Boeing's 787 was designed to replace the 767 and to compete with Airbus' as yet unbuilt A-350 series. The 787 has had a very prolonged test cycle, with production deliveries at least 2 years behind schedule. The schedule slip resulted from Boeing's extensive use of composite materials in the airframe instead of the traditional aluminium. Never before had so much of any commercial aircraft been constructed from non-traditional materials and the engineering challenges have been immense. Zvezda issued this kit in 2010 and it has been recently re-released by Revell.
First impressions Crisp and clean. Very little flash, few sink marks. 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 plastic has Zvezda's trademark slightly pebbly texture which can be polished out, but which will disappear under the primer paint. I was in such a rush to build it that I immediately started gluing together sub assemblies, so I'll have to borrow the sprue pictures from Zvezda's website.
Fuselage The fuselage is two halves from nose to tail. The cabin windows are open, with clear parts provided for them. 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. There is no cockpit bulkhead to help confine the nose-weight. The nose gear well and one piece of the nose gear support strut must be inserted before the fuselage is closed.
Wings The wings have a one piece lower half with two uppers. The trailing edge of the flaps is moulded into the upper wing halves. They will need a little work to ensure that there is not a step in the surface of the flaps. The flap hinge fairings are moulded into the lower wing. There is no detail in the wheel wells.
Empennage The tailplanes are two piece mouldings that have two very small stubs as mounting surfaces. They may benefit from drilling out and replacing them with pins. Leave them off until final assembly to facilitate decalling. The elevator is moulded into the upper surface which leaves a bit of a gap to be filled.
Engines The engines are beautiful little models in their own right. They have a two stage fan section with extremely delicate blades that mounts into a duct which is trapped between the cowl halves. The hot section is equally nicely detailed, then the intake section mounts onto the front of the cowl, and the characteristic sawtooth rear cowl section slides on over the hot section. These engines will look stunning when completed.
Landing gear The landing gear struts and wheels are finely moulded and nicely detailed. The main struts have brake drum detail which mounts onto the struts before the wheels are installed. The nose strut has separate shimmy dampers and landing lights. They could use some brake lines and whatever else the modeller likes, but will look good without. The wheels themselves are properly thick and the detail moulded into the hubs is very good.There is an option for raised gear, and a stand is provided. As with all 1/144 kits, the gear doors are overly thick and may be replaced if the modeller wishes although Zvezda made an effort to get the edges thin.
Accuracy I don't compare models to drawings or published measurements. When assembled it looks like a 787
Decals and markings The decal sheet is in Zvezda's typical matte finish. There is one option for the Boeing prototype in the “Dreamliner” scheme. None of the fine white pin-striping is provided for the Boeing scheme. No window decals are provided. There are several different aftermarket sheets available from F-DCAL, for both announced and “flight of fancy” schemes. Certain 767 sheets could possibly be adapted as well.
The kit may be converted into the projected -900 variant by cutting two kits in the proper places and joining the long sections together.
Highs: Delicate parts with a lot of detail for 1/144 scale. Lows: Delicate parts mean that they can easily be broken or lost. Pebbly texture will make smooth paint schemes more difficult.Verdict: This is the only 787 to get (Revell's new kit is the Zvezda plastic). It's a state of the art kit that will be a pleasure to build.