Some of you know of my current employment state (as in un-) and subsequent financial state (as in dreadful) and therefore know that I have been selling some items on eBay to bring in a teeny bit of my missing income. But to date it has mostly been duplicate kits, superseded kits, off-scale kits (for my concentration on 1:72 at least), and historical oddballs. But last week I put one up that was a core part of my personal collection. And it really hurt to do so.
There are a number of grail kits in our hobby, and the Kendall / KMC Boeing 727 in 1:72 is one of them. When the kit was first issued, I was still operating The Supply Depot online store, and got a number of them to sell. It was a very ambitious kit, and not terribly cheap. I seem to remember the MSRP being around $70 in an age where even substantial kits were generally in the $30s and $40s. The main pieces were injected plastic and all the details were in KMC’s usual area of resin bits.
The kit did take some beatings for accuracy – nose? Engines? Can’t remember. And there was a persistent molding flaw on the rear dorsal fuselage that was going to make getting a good seam under the middle engine intake a challenge. But it was an airliner in 1:72 in injected plastic. The only precedents were the long out of production Aurora DC-9 and 737, neither of which were great kits either. Heller had improved the landscape with their 1:72 707, and that was probably the gold standard for large airliners at the time.
I never had any doubt that I would build my KMC 727. I already had the Heller 707 and Aurora 737 in the display case and expected to add the 727 in the fullness of time. But eventually economic reality kicked in and hard decisions had to be made. So why did I let it go?
First of all, there are now other 727s around in my scale. Welsh Models has recently produced one (though admittedly with the fuselage in vacuform, something I am not very comfortable with). Authentic Airliners has one coming along as well in resin, though I have heard the sticker shock on that one may be breathtaking. So it is not like I will never be able to replace that type in my lineup. Hell, there is even a 747 out there (the Anigrand resin, which has its own set of issues). And perhaps BPK will consider one if their first kit, the 737, wasn't a financial disaster.
Second, I have never been convinced that producing the landing gear in resin was a smart idea. I know that was KMC’s wheelhouse. But to quote others, resin is merely an extremely slow-moving liquid, and I felt there was no chance that a year or two of display wouldn’t produce two banana-shaped gear legs.
So, onto the block it went. Unfortunately there have been some payment problems with the sale, but I hope to have it cleared up next week. My creditors will be happy.