The Easiest Custom Die-cast Model, What Could go Wrong?? More than Meets the Eye...
Updated: Feb 28
Avensa operated a sole 737-300 between 1990 and 1996 registered YV-99C. I originally made a custom model of this aircraft using a GeminiJets U.S. Airways donor and decals from V1 Decals. As you can imagine, the project took a lot of work as the donor had to be paint stripped and repainted before applying the decals. And as expected, it does look very homemade.
When JC Wings released their blank 737-300s I decided to do another custom of YV-99C to take advantage of the blank model, especially since the Avensa billboard livery has a completely white fuselage.
I can do decals at home, but to reduce the workload, I decided to order them from V1 Decals, which I already had experience working with, and were readily available on their site.
Pretty easy, right? a blank donor, a simple livery, pre-made decals, and no painting required. What could go wrong? In fact, it looked so easy that I decided to do 5 at once (that's the minimum number of decals you need to order from V1 decals for free shipping ;))
Since the project was so simple, I decided to add a little bit of complexity to it in order to achieve better results. The engines on this airplane had a very light shade of grey on them. I have seen many customs of this aircraft in which the engines are simply left white. In my first custom of this model, I painted them grey, but much darker than the actual aircraft (you can see this in the two pictures above). I decided to take it upon myself and give these engines the slightly darker tone they needed to replicate the real YV-99C more accurately.
So I removed all 10 engines, started to mix up grey and white enamels until I found a shade that I was happy with, and started to airbrush. After they dried for a couple of days I re-did the chrome engine lips and clear-coated them.
Then the decal application process went well, or so I thought, up to the fifth one. After doing four of these, and being in a bit of a rush to get them done and scratch them off of the project list, I ended up breaking the starboard billboard titles decal of the fifth and last one. So that one was written off and sent back to the donor's drawer.
Last minute I also decided that it was too boring to do 4 of the same aircraft, so decided to apply homemade decals of the late 1990s Avensa tail logo to two of them (V1 Decals only has the early 1990s Avensa logo variant of the livery).
Below: YV-99C wearing the early 1990s Avensa tail logo, with an outline and only showing the map of South America. This is the logo included in the V1 Decals artwork.