1/144 Welsh Models Tupolev Tu-114

Gallery Article by Alex Bigey on July 28 2003

 

The Tu-114 was the world's biggest airplane when it first flew on 3 October 1957 (a few days before the first "Sputnik" launch) as a civil airliner derivative of the Tu-95 strategic bomber, using basically the same airfoil and engines.

Entering into service in 1961 with an accommodation of 120 to 220 passengers on medium to long haul operations, its fantastic 15,000 hp Kuznetsov NK-12 turboprops (nothing that range in the western so far) were allowing a 480 mph (770 km/h - Mach 0.7) cruise speed, and several direct  Moscow - Cuba flights have been performed via the North Pole during its service years.

Before withdrawal in 1975, only one serious accident occurred in service when taking off at night in bad weather, not involving a technical malfunction.

 

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The Welsh Models kit is vacformed with metal parts for props and landing gear. A nice decal sheet is provided, allowing the livery featured here.

The windows can be cut down to be filled with Crystal Clear, which is acceptable for side and cockpit, but not for the nose. However, no decals are provided for windows, so I chosed to scrathchbuild the nose and cockpit ones and used 2 Liveries Unlimited Stratocruiser sheets for the side windows.

Except the roof antennas and aerial, the rest of this model is straight from the box, with a lot of work needed for the wing and engine nacelles, unless you can get a pair of Revell Tu-95 Bear wings and engines, as Jeff Thomsen did on its own Tu-114 featured in Hyperscale.  

Alex Bigey

      

Photos and text by Alex Bigey