In-Box Review
Boeing 737-800
Boeing 737-800 with Contrails resin engines
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by: Is a secret [ JESSIE_C ]

First impressions

Fine detailed mouldings, crisp and clean. Very little flash, no sink marks. Fine scribed lines that are out of scale for 1/144 but will still look good under a coat of paint. Panel lines match up very nicely. Once you get past the first look, there are two mistakes that slightly spoil the kit, but neither of them is a deal-breaker. Kids building their first airliner won't care about either of them and the rest of us can easily correct them.

The fuselage is two halves from nose to tail. The cabin windows are open, with no clear parts provided for them. Either fill them or Krystal clear/Clearfix them; decal film just won't do it. No interior detail is provided, and the small windows would render any interior redundant anyway. The cockpit windows are a Heller-style cockpit cap, making installation a breeze. This style is fr superior to the strip type windows. If the windows are left open, the interior should be painted black to prevent the model from looking toy-like. Revell calls for a 20g nose weight to be installed before closing the fuselage. There are no bulkheads to keep the weight from rattling around so it needs to be firmly glued down. The upper and lower VHF antennae are moulded with the left fuselage half. This means that one or more of them will have the opportunity to break off during construction and sanding.

The lower wings are one piece from tip to tip while the upper wings are in left and right halves. The trailing edge is included on the upper wing halves. The trailing edge is reasonably thin, but the modeller may decide to thin it further. The choice of winglets or plain tips is offered, but the modeller must be cautioned that Revell did not get the shape of the winglets at all correct. They're far too wide at the tips and not tall enough. Proper winglets may be robbed from a Daco/Skyline 737, or purchased from either Contrails or Bra.Z models or corrected as detailed in this Britmodeller article. (Edit: Aug 26, 2012) I am reliably infomred that the 737 "classic" winglets as provided in the Daco kit are shorter than the NG winglets. The photo shows the white kit winglets compared to a pair of grey Daco winglets. Although they are too short their shape is correct, and illustrates where Revell went wrong. Alternatively you could find a colour scheme for an aircraft that doesn't have winglets and use the plain wingtips instead. The fit of the centre section to the fuselage is a little tricky and if you're not careful you'll end up with a step. Take your time with dry-fitting and sanding until the fit improves. Tabs made of scrap plastic will help to adjust the fit on the lower fuselage fore and aft of the wings.

The tail-planes are one piece mouldings that fit so nicely that they don't really need glue. Leave them off until final assembly to facilitate decalling.

The engines are where Revell made their second mistake with this kit. Out of the box, they're perfect for the 737-300/400/500 series but not for the -800. The Next Generation 737s (including the -600, -700, -800 and -900) have taller landing gear which allowed Boeing to redesign the nacelles to have a more nearly circular intake and deeper cowlings. The engines will have to be modified or replaced with aftermarket items available from Contrail. A pair of Contrail engines is shown, plus an engine beside the incorrect Revell intake ring showing the difference in shapes. Out of the box, the engines fit together very well and attach to their mountings without difficulty.

The Contrails engines are offered in two parts to facilitate painting and to allow for fan detail to be portrayed at either end of the cold section nacelle. (Earlier versions were made in one piece). The mating surfaces will need to be carefully cleaned up and glued with either epoxy or cyanoacrylate glues.Once assembled they are a direct replacement for the Revell engines with no modification to the kit needed.

Landing gear
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. There is an option for raised gear, but no stand is provided. The nosewheel doors are moulded shut and must be cut apart for a gear-down model. As with all 1/144 kits, the gear doors are overly thick and may be replaced if the modeller wishes.

I don't compare models to drawings or published measurements. When assembled it looks like a proper 737, assuming the engines and winglets have been replaced.

Decals and markings
The decal sheets are very complete, with lots of stencils and multiple choices. Revell's decals have lately been drawn by Danny Coremans of Daco Products. You get the level of detail commonly found in his aftermarket sheets right in the box. This kit has been released several times over the years, each time with different airline choices provided for.
If you don't like the kit decals there are many different choices provided by the aftermarket industry.

This kit is a good one to practise conversions. It may be shortened or lengthened to portray any one of the 737 Next Generation family by simply removing or adding constant-diameter sections of the fuselage fore and aft of the wings. Detailed instructions to do any of the 4 versions are available for download from the Draw Decals website (incidentally, Draw Decals offers many different decal sheets for all versions of the 737). If cutting up a fuselage is too ambitious, Contrails offers solid resin "drop fit" fuselages for the -700 and -900 versions.
Highs: Delicate parts with a lot of detail for 1/144 scale. Good colour scheme options in every box and a wealth of aftermarket schemes available.
Lows: Incorrect winglets and engines must be replaced.
Verdict: This kit is a good way to break into airliner modelling. It looks good out of the box and outstanding with a little extra work. Beginners will not care about the errors.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:144
  Mfg. ID: 04268
  Suggested Retail: C$25.99
  PUBLISHED: Jul 04, 2011
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Is a secret (Jessie_C)

Copyright Đ2021 text by Is a secret [ JESSIE_C ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


The main landing gear also needs to bee shortened a little bit. The model has far too uplifted tail,thatīs not correct. The best way to make correct winglets is to make them yourself by cutting and sanding the kit ones without too many work needed . All of the resin-corrections sets for me donīt represent the right shape.
JUL 24, 2011 - 10:49 AM
I think Revell moulded the landing gear in the "unweighted" length as they would appear in flight. It's not a huge problem to correct. The winglets can be sanded to the correct chord but will need to be extended until they're the proper length; a little bit of plastic card added to the tips will do. I'm not sure what you mean by the tail being too uplifted. Do you mean it's too tall, or do you mean the curve of the whole rear fuselage is wrong?
JUL 24, 2011 - 12:40 PM
No, i mean when standing with the tail section up on ground due to the problem with the main gear. I worked for years on 737-800s and iīve never the aircraftīs rear in a such raised position,even unloaded. The most time in service the fuselage is almost parallel to the ground. Thatīs more realistic. But all in one this is a superb model,when corrected. Iīve one on my working bench right now. Thankfully Revell released the usual yellow livery for the sunny TUIFly
JUL 24, 2011 - 11:46 PM
So you get 2 corrections for the price of one
JUL 25, 2011 - 10:04 AM

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