Airfix 1/144 DC-10 Air Liberté

And another veteran model review... Airfix 1/144 DC-10. Home printed Air Liberté decals
In the end of the sixties, the big 747 is doing great! But, it is too big for some routes... And airline companies wanted something a little smaller for those... Lockheed was envited to present an alternative, but McDonnell Douglas presented one of its own. Both used 3 engines, where the main difference was the way the rear engine was placed. Even if in some aspects the Lockheed L-1011 was better, it was delayed for too long, and the DC-10 started being produced. However it had a fatal flaw: the cargo doors beneath opened to the outside, to allow the placement of extra cargo! But its locks weren't that much perfect, and it was possible for them to appear to be closed, while were not. When under pressure, the cargo door wouldn't hold, and an explosive decompression would ocurr. This, by itself, its not that dangerous if you are seated... The problem is that there weren't enough vents between the passengers and the cargo compartiment, which would lead to the colapse of the floor... And with it, cutting most of the hidraulic lines on the rear... American Airlines flight 96 managed to  land the plane with most of the controls busted... And it was made a gentlemans agreement where McDonnell Douglas would modify them so that it wouldn't happen again, without grounding all of the airplanes! But, that didn't happened, and 2 years later, 346 people lost their lifes on a similar accident. After that, all were grounded until the modifications were made... After that, it proved to be reliable and cost effective! It carried passengers up to 2014, and it is still used as a freighter.

The first issue with this kit is the general idea running on the internet that the windows of the kit are too ofset when compared to the original... They are not right, so just fill them in and use decals... Almost every blog will state that! So, lets look at pics. This is the real one (from, notice that the windows half line is on the bottom line of the cockpit...)

And this is the model.

I confess I didn't measured it to the mm, but... Their position doesn't look that bad... I think that its fine!
There are some changes that should be made though... Some can be easy, others... Not really... Another general comment on these models is that the center landing gear its hard to glue so that it doesn't "float"... And yes, it is a little hard... But not that much! Installing the landing gear on the 747 can be as much problematic as this. The trick is to have enough room so that it can slide a little up and down, and then apply the glue (I allways use cyano...) and adjust on a flat surface.


If you do that with some care, you can adjust it to the "sweet spot"!
The laniding gear itself is not that bad, but also a little thick and detailless... But lets not forget this is an old model kit... At the time it was made, it was hard and much more expensive to do them better...

The strange thing is on the center wheel... One may think that we should see the gear well... 
But... NO! We should not! as we can see in this video, it is meant to be like this! I suppose they've done it so that it would have less drag... But pay attention to its positon, don't remember if in the instructions it is well placed and aligned...

Another small detail is on the engines! The ones from this version have some small inlets on the top. Take a thin pice of "hard" plastic, like those transparent that wrap up many things we buy, and cut them. Then, a small line of glue, and there you go! That is a really small thing that makes a big difference! (sorry about the dust on it...)

So, It is a raised pannel lines not so much detailled old mould kit, still being sold from SAS Airline. But comes up a nice DC 10-30! With a little work and care, you may have something that everyone will look twice!

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