Delta Groove 1:400 Illuminated Runway Display Case

G-VNAP Illuminated on the Delta Groove runway
G-VNAP Illuminated on the Delta Groove runway

Delta Groove 1:400 Illuminated Runway Display Case

A few weeks ago JC Wings released news that they were going to launch an innovative display case. I wrote about it on this blog. On a forum, someone mentioned these were Japanese in origin, made by Delta-Groove. The implication was obvious – another Chinese knock off with no respect for original copyright, it’s easier to steal what you don’t have the imagination to create for yourself.

The very next day, Tomohiro Saegusa of Delta Groove contacted me, having seen the blog article and explained what Delta-Groove do and without prompting (frankly I was pretty amazed), offered to send me a sample of a 27L at Heathrow. It winged its way from Japan on 24 hour Express and I picked it up this morning. Sadly somewhere along the line the giant FRAGILE was ignored completely by Parcel Force and the thick heavy box was gauged open – clearly dropped from a considerable height. Amazingly nothing was destroyed, but sadly the perspex case cracked in three places.

Delta Groove's display base and switches
Delta Groove’s display base and switches

That apart you have to really have this thing in your hands to explain the quality. Delta Groove will make pretty much anything you want, any size to order. If you’re a gizmo gadget geek like me and simply love anything with lights that makes you smile this will take you above and beyond. It’s a model photographers dream come true, never mind a superbly crafted piece of kit that will make any quality 1:400 model look awesome. If you’ve got something special you want to display then this will do it.

Delta Groove provide a US style two pin adapter that will work on 240/110V – for UK users just buy yourself a £2.99 shaver converter two pin to three pin plug and you’re done. It’s a quality item too, not some cheap Chinese thing that will burn out in a couple of hours.

The Delta Groove base with the display case white diodes on
The Delta Groove base with the display case white diodes on

I have to be honest this was incredibly hard to photograph – I had to find a spot in the garage that was dark enough but light enough not to overpower it – I soon found a flash made the coloured lights too difficult to see and ironically the generally pretty good Pentax SLR was useless – thank heavens for Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus which seems to have managed what a real camera could not, it’s stabilised lens and low-light capabilities proved ideal.

Once you plug it in there are two classy flip-up switches – very appropriate – one activates the display case lights, a white LED at each end of the back of the case. The other switches on the main runway lights. And are they a joy to behold? Too right! They instantly bring a huge smile to my face as I start to realise the potential this thing has. It sets my mind racing – what of I could have my entire runway for RLSI like this?

Wizz A320 on Delta Groove's illuminated runway
Wizz A320 on Delta Groove’s illuminated runway

Anyway back to reality; I tried it out with a Virgin A346 G-VNAP first (with Virgin Atlantic leaving Japan at the end of the month it seemed sort of appropriate), and then with a Wizz A320. After that it was inevitable I try it out with a Singapore Airlines A380. I wanted to know if it would fit and what the different sizes would look like on the display.

Wizz A320 on Delta Groove runway
Wizz A320 on Delta Groove runway

The lighting and the quality of its fitting into the runway is just first class. really, I don’t think it could be any better if you wanted to try. The colours of the LED’s are excellent and just look amazing. The texture and paint detail on the runway itself are a genuine triumph, they look outstanding and highly convincing.  I have to be honest here if there is one thing that lets this display down, its the models. No matter how good they are, they’re lifeless and because they lack illumination of windows and navigation lights they sort of look a bit dead. I know that may seem strange, but that’s how good this display is, it looks so real it’s almost too good for the models!

The runway is so photogenic, I can't wait to practice some new shots with it!
The runway is so photogenic, I can’t wait to practice some new shots with it!
SIA A380 by Witty Wings on Delta Groove's amazing illuminated runway
SIA A380 by Witty Wings on Delta Groove’s amazing illuminated runway

Tomohiro also sent over a set of diorama bases to show the different types of things they can do – all you have to do is email your spec to him, he works out the cost, you pay him, he builds it and sends it direct.

The case was cracked by Parcel Force, but the display is striking and pretty amazing!
The case was cracked by Parcel Force, but the display is striking and pretty amazing!

You have to be honest, with the JC Wings rip off being £77 + delivery ($117US) what would you rather have – a quality made to order item specified by you or an expensive Chinese knock off sold at a marketing price rather than based on what it actually cost to make?  Give Delta Groove a go, world wide exports, custom made to suit your budget. If this is something you want, as in most instances doing it properly, paying for the best, made by the people who created the idea in the first place, well it’s the only way to go. I don’t know the exact retail cost of this layout but the value was placed at Y3000 – £17 ($26US)!!! (That was the cost base price valuation used for customs declaration), EDIT: Tomohiro has just told me this item is $198US excluding shipping.


Truning on to to R27L at Heathrow
Truning on to to Runway 27L at Heathrow

Case Angle delta Groove

AVAILABLE IN 1/72, 1/144, 1/200, 1/400 & 1/500 SCALES



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Just a few examples of optional layouts:

IMG_0540 - Version 2

IMG_0539 - Version 2

IMG_0538 - Version 2

All opinions expressed are those of the author; this is a review not a recommendation to purchase which is made at you, the readers discretion. This blog and its owner makes no money from or have any financial interest in Delta-Groove. 

2 thoughts on “Delta Groove 1:400 Illuminated Runway Display Case

  1. Thank you for review!
    I’m so happy.

    The diorama case that you reviewed is198USD(without shipping cost)

    Thank you
    Delta Groove Japan

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