by: paul [ ]
A brief history...The Lockheed C-141 Starlifter was a military strategic airlifter in service with the air mobility command (AMC) of the united states air force (USAF). The aircraft also served with AMC-gained airlift wings and air mobility wings of the air force reserve command (AFRC) and the air national guard (ANG).
Introduced to replace slower piston-engined cargo planes such as the C-124 Globemaster , the C-141 was designed to requirements set in 1960 and first flew in 1963. Production deliveries of an eventual 285 planes began in 1965: 284 for the Air Force, and one for NASA for use as an airborne observatory.
The C-141B differed from the previous A version by having inserts in the fuselage in front and behind the wing to increase capacity and the aircraft remained in service for over 40 years until the USAF withdrew the last C-141s from service in 2006.
first impressions I have to admit that when I first heard this was an 1/200 scale kit I expected a smaller box...as you can see from the picture its bigger than the Tamiya Spitfire and almost as big as the Roden Gladiator, both 1/48 kits.The box its self is clearly laid out with detail views, decals and markings, and once opened you'll find the decal sheet, intructions, 2 bags holding 4 grey sprues and 1 clear sprue.
Instructions and decals The instruction sheet is basic, it is 4 sided, in black, white and blue but gives clear diagrams and paint instructions for 3 types of paint: Aqueous Hobby Color, GSI Mr. Color and Model Master Color.
The decal sheet printed by Cartograf is nice, excellent registration, nice colours and very little carrier film showing at the edges, however there are only 1 set of markings for this kit ( 50257 spirit of the inland empire ) which is a shame as I can't find any aftermarket decals in this scale...if anyone knows of some please let us know.
the Kit The overall fit of major parts is very good, the wings, fuselage and engines go together with no problems as do the tail surfaces and the clear glass on the front which hides a basic cockpit (that you won't see anyway) fits perfectly. excellent panel lines and cargo ramp detail also enhance the look of the kit.
I taped all these parts together and there didn't seem to be any major gaps or issues with fit, just a couple of things to be careful of, though, are the underwing inserts as one of the locating pins made the fit a little tight so I removed the pin to make things easier, and the moulded aerials on the fuselage as i'm sure they could be broken or trimmed off if you're not careful.
A nice touch is the option to model the cargo doors open or closed and it also comes with a pair of tiny HMMWVs.
If you're thinking this kit will fill a small space on your shelf you might want to take a look at the comparison shot with the 1/48 hurricane, the wingspans are the same while the Starlifter's fuselage is actually longer than the Hurricane.
ConclusionOverall, this is a very nice “little” kit. Crisp detail, as well as the option to have the cargo doors open or closed make it a winner to me. The only minor downside is the single decal option.
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