Updates and fun with dioramas!

In an exciting turn of events, A Qantas A380 made a surprise diversion to Sheffield International from London Heathrow due to poor weather conditions yesterday. This surprise visit was a helpful test however, as Qantas plans to open a route to the airport from Sydney (via Dubai) once the brand-new main pier is completed in 2014. For now, the A380 had to park at one of the few stands at the current terminal, and because it was so unexpected only a single air-stair was available to offload the gigantic aircraft. Fortunately, this process was completed only slightly slower than usual as the Aussies aboard were more than desperate to get outside for fresh air after their long flight.

By the early morning, the Qantas incident had long since passed, and operations had returned to normal; The weekly Aeroflot MD-11 cargo service as well as the 3x weekly early-morning Air France CRJ700 flight were both in the process of loading ready for departure.

However, Today was not a normal day; This was the day Sheffield International Airport completed stage 1 of its ambitious new expansion – The building of four wide-body stands on the eastern side of the airport, which will eventually form part of a new international terminal. To celebrate what will one day become a new hub for the North, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Thomson all agreed to be the first users of the stands, with various wide- and narrow-bodied aircraft – Including the massive A380 and 747. Unfortunately, while the stands are now complete, delays in production due to “faulty mechanisms” have meant that the brand-new ground equipment is not ready yet, and so the stands will not be used regularly until it arrives within the next week; As well as this, nobody could enter or exit the special visitors as there were no available air-stairs.

Once the photo shoot was complete, each aircraft was pushed back in turn and returned home – Apart from the Thomson 737, which was taken to the current terminal in order to prepare for a flight to Sharm El-Sheikh. Here it also joined a Wizz Air A320 from Budapest and a BA E190 returning to London City (or RLSI if that’s OK with Jetboy!)

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That’s right, I’ve finally got to a point where I’m really, really happy with my mini-diorama and now it’s time to move on to something more medium-sized. For those of you interested, here is the full version of the mini-foil: http://i.imgur.com/e3EAyy6.jpg

You can also get a .psd version for Photoshop at http://www.mediafire.com/download/3yd8ue7jgw0vwhw/Foil%20v2.psd

Enjoy guys!

Mini diorama / Custom Foil Testing!

So now I have some more space around thanks to having installed some new shelves, I’m starting to finally look into ways to create some kind of diorama. Here’s a small section of custom foil I’ve been working on! I’ve got a pack of GSE and Jetbridges arriving late this week so I shall be refining things further then. I’ve made it as detailed as I can so far, with taxi lines having accurate spacings for the models this section is designed for – all of which are listed as you would see in a real airport. I haven’t kept markings particular to any place however, they’re meant to be ambiguous (at least for now).

Here are a few shots of me messing around with what I’ve come up with so far:

A Lufthansa A320 “pushes back” (Really want GSE for this!) while an SAS B737 and Virgin A320 wait at the stand, preparing for their next flights.

Engine start for the LH A320.

Soon after the A320’s departure, an Austrian Q400 takes its place at stand 02.

 

Next up, it’s the SAS 737’s turn to depart…

…Closely followed by the Virgin A320….

…Leaving the Q400 alone as it unloads. Note the small details on the taxi lines; each character is readable at a decent print quality, and is accurately placed for the models I have. These were inspired by their real-world counterparts below.

Eventually, an Aeroflot A319 joins the Austrian Q400, parking at stand 01…

Finally, a Wizz A320 appears at stand 03; The last arrival of the day.

Here’s the cleared foil as it is now. I’ve only printed it on standard A4 for now while I test it out but it’s already come out very well IMO.

And for those who want to download this to try it out yourselves, you can find the (rather large) HD version at http://i.imgur.com/WGQxJFn.png. In order to get it scaled properly, I’d recommend printing it without print margins – it’s designed to fill a whole sheet of A4 so don’t change the scale or models won’t fit as well!

Any thoughts are obviously greatly appreciated; What could I do to make it better? I am aware that the dirt right now looks horrendous, I’m still figuring that one out.

Thanks for looking!
Jiggyb2

Models, Airlinesim and all sorts update!

