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Ilyushin A-50 Mainstay

1/144 Scale





Trumpeter's 1/144 scale A-50 Mainstay is available online from Squadron.com


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: 03903
Scale: 1/144
Contents and Media: 104 injection molded pieces, 1 decal sheet
Price: USD$31.95 (USD$26.96 from Squadron.com)
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: Excellent fit, fine recessed panel lines
Disadvantages: Expensive, no cockpit, markings for 1 aircraft only
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Dave Roof




Trumpeter's 1/144 scale A-50 Mainstay is an absolutely beautiful kit. The model comprises 104 injection moulded styrene parts. Panel lines are finely recessed and well done. The clear parts for the cockpit and tail are flawless and fit like a glove.

Decals are in register and very thin. Markings for one aircraft are included.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The only drawback to the kit is the lack of a cockpit. Although not much can be seen in the cockpit of a 1/144 scale transport type aircraft, it would have been nice if Trumpeter had included something for the interior. Even a basic deck and bulkhead with generic shapes for seats would have helped here. Due to the clarity of the cockpit glass, you can see all the way to the back of the plane through them.

The leading edge slats are molded separate from the wings, which is a nice touch. However, the instructions tell you to glue them in the closed position, so I'm not real clear as to why they were done separate in the first place.

Each engine consists of five pieces and they are designed in a way that leave no interior seam in the front. I have assembled one of them and it fit together very nicely.

The instructions are clear and easy to understand with only one omission. Trumpeter fails to tell you to open holes on the top of the fuselage to attach parts F3 and F17. These parts hold the radar dish on the top of the fuselage. There are two slots on the inside top of the fuselage parts, but no clear instructions on exactly where to make the holes.

The paint color call outs are for Gunze Mr. Color, so a little work will be needed to match the colors to your preferred brand of paint.

In the photos below you will notice that I have already taped the main parts together. The fit is so good that it is hard to see where the fuselage seam is in the close-up of the wing to fuselage join picture.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

At USD$31.95, the Mainstay is a little expensive for a 1/144 scale kit. However, it is an excellent model of a long overlooked aircraft. Now all Trumpeter has to do is release this kit in 1/72 scale!



Review and Images Copyright 2002 by Dave Roof
Page Created 03 January, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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