The 737NG is obviously one of the most common airliners both 1:1 and 400 scale and any manufacturer producing modern aircraft is going to be hard pushed not to have access to a mould. While there is no JAL Collection A32x there is a 737-800 and if there was ever the need to expand beyond Japan this mould would presumably get quite a bit of use. So is it any good? Here I take another look at one of the JAL Collection moulds to see how it compares to standard 737-800 castings.
The 737-800 has featured three times in the magazine run to date. First in issue 6 with the JTA Blue Whale Shark, then issue 13 with JAL Express and most recently issue 42 with another JTA Whale Shark, this time pink.
BOEING 737-800 IN 400 SCALE
There have been a lot of 737-800 moulds made in 400 scale and most have been mediocre, with only the recent NG Models and Panda Models versions being standouts.
In terms of other 737-800s no longer in use the following moulds are still fairly common in people's collections:
JAL COLLECTION 737-800
The first thing to point out about the example I procured is that the cockpit window printing is dreadful, however that isn't the case on all examples and as with many of the ones sold on taobao it seems this is probably a cast-off rather than a production example. ANyway, it doesn't impact this review of the mould. As you can see below in photos of magazine examples the cockpit printing is fine:
It is clear that this JAL Collection mould cannot compete with the latest offerings from Panda and NG Models, however at first glance it stands up well to the older 3 moulds pictured above and even the Phoenix and JC/Gemini moulds still in use today and featured in the detailed review.
The nose and cockpit, two areas many moulds have struggled with, are surprisingly good although the curve of the underside isn't strong enough and the nosecone is a little long. The nosegear door is also a lot less chunky than on the older 400 scale 800 moulds and angles upwards.
The wings are well shaped and detailed but the winglets themselves are too square and don't have the correct shape around the tips. The engines are rather simplistic but are well sized and shaped. The pylons hold the engines at a good height and look surprisingly decent. One drawback of the engines, as with many of the JAL Collection moulds is the ring seam line around the nacelle.
Towards the rear of the fuselage the vertical stabiliser and horizontal stabs are well shaped and fitted but the rear fuselage itself is a little disappointing. The under tail tailbumper is missing and the tailcone itself is too squared off.
In terms of landing gear this mould has one of the better efforts of the collection. The maingear is quite nice and the wheels are better sized than on several of the other moulds in the family.
Overall this is once again a decent mould if it was made in the early 2000s but is obviously crude by modern standards. Even so, they have got the look of the 737-800 down quite well and arguably better than the old Gemini, Witty Wings and Dragon moulds, possibly even the newer Phoenix and JC Wings versions.
I will detract points as follows:
nose profile -1
engine seams -0.5
wingtip shape -0.5
tail bumper missing -0.5
tailcone shape -0.5
lack of aerials -0.5
A score of 6.5 (downgraded to a 6 if taking a half points off for lack of rolling gear) is a decent enough score. I would buy this mould if it was at the right price and the printing was ok. It isn't going to beat an NG version but that isn't what it is trying to achieve.
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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