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Old 05-24-2020, 06:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

Here is the 2nd part of my look at the 1:400 brands. Dragon Wings get a lot of stick nowadays but they were a pioneering and major brand in this scale. Many of their models are still highly thought of and it's a poor, or ultra-modern, collection devoid of any Dragon products.

https://www.yesterdaysairlines.com/dragon-wings.html
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Old 05-24-2020, 07:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

Thanks for a great article Richard!
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Old 05-24-2020, 08:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice write up! Interesting to see the models you labeled as Excellent. I don't remember DW producing many B717s and I'm not really into that aircraft, but just wondering how it stands out against the GJ version. I agree with you on the B747s. The only DW commercial airliner I have left in my collection is a UA Battleship B744, and until someone comes up with a better one, this model shall stay in my collection!

I would have put all their 737s in the poor category, and the A300 in the good category. That's just what I remember from my early days of collecting and having a very good number of DW models.

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Old 05-24-2020, 08:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by C141*Lifter View Post
Nice write up! Interesting to see the models you labeled as Excellent. I don't remember DW producing many B717s and I'm not really into that aircraft, but just wondering how it stands out against the GJ version. I agree with you on the B747s. The only DW commercial airliner I have left in my collection is a UA Battleship B744, and until someone comes up with a better one, this model shall stay in my collection!

I would have put all their 737s in the poor category, and the A300 in the good category. That's just what I remember from my early days of collecting and having a very good number of DW models.

Harvey
The Dragon 717 is pretty good and better than the Gemini in my opinion. See this TWA for example:

TWA Boeing 717-200 by rstretton, on Flickr

Sometimes the 737-300s could be good but often the undercarriage was awful. They can be variable. I have a couple of the better ones like this:

Frontier Airlines Boeing 737-300 by rstretton, on Flickr
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Old 05-24-2020, 08:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

Yep, that looks like a shortened DW AA MD-82, which was one of their better models.

That 737-300 is pretty decent. I guess the ones that are stuck in my mind were the Pan Am, Southwest, and Qantas 737s that were hideous and for some incredible reason always got bid up to nosebleed levels on eBay. So glad I never won those auction battles!

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Old 05-24-2020, 08:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by C141*Lifter View Post
Yep, that looks like a shortened DW AA MD-82, which was one of their better models.

That 737-300 is pretty decent. I guess the ones that are stuck in my mind were the Pan Am, Southwest, and Qantas 737s that were hideous and for some incredible reason always got bid up to nosebleed levels on eBay. So glad I never won those auction battles!

Harvey
There are quite a few Dragon moulds that if you could swap out the landing gear for someone elses suddenly the models looks so much better. Those 737s are examples - also many 777s. In fact I remember seeing someone who did that with a 777 a few years ago and it looked great.
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Old 05-24-2020, 08:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

I have a hard time agreeing with your classification of the Dragon A380 as anything but poor. I have had at least 5 and they were released well before the actual A380 was and as a result are quite off. However I agree with some of the rest, and that they remain a top competitor in the 741 and 742 areas as there is quite a lack of good competition. Several Dragon 747 models still sell for well over $100.
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Old 05-24-2020, 08:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have a hard time agreeing with your classification of the Dragon A380 as anything but poor. I have had at least 5 and they were released well before the actual A380 was and as a result are quite off. However I agree with some of the rest, and that they remain a top competitor in the 741 and 742 areas as there is quite a lack of good competition. Several Dragon 747 models still sell for well over $100.
To be honest I've never seen a Dragon A380 in the flesh. I hadn't expected that part of the review to gain so much focus so I did it off the top of my head from what I had seen in photos etc.
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Old 05-24-2020, 09:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

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Originally Posted by RStretton View Post
To be honest I've never seen a Dragon A380 in the flesh. I hadn't expected that part of the review to gain so much focus so I did it off the top of my head from what I had seen in photos etc.
If you've never seen one in the flesh, that makes a lot of sense as they are definitively below the level of the A340 and A330 in my opinion. I had 5 in the store including the pre-emptively made Fedex version. Unfortunately all examples that I have had are sold out but I still do have pictures.





