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Big Kev

Minicraft 737 Confusion

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Hi folks,

I'm back with another question. I bought the kit shown in the photos below for cheap off an acquaintance at a swap meet last year, but it wasn't until I got it home that I noticed the conflicting information about the aircraft version. Now, I know virtually nothing about 737s, so I can't tell from looking. Can any of you guys clarify this for me? Firstly, the kit:

file.jpg

Notice it's labelled as a -400. Now, the instructions:

file-2.jpg

Ha ha! Now it's a -300! The decals reckon so too:

file-1.jpg

The kit is labelled #14506, just like the decals. Here's a shot of the box contents, in case that helps:

file-3.jpg

So if majority rules, it's a 737-300, but needless to say I'm a tad confused!

Kev

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Bust out a ruler. The 300 and 400 are VERY close, but the 400 is slightly longer...

Differences include:

Tail bumper: 300 no, 400 yes

Span: 300 94'8", 400 94'9"

OAL: 300 109'7", 400 119'6"

So, if it's about 9.13194" OAL it's a more -300, 9.95833" it's more -400. I don't see a tailskid, which says probably a 300.

Here's a review on a Minicraft "400": http://www.internetmodeler.com/2001/january/first-looks/minicraft_737-400.htm --though they seem to have tooled both versions.

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Hi mate,

Thanks for that input. I was hoping someone here would be familiar with this particular kit, and know what it was meant to be. I see from the Internet Modeler review you link to that one of the flaws in the Minicraft -400 kit is the lack of a tail bumper! The closest I can get to a real world fuselage length translation (including the tail) is 108 feet. So, it's gotta be a -300, right? The Internet tells me that the machine depicted by the kit, N224DA, belongs to a 737-35B - is that also indicative of a -300? I'm assuming at this stage that Minicraft simply mislabelled the box cover (just like they did with their TWA 707 that I bought).

Kev

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Kev, in Heritage Boeing (pre Stoncipher/McDonnell buyout with our own money) the -300 refers to a series of alphanumeric designators indicating both original owner and airframe configuration--you'd be surprised how many different ways there are to stuff different seat, galley and lav arrangements all into the exact same fuselage "tube". So yes, your -35B is a -300 series--the first digit is constant and describes the airframe, the next two describe the "as-ordered config".

This may help: http://en.wikipedia...._customer_codes

So, according to the above, your Delta -35B was originally built for Germania, then transferred to Delta for one reason or another. No experience with the kit, but I know the fullsize article pretty well--my mother's in their IT department, and I've spent a lot of time crashing various company parties and open houses over the years, walking between and under unfinished planes when the line's been shut down for "Family Days" and the like.

Edited by Diamondback Six

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Cool, thanks for the info! I vaguely remember all the customer code guff when I built the 707, so I figured the 737 should be similar that way. So, in the end, it appears to be a simple (and stupid!) error on the box. I'm hoping to build it in Qantas (or some other Aussie airline) livery anyway, though the kit decals are printed by Cartograf, and appear quite good.

Kev

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Judging by the look of the fuselage length this is a -300. The -400 is significantly longer (3 meters) giving the fuselage a less compact appearance.

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Thanks chaps. A -300 it is. I've just been through my decal stash, and the only thing I have for an Aussie 737-300 is a set of Flightpath decals for Ansett Airlines, but they don't include any windscreen or window decals! I'm just looking for a (relatively) quick and easy build of an Aussie airliner, and I keep running into brick walls. Perhaps I should just build it with the kit decals and be done with it (I try mostly to build Aussie liveries where possible).

Thanks again you guys for clarifying the situation for me.

Kev

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Kev,Minicraft misboxed a couple of the 737 kits. In both cases they put -300 plastic in a -400 box. The other kit was the British Airways boxing. So you aren't seeing things. Have you got decals for this build?

Edited by Trojan Thunder

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Have you got decals for this build?

Well, kinda. The Flightpath decals I mentioned earlier are intended for the Welsh kit, and don't have any window decals. This kit has no windows, so needs window decals! So the Flightpath set isn't really going to work with this kit. I'd prefer to build an Aussie subject, but will settle for the nice Cartograf Delta ones if necessary. My airliner stash is full of mismatched kits, paints and decals!

Kev

Edited by Big Kev

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Delta never flew the -400, but they did fly the 737-300, so you can use the decals, and the plane will be accurate. As for as an Aussie subject, you'll have to do some homework.

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Kev, if you'll PM your address to me, I'll send you an extra set of AHS 737-300 windows I have. They're black, instead of the more common dark grey, but you're welcome to them.

Cheers!

Ben

Edited by Ben Brown

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I can remember getting the BA box and when I opened it I found 2 halfs of the fuselage but different lengths??? One side was the 300 and the other was the 400. Easy to fix tho.but all in all you can't beat the daco 737 kits

Edited by CUPRAR

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That kit is definately a -300 ac. the decals are correct as the -400 had 2 over wing exits on each side instead of one. kit is very nice imo and nothing major wrong with it. Have built 3 myself in Delta, US Air, and Piedmont colors.

Frank

ATL

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That kit is definitely a -300.

FWIW, the molding contractor in China has lost the tool for the -300 fuselage, so anything newer than the past year or so from MC has to be a -400. I had completed new decal artwork for them for the -300 which had to be scrapped because they couldn't locate the -300 fuselage tools. That's why their most recent release has been a US Airways (new colors) -400.

Not sure how you 'lose' a hunk of steel that weighs several hundred pounds, but they did. And we're worried about the Chinese becoming a world superpower? Not so much.

J

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Kev, if you'll PM your address to me, I'll send you an extra set of AHS 737-300 windows I have. They're black, instead of the more common dark grey, but you're welcome to them.

Cheers!

Ben

Thanks Ben! PM on its way...

Kev

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Just go buy the DACO kit - it's more accurate anyway ! :D

So I've heard, plus it appears to neatly solve my decal issue by providing only window and stencil decals (leaving you to come up with your own solution for the livery). However, I'm only an occasional (and broke!) airliner modeller, so the Minicraft one is fine for now.

Kev

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Kev, you have 4 options for 737-300 operators is Aus. Australian Airlines (blue/green/yellow livery), Ansett, QANTAS or Virgin Blue. Virgin Blue had one ex Ansett aircraft leased for a while which was not reapinted so it wore a hibrid white scheme in service.

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Thanks Ray, that's about what I thought too. If Ben can get some window decals to me, I'll go with the Ansett one from Flightpath. Otherwise I'll bide my time until something else comes along. I got into airliner modelling as an occasional escape from the AMS involved in 1/32 aircraft, but now I have an A321 I can't find paint for, and a 737 I can't find decals for! :rolleyes: (Actually, that goes for my Airfix 737, 727 and Trident kits too.)

Kev

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Thanks for the suggestions fellas. I'm not looking to purchase any additional/replacement decals at this stage - that's what the Flightpath decals were for! And hence my frustration over the situation. I'm open to suggestions regarding suitable Aussie decals for my Airfix 737-200 kit though!

Kev

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That's a beauty Jennings. But is it available anywhere as a decal sheet? I know Hawkeye has some suitable sheets, but I'm not keen on their ordering process. I would like, over time, to work towards a representative collection of Qantas aircraft and liveries.

Kev

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The story I heard was the model was supposed to be a -400, but after the moldings came out they noticed it resembled for a -300 than a -400. The instructions were created first and then never corrected after the designation change.

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