Tui 737-800 D-ATUJ ‘Tropifruitti’ JC Wings 1:400 XX4369 Nov 2015

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This was ordered along with the Korean 748i, back in late August and held up for the same reason until November. Now it’s finally here, it’s a really bright and very different livery to your run-of-the-mill!  It’a not the first time Tui (in Germany branded as TuiFly.com), has gone down this path with the Haribo GoldBären, and the Gummy Bears having preceded it.

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Tui – who own Thomson in the UK and previously flew Arke as well, are in the process of dropping all the national brands and consolidating them as Tui across Europe, a process due to end by Summer 2016.

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Why choose Haribo as a corporate partner? The brand clearly appeals to children, it associates holidays and travel with confectionary, thus linking adventures and good feelings. Yet there is more to it than that. Haribo has a deep secret – adults love these kids sweets as much as anyone else, so the livery link works as well on the parents as it does on their offspring.

If you live in the UK you will have seen the very funny TV ad that shows adults in an office at a meeting speaking like 6 year olds, and another with adults at the cinema doing the same. It’s a very clever way of removing the secret guilt parents feel for eating kids sweets while making it perfectly acceptable to do so. Linking a holiday aircraft livery to all of this is just one more step. Why feel guilty about the sweets – or going on holiday? It also pressures parents more to buy their kids what they want. Marketing is never a face value operation. Did you think it was just a model aircraft?

This aircraft was delivered on the 16th April 2012 as a 737-8K5 and leased from Royal Bank of Scotland.

1)Fuselage

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The mould is the new one used with Gemini and all the better for it. The whole thing with this model is the quality of the graphics and colours. They need to be detailed, bright and frankly eye-poppingly lurid. These are tropical fruit flavoured sweets and the whole thing needs to be bright and vivid, something dot print graphics don’t always manage well (think Turkish Airlines SFO/Istanbul special livery that lacked any life at all).

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Now while they’re not quite as lustrous as I would like to see (unlike the box which conveys the scheme really well), they are in fact pretty damned good given the limitations of the printing process, and when you look at the rubbish graphics on say the AeroClassics Brussels Airlines TinTin, they are a massive improvement, as they are over the Turkish 773ER SFO special. They have life, they look real and they work. A success.

The normal detail, windows doors and so on are also extremely well done and really do the model credit.

2)Wings and landing gear

This uses the new Gemini split scimitars mould of course, although one of the lower ones was immovably bent from new. I tried to correct it by gently bending it back, which usually works, but it wasn’t having it. Generally these wings are excellent, a completely superior offering compared to the truly terrible Phoenix set. Great detail, quality paint, an excellent all round job, save for the bent s/s.

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The landing gear is simple, the main gear rotates but is tyres on wheels. The nose gear is a little gluey – not much, but enough to stop it rolling.

3)Engines

Extremely neat and well painted, bright yellow with the Tuifly.com easily legible. The silver rims and fans are a good colour. Now because I’m so used to seeing and looking for these things I can easily spot that silver rims have suffered from packaging rub. It’s not the end of the world but on close up you can tell.

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4)Nose Detail

All very good indeed, nice flight deck detail and the wording is legible and clear, paint/print quality is excellent.

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5)Tail and stabilisers

The giant Toucan and detail all look excellent, it’s a great looking, fun livery and the tail assembly looks excellent.

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6)Colours

Compared to many that use this method, it’s excellent. There are limitations to the process that dim the colours, but this is infinitely better than much of what’s come before, even this year. A superb effort for the most part. The main downside is the HARIBO TROPPIFRUTTI lettering is too pale, it isn’t red but it’s brighter and more vibrant than it appears here.

7)Score and conclusion

The bent and now broken s/s on the lower port wing is disappointing, -5. Overall the colours while good are not perfect, but only a -2 because they are a vastly superior effort to many we’ve seen before. -1 for the gummed up nose wheel. So in total, 92% which qualifies it as an entrant for MOTY 2015.

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It is like so much from the JC Wings brand surprising. One minute they’re mediocre, the next verging on excellence.  I like this model, it works well and is a marketing mans delight. Don’t just look at it as a livery, think of it as part of an integrated commercial marketing operation to rot kids teeth and get them to force their parents to buy more and take them to Lanzarote on winter holidays. 21st Century cynicism disguised as fun. Clever when you really think about it, disturbing if you think too hard. Looks good at RLSI on stand though!

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