I seem to be throwing out rotten model kits at a great rate this year. It must be something in the air, Spring perhaps, so that I’m hard to please, or it might be that there are just some rotten kits out there and I’m coming across them. I just tossed my Eastern Express kit of the Fokker F-27-500 in the bin after battling with it mightily for many hours.

Eastern Express have been producing kits of much sought-after airliners of late and the F-27-500 is one of them. The only kits of this airliner that I know of in 1/144 are the Doyusha kit, and that is the slightly shorter -200 series, is the Welsh Models vacform and resin kit and this new one. Eastern Express have produced it in a number of boxings with the same plastic and different decals, and they are charging a lot for it too – a kit from Hannats will cost you $60.50, before postage. Some of their airliners seem okay but the company seems to have been in a rush to get this one out and I got the distinct feeling that this was a very slap-dash production on which little time and effort had been spent to make something that could be turned into a reasonable replica of a F-27.

The fuselage is reasonable but the wings and engines are a disaster. After battling with getting the undercarriage legs to fit into the engine pods (which is impossible without modifications) I turned my attention to the propellers and the engine air intake. What the kit offers comes nowhere close to offering something that could be turned into something that looks even vaguely like the engines on a F-27-500. Sure, if I cared to take the trouble of taking the engines off the Doyusha F-27-200 kit I might end up with something halfway decent. But what the kit offers has nothing to do with -500 Dart engines, as the two photos below illustrated.

Leigh Edmonds
October 2018

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