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Andrew Forster writes about his first Minicraft 757 Kit.
Author: Andrew Forster
Submitted by: Andrew   Date: 10-16-2003
Comments: (5)  

This kit was a long awaited kit by most airline model enthusiasts. The only other kits of this aircraft were by Masterkit which was a little rough for an injection kit. Welsh models of the UK did a vacuform / Resin kit of the 757 as well. So we weren?t really served with a really good injection molded model of the 757. Now this Airliner is my favorite and I was very much anticipating the release of this kit my Minicraft.

Being a very popular North American twin engine Narrow body Aircraft. It is flown today in the Americas by United, Delta, Continental, American, UPS, and Northwest Airlines. It has also made it?s mark with European carriers such as the German Condor airlines, Air 2000, DHL, and LTU to name a few. This aircraft was so successful Boeing recently started delivering a 300 series 757 which is much longer than the 200. A very pretty aircraft.

With today?s technology quite a few of us airline modelers assumed the Mincraft 757 would be of the same quality of their fantastic kit of the Boeing 737. The 737 was accurate, simple, finely scribed, reasonably priced and lots of fun to build. The 757 kit was disappointing. As modelers we usually can use experience, new techniques, trial and error in building a model we so desire. I think my skills were pushed to the limit with this kit. Most of the parts were a very poor fit. The worst fit being the joint between the wings and fuselage. The engine pylons were angle up and needed to be fixed. I rebuilt the engine pylons using sheet card. On the engines I used brass tubing to create a seamless intake. The fin was corrected by adding some sheet plastic to the top and reshaping. The Aerials were all fabricated from sheet plastic. I used superglue (cyano) and Testors liquid cement for all of the construction except the landing gear which was attached with 5 minute epoxy.

Now for the painting process. I had decided to do the Royal Airlines scheme as I had a friend who was flying this machine. So AHS ( Airline hobby supply) came to the rescue with decals. The fuselage and engines were painted with Tamiya Pure white out of a spray can. It?s a Lacquer paint which is very white and gives a tough gloss finish. The purplish/blue tail was mixed from Mr. Color (Gunze) lacquers.

The wings were painted using Xtracolour Boeing Grey. The gold stripe was painted with Mr. Color. All leading edges were airbrushed with Alclad polished aluminum. Detail decals such as the coroguard (Grey panels on wings giving anti corrosion) came from a great sheet for the 757 done by Flying colors in the US. I added black ice inspection panels from decal painted black. All decals were applied using Solvaset. I use it on everything as I like the decals to look like they were painted on.

For a final finish I brushed on two coats Future acrylic floor polish on the fuselage and Horizontal stabs. The wings and engines were clear coated with mixture of flat lacquer and gloss to give a dull shine. I then proceeded to attach the wings and Horizontal stabs, lining them up with the fin. The gear was attached and the aircraft sat upright on its gear so I could get the aircraft sitting just right. This is where it got nasty.By using a ruler in this process to measure the wing tip to ground distance I could not get the 757 to sit right with out the tail fin being less than 90 degrees.

It took me a while to figure it out. I looked at all of my construction and had fellow modelers look at it as well. The surprise was that the whole fairing for the wings that sits on the fuselage was tooled in the molds sitting higher on one side causing one wing to be higher than the other. What a mess.

The only way to correct this in the future is to cut the tail off and the nose off and glue them on straight. I finished the kit up by adding rotating beacons and nav lights colored with Tamiya clear. So overall my favorite airplane has not been done justice by this kit. Maybe take another look at the Welsh 757.

by Andrew Forster

Member Comments :

 comment by: laxet posted on 10-19-2003, comment #6

Man, I thought it was just me that couldn't get the wings right. I even built a jig to glue it all up evenly, but that didn't work either (it did on all the 737s, though). I guess I'm not so crazy after all.

 comment by: aro757 posted on 10-24-2003, comment #7

Excellent article and model Andrew. I really dig the engine intakes.


 comment by: selier posted on 11-24-2003, comment #16

Thanks for your description of the wing problem, it's helping me to get it right in one go. Also the advice of placing tubes as engine intakes is a good suggestion, I never thought about it myself

 comment by: Andrew posted on 12-16-2003, comment #45

Hi Guys thanks for all your input and comments.


 comment by: usairman737 posted on 09-09-2010, comment #11219

I thought I'd try Andrew's approach.

After gluing the fuselage together, I drilled holes 1/16" diameter in the front of the stab mounting slots, just drilling through the thin web of plastic on the inside of the fuselage. Using a 1/16" diameter hard brass rod, I checked that the vertical fin was perpendicular to the stab locating slots - it wasn't! One more problem! I applied a lot of pressure while the glue was still wet until it was aligned OK. I then inserted a second brass rod into the front of the forward wing attachment slots and held it in place with tape. As expected, the two rods (and thus the stab and wing slots) were way out of alignment.

I cut the fuselage in half with my CMK razor saw just aft of the wing fairing, about at the center of the aft under-floor luggage compartment door. I glued a .015" by .250" styrene strip reinforcement inside the severed forward fuselage section, and when the glue was dry, dry-fitted the aft fuselage back in place. By twisting it about .050" to the starboard, I was able to get perfect alignment between wing slots, stab slots and vertical fin.

I proceeded to check the alignment between the aft lower part of the cockpit clear section and the wing/stab slots, and to my surprise it was also perfect. No need to correct the forward fuselage as Andrew and I had anticipated.

It's not a perfect fix, as the fuselage section aft of the wing isn't really round but sort of oval. I'll have to sand the joint a bit and use some filler. Needless to say, the panel lines running the length of the fuselage no longer line up. Overall, however, I think it's a pretty cool fix to the kit fuselage. Andrew, hope you approve.

Gerry Cole