The A320 series is rapidly forming a significant chunk of NG's now massive release schedule, but I admit very few of them feature in my collection as I have a healthy chunk of HYLwings versions and outside of China most are too modern for me. However, the more widely available NG versions mean I don't have to try and hunt down much harder to find HYJL releases as I used to and this is an example where both NG and HYJL have recently released the same model on their different but excellent moulds.
Each review is to split into three key areas:
It's been ten months now since I reviewed the sample moulds for the new NG Models A319/320 and 321s. NG had been using the 2017 HYJLwings mould for their A321s since January 2020, but along with the new smaller baby buses they also produced a series of A321s too. The HYJLwings mould remains in use with HYJL and frankly the two are very similar, but do have some differences.
NG had told me that the reason for the new A321 was to resolve the following issues:
The HYJLwings A321 had been my go-to A321 for years so it requires a masterpiece to eclipse it, but I do think this A321 is as good, if not better. The Panda models mould is equally nice and these three versions easily beat both the Phoenix and JC Wings editions. The Aeroclassics version has got good bones but suffers from their more simplistic approach re landing gear and aerials.
The base mould has no real weaknesses. The fuselage shape is perfection and the landing gear attached to it excellent too. The nosegear has the slight forward angle of the gearleg accurately depicted.
At the wing the fuselage fairing is tight and accurate. The wing has a good shape and detail, with very nicely shaped sharklets - arguably slightly superior to those on the HYJL version. The most obvious mould difference to be found is on the underside, where the maingear doors are shaped to include the small bumps. This is the only mould to show this feature.
The Pratt and Whitney PW1000G engines on this version are excellent and have been improved since the samples with new fanblades. They are still solid but have better detailing than the original samples did. I like the solid fans here - they are more realistic than see through versions. Ground clearance of the engines is still good despite their size.
One other area of difference with the NG A321 is the panel detailing on the tailplane. It is a lot more obvious than on the HYJL and Panda versions, perhaps a little too so. This model features four aerials and only misses the pair of smaller ones on the underside.
You basically need to be an expert to identify the difference between the NG, HYJL and Panda A321s, which come down to small details like the standhole position and undercarriage doors. They are all near perfect A321neos. I haven't discussed the other moulds as much here but suffice to say they are some way behind. The JC NEOs have outsized engines, the Phoenix and Aeroclassics use A320 wings rather than 321s. Both the JC/Gemini and Phoenix versions are inferior in overall shape across the board while the Aeroclassics excludes aerials and has inferior nosegear. Nowadays there's plenty of choice in 400 scale for A321s and this NG mould is near top of the pile.
SCORE - 10
PAINT & LIVERY
Shenzhen is one of those massive Chinese airlines that is largely overlooked by Westerners as its long-haul fleet is small. It's current scheme has served it well for a long time and replaced a rather ugly blue and green version in mid-2006. It is simple but stylish even if there is a lot of white.
The 'new' Shenzhen logo features the mythical magic Roc bird, in gold, on the tail, engines and Sharklets. The rear of the fuselage is red, and red, gold and burgundy stripes wrap the fuselage demarking the transition to white. It's hard to find fault with the livery here. The colours are perfect and the finish delightful. It is worth remembering that this sort of high-spec finish is not as easy as NG make it appear. Just compare to some of the competition.
I'm happy with the main titles and other details such as the Star Alliance logo. Overall it is a job well done.
SCORE - 10
PRINTING & QUALITY CONTROL
There's plenty of fine print detailing on the model. Some, like the nosegear doors for example, is so fine it is hard to see! The base template for the NG A321 is very good so the cockpit windows look great and windowline and doors etc well placed.
At first glance construction quality is perfect but I did notice that the portside engine exhaust stages are fitted slightly incorrectly. They are pushed too far into the nacelle and so are too far from the engine pylon. It isn't especially noticeable but is present. Additionally, the nosegear doors are slightly slanted forward.
SCORE - 9
It is easy to say that this is a simple model to recreate but NG just make it look easy. The base mould is excellent and the addition of livery and print is of a very high quality. It shouldn't really be a surprise at this point that NG can deliver results like this. NG aren't perfect and do make mistakes but they often have a clear headstart on competition with inferior moulds that is hard to catch. Others need to raise their game rather than complain about fictional biases they like to invent to cover their inferior products.
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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