HYJLwings is a brand gradually becoming more visible to Western collectors as there are now a few stores outside China stocking their models. They have now made 118 400 scale releases since their A321 mould debuted in 2017 and are using several NG Models moulds as well as their own A321. But, 86 of these 188 releases are for Chinese airlines so their impact in the West has been limited. Nonetheless, they have been producing some fine models and recently releases have included a pair of Air Canada Airbuses and this house colours A321 Neo XLR.
Each review is to split into three key areas:
HYJLwings models are made for them by NG Models, however this mould debuted prior to the emergence of NG and it would be nearly 3 years until NG themselves began to use it in January 2020. Their usage of it was fairly consistent but now they have developed their own entire A320 lineup they have stopped using this mould. It remains however, in usage by HYJLwings and that is no bad thing as it is at least as good as the newer NG version.
This mould shares a lot of features with the new NG Models mould but does have its differences too, albeit minor. I'll look at those later but in comparison to the other available 400 scale A321s, from Aeroclassics, JC Wings / Gemini Jets and Phoenix this HYJL version is miles ahead - or at least usually it is!
As I have pointed out a few times previously, when reviewing A321s, the type is more than just a stretch A320, since the wing is equipped with double-slotted flaps. Both the Phoenix and Aeroclassics Sharklet equipped A321s incorrectly reuse the A320 wing. HYJLwings have historically paid close attention and the wing is excellent. The detail is wonderful – fine etching to mark the flaps and ailerons, a great shape and a lovely snug fit to the fuselage.
The above is all valid for all A321s until now, but this new version - the XLR - differs from everything that has gone before, including the A321neo XL, in that it reverts to a single slotted flap system at least for the inboard area. See here for more detail:
That means that HYJL have made a mistake here as they should have a different flap configuration and the A321XLR will need a new wing different to all other existing A320 series members to be accurate in 400 scale. Phoenix and Aeroclassics A321XLR will still be incorrect as they never recognised the original wing configuration anyway but only half as incorrect as they were!
In all other respects the mould is excellent and comfortably better than the competition, aside from the NG mould. The primary differences between the HYJL and NG mould relate to more detailing on the underside maingear doors, slightly better engine ground clearance, and a more heavily etched vertical stabiliser. You have to be really paying attention to notice the differences.
Arguably the original HYJL tail is better than the newer NG version. Altogether as an earlier A321 version this mould is superb but unfortunately as an A321XLR HYJLwings needed to modify the wing to take into consideration the different flap profile. The failure to do so costs them points here.
SCORE - 8
PAINT & LIVERY
The scheme adopted on the XLR prototype is a modified version of that shown on the XL. The XL showed New York to Paris whereas this aircraft shows New York to Rome on the port side (embodied by the Statue of Liberty and the Coluseum) and London to New Delhi (embodied by Big Ben and the Taj Mahal (even though the Taj isn't in Delhi)). The titles have been modified too but broadly the livery concept is the same.
The one other big difference between the XL and XLR schemes is that the tail logo on this one has not got the NEO in block colour but instead has a variety of destination themed landmarks in it. It is hard to see them all but the pyramids of Giza standout at the bottom of the tail.
Replication of the livery is spot-on from what I can see. The colours are good and positioning of the components fine as well. The print detailing on the tail portion is especially nice.
The bandit mask and graded Sharklets add a nice finish to a perfect livery rendition.
SCORE - 10
PRINTING & QUALITY CONTROL
This model exhibits some great printing detail, especially, as always, obvious when you flip it over and look at the underside. There is a colossal amount of extra print on the belly and on the engine nacelles. The finish is truly superb.
One of the reasons I was told NG created their own A321 was due to wing dislodgement issues they had had with this mould. To be fair I had seen the issues on NG releases but never on an HYJL model I had bought so I question how much this was a mould problem. It certainly isn't an issue here and all the components are fitted tightly. Too tightly when it comes to one.
That is the nosegear. One of the good things about this mould is that it exhibits the slightly forward angle of the nosegear leg. Unfortunately sometimes it can be fitted slightly too heavily angled and that is the case here.
Historically, I have sometimes been able to adjust the leg when this has been a problem as it has been due to a lack of glue holding it in place. This time that wasn't the issue though and it was stuck very strongly. So strongly, in fact that I broke the nosegear. I have been able to reattach the broken part but the forward angle is still a little too strong and it does have a small impact on the height of the forward fuselage (and engine ground clearance) due to that angle.
SCORE - 8
The HYJLwings A321 remains a firm favourite of mine but when it comes to A321XLRs they now have a problem, as admittedly does everyone else. It remains to be seen whether JC/GJ or NG recognise the wing change when they release XLRs (presumably Aeroclassics and Phoenix won't bother). JC Wings have now announced a trio of XLRs but presumably their release is someway off in the distance. Even with the incorrect wing detail here this mould is still so much better than most of the competition I would recommend it, but I'll pay closer attention when it comes to wings and the XLR in the future.
FINAL SCORE - 26
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I'm Richard Stretton an aviation enthusiast and major collector of 400 scale models. On this page I take a detailed look at new releases.
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