Singapore Airlines 777-300ER 9V-SWA Apollo A13029 2013

This, quite simply is an absolute gem. Witty/Apollo and their bizarre dual branding, produced this in two versions, this one in standard livery and 9V-SWJ referenced as A13028 in the full ‘light narrow-form’ StarAlliance livery. They were packed in the same boxes with a tick in a small square to indicate content.

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Why Witty chose the Apollo brand for this clearly Witty model (usually the Witty were a higher, newer standard and the Apollo often a little below this), we’ll never know. Either way these 773ER’s remain the finest made in 1:400 up to that point.

The mould was superb, right the way down to the tiny ‘tail’ on the APU that nobody else has ever bothered with. The engines are perfection and rank above anything anyone else has yet produced in 1:400, with completely see-through high-bypass fans. The general refinements and overall quality on a level rarely achieved even now.

Did they have aerials, no. Do I care? Not even sightly. It’s taken manufacturers 2 years to get them to a stage where they don’t just drop out and I don’t care if they stop using them tomorrow.

Witty/Apollo, for the most part really seemed to strive for something exceptional. They didn’t always make it, but their A380’s, 787-8 and 773’s were, and frankly remain for me the apex of quality standards.

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1)Fuselage

Prove to me there is anything better than this? Nobody has ever achieved this to this standard since. The print and quality all round are exceptional. Only two years later are Phoenix and Gemini getting near these standards and neither of their moulds is as good.

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2)Wings and landing gear

Quality gear that at the time made everyone else’s look like the cheap garbage it was. Since then they’ve all had to move up a level and not before time. The wings are excellent too.

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3)Engines

The finest ever made.  They were a five piece build, with two outer nacelle halves, the front intake rim and then a separate internally mounted engine core and exhaust system, with the fans attached to that inside the nacelle. The effect is a see through system, closer to 1:200 standards than 1:400.

Of course they were more expensive – which is why other manufacturers baulk at the idea. Quality costs money, but it was always worth it.

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4)Nose detail

No issues. There never were, the detail was always neat or superbly painted on the 773’s,though no radome lines were ever visible.

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5) Tail and stabilisers

There is a tiny bit of glue showing, but overall they all fit and the quality is excellent. It’s small thing like that APU exhaust that really stand out.

6)Colours

No issues

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7)Score and conclusions

The model is a 2013 and few appear to have been made. There are a very tiny handful of overly (even for me) nit-picking tiny flaws, but nothing that’s visible or leaps out and wants to make you regret buying it! These models were worth their price – this one had been highly priced for two years on a retailers shelf and I only accidentally spotted it in a sale. New the were just short of £40/$60US and this cost me only two-thirds of that.  I’d have to give it 95% – but it’s not a 2015 model so it doesn’t qualify for MOTY 2015.

If you ever see a Witty or an Apollo, don’t hesitate to buy it. They were a superb alternative to the usual manufacturers and worth every penny.

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