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Thread: Model Review: DW Lufthansa A321-131, also featuring photographs by Lorenzo.

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    Relief Pilot Supreme Hangar Mechanic Speedbird91's Avatar
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    Model Review: DW Lufthansa A321-131, also featuring photographs by Lorenzo.

    Manufacturer: Dragon Wings
    Model: 55034
    Airline: Lufthansa
    Aircraft: Airbus A321-131
    Registration: D-AIRS
    Release Date: 11/20/2001
    Units: Limited
    Notes: ‘Husum’ with GSE catering truck


    Deutsche Lufthansa AG is one of the largest airlines in Europe in terms of overall passengers carried, and the flag carrier of Germany. The name of the company is derived from Luft (the German word for "air"), and Hansa (after Hanseatic League, the powerful medieval trading group).

    The airline is the world's fifth largest airline in terms of overall passengers carried, operating services to 209 destinations in 81 countries. Together with its partners Lufthansa services around 410 destinations. It has the third-largest passenger airline fleet in the world, when combined with Lufthansa CityLine, Air Dolomiti, Eurowings, Germanwings, Augsburg Airways, Contact Air, and SWISS, operating 531 aircraft.
    Lufthansa corporate headquarters is in Cologne, with its main base and primary traffic hub at Frankfurt International Airport in Frankfurt am Main with a second hub at Munich International Airport.

    Lufthansa is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's largest airline alliance. Star Alliance was formed in 1997 together with Thai Airways, United Airlines, Air Canada and Scandinavian Airlines System. The Lufthansa Group operates more than 500 aircraft and employs worldwide 105,261 people of 146 nationalities (31 December 2007). In 2008, 70.5 million passengers flew with Lufthansa (missing: Germanwings, BMI, AUA, Brussels Airlines).


    The Pros.

    Dragon’s Lufthansa A321 is in my view one of the nicest models Dragon Wings has ever released. The plain yet elegant livery of Deutsche Lufthansa, the attention to detail and DWs decent A321 mould all come together to form a great little model.

    Starting off with the paintwork. Lufthansa’s livery is not hard to replicate. It is basic comprising of only four colours; Yellow, Blue, Grey and White. Though not entirely happy with the blue background on the tail (more about this issue in the cons section), the Yellow circle on the tail seems pretty decent to me, as does the colour tone of the blue ‘Lufthansa’ titles up front which surprisingly seems to be slightly different from the blue on the tail. The grey colour on the underbelly is correct.
    The crane bird on the tail is crisp and is painted up using the same blue colour as featured on the tail itself. The circle features the same yellow the 1:1 version displays or if not exact comes pretty close. It is also the correct size in proportion to the size of the tail and the cranes position is perfect, right in the middle of the tail.

    It is also good to note that Dragon remembered to paint the surface of the wings white. All Lufthansa aircraft feature white wings and it is good to see that Dragon did not forget about this important paint feature synonymous with Lufthansa aircraft unlike AeroClassics, who failed to include the white surface details on its A300 models last year. (light grey was used) The ‘no step’ black frame has also been included on the surface and Dragon has painted the underside of the wing in Lufthansa grey.

    The mould is pretty good, fantastic for 2001, but decent for today and yet a whole lot better than Herpa or Gemini’s versions. The nose in particular is quite good and has that classic blunt shape typical of the A32X family.
    This is the second A321 mould Dragon released, far superior to the first A321 mould which was used from 1998- 2001 and completely void of any refinement and quality. Avoid any A319, A320 or A321 which was released pre-2001.


    Attention to detail on this model is very good indeed. For a 2001 dated model, the detail on this model is simply superb and typical of the Dragon Wings pre 2005 brand. Everything from the aircraft’s name and details “Husum”, “Airbus A321-100”, to the German flag and airplane features such as electrical ports, door handles, Star alliance emblem and small crane logo under cockpit windows are depicted. I especially like the very detailed cabin doors, which feature things like the tiny peep holes and warning signage and the cabin windows and doors which are framed in silver. This model re-emphasises the idea that the Dragon Wings name was once a label that was synonymous with care and attention to detail.
    The tires don’t roll and are not oversized, a problem that affects many models released today especially from Phoenix.

