Lufthansa 737-330 D-ABXZ AeroClassics 1:400 Nov 2013 Release

A very close real life sister: 737-300

D-ABXZ - nice model shame about the colour
D-ABXZ – nice model shame about the colour

This is a model of the now delisted Lufthansa 737-330 D-ABXZ named “Bad Mergentheim” (Bad is German for spa) during her days on the Lufthansa Express service, a short lived attempt at early day low cost competition. The reason I bought it was that I hand’t realised there were still some in service – indeed we get one a day at present as part of Lufthansa’s late afternoon schedule to BHX. As few of these operate with major European Airlines and Lufthansa never purchased the 400, only the 300 & 500 versions, I decided it counted as a worthy addition. She was withdrawn from service on 16th May 2013 and stored at Tulsa in the US, having being delivered in 1990.

Being AeroClassics and I know some people love them and others hate them – it wasn’t cheap and was hard to find being UK sourced in the end for £24/$40 US. The box is as dull as it gets and designed to fit 2-3-7 & 800 versions of the 737 with a paper sticker on the appropriate side. Very second rate.

AC Lufty D-ABXZ
1)Main Fuselage

Its all pretty good, the print detail seem to be entirely commensurate with any images I’ve been able to uncover. All the parts and mould shapes seem to be good – better than the much lauded Herpa 735 version which is frankly not good in several ways (nose shape, Flying Crane Symbol colour is too far to the orange).

Parked at RLSI, the colour difference is quite clear.
Parked at RLSI, the colour difference is quite clear.

2) Engines

These are the CFM56-3B2 engines with the flatter base to accommodate the 737’s low body. They are completely standard but there is a small amount of paint missing on the silver leading edge of the port No1 engine. The engine assembly is tight, neat, detailed and otherwise problem free.

3) Landing Gear

Rubber tyres that roll on all wheels, angled correctly, but lightweight plastic bogies and arms that are unpainted. I know they are small, but they can be done better than this for the price.

4) Tail fin and stabilisers

The whole assembly is very good, no complaints.

5) Wings and underbody

There is detail there but there is just a bit too much paint on the underwings, although it’s hardly an issue. No AC logos. there is avery small hole that just allows it to use the Gemini metal arm – just being the operative word! I’d be careful when mounting it, I’m not 100% sure it would stay on.

Official Lufthansa Colours in Pantone
Official Lufthansa Colours in Pantone

6) Colours

The base colour is white so no issues. However here we have an issue that really matters, the tail blue is just wrong. It is far too dark, looking too close to the black and it sticks out like a sore thumb against the correct Phoenix, Gemini and Herpa Lufthansa aircraft in the collection, all of which are the same. This is Lufthansa’s official colour guide in use since 1999 and clearly everyone else managed to find it, so how did AeroClassics miss it out?:

The Lufthansa logo was designed in 1918 by Otto Firle and modified in 1979 by an internal designer.

The colour is yellow (Pantone 1235). Additional colours are blue (Pantone 2766), Pantone Cool Gray 4, Pantone Cool Gray 6, Pantone Cool Gray 7, Pantone Cool Gray 9, Pantone Cool Gray 10, Pantone Cool Gray 11, red (Pantone 179), blue (Pantone 646) and green (Pantone 363).
Lufthansa uses its proprietary typeface Lufthansa, which is based on Berthold Helvetica.

Well as soon as you see the blue is wrong you realise the lettering is the same colour. AC have a reputation for poor colour choices and they certainly managed to reinforce that here.

735 and 733 Neither is perfect but both nice models.
735 and 733 Neither is perfect but both nice models.

7) Overall score – we start at 10.

It has to have a -2 for such a bad colour match that really matters when it is the outstanding key colour that represents the airline. The box and packaging is so atrocious that it also deserves a half point down – for many collectors these things matter and for the price paid it certainly does.

7.5/10

Would I have purchased it seeing it first? NO, the colour is too obviously wrong, it doesn’t even look blue.