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Andrew Forster shows us what he noticed when he got his hands on the new Minicraft DC-8 kit.
Author: Andrew Forster
Submitted by: Andrew   Date: 01-01-2006
Comments: (7)  

Minicraft 1/144 Delta Airlines DC-8-71
A First look

This long awaited kit was a big surprise to me after much disappointment with previous Minicraft kits. I must say that Minicraft raised the standard with this DC-8 kit! It is just incredible. I found it comparable to Tamiya and Hasegawa kits and fairly priced at $ 41.99can. I would vote it as Airliner kit of the year.

I won't go into the DC-8 History as that is readily available on line and in print in many places. Let's concentrate on this fine kit.

The box is the typical Minicraft issue of an odd size. Inside the kit molded in white is packaged in plastic wrap with the canopy wrapped separately. There is an 8 page instruction booklet which gives some history on the front with tips on the back page. The build part of the instructions covers the subject well as with the decal placement profiles. An interesting note is Minicraft gives thanks to Ivo Braghin and Olafur Sigurdson for their design and research help with the kit. The Delta Airlines decals are very well done and F-DCAL is credited with the artwork. It is a silkscreen decal printed by Cartograph of Italy.

I briefly checked dimensions of the kit. I used some drawings I got from the US Airliner SIG. It seemed to scale out perfectly to 1/144.
I did a comparison against the Revell DC-8 as well and as I suspected the Revell kit is out of scale and proportions. This is unfortunate as most DC-8 decals and resin details released over the years have been made for the Revell kit.

Looking at the kit, here is what I found. It is finely scribed and detailed with stunning thin trailing edges. Minicraft has given us the ultimate wing/fuselage joint which allows you to finish wings and fuselage then install wings last. I�ve never seen such a well engineered design! The fin and rudder has captured the correct look of this Douglas aircraft. The engines are the GE CFM56 type and are crisply molded with again thin scale trailing edges. The fan blades are very fine and sit in a seamless intake. I can�t wait to see the other engines in future releases. The landing gear is thin, to scale and will easily hold up the model aircraft. I was pleased to see they had also provided main gear bays as well as a nose gear bay.

Some options Minicraft has engraved cut lines on the inside of the fuselage to create other versions Also there are separate wing tips to create other series

There were a few areas which I felt needed some attention. There are sink marks on the top wings where the gear bays sit. Also, the lower side of the flaps are concave which need a sanding to make flat. The gear bays have push out pin marks which can easily be fixed. The nose gear needs a little fix as the wheels sit too far apart. My kit had some of the thin engine fairings broken as they are very fragile. This I probably just a rare occurrence as I bought another and they were fine.

I�ve started my first Minicraft DC-8 kit and can state this is the finest Airliner kit I�ve seen yet! It falls together with ease.
Out of the box this kit has captured the true look of the Douglas DC-8. I eagerly await the issue of the 63 series kit and other decal schemes from the decal manufacturers.

I think I can simply wrap it up with the Minicraft statement �Legends in the Making�tm

by Andrew Forster

Member Comments :

 comment by: logojet posted on 01-02-2006, comment #1538

Got to agree with everything you say Andrew. This is truly a stunning kit and represents a new standard for Minicraft. The battle with RoG is clearly joined and I look forward to future developments.


 comment by: ta152 posted on 01-03-2006, comment #1542

An awesome kit that places MC and the same level of Revell.
It seems to be also an easy kit to build.
Sadly in Italy the kit will not arrive. When the /62 version will be available, I will buy it on the web.

 comment by: Clint69 posted on 01-05-2006, comment #1554

I was one of the first to see this kit having received one from Al Trendle a few days before it was in the shops. I was very, very impressed but held my breath awaiting the opinions of others.

Having spent some 32 years as a manufacturer of kits, conversions and decals I can say that when someone is uhnappy with your products it is like having your best friend turn his/her back on you. US President Abraham Lincoln was 100% right when about 140 years ago he said "You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, and none of the people all the time". I'm sure there is someone out there who can find fault with this kit but I wouldn't want to be around them.

It looks like the days are long gone when Minicraft kits were not that great. This kit is a masterpiece. The Revell DC8-10 was a good model, their -61 was too long in the rear by a whole window section.

Clinton H Groves

 comment by: logojet posted on 01-05-2006, comment #1555


I am sorry to tell you that you will be waiting a long time for an injection DC-8-62 kit. Minicraft have plans to do only the stretched fuselage variants.


 comment by: Albert Ross posted on 01-23-2006, comment #1639


If Minicraft have no immediate plans to offer different engines, then obviously someone had better jump on the bandwagon and produce some resin engines. Perhaps Ray Charles or F-RSIN?


 comment by: super_marcy posted on 01-25-2006, comment #1640

there are markings to short the fuselage for other DC-8 types, and there will be 3 Engine variants at all. But is there realy a new Minicraft standard? If you look at the clearpart you'll remember that they made the same error as on 757 clearpart: there is no aerodynamic flow to the screen, just a hard edge. Why are there no antennas and "windplates" for the CFM engines to build '73 if it is a new standard? I want to know how it fits?


 comment by: actech80 posted on 11-27-2006, comment #2913

I agree,the Minicraft DC-8 is an excellent example of a well planned and manufactured kit. But then so was the MD-80. It was actually the first offering from Minicraft that I believe most airline model enthusiast were pleased with.
Before the DC-8 however, Minicraft produced a disaster in the B-777 , and before that the B-757 was even more awful.
Grant it both models were welcomed by most but why is Minicraft so inconsistant with the production of these models. Its as if the 757 and 777 were produced by one Minicraft company and the MD-80 and DC-8 were produced by another.
If you are going to do something why not do it right all the time?