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Saving a Grail: Homemade HF Antenna for KLM 747-200 PH-BUN

Updated: Nov 10, 2022

KLM’s original blue top livery is as iconic as an airline livery can get. Not only were they one of the few airlines to choose a vivid color as the main component of their livery, but they chose a beautiful one too.

KLM Boeing 747-200 PH-BUN, GeminiJets 1:400 scale

After all the personally relevant types that wore this livery entered my collection – that is, after I got at least one example of each one of the KLM long-haul types that were commonly seen in my neck of the woods during the 1990s – I decided it was prudent to push the limit of my main collection focus and see about adding a short-hump 747-206 to my blue top fleet. After all, when it comes to such a beautiful livery, the more the merrier. Plus, even though by the time I was born all KLM jumbos belonged to some sort of stretched upper-deck variant, it was just rude not to have a short-hump blue top 747 in my classic euro-jumbo family.

Display. cabinet, aircraft models, 1:400 scale, KLM and Lufthansa
Overcrowded shelf showing KLM and Lufthansa 1:400 models.

Now, as many of you may know, or at least can guess, these are in short supply and high demand, with only three versions having been produced (two by Aeroclassics and one by GeminiJets) in the 2006-2007 period. I had been closely monitoring eBay for over a year in search of one of these, as well as looking periodically in other places with no luck at all. Then, in October 2022 two of the GeminiJets’ example (PH-BUN), popped up on eBay within days of each other. IIRC, the first one had a starting bidding price of about $60, with a Buy it Now option of about $90. This was not bad for such an attractive and hard-to-find model, and apparently I was not the only one thinking that because early on during the bid period the model disappeared; presumably after someone (not me) paid the Buy it Now price. Then I moved on to the second option, this one was located in Australia, it was damaged - missing the starboard HF antenna, and already had some bids.