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.
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.
Back in December 2016 I asked the question who are HYJLwings? That has now been answered as I have made contact with their founder. They are a semi-independent brand run by a Chinese student, studying in Canada, that has utilised a mixture of Panda Models', JC-wings' and its own moulds on 13 1/400s and 3 announced 1/200s so far. I also mentioned back in December that an A321 was in the works and it now looks like it is imminent in both current and new engine option variants.
Back in late December I wrote a blog post about a new player in the field of die-cast airliners called HYJLwings. At the time I had limited information about just who they were but since then I have made contact with their owner and can announce that they have an exciting new endeavour in a new scale for them – the first Bombardier CRJ-100/200 ever in the larger 1/200 scale.
In part 1 of this 2 part series I took a look at numbers 22-12 of aircraft types that have not featured (or at least not featured well) in 1/400 scale. I tried to keep it to aircraft with some chance of success, which meant excluding some interesting types, but even so I get the feeling it'll be a long time until we see even half of them in all their zinc/aluminium glory, given how conservative the manufacturers can be. That shouldn't be the case with the top eleven though, in here there is real potential for decent sales and model numbers.
Recently I took a look at moulds that are extant but underused by the major manufacturers. This got me thinking about the other side of the coin, which is of course aircraft that are missing. To do this topic justice I am not just looking at aircraft that have never existed in 1/400, but also at aircraft that may have once been represented in 1/400 scale but are either under-represented or represented by a poor quality or obsolete moulding.
In this 2 part series I choose the top 22 most worthy new aircraft and in part 1 we look at numbers 22-12.
It's been a few months since I wrote about the releases from the less mainstream manufacturers in China - since late April in fact. That doesn't mean lots hasn't been happening however with plenty of new model releases and both Skywings and HYJLwings branching out into collaborations with JC Wings.
I first reported in March that Skywings were promoting the development of a CAAC Boeing 747SP using their StartCollector app. That was good news as it was a model with clear sales potential and one that would appeal to international buyers as well as the Chinese home support. I regularly used to see them at Gatwick myself when I was a kid. Things got even better when JC Wings announced they would also release the models under their own brand but alas things have taken a turn for the annoying since then!
Welcome travellers to the blog posts that catalogue great moulds that have been left to rot in favour of a constant stream of 737/777/787/A320/A330s. It seems that the manufacturers believe that classics are only viable in 1/200. I believe they are wrong. If you're out there and reading this manufacturers please broaden your horizons and take a walk on the wildside. You may even find you like it!
Moulds - why do some manufacturers create what must be expensive items and then barely use them? I don't understand it and can only put it down to being rather poorly organised and/or preoccupied with other scales. Herpa are past masters at this but their moulds are often rubbish. Anyway we've looked at 15-11 so now in part 2 we start getting serious as we go from 10-6.
On the forums there is often a lot of discussion about getting the model manufacturers to release new moulds of relatively obscure aircraft types. I'm all for that, but let's face it at the moment the manufacturers barely use many of the excellent moulds they've got and instead would prefer to pump out bucket-loads of A320s and 787s. Just how many V Air A320/321s can there be a market for?
The Beijing Hobby EXPO has just been held over April 21/22 and that means Panda models have given their customary sneak peek of some new moulds and models. Plus their sub-brand Skywings rolls on with announcements of new Airbuses. Check out the news here.
JC Wings (and through them Gemini Jets) have got some stick from me over the years for having quite ordinary moulds, but it seems that recently JC Wings have been undertaking a lot of investment, and this has been really paying off. In fact no other 1/400 manufacturer has been producing this volume of new moulds in 1/400 scale, let alone the new moulds they've been putting out in 1/200 and 1/72 scale. In addition JC have shown a willingness to experiment, which is quite commendable.
Following Chinese New Year the manufacturers are getting back into the swing of things and that means there is movement at Panda Models, Skywings and HYJLwings also. Checking out taobao I see the next set of releases have been announced, which see new types for Skywings and HYJLwings and more great NEOs and MAXes for Panda.