The McDonnell-Douglas MD-95 was created as a direct replacement for the DC-9-30 which served widely and well. It would be the last airliner in the venerable Douglas Commercial lineage which began with the DC-1 in 1933. After the merger with Boeing, Boeing's Marketers decided to fill the “gap” in the Boeing product line and thus christened it the 717, completely erasing the real 717 that has existed since 1956 and which is better known to posterity as the KC-135. After Boeing noticed that sales of the 737 were suffering, they decided to cancel production of the 717 in 2006 after only 156 aircraft were produced.
The fuselage moulding is a little rough, with the remains of the casting plug which has been partially sawn off. The remaining parts have a little flash and some bubbles, but that's par for the course when you attempt a kit like this. Fuselage
The fuselage is one piece with inserts for the cockpit cover and main gear wells. The casting plug remains must be filed down and sanded smooth. The facets above the windscreen are captured nicely, but they're not so clear below it. It should look like this: http://www.airliners.net/photo/Hawaiian-Air/Boeing-717-26R/1487308/L/
There is an opening below the cockpit cover which makes for a good place to put the nose weight. The instructions do not indicate the need for nose weight but from long experience I know it's needed. There is no provision to portray the rear air-stair open. It would be a major undertaking to grind away enough resin to scratch-build it.Wings
The wings are one piece each with separate tips The trailing edges could benefit with a little thinning. The fit is not good enough to enable the wings to be attached after painting; they will have to be done first and masked off. The flap actuator fairings are separate, as are the vortilons which mount below the leading edge. These parts are fairly small, and prone to pinging off to vanish into the lair of the carpet monster if the builder is not careful.Empennage
The tail-planes are one piece mouldings . They should be mounted at a slight anhedral angle. Since many 717 liveries cover the entire fin, the tail-planes should be left off until after painting and decalling is complete. The DC-9 family's elevators are controlled by servo-tabs and not interconnected so it is quite common to see them deflected at different angles while the aircraft is not flying: http://www.airliners.net/photo/Hawaiian-Air/Boeing-717-22A/0900869/L/ Engines
The engines are in one piece, with the pylons moulded as part of the fuselage. They're nicely detailed and need only a small bit of cleanup before they're ready to assemble.Landing gear
The landing gear struts are made of pewter while the wheels are resin. They are nicely detailed and even include brake pad detail, something rarely seen in 1/144. They could use some brake lines and whatever else the modeller likes, but will look acceptable. There is no option for raised gear, nor is a stand provided. The gear doors are thinner than those in plastic kits and are all provided, even though most of them are closed on the ground. The main gear wells are an insert part which fits into a slot cut into the fuselage. They will be covered by the bay doors, so there's no need to go nuts detailing them.Accuracy
I don't compare models to drawings or published measurements. When assembled it will look like a 717. Decals and markings
The kit is sold without decals. The manufacturer recommends Draw Decals sheets, which were drawn to fit the kit. Some DC-9 and MD-80 schemes could be adapted provided the airline flew 717s. I have included a picture of Draw Decals Hawaiian sheet which I intend to finish this kit with.