The former Swiss airline Crossair painted an MD-83 HB-IUH in a fancy scheme in co-operation with Hotelplan, a Swiss tour operator and McDonalds. The scheme was on this aircraft from March 1996 until it was removed in April 2000.
Mincraft’s MD-80 was first released in 2000. It is in my opinion a wonderful replica of the real aircraft. It was quite easy to build and had few faults. I am not bothered if a kit is not 100% accurate, though I will try and fix errors if they are managable. I can live with the rest. I will talk about the errors I dealt with in the build report.
There are no built in windows on this kit, but all the doors including those for the baggage holds are engraved. I therefore filled in the passenger doors so I could use decals later. The area where the fuselage windows should go is outlined by a raised line which I sanded away.
After adding weight at the front, care of 1p coins I glued the fuselage halves together, a good fit and then added the clear cockpit section. The fit here is also pretty good, but nevertheless requires some putty and a good deal of sanding to make all the join lines disappear. The cockpit windshield has raised mouldings, so I sanded them back so the future decal would lie on a flat smooth surface.
In the forums, it was mentioned that the air intake at the base of the fin didn’t look quite right.
So I installed the barrel of an old tank kit in the opening, drilled it out, then puttied around the edges. The result looked better than at the beginning.
Other minor problems mentioned in the forum, were that the model didn’t sit properly with the nose facing slightly downwards. I thought I would try and solve this problem by adding plastic card onto the undercarriage mounting holes in the wing, therefore extending the length of the main gear and hopefully getting the model to tip slightly forward. This went ok until it came to fitting the leg. Then I found that the ring at the top of the leg now hit the back of the undercarriage bay edge. So therefore I had to sand off the back of the ring to get the leg to fit in the locating hole.
I found that the flaptrack fairings under the wing had no locating holes which made their alignment more difficult. My advise, glue part A35 first then line up the rest on that one.
Other additions I made were my favourite wingtip lights out of perspex and ‘Kristal Kleer’ added into the drilled out landing lights on the underside of the wings at the end. Finally I made 2 ADF aerial mounds from plastic card which I glued on top of the fuselage near the front.
The last extras were to build gravel deflectors for the undercarriage from plastic card.
Painting & Decaling
I had a number of red paints in my collection and after testing them all out on an old wing, I eventually decided on Humbrol 19 Gloss Red. The great thing about this model is that it is red all over, so not so many paint changes! It sprayed very nicely over a coat of grey Halfords Auto Primer.
The decals I used were from ‘Cousin Guido’ which I think is, or was, something to do with Draw Decal. It was my first time using non screen printed decals. Firstly I coated the whole sheet with a layer of Microscale Decalcoat. The decals went on very well, every white decal being duplicated to avoid colour bleeding through. I used the kit cockpit window decal and overwing emergency walkways, the latter on the McDonalds sheet are the wrong shape. From the Flying Colors MD80 detail sheet I used the windows, doors and grey tailplane chaff plating. Each decal was carefully sealed with Johnsons Klear floorwax . I found that the ‘M’ decal on the tail was a little too small when compared to photos, as too were the ‘Crossair’ decals on the engines. But it really does not detract from the quality of the decals or the finished model. An additional decal was the ‘Qualifier Group’ sticker which was on a white background near both front doors. This decal I found from a Sabena sheet and was applied over a white square cut from white in the spares box. This aircraft wore this sticker in the final years of this scheme.
Finally I did some minor weathering mainly around the engines and tailplane using pastel powder. I added the aerials from plastic card and finally I glued on the main gear doors which look far too long. I can’t work out why this is so.
A very fun model to build with a very attractive livery. Highly recommended MD80 kit. Unfortunately, through picking up the model the top white on some of the ‘McDonalds’ letters flaked off. My fault, repairs are in hand!