The Boeing 737 is the most successful airliner of all time. It has been in continuous production since its introduction in December of 1967. Since then, the design has been modified into 13 different commercial versions, several military versions, 3 different corporate versions and almost uncountable minor variations. There are, on average, 1,250 Boeing 737s airborne at any given time, with one departing or landing somewhere in the world every five seconds.
The kit comes packed in a very sturdy cardboard box with a flip-top lid slipped tightly into Zvezda's
traditional flimsy end-opening box. The mouldings are crisp and clean, with very little flash and no sink marks. The fine scribed panel lines are out of scale for 1/144 but will still look good under a coat of paint. The panel lines match up very nicely. The plastic has a slightly satin texture which can be polished out, but which will disappear under the primer paint. It is noticeably smoother than previous Zvezda
The fuselage is two halves from nose to just under the rudder. There are two optional tail cone parts, although only one is called for in the instructions. The cabin windows are open, with clear parts provided for them. The cockpit windows are included with part of the fuselage top in the familiar Heller-style cap. There are two optional cockpit covers, with and without the characteristic eyebrow windows. The panel lines are nicely engraved and match up well. The APU exhaust is blocked off, and could benefit from being drilled out. 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, which Zvezda
says should be 10g. The nose gear well must be inserted before the fuselage is closed. The rudder is a separate part, but not designed to be modelled displaced. The antennae are separate, and very finely moulded. Care must be taken when removing them from the sprue gates if they're not to be broken. The kit does not provide the now traditional satcom/WIFI antenna fairing used by many airlines. Fortunately Bra.Z models offers several options. No cockpit is offered, but even if the windows are left clear, they're not large enough for much to be seen through them.
The wings have a one piece lower half comprising a portion of the lower fuselage and the full lower wing. A small portion of the trailing edge is moulded into the upper wing halves. The wings will need a little work to ensure that there is no step in the lower surface. Each wing has 3 one-piece flap track fairings. There is some structural detail in the wheel wells. Some may be added if you wish but they are quite small, and your work may not be seen. Optional plain wingtips, blended and split scimitar winglets are provided.
The tailplanes are two piece mouldings. The elevators are moulded with the lower halves, making the trailing edges nice and thin. They have only two small pins to hold them in place.
The engines are quite convincing little models in their own right. They're made up of a seamless intake and fan, two piece hot section, fan cowls, separate intake ring and a very nice exhaust cone which traps between the rear of the hot section parts. Separate vortex generators attach to the fan cowlings.
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 them. The wheels themselves are properly thick and the detail moulded into the hubs is very good. There is an option for raised gear, and Zvezda's
traditional very large heavy 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
has made an effort to get the door edges thin and they have nice mounting tabs.
I don't compare models to drawings or published measurements. When assembled it looks like a 737-700
Decals and markings
Markings are provided for a USAF C-40B. Only the gold striping is provided; the blue will have to be masked and painted. The stencils are fairly comprehensive, but window decals are not provided. Modellers wishing to do an airline scheme will need to resort to aftermarket. Fortunately, the 737 is well served by the usual suspects and multiple schemes are available.
The Real Thing
A USAF C-40B
in the kit scheme.
One of Southwest Airlines'
737-700s showing off its split scimitar winglets.
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