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Old 05-24-2020, 09:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

Dragon Wings remains a strong element in my collection. I like their DC-10s, A300s, 747s, L-1011s, MD-80s, and B 717s. Some remain as the best examples, others may not rate as the absolute best, but still hold their own. Doug

Added images of DW55165B American Airlines DC-10-30, N137AA, and DW55232B American Airlines A300B4-605R N59081. Dragon Wings groupies recognize the 'B' designation in the product number as chrome versions, and never did an airliner, even factory fresh, look this good. I posted this same image here about here about 10 years ago, and pardon the re-post. I sold both of these models, only to repurchase them later - and so it goes... Doug
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Old 05-24-2020, 09:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

There indeed many Dragon models which are good value if you don't wish to pay $200-$500 for the exceedingly rare Big Bird or Aeroclassics releases.
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Old 05-24-2020, 09:50 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

I think even some of the later A320's weren't bad, like the Sabena you featured. I've kept an Austrian one in the blue/green cheatline scheme - I even managed to obtain a sample GJ one of those and the Dragon still looked better to me.

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Old 05-25-2020, 12:16 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

I find the engines on the DW 717 a tad oversized.
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Old 05-25-2020, 01:31 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

There are still some DW moulds which are the best in the market. Their 747-400 is top notch, much better than GJ's mould and still superior to Big Bird's original 747-400.
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Old 05-25-2020, 02:19 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

Was doing a forum search for a completely different topic and this thread came up:

https://www.diecastaircraftforum.com...ill-sucks.html

Thought it would be interesting to look at this conversation with Dragon Wings models being discussed as NEW!

Ciderman, maybe an updated list of your preferences is long overdue!!

Harvey
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Old 05-25-2020, 02:34 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

Excellent article, I must admit that having only become a collector since the mid-2000s, I have generally avoided them because the idea of plastic wings put me off.

There doesn't however, appear to be a tendency for them to bend or anything, which in my mind was a seemingly unfair reason on my behalf to neglect them.

In looking at these pictures, the printing and colours look very good, and as others have said their 747, MD11, MD80, TriStar look top notch.

Very interesting!
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Old 05-25-2020, 03:04 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

Their A340-500 and 600 were very good for the time and still don't look too bad today. The A340-200 and 300 were meh on the other hand and the less said about their CFM-56 powered A330s the better!
I've used Aeroclassics undercarriages to replace the original equipment on a couple of their 727-200s and the results were brilliant!
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Old 05-25-2020, 04:11 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

Brings back some nice memories.
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Old 05-25-2020, 05:08 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

It would be interesting to hear a bit more about the Dragon Concordes. Unique in that they are the prototypes and not the production models produced by Gemini and Herpa
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Old 05-25-2020, 07:00 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

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Their A340-500 and 600 were very good for the time and still don't look too bad today. The A340-200 and 300 were meh on the other hand and the less said about their CFM-56 powered A330s the better!
Couldn't agree more - A345 and A346 great, even tho my Lufthansa A346 lacks any registration and top notch landing gear, it's perfect otherwise. However, the DW A342 and A343 indeed bark at the moon - CFM engines aren't even close. Like Richard's review, and the follow up comments round it out. Doug

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Old 05-25-2020, 07:08 AM   #21 (permalink)
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It would be interesting to hear a bit more about the Dragon Concordes. Unique in that they are the prototypes and not the production models produced by Gemini and Herpa
I don't think they ever did a true prototype mould, with shorter rear cone and no nose visor ? What they did do were two pre-production examples in BAC/Aerospatiale colours with UK And French reg's. These were essentially the Concorde as it ended up in airline service. I'd like to think someone will produce the true prototype in 1:400 but livery options would be extremely limited, nut hey that doesn't stop these types of moulds from being produced does it ?
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Old 05-25-2020, 07:39 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Given that many a DW release could be vastly improved with better gears and that in most cases they are removable, I'm surprised nobody has hit upon the idea of producing after market sets made to today standards. How good would that be ?
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Let's be having, the British Airways/British, Negus & Negus BAC 1-11-500 in 1:400 please !
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Old 05-25-2020, 04:24 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Their 747-400 is top notch, much better than GJ's mould and still superior to Big Bird's original 747-400.
Still the only 1/400 744 to have distinct moulds for the GE and PW engines. Fingers crossed that NG eventually picks up the 744 and does the same.
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Old 05-25-2020, 04:45 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Great great article, Richard🏻
Always a pleasure to read.

However, I have a question.
Why is the Dragon Wings A-310 considered as poor? I have a few and I do find them on the same level as the Aeroclassics and better than the GJ model.
Or am I wrong here.....?

