NG Models have released an unprecedented range of 757 models over the last few months. It’s a type abandoned by Phoenix, recently refurbished after years of neglect by JCW/Gemini and now available in so many new and old liveries its become a must have for many collectors.
The tin boxes seem to have, unsurprisingly, gone the way of the dinosaur. The cardboard outer is quite decent, but the new foam and plastic packaging is functional if unsightly.
Yet that’s not why we buy these models is it? Its a nice to have an not a must have.
Icelandair is one of those niche, different national airlines, with a specialism in the 757. Over the years few have been modelled, The now very sought after Gemini version of the 753 TF-FIX is one of my prized possessions. Then the two special liveries were produced to reasonable acclaim, spoilt only by the clumsy old nose gear.
Somehow, nobody seemed interested in producing the standard livery version of the 752, until now. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to have it. Production and distribution were held up by the horrendous Typhoon Mangut that struck its way through the pacific islands, Philippines and southern China. Yet here it is, and it doesn’t seem to want to disappoint!
Icelandair took delivery of the aircraft in January 2013, having bought her from storage in September 2012. She’d been operated by American Airlines as N673AM since delivery new in January 1991. The winglets were fitted in November 2007 and Icelandair converted the seating to 22 business class and 161 economy. She’s powered by a pair of Rolls Royce RB-211-535E4B’s. Icelandair named her ‘Laki’.
Its an excellent mould and it’s proving very popular because of it. Being relatively new to the world it also has pretty high quality print and paint, but it’s not flawless.
There are a couple of weak points in the gold paint line along the centreline. It either fades out or is slightly intermittent. It’s not a big deal but it’s not really quite good enough.
Another issue that might matter to some – and it was the same on the SF cargo version, the stand hole has a mould issue that prevents any standard size stand fitting. To take these photos I had to put it precariously on a micro-screwdriver held down with blue-tac!
One positive is the very neat and seemingly accurate wi-fi dome, a quite recent addition to the aircraft.
Aerials, one up and two under, are superbly fitted and detailed, as is most of the very small and necessary technical print.
Outstanding mould and outstanding paint, the upper surfaces are correct, nicely painted and the wings fit the fuselage seamlessly.
One of the advantages of NG’s new model is that it has a good set of accurate gear. No issues with the mould but the tyres have too many lumps.
The plastic engines are a good mould, but the silver rim paint on No.1 is shambolic, with a huge lump on the inboard side of the rim, that looks most unsightly. However the fans are the correct colour, the exhausts look good and the nacelles and detail are excellent. It’s the flimsiness of the pylons that doesn’t come across as outstanding quality.
5. Nose detail
The nose cone paint dome lines are simply too thick and heavy, other than that the rest is outstanding, especially the excellent cockpit windows.
Beautifully done, superbly fitted, great colours and overall accuracy.
An excellent match for the latest Gemini version of the 80th livery on TF-FIR, engines and blues are identical colours. Overall pretty good, no complaints.
8.Score and conclusions
- -2 for heavily over-stressed nose cone detail
- -2 for missing gold line in places
46/50 for accuracy
- -3 No.1 Engine rim is a mess
- -1 lumpy tyres
- -1 stand hole issues
- -2 flimsiness of plastic engine pylons
43/50 for quality
Overall score: 89%
Now that’s a pretty good score! I wanted it to be a little better, and it concerns me that the demands of increased production are already taking their toll, no matter how small the impact.
In general we’ll all be very happy with these models, they’re filling a key point in the production of an aircraft type and airline liveries we haven’t seen in years, if at all.
The fact that Gemini are busy starting to produce the odd 757 in retro BA livery – well do we think they feel any pressure? Maybe but who cares? Their models are never a patch on these generally speaking.
On an aside, I had so much hassle getting this model its not real. Not one European seller would guarantee delivery, so as soon as it became available from Hong Kong I snapped it up. Even with postage it was some £5/$8 cheaper than buying it here and it was legally under the import tax rules.
Talking of which, 6 months later and I have finally gotten a refund from HM Border Force for incorrect levy of duty on an import for Australia – so it was worth the complaint after all!