I’ve been looking forward to this one for ages, but it got caught up in a large delivery of models and delayed until they were all available for shipping.
TF-ISX, named Pingvellir is one of just 2 757-300’s operated by Icelandair. The other, produced by Gemini many years ago – 2003 to be exact as GJICE364, is TF-FIX and named Snorri Porfinnson (although since renamed Hengill). That was delivered new in 2002.
Only 55 757-300’s were ever built and TF-FIX was only delivered to Icelandair on March 18 2018 having been owned and operated by Arkia Israeli Airlines from delivery in September 2000.
They had her fitted out in all-economy seating, with 265 passengers. Icelandair turned her over to their much respected 757 workshops and fitted her with 22 business class and 203 economy. She was also painted into the “100 Years of Icelandic Independence” livery, entering service on June 13 2018.
757-300’s are a little different to their sisters having a protective tail skid that retracts in flight, so that the tail doesn’t hit the ground. They also have over wing escape doors. They apparently took 8 minutes longer to load than a 752 and were the first aircraft to be boarded using sequenced group boarding to speed things up.
The 753 has a shorter range than the 752 – barely 3,400 miles as opposed to 4,000, as they never received larger fuel tanks. They could however seat up to 296 if pushed to maximum. All 55 were still operational in 2018. The type was introduced only in 1999 with Condor and they’re some of the younger 757’s operational.
Powered by a pair of Rolls Royce RB211-535E4B’s the winglets were added in September 2011. The TF-FIX version obviously doesn’t have them as the model’s older, but they were added in February 2011.
I suspect when this mould was first created they expected a lot more than 55 of the real thing to be built. Moulds are expensive and its had little real use. It’s in good shape and with the addition of aerials and the updated wings, there’s not much to complain about.
I’ve always thought the nose isn’t quite the shape it should be, and if you look at the NG models – lets face it what 757 have they not made now? It’s a little more refine, but it has the advantage of also being very new.
Now personally, I’m going to say that first impressions are, this is the best 753 model Gemini have ever put their name to. The Condor D-ABOJ was just that, a bodge job, a nasty and low quality model I reviewed some years ago. The Delta 753 wasn’t awful but it wasn’t the best.
This on the other hand has superb paint, outstanding graphics, wonderful detail and shows a marked improvement over all previous versions of the type.
The livery is an extrapolated Icelandic national flag, with a blue upper and lower split by two white lines either side of the red.
The only down side to Gemini on this part of the review is their persistence in not using under-body aerials and this should have at least two. It does have two up top and they’re correctly coloured, but no well fitted. Another success is the dome, it has a near seamless fit, even though it does have a very small mould issue; the paint colour hides it effectively.
Now I wrote the above before taking the photos – in doing so the foremost upper aerial fell out because it isn’t glued in and the rear one isn’t fully in the fuselage. So much for quality, just when it looked like they might just have done something really well.
Good paint and detail commensurate with the real thing. It’s hard to find an upper wing shot but the one I did find matches the one on the model.The paint is excellent, without the excess gloss, and detail is superb.
I even hyper-magnified the winglets to see what the wording said on the inside and believe it or not it says quite clearly #Teamiceland as it does on the real thing! For a set of cradle moulds, these are really very good.
As we know, JC Wings refurbished the 757 moulds and added new gear, which transformed this particular type, being as it is, so tall and with such prominent nose gear. It looks so much better like this. The main gear is excellent.
Good and bad. The good is that the engine colour yellow is correct, and the rims are good, but the fans are again, the same as the rims silver. How many times? Is it really so sodding difficult to get these right? It’s pathetic, really it is. The rears may be OK but are just blank discs. From a distance, fine, but at these prices I expect finer, better detail.
The one thing that often goes wrong on model aircraft at this scale is the two sides of a detailed nose like this not matching up, or just skewing, blurring or otherwise going horribly wrong. Astonishing as it may seem, Gemini branded JCW made, have been past masters at the monumental screw up.
This is not one of those times. It’s actually exceptionally good for a Gemini.
8.Score and conclusion
- -2 for lack of lower aerials
- -4 for the engine fan colour
- -2 for the blank engine exhaust rears – being silver they just stand out, black would have been better for the inners.
- -4 for aerial falling out
Overall score: 88%
One major quality issue, a few minor accuracy issues and nothing drastic, except the perpetual laziness of not painting fans the right colour.
I’m overall, quite pleased with this model. It looks wonderful, its different and it nice to have the whole Icelandic special livery fleet. A marked improvement from Gemini branded models. But can they sustain it? the aerial falling out is a serious pain, they’re very difficult to fix in without risking paint damage. Why must there always be something?