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Tupolev Tu-134

A.Z. Model, 1/144 scale

S u m m a r y :

Catalogue Number:

A.Z. Model Kit No. AZ14410 - Tupolev Tu-134



Contents & Media:

38 x white styrene parts, 1 x PE fret (wing fences) & decals for two subjects.


Available online from Hannants for £14.58 and Modelimex for €12.08. Other AZ Models stockist that may carry these kits can be found here.

Review Type:

First Look.


Simple kit with attractive marking, PE wing fences & antennae improve scale refinement.


Inadequate instructions concerning which markings option goes with the Tu-134B’s optional nose. The kits’ simplification possibly limits the OOB finished kit to resembling a diecast airliner model.  


Should be a simple, fast and generally enjoyable build of an attractive aircraft with nice markings The kit is let down in appearance by inferior box-art, cheap-looking instructions and inadequate guidance concerning nose options.

Only the nose guidance criticism is of any consequence and easily overcome with some research. So I still endorse this kit with a “Recommended”. But come on AZ; spend an extra few minutes of effort and maybe just a Euro or two to lift your standards of presentation and instructional input.

Reviewed by Mark Davies

HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Squadron.com



The Tu-134 (NATO reporting name “Crusty”) first flew in November 1963 (this was a development of the Tu-124 prototype that first flew In July the same year). Production began in 1966 and its first scheduled service flight occurred in September 1967. The original Tu-134 was stretched to take 20 more passengers giving 84 in total becoming the Tu-134A. The Tu-134B did away with the typically Soviet glazed navigator’s position in the nose (some Tu-134A’s also had their glass nose replaced) and had the radar moved from underneath into this position. Passenger seating was also reduced to 80. A few specialist versions were also developed, some supporting the USSR’s space programme. Widely operated since its introduction, 2012 is likely to be the last year 90 or so Tu-134’s will fly in Russian service following a directive for its withdrawal from service, along with other airliners without terrain proximity warning avionics, after a Tu-134 crash in 2011.





The kit comes boxed in a typical end-opening box with rather poorly drawn and cheap looking box-art. The painting & decaling guide is on the box’s rear face, where colours have generic names and are not cross-referenced to any colour system or model paint codes. The instructions have a grotty cheap look in keeping with the standard set by the box art. They give a brief aircraft history, parts map and, despite their cheap production appearance, generally adequate assembly diagrams. The last page has some plans that serve no particular purpose other than to illustrate panel lines. They purport to be of a TU-134, but are clearly a Tu-134B with its solid nose and no underside radar bulge.


  • AZ Model 1/144 scale Tu 134 Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • AZ Model 1/144 scale Tu 134 Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • AZ Model 1/144 scale Tu 134 Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • AZ Model 1/144 scale Tu 134 Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • AZ Model 1/144 scale Tu 134 Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • AZ Model 1/144 scale Tu 134 Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • AZ Model 1/144 scale Tu 134 Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • AZ Model 1/144 scale Tu 134 Review by Mark Davies: Image
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This is a very simple kit in terms of parts count, and I think that it will generally build easily enough, although no doubt some filling will be needed because the limited run nature of the kit. I chose to use images from AZ Model’s website as they showed better detail clarity than I managed photographing the kit’s white plastic in sunlight.

A separate nose is provided to cover the Tu-134B option although it is captioned in the instructions as covering the Tu-134A. It also shows the underside radar bulge needs to be removed. Nowhere in the instructions or painting guide is the modeller clearly advised as to which livery is worn with the B’s radar nose. However the painting guide artwork does provide a clue, whilst neither colour option is shown with the Tu-134A’s underside radar bulge, the Aeroflot option appears to be drawn with what could be construed as a glazed nose of the Tu-134A. To be blunt, this is just a case of lazy and/or cheap graphics where the same outline rendering has been used despite my belief two aircraft with rather different nose outlines are being illustrated. This sort of slipshod approach to instructions and painting guides is unfortunately a bit of an AZ Model trade-mark at times, going by some other AZ kits I own. Just a little more time, effort and I suspect minimal investment, is all AZ Model need do to lift their game in this area to the standard being set by other Czech kit companies.

Panel lines are engraved finely enough but the trailing edges of the flying surfaces will benefit from thinning down. A nice touch is the PE wing fences and fuselage antennae which serve to improve scale finesse.



Detail on the undercarriage parts is simplified as might be expected in this scale, although this does not mean to say it should just be accepted, as other brands like Platz manage far finer results in this scale. The wheels and legs will also need some cleaning up in places. There are no clear parts for windows, these instead being represented by decals. Again this is not all that unusual with this type of subject, and quite a few builders fill in clear windows when they are supplied for small scale airliners and elect to use decals instead. This approach generally works well in 1/144 and smaller scales, but to me also renders a slightly die-cast model appearance to the finished result.

The decals look to be well produced and are more crisply printed than those for two AZ Model Yak-40 kits I reviewed at the same time as this one. They cover quite colourful and attractive schemes for CSA Czechoslovak Airlines and Aeroflot.



It’s fair to say that this is a fairly basic kit that should build easily enough, although I doubt it will escape needing its share of filler. As dedicated 1/72 builder with numerous 1/72 AZ Model kits, I know that they would have provided more detail if this and been a 1/72 scale subject whose plastic parts amounted to the same size as this 1/144 Tu-134. I’m left with the feeling that the kit is pitched at modellers who AZ Model thinks will accept less. Without wishing to offend our Braille-Scale Brethren, this may be true to a degree as it often seems to me that a lot of small scale airliner kits are finished as pristine models serving to display attractive liveries, and resembling pre-finished die-cast models to a degree. There’s nothing wrong with this, and this kit meets such a need competently. But I have also seen 1/144 kits finished as quite stunning scale replicas with high levels of detail. If this is your aim for the Tu-134 then you need to be prepared to a lot of extra work.





A simple kit that seems to be pitched at builders who primarily want a representativeTu-134 shape wearing a nice livery on their display shelf, given its lack of clear parts, and simplified undercarriage detail etc. In many ways it is a simpler kit than even the 1/144 airliners Airfix was turning out in the 1960s, albeit with more refined engraved surface detail and the benefit of some PE parts adding to scale finesse. It undoubtedly will build into a smart little model, but for those wanting more detail a fair bit of work will be needed. The kit is let down by poor guidance concerning nose options, and although it matters less, cheap-looking artwork and indifferent instructions.

Despite my negative comments there is not enough to condemn this kit by any means, but AZ Model’s sloppiness over appearance and instructional details that should be easy to cover off properly is disappointing. So the kit is still recommended to those who want to build a Tu-134 in this scale.

Thanks to AZ Model for these review samples.

Review Text & Images Copyright © 2012 by Mark Davies
Page Created 9 March, 2012
Last updated 9 March, 2012

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