Tuesday, May 11, 2010
When I built this model the first time in 1975, I did a pretty good job on the assembly, but a horrible job on the decals. The decals are what really make this kit shine, and credit must go to Revell for producing such high-quality, colorful decals for both this kit, and the TWA Connie. Thankfully, the decal sheet in this old kit was still usable; I only had a couple break on me during application. Revell included all the decals necessary to "paint" the aircraft with the deep blue parts. All one has to do is paint the upper fuselage gloss white, and everything looks good. As a kid, wrapping these blue decal panels around the nose was a fruitless endeavour; it was totally beyond my skill level. This time however, I used the Microscale decal system. Micro Sol was the key element to get these decals to form around the curvatures of the airframe for that 'painted on' look. The stuff really works good, and I'm thankful such a product exists for modelers.
I left the natural metal parts of the aircraft in its original moulded silver-gray. Dark gray was used on the area behind the nacelles, and part of the cowlings as per the instructions. That's about it. The decal application is what took the most time on this one. I applied them slowly over time, putting a few on, letting them completely dry, then applying some more. This prevented over-wrinkling and movement, since many of the blue panels overlap.
This DC-7 was more fun to build than my first one. Painting the top white and applying the decals properly sure made a difference.
I decided to build this 1974 reissue of Revell's old DC-7 on the heels of the TWA Super-G Connie. 1973, and 1974 were golden years of reissuing old kits for Revell, Monogram, Lindberg, and Airfix. In '74, Revell chose to update and rebox the old Eastern Airlines Constellation, and the American Airlines DC-7. This was a surprising move by Revell, since commercial airliner model kits were dipping in sales by the early 70s (according to Thomas Graham's REMEMBERING REVELL MODELS.) At any rate, the TWA Connie and United DC-7 appeared in the 1974-75 and 1977 kit catalogs. Were they good sellers? Who knows; there are still lots of them, even sealed ones available on Ebay. I bought both of them in 1975 at Gemco, in Lancaster, and they are still two of my favorite model airplane kits.