Very little flash for a 42 year old kit. Fine raised panel lines that are out of scale for 1/144 and will be obliterated by all the sanding that will be necessary. Open doors but nothing to put inside them.
Fuselage The fuselage is two halves from nose to tail. The cabin windows are open, with no clear parts provided for them in the more recently released kits. The first issue in 1969 had clear parts to insert in the windows but they were so thick and distorted nothing could be seen of the interior anyway so it's just as well that there's nothing provided. Either fill them and use decals or Krystal clear/Clearfix the windows; decal film alone just won't do it. The cockpit windows are a single piece strip that is easy to either break or lose within the fuselage. There is a cockpit bulkhead which prevents the see-though look and makes for a good place to put the nose weight. The instructions do not indicate the need for nose weight but from long experience I know it's needed. If you chose to leave the windows clear, the interior should be painted black to prevent it from looking toy-like. Airfix chose to mould the cabin and baggage doors separately for nearly all their airliners. Unfortunately they have never fit very well, and will need to be puttied and sanded after they are installed. All the sanding needed with this kit means that the raised panel lines will be obliterated. Perhaps this is a good kit to practise re-scribing on. The APU exhaust outlet is just a hole in the tail. If desired, the modeller may fill it with a small piece of styrene tube.
Wings The wings are two pieces each, with separate flap actuator fairings. The trailing edges could benefit with a little thinning. Again the detail is raised, but it will generally escape the sandpaper. The fit is not good enough to enable the wings to be attached after painting; they will have to be done first and masked off.
Empennage The tail-planes are one piece mouldings. Their fit is a little sloppy until they're glued in place. Leave them off until final assembly to facilitate painting and decalling.
Engines The engines are two halves plus intake and turbine fan wheels. They come complete with the pylon but this is the very first type of 737-200 engine pylon that was only fitted to the first couple of hundred aircraft off the assembly line. The 737-200 Advanced received a much wider pylon which was retrofitted to many of the earlier aircraft during their lives. Replacement engines with the more common pylon width are available from Bra.Z models and Authentic Airliners. It could also be sculpted from epoxy putty if the modeller so chooses. The boxtop photo shows the -200 Advanced pylon shape. The engines do not fit together very well, and the sanding necessary after assembly means that most of the raised detail will be lost. Airfix moulded the suck-in doors that early 737s were equipped with as raised rectangles with patterns of dots inside them. These should be sanded away and re-scribed or replaced with decals or if you're doing a newer aircraft simply polished smooth. Neither of the aircraft featured on the decal sheet were equipped with them (and both have the wider pylon, so that must be addressed).
Landing gear The landing gear struts and wheels are basic. They could use some brake lines and whatever else the modeller likes, but will look acceptable without. There is an option for raised gear, but no stand is provided in the current issue. Earlier issues had one of Airfix' famous clear plastic stands. There is no detail in the wheel wells. In fact, the main wheel wells do not exist at all and the nose wheel well is not much deeper. The modeller may make copies from measurements of either Daco or Revell 737 wheel well parts. This will involve cutting holes in the lower fuselage where the wheel wells should be. The nose wheel strut will need to be extended if this option is chosen. This work will not be necessary if the model is built with the gear up. As with all 1/144 kits, the gear doors are overly thick and may be replaced if the modeller wishes.
Accuracy I don't compare models to drawings or published measurements. When assembled it looks like a 737.
Decals and markings The decal sheet is basic, with only the airline markings and most prominent stencils provided. If you don't like the kit decals there are many different choices provided by the aftermarket industry. No window decals are provided. Modellers wishing to apply decal windows must source them separately. Since Hornby took over, Airfix have been printing their painting instructions in colour. Gone are the days of trying to decide which pattern of monochrome grey dots is supposed to be what colour!
This kit may be cut down to portray one of the 30 737-100 series aircraft that were produced. Simply remove 2 windows from in front of and 2 more behind the wing from each fuselage half. Lufthansa was the first 737-100 customer but most of the -100s went on to long careers with a variety of airlines. The prototype 737 spent much of its life as a flying laboratory for NASA doing work on fly-by-wire and advanced cockpit configurations. It flew for many years with a second flight deck inside the cabin just above the wings. It was retired to the Museum of Flight in Seattle across the street from Boeing Field and may now be seen parked beside the 747 prototype and other famous aircraft.
Highs: The only 737-200 currently available. Good shape and wide variety of decal schemes available.Lows: Raised detail that will be sanded away due to the poor fit. Kit supplied engine pylons only correct for early 737sVerdict: If you must have a 737-200 it's the one to get. This one is an ideal beginner's model due to its size, relatively small number of detail parts and simple colour scheme.