The A330 has surely transcended any sales projections Airbus realistically had for the type and has been the number one reason Airbus has had success in the widebody market since the mid-90s. It has now got a worthy partner in the A350, but still the A330NEO will mean production continues for years. Because of this success it is also a critical model in 1/400 scale for all the manufacturers and the modern moulds all have strengths and weaknesses.
- A330-200 with Rolls Royce engines
- A330-300 with Rolls Royce engines
- A330-300 with CFM engines
The format for this review will be a detailed look at each of 8 areas. Each can get a maximum score of 5 for a section, giving a maximum score of 40 overall.
Let's begin our detailed review:
The Phoenix has an excellently detailed gear leg and lovely tyre hubcaps but the nosegear doors are too large. It is the only one of the four to have a simple square attachment to the mould. All the others have a more complex attachment type. The attachment point on the Panda and Aeroclassics are almost the same as are the gear legs. I have noticed that the Aeroclassics do seem to be overpainted often though - losing details.
Having said that, the Aeroclassics has excellent rims whilst the Panda has incorrect light grey undetailed caps. The JC Wings has to be the worst nosegear simply because its frankly incorrect. For the others the fails are in detail – each different: gear doors for Phoenix (and often tyre tabs), sometimes overpainting for Aeroclassics and hubcaps for Panda.
The Panda mould is different and doesn’t mould in the three scoops at all. They are just outlines, however these and other details are well printed. Unusually it is the JC Wings mould, which is best here. The scoops are defined in the mould better than on the Aeroclassics and the printing is superb. It is rather ironic however that this mould is finally best in an area, which you’ll rarely see!
A typical A330 has four aerials (three above and one below) plus a dome on the front fuselage roof. The Phoenix has them all although the aerial shape is too square. The satnav dome is moulded into the roof so has not got fit issues, but it is perhaps a bit too small. The Panda mould has them all too and the aerials are better. On this mould the dome is a separate piece and that introduces fit issues. The JC Wings / Gemini mould has only three of the aerials and only an outline (no bump) for the dome. Whether you care about aerials will have a major impact on whether you buy the Aeroclassics mould.