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Revell Germany 1/144 scale C-17A Globemaster III

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Kit: No. 04044-0389
Scale: 1/144
Manufacturer: Revell Germany, 49-05-223-965-0,
Price: $39.75
Comments: Injection-molded, 131 parts, decals
Pros: Excellent fit; none other in this scale
Cons: Lack of positive fit for main gear
Issue Published: May 2009
Revell Germany brings the C-17 to life with appropriate detail for the scale. A reasonably complete interior will satisfy most modelers, with sufficient detail in the cargo hold to justify posing the doors open. Two schemes are provided, although, like all C-17s, the only detectable difference is the color of the tail stripe.

Like Revell Germany's kit of the An-124, the interior is built as a shell, then placed inside the fuselage halves. The outstanding fit is exemplary of the kit's engineering. Decals dress up the floor of the cargo compartment; with no instructions on their placement, I guessed.

There's not much room for counterweight in the nose. Instead, I left the ramp down and relied on it to keep the nose level. The in-structions show where to cut the ramp and upper door from the lower fuselage, but be careful - its pins are very fragile.

The most difficult assembly was the complicated landing gear. All elements had mold lines to remove. The main-wheel legs are adjustable in all directions, making alignment tricky; I left one set too high.

The interior shell fit well and created a strong assembly. I had a small gap at the front on one side, easily filled with a little putty. The windscreen fit well after I trimmed a locating tab on the fuselage to seat the rear edge. I used Micro Kristal Klear for the small portholes.

Assembly of the wings and tail was easy; the wingtips needed thinning to match the winglets. Fit to the fuselage was good. Be sure to get the stabilizers level, as the huge tail is a focal point. I assembled the engines but left them off for painting.

The interior of the large-mouth intakes needed cleanup. Fitting the intakes to the engines left large gaps forward of the fan blades.

I painted the C-17 Testors Model Master Air Mobility Command gray with a bit of aluminum on the leading edges and some white for the gear bays and wheels, then applied a gloss coat and the decals.

The decals seemed fine as they were going on, but silvered as they dried. My gloss coat might have been the problem; repeated applications of decal-setting solution corrected most of it. Walkway markings atop the fuselage have cutouts for surface features, but the blade-antenna cutout in the rear section (Decal 38) is not placed far enough to the rear. Measure and cut before placing it.

Next, I attached the wheels and gear doors, ramp, and air-stair door. I had to trim a little from the ramp's cylinders, perhaps because I built the gear too short to fully lower the ramp. The main-gear doors have prominent knockout marks, and their assembly angles are hard to determine. More instruction might have helped, as the fit of the retraction arm joining the halves is vague, as is the angle of the small upper gear doors. Check your references.

Regardless of my difficulties, Revell Germany has created a kit I would recommend for any intermediate modeler willing to tackle the tricky landing gear. My Globemaster III took about 18 hours and makes a good shelf companion for Revell Germany's huge An-124.

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