When you only have space to have 28 aircraft on your diorama (and it doesn’t seem to matter what they are exactly) and you can only display each aircraft in your collection once every 12 change overs on that diorama, it’s time to check what you really want and really care about. Is the collection actually “performing”? I know there are two basic types of collectors – hoarders, they buy anything and everything – they just want to have it, and “users” – people like me who buy what they need for their airport diorama first and then collect the really rare examples they crave when they get the chance.
Personally I try and stick to certain criteria that are at least mostly believable (or I can convince myself through a real life example it might be acceptable). For example an Air Canada A320. How does that fit in? RLSI is technically in the middle of England, St Johns in New Foundland is over 3,000 miles away. Yet there has been a seasonal London Heathrow to St Johns flight for many years on an Air Canada A319. Added to that WestJet now fly 737-800’s from the same area to Dublin – RLSI is just in range, therefore it’s entirely justifiable!
So, I went and got the plastic crates the boxes are stored in and decided after two hours of dithering to get rid of 10 models permanently and ‘withdraw from use’ another 5 that I’d rather not sell but just box up. Me being me there has to be a reason for everything.
Four BA 747-436 was too many in a fleet of 25 BA aircraft, so was 3 772’s: 744 G-CIVP had to stay; it’s got OneWorld tiles. G-CIVY we flew to America on our honeymoon (so sentimental!) so that had to stay, and G-CIVX was the feature aircraft in a brilliant documentary about a D Check on 744’s. That left just G-CIVZ the rarest of them as it happens, she was a special commission by KeyAero Publishing back in 2007 and it sold on eBay in 42 minutes! I decided as well that one of the 772’s, G-YMMA which is not worth much and is a very early Gemini model with the split tail mould could go too.
Having culled BA by two – I’m still waiting for someone to produce 787-8 G-ZBJC so I can have it with my initials at the end – (I know sad right?) – we have to move on to Virgin Atlantic. Two versions of G-VSXY have finally been resolved and the JC Wings one is staying. It may lack the lady logo on the nose but the colour is way better than the over-silvered Phoenix. The old 2010 Phoenix version of 787-9 G-VROO is too nice to sell so that’s been boxed as a curiosity. G-VWOW by Apollo is a great model, first class quality but just isn’t special enough and the gold tinted colour looks incongruous next to the others, plus it’s the old livery and she’ll have left service by June 2016.
The Cathay Pacific A340-200 was the only one of its type in my collection, but it’s just so dated looking! I’d forgotten I had two of the 2015 JetBlue A321’s, the duplicate sold in under an hour and is off to live in a mansion on the shore of Lake Michigan (yes I do look up where these things go if they go overseas, you have to protect your selling reputation on eBay!)
An ancient Austrian A320 in old Star Alliance livery, an Air 2000 757 and a 15 year old immaculate Air France 747-428 F-GITB (all Gemini) have also gone to eBay. Another “why have I got this?” was an AV400 737-900 of Shenzhen Airlines. I have no idea why I bought it except that it was a relative unusual 900 version! That too is off to a new home. Another goodbye was said to a Royal Brunei 767-300. It was ex Dragon Wings and nothing special, in fact I bought it very cheaply because it came with a load of really rather good GSE! Following the Sultan of Brunei’s introduction of Sharia Law I’ve banned Brunei from RLSI. It won’t be missed. I’ve been sorely tempted to send Aeroflot and S7 packing as well, any more aggravation in the Ukraine and Crimea from Russia and I’ll just have to crate them up. 16 hour wait for Visa checks on arrival at RLSI don’t seem to stop them coming.
Several have also been boxed for storage. A Lufthansa A343 by Herpa (it had no stand hole so could never be seen landing or taking off, plus Lufthansa are starting to ship A343’s to their cheap seats long haul operation in October. An Etihad A346 (old livery), 787-9 G-VROO were also boxed, along with the orange Braniff 747-100 and Seaboard World Containership 747-1F – both of these were Gemini Club models and very rare, the later in its own tin goes for up to £100/$154 in the right market. I also had to box a North West CRJ900 – this was one of my favourites but somehow the outer port engine casing has fallen off and vanished! I might find a replacement or repair it some day. I also boxed up a Northwest A332 that insists on falling to pieces. Gemini models were such quality at times. Literally bits just fall off of it, engines, stabilisers, wheels.