    The finish and quality of this model is superb as are most Dragon Wings models pre-2005. No scratches, no finger prints and the model features the same shine it had when I pulled it out of the box for the first time many years ago. No more needed on that
    The IAEV2500 engines are pretty decent too. They are not oversized and are just right...


    The Cons.

    ....but the engines drag along the ground like big Dyson vacuum cleaners, not because the pylons are too large or the intake is too wide, but because the main landing gear is too short! And not very realistic either. Being made of plastic one would expect a little more detail and refinement in the finish of the landing gear. Plastic is easier to work with and mould than metal and yet the nose gear especially lacks detail. They are bland! Like eating a bread roll without butter, dry and boring. No excuses for that one. And the fan blades are the horrid silver colour. A black interior would have been much more realistic. Dragon also forgot to paint the leading edge slats, so all you have is the white surface joining with the grey underside causing a distinct line, making the wings look unfinished.

    Another issue that really takes away from this model is the lack of detail on the engines. The detail on the fuselage is second to none, hands down. Yet the engines are bland, they feature no markings at all. No reverse thrust warning lines, no pylon detail at all and completely bare of any painted signage. The only saving grace for these engines is the silver paint at the end of the cowling at the rear of the engine and the intake frame which is also painted in silver. Otherwise these IAE engines could have just been another set of engines lying around in the factory somebody forgot to finish.

    The blue background on the tail is way too dark. It is more black than blue and completely different to the Lufthansa logo at the front of the fuselage. I compared this model with every other 1:400 Lufthansa model in my collection. This is the darkest blue compared to the 30 other models i looked at.

    The tail seem is a little intrusive at close range but not a big problem.


    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): 8.5
    Printing (Accuracy, Colour, Finish, Correct Fonts): 8.0
    Quality (Any Scratches, Chips, Bent Pylons, Finish): 10.0
    Value (Price, Money well spent): 9.0
    Verdict: 8.5/10

    Final Verdict

    Putting the above issues aside, this model is still a beauty. Any collector who is interested in this model and has located one should buy it straight away. The issues mentioned don’t warrant the model being over looked or ignored. D-AIRS is a fine model released in the golden years of Dragon Wings and the attention to detail on the fuselage and overall finish of the model outweighs the negatives.
    Expect to pay:
    - USD40+ for the Dragon Wings version (D-AIRS) or
    - USD60+ for the rarer Jet-X version (D-AIRY)


    Of course this review would not be complete without Lorenzo’s awesome photos!
    Cheers,
    Adam



  2. #2
    United Airlines Fan!! A Retired Hangar Mechanic Jet 8595's Avatar
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    Very nice, Superb shots of a beautiful Aircraft

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    I'm cute. I'm cuddly. I'm totally deranged. A Retired Hangar Mechanic Sportyboy's Avatar
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    Great reading once again, Adam!

    Keep it up!

    ...Silent, Swift, Superb...
    Lorenzo

    JetPhotos


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    IN MEMORIAM... A Retired Hangar Mechanic cs-tbr's Avatar
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    cool review this was the OLD Dragon Wings and for me it's the only mold that catches the 320 family nose shape, Neither Gemini, or Phoenix or Herpa gets close in fact they stay pretty far

  5. #5
    Moderator / Dark Jedi Master Collector R. Minor's Avatar
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    Excellently done.
    Ron / Mr. Polo / Posted With A Mac / Honorary Australian Citizen

  6. #6
    Relief Pilot Supreme Hangar Mechanic crashlander's Avatar
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    Thanks for your very good work!!

    I have to gripe, though, about the dragging of engines.

    Partly you're right the gear is short, but I still have to find an A32X model from virtually any manufacturer which doesn't call for a large bra to push up the engines closer to the wings. Even in 1:200.
    (and don't even mention Gemini's shameful, otherwise beautiful A310).

    My OCD with this issue won't let me sleep at night.


    http://www.airliners.net/photo/Lufth...231/1184612/M/
    Last edited by crashlander; 03-11-2009 at 04:07 AM. Reason: mistake
    Posted with a Mac

    Need more Embraer Regional Jets. Got the moulds already...

