TU-134UBL “Crusty-b”,Zvezda 1/144

TU-134UBL (Crusty-B) is a trainer aircraft produced in early 1980s, and it was based on very successful passenger twin-engine jet TU-134. This plane is specific due to its cockpit construction, which is identical to the one of TU-22M and TU-160 bombers, while its hull and engines are those of TU-134. It is used as a trainer aircraft for the crews of the said bombers, as well as to train navigators and pilots. Zvezda planned this model rather nicely which resulted in the nice overall result in the end. The base and larger portion of this model are parts from the venerable TU-134 kit, while the front of the fuselage and cockpit are completely new parts. The window count on the fuselage is also reduced. Panel lines are rather fine, albeit perhaps a bit on the small side, but this is 1/144 scale nonetheless. There are 60 or so parts in total in the box, decals and three paint and marking schemes. The one that stands out is the naval version named “Black Pearl”. This plane is not seen that often, which makes the model even more interesting. Painting codes are according to Zvezda and Tamiya. As it was the case up to now, all the detail, instruction sheet and the most important issues will be addressed with photos and during the build process. The model is highly recommended. We would like to thank Zvezda for providing us with this sample.