Aer Lingus MD-11ER N272WA JC Wings 1:400 XX4046 April 2019

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Now this is an interesting aircraft. Aer Lingus never owned it, but repeatedly leased it from World Airways and its the only model I’ve had in three liveries, This one, World Airways white, and the World Airways blue-black tail livery. She was never re-registered during her lifetime so it was relatively easy to find her history.

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In my imaginary world I use the white liveried version as my personal transport, disguised under the World Airways livery. How sad is that? But don’t tell me at least some of you haven’t thought about doing the same with one of your own favourites!

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As my research showed it also appeared at one point in a hybrid livery. I imagine it was given back from one of its lease stints and World Airways, never exactly rolling in cash couldn’t be bothered to repaint it, so just put their own logo over it instead.

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There’s something wonderfully Buck Rogers in the 25th Century about the MD-11. It’s the epitome of the big tri-jets, the ultimate in their development, and still much prized by cargo operators, although less so as the 777F’s become more numerous and fuel costs rise.

They’re not without their issues, not least of which is being notoriously difficult to land, with a tendency to bounce, on rare occasions out of control. It’s one of those aircraft where experienced pilots are essential.

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This was the only MD-11 operated by Aer Lingus, and the last stint was between May and September 2001 for the summer season.

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A rare interior shot of business class on the Aer Lingus MD-11 “St Killian”
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World Airways operated cargo and passenger versions of the MD-11

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1.Fuselage

This is the standard JC Wings mould and its elderly but has been refreshed.

It’s a delight to see that the initial quality impact is high, and it has aerials! One up and two underneath.

Overall the paint is very good, it’s not excellent because at the rear of the port side the blue to green to white has gotten a little messy. with green showing in the white and a wavy rear coach line, but and this must be emphasised, you have to look for it to see it, although arguably not that hard.

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Messy rear quarter coach line either side of the rear door

It’s also worth pointing out that these models are vastly cheaper than the exact same thing if it happened to come in a Gemini box, so you have to bear that in mind, not that it would have cost any less with Gemini messed up or not.

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Logos are neat and the aircraft technical detail is relatively subtle and refined, for what amounts I think, to a re-release. My usual source only showed 1:500 and 1:600 versions. Gemini don’t ever seem to have made it in this livery.

Overall it’s highly competent.

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2.Wings

Yes it’s from the age of the cradle, but it fits exceptionally well, even while suffering the drawbacks of the system, such as overly big gaps, but in this case they’re well in the acceptable level and nothing to be concerned with.

The paint is excellent quality, not overly bright or toy-like, and looks very realistic, without that excessive gloss.

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3.Landing Gear

Overall very good, with neat wheels but some lumpy tyres – one of the is really bad. The centre main gear that is one of the only Airbus style elements in this design, don’t quite touch the ground, but you have to really keep it flat to notice that. Nose gear is very good, with the nose gear doors especially detailed with fleet numbers and so on.

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4. Engines

The centre tail engine has no fan, a common issue with these models, and a pity really as the Aeroclassics L-1011 even manages it.

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The wing mounted pair – they’re Pratt & Whitney 4462’s, are neat moulds with good paint. The engine rims are good, if a bit thick as moulds go, but the fans aren’t a good mould and they’re painted the same silver as the rims which is very disappointing and decidedly low effort. Same goes for the exhausts; they have only one cone, not the two visible and all one silver, so not especially accurate.

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5.Nose detail

Technically well executed with good definition. Even the aircraft name, St Killian, is clear to the eye. really no problems, as even in real life the chrome window frames were quite prominent.

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6.Tail detail

Well fitted, spot on for colours and a really neat mould. Everything fits and it looks pretty good.

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That’s her alter-ego in the background, the self-same aircraft in the white World livery

7.Colours

Outstanding, right across the board.

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8.Score and conclusions

Accuracy

  • -8 for various engine details (fan-less tail engine, silver fans, over thick rims, lack of detailed exhaust on wings and tail engines)

Accuracy Score: 42/50

Quality

  • -2 Rear port quarter transition paint – visibly messy
  • -1 centre landing gear doesn’t touch the ground
  • -1 lumpy tyres

Quality score: 45/50

Overall score: 87%

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I have always said that without the stimulation of competition, no matter how much they might hate it, the legacy brands wouldn’t innovate or do anything different. JCW’s release, and Gemini’s, of older liveries on older aircraft types they’ve studiously ignored for years, happened because NG Models especially, and Panda have kicked over the ant hill, selling old livery 757’s in droves. More is to come, much more I suspect.

As I said a few weeks ago, we’re going to have to go back in time to see the rich history in aviation’s past, as the new aircraft types are few and far between, and commercial costs both monetary and digital, force airlines into bland liveries, lightened only by the odd sponsored special.

So overall, not only do I like this model, I’m delighted it’s even been made. Besides it’s an MD-11 and I love them!

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Screenshot 2019-02-18 at 17.02.20

 

 

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