problem, and the effectiveness of the solution:

 

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Note that I seldom bother giving the wings this kind of treatment.

 

I tend to prefer decals for windows in this scale, as they provide a better scale effect, and I don't have to worry about alignment issues with other elements of the livery. It also makes the build go quicker, so the only thing I needed to do before closing up the fuselage halves is add some weight to the nose. My method might surprise you! See below:

 

After having multiple problems with using lead weights in combination with CA glue to attach them (everything from the weights breaking loose to nasty thermo-chemical reactions melting the plastic and discolouring the paint work), I found myself experimenting Blu-tack, of all things. It turned out to be remarkably effective, with more reliability than CA and none of its problems.

 

Take a healthy section of Blu-Tack and press it into the inside of the forward fuselage, and then press into that some lead weights of the appropriate size and shape - I'm using fishing sinkers in this example:

 

qagO4a.jpg

 

You'll note the length of Blu-Tack trailing out to the rear; this is to wrap around the exposed portions of the weights, and performs 2 functions: firstly, it secures them more firmly and prevents any movement; and secondly, it encases the lead so that it can't negatively interact with any of the surrounding material:

 

s4Y9ap.jpg

 

Now all you have to do is repeat the process with the other fuselage half, and you're good to go:

 

NH3w4v.jpg

 

If done properly, this absolutely won't move, and won't cause any thermo-chemical issues, either immediately or down the track. The breakdown of this kit allows me to leave the cockpit/windscreen section off until I'm happy that there's enough weight in there. It's also very easy to add more if I decide I need to.

 

OK, that's it for now! I'm giving myself until the end of February to get this one done, and will be starting a number of other airliner projects in parallel, so that I've always got something I can work on, that doesn't trigger the foetal position! (For January, I'm trying to get either the Tiger Moth or my stalled Buchon conversion finished.)

 

More soon. Thanks for checking in!

 

Kev

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I actually have another set of Iron Maiden 757 decals, featuring the Final Frontier tour livery (by V1 Decals). This will be destined for the Welsh Models 757 kit I have in the stash - provided it fits! I also have Revell's Iron Maiden boxing of their 747-400 kit, so I'm looking forward to tackling that once I have the room to display it!

 

Kev

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A great project and it's great to see some airliners getting some love on here!

 

The Minicraft kit does get a bad press but in my experience builds easily - main construction can be done in a matter of hours (no pressure ;))

 

Does the boxing you have come with both engine options? I'm pretty sure the Iron Maiden 757 was RR RB211 powered but Northwest had PW engines I believe..?

 

All the best,

Tom

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39 minutes ago, tomprobert said:

Does the boxing you have come with both engine options? I'm pretty sure the Iron Maiden 757 was RR RB211 powered but Northwest had PW engines I believe..?

 

Oh damn! I never think about things like that, and to be honest, can't even tell the difference most of the time. There's only one set of engines in the box, and according to the kit instructions, they're P&W PW2043 turbofans. So, once again, I'm in a bind!

 

I do have the fuselage and wings together already, though.

 

Kev

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3 hours ago, LSP_Kevin said:

 

Oh damn! I never think about things like that, and to be honest, can't even tell the difference most of the time. There's only one set of engines in the box, and according to the kit instructions, they're P&W PW2043 turbofans. So, once again, I'm in a bind!

 

I do have the fuselage and wings together already, though.

 

Kev

There are aftermarket options available - Braz and Welsh models both do RB211s. Or you could just build it as is, confident in the knowledge that non-airliner geeks will never know ;)

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Not necessarily on-point, but I see once again that the artist bungled the depiction of both the engine axis and inlet ellipse. I saw a radial engined kit the other day that was a pure joke in that regard. The engine, as depicted, was probably a good 20° to 30° out of alignment with the axis of the aircraft itself.

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So this one has stalled already, while I try to obtain some correct RB211 engines (RB211-535E4, to be exact). I'm hoping a friend can find some spares for me, otherwise I'll purchase a BraZ aftermarket set. I've also noticed that the wing trailing edges on this thing are wildly thick, so I'll have to spend some time attending to those, unfortunately. Hopefully there won't be much more tricky work involved than that!

 

Kev

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2 hours ago, LSP_K2 said:

The RR engines are considerably different than what I'm familiar with on the L-1011. But it seems like you have it sorted, so that's cool.

 

Not yet, but I'll purchase the BraZ ones if I need to. There's just be a bit of a wait for them, I'd imagine.

 

Kev

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7 minutes ago, LSP_Kevin said:

 

Not yet, but I'll purchase the BraZ ones if I need to. There's just be a bit of a wait for them, I'd imagine.

 

Kev

 

I ordered some resin wheels/tires from BNA a couple of days ago. I'm not expecting them any time soon either.

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Just now, LSP_K2 said:

 

I ordered some resin wheels/tires from BNA a couple of days ago. I'm not expecting them any time soon either.

 

I wish BNA had what I needed, as they're just across town from me! Received an order from them just a couple of days ago, actually.

 

Kev

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I'm pleased to report that the correct engines arrived today from my friend Ray Seppala, who had them spare from another boxing of the kit. They're already assembled in partially primed, so he's saved me some trouble! Hopefully I'll have an update with photos soon.

 

Kev

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