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This is How Rare Models are Born: NG’s Delta L1011-1 N725DA

Updated: Sep 4, 2022

My first round of collecting 1:400 scale models took place at an odd time for being a new collector. It was 2009, just about a decade after the first 1:400 die-cast aircraft models started to appear. During that decade, many highly popular models were produced; models that would remain high in the sought-after list of many collectors all the way up until today and beyond. It really seemed as if my collecting journey would be an endless search for rare models. However, things have slowly but surely changed for the better. First, with patience and luck, I have been able to scratch off many of those rare models from my wish list. And second, new generations of models have entered the market, which unavoidably will replace at least some of the more popular hard-to-find releases from that first decade of 1:400 scale, while at the same time yielding new releases bound to fill the sough-after list of collectors that will be joining us in the upcoming years – to those new collectors I say: there is light at the end of the tunnel, so stick to collecting and enjoy the journey!

One of those new 1:400 models that is sure to earn its place in this new episode of 1:400 collecting is an L1011-1 in Delta Air Lines’ widget livery registered N725DA released by NG Model on July 2022. The model was actually released alongside another Delta L1011-1, N707DA, wearing the “We the People” special markings. Both are exceptional pieces, but I think the standard-liveried aircraft will be favored by a slightly larger audience (myself included).

From the moment they were announced the models created high expectations among the collectorate. Not only it did they combine a classic aircraft with a classic livery, but NG’s L1011 molds are some of the sharpest in 1:400. These are not the first Delta L1011s released by NG, but they are the first since the already good mold received some improvements.

I had an issue though: Delta is an airline that I have had a tough time adding to my collection. Even though Delta has a particularly long history of operations in my native Venezuela, during my childhood years the airline did not have a strong presence there. At the same time, the cities I used to visit in the U.S. during those years were not Delta hubs. Luckily, I had a breakthrough moment as I was visiting a model store in Osaka; scanning through the shelves I came across a Delta MD-88 in the widget livery (a model sold out in the west) just sitting there. Immediately childhood memories of these aircraft roaring overhead as they lined up with runway 12R at Hobby Airport in Houston (breaking the monotony of the endless flow of Southwest 737s) came back. I had no problem whatsoever with purchasing this MD-88 model, and now I had a Delta aircraft in the widget livery that needed company; the perfect excuse to also get a copy of NG’s N725DA.

I am happy to own an example of NG's N725DA, a model that is sure to be remembered for many years in the 1:400 scale community. Honestly, I probably would have purchased the model anyways, but it was definitely nice to come across that widget MD-88 (a relatively rare model itself) at the right time, to have the proper motivation.

Happy collecting!


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