I know, I’ve been gone a few months, sadly schoolwork has got the better of me recently and I’ve had very little time! I do have a few plans for later, including detailed model reviews, the return of the AirlineSim report, X-Plane business, and plenty more!

First off though, here’s some stuff that I’ve been getting up to recently.

Since August, I’ve acquired a rather large number of new models since I last posted. Here they all are!

Aeroflot – Airbus A319 – Phoenix

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Aeroflot – MD11F – Gemini

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Aeromexico – B763 – Gemini

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ANA – B788 – JC Wings

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Austrian – Bombardier Q400 – Gemini

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OpenSkies – B752 – Gemini

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British Airways – B788 – Gemini

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British Airways – Hawker-Siddely Trident – Gemini

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British Caledonian – BAC 1-11 – Gemini

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Jetstar – B788 – Gemini

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Eurowings – BAe146 – Gemini

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Lufthansa – Airbus A320 – Phoenix

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Malev (OneWorld) – B738 – Phoenix

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Qatar – Airbus A320 – Phoenix

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Swiss – Airbus A320 – Phoenix

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USAF – B752 – Gemini

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Wizz (Hungary) – Airbus A320 – Phoenix

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Along with all of these new models, I re-photographed all aircraft in my collection so I had more uniform, higher-quality shots. The full album of these can be seen here: imgur.com/a/tQTpQ

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Secondly, I have also continued to play AirlineSim for a while now, and Bahrain World International has continued to do extremely well, with a fleet of 9 aircraft, 19 destinations served, and weekly profits above $500,000. I will be writing a full report soon.

Also on its way is a quick review of the JARDesign A320NEO for X-Plane, as well as model reviews and possibly more long posts on past aircraft that never quite made it!

See you soon, and safe flying!
Jiggyb2

A very large shipment of models!

It has been a while since I got an arrival of models but I just received my biggest shipment yet, so here they are! I’ll do a proper review of some of these later at http://www.aviationdelightforum.com/ however I don’t know if they’ll be worth posting here.

Air New Zealand A320 (Sharklets)
This is my first model which is completely outside of my normal collection criteria. I really wanted an A320 with Sharklets though and liked the ANZ one the best. A very nice model it is too, with all the antennae you want!

Fiji Airways A330-200
I loved this livery since I first saw it, Obviously I had to get it in model form! Again very nice and with lots of antennae, Phoenix seem to be putting these on more and more new models and it really makes them look good.

SriLankan A340-300
Again, another very fine model. These A340s are great, I have good memories of sitting on a beach in Sri Lanka with these things roaring overhead.

Qantas A380
My best flight ever was on this aircraft. This model, by Witty, probably isn’t the best I’ve had but is pretty good still. I’ll definitely do a proper review of this!

KLM B737-700
The blue colour of the hull seems a bit dark to me. What do you think?

Singapore B777-200
I liked the look of this model, it is pretty nice but the very end of the tail was chipped, as can be seen in the bottom image. not sure if it is worth complaining about as it is obviously a manufacturing defect.

British Airways B777-200
This just about sorts out my BA widebody fleet that is easily attained – All I need now is a 767 and a 787. Anyone willing to sell one?

On a slightly unrelated note, I also got a new mouse mat since my old one was a bit… old! I chose this Boeing one, it is quite plastic and provides less resistance than my old one but I still quite like it.

I’ve also taken a few collection shots since I haven’t done so for a good while. I barely have any room on my shelves! Tempted to get another shelf or to replace my current ones with even bigger ones. My current ones could do with a replacement anyway.

An Overview of the Worldwide collection:

A better view. I try and keep these aircraft as ones that would realistically fly in to somewhere in the UK. I think the only exception is the ANZ A320 but the CO 757 may also be an odd one.

Next to these, the ‘Russian corner’, for soviet-age aircraft that don’t entirely fit my collection but look great anyway!

Up on my top shelf, I have all my British aircraft. Firstly, my nice collection of BA Aircraft. The 777s take up so much space! I still want a BA 767 and 787 for the wide-body collection, and the A318/19/20/21 in normal colours would be nice. They haven’t cropped up for a while though

And finally, the miscellaneous UK collection. Pretty much just Virgin right now, on my ‘want’ list for this is a Monarch A320, Thomson 787, and possibly some sort of Easyjet if one ever crops up again (ebay ones are TOO MUCH!). Narrowbodies are more important in filling this up since they’ll actually fit on my shelf.

