Lockheed chose to enter the jumbo jet market in direct competition to McDonnell-Douglas' DC-10. The Tristar was hampered by Lockheed's insistence on using only the Rolls Royce RB-211 engine, then in its early development and suffering from delays. As a result it lost sales to the DC-10 and never really recovered momentum. It would be Lockheed's last airliner. The Revell kit was first tooled when the Tristar was in development, so is somewhat inaccurate, especially around the nose profile. The only injection moulded kit to get the nose shape correct was the fabled and by now almost unobtainable Doyusha kit. Welsh's vacuform kits are very good and any Tristar fan should have one. First impressions
It is immediately apparent that the moulds are old. The details are soft, there is some flash and the execution leaves a lot to be desired when compared to a modern kit. The infamous Matchbox trench digger may have served out his apprenticeship while doing this kit.Fuselage
The fuselage is two halves from nose to tail. The cabin windows are open. I bought this kit used, and if there were clear parts for them, there aren't any now. The cockpit windows were the old-fashioned Airfix style strip, which makes getting them to fit properly without either breaking or falling into the fuselage something of a challenge. I will have to replace them with plastic card and putty, and rely on decals. There are no panel lines except on the #2 inlet and the doors are deeply engraved. There is a set of freight doors engraved on the port fuselage half that should not be there. They should be filled and sanded smooth. The #2 inlet is blanked off about 1 cm into the inlet. There is no cockpit bulkhead to help confine the nose weight. The nose shape is more like a DC-10's than an L-1011. It can be corrected with putty and sculpting. If you choose the PSA colour scheme, you will need to add the “skid pan” fairing behind the nose wheel that was added to protect the lower deck passenger accommodations these aircraft were fitted with. See http://www.airliners.net/photo/PSA---Pacific/Lockheed-L-1011-385-1-TriStar/1243480/L/&sid=d99faff67e68bb8600b98e24faf8a130
Also note that the entry door just forward of the wing fairing should not be removed when you're obliterating the cargo doors on the port side. There is a window in both sides of the wing fairing forward of the leading edge that Revell missed. This was a galley and crew rest area. It is visible in the above photograph.Wings
The wings are two pieces on either side. My kit's wing halves have warped over the years, and I will need to take that into account when gluing them. There is no detail in the wheel wells. The flap actuator fairings are moulded into the lower wing surface. They could use a little refining but their shape is superior to those on the Airfix kit (Airfix lost count and gave their Tristar one too many fairings). The few panel lines that are there are very deeply engraved, and will benefit from filling.Empennage
The tailplanes are two piece mouldings. Leave them off until final assembly to facilitate decalling. The elevator is moulded into the upper surface which leaves a bit of a gap to be filled.Engines
The engines represent the original configuration of the RB-211 with the long hot section. Later engines had a much shorter hot section. This may be portrayed by making a new hot section from plastic card and gluing it onto the mounting ring. Bra.Z models offers resin conversion engines which may also be used. Both colour schemes offered in the kit portray aircraft which used the long hot sections, so the engines will be correct for them.Landing gear
The landing gear struts and wheels are crude and fitting the kit's origin, quite toy-like. They can be made into acceptable replicas with a bit of work. There is an option for raised gear, and the kit contains a stand.Accuracy
I don't compare models to drawings or published measurements. When assembled it looks almost like an l-1011 that's been left out in the sun to melt a bit.Decals and markings
The decal sheet offers markings for Pacific Southwest's famous “smiley face” in mauve, pink and orange, or Court Lines' G-BAAA in yellows and orange http://www.airliners.net/photo/Court-Line/Lockheed-L-1011-385-1-TriStar/1405722/L/&sid=1cca5ca5d41171e9792894bfb25a092c.
(Note the orange wing and tail under surfaces. The upper wing and tail surfaces were white.) Both schemes will be quite colourful when finished. Window decals are not provided, although silver outlines for the cabin windows are.The edges of the printing are fairly ragged, and the PSA stripes are slightly out of register. Careful trimming will mostly solve these problems. There are many different aftermarket schemes available, many of which contain window decals.