Roden 1/144 Boeing 720

KIT #: 320
PRICE: $35.99 SRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: New tool kit


e Boeing 720 was a four-engine narrow-body short- to medium-range passenger jet airliner. Developed by Boeing in the late 1950s from the Boeing 707, the 720 has a shorter fuselage and less range. The 720 first flew in November 1959 and the model entered service with launch customer United Airlines in July 1960.

Two primary versions of the aircraft were built. The original 720 with Pratt & Whitney JT3C turbojet engines entered service in 1960, while the improved 720B with Pratt & Whitney JT3D turbofans entered service in 1961. Some 720s were later converted to 720B specification.

Although only 154 were built, the Boeing 720/720B was still profitable due to the low research and development costs of it being a slightly modified version of the 707-120. It was later replaced by the Boeing 727. Four 720s are currently on display around the world, none of them in the US. One is in Pakistan, another in Israel, a third in Colombia and the fourth in Taiwan.


To my limited knowledge, this is the only 720 produced in this scale in injected plastic. It is a new tool kit from Roden and the second boxing they have done with this airframe. It is a good choice of subjects as many of us remember the days when flying was enjoyable instead of the major hassle it is nowadays.

The kit is superbly molded with nicely engraved panel lines. The kit itself is devoid of flash and Roden has chosen to mold the windows in the fuselage such as is done by Airfix, for example. There are those of us would prefer Minicraft's approach with decals, but there are others who like this method. I prefer the decals as it makes it easier to paint. Those who like windows will simply say to paint the fuselage halves first before installing the windows and then repainting the joins.

I should mention that there really are two wing sprues and two sprues with engines and gear on them. The image only shows one of each. Assembly will be pretty straight-forward as airliners are basically hassle free for the most part. There is no cockpit as such which really isn't that big a deal on planes like this and provides lots of room for nose weight, which you will need. I do like that the cockpit windows are molded in with the fuselage section around them. For one thing, the seams line up and it makes it a bit easier to mask the clear parts of the piece. Other clear bits are all the cabin windows. Many modelers of airliners like putting their planes in flight and on stands. Well you can do the in flight part, but stands seem to be a thing of the past in many cases and one is not included.

Instructions are well done and there are markings included for one aircraft, that being a United Airlines plane from the 1960s. The decals are very nicely done and thanks to a lack of compound curves should provide no issues. I did notice that Roden missed the aluminum surrount to each of the cabin windows on the fuselage stripe. In any case, I'll bet the aftermarket folks will soon be helping out if not already as there are a ton of very nice schemes carried by the 720.


We can thank Roden for producing this version of the 707 as it has been needed for quite some time. Even in 1/144 scale, it makes for a pretty good sized model and will look great in with your other jetliners.


November 2013 

Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. Get yours at this link.

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