Thanks for reading!
Jiggyb2

My Latest Scale Arrivals

More shiny new models arrived yesterday!

But first, some news! Firstly, Exams and school are now over for 10(!) weeks, so expect to see lots of content soon, hopefully I’ll be getting a new computer in the next 2 weeks but no promises sadly.
More immediately, Jetto Designs now has a twitter account! Go follow us by clicking here and get updates when new downloads, blog posts and whatever else I come up with appear! I’ll also try adding a twitter feed widget to the homepage.

Anyway, shiny things!

Concorde – British Airways

I had to get it, its Concorde! Doesn’t entirely fit in the right era with the rest of my models so I recently bought a Tu-144 to accompany it as a museum piece!

Boeing B757-200 – British Airways

Another BA classic I had to have. BA only stopped flying the B752 a few years back so I’m going to consider it close enough to fit nicely; if not, of to my aforementioned ‘museum’ with my Concorde and TU144 it can go, along with the CO B753 since that is in the same position.

Airbus A320 – Lufthansa

Airbus A321 – EgyptAir

The last two models are both very nice, I’m most pleased about getting a relevant, fitting A321 finally as I love that plane, but the LH A320 looks nice too. Does haveĀ  very strong tendency to fall backwards though.

All in all I’m very pleased with these, Aviation Delight’s store (Where I got the BA models) was most excellent in value and service. Next up on order are an Air Berlin B738 and an Aeroflot Tu144, but they’re being held back to save on postage for a bit.

As always, thanks for reading!
Jiggyb2

Some Arrivals from a while ago…

I may have slightly forgotten to mention these. Added here for prosperity.

Thomson Airways B737-800
This came slightly damaged so I got a refund but was allowed to keep the model. Still very nice!

Airbus A320 – Virgin Atlantic (Little Red)

Boeing B737-700 – SAS

(Sorry this came out a little weird, the tail is the same colour as my curtain!)

Boeing B737-900 – Turkish Airlines

Embraer E170 – British Airways

These are all nice models this time around! I like the winglets on the two 737s and they do a lot to add to the diversity of the liveries in my collection. I never thought about how tiny the E170 is though, it is the smallest thing in my collection by far! No less detailed though, which is great, though the cockpit windows look odd to me.
The Virgin A320 is a great model but the box was weird. Oh well, those things stay in my cupboard so it doesn’t matter so much!

More models coming eventually!

As always, thanks for reading!
Jiggyb2

Yet More Models

Well, looks like my next batch of models have arrived!

First up, A Virgin Atlantic A330-300 by Phoenix.

This model is mostly very well made, and I like the little detail of the ‘bulge’ above the forward cabin.
I don’t like how the cockpit windows seem quite short and wide though, the Gemini A332 and A346’s seem to be in much better proportions than this Phoenix model’s. There is also the discrepancy in the base colour between this and Gemini’s models, however I actually prefer the colour of this aircraft. I don’t understand why both manufacturers seem to be using sparkly silver/beige-y paints though , the real aircraft is White, I’m sure (even if it does look very slightly silver here http://www.airliners.net/photo/Virgi…afebb3ff896e68, this is what it looks like in most photos: http://www.airliners.net/photo/Virgi…afebb3ff896e68 ). Then again, sparkly models do look nice!

I do also have my concerns about this model; it appears this has also been hit with a case of bendy-front-gear-itis, as can be seen here:

The bend seems to be right on the thinnest part of the gear too, so I’m pretty nervous about it. It does feel a bit more solid than my Gemini BA B777-300ER whose wheels broke off after standing on them for a week. Fortunately Airspotters were great about it and will be replacing it; I sent the damaged one back today.
I’ve e-mailed the Aircraft Model Store about it, hopefully things will work out but for now G-VSXY is on a stand; I don’t trust it on its own gear!

Continental (United) B757-300
Picked this one up cheap with the VS A333. A nice little model, and freakishly long for a narrowbody! I like it though, and for the sakes of canon with the rest of my collection I’m saying that United’s management just forgot to paint this one aircraft!