Br Emin
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Old 05-25-2020, 05:40 PM   #25 (permalink)
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There are still some DW moulds which are the best in the market. Their 747-400 is top notch, much better than GJ's mould and still superior to Big Bird's original 747-400.
Agreed...
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Old 05-25-2020, 06:09 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by CPHL1011 View Post
Great great article, Richard🏻
Always a pleasure to read.

However, I have a question.
Why is the Dragon Wings A-310 considered as poor? I have a few and I do find them on the same level as the Aeroclassics and better than the GJ model.
Or am I wrong here.....?

Br Emin
I was perhaps being harsh on the A310 after looking at my mould review: https://www.yesterdaysairlines.com/airbus-a310.html

I don't think it is on par with the AC mould though.
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Old 05-25-2020, 07:14 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

Excellent article Rich. I regard my best Dragon models are their 747s, 727s DC-10s and you forgot their C-130 Hercules. Maybe you didn't list it, as it is primarily a military aircraft. It is far and above superior to the Gemini Hercules, yet Dragon failed to see the potential of that mould and only made a few bland military schemes and not a single one in airline colours.
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The missing B.707s still needed to be done in 1/400: Uganda Airlines, Air Zimbabwe (rainbow scheme), Air Niugini.

DC-8s still needed to be done in 1/400: UAT, Iberia ('80s scheme), Air Ceylon, Surinam Airways, Air Spain, Seaboard World (-63CF)

Aeroclassics Comets still missing- Dan Air (4 & 4C), United Arab Airlines/Misrair/Egyptair, Kuwait AW, Sudan AW, East African AW, Saudi Royal Flt.

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Old 05-25-2020, 07:41 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

MD-11 are not bad either and of course there simply isn't much competition for their 767-400
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Old 05-25-2020, 09:35 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Excellent article Rich. I regard my best Dragon models are their 747s, 727s DC-10s and you forgot their C-130 Hercules. Maybe you didn't list it, as it is primarily a military aircraft. It is far and above superior to the Gemini Hercules, yet Dragon failed to see the potential of that mould and only made a few bland military schemes and not a single one in airline colours.
I know the Saudi C-130 was released under the Jet-X brand, but isn't the model in the link a DW tooling C-130?

https://www.diecastmodelaircraft.com/db/model/7667

I never thought I would actually see one of these C-130s, but walking out of my villa in Riyadh one day in 2011, I heard and saw one fly right over me.

Harvey
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Old 05-26-2020, 02:02 AM   #30 (permalink)
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I don't think they ever did a true prototype mould, with shorter rear cone and no nose visor ? What they did do were two pre-production examples in BAC/Aerospatiale colours with UK And French reg's. These were essentially the Concorde as it ended up in airline service. I'd like to think someone will produce the true prototype in 1:400 but livery options would be extremely limited, nut hey that doesn't stop these types of moulds from being produced does it ?
Thanks for correcting me. You would think if that is the case Herpa or Gemini would produce them on their moulds
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Old 05-26-2020, 02:08 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Ciderman, maybe an updated list of your preferences is long overdue!!

Harvey
That list is very outdated but I still consider Dragon's 727-100, 727-200, 747-400, 767-200, DC-10, L-1011 and MD-80 to be fine representations of the real planes.

I forgot to mention that there is an even better 747-400 in 1/400 but this mould unfortunately disappeared after a few releases: the reworked Aviation 400 747-100/-200/-300/-400. Especially the -300 and -400 versions are a huge improvement over the original Big Bird incarnations.
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Old 05-26-2020, 06:39 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

It just now occurred to me, after collecting since 2006, that Dragon Wings never had a DC-9-30/40/50. I wonder why they chose not to participate in releasing some of the most widely used airframes!?

Harvey
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Old 05-26-2020, 08:53 PM   #33 (permalink)
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I always thought their 747 was a great model, and despite the gear, I truly enjoyed their 727 and still think it’s the best out there. Just my 2 cents
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Old 05-27-2020, 02:32 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

To this date, despite all the advancements and details, none of dragon competitors have been able to do what dragon did in 1/400 scale: Offering removable gears and bay door covers so you can have both gears up and down configuration

And I really mean it. Absolutely no one has offer any 1/400 model since dragon that have those features.

More than half of my 1/400 are dragon. And just for this reason. Also their models are a lot more affordable most of the time. As well as covering planes that no one else covered.

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Old 05-27-2020, 03:11 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

Hi.

Add to that spare wheels and a stand.

Steinar
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Old 05-27-2020, 05:30 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

Here are a few of my favorites. This is the first time they have been outside of the boxes for a while . The 747-8i is one of the best IMO and is one of the rare models i have. i remembered how hard it was for me to get it...

