Above: The top two shelves of the new cabinet. Hong Kong Airlines, Cathay Dragon and Chinese cargo
The answer was another secondhand display cabinet I picked up from a jewelers that was closing down. This was wider but slightly shorter allowing itself to fit nicely in the available space and still allow access to the wall cupboard above. In addition, it meant that I could fit in a small bookcase on its side at the bottom within which my collection of ‘Airplane’ magazines could reside.
Above: The next two shelves of the new cabinet: Cathay Pacific and Air Hong Kong
Shelf wise the new cabinet could fit in the entire Hong Kong fleet (not just Cathay and Dragonair but also Hong Kong Airlines and HK Express). Additionally, there was also room for the Chinese cargo airlines to join them providing some much-needed breathing space in the two China cabinets for my growing Chinese passenger fleet, which itself had a minor rearrangement.
Now Shanghai Airlines has been moved up next to the new colours China Eastern fleet. Xiamen Airlines and Sichuan Airlines share a shelf with China United. Below them the Air China group carriers Shandong Airlines and Shenzhen Airlines are placed together for the first time with the independent and smaller startups nearby.
Back in the new cabinet and beneath the Hong Kongers there is ample room for the Asia fleet. I admit that non-Chinese Asian airlines have never been a high priority for me but there is still a passable arrangement of mainly classic types from Japan, Malaysia, Korea and the like. One fleet that has grown quite a bit in recent times is that of Singapore Airlines which now has about a quarter of the entire Asian space for itself.
The movement of the Asian fleet out of the benchtop cabinets means there is now more space for South American, Mexican and Canadian additions – partly because the UK fleet has also been moved. This leaves the benchtop cabinets arrangement significantly altered as even those who have not increased space (Russians, Africans, Middle East) have moved shelves.
Where did the Brits go? Well to the tall display cabinet that had just been replaced. After much effort I was able to shunt the US collection sideways a little to slip in the cabinet next to the Europeans giving the UK its own space. This was not however destined to last as we shall see in part 2 of this series.
So the first change (which actually happened back in March) provided more space for most parts of the non-US collection area and a much nicer display for the Hong Kong and Asian fleets. In part 2 the Brits get moved again and it is the turn of the USA to get an upgrade.
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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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