Years in the making, Boeing’s newest airliner is just now entering routine service with many of the worlds’ airlines. Just in time to celebrate, Hasegawa has released a newly tooled 787-8 Dreamliner in its infrequent 1/200 scale series of airliners.
Hasegawa’s Dreamliner may not have many parts (67), but it doesn’t lack detail where it counts. There are no cabin or cockpit windows included, but these are ably covered on the decal sheet. Only one scheme is included, in the markings of ANA, but you can model any of their jets that carry this scheme thanks to the extra number decals included. A nice additional touch is the inclusion of spare antennas should you wipe out the ones molded to the fuselage during seam cleanup. Also appreciated is the bolt designed to screw into the front bulkhead that acts as nose weight — effective. The landing gear is sturdy but detailed. A stand is also provided for those so inclined.
Assembly of the major airframe components is fast, aided by near-perfect fit. I had trouble finding the seam between the wing and lower fuselage after I finished attaching the wings. Even the separate nose cone fits like a dream. I took full advantage of the fit by leaving the stabilizers off until after painting and decaling, which made the swooping stripe up the tail easier to place.
Hasegawa did an exceptional job engineering the engine assembly. Individual components can be painted separately, then assembled. One word of warning, though: If your coat of white is at all translucent, you can see the metallic shade painted inside the exhaust ring. The fine fit of the engine pylons allows you to paint and decal them off the plane and attach them afterwards.
The one difficulty I had with the engines was the spiral decal that is supposed to go on the intake cone. I spent a bit of time getting these placed accurately, only to have them completely shrivel up into a gooey ball when I applied decal solvent to get them to actually lay down over the part. This should have been a warning to me for decaling later — that’s where this Dreamliner gave me some nightmares.
Painting the plane is easy. The traditional gray areas of the wings are not present on the 787; the entire wing is white, along with the fuselage top for the ANA scheme. I used Testors classic white there, and Testors gloss gull gray for the lower fuselage color. I didn’t catch it until I applied the decals, but the gray actually angles up a bit from the nose to meet the upper part of the wing’s leading edge.
The only tricky masking involved the natural-metal leading edges on all the flying surfaces. I painted these with Testors Metalizer aluminum. Once the paint had dried, I began applying the surprisingly large number of decals for this “simple” scheme. I quickly found out that the longer you fuss with these decals, the greater chance you have of them breaking into pieces. Make sure you have plenty of water around until they are where you want them. I would also suggest applying the door decals before the window decals so you have a reference for where the window lines are located. Be careful to keep track of what door goes where, as they have different color outlines depending on where they intersect the angled stripes.
I thought I had fought my way through the decal issues — and then I tried to apply walkway stripes to the stabilizers and wings. I destroyed one of each in the same way I lost the engine spirals, leaving me no choice but to let my 1/200 scale ground crew have free rein to crawl over my little airliner.
I attached the landing gear and engines, and I was pleased to see all wheels touched the ground and the supplied bolt was plenty of weight to keep the nose down.
This little 787 only took a touch over 11 hours to complete, and it looks great — I just wish I had better luck with the decals.
Note: A version of this review appeared in the January 2013 FineScale Modeler.