Aeroclassics has a habit of producing lineages of models and often these can wander off into obscure areas such as the recent batch of Malaysian hybrid 737s, or French DC-10s. In recent months Aeroclassics has made 7 Tricolor DC-10s all operated by airlines outside the Air France group. The most unusual of these has been AeroLyon but there have also been Minerve, Air Liberte and a trio of AOM editions. While not exactly central to my collection, as all too often, I couldn't resist one of them.
Each review is to split into three key areas:
Whilst Aeroclassics has somewhat struggled with its newer moulds when it comes to Douglas products it has long been king of the hill, be they DC-6s, DC-7s, DC-8s, DC-9s or DC-10s. The Aeroclassics DC-10 mould is one of their finest mouldings and the best DC-10 produced in 1:400 scale so far.
There have been some calls for an NG DC-10 but considering the quality and range of Aeroclassics output I personally think this is misplaced. There are far more needy candidates than a Ten when this mould exists already, although I admit the DC-10-10 has not been covered well with accurate wingtips or exhausts.
There have been 5 DC-10 moulds in total and 4 of them are decent (the TucanoLine/Phoenix mould is the only one that should be avoided). I discuss them all at the DC-10 Mould Review:
On this mould the shape of the nose and fuselage is effectively perfect whilst the wings and engine pylon/nacelle combination are also top quality. The nosegear on Aeroclassics DC-10s comes separated in a little bag so as to avoid breakages during posting. This is great but you do have to pay attention to fit it correctly since neither the gear doors or gear leg is symmetrical.
If the Aeroclassics DC-10 does have a failing it is the tubelike shape of the tail mounted engine, which isn’t as contoured as it ought to be. The Witty / Apollo DC-10 is superior in this regard.
Aeroclassics has three different engine exhaust options to cover the six possible exhaust variants. This 1975 build airframe has the earlier CF6-50 exhausts with the longer outer nozzle. Fortunately this is one of the exhaust variants that Aeroclassics has moulded and it looks good except that the fin fillet should be slightly shorter.
Moving attention to the no 2 engine inlet and there is both praise and criticism to be levelled. I like how the engine has a full rendition of the fanblades in it even though they are well down the intake. JC Wings/Gemini could learn from that with their MD-11 mould. Less good is the seam that runs around the engine. When it is silver it looks great but when it's white, as it is here, it rather stands out. I'm not sure why it is there but possibly it is to allow the aforementioned internal engine detail to be fitted.
It would be nice if Aeroclassics upgraded the mould to have the three aerials of the real thing but this is wishful thinking. Overall in the DC-10-30 version of this mould there is a lot to like but also some small areas of improvement, mainly associated with the no 2 engine.
SCORE - 9
PAINT & LIVERY
Aeroclassics produced three versions of the AOM DC-10 - one in standard colours, one with CUBANA titles and one with the "Je Veux Rester A Orly Ouest" titles sported by this release. These titles relate to a dispute between AOM and Aeroports De Paris who wanted to force AOM to move terminals from Orly Ouest (West) to Orly Sud (South). Does anyone know if the protest succeeded?
AOM's standard livery was patriotic in colour and rather simple since it basically only consisted of the AOM titles in dark blue with a red stripe above them separated by white. The Aeroclassics factory has worked hard on the title font itself, which I can find nothing wrong with, however looking at photos it is clear that the letters should be taller. On the model their top margin is below the door top but on the real thing it is above it.
Also on the real thing the red stripe above the letters doesn't follow the lettering all the way and at both ends has a flourish to it. On the model at the A end it correctly curves up but at the M end it is too flat.
On the plus side the extra titles, which exist as a thought bubble from a cartoon aircraft, look great as does the little red plane.
SCORE - 8
PRINTING & QUALITY CONTROL
Printing on the model is crisp and surprisingly well detailed for Aeroclassics, especially around the starboard side lower baggage hold doors. The engine print and paint is a highlight, at least on the underwing engines. On the no 2 engine some sloppiness has crept in to the paint detailing on the inside of the inlet, which is uneven and missing in one place.
The model has also unfortunately suffered some build quality problems, possibly due to damage caused in transit (since one of the other models it was packaged with also had damage). At the port side rear stabiliser there is some paint damage caused by movement of the stab itself.
On the starboard side the wing is very loose and this has once again caused a small amount of paint damage on the underside of the model.
SCORE - 7
Aeroclassics DC-10s rarely disappoint and aside from the minor damage this one doesn't either. Looking at photos it seems there is still potential for further French DC-10s like Air Lib and, although one of this lineage is probably enough for me, it is great to see Aeroclassics focus on an area like this whereas other brands tend to flip-flop about a lot more. Hopefully Andrew will take a look at the lineage of British DC-10s that can be made in the near future (Laker, BCal Charter, Air Cal, Novair, Monarch, JMC, Airtours etc).
SCORE - 24/30
I'm Richard Stretton an aviation enthusiast and major collector of 400 scale models. On this page I take a detailed look at new releases.
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