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Speedbird91
08-15-2008, 11:34 PM
This is the first review to feature the new subheading Comparision Q&A. The aim of Q&A is to help new collectors work out differences with various 1:400 manufacturers and to help all collectors choose which model is best for them.

Model: 55313
Airline: American Airlines
Aircraft: MD-11
Registration: N1758B
Release Date: 6/22/2002
Units: Limited
Notes: Two Tone Edition, Chrome and Metal Magic

American Airlines, Inc. (AA) is a US-based airline and the world's largest airline in total passengers-miles transported, passenger fleet size, and the second largest airline in terms of aircraft operated (FedEx Express, a cargo airline has more aircraft) and the second-largest airline company in the world (behind Air France-KLM) in terms of total operating revenues. A wholly owned subsidiary of the AMR Corporation, the airline is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, adjacent to the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
American operates scheduled flights throughout the United States, as well as flights to Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Japan, China, and India. The Chairman, President, and CEO of AA is Gerard Arpey. In 2005, the airline flew more than 138 billion revenue passenger miles (RPM).

The Pros
I regard this model as one of the most unusual in the 1:400 and one of the most beautiful. I am not a large collector of North American airlines but when I saw this model I had to have it.

I will start off by saying the quality of this model is just perfect. There are absolutely no scratches, dings, chips or smudges on this model at all.
The paint job is just superb. The colours are all correct all with correct tone palates and the double A with scissors eagle on the tail is bordered by white and set on the light grey background which is also the correct tone. Not too dark but not too light either.
The almost billboard sized 'American' logo and the front of the fuselage is the correct size, in the correct location and features the classic red berry colour American has used for years. It is spot on!
The classic red, white and blue stripes running down the length of the fuselage are also correct both in their locale but also the palate colour.
I would also say that the light grey hues on the engines and wings (the same as the tail) are also fairly correct and the corroguard, although not the most realistic is fairly good. It also does depend on the the lighting conditions of the area the model is in.

The detail on this model is fantastic. For the year 2002 when this model was released, it was way ahead of its time and can be compared to today's Aeroclassics detail and quality.
Some might say "2002, thats not long ago" but considering that today's models are nothing like what we had a choice of even those few years back, this model was great as were all pre-2005 Dragon Wings releases. The models we bought back in the day were weekly releases that didn't feature the detail that the models have today, but IMO this model changed this concept.
Details on this model include all the electrical holes and access for GSE, detailed cargo doors, landing lights, cabin doors and windows bordered by silver frames and the smallest details such as door handles, 'MD-11 Luxury Liner' titles and gear bay doors etched into the metal.

All these features and beautiful detail set upon one of the most striking background liveries in 1:400 scale.
The fuselage features patches of different shades of metal, from polished chrome 'mirror' look at the front of the fuselage then DW's ultra cool metal magic finish, with patches of each featuring on different sections of the model, again Dragon's realistic connection to the 1:1 version.


The Cons
Although this model does have some problems, they are very minor.
The only two problems I have with this model are; 1st the landing gear. They are very basic in terms of detail and for such a stunning model, more detail could have been added to them considering they are made from plastic.

The only other issue I have is with the shape of the cockpit and nose. Although this model is the updated version of DWs first and pervious MD-11 mould, they have tried to tweek the shape of the nose but it could do with a little extra editing.

Apart from that there isn't much else.


Comparision Q&A

Model being compared: GJAAL262C, Gemini Jets American Airlines MD-11 Chrome.

Q: What are the main differences between the two?
A: As with all Gemini Jets models, the comparing model is all metal where as the reviewed DW model has plastic wings, tail, engines and landing gear but an all metal fuselage. The only plastic part Gemini models have are engines and some tails on earlier models.

Q: Which model has more detail?
A: Dragon Wings AA MD-11 is by far the winner in this department! As some of the most important parts on a model are plastic on this model, the reward is much more detail due to plastic being much easier to shape. Gemini's lacks wing detail.

Q: Which model is more desirable?
A: This question is not easy to answer based on the materials each is made from. Also, some collectors prefer all metal while others like me, don't really care as long as the detail and quality is good. But, after browsing ebay and online stores, the Gemini Jets version is much easier to find.

Q: In your opinion, which one is more valuable?
A: After searching for this model for a good few months, I finally purchased it at a decent price, while the Gemini model was always floating around. But I stood my ground and waited. To me, the Dragon is more valuable.

If you have any other Q&A questions please PM and I will add it to the above list.

Below are ratings out of 10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being excellent.
1: Worst
2: Bad
3: Poor
4: Could be better
5: Satisfactory
6: Average
7: Good
8: Great
9: HOT!
10: Excellent

Mould (Airframe): 8.5
Detail (Inc. Spoilers, Flaps, Gear bay doors, Cargo Doors): 9.5
Printing (Accuracy, Colour, Finish, Correct Fonts): 9.5
Quality (Any Scratches, Chips, Bent Pylons, Finish): 10
Value (Price, Money well spent): 9.5
Verdict: 9.5/10


Final Verdict
With all said and done I would highly recommend this model to anyone. I feel that it is

one of the best North American models ever released in the 1:400 scale and anyone who

collects North American airlines or AA for that matter should have this model in their collection. Although not easy to get your hands on, if you are able to find one purchase it and enjoy the reward of a good quality, detailed yet unusual model.

LONG LIVE DRAGON WINGS pre-2005!

:)

Speedbird91
08-19-2008, 04:15 AM
Does anyone like this model?

mpjetlinerphotos
08-23-2008, 06:26 PM
Nice review, I will upgrade my GJ version to this whenever I get that chance ;)

Wish Todd or Faheem would shoot it for better pics.

ba777-236
08-24-2008, 01:32 AM
Excellent review Adam, it certainly shows you what Dragon can accomplish when they put their best effort.

It's a shame that they've left their Wings division in such a shamble. They still have some of the best moulds available but simply do not use them.

cs-tbr
08-24-2008, 11:31 AM
EXCELLENT REVIEW;)
thanks a lot for your effort writing these reviews;););)

titanic777
10-07-2008, 02:11 AM
Love the two tone, Come on Phoenix you have a go.

transnat
10-07-2008, 02:18 PM
Excellent review of one of my favourite models. Thanks for going to so much trouble.

Tnat

Chansen
10-07-2008, 02:26 PM
Got the Gemini one was think of this one but didn't go for it!