Pan American B-377
1/72 Scale Decals by Liveries Unlimited
Reviewed by Brett Green
Academy's new 1/72 scale B-377 Stratocruiser ought to be a model with broad appeal. Its Air Force origins should make it palatable for military aircraft modellers, its sheer size must bring it to the attention of 1/48 scale modellers and civil aircraft modellers will just love it for being available!
Liveries Unlimited have been quick to see the potential for this kit to wear their decals. This new release will permit the modeller to depict any of the 24 Stratocruisers operated by Pan Am that bore the classic white and blue scheme of the jet era.
The set comprises one 5.5" x 8" sheet, one 2.5" x 8" sheet and a colour instruction sheet. Two sizes of the famous Pan Am globe are supplied. The instructions also make reference to window modifications required for some particular aircraft. Plenty of spare blue decals and window frames are provided to cater for any variation.
Silver window frames are supplied separately to the blue fuselage line. The window "holes" in both sets of decals have been thoughtfully left free of carrier film to ensure crystal clear window "glass". Silver frame decals are also supplied for the cockpit windows, eliminating a potentially tricky masking job.
Attention to detail must be Liveries Unlimited's watchword. Even two styles of US flag are supplied - one with 48 very tiny stars for aircraft before mid-1959; and one with 50 stars for aircraft after 1959!
The instructions really are excellent. The layout on two sides of half-letter size glossy paper is compact, stylish and effective. A table lists the registration number, the name, the style of tail logo, window type and radar status for every Clipper known to have flown in these colours. The shortcomings of the Academy kit are also pointed out, with suggestions for improvements and even reference to the Cobra Company correction sets. Placement diagrams are attractive and easy to follow.
Although I have never built a model airliner, I was impressed enough with these decals to go out and spend nearly A$80 on the Academy kit. This set of markings will be a striking finish for Academy's big 1/72 scale Stratocruiser.
Thanks to Liveries Unlimited for the review sample.
Review Copyright © 2000 by Brett