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Kendall Model Co. 1/72 scale American Airlines B727-200

Manufacturer: : Kendall Model Co. (KMC), P.O. Box 290172, Davie, FL 33329-0172, 954-236-8228.
Kit: No. 07201
Scale: 1/72
Price: $69
Comments:Injection molded, 174 parts (53 resin), decals
Pros: Top notch resin landing gear and thrust reversers, good overall detail, excellent decals
Cons: No cockpit interior, tricky fit in places, nose a little plump, individual cabin windows
With more than 17,000 hours in Boeing's trijet, I unashamedly admit to having a love affair with her, and have eagerly awaited Kendall's new entry into the limited-edition, "full kit" field. The kit consists of 19 gray plastic parts for the major aircraft subassemblies, 102 clear plastic parts (each cabin window is a separate piece), and 53 drop-dead-gorgeous resin bits. It all comes in a huge sturdy box with a beautiful action shot of an "everything hanging" 727 landing on the boxtop.

The satin-finished gray plastic parts require some work and putty to achieve a smooth fit all around; on my sample the left fuselage half showed some warpage, but the sheer size and flex of these components allowed me to glue the body together a couple inches at a time and align it as I went. The recessed panel lines are well done, but I filled and re-scribed two which didn't align from left half to right. Kendall has correctly captured the subtle double-bubble (say THAT fast three times) fuselage cross-section. They also got the compound wing curves, including the reverse-camber root section, the leading edge root-to-tip profile, and the outboard wing dihedral.

No cockpit detail is provided, but to be truthful, you can't see much even through the nice clear cockpit windows. The fuselage cross-section forward of front boarding door should be more oval, but the kit is circular, resulting in a somewhat "cheeky" appearance below the cockpit. Sand out the embossed mounting areas below the pod engine pylons; they don't go there anyway.

The kit's resin parts needed a bit of work to achieve a good fit. You should wet-sand these to cut down resin dust which can be irritating if inhaled. I used five-minute epoxy and super glue to assemble and attach all the resin parts.

The instruction sheet is comprehensive, with explanatory sidebars and tips for working with the resin items. As this was my first multi-media kit with detail parts, I approached it with a bit of trepidation. But most everything fell into place as I followed the assembly steps in recommended order. The only exceptions were resin parts 28 and 29, the fin fairings for the center engine reverser upper support housing. Though I sanded them wafer-thin, I wasn't able to achieve the correct appearance. Instead, I discarded them and used body putty to build up this area. While the individual cabin windows are an inconvenience, they fit perfectly, and installing them didn't take long at all.

Resin part 4 represents the ground spoiler linkage and should be on the left main gear only. Each resin landing gear is made up of six parts and is a neat little model all to itself. Each strut fits into a prototypical trunnion mount. The resin main wheels have the correct rims and brake assemblies, and the nose wheels feature the correct "chine" tires. Contrary to KMC's note in the instructions, I had to add nose weight to the model.

Studying the beautiful box-top photo reveals some of the kit's omissions. I used sheet styrene to add the small curved wing fences, upper and lower VHF blade antennas, tail skid (molded in the retracted position but it extends with the landing gear), and slush deflectors between the main wheels. I used thin brass tubing to replace the fragile white light extensions on the outboard wing trailing edges, and for the fuel-dump nozzles adjacent to the outboard ailerons.

The gorgeous decals provide enough registration numbers to allow you to make just about any American Airlines 727. Only the right over-wing escape route decal should contain the APU exhaust, not both. I added the red towbar limit stripe on the nosewheel doors and the red warning squares for the air conditioning pack fan inlets from spare decal stock. My sample's decals fit well and responded to Gunze Sangyo Mr. Mark Softer.

I spent about 50 hours on this kit. I could have spent more - the model is too big, the resin parts too exquisite, and the possibilities for superdetailing too great not to take the time. Builders who have experience with multi-media subjects may need less time, but my lasting bond with the real 727 made me linger.

I recommend Kendall's 727 to experienced modelers who can handle the few flaws and sometimes rough fit. In any case, it will be a terrific addition to the 1/72 airliners on the market today - it was certainly worth my wait.

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