For part 1 of this series see:
I am lucky to have acquired models from airlines from some quite obscure nations in the course of my collecting. Countries like Barbados, Costa Rica, Guyana, Micronesia, Nauru, Somalia and Vanuatu all have a place in my collection - usually, but not exclusively, thanks to Aeroclassics. Recently Iceland and Zimbabwe have joined, again courtesy of Aeroclassics. Ukraine has also just been added thanks unusually to Gemini Jets. Nonetheless 65 countries is a lot without an aircraft model at this scale.
The No Hopers
The remaining 40 countries have had decent sized airlines at sometime and have plausible candidates for 1/400. I'm not saying they are likely or would sell well but they could be made and most of the airlines should have been heard of by a decent aviation enthusiast who can tell a 737-200 from a 737-300. With the consolidation of the aviation scene lots of these airlines are long gone but that doesn't make them any less cool. Sometimes obscurity can even make a model sell better I think, although equally sometimes it does not.
The Top 10 Sellers IMHO
I've tried in the following wishlist to pick aircraft that a mould exists for. Sadly as the majority of these are only candidates for Aeroclassics that is often an issue, nonetheless there are some good candidates here including some on types like the A320, which could interest Phoenix (they did recently make a Maldivian A320 after all).
Here are my top 10 most likely decent sellers from ignored nations in alphabetical order:
ANTIGUA & BARBUDA- LIAT BAC One-eleven 500 or DHC-8
JC Wings has already made the Court Line One-eleven and this is just a stone's throw from that. Definitely potential. Whereas if Gemini actually used their DHC-8 mould then a LIAT would be a good choice.
BHUTAN - Druk Air Airbus A319 or BAE-146
I'd rather have a BAE 146 but an A319 seems more likely. Bhutan is famously the happiest country on Earth and this A319 is a regular visitor to Asian airports, which may equal a decent return on investment.
CROATIA - Croatia Airways Boeing 737-200
Possibly the most surprising absentee is Croatia, which has had a decent sized national airline for a long time now. Plenty of scope for an Airbus A319 but personally I'd prefer a 737.
DJIBOUTI - Air Djibouti A310
I just love saying the name of this North African nation whose national carrier was sufficient enough to operate 737s and an A310. Really nice scheme too.
GUINEA - Air Guinee IL-18 or 707
It's a nice livery and another long-lived African airline which'd look smart on the Aeroclassics mould.
LITHUANIA - Lithuanian Airlines Boeing 737-200
In the early 90s Lithuanian were regular visitors to Heathrow and other major European airports as one of the first post-soviets to operate western aircraft. Nice scheme too.
MARSHALL ISLANDS - Air Marshall Islands Douglas DC-8
A quintessential unusual airliner/airline combo this one, but what a combo.
MONGOLIA - MIAT Airbus A310 or Boeing 727-200
Mongolia still has a major national airline and this could be another great Aeroclassics pair. Alternatively Phoenix could make a 737-800?
MOZAMBIQUE - LAM McDonnell Douglas DC-10
Another colourful and attractive livery on a widebody airliner for an airline still flying and from a major country in Africa next to South Africa. I think this would sell well.
NEPAL - Royal Nepal HS 748 or Airbus A310
A Boeing 727-100 or 757 would be even better, since Royal Nepal operated the only pair of 757 Combis, made but I fear with no Aeroclassics 757 or a working 727-100 they are unlikely. Phoenix could alternatively be interested in a modern Nepal Airlines A320? I'd however prefer something classic like an HS748 or A310.
Now those 10 I think could be sold and moulds exist for them but that doesn't mean to say I don't want a Royal Swazi F28, St Lucia Airways 707 or Belize Airways 720! So keep up the work collectors requesting these beautiful and historically important models.
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of 1/400 scale model aircraft and airports. This blog reports work on my model airport dioramas and discussion of the model manufacturers output.