It's too bad that dragon didn't bother to draw in the nose door. would've been so easy for them to do and would've been a great improvement for all the F ones... Still great models...
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1:400 History - Dragon Wings-dscn3553.jpg   1:400 History - Dragon Wings-dscn3554.jpg   1:400 History - Dragon Wings-dscn3555.jpg   1:400 History - Dragon Wings-dscn3556.jpg  

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Old 05-30-2020, 04:38 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

Great read, thanks Richard. I only have 2 Dragon Wings - a Philippine Airlines DC-10 in 70's c/s & United Saul Bass L-1011-500. Both are very good moulds, even with the recent NG United TriStar release, I'm still keeping the vintage DW version.
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Old 05-30-2020, 06:46 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

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Great read, thanks Richard. I only have 2 Dragon Wings - a Philippine Airlines DC-10 in 70's c/s & United Saul Bass L-1011-500. Both are very good moulds, even with the recent NG United TriStar release, I'm still keeping the vintage DW version.
I have three Dragon Wings TriStars (Eastern Airlines bare metal, PanAm, and the same United Saul Bass) and love 'em. New Generation Models L-1011s may be the new standard, but the DW's are a close second. Doug
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Old 05-30-2020, 04:35 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

Ah I remember when Dragon's were the only way to get Air Canada stuff back in the day. I wanted so many but couldn't find them.

That SkyService/My Travel A330 was a huge want by me and when I finally got it I was so excited to have it.

But the article is spot on. Some of those landing gear were chunky and grotesque. I have an Air Canada TCA A319 that has a main gear for its nose simply because that's just how they were made. And with the "recent" Aeroclassics copy, I can't offload it on someone even if I paid them to take it lol
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Old 05-30-2020, 08:36 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

Thank you for writing this history, Rich, it is much appreciated!

When I got into 1:400 more seriously around 2011, and my judgment wasn't as well developed, I bought a lot of Dragon models. I've actually kept a lot of them, because as you note there are some very good moulds. I'm not surprised that on your chart of evaluation, a lot of their more classic jetliner moulds are their better ones.

Dragon did some unusual 747's--like the TAAG and Swissair-EuroWhite 747-300's--and their moulds, despite the gear and plastic wings, seem very good to me. Even though the 737-300 moulds aren't great, they did some nice USA Deregulation 737-300 like New York Air and AirCal.

I don't like the proprietary stand hole, because I want a circular hole to fit homemade stands made from coat hanger wire. But, when I had a thinner collection and didn't need to precisely 'stack' models by hand-measured homemade stands, I much appreciated their stands.

So, Dragon still holds a solid foothold in my now probably close to 1,100 collection. I still keep a number of their models on display for which I have found Big Bird / Aeroclassics or others, just because I like them. Other Dragons haven't been made by other makers, and I'll probably keep them out even when they do.

Jim
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The greatest need in 1:400: Reissues of Major Passenger-Carrier 747 Classics: -100/200, -300, and SP, of NG / Aeroclassics / Big Bird Mk. 1 quality. Examples: American; United Blue-Star, Bass; TWA double globe, double stripe; Pan Am delivery; British Airways Negus, Landor; KLM 70's-80's blue top; Air France 70's-80's; Lufthansa 70's-80's; Aer Lingus delivery; Sabena 80's circle-s; Japan Air Lines 70's-80s; All Nippon 70's; and Qantas 70's-80's.

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Old 05-31-2020, 02:45 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

I remember several models that has the complete wrong gear. An A380 that had inner and outer gears reversed, and center landing gears where none existed on the real plane. Now that is hard to ignore.
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and fan of Aer Lingus, CP air, Ward air, and many more.
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Old 05-31-2020, 07:33 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

Really enjoying this content, thanks Richard!!
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Old 06-01-2020, 02:05 AM   #43 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

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Really enjoying this content, thanks Richard!!
My pleasure! The new newsletter is out and I have several months worth of manufacturer related content ready to go.
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Old 06-16-2020, 09:21 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

not to nitpick but just occurred to me that you seem to have missed the dreamlifter release. Don't know if you have ever seen one.
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Old 06-17-2020, 01:00 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

Love their 747 classic moulds, have a Pan am -100, Continental -200 and an AR -200.
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Old 06-17-2020, 08:18 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1:400 History - Dragon Wings

Great article Richard still have many Dragon 747s a favourite being the Malaysian Hibiscus Livery
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