The A350-1000 is an attractive aircraft but I admit I hate the variant number. Getting to 1000 shows the peril of starting at the random and China butt-kissing 800 when it could have just been the A350-300. Oh well that's why I'm not in marketing. Regardless, it is never going to be a major component of my fleet due to the lack of Chinese customers outside of CX, however this new house colours scheme gives me the opportunity to bring my A350-1000 fleet up to three and take another look at the Aviation400 mould for the type.
Each review is to split into three key areas:
Aviation400 Airbus A350s have been my go to A350 ever since they first came onto the market and only in very recent times have they been challenged seriously - by the NG Models A350. However, NG don't currently have an A350-1000 and so this Aviation400 mould is up against the Phoenix and JC Wings/Gemini Jets moulds both of which it can deal with.
As you'd expect the series 1000 bears a very strong resemblance to the AV400 series 900, which is a good thing. The nose shape reproduces the slight change in angle upwards beneath the cockpit well. Holding it up in front of a photo of the real thing the change is perhaps still a little too subtle but overall it matches.
The fuselage is excellent including the complicated post wing area with the crease like line. As we have come to expect from AV400 it also has exceptional mould detailing. The customary Aviation400 nav beacons look great on the A350s, and are a feature that works extremely well on the A350s. There are four antennae (3 on the roof, 1 on the belly), which are well shaped. It does look like the real thing has a much smaller rear belly antenna but it would be very small to model on.
The large Wi-Fi dome on the rear fuselage roof is present but the shape is not correct as it ought to be a teardrop form, whereas on the model it is the same height front to back.
The engine pylons and nacelles themselves are very good also keeping the engines well off the ground and closely fitting to the wings. The engine inners are very finely detailed. The engines are see-through but they are essentially the same as on the A350-900 i.e. the blades are way too thin.
Looking at the undercarriage and it is very finely built. The nosegear is a good length but not as chunky as the Phoenix. The maingear bogies are separate pivoting units (as in the Phoenix 777) and so can be moved independently to replicate different positions.
This is a very well-made mould that requires real investigation to fault. The tail top may be a little too rounded, the engine fanblades too thin and the Wi-Fi dome poorly shaped but these are such minor things that knocking more than a point off for them combined would in my opinion be wrong.
SCORE – 9
PAINT & LIVERY
F-WLXV was the third A350-1000 development aircraft and entered the test programme wearing this lovely black and silver livery designed to represent a stylised 'Carbon Fibre' tail. Interestingly the last three letters of the rego LXV also represent the aircraft's construction number, 65, in Roman numerals. This aircraft was used for a three week demonstration tour of the Middle-East and Asia-Pacific in early 2018 and also appeared at the Farnborough Show that year. It has since been delivered to Air Caraibes.
It is a simple but very attractive livery and I can't really fault its implementation. The complex black and silver rectangles that make up the rear design intermesh beautifully and are positioned millimetre perfect.
The font and placement of the written titles is likewise excellent including the large A350-1000 on the underbelly. The winglets carry the A350XWB titles on both sides and the black grades well into the white of the wings.
SCORE - 10
PRINTING & QUALITY CONTROL
AV400's printing skill is up there with the best and as always if you want to see what a manufacturer is all about flip the model over to the underside. Here there is plenty of fine and accurate line detailing that blends with the livery components perfectly.
Aviation400 has changed the paint colour being used on its undercarriage to a metallic silver, which is an improvement over the earlier light grey. The last stage of the engine exhaust nozzles are also very well painted in the A350's characteristic deep blue.
Build quality at first glance looks excellent but when the model is viewed side-on and compared to other AV400 A350s it is possible to see that the engine nacelles have not been fitted to the pylons correctly. Both nacelles tilt upwards somewhat, whereas the interior exhaust nozzles do not. The result is a little disappointing but I admit you have to be looking for it and it isn't as bad as I've seen on some Phoenix models.
SCORE - 8
This models has been made 3 times previously - once by Phoenix and twice by JC Wings (once on the old mould and once on the version with the improved nose shape). All the previous models look well finished. Since they date from 2017 and 2018 there is a good chance that if you're an A350 collector you already own this livery, however in my opinion this is the best version to date since the AV400 A350-1000 is superior to the other versions. Whether it is worth replacing older versions is questionable but aside from the minor QC point with the nacelles this is a stunning model.
SCORE - 27/30
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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