  7. #7
    United Airlines Fan!! A Retired Hangar Mechanic Jet 8595's Avatar
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    Damn, that is LOW


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    Free spirit Pro Collector CBL's Avatar
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    That's another fine review, well done

    I agree with you on all point but I am surprized that you have not mentionned an important flaw on the A321 mould and all A320 family moulds.

    The way the horizontal stab are designed introduce a very hugly tail cone seam (the whole stabs slides from the back into the tail cone).

    I would love that DW amend their A320s mould to remove this seam. They would them have a nearly perfect mould

  9. #9
    Santos Dumont 1st to fly Pro Collector Otavio Santos's Avatar
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    Fantastic report Adam. I am glad I own this very model and as a side note I flew LH A321 last year.

  10. #10
    Relief Pilot Supreme Hangar Mechanic Speedbird91's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgmerle View Post
    That's another fine review, well done

    I agree with you on all point but I am surprized that you have not mentionned an important flaw on the A321 mould and all A320 family moulds.

    The way the horizontal stab are designed introduce a very hugly tail cone seam (the whole stabs slides from the back into the tail cone).

    I would love that DW amend their A320s mould to remove this seam. They would them have a nearly perfect mould
    Thanks for pointing that out.

    As you said this is the case with all of DWs A320 family moulds.

    To me though, this is no big issue and barely noticeable. only two small lines leading to the APU, probably why I didn't mention it.
    If you compare this model to the likes of Gemini's 757 and earlier 767 moulds, where the whole bottom end of the model is one giant seem, DW A32X moulds is nothing.
    Cheers,
    Adam



  11. #11
    Relief Pilot Supreme Hangar Mechanic Speedbird91's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashlander View Post
    Thanks for your very good work!!

    I have to gripe, though, about the dragging of engines.

    Partly you're right the gear is short, but I still have to find an A32X model from virtually any manufacturer which doesn't call for a large bra to push up the engines closer to the wings. Even in 1:200.
    (and don't even mention Gemini's shameful, otherwise beautiful A310).

    My OCD with this issue won't let me sleep at night.


    http://www.airliners.net/photo/Lufth...231/1184612/M/
    Thanks for that fantastic comparison shot.
    If only I was that good at Photoshop!

    BTW, do you have a Herpa A321 model?
    I purchased the Herpa Lufthansa A321 anniversary colours over the Gemini version so I could have all 3 A321 moulds.
    I'm not a big Herpa fan and this model does have some issues, but I have to make note that this is a pretty decent mould, especially in regards to the engines.
    Those babies are flawless and don't even need a bra to push em up!

    Don't get any ideas Sal!
    Cheers,
    Adam



  12. #12
    Free spirit Pro Collector CBL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedbird91 View Post
    If you compare this model to the likes of Gemini's 757 and earlier 767 moulds, where the whole bottom end of the model is one giant seam .

    Add the old GJ 747s to the list !:


  13. #13
    I'm cute. I'm cuddly. I'm totally deranged. A Retired Hangar Mechanic Sportyboy's Avatar
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    Don't forget earlier GJ 777 as well!

    ...Silent, Swift, Superb...
    Lorenzo

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  14. #14
    Relief Pilot Supreme Hangar Mechanic crashlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedbird91 View Post
    BTW, do you have a Herpa A321 model?
    I purchased the Herpa Lufthansa A321 anniversary colours over the Gemini version so I could have all 3 A321 moulds.
    I'm not a big Herpa fan and this model does have some issues, but I have to make note that this is a pretty decent mould, especially in regards to the engines.
    Those babies are flawless and don't even need a bra to push em up!
    No, no Herpa 321s unfortunately... need to check out where i can get one!

    Slds & keep your good stuff up.
    Posted with a Mac

    Need more Embraer Regional Jets. Got the moulds already...

  15. #15
    I'm cute. I'm cuddly. I'm totally deranged. A Retired Hangar Mechanic Sportyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashlander View Post
    No, no Herpa 321s unfortunately... need to check out where i can get one!

    Slds & keep your good stuff up.
    The IB A321 in the last pic is the Herpa one, a really nice one! I recommend you check where to get one!



    ...Silent, Swift, Superb...
    Lorenzo

    JetPhotos


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