Indonesian collectors continue to be well served by the relationship between Indonesian retailers and several manufacturers, especially Panda Models. The latest trio of releases cover Batik Air 737s and use the new 737-800 mould from Panda, which has been slipped out with little fanfare.
I have written about Airshop Diecast's model releases previously but they continue to get new models produced for themselves through Panda.
In fact, Panda nowadays make as many models for third parties as they do under their own brand. As well as Airshop Diecast they have also made a WestJet 737-600 for Prairie Diecast recently and have several models on the way for RM Models too. I know that Prairie Diecast will be using them for more releases in the future as well.
The latest trio from Airshop Diecast cover Batik Air 737-800s. Batik is Lion Air's full service arm in Indonesia and operates a sizeable fleet of A320s and 737-800s, plus a smaller number of 737-900ERs. There have been 7 previous 1:400 scale Batik releases - mainly from Phoenix. Only one of these is a 737-800 and it comes with Phoenix's trademark wonky 737 cockpit windows and mediocre mould.
The new Airshop releases make the old Phoenix release obsolete and show three different liveries for the Batik 737-800. While I'm on it the airline's name is connected with the livery. The Batik design, synonymous with the indonesian region, is historically a sign of luxury and nobility. The designs, still produced today, are created using wax and dip dying, the Tjanting tool (the flute looking element in the logo) is the tool used to carefully create these patterns.
All the models are produced in limited 160 edition runs and can be purchased through the airshop diecast Facebook store by messaging them. The releases are:
BATIK AIR | BOEING 737-8GPWL | PK-LZM | LION GROUP 178TH 737-800
FULL BATIK COLOURS
BATIK AIR | BOEING 737-8GPWL | PK-LZS
TJANTING B LOGO ON WHITE TAIL
BATIK AIR | BOEING 737-8GPWL | PK-LZW
STANDARD SCHEME BUT WITH LION AIR ENGINE COLOUR
I got all three releases to go with the earlier pair of Airshop Diecast Batik A320s and they are nice models. They also use the new Panda Models 737-800 mould.
Panda first released their new 737-800 back in August with their P-8 Poseidon versions. At the time I reviewed them I wasn't overly impressed with the P-8 but said the underlying 737-800 looked great:
Looking at these commercial 737s I can say that view wasn't misplaced. The new mould is very nice and I'll have to do a detailed comparison looking at how it fares against the other existing active 737-800 moulds (of which the NG Models version is the clear market leader at the moment).
As far as I'm aware to date Panda have made 7 versions of the 737-800 using the new mould. The 3 Batiks above, a trio of Skyteam coloured releases (1 x China Eastern and 2x China Southern) and a very limited Singapore Airlines release.
It continues to be a good time to be a collector of Indonesian models and although Panda are unlikely to match NG Models for the number of releases using their new 737-800 the mould is top notch. Panda's latest announcement of a trio of 737-700s is not very exciting but they will also feature a new mould - no doubt sharing many of the same features as this 737-800 so along with the new NG moulds it is clear there will be two excellent 73Gs floating around soon.
I'm Richard Stretton, an aviation enthusiast and major collector of 400 scale model aircraft. This blog discusses ongoing events in the world of 400 scale.
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