1/144 NAMC YS-11
Olympic Airlines circa 1970s
A little history
The YS-11 was Japans first attempt at a Passenger Turboprop
aircraft. It was built by NAMC (Nihon Aeroplane Manufacturing Company) and first
flew August 30 1962. There were 182 examples of this aircraft that saw service
in 13 countries including Greece, Canada and the USA to mention a few.
The kit I used for this project was made by Hasegawa around
1997. The kit can still be found occasionally at shops or model shows for around
5-15 dollars. It came with Japanese Maritime Safety Agency decals which I quickly
sent to the spares box as I had other plans. I selected a decal sheet by Liveries
Unlimited for Olympic Airlines (sheet #A4-121). Of course as with many Liveries
Unlimited decals, long out of production and hard to find.
Starting with construction I basically built it following the
instructions and of course adding some nose weight.
Generally I used Testors liquid cement and filled gaps with Cyanocrylate (super)
glue. Generally it was a very fun build. Only problem areas were mounting the
engines on the wings as there were difficult seams to fix. I used squadron green
putty to fill the gaps around the engines. Then I used Gunze Mr. Surfacer to
prime these areas to show imperfections. I ended up having to go over these
seams a few times with filler and various wet sandings to make smooth unblemished
For the landing gear bays I did add some sheet card to block
off open areas. I cut off all of the kit aerials and added my own made from
sheet card. I primed the whole model with Mr Surfacer white (Lacquer) and fixed
For the painting process I used Tamiya Pure White (lacquer
spray can). The bare metal areas were masked off and sprayed with Alclad 2 Highly
Polished Aluminum. The landing gear got the same Alclad treatment. The propellers
were painted with Alclad and I brush painted the yellow tips
As usual the Liveries decals were top notch silk screened that
gave no problems. Unfortunately I messed up the black walk way decals and couldn?t
find any replacements. I left off the deicing boots on the propellers which
I will apply later. The decals were applied as I normally would. That?s
using Solvaset to get the decal the painted on look.I do caution those who haven?t
used it before as it is the most power decal setting solution so use with care.
Now I decided to try a different clear coat. I used a Satin finish by Polyscale.
It airbrushed on very smooth though I found it a little dull. Next time I?ll
try their semi Gloss.
The wire aerials were added using invisible thread that I found
years ago in a sewing shop. Superglue held them in place and I applied a drop
of accelerator to dry the glue quickly while I held the aerials tight.
The rotating beacons and nav lights were made using sequins
with a Waldron punch and die set. Then colored clear lenses were fashioned out
of clear sprue and attached with white glue.
See my article (Making your own MV Lenses or Beacons) here
in the Caf?.
I decided to add static dischargers using the invisible thread
and glued on with white glue. They were then painted black.
The landing gear was glued on with 5 minute epoxy to give time
to properly align the gear and aircraft. The gear doors were then glued on with
To sum it up it was a very fun little model that makes an easy
build. The only thing with this project was references. I couldn?t find
very many pictures of this aircraft in Olympic colors and there isn?t
much out there in print that I could find.
I?m sure I will build another of these little gems in
Member Comments :
||comment by: Slow modeler posted on 03-28-2005
That is beautiful model! I love it!
||comment by: skippiebg posted on 03-31-2005
A wonderful kit enhanced by a very fine build! Thank you for the pleasure you gave me reading it.
||comment by: Andrew posted on 04-01-2005
Thank you for your comments.
||comment by: CPsarras posted on 04-15-2005
Sharp looking model Andrew, and it reminds of of the many flights I had on these while in Greece (I grew up there but live here now). My first ever plane flight was on SX-BBR when I was 7 years old (1970), and it was quite the experience. Unfortunately SX-BBR was later lost with all pax in 76.
Anyway, here are some links, albeit a bit late (I just joined).
One thing you may want to add is the plane name in the nose under the cockpit. It was in Greek on the left and in English on the right, and it was an island name. The earlier delivery YS-11 did not have them, but it was added to the later ones and retroactively to the earlier as well. Unfortunately, I cannot remember SX-BBM's name, but you could use any of the ones in the included links. I make my own decals, and if you are interested, I can send you decals with the name I use.
I'm also planning on building this model at some time, I already have the kit and decals purchased (a couple of years ago!), I just need the find the time
Great job Andrew. You reminded me of some very pleasant memories
||comment by: Ted Johnston posted on 08-24-2005
Very Nice! You have sparked an interest to build one of these!