This kit is a Revell AG offering and the entire box and instructions are printed in multiple languages. This in itself is a bit overwhelming. Trying to find ‘your’ language is a challenge among the many offered. The box is a sleeve box and is a bit loose, so things do shake around a bit.
Inside you get more multi-lingual information. The instructions are booklet style and again are in multiple languages. Once you locate what you can read they are standard instructional fair. You get a brief history, code legend, color charts, a parts chart and 41 subsequent assembly steps. Each step is clearly pictured. There are ‘shadow’ images and highlights and ‘call outs’ explaining each step. There are some complex assemblies in this kit and the instructions look like they really show you how each is created.
Beyond the paper is a bag containing two sprues and two loose parts. The kit is molded in a black injected plastic. The plastic is quite hard and appears to be very nice quality. The sprues are efficiently laid out and I found it quite easy to review the various parts.
Revell has done a nice job of balancing the kit. There are some well defined assemblies that pop out. You’ll find piston assemblies with multiple parts. You can easily see the locomotive truck assemblies as separate entities. There are quite a few delicate detail parts that should add a bit of realism and flair to the final product. This kit is billed as a 3 out of 5 on skill required scale. This is a subjective scale, however in review of the pieces I think they have accurately portrayed the skill needed. There are parts and assemblies that will garner a bit more attention than others. At the same time they do not go ‘over the top’ with the details.
The detail molded in these parts is quite good for HO (1/87) scale. The tread way on decks is nice and crisp. Even some of the pipes have texture to them. The tender access bulkhead is molded a bit ‘flat’ but in this scale some of this is to be expected. The engineers cab is nicely detailed.
little big boy vs big big boy
The kit looks like it will stack up against its 1:1 big brother. The kit is Union Pacific’s full 4-8-8-4 with its 14 wheeled centipede tender.
The model represents the dual engine scheme used in the 1:1 version. The locomotive is so long that it had to be ‘broken’ down into two separate engines with their own separate cylinders, pistons and trucks. Each rode on its own wheel assembly, the front 4-8 and the back the 8-4. The model represents this quite nicely.
The 1:1 version measures in at a very long 132 feet, 9 7/8 inches. That would take up almost ½ a U.S. football field (goal line to just shy of the 45 yard line). This scales down to 18.3 inches. The small scale version is a rough 17.5 inches long. This is a rough measurement and the full build version may be more accurate. I had to measure three separate components and then estimate the gap between the locomotive and tender.
The drive wheels are 68” – that’s 5 and half feet tall. On the model they are 7/8 inches across. Not bad, very close, not perfect but not bad.
This is a very good middle of the road kit. It is made of solid material and looks very nicely molded. There isn’t much flash and what is there shouldn’t be hard to remove. Seam lines are minimal and in well situated locations. There is some very nice surface detail in the way of rivets and some texturing on the drive wheels. What brings it back to good and not great are some design liberties. The railing that runs the length of the locomotive is molded as thin sheet or flange and not a ‘wire’ or ‘handle’. It will drive advanced modelers right to a sharp #11 blade and a bit of wire to replace it. Revell does include a set of tracks for you to display your kit. This is basic and simple; you may find yourself upgrading this to a set of real HO tracks.
The size isn’t perfectly to scale. Unless you are a rivet counter I don’t think this will bother you. It is very close and for a static kit at a subjective level 3 it’s within normal production limits.
It looks like it will be a fun build.
A Big Boy even in 1/87 scale. This model rivals even a 1/35 scale kit in its size and stature. Revell has captured the essence of Union Pacific’s impressive locomotive in a static display kit.
About Scott Lodder (slodder) FROM: NORTH CAROLINA, UNITED STATES
I modeled when I was a teenager. College, family and work stopped me for a while. Then I picked it back up after about 12 years off. My main focus is dioramas. I like the complete artistic method of story telling. Dioramas involve so many aspects of modeling and I enjoy getting involved in the ...