1/144 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
Kit Number: ZVE 7008
Reviewed by  Fred A. Amos, IPMS# 6672

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MSRP: $33.95
Review model provided by Dragon Models USA - Website: www.dragonmodelsusa.com

The Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner is the latest in a long line of Boeing airliners. After many delays the first flight took place on December 15th of 2009 and lasted a little over three hours. The 787-8 Dreamliner is a mid-sized, wide- body, twin-engine jet airliner with a maximum seating in a one-class configuration of 290 to 330 passengers. Boeing states that it will be more fuel-efficient than earlier Boeing airliners and will be the first major airliner to use composite materials for most of its construction.

On opening the box you will find 76 pieces on three sprues, two in gray styrene and one clear. The decals are limited to the wavy white cheat line, the door outlines and all of the white logos of the prototype aircraft as seen on the day of its first flight. The decals are in good registry but the clear areas, such as inside the door outline, seem to have a slight yellow tint. Also the 787 logo for the vertical rudder should have been a light shade of blue such as RLM 65.

Building the model was quick and easy with no major surprises or disappointments. I received the model in the mail on Wednesday and had it built ready to paint by Saturday. One of the nicer features of this kit is the engines. The front face of the intake nacelles is one piece so you don't have a big ugly seam to fill and clean up. The front compressor blades are a two-piece affair. One of the blades was broken off of each of the front section and I found it easier to put the two parts together and then slip the broken blade back where it belongs.

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Painting started with the wings, stabilizers and engine pylons in Boeing gray. That was masked off, leaving the leading edges exposed and painted with Alclad White Aluminum. The fronts of the nacelles were painted the same color at this time. I painted the front blades and the exhaust cones with Model Master Metalizer Titanium at this time as well.

After the wing leading edges were masked, I painted the area of the fuselage where the white cheat line would be with Humbrol 22 Gloss White. Then I cut long tapered strips of Tamiya tape and laid them it in the approximate area on the side of the fuselage using pictures of the prototype I had saved from www.airliners.net as reference. Airliners.net is great source for pictures of airliners with literally thousands of available images; (the ones shown here are reproduced with their permission).

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After the sides were masked, I painted the dark blue area with Humbrol 15 and then masked the appropriate area on the bottom. A close look at the photos shows that there some dark blue areas above the cheat line so I attempted to create that by masking the dark blue. Unfortunately that didn't turn out too well. Then the top of the fuselage was painted with Humbrol 22 Gloss White.

Unfortunately I didn't have a Humbrol light blue color so I used MM #2032 Bright Blue. I thinned it down and carefully sprayed from the white area to the masked area to get the light blue shading on the sides. Again, this was not successful. At this point I wished that Zvezda had provided the light blue as a decal.

After the masking was removed the decals were put in place. The decals are very thin and a few tried to fold up on themselves but I managed to save them. The slight yellow tint I mentioned earlier didn't show up as I thought it would. After the decals were dry I finished putting the smaller details, landing gear, doors and engines, in place.

In the end the finished model doesn't look half bad. Building the model was fun, quick and easy but the painting was a pain. I can easily recommend this kit to all experienced modelers but maybe the less experienced should wait till some aftermarket decals come out.

Thanks to Dragon Models USA for providing the kit to the IPMS Reviewer Corps.

Permission to use photos of the Dreamliner from airliners.net has been granted by the photographers, Mr Royal S. King, and Mr William T. Shemley.

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