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From artwork to model: 1:400 Aeroclassics Pulkovo TU-154M

For my reviews I normally look at the model, write what's good and bad and end with a final score. This time it will be a little different, because I will compare the model with the artwork, check what feedback they used or ignored and determine whether an issue is related to QC.

Please keep in mind that this article is about the Hangar Club release, which is a TU-154M, unlike the regular Aeroclassics release, which is a TU-154B. If you are interested in becoming a member and get access to these very limited models, let me know with a comment below or send a message on any of the forums.

Operational history of the aircraft

This TU-154M was delivered to SKA Slovak Airlines in January 1998 as OM-AAA and then flew for Abakan-Avia under the same registration. In the summer of 2004 it was taken over by Pulkovo and got painted into the blue livery that this Club model wears. Pulkovo merged with Rossiya in October 2006 and in 2007 the aircraft recieved the large red Rossiya titles, while keeping the blue colors. Its final operator was South East Airlines in August 2011, but two years later it was put into storage at Saint-Petersburg and eventually got scrapped.

The artwork

Now lets take a look at the first version of the artwork, which was made in January 2024, and check what they did with the feedback I provided.

I was quite pleased with how everything looked. The colors, titles, details and registration are placed pretty much perfectly, so no complaints here. There were still plenty of improvements, so let's go by them one by one and see if and how they fixed it.

1) Firstly the font of the registration. As can be seen in the pictures above, the "RA", "5" and "4" are clearly off. Which is weird, because for the small TU-154 sticker underneath the cockpit windows they already used the correct font. The factory fixed the "RA" and "5" on the wings, but not the "4" and nothing changed for the registration on the engine. On the regular Aeroclassics Pulkovo TU-154B (RA-85552) everything is correct though, so this is another example of inconsistency from the factory.

2) The blue color already looked decent, but a little too dark. Using some references I showed what the blue color should look like and they got it pretty much spot on. When looking for Pulkovo TU-154's on internet, you will find other tones of blue aswell, but this one is the most common. At first I thought the old GeminiJets release was way too light, but there are pictures where it matches quite well. Was it just the camera? Who knows...

3) In the artwork there were no raingutters above the doors. In my feedback I marked each door that should have one and they did exactly that. They didn't just put one above each door, which I expected them to do, so I'm happy to know they can fix things the correct way and not take the lazy route.

I hope it's visible in the pictures

4) Add the silver square element above the engine. Not sure what it is, but it's present on the model. They added it on both sides though, which is incorrect. It's also placed too far forwards. See the pictures above to see what I am talking about.

5) Add a thin curving line underneath the red sticker, behind the cockpit. Something you will barely notice, but more details is always better. The old GeminiJets version has this too, so it would be embarraring when a 20 year old model has more detail.

6) Two pitot tubes underneath the red sticker were added. Aeroclassics normally doesn't add these for their Tupolevs as far as I know. It's no secret that NG has much better fuselage details on their TU-154's, but something simple like this is already enough to make me want to buy it. Without tiny details like these, the fuselage would feel so empty and the model appears cheap.

7) The red light on top of the vertical stabilizer was missing in the artwork. Again a small detail, but it's such a simple thing to add. Maybe 20 years ago it would have been acceptable, but in this day with 2024 prices it's the minimum amount of detail you may expect.

Unfortunately not all of my feedback was used:

1) No door handles, which could have been a simple grey line. Now the doors look empty, so I hope that future models will have at least something to make them somewhat competitive with Phoenix' TU-154's.

2) No registration number on the nosegeardoors. The numbers would have been so small that I doubt the AC factory could print them straight and readable, so maybe it's better like this.

Conclusion My expectations were low, as the factory messes up quite often, which made me worry that this sought after model (for me) would be another victim. Luckily they got the most important things right, but still it has some obvious flaws that could and should have been fixed. If this was a regular review, it would score a ~7 out of 10, which is not bad at all.

Thanks to Andrew for letting me check the artwork of the TU-154's and allowing me to share the artwork poster. I'm very happy that someone made this livery as it was high on my wishlist and I don't expect Phoenix or NG to make this livery anytime soon.

- Mark

Retrohangar Diecast on Instagram

Mark22 on MAF, 400SH, DAC and DIMA

Want to collaborate or let me review your product? Send me a message via the channels mentioned above!

All pictures are mine (unless stated otherwise) and may not be used without my permission!


Pertti Sipilä

Kas van Zonneveld

Eduard Brantjes



See Also

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