One of the last parts of Xin Long left to complete is the thin pier that runs along the rear margin of the field from Terminal 2, which I've nicknamed pier I (since the other piers are J and L based on their shape.
With the increasing number of 1:400 scale releases every month by the now 6 major brands in this scale it is small wonder that there have been some new ideas being introduced into the marketplace. Aside from altering the moulds themselves in terms of liveries the two newest trends have been for nosecone special schemes and pre-delivery primer aircraft. Whether you consider this innovative or a cash grab to create more model variants is up to you, but let's take a look at what has been made.
1:400 Scale is getting really crowded. Of course there are the big boys (Gemini Jets, JC Wings, Phoenix and Aeroclassics) but Panda Models is also staking a claim. In addition there are niche players like Skywings, Dream Air and HYJLwings often, but not always, using moulds from Panda and JC Wings. Now we have another player with the return of Aviation400. It's game on!
Nearly a year ago I reported on the return of Inflight400, but then it all went quiet. Now they have finally returned but not as Inflight400. Instead they are Aviation400. The models they had announced were pretty run of the mill so it is a huge surprise that one of their first releases is a CAAC Concorde fantasy model!
Whilst I've been away Panda and Skywings have announced their November releases and it's a bumper month with 17 models, six of which are not Chinese! In fact this month Indonesia, Japan and Russia get a look in and both manufacturers continue to release narrowbodies that few other manufacturers release regularly. Panda has for example released far more 737 MAX -8s than anybody else. Plus there is a new mould also. Let's take a look at what is on offer.
I am late to the party I admit it but last week whilst I was on hols a new and historically important classic mould was announced in 1:400 scale by a new manufacturer. This was the world's first jet airliner in regular sustained commercial service (if you discount the Comet 1 for it's early service withdrawal) - the Tupolev Tu-104 'Camel'.
After 15 days in North Queensland it was almost time for home but we ended our trip with a flight down to the state capital Brisbane, where we stayed a night. Brisbane is a much busier and spotter friendly airport than Cairns, however once again spotting wasn't really on the table. Nonetheless I did capture some interesting subjects.
There has been a silence here at Yesterday's Airlines for the past two weeks, due to a family holiday, but I am back now and ready to get back into the usual diet of aviation history and 1:400 releases. Before I do that however let's take a quick look at what has been going on and what I've seen on my hols.
Back in May I attempted to resolve the issue that my growing Cathay Pacific Group fleet was causing inside the existing cabinets of my collection. The resolution I came up with at the time was distinctly short term but nonetheless, even though I should have known it wasn't going to have much longevity about it, it was an important stepping stone towards a more permanent solution as described here.
Both Panda models and Skywings continue to produce a great range of mainly Chinese airliners both modern and historical. The sheer number of Chinese releases each month shows where the market sales are with JC Wings recently announcing a bevy of A320s and 737s representing Chinese airlines. This month Panda fight back with reciprocal releases of some of those plus both Panda and JC Wings are opening a new frontier with pre-delivery models.
When in August Aeroclassics announced new modern GSE sets for a pair of Chinese A330s I was excited. I have a large Chinese airport model, plus really like the classic GSE sets Aeroclassics produce so surely these would be awesome additions to my collection? Sadly it is not to be. To say I'm disappointed in these sets is an understatement. Let's take a look at why.
Ground service equipment (GSE) is a must for anybody building an airport diorama of any size. Most of the major manufacturers have also created GSE sets in the past and in May this year Aeroclassics re-entered this space with a series of DC-8s released complete with 15 part GSE sets. In this first part I review these classic GSE sets.
It's been 10 months now since groundbreaking began on Terminal 2 of Xin Long International Airport and construction is drawing to a close. Actually construction has been near complete now since May but I haven't found the time to update the blog with new entries. Sorry 'bout that. Last time I finished the major detailing on the terminal piers and in this part we finish off the gate detailing, taxiway markings and add airbridges.
The new releases keep on flowing out of China and last month's releases are also now available in the flesh, so to speak. Panda and Skywing's quality continues to shine through as some very beautiful releases are being produced. This month we have new 767s, A330Fs, A330-300s, A340s and another Y-20. Let's take a look at the new offerings and also see how some of August's announcements came out.
There can't be many airports in the world nowadays that regularly handle mainline jets that don't get an Airbus A320 series aircraft visiting. From Bhutan to Buenos Aires, Calgary to Christchurch and Denver to Dalian you're going to see the aircraft family that made Airbus the force it is today. The aircraft that indeed has forced two competitive responses from Boeing. This of course also means that 1/400 scale is swimming in Airbus A320s, but alas they are not all equal. As I did for the A330, back in March, in this post I aim to look at the current A320 moulds and see which cuts the mustard.