The search for a non-logojet 744 in Qantas livery was proving completely fruitless. They never seem to crop up and I’ve been looking for a year. Certain versions don’t sell well. This is one of them, the other, which some retailers can’t shift for cost price is the boxing kangaroo livery, which is horrible. The World Cup one seemed relatively inoffensive.
Fed up with waiting and with 744’s fast departing the worlds airline inventories, I’ve watched this World Cup livery one sit for weeks at £19/$30 and decided I might as well. Gemini list price it at $48.95.
The Qantas 747-438ER VH-OEJ was only delivered in July of 2003, one of 6 ordered by the airline. They could fly an additional 500 miles and carry 15,000lbs of extra weight – much of it the fuel to fly the extra distance. Often used on the long range routes even now to LAX and on to JFK or from Sydney to Johannesburg. This particular aircraft was originally delivered in the Wunala Dreaming all red livery which she kept until 2012. These six aircraft also have the word Longreach on the nose in front of door 1. This reflects both their longer range and the first town Qantas flew from.
As part of my general policy of three aircraft for each airline (unless it’s one of my “fleets”), this is only the second Qantas at RLSI, it joins an A380. When they eventually get their 787’s (allegedly from 2016) that will make up the third.
Gemini have long made a good 744 and this one is generally no exception. It’s been updated with aerials however and to be honest I’d rather they hand’t bothered, the rear top aerial is mounted backwards as well as tilting sideways. It’s so heavily fixed in place it would damage the model to try to extract it. Good that it’s fixed, not that it’s fixed wrongly!
The graphics and the world cup football are al very neat and crisp, with no real issues. She retains the name Wunala just behind the flight deck windows, but the Australia logo for the football behind the forward cargo door is poorly printed, the Australia actually fading out at the second “a”. The aerial under the body forward of the rear cargo door, is fine.
Overall it looks extremely good, but that top aerial is just plain irritating.
2) Wings, Underbody, Landing Gear
Cradle system, but a perfect fit. You don’t mind it so much when it is made this well. Tight fit, good mould, minimal space visible. Excellent. The 744’s wings are a first class example of the right level of paint and detail, both above and below the wing.
The landing gear looks fine to the naked eye but close up there is some odd looking brown glue but really you can hardly tell.
4x GE CF6-80C2B5F power the aircraft and they seem accurate enough. with no paint issues. Even the colour of the silver intakes and fans is good. All the correct detail appears present and correct.
4) Nose detail
No issues for me, it all looks first rate.
5) Tail and stabilisers
I’m not much keen on the football boots hanging from the kangaroo, but lets let bygones be bygones. I’ve seen much worse. At least they’re outlines and not solid yellow like the boxing gloves. Other than that all very neat and no complaints. A nice job.
The model is partly spoilt by the reversed aerial. I swear those things would better be left off, along with those dreadful pin-head comms domes that never seem to fit. If they cannot get them right, please don’t ruin the model with them! Of course you always spend the money on a new mould. -5 points for the aerial, -4 for the logos behind the front cargo doors. Other that that a very good model from Gemini. 91%