1/144 Minicraft BoeingB777-200
Australian Air Force
by Ray Seppala
Silly Week 2004
yourselves forward to 2012, the world is a safer place and the War on Terror is
10 aircraft donated to
The Minicraft B777 kit has been long awaited in the airliner modelling community. A kit released by Doyusha in
So what do you get for your money? Minicraft have issued the kit with three different engine types, there are subtle differences between the Pratt and Whitney, Rolls Royce and General Electric engine pods and fan blades and as such each engine type is available in different boxings. This is the United Airlines kit with Pratt and Whitney engines
under carriage is nicely detailed broken down into 10 pieces for the main units
(not including doors) but the shape of the main under carriage doors is wrong
and a smaller door is totally missing. This
can be rectified with some cutting, sanding and scratch building of the missing
door. I did not bother as I was happy the way it is.
fuselage suffers from a few minor sink marks around the locating pins but is
easily fixed with some putty. The
cockpit transparency is the standard Minicraft clear block which incorporates
part of the fuselage skin around it to aid in getting the perfect join around
the cockpit area. I added the
compulsory nose weight before fitting the cockpit piece.
Some sanding is required to get the piece in as it is a very tight fit.
wings attach to the fuselage with the tongue and slot method, the difference
here is that the tongues interlock with each other to give a stronger join to
the fuselage and the opposite wing. I
cut the length down on these tongues as I found they tend to interfere with each
other, and reducing their length by around 5-6 mm helps to get them seating
better. The flap
extension/retraction jack fairings come molded on the wings which is good if you
don't like fiddling with a lot of pieces during construction.
The downfall here is the shape of all these fairings is wrong.
They are molded with a squared off cross section where the actual item is
more rounded. This is corrected
with a fair bit of filing and sanding to get the right shape.
I used reference photos from
(a great source of aircraft pictures both civil and military) to get the shape
to the engines, they assemble easily and come with an intake ring which
eliminates the need to remove the intake seams you get with earlier kits.
The rear of the engine pylon suffers the blockiness of the flap jack
fairings and needs to be attacked with files and sanding sticks.
Also some rescribing of lost detail is required.
The recess in the wing for the pylon is also too large so I used some
thin evergreen card to line the forward part of the opening before attaching the
pylon itself. This reduced the gap
and made a more snug fit for the engine attachment.
Some putty is still needed at the rear to reduce the remaining gap.
horizontal stabilizers come as single pieces and need only a little clean up
before attaching to the fuselage. I
added the antennae, drain masts and vortex generators on the inboard side of
each engine nacelle from sheet styrene.
Well that's about it for construction, not many parts and fairly straight forward. If you wish to make it more accurate then the effort to reshape the flap jack fairings and engine pylons is worth the effort. Apparently Minicraft is aware of some short comings of the kit and has corrected some problems with the next release of the B777 boxed with Singapore Airlines and Delta markings though I believe the chunkiness of the fairings is still an issue.
was completed using Humbrol and Tamiya paints and SNJ metaliser for the leading
edges and engine intakes and exhausts. The
decals came from an Egypt Air Airway Graphics sheet (windows, windscreen and
doors) and the spares box (roundels, flags and tail number).
Everything was sealed with a few coats of Future.
conclusion the small number of parts makes this a quick build, your time is
mostly used on correcting mold errors and painting (got to love masking!).
This was a great little project and enjoyed it immensely.
Now I have to finish my non flight of fancy RAAF BBJ to go with it.
Back to the bench!!
Photos and text © by Ray Seppala