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A Welcome Stretch

Boeing 757-300

Zvezda 1/144, Ref. 7041

Zvezda is once again filling in the gaps in modern 1/144 airliners with the recent release of the stretched 757 in injected plastic. This is of course a kit based upon their 2021 Boeing 757-200 kit that received good reviews from the airliner modelling community. The differences from the earlier kit are obviously the longer fuselage halves, instructions and the decal sheet.

Although very welcome, this kit may not be overly popular since only fifty-five 757-300s were manufactured (out of a total of 1,050 757s) and were (or still are) operated by only a handful of airlines, including Condor (launch customer of the type in 1999), Arkia, Azur Air, American Trans Air, Icelandair, Thomas Cook, JMC Air, Delta, Northwest, United and Continental. Nevertheless, the kit includes the tail skid added to the longer-fuselaged variant, plus the options that featured in the original kit, including the two engine options and ‘normal‘ wings or winglets-equipped.

The fuselage windows (and windshield) are provided as clear plastic parts, something that many airline modellers will regret, and if there are no cabin interior details, the cockpit is rather adequately-furnished for the scale.

The wings are made up of three main parts (the tips being separate smaller items) and include a section of the lower fuselage, which again may be an issue for some. The good thing though is that the trailing edges are razor-sharp since the are integral part of the upper halves of the wings. Comparing to their recent Airbus A321neo kit, this latest release do not offer the separate flaps, slats nor a choice of compressed or decompressed landing gear.

The landing gear is still very well represented and represent a large part of the total number of parts.

The tailplanes are moulded with a fairly large chunk of the fuselage and this will prevent (unless churgery is done) showing them in any other position than the ‘neutral‘ one.

The engines are nicely done, with a two-part insert that will ease the removal of joint lines in the intakes, and include separate lips too, easing their painting.

The decals provided are those of the prototype/demonstrator, in a neat Boeing house scheme. Alternative decals can already be obtained from a few sources, and hopefully more will follow as there have been quite a few interesting schemes worn by the 757-300s over the years, those of Condor particularly coming to mind…

Several companies have also released add-ons for the Zvezda 757-200 that can be used with the longer-fuselaged aircraft: landing flaps (LACI), coroguard panels (26Decals), undercarriage (Welsh Models), weighted wheels (BraZ Model),.. to name but a few.

All in all, if it does not bring any revolutionary step in airliner modelling, this is a good kit that was missing in this popular scale and Zvezda should be commended for taking the plunge and releasing it.

Kit review by Domi Jadoul; photos by Zvezda and Domi Jadoul.

Kit review graciously provided by Zvezda.

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