Evergreen International 747-412F N491EV Gemini Jets GJEIA1009 2010

Now if ever there was a company with an interesting background and client list, Evergreen International was it. Founded in 1975 it’s ties to US military and intelligence services were well known and part of it’s eventual downfall. Supplying US Forces in Afghanistan and Iraq was a lucrative business in later years. It seems however that like so many companies who become over-dependent on one large client for much of their income, when that income falls away and recession means there is nobody else to chase after, doom is quick.

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With Iraq out of the picture and Afghanistan winding down, contracts vanished. Global air cargo was in the worst recession it’s ever faced and Evergreen quickly went under in 2012-13, formally ceasing to operate on December 2nd of that year.

Over the lifetime of the company they’d operated 28 747’s of various types, along with 15 DC9’s, 14 DC-8’s and a pair of 757’s. Only four of the 747’s were 400’s. This one, N491EV was delivered to Evergreen International, (not the same it should be pointed out, as the Evergreen Group in Taiwan who own EVA Air), on 5th May 2010, the first of four they contracted to.

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SpyDrone watches as secret equipment and personnel are loaded in the dead of night…

This aircraft they purchased, with three more on lease, 2 delivered in 2012, and one in March 2013, just a few months before their demise, which shows you how fast these things can happen.

N491EV still carried the same reg but operated for and was painted in Saudi Arabian Cargo livery,  whom Evergreen had leased her to in early 2011, firstly in a hybrid livery and later in full Saudi Arabian Cargo livery.  She was withdrawn from use in June 2013 and stored at Pinal Airpark in Arizona that November.

On 5 September 2014 she went back into service as 4X-ICB for Israel based Cargo Air Lines and is painted completely white, with no markings or livery.

Before her stint at Evergreen she’d been 9V-SFB for Singapore Airlines Cargo who’d ordered her, (I’d love this version as a model), delivered new and painted in the 1994 livery with the “MEGA ARK” tiles.

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So, to the model….

1)Fuselage

A really lovely model, spoilt only by a blurred mark on the port side, where the IN part of INTERNATIONAL has what looks like a green half fingerprint. Now this was obviously a second hand model and the seller identified this on eBay, I made an offer and we agreed a ridiculously low price. So while it’s not a good thing, in terms of quality, for the price paid it’s not an issue. If it had been full up new money, and delivered that way from a retailer it would have gone back on principle.

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Evergreen’s livery never really changed much over the years so it has something of the classical old style look about it, especially with the black panels in front of the flight deck and on top of the nose door.

There is a slight definition fail at the rear under the tail with the green banding, but it’s not very visible unless you look up at the aircraft, which as a model isn’t too often!

If it wasn’t for the above mentioned mark, the whole thing is actually really nicely done. Nothing else to moan about!

2)Wings and landing gear

Standard Gemini 744 though the starboard outer gear wheels are immovable, everything else works. The under-wing paint is incredibly heavy grey gloss, totally overboard in paint thickness. The upper surfaces are perfectly adequate with good colours and detail.

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3)Engines

The four Pratt&Witney’s look fine and are neatly finished. As usual for the most part the Gemini 747, despite it’s cradle fit wings is almost always their best model, no matter how many times they make it.

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You can see that fingerprint clearly under the ‘IN’

4)Nose detail

Is both complex, well defined and accurate. I’ve not been able to find out what the circle of stars was about, so if anyone comes across the info or knows why, please let me know!

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5)Tail detail

No issues, everything fits and is well printed.

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6)Colours

The two green bands are slightly different colours, and these look spot on. Everything seems to be as it should.

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7)Score and conclusion

The fingerprint on the port side is poor to say the least and fro a QC point of view is bad news. The lack of defined print under the tail is not brilliant.

  • -10 for the finger print
  • -2 for the under body tail definition
  • -2 for the jammed wheels on part of the main gear

86% could have been so much higher with just a bit of QC. Six years after this model and we’re still saying the same thing.

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