The Airbus A310 is the kind of middle of the road aircraft that although, along with the 767-200, pioneering twin engine ETOPS services doesn't get the kind of attention it might, both in terms of its place in aviation history and in 400 scale. The type has returned to the Aeroclassics release lineup in the past six months with eleven or so new models and it is a favourite of mine, partly because the type was so common at Heathrow in the 90s. THY was always a major 3-Ten operator to LHR so this livery was a must for me.
âEach review is to split into three key areas:
âUntil the new Aeroclassics Airbus A310 mould debuted in July 2016 there had only been a rather small selection of attempts at an A310 by Dragon Wings, Herpa, Gemini Jets and Jet-X. The Gemini was the best of a weak bunch but none of the older moulds did the type justice. Fortunately, the Aeroclassics A310 is one of their best recent new moulds.
âOverall, it is very nice and I am particularly glad to see that they created a completely new seamless mould rather than modifying the admittedly excellent cradle mould used for the A300. The tail and rear fuselage are note perfect, whilst the quite complicated wing/fuselage join is rendered faithfully. This creates a natural looking join between the wing and fuselage on the mould, however sometimes the fit isn't quite as tight as it might be - especially at the front and rear.
The wings and engine pylons are excellent. Pleasingly the wings have the correct up angle so the engines don't become ground-huggers like on the Gemini Jets mould. Aeroclassics has at times struggled with the engines on some older releases but the shape of the GE CF6s on this model are ok if not excellent. The nacelle should curve more on its underside and be a little shorter.
âThe undercarriage legs are thin and nicely detailed and look good, excepting the simple tyres on spigots and lack of rims familiar to the majority of Aeroclassics moulds. The nose gear is also correctly proportioned giving the A310 the correct leggy look, something that is a problem on the Jet-X mould.
Moving to the nose and the shape is excellent, as is the cockpit region. Lastly Aeroclassics simply don't do aerials, so this model, like all their others, comes without them. It's not a major issue for me but they would be nice on widebodies at least, and this THY A310 had two on the roofline and one larger one on the rear belly.
For me, this is easily the best A310 in 400 scale. The only areas of improvement are the tyre hubcaps, fitting of the wing at front and rear, engine nacelle shape and lack of aerials. Two of those are things Aeroclassics does by choice.
SCORE - 8
PAINT & LIVERY
The classic THY scheme emerged in the 1970s, after several variations on the theme, and stood out from almost every other airline with its close red pinstriped cheatline. It had a very retro look and although the replacement scheme was very much on style for the early 90s it was rather bland. TC-JCL was the first of 7 A310-203s received new by THY, in May 1985, and by this time the fleet had a light grey rather than natural metal belly.
In terms of colour Aeroclassics has the medium red and light grey of the scheme correct. The six stripes on the tail and the stylized bird logo look good to me. The pinstripe cheatline is ok but does have a few issues. The three inner pinstripes are a little too thick and the cheatline at the rear should curve slightly upwards with the windowline but is instead straight. The change in angle is small so it isn't particularly noticeable at this scale.
At the nose the pinstripes also don't join to a point as they ought to. Instead on the model the middle stripe ends on its own and the out four come to two points at the black nosecone ring. On the real thing the 3 inner stripes should come to a point just before the black nosecone.
I'd argue that the title font isn't 100% accurate with some of the letters being a little wide but overall, the titles look good. Lastly the aircraft name of 'SEYHAN', named after a river in Turkey, is accurately placed in the grey under the cockpit.
SCORE - 8
PRINTING & QUALITY CONTROL
The model illustrates the solid no nonsense printing style you should expect from Aeroclassics. They focus on the major print areas and don't bother with finer detail such as nosecone rings, engine panel lines etc. Even so, there is some nice printing detail such as the GE logo on the engine nacelles.
The only printing concern I have with this model is the position of the cockpit windows, which are I think very slightly inaccurate. I was thinking they are slightly too low but actually I think it is just that the front facing two windows are not quite tall enough.
A common issue with Aeroclassics A310s has been the attachment of the engines to the pylons. Sometimes they are attached at an odd angle and glued in quite firmly, which makes fixing the issue difficult. That is not an issue with this model and both engines are held at the correct angle and well off the ground. Unfortunately, the engine fanblades are very silvery, which is surprising as recently Aeroclassics has been doing much better at producing models with darker fanblades.
SCORE - 9
This model presents well but does contain a series of small errors, which add up across the whole model to the detriment of a high points total. Even then, I possibly have been a little generous with my scoring, but the model is generally fairly standard for what Aeroclassics is producing in 2021. The moulds and build quality are usually good but the livery research is often somewhat lacking. Having said that I'm happy this scheme was produced and the Aeroclassics A310 is one of my favourite moulds.
FINAL SCORE - 25/30
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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