Revell 1/144 Airbus A.300-600ST 'Beluga'






Four aircraft


Scott Van Aken




In the recent decades since man started looking outside the atmosphere of his planet, there has been a need to transport rocket parts from the place of manufacture to the launch pad. If there was available water transport from the build site to the launch pad, no problem. However, that has not always been the case and as rockets got larger and larger there was a need for air transport to haul these sections.

The first parts were hauled by large military aircraft, but as rockets got larger, military transports were no longer large enough. The initial 'huge haul' planes were converted KC-97 Stratocruisers with huge upper deck areas that could carry the  large diameter rocket stages. Because of their odd shape, they were called 'Pregnant Guppies'. Even larger versions were built called 'Super Guppies'. These planes were greatly modified and bore little resemblance to the original Stratocruisers other than the the cockpit area.

As these aircraft got to the end of their life span, an all new aircraft was built. Airbus Industries developed their A.300 aircraft into the A.300-600 ST 'Beluga'. The aircraft was finally approved for cargo hauling in 1995 and at least four were built. In addition to hauling large rocket parts, they can also carry completed wing sections for most airliners and are used for carrying oversized parts from place to place all over the world.


Revell of Germany has always done a number of very interesting kits that you wouldn't think would be done. Just look at their Hindenburg and Ekranoplan kits to see what they can do. This kit is no different from those as they are all limited production aircraft with unique and specialized missions.

The Beluga is molded in white plastic and is very much a state of the art airliner kit, being molded in 1997 according to the box. By far the largest pieces are the two fuselage halves. There is no interior braces so it will be interesting to see how well the glue joins hold. Interestingly, you can open the cargo hatch above the cockpit, however, there isn't anything to put in there so you'll need to scratch build the cargo area. The kit instructions provides a floor and rear bulkhead template for those who want to do so. The kit also has the hinges for the cargo door. I daresay that most will choose to build it with the hatch closed.

Being an airliner kit, there is no cockpit, though there is a transparency. Some will choose to paint that transparency black on the inside. No cabin windows are provided. you can build the kit with the landing gear up if you wish, however, there is no display stand so that may not be a viable option for many. Once the basic airframe is together, most of the bits and pieces are for landing gear and various antennas and probes.

Instructions are typical of Revell-Germany in that they are on near newspaper quality paper and offer a multiple of construction steps. Colors are given as Humbrol numbers and generic names. One of them needs to be mixed from three colors. The majority of the kit is gloss white. The decal sheet is rather large and has decals for all four aircraft in service in 1997. However, my copy was so badly yellowed that it is basically unusable. The decals themselves are quite gloss and a bit thick, but should work well if you don't mind yellowed decals. Unfortunately, there are NO aftermarket decals for a plane as specialized as this. Your only option is to write to Revell AG and ask for another sheet or cut all the clear parts away from the decal. Not exactly a fun task for some of the decals!


If the weird and wonderful strikes your fancy or you just want a big airliner kit, this one will fit the bill quite nicely. Hopefully your kit will have usable decals!

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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