A Prefect Pairing:
For whatever the reason, Panda Models seem more than satisfied to stay out of the limelight in the world of 1/400 model airplanes. One would assume a part of that has to do with the messy split with AeroClassics. One of the casualties of the separation was the best 737-300 mould in the scale to this point. Before the failed relations, Aeroclassics managed to make dozens of great 737-300s. Now, Panda Models has sole use and ownership of this mould and has upgraded the casting to compete in today's modern 1/400 marketplace. Panda 737-300s now come with top of the line printing, updated landing gear, and ariels amount other smaller updates.
While Panda Models is nowhere near the power house status of companies like Aeroclassics, Gemini Jets, and NG Models, they still demonstrate a dedication to being a 1/400 mainstay and illustrate this through the ever increasing collaboration projects with well known, and some not so well known distributers.
Prairie Diecast came onto the scene in July of 2019 and have steadily gained a foothold in the world of model airplane distribution. They are based in Sherwood Park, Alberta and specialize in reaching customers in Western Canada and the Untied States. They primarily deal with NG Models, AV400, and JC Wings. In keeping competitive however, they have clearly done business with Panda to commission a special 737 available only through their online store. This is becoming a popular move lately as other distributers like Waffle Collectibles, and RM Model Store have commissioned their own models from Panda as well. So without further delay, let's take a closer look at the Prairie Diecast exclusive release, Air Inuit 737-300, C-GFFN by Panda Models.
Air Inuit 737-300: C-GFFN
737, line number 2159 was originally delivered to Ansett Worldwide in 1991. As far as I can see, the airplane was always built to carry both passengers and cargo and it continues to do so to this day. After spending time with Falcon Air and Titan Airways, the airplane arrived at Air Inuit in 2018 and registered C-GFFN. The Air Inuit scheme is really good looking and has a bit of a resemblance to the old Canadian Airlines International livery featuring a Canada goose in full flight. The livery is a bit tricky as in certain light, it can appear orange, and in others, red. I think that Panda has done a good job color matching here and they have beautifully transposed the design.
Panda did a great job with the important details on this model. The cargo bay door was printed with the perfect intensity to show that it's there, but it doesn't appear so aggressively that it looks bad.
Note, the mould features that updated landing gear, ariels, and again, the paint and printing looks sublime. I love that the horizontal stabs are painted red on the 1/1 and the 1/400. This is distinctly Canadian, and it certainly makes the model stand out.
The packaging is another highlight for me. Many folks in the 1/400 world openly mock those that admire box art and packaging, but it is such a huge part of the experience. Not only does the box art look good, but it includes the Prairie Diecast logo.
This page will be updated to rank and discuss monthly releases from the 1/400 model aircraft industry as well as other hobby news and info.