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Amodel C-37B Gulfstream

Review of the 1/72 scale aircraft kit with good decals but difficult windows
RELATED TOPICS: AIRCRAFT
Kit:No. 72327 // Scale:1/72 // Price:$59.99
Manufacturer:
Amodel
Pros:
Good surface detail and PE; excellent decals
Cons:
Thick windows difficult to install and mask; small parts need cleanup; six-part fuselage awkward to build; assembly illustrations need close-up views
Comments:
Injection-molded, 180 parts (27 PE), decals
FSMWB1019_Amodel_C37B_Gulfstream_box
FSMWB1019_AModel_C37B_Gulfstream_03
FSMWB1019_AModel_C37B_Gulfstream_04
FSMWB1019_AModel_C37B_Gulfstream_05
FSMWB1019_AModel_C37B_Gulfstream_06
FSMWB1019_AModel_C37B_Gulfstream_07
FSMWB1019_AModel_C37B_Gulfstream_01
Over the years, several branches of the U.S. military have had several versions of the Gulfstream biz-jet in their inventories to shuttle VIPs and command staff. The latest is the C-37, a version of the Gulfstream G-550. As biz-jets go, the Gulftreams are just a notch down from converted airliners. They’re big, fast, and transport passengers comfortably in the stratosphere. And they’re pretty, too!

I was impressed at the size of Amodel’s C-37 — it’s just a bit smaller than a B-17. The Ukrainian manufacturer has announced multiple versions of the basic kit, so the fuselage in six parts — forward, center, and rear halves — to accommodate those variations.

There’s a good cockpit with separate seats, control columns, rudder pedals, and bulkheads. Small parts need a lot of cleanup and are difficult to handle.

The instructions don’t mention adding nose weight, but once you add the engine pods and horizontal stabilizers, the model will rotate onto its tail. I fashioned a clear plastic tail prop for my model, but you’ll probably want to add weight in the nose.

The fuselage presented challenges. Neither the fuselage parts nor the 14 windows have rims to assist fit, so it’s best to install them before closing the fuselage. I had to shave the edges of each window and dry-fit them several times. And even then, they didn’t fit cleanly, so I ended up sanding and polishing the windows.

The engine pods have multipart intakes and exhausts. I like that they produced the intake rims as separate parts so they’re easy to paint. It’s not clear in the instructions, but the pylons attach to the fuselage at an upward angle.

Each wing has top and bottom halves that attach to a center section that fits into the opened-bottom fuselage. The fit here wasn’t good, producing a 1/16-inch gap at each wing root. I closed the gaps by expanding the bottom of the fuselage with pieces of sprue, then smoothed the seams with gap-filling superglue and sandpaper.

The wings feature winglets and include clear navigation lights that fit into separate leading-edge sockets. 

The landing gear looks good, but interestingly, the main mounts have separate shims that you place between the top of the strut and the wheel well — looks like they were trying to ensure the proper nose-down appearance of the jet.

There are no fewer than 45 small blisters, antennas, probes, and sensors that must be attached to the fuselage and tail and their placement of many of these items is hampered by the instruction’s small drawings. The fuselage has no holes, and none of the tiny parts have pins, so I drilled tiny holes and used the nubs of the sprue attachment points as pins to assist placement. The trickiest was the long thin spine on the top of the fuselage; attaching it flush to the fuselage and keeping it straight was difficult. The flight data sensors (pitot, static, angle-of-attack) are oversize.

The trouble with the windows wasn’t over. I had to mask each graceful oval before painting. Since I had sanded them smooth, there were no defined rims to mask along. I covered the windows with clear frosty tape and hand-cut around each with a sharp blade. I wish Amodel had provided window decals.

However, the kit’s decals went on perfectly, including the black-bordered gold cheatline, over multiple coats of Pledge Floor Gloss. Before applying them, I added a coat of Microscale Liquid Decal Film to the kit’s beautiful decal sheet to make each item easier to handle.

Attaching the 14 tiny photoetched static dischargers to the trailing edges of the wing and tail tips was the final task.

Spiffy and streamlined, the finished model looks the part of a VIP transport. I spent 34 hours on the model, more than usual due to the struggles with the window and external details.


Note: A version of this review appeared in the October 2019 issue.

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