Virgin Atlantic B747-400 G-VROC
Massive thanks to Jetboy2012 from the Scale Aircraft Forum for this wonderful model! I’m glad to say she arrived safely and certainly looks the part in my new Virgin Collection!

And as always, here is a picture of all my 1:400 models. I’ve actually re-arranged them from this since there was no space for my SkyMarks A380 anymore, but thankfully having an abundance of stands really made things a lot easier. I did like this configuration, hopefully when I get a diorama made I can have some aircraft like this and some parked at stands.

Thanks for reading, as always!
Jiggyb2

A Surprise Arrival!

Well, my Virgin A346 turned up yesterday, entirely out of the blue; I was expecting it on Wednesday. I would have appreciated being notified when it was dispatched, but it was a pleasant surprise nonetheless. Without further ado, here it is (and once again, sorry for the poor photography skills I possess!):

This is yet another great model from Gemini, and it will be interesting to at least partially compare it to Phoenix’s A333, which should arrive Thursday. I do love the A340, it is even longer than I imagined but still very pretty! Another plus is that this is the first model I have of an aircraft I’ve actually been on; I flew aboard her on the return journey from LAX to Heathrow, although at the time (and still today, interestingly enough, making this a semi-fantasy model) she was painted in the old, pre-2007 livery.

I’m glad to be getting a decent collection now, but my shelves are really filling up fast…

This next week is looking like it will be an exciting one for my collection! I should have a Virgin Atlantic B744 (courtesy of Jetboy) arriving on Wednesday, and hopefully this week there will also be appearances from a Virgin A333 and a United/Continental B753 (Which was forgotten by United management and so is still in CO colours… Not that I mind, I flew on something similar, if not that very aircraft, to NY a few years back).

I’ll post pictures here and to the scale aircraft forum as soon as they arrive!

On another note, I shall be doing AirlineSim updates on a Thursday now, since the financial week for the Jetto Group, my main set of airlines, starts late on Wednesday evening.

More models!

So then, the latest two models arrived just in time for me to take a quick snap before heading off on “holiday” in sunny North Yorkshire… fun.

Still, here are my two newest models, both brand-new, pre-ordered Geminis.

Boeing 777-300ER – British Airways

I adore this model; It has fast become one of my favourites (not that I have many models in the first place!). This thing is lovely, my only gripes being that the main gear doesn’t rotate, unlike the DAL A330 I own, and that it doesn’t have quite the wonderful detailing of the Qatar 787 shown below.

Boeing B787-8 – Qatar

I really like this model too! The detailing is the best out of all the Gemini Jets models I own, as it has aerials which I didn’t think Gemini ever did on their 1:400 models! I was surprised at how white the wings were though; I’m not sure if this is a slight error by the manufacturer or whether 787s really do have wings like that!

And, of course, here is my full collection as it stands for now!

My Fledgeling 1:400 scale model collection

So recently I’ve started collecting 1:400 scale die-cast model aircraft, and I thought I might as well do a small post to show them as I’ve been quiet for a while with exams and such. So, Without further ado, here are the models I have so far (I have more coming hopefully tomorrow, I’ll make a post about those as soon as they arrive)!

British Airways

Airbus A380-800

British Airways - A380 -  G-XLBB - Front

British Airways - A380 -  G-XLBB - Rear

Boeing 737-400

British Airways - B734 - G-GBTA - Front

British Airways - B734 - G-GBTA - Rear

Boeing 747-400

British Airways - B744 - G-CIVY - Front

British Airways - B744 - G-CIVY - Rear

Delta

Airbus A330-200

Delta - A332 - N857NW - Front

Delta - A332 - N857NW - Rear

Iberia

Airbus A319

Iberia - A319 - EC-KKS - Front

Iberia - A319 - EC-KKS - Rear

And of course, There has to be a shot of them all together. Hopefully that gap in the back will be filled tomorrow!

If you’re interested in the hobby, take a look at stores such as airspotters.com and also at one of the many die-cast aircraft forums; The one I usually visit is the Scale Aircraft Forum!

Safe flying,
Jiggyb2