Sample of the first Viasa 1:400 release


Well-known member
The first Viasa model produced in 1:400 scale was DC-8-33 YV-128C by GeminiJets. It was also one of those models that were rehashed as SkyJets400s (exclusive packaging in a tin box and included a collector's card. Richard did a fantastic article on the topic)

I got the SkyJets400 one within my first year of collecting 1:400 in 2009. Both, the SkyJets400 and the regular GJ release can consistently be found for cheap.

More than ten years later I got the regular GJ version to have both boxes. I posted about it on DAC.

But digging a bit on the DiMA database I found out that there was another "version" of this model, the actual first set of Viasa models in 1:400. A run of six samples that had a wrong reg: YCV-128C. That was the absolute only factory-produced Viasa model in 1:400 scale missing from my collection.

Every time I saw one of those DC-8s pop up for sale somewhere I checked the reg. I even asked one store to open one up and see what reg. the model had, since the photo they were showing portrayed a GJ promo shot of one of the samples with the misspelled reg. (they actually had a correct one in the box...).

Finally, Medy6565 (eBay) posted a listing with homemade photos of a model with the wrong reg. And it was indeed listed as a sample model 🤩. The listing had a couple of bids besides mine and several watchers, but in the end, I walked away with the model without breaking a sweat.

I have now officially checked all the boxes on all of the 1:400 Viasa models that appear on the DiMA database.

These are the two regular releases with their respective boxes:


The sample model:


The three together. Notice the sample has bare metal wings, whereas the two regular releases have painted wings:


And in case you are wondering, there is a way to differentiate the SkyJets400 release from the regular GJ one, besides the box. The SkyJets one says "1 of 500 Pieces" on the belly, behind the stand hole. Per the collector's card, mine is 431/500. FWIW, DiMA says it was a 1000-piece run (?)



Regular GeminiJets release:


SkyJets packaging and collector's card:


Isn't it odd that such a mistake is often seen as a bad thing in this hobby, but in this case adds appeal to the model?

Viasa's is one of my favourite schemes - the vermillion and the dark blue with those compressed and stretched titles makes for a fantastic, even if simpler, bold and classic design.