1/144 Minicraft Varig 75th Anniversery scheme

by Ray Seppala


The Boeing 777 was originally conceived as a stretched 767, but Boeing instead adopted an all new design. Notable 777 design features include a unique fuselage cross section, Boeing's first application of fly-by-wire, an advanced technology glass flight deck with five liquid crystal displays, comparatively large scale use of composites (10% by weight), and advanced and extremely powerful engines. The 777 was also offered with optional folding wings where the outer 6m/21ft of each would fold upwards for operations at space restricted airports.
The basic 777-200 as launched in October 1990 was offered in two versions, the basic 777-200 (initially A-Market) and the increased weight longer range 777-200IGW (Increased Gross Weight, initially B-Market). The IGW has since been redesignated 777-200ER.
The 777-200 first flew on June 12 1994, with FAA and JAA certification awarded on April 19 1995. The FAA awarded full 180 minutes ETOPS clearance for PW4074 -200s on May 30 that year. First customer delivery was to United Airlines in May 1995. The first 777-200IGW/ER was delivered to British Airways in February 1997.
(text from www.airliners.net)

The Kit

The Minicraft kit comes in a large sturdy box containing white and clear sprues, an A4 (or Letter format) size instruction booklet and a nicely printed decal sheet by Cartograf.  This is one three initial releases of the B777 by Minicraft, each containing a different set of power plants. The Continental boxing (this kit) comes with General Electric GE90-75Bs, turbofan engines while the United Airlines boxing has Pratt & Whitney PW4074 turbofans and the American Airlines boxing contains Rolls-Royce Trent 875s.  A good reference for which airlines use which engines is the B777 Fleet Page (http://www.777fleetpage.com/).  With these initial releases there was a mix up with fan turbine blades being included with the wrong engine type.  I believe it was the Pratt & Whitney fan being on the Rolls-Royce engine sprue and visa versa.  The fan hub shape is also not correct, check references when building these kits.  In later issues (Delta and Singapore Airlines) this has been apparently rectified.
This is the second Minicraft B777 I have put together. It assembles with a minimum of fuss. There are a few corrections (in addition to those already mentioned) to be made as well as adding some antennae and drain masts.  The corrections I made were to reshape the flap track fairings; they come as a rectangular cross section so I removed some plastic to make the cross section more of an oval shape.  There is also a main landing gear door missing which can be made from sheet card.


I used a mixture of Gunze Blue (5) and Tamiya Purple to match the fuselage and engine colour to the tail decal.  I just continued to add the purple to the blue until it looked right. I used Testors metaliser on the engines and leading edges, Tamiya white for the top part of the fuselage, Tamiya metallic grey for the wing in-spar sections and Gunze 315 (FS16440) for the wings.  I find with all my airliners that a good undercoat with a light grey colour makes applying the white a very simple operation. The whole model was sprayed with future before decaling.


The decals are from MASP (http://geocities.yahoo.com.br/maspdecals/index.html).  I found them to be quite delicate and almost trashed a few trying to position them.  Being a laser printed decal they are quite transparent and require a while background to display their true colour. The only issue I had colour wise was a mottled effect on the purple of the tail decal after it was applied and dried.  Can’t figure out why this happened.

Other than rushing this build near the end (as I usually do) I was happy with the overall result.  This model was entered in the 2005 Royal National Capital Agricultural Society (RNCAS) Craft Expo and got first in the Model Aircraft section.  Overall I am happy with the end result.  Only 2 more 777s to go!

Other images


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