NG Models is beginning to attract criticism for its current release strategy, which is focused on mainly modern releases and multiple versions of an airline / livery combination from a relatively small set of airlines. That criticism is fair but it is a boon if you are a collector of the chosen airlines. Whilst being no big collector of Jetstar myself the fact that NG have now released four versions of Jetstar A320s means that I have been able to secure the particular livery variant I'm interested in and upgrade an old Phoenix version in the process.
Each review is to split into three key areas:
I reviewed the sample moulds for the new NG Models A320 family back in May 2022 and since then the A320s have actually only had 13 models made. They cover a measly 5 airlines (Aeroflot (2), Avianca (4), Air France (2), Jetstar (4) and Play), which illustrates the current multi-version approach NG are taking with releases.
There's massive scope for more A320s using this mould because there are lots that have never been made but also because the mould is excellent. As described in my A320 mould review, up until 2015 there was a wide range of A320 moulds, all of which were mediocre, aside from the excellent Aeroclassics version.
The quality gap wasn't improved by the appearance of the 2016 JC Wings / Gemini effort but the 2015 Panda A320, of controversial origins, has carried the type for the past 7 years since Aeroclassics have refused to update their mould with aerials or better tyrehubs. Fortunately the 2022 NG Models mould is as good as even the Panda version.
I have previously undertaken a detailed mould comparison scoring for the A320 and the result was a photo finish between the NG version and Panda one. Now we also have an upcoming Aviation400 A320 which the samples also suggest will be a killer mould.
The A320ceo version of the mould with wingtip fences and IAE V2500 engines being reviewed here is effectively a perfect mould. The fuselage is near identical to the real thing. Nose shape, tailcone and mid-fuselage are fabulous. The latter is particularly good in comparison to the competition, with an excellent wing join.
Also on the underside the maingear doors have the two small bumps in relief - a feature no other A320 mould has. The undercarriage is also excellent, especially the angle of the nosegear strut.
The other obvious point of difference with this mould is the highly detailed vertical stabiliser with panel lines. I should also note that the model has all four aerials present and very nicely sized.
The IAE engines are beautifully sculpted and shaped. They have the small fins only on the internal side, which is correct for the 320, and really nice fan detailing. The engine pylons hang them at a nice height and attach well to the wing.
This mould is an easy ten. There's no real criticisms to be had of this mould other than it simply isn't being used well by NG at the moment.
SCORE - 10
PAINT & LIVERY
I'm mainly a classics collector but sometimes my criteria slips a bit. There's no way a 2006 A320 can be considered classic but my Australian fleet does venture into the early 2000s, which just about makes this original version of the Jetstar scheme buyable for me. This has been the fourth Jetstar livery variant NG have been made but all the others have been too new for me.
I already own a 2004 version of this aircraft / livery combo made by Phoenix, however as you'd expect this version is much superior both in terms of mould and livery replication. The silver colour used by NG is lighter than the Phoenix and a much better match for the Jetstar scheme. In extreme closeup you can see some sparkly flecks but with the naked eye the silver is a pleasing uniform sheen.
No problems with the orange, and placement of it, are apparent on the tail star and wingtip fences. Titles are accurate and the 'All day, everyday, low fares' titles are finer than on the old Phoenix too.
The only issue i can see with the livery replication is the curve of the orange belly line ahead of the wing. It should be curvier but on the model the line is almost straight. Other than that I can't see anything with the livery that would see it lose more than a point.
SCORE - 9
PRINTING & QUALITY CONTROL
Printing on the model is an example of simple perfection. Even though the base livery is silver printing of silver parts like the window frames is done with aplomb. Underside printwork, like the nosegear doors, is incredibly fine.
The two tone colouring of the internal portion of the engines is another highlight, especially considering the small radius of the IAE engines in 400 scale.
The model comes with perfect build quality. Once again its full marks here.
SCORE - 10
This model illustrates the current NG Models. They may be boring some of us to death with their release choices but what they are making is of the highest quality. I am in two minds about things. If you're a Jetstar collector then I suspect you're over the moon with 4 A320s with slightly different schemes. As definitely not a Jetstar collector usually this is the only one I'd want but I know that it would almost certainly not have been the chosen example used if they had made only one Jetstar A320. Perhaps they just need to space out the variants over a wider time, but then again I guess that would create a stock backlog as they probably have to be made together to save production costs. Ignoring all that and this is still a wonderful little model.
FINAL SCORE - 29/30
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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