It has been several months since I last looked in depth at one of the JAL Collection models but I do still have quite a backlog of them to look into. There has been no news from Jet Hut about their plans (they haven't answered e-mails) so it is entirely possible that that isn't going to go anywhere, but nonetheless the JAL Collection continues to be produced and the A300 was one of the models I was most looking forward to acquiring. As with the other parts in this series here I will investigate the features of the new mould and see how it compares to the real thing.
The A300 has featured in several issues of the JAL Collection including issues 5 and 12.
A300 IN 400 SCALE
The A300 is well represented in 400 scale only thanks to Aeroclassics who have an excellent mould, although as is usual many of the releases are hard to find. The other moulds are all inferior with the other extant mould, by Phoenix, very poor at the nose. See my mould review of the type for more details:
JAL Collection A300-600
I could tell from photos that the De Agostini A300 was one of the better of the JAL Collection moulds and in the hand this has proven true.
The fuselage shape is good, especially at the nose where this mould easily beats the horrendous Phoenix example. The rest of the fuselage is well shaped but of course this is a cradle mount mould so there is a seam around the wingjoin. It is a little square but otherwise it is fairly unobtrusive and less obvious than on the Aeroclassics.
Moving to the nosegear and the JAL Collection moulds do have the habit of indenting things into the mould that would be better left as print detail. In this case that is the forward portion of the nosegear doors. From side-on you can see the indent of them, which isn't great. The nosegear itself is a little long (better than being too short) and the gear doors are a little small. The nosegear tyre is a little oversized.
The wings are well shaped but the wingtip fences are rather poorly defined and the wings could do with angling up more. The engines are surprisingly decent and the engine pylons definitely some of the better I've seen on the JAL Collection moulds. Even so, they do hang the engines a little low.
To the rear of the fuselage the vertical stabiliser shape is good, although as with the rest of these moulds it is an old style join to the fuselage not leaving any space for the rudder to be separate. Also another feature of the JAL Collection moulds is present - the horizontal stabilisers are angled a little too much.
There are of course no aerials present on the mould, the engines are solid core and the wheels don't roll. Much like the JAL Collection 767-300 there is a good basic mould here, but one that of course is not up to 2021 standards. If this had been produced in the mid-2000s nobody would be upset at all and it is still a better mould in my opinion than the other early A300 moulds from Dragon Wings, Blue Box / Jet-X or Herpa. As the nose is decent I actually prefer it to the newer Phoenix as well, but it is inferior to the Aeroclassics version.
I will detract the following points:
Wing seam -0.5
Engine pylons -0.5
Wingtip fence shape -0.5
Wing angle -0.5
Lack of aerials/free rudder -0.5
Stabiliser angle -0.5
That gives a score of 6.5. If you want to knock marks off for lack of rolling gear or solid engines then it would be perhaps one less. Overall it is a decent A300 up to the standards of a pre-2010 400 scale model. One thing I should note however that although the printing is passable, if simple, the quality control is once again very poor. If these models ever do get sold outside the magazines that it something that needs to be improved.
If this model was being scored overall for a standard review then I suspect it would score something like 18-19 out of 30 primarily because the paint smudging in several places is so bad. As it is the mould alone scores:
SCORE - 6.5
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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