Review: Revell 1/144 Boeing 747-400 Ed Force One

Before reading this review I suggest you should listen to your favorite Iron Maiden song. If you don’t have one, here are some of their best songs: The Trooper, The Number of the Beast, Aces High or Paschendale.

With that out of the way, let’s start with the review of this kit. In 2016 Revell Germany released a ‘new’ Boeing 747 kit: Ed Force One. It is named after their mascot -Eddie- that features on many of their album art and in concerts. It was flown by front man/lead-vocalist Bruce “The Air Raid Siren” Dickinson during their 2016 The Book of Souls World Tour.

The kit

This is not a new kit, it’s based on Revells 747-400 kit from 1993 and sadly, it shows.. A fair amount of flash is visible, and judging by some build reports the fit it terrible in places. Keep your favorite putty (and your decal solution of choice) at the ready. This isn’t going to be an easy weekend build.

<rant>I wish Revell would stop using these Side Opening Boxes and their one-bag-fits-all attitude to packaging.</rant>

Inside the new Revell box with an amazing shot of the real Ed Force One we find one huge bag full of sprues, an A4 sized instruction book and the large decal sheet. The manual is the usual new Revell style manual, clear, full-color and easy to follow, but as usual, only listing Revell colors. But in this kit it isn’t a huge problem: white and ‘Boeing Grey’ are the main colors, with some parts painted in aluminium or steel colors. The manual also clearly lists which windows need to be opened and which ones should be closed, so keep your pin-vise next to your putty.

The plastic is as I wrote earlier a bit ‘flashy’. There is a lot of flash visible, so maybe Revell should start thinking of replacing the moulds. Apart from that, details are quite nice, with recessed panellines everywhere. But they appear to be a bit out of scale. They would look a bit large on an 1/72 scale kit, so they are a bit too big for 1/144. But there’s enough to fix already, so I would leave them as-is.  Besides, this is a large kit, even in 1/144 so they wouldn’t look too much out-of-place I would think. Keep in mind this kit is almost 50 cm long!

Detail on the rest of the kit is pretty good, with only the engines lacking in detail, but I guess there isn’t a lot to show apart from the fan disc and the rear of the engine. The landing gear looks nice, with a decent amount of detail and a boatload of wheels.

Decals and color scheme

The decals are what make this kit, it comes with a large sheet with everything you need to replicate the Ed Force One. The sheet says ‘Printed in Italy’, so it’s most likely a Cartograf product. The color scheme is unsurprisingly just the Ed Force One scheme: white and Boeing Grey. One nice little detail: on March 12th, 2016 the Ed Force One had an accident, a tow truck struck engine #1, badly damaging it. Repairs were done and for some reason the replaced front cowling ring was painted Boeing Grey. This is replicated by painting the front cowling ring in the same color.

Clear parts

There are just a few clear parts: the cockpit windows, and sets of lights. The cockpit windows are thick, but are fairly free of distortion. Not that there is anything to see inside the airframe however. The rest of the clear parts are just lights. The cabin windows don’t get any clear plastic at all.

Conclusion

Not the best kit for beginners or people running low on putty. But for Maiden fans this is probably a must-have. If you just want a 747-400 on your desk you probably want to look elsewhere. I think the decals of this kit are the saving grace of this kit, they are wonderful. But despite the slightly negative tone of this review this kit will, after a bit of work, result in something nice.

I just wish this kit would come in a similar box as the factory-made 1/200 model.

Score

6/10

Info

Vehicle: Boeing 747-400 Ed Force One
Manufacturer: Revell
Scale: 1/144
Kit#: 04950
Number of parts: 85
Number of sprues: 7
Length: 490 mm
Wingspan 446 mm
Released: 2016
Price: €24.95

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