Lockheed C-121C Constellation

Revell 1/144

This was my first Revell kit since the 1970s and I found that things seem to have improved a little - but not as much as I would have liked. Back then, Revell kits were known for having pretty awful amounts of flash to contend with - and often poor mouldings, to boot. This one wasn't anywhere near so bad - but it was disappointing to have to use decals in place of some windows - this according to which of the two versions is built. I would prefer all decal or all clear plastic windows - not a mix of both, which looks pretty horrible. Add to that, the plastic was very thick, grey in colour, with dark streaks which were sometimes difficult to cover with paint. This being a natural metal finish, primer wasn't required and varnish even less. The parts were also very thick and chunky - sanding often causing even more of the horrible dark streaking. It was a weird kind of plastic I'd never come across before, with sanding 'offal' consisting of a kind of shaving rather than dust.

The fuselage was also slightly twisted (ah, not so different from those '70s examples, then!) and I was unable to find a way to get it suitably straightened out - so the tailplane assembly as a whole is at a slight angle to the rest of the model, when looking from the front or rear.

I used Humbrol Metalcote Gloss Silver for the main finish - and painted on with a brush, no less. It turned out very nicely - I was very happy. Add to that the nice shading and weathering effect achieved with a soft pencil and it all made for a nice finish. The antenna wire was made from stretched elastic thread bought from a knitwear dealer. Humbrol Metalcote is excellent, what with people going on about the new "Metalizer" stuff as though someone just invented the effect - these have been in my toolbox for over 10 years and do an outstanding job - 'dull' or polished.

The decals were reasonable and relatively tough - no silvering suffered. The cockpit glass was pretty awful, though, with a very poor moulding making painting the frames particularly challenging. Still, for this scale I suppose it might be considered within the acceptable range - though airline models don't seem to have a similar issue, so why does this one?

Although I am relatively pleased with the end result (in comparison to what a pain it was to build), I wouldn't build another one.

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