In the mid ’80s Alaska Airlines promoted Seattle’s Seahawk football team on one of their planes. A Boeing 727-200 was selected to wear their home football team logo. This paint scheme was applied to only one of Alaska’s 727’s – N297AS. I always liked this paint job ever since refueling it when I worked as a Lineman for an FBO. Still today, I wonder about the commonality of the two colors. Did Alaska fund the team?
I started out with the Hasegawa 1/200 Boeing 727 model. This kit is very accurate and has been out for years. It was chosen for the build under the recommendation of Master Builder, Bill Miller of Boise, Idaho. The kit was built “out-of-the-box” meaning it was constructed as per the instructions and that nothing was modified or scratch built.
This is a very quick and easy kit to build. It was divided into three main sub-assemblies, body, wings and engines. The fuselage window holes were filled with my new method – Apoxie Sculp. This is described in detail in my Australian 767 article. In fact, the 727 photos from that article are actually of this 727 kit, as I forgot to photograph the 767 before I sealed it up. After I glued the 727 halves up, the body was primed and sprayed with Tamiya TS-26 Pure White. The lower bare metal section was taped off and sprayed with Alclad 2 White Aluminum. The body was set off to “cure” while I worked on the wings and engines.
The engines are two main halves with the fan and inlet ring as separate pieces. All but the inlet ring were glued, sanded and polished out with 2000 grit in preparation for the Alclad 2. Three shades of Alclad 2 were used – Jet Exhaust, Dark Aluminum and Aluminum. The inlet ring was painted with the dark shade of aluminum to contrast with the engine nacelle. It was installed during the final assembly. In hindsight, the ring needs to be glued and profiled to the engine, as it’s a slightly smaller diameter.
I spent hours on Airliners.net trying to find out what was the color pattern for the 727 wing . So, what did I find? That there’s as many different color variations as there are 727s! Since I didn’t have a tower shot looking down on the wings, what I came up was a combination of wings. I found that the pattern of bare metal, Boeing Gray and Corogard varied from plane to plane even in the same airline.
The wings were shot Boeing Gray with the flaps and ailerons being painted with Aluminum Alclad 2. The ground and inflight spoilers were done with silver decals for a different shade. Most 727s have a unique color for the leading edge slats, it’s a somewhat anodized metallic gray. After some experimenting, I came up with a mix of Aluminum, steel and gray primer. This mixture was sprayed on and then lightly buffed when dry.
Decals and Final Construction
The fuselage was decaled using Decales de Guido’s sheet # 8 available from Airline Hobby Supply. This is a new issue and one I’ve waited for years to be done. These are ALPS printed and come in 1/200 and 1/144 scales. The art work and printing is first rate with good color matches. I also used the Aviagraphics 727 detail sheet, #AG 2092 for all the small items. Because there is no protective clear over the ALPS decals, I brushed on a layer of Microscale’s Liquid Decal Film over the entire sheet before I started. I have found that you can easily scratch off some ink while applying the decals if you aren’t careful. If you use the Liquid Decal Film over a standard silkscreen decal, you have the added chore of cutting out the new clear top coat. Since the ALPS printed sheets are done a continuous clear carrier, you have to cut close to the decal anyway, so this is not an extra worry. All of the three main groups were brought together and assembled. The main gear doors proved to be a little tricky, I’m just not sure on the kits mounting. Finish up with a few more decal details and paint touch ups and you’re done with one of Alaska’s more unique paint schemes.