1/144 Revell Airbus A340

Gallery Article by Ted Johnston

 

Building the Revell Airbus A340 Kit
In the May 2000 issue to The Dispatch I babbled on about the A340-300 kit that I was threatening to build.....well, it's done and most of you quite likely noticed it at the Contest in September.

Construction
The overall fit of the kit is quite good and I didn't have any significant challenges in that department. The landing gear was a little bit tricky and I suspect that some of the part numbers are mislabelled in the instructions, I suggest that you have a good look at the instructions and the parts in this area. The wheels are designed to roll with one wheel having a long pin to go through the gear strut and plug into the opposite wheel, I broke most of the pins off by accident and ended up drilling holes and adding new pins made of brass rod. The positioning of the supporting struts for the main landing gear is somewhat vague and you will also need to study the parts and instructions to locate those parts. The nose gear oleo leg and the center main gear oleo leg are two peice items and consequently not very strong, I suggest installing the upper parts in the gear bays before you glue the fuselage halves together and adding the bottom parts later on. One of the wings was warped and I didn't notice that the ends of one wing didn't line up correctly so the winglet didn't attach very well later on so you will want to keep an eye out for that. There are a few extra parts that there is no mention of in the instructions the only part of note is number 89 which is an exhaust opening that goes on the tail (I suspect it is for an APU).

 

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Painting
I painted the inside of the fuselage black as it makes the windows to the aircraft look more realistic. Make sure you also paint the inside of the tailcone black as there is an exhaust opening that looks dumb when you can see white inside. The wings were a challenge to paint as the instructions don't provide standard paint descriptions that we can relate to, I need more that light gray, dark gray as a description......In any case I painted the wings about 3 times until I found a combination that looked right according to my references. I used Gunze H1 Gloss White for the Fuselage and Tamiya XF11 IJN Green for the Tail, the Wings were painted overall with Xtracolour RAL 7035 and Floquil Ocean Gray for the Non Skid sections on top of the Wings. Quite a mish mash of paints but as the old saying goes: "Use what's in the Barn!".....and whatever looks right! The windscreen is a question mark, if you mask the clear part and use the raised detail as a guide the windows seem too small, the full size of the clear part looks closer to the true size, use your discretion here, the aftermarket decals for my next one uses a decal for the windscreen.

Decals
The Kit Decals are very nice......way too many of them but nice just the same! The decalling instructions give you 3 levels of difficulty depending on how much patience you have. The simplest uses no Data and just the main logos, the Advanced one uses every bit of data imaginable.....take your pick! The decals go on beautifully over the gloss white paint, I used setting solution to help position the decals and had no problems. Beware of the Air Canada Logo as it is very large and if you are rough with it you could stretch it out of shape.

References
The Airbus Website that I mentioned in the May 2000 article is a good source for specs one the different Airbus Models. I have found a better site......a site that is to Airliner Buffs what Tracklink is to Armour Modellers!
www.airliners.net is the place to see, these are you reference pictures to see what real life Airliners look like flying or parked on the tarmac. The Kit boxart is also very usefull as well , coincidentally the picture on the front of the box is exactly the same size as the kit.....mere chance? only the Shadow knows........

A330 A340 Future Projects Update
I mentioned in my previous article about converting the A340 to an A330, it is quite feasible.......however since Revell also makes a kit of the A330 that may be a better solution. My main ambition is to build a Thai Airlines A330......this can be built using the Revell Germany LTU A330 kit (discontinued?) right out of the box, this kit comes with 2 sets of engines which will allow you to convert an A340 to an A330 by using the spare engines and filling in the center gear bay with a solid panel. Another project in the works is a Gulf Air A330-200, this requires chopping approximatly 29 mm out of the fuselage and substituting Braz Models Resin Rolls Royce Trent Engines. My fourth kit of the series will be a Singapore Airlines A340 kit.

Ted Johnston

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Photos and text by Ted Johnston