Multimedia Review
Boeing 720
Boeing 720
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by: Is a secret [ JESSIE_C ]


The Boeing 720 was a shorter and lighter 707. It was Boeing's first attempt at a medium range, medium capacity jetliner.

First impressions
Details are very crisp and the execution is clean. The 10 major airframe parts comprising the wings, fuselage and tailplanes are vacuformed on one large sheet while the engines are resin and the landing gear struts and wheels are white metal. I always draw around the edges of vac parts with a marker to aid in the sanding process. Once I've sanded up to the edge of the marked line I know that the part will be the proper shape. If I can still see white below it, I know that I need to sand more. I've cut the parts away from their backing sheet so they can clearly be seen in the pictures.

The fuselage is moulded in Welsh's traditional thick vacuform plastic with 3 bulkheads to keep it from collapsing. Windows are provided as decals with a note on the instruction sheet advising the modeller to apply the decals as a guide for marking their positions preparatory to drilling them out if clear windows are desired. Nose weight will be required. In addition to the bulkheads, small tabs cut from the backing sheet should be glued to the fuselage halves to help keep then aligned and to add to the gluing surface. Give them a little curl before gluing to keep the fuselage circular. Welsh has captured the often elusive Boeing nose shape very well. The fin will need careful sanding to achieve a sharp trailing edge. The fin tip HF antenna is not supplied so it will need to be scratch-built. A nice big needle, properly blunted to prevent injury would work well. There is a small spar intended to help set the wings' dihedral angle which will have to be glued into the fuselage before closing it. Its location is not marked on the wing root area, nor is it marked on the instructions so some care must be taken to make sure it's properly placed. A small nose gear well should be made and inserted into the fuselage. Since the opening will be mostly filled by the nose gear strut it does not have to be super-detailed.

The wings are offered in top and bottom pieces for each wing. The main gear wells will need opening up and detailing. The wings will need careful sanding to set the thickness properly and to achieve a sharp trailing edge. Welsh managed to capture the wing glove that was a feature of the 720 and which for so long was a legend among airliner modellers, rarely identified in photographs. Note the kink of the leading edge in this picture: http://www.airliners.net/photo/Eagle-Air-of/Boeing-720-025/1819653/L/ Since airliners are most commonly photographed from the side, it's not often captured on film.

The tailplanes are two pieces each. The kit offers both the original short span tailplanes, and the larger ones used on the 720B. These should not be used unless you add the correct fan engines which are not included in the kit. Once again care must be taken to sand them to the proper section and to achieve a nice sharp trailing edge.

The engines are offered in one major piece including the pylon, plus the characteristic “organ pipe” sound suppressor. Pay particular attention to the pylon configuration. There are 2 engines with a turbo compressor at the front of the pylon and 2 without. The 2 without are the outboard engines. Fan engines can be robbed from a Minicraft 707 or purchased from Contrails if you wish to convert the kit to a 720B. Be careful there as well, because unlike the 707, the 720 never had 3 turbo compressors, so one of them will have to be removed. The pylons should be drilled and pinned into the wings for strength.

Landing gear
The landing gear struts and wheels are white metal. The main doors are outlined on the vac sheet although the plastic is far too thick and they should be sanded down as much as possible. The nose gear door must be made from a piece of the scrap left over from cutting out the parts. All 707s prior to the -320 Intercontinental and every KC-135 used the same door shape so there should be plenty of reference pictures available.

I don't compare models to drawings or published measurements. When assembled it will look like a 720

Decals and markings
The kit comes with a Liveries Unlimited sheet offering the choice of 4 different Braniff “Jelly Bean” aircraft in either periwinkle blue, lavender, or 2 different aircraft in lemon yellow. The kit is also available with markings for Aer Lingus or Lufthansa (these kits are both more expensive, likely due to the fluctuating economy). A nice selection of aftermarket decals is also available for the modeller who prefers something a little more obscure.

This one is for the more advanced vacuform modeller who has some experience working with multimedia.
Highs: Beautiful resin and metal mouldings for the detail parts. Good shapes and simple parts breakdown. Nice selection of aftermarket markings available.
Lows: Some modellers are still frightened of vacuforms. It's not inexpensive.
Verdict: It will give you a good 720 right out of the box. Good second or third vac kit.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:144
  Mfg. ID: SL 161
  Suggested Retail: US$42.00
  PUBLISHED: Jul 22, 2011
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Is a secret (Jessie_C)

Copyright ©2021 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.


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