prided themselves in maintaining an excellent standard in their fleet, and when
Boeing created the next generation 737 with CFM-56 engines being the most
visible change, Braathens S.A.F.E. was keenly awaiting an aircraft that would
fit their routes - the 737-300 being regarded as too large for their bread and
butter routes, even if SAS monopoly on international scheduled destinations was
now being challenged. The 737-500 was comparable to the -200 in seating
capacity, and they ordered 17 of these aircraft and 7 of the longer -400
variant. In 1996, the airline celebrated 50 years and designed a logo for
their anniversary that was applied to some of the aircraft - among them this
-505. LN-BRC was named "Håkon IV Håkonsson" who ruled Norway
from 1217 to 1263 - a Norway that included Iceland, the Norse community of
Greenland, the Orkneys, the Shetlands and the Hebrides.
images below to see larger images
This is the current
released of the Daco of the kit, and bears no relationship to the previous
release that was rather crude - very much limited run quality. This
kit however is gorgeous in terms of detail and overall accuracy.
There are however some areas to look out for. The engines should be
perpendicular to the wing, not the ground as in the kit. It is easy
to fix that by sanding the pylon and do some filling to build up the
thickness. The cold exhaust has the rear of the compressor, but is
lacking the support top and bottom and this should be added from plastic.
The main undercarriage doors are too long to fit properly, and the gear
legs and wheels all suffered noticeable mould misalignment. On the
plus side, the trailing edges are very fine, and the decal sheet has more
stencils than I could care to apply. From pics at www.airliners.net,
it seems that their aircraft did not carry all stencils either, but it's
nice to have the choice. The bare metal leading edges are also on
the sheet, but I couldn't make them match the panels exactly, and they do
look a bit dull and "paintlike", so the next one I will paint
with Alclad. The kit does not contain a livery, which is a sensible
proposition as the kit caters to the enthusiast end of the market who will
have their own preferences anyway. I used decals made by Lima
November Decals that specialise in civilian aircraft markings of Norwegian
and Scandinavian subjects - check them out at http://lndecals.com/
. The sheet allows you to make any Boeing 737-200, -400 and -500
operated by Braathens S.A.F.E. in this livery, and as it is printed by
Cartograf, the quality is excellent.
The paint is Halfords Applicance
white over Xtracolor Boeing Grey. The natural metal belly should be a bit
brighter, but that's how the Alclad Polished Aluminium turned out, and I was now
getting a bit stressed to finish it in time for the Scale Model World 2007.
However, it kind of matches the leading edges, so at least it looks consistent.
The only addition on the markings front was the black patch on the leading edges
to check for ice - this was a strip of black decal film trimmed to length.
Real airliners do weather, and I wanted my model to look like it was earning
it's keep, so I added an oil paint wash to selected areas and some streaks.
Typically, there are always streaks of dirt from the gear wells and brakedust on
the mainwheels. 737s also seem to "leak" from the vertical panel
line near the "kink" in the leading edge. After the decals were
on, I realised that there must be a mistake in the engraved location of the
overwing emergency exit - it's too high up on the fuselage. In reality,
this should extend all the way through the red cheatline, and this then allows
you to splice the cheatline at this location to save you touching up red which
is always a challenge. Once aware of these pitfalls, the next model will
be easier, and it can be built to a very good representation of this workhorse
of the airline industry - in my opinon, it is the best kit of the 2nd