by: Is a secret [ ]
Crisp and clean. Little to moderate flash, no sink marks. What flash there is may be easily cleaned up except for some of the tiny parts where the challenge is to hold the part while you're cleaning it without it going *sprung* off into the lair of the carpet monster. Fine scribed lines that are out of scale for 1/144 but will still look good under a coat of paint. Panel lines match up very nicely.
The fuselage is two halves from nose to tail. Nose weight will be required to prevent tail-sitting; Revell's instructions indicate the correct amount. The cabin windows are open, with no clear parts provided for them. Either fill them or Krystal clear/Clearfix them; decal film just won't do it. No interior detail is provided, and the small windows would render any interior redundant anyway. The cockpit windows are the old-fashioned Airfix style strip, which makes getting them to fit properly without either breaking or falling into the fuselage something of a challenge. The panel lines are nicely engraved and match up well. The APU exhaust is left open, which means that one may look right through the fuselage and out the cockpit windows. It should be filled with a small blocked off piece of tube to prevent the see-through effect. If the windows are left open, the interior should be painted black to prevent the model from looking toy-like. The fuselages are the only difference between the 3 kits, so the photos show the sprues of the A-320 and a comparison of the 3 available fuselage lengths and the -318 conversion compared to a -319 fuselage. The IAE V-2500 engines from the -319 kit are also shown.
The A-319 and -320 kits are spoiled by Revell's reuse of their A-321 wing masters; there's an extra flap line and actuator fairings there that neither the -320 nor the -319 have (the -321 is heavier and thus needs the extra slot in the flaps). These will have to be removed and cleaned up when building those variants. Some modellers say that the wing tip fences (they're not really winglets) are too small. If so, they can be easily replaced with plastic card cut to the proper shape. The lower wings are one piece from tip to tip while the upper wings are in left and right halves. The trailing edge is included on both halves, so care must be taken while gluing to prevent the glue from warping them. The trailing edge is reasonably thin, but the modeller may decide to thin it further. The two piece wings will make that an easy task.
The tail planes are one piece mouldings that fit so nicely they don't really need glue. Leave them off until final assembly to facilitate decalling.
The A-319 comes with CFM-56 and IAE V-2500s, the only one of Revell's Airbus narrowbodies that does so. Keep the spares for conversions. The -320 and -321 offer only the CFMs. The CFM engines are made up of 7 parts each, including an interesting insert that is part of the hot section, but not the entire hot section. This makes for a bit of unnecessary cleanup and introduces the possibility for errors. Revell could just as easily have made the entire hot section separate. The V-2500s in the -319 box are made up of 6 parts each. Each engine is provided with its characteristic aerodynamic cowling strakes as separate parts. They are very delicate and will require some care when assembling them.
The landing gear struts and wheels are finely moulded and nicely detailed. They could use some brake lines and whatever else the modeller likes, but will look good without. There is an option for modelling the aircraft with raised gear, but Revell does not provide a stand in the kit. As with all 1/144 kits, the gear doors are overly thick and may be replaced if the modeller wishes.
I don't compare models to drawings or published measurements. When assembled they look like proper Airbice (that is the plural of “Airbus” isn't it? If not, it should be : P ).
Decals and markings
The decal sheets are very complete, with lots of stencils and multiple choices. Revell's decals have lately been drawn by Danny Coremans of Daco Products. You get the level of detail commonly found in his aftermarket sheets right in the box. The British Airways decal from the -319 is such a sheet. These kits have been released several times over the years, each with different airline choices provided for.
If you don't like the kit decals there are many different choices provided by the aftermarket industry.
Contrails Resin offers a solid resin conversion fuselage and fin which enables the modeller to build an A-318 with very little effort. The fuselage is a drop-fit for the wings of any of the above-mentioned kits. Since it is solid, decal windows are required. If you use the A-319 kit, the British Airways markings may be used straight from the box with suitable changes to the registration and fleet number.