You are here
Home > Aircraft > 1/144 Revell C-17A Globemaster III

1/144 Revell C-17A Globemaster III

The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft. It was developed for the United States Air Force (USAF) from the 1980s to the early 1990s by McDonnell Douglas. The C-17 carries the name of two previous piston-engined military cargo aircraft, the Douglas C-74 Globemaster and the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II. The C-17 commonly performs strategic airlift missions, transporting troops and cargo throughout the world; additional roles include tactical airlift, medical evacuation and airdrop duties.

Within the last few years, the C-17 Globemaster has become the most important US Air Force multifunction transport aircraft. In addition to world-wide supply flights the C-17 has become indispensable for transporting the wounded out of crisis areas in Iraq and Afghanistan. Already in the 1970s there were plans to replace the C-130 and later the C-141 also.

Kit Highlights

  • Skill Level 3
  • Scale: 1/144
  • Length: 14-1/2″
  • Height: 4-1/2″
  • Wingspan: 14″
  • Parts: 145
  • Kit # 85-5687
  • MSRP: $37.99


The Kit:

Here is a kit a been meaning to work on for sometime now, the 1/144 C-17A Globemaster III from Revell previously available thru the Revell of Germany label. As with the later label, the kits has a Skill rate of 3 (out of 5). I know this means little to nothing to many folks but if you ask me, parts count and a less challenging no camouflage single color, it is to me an easy Skill Level 2 model.

The kit has 20 assembly steps and starts with the cargo bay and ramp. Here is where you decide if you want to display the ramp down or closed. I chose to cut the ramp in this step. If you change your mind to display closed, it can be done later. On the other hand, if you glue it closed and decide to open it later, it will be harder and not without causing some damage.

The cargo area is a 2 halves sub assembly that will fit within the aircraft fuselage halves. Before you glue the fuselage, make sure to add enough weight or you’ll have a tail sitter. The landing gear has some small parts to fiddle with but nothing too complicated. The clear canopy has a nice fit nicely once the fuselage is together.

Wings, there I did hit a bump. As you can see on the picture, they are warped. I made the mistake of trying to fix this after gluing both halves together and not before. I do not know if this warping was limited to my copy or other fellows have encountered this (please let us know thru the comments section below).

Don’t take this as gospel please. But I have the feeling that this warping is due to the tight way in which the sprues are taped inside the plastic bag.  Also, on step 13, there is a pictorial mistake. See the picture below or here. There is a gap that required some filling on the belly of the aircraft. Please do check the picture provided. My apologies for the caption, it should read ”Gap filled with Vallejo Putty.”

Wings to fuselage went on without any inconvenient. No filler or sanding was necessary. The front wheel well has very little to no detail but there is little room to see what’s in there.  12 wheels comprise the rear landing gear. This step is easy and consumes little time but minor adjustments should be made to have all 12 tires evenly touch the ground. Shown with the model is a 1/144 Bradley M2-M3 from their Pocket Army Series item # 20059.

Paint and Decals:

The instructions call for a overall coat of FS 26173 Gray and Aluminum where noted. Do to the size of the real C-17 Globemaster III, the fact that I only use acrylics on my models and the scale color, I chose Tamiya XF-53 Neutral Gray as the base color. Decals are thin and seem to be in good order. But they seem to be a little prone to ‘silvering’ if you pay attention to the pictures. In fact, the model shown on the box show some decal silvering as well.

The engine cowls was painted with Alclad2 Chrome under a coat of Acryl Gloss Black. The aluminum detail on the wings is –Ultra Bright Chrome– Bare-Metal foil which was left unsealed to preserve the natural finish as much as possible.

I did use the markings of:
The Spirit of Berlin USAF 437th Airlift Wing Charleston AFB, South Carolina 2008

The access steps are painted entirely in gray in the real Spirit of Berlin instead of white and black suggested by the instructions.


I don’t usually build aircraft in 1/144 scale. But this was a ”to build” subject in my list. Details are very acceptable for the scale. Don’t expect a super busy cockpit area. You will need to do some scratch building if you want it to. Besides, most of it will not be visible thru the tiny windows. I would like to see the decals issue properly addressed.

The 1/114 C-17A Globemaster is slightly smaller than my 1/72 C-130 Hercules from Italeri. The C-17A along with the Galaxie C-5 are two models that I would really add to my display shelves if they become a 1/72 reality.
Can we hold our breath Revell?

I highly recommend this kit.

My sincere thanks to Revell USA for this review sample.

George Collazo
George Collazo

George has been hosting review sites and blogging about toy collectibles, travel, digital photography and Nikon digital imaging since 1998. His first model kit build was a Testors 1/35 DODGE WC-54 in 1984.

  • That is definitely a great job John. Thanks for sharing. Do you have any pictures that could be shared with the modeling community? Any reference pictures in yellow chromate primer?

  • john A

    If you have any other questions about the C-17 I will help if I can.
    I was a flight test technician for McDonnell Douglas from 1989 thru to 1995 and worked and flew on T-1 and P-1 (the first C-17’s to fly) while they were being assembled in the factory at Long Beach California and then went with them to be tested at Edwards AFB.

  • john A

    Just so you know……The inboerd wheels of the main landing gear (the ones closest to the centerline of the aircraft) do not touch the ground unless the aircraft is heavily loaded

    • Thanks so much for your pointer John. It is well appreciated. I did not know that fact. Thanks for visiting.