Boeing 247 
United Airlines


247 Airliner  model in 1/72 scale: kit review & building report by Meindert de Vreeze
The Boeing 247 airliner first flew in 1933 during an era dominated by biplanes. It was the beginning of the Boeing airliner tradition, resulting in the most dominant airliner manufacturer for years.

The Williams Brothers kit of this plane in 1/72 (kit no. 72-247) is excellent and the kit itself is special as the style of the parts, the instruction sheet and the box are very traditional. About 50 parts are in this kit, and some work here and there is needed to clean them up. But the basics are very good and accurate. You get also some alternatives parts which is fully explained in an excellent hand drawn instruction sheet with full details coming with this kit.


The kit decals are for a racer plane of Colonel Turner in the Melbourne race of 1934, the other scheme is for a United Airlines flight test plane. The last one was chosen as subject as it is very colour full.

The fuselage comes with two alternative interiors and you also get two style of windshields, exhaust pipes, rubber and plastic tyres and two styles of gear struts. 

After careful study of the instructions, start with assembly and painting the interior. I then added the windows from inside the fuselage. The fuselage parts were glued together. You will need putty to get the cockpit windshield flush into the fuselage. I had some trouble here as the the right half part of the windshield was damaged, but I managed to get it OK with some Micro Kristal Clear. 

The rear tail wheel was cut off, and replaced with a piece of sprue with a separate wheel from the spares box. The wing fits OK, just take care to carefully glue and align it. I also used a razor saw to get the gaps in the moving surfaces (ailerons, rudder and elevator) for a realistic result. 

The wing lights were drilled out and you get in the kit two wing landing lights also but these two transparent parts need trimming in order to get them flush with the wing leading edge. The light were covered with Micro Kristal clear after painting.

The cow lings were left off at this stage, the overall parts being assembled to get the basic plane. After some putty here and there and sanding, I then re-scribed all panellines and removed the raised existing ones. Next, the overall kit was given a light grey primer paint with the airbrush. 

After touching up here and there, the paint was polished and several coats of gloss white applied for the chosen United Airlines version. Next, I masked of the black anti-icing boots on the surface leading edges. This takes two hours to prevent over spray, but is worth the effort as you get a very handsome end-result. The boots were sprayed matt black. Next the trimming in red: you get the red striping on decals, but need to paint the red on the cow lings and upper and lower nacelles. 

A warning when applying the Bros decals: they break up! So apply a coat of clear Micro Decal Film first before soaking them into water. Still after that, take real care as they are very thin. I lost some decals in the process.... and had to do some hand painting. The stripes as supplied are a bit to long, so trim them. The stripe on the nose I had to paint myself. The large lettering on the wing is very brittle and easily breaks up!

The final details were now added:
- entry door into cabin with a ladder made from some sprue
- exhaust and cowling; I detailed the cylinder engines with some rods and cables form the spark plugs.
- wire antenna running from tail to cockpit area made from thin fishing line
- also added some very tiny rivets with paint and a toothpick here and there.
The final model was given a gloss coverage, except on the dull leading edges and tyres.

and there she is... a very handsome model of the exciting nineteen thirties!

 

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Created this page November 7, 2002