Anyone who collects a reasonably wide range of models will not always be able to buy what they consider to be the best moulds all the time, and that shouldn't necessarily stop you from purchasing them. I do these reviews to inform people not to instruct you not to buy things. This Capital A330 is a good example as nobody else has produced this scheme in 400 scale and this isn't my favourite A330 mould. It will nonetheless fit in my collecton fine and does give me the opportunity to review a recent JC Wings A330.
Each review is to split into three key areas:
Because I collect Chinese airliners I nowadays have a substantial number of A330s in my fleet - 67 in fact. They include a wide variety of moulds since the A330 is one of the most made aircraft types in the scale. 21 are Phoenix, 18 are Aeroclassics, 12 Panda Models, 9 NG Models, 2 Aviation400, 1 Dragon Wings and 4 JC Wings. So clearly the JC Wings version isn't my favourite. With that out of the way let's look at the mould.
This mould dates from 2014 so is substantially newer than the Phoenix and Aeroclassics moulds but older than the Panda, Aviation400 and NG Models versions. It has some good points but overall I struggle with it a bit and I think that is mostly due to the undercarriage.
The nosecone and cockpit region are pretty decent. The nose is suitably pointy and the cockpit transition is fine as well. It is however the nosegear which is my biggest concern. It always seems slightly too far back. It is only marginal but has an impact, while both it and the maingear always seem just a little too short too. Certainly the mould sits lower than all the other A330s on the market.
Moving to the centre of the model and the wing/fuselage join is tight and well sculpted. Early releases using this mould had major issues with wing fit, which often left models looking like they were trying to flap their wings for take-off. That has been resolved and I have to say that the detail under the fuselage is very nice with well detailed and sized scoops.
The maingear has a nice form to it and pivots about the gear leg. It would be near perfect but once again I think it is too short and the whole aircraft sits too low. The maingear even seems low in comparison to the nosegear and the model doesn't have the slight nosedown stance that necessitated the fitting of the gear-bulge when the A330F was created. The result is also that engine ground clearance for the Rolls-Royce Trent 772Cs isn't great. The engines themselves look fine.
There aren't any issues with the tail region. The mould has four aerials, which are fine but as per usual for JC slightly over-sized. The overall result is that there is plenty to like about this mould but the undercarriage height and position means that I don't select it as my first option for A330s. Then again it is still decent enough that when I need to acquire it, as in this case, there aren't enough issues to stop me.
SCORE - 7
PAINT & LIVERY
Capital Airlines, as its name suggests, is based in Beijing so it is fitting that this livery celebrates the new Beijing Daxing Airport, cited towards the south of the city, especially as Capital has transferred its operations there since it opened on September 25, 2019. This 2017 delivered A330 was repainted into the special colours only a few weeks prior to the grand opening.
Somewhat oddly there is nothing on the scheme to really identify it to the new airport, at least not in English anyway. Instead the rear fuselage appears to feature some Beijing landmarks like the Temple of Heaven and the Forbidden City. The rest of the scheme is made up of swathes of blue intersecting with each other and some stylised red Chinese titles I don't understand.
Positionally the livery elements are well placed and defined, which is no mean feat considering how the blue sectors cut across and merge into each other. The colours are good too but the darkest blue, towards the rear of the fuselage, is a little too dark, especially over the wing, and the grading of the dark to light blue on the engines rather abrupt.
The Capital Airlines tail logo almost looks like it is reclining but that is accurate. It is repeated on the inside and outside of the winglets well with the addition of a small yellow line under it.
The red used is a little dark but otherwise the finish is good. This is a tough scheme to make but once again illustrates how complexity is something most of the major brands can handle well in 400 scale nowadays.
SCORE - 9
PRINTING & QUALITY CONTROL
It isn't often that I complain about too much printing but in this case I would have preferred if they'd left off the nosecone ring. It is rather obvious on the model yet in all the photos I have seen it is invisible.
Otherwise the printing standard is very high as I have come to expect from JC Wings. One area that could have done with extra printing is the transition from the grey wing/fuselage fairing to the blue fuselage. There is a clear line on the real aircraft that is missing on the model.
Build quality is good, with all the pieces attached correctly. One area that is a little rough however are the engine rims. They appear a little uneven.
SCORE - 7
This is a good model, which nonetheless I still would have preferred made on another of the A330 moulds. There is a good mould in here and when I hide the undercarriage I like the look of it a lot more than when I can see them. Making the gear legs slightly longer, and the maingear relatively longer compared to the nosegear, should be quite simple and it is a change I'd like JC Wings to make here. Then again they've been using this mould for years and haven't recognised this as a problem yet.
FINAL SCORE - 23/30
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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