Up! (El Al) 737-804 4X-EKM Apollo A13105 May 2014 Release
Israel’s Civil Aviation sector is dominated by El Al, which is expensive, inefficient and yet held in considerable esteem by Israelis as the state flag carrier. In a desperate and most likely ineffective attempt (if past efforts at dealing with problems are anything to go by) at addressing the low cost travel markets to Europe. Most analysts see the Up! brand as nothing more than politically motivated window dressing.
However it does create a unique livery that looks very smart and is in itself innovative, but as the airline has no independence from El Al it can be little more than a paint job.
The aircraft is a 2000 model previously registered to Thomson Fly in Germany then to Thomson Airways in the UK, being delivered to El Al in May 2012.
The model came from Aviation Delight in Canada, the only supplier I have even see the model advertised with so far, which is surprising. As of today 16 July 2014 it was not on the Wings 900 database and I haven’t seen it for sale anywhere else.
I have high expectations as Witty/Apollo 737-800’s in various guises have been very good so far.
First impressions are around the packaging which is double branded for Apollo’s Transaero version. Nothing special but a nice print of the aircraft on one side, with a see through window.
1) Main Fuselage
The detail and print of the blue sky and clouds for the Up! logo are excellent and the whole thing looks really smart, noticeable and different. It’s a neat design and clever branding. The mould is excellent, no aerials as with Phoenix, but even so it’s a very neat and precise finish.
These are CFM International CFM56-7B27’s and they look very good. Neat, no wobbly or missing paint, black turbo fans. Spot on, great detail for this scale and size.
3) Landing Gear
Painted metal with detailed struts and hydraulics, fully rolling wheels. The tyres are a little fat, and the axels almost invisible, not as neat or precise as the Phoenix types but not as cheap and nasty as the Gemini’s.
4) Tail fin and stabilisers
All as they should be, tight assembly, quality graphics.
5) Wings and underbody.
No complaints, decent amount of detail, not swamped by paint. Sits neatly on the Gemini standard stand.
7) Overall score – we start at 10.
And loose just half a point for the overly fat tyres. 9.5/10 seems like a damned good result to me and I love the model, it’s a superb item and very smart. A triumph of model making that puts Witty/Apollo ahead of the rest. You’ll see why in the next review.