McDonnell Douglas MD-87 1:400 Scale New Mould Sample
Modified: October 2023
Once again NG Models' interest in completing aircraft families, and not just producing the obvious best selling versions, has led to an important but almost unseen 400 scale aircraft version coming to fruition. The MD-87 was more than just a shorter MD-80, and introduced the new screwdriver tail too, but until now has seen just 5 releases in 400 scale - 4 of which are Japanese! Despite the small production run it was popular in Europe and saw service around the globe so I'm very happy to see it partner its larger brothers in the NG Mad Dog lineup.
The Real Thing
The MD-87 shares the majority of its structure with the longer body variants but is 5.28m (17ft 4in) shorter than an MD-88. It also pioneered the low drag tailcone, fitted to all MD-80s post late 1987, and in addition has a fin extension above the horizontal stabilisers.
Competing MD-87 Moulds in 400 Scale
Incredibly there are, or were, two existing MD-87 moulds in 400 scale and perhaps more incredibly they were used for a grand total of 5 models! Even though only one model was made using it the old Dragon mould is much easier to find than the Jet-X version used exclusively for Japanese examples. The last release on the Jet-X mould was in 2010 and neither mould has been seen since!
MD-87 Mould Sample
Clearly this mould sample shares the majority of its features with the longer MD-80 samples so looks basically excellent.
As on the longer MD-80 mould the engine strakes have been left off this mould sample but I do think it is a bigger issue with the MD-87 as the strakes are in a different location and a lot larger. For the MD-87 they are at the front of the engine and a lot longer. It should be easier to create them on the sample and perhaps this is something NG can look at.
Something else that I should have spotted on the longer MD-80 but didn't is that the shape of the underwing forward strake / rib is wrong. It ought to be less curved and a lot more pointy at the tip.
As expected the MD-87 looks great since it shares most of it's components with the long-body MD-80s. It therefore has the same small issues (although the screwdriver here looks fine). They were:
- Increase size of flap track fairings underwing
- Modify form of the wing underside leading edge underwing strake/rib to make it more pointy
- Look at join of thrust reverser middle to engine nacelle
Given its larger size on the MD-87 the absence of the engine side strakes is more noticeable and it would be good to have those added on.
As with the other versions there is the potential to add extra detail too in the form of the nose side strakes (potentially an add-on like the aerials) and even the nosegear debris deflector. Release options aren't as varied for the MD-87 as for the standard MD-80s but there are still a surprising number of possibilities, which will be explored in an upcoming wishlist.