AV400's New Airbus A380 Mould Sample in 1:400 Scale
Modified: March 2022
Thanks to Aviation400 for providing me with this sample of their upcoming A380
It was June last year that I received AV400's Airbus A380 resin sample mould and obviously things have moved on since then with the mould sample now available as a full diecast and the announcement that production examples will come not only with the usual AV400 addons (red nav beacons, spinning fanblades and pivoting gear) but also with removable magnetic landing gear too. Aviation400 have been kind enough to send me through another sample of the mould so once again here I will take a close up look at it and compare it to the real thing.
Unlike the resin sample this die-cast version gives a fully accurate representation of how the finished model will look, aside from the fact that the magnets haven't been fitted to the undercarriage yet so the gear legs are liable to fall out and aren't very secure.
I am glad to say this sample is a definite improvement on the resin version, as you'd expect given the pliability of the resin. The previous nose down attitude has been resolved with the new metal landing gear. Ground clearance for both the fuselage and engines is excellent and appears to match the real thing.
I see no issues with the nose shape or forward fuselage. The gear leg is especially well proportioned and has excellent detail in the correct place. It is a distinct improvement over the Phoenix gear leg.
I am really liking the wings and the join to the fuselage, which is both tidy and a tight fit. I note also that this sample comes with the Wi-Fi dome as an integral unit, although it is not common to all A380s. Arguably the winglet shape could be a little sharper at both the top and bottom.
There is detail at the tailcone of the APU exhaust although this does appear to be one area that could do with some small modification. I do think the APU pipe is a little small and the squared off end of the tailcone a little too rounded.
From the side I'm not seeing a lot of difference between the competing RR Trent 900 and the Engine Alliance GP7000 engine nacelles and this sample's engines look a good fit for both, although I think it is designed to be the Trent. The pylon hangs the engines at a good height and the underside shape looks good. I'm less convinced by the above engine pylon shape, which rather lacks the two-step hump-like shape.
The maingear trucks look great and are easy to attach and detach. The detail on the gear legs and the spacing of the tyres is better than on the Phoenix mould.
The shape of the wings, massive flap track fairings and the flap outlines themselves all look accurate:
The photos above show that the leftwards lean on the vertical stabiliser was just an issue with the resin mould and overall from the front and rear the mould looks excellent.
The engines definitely look the piece in representing the RR Trents and I am impressed by the blade spacing and look of the engines from the front considering that the fans do rotate very nicely. It isn't a feature I care about much but it is another testament to the quality AV400 is bringing to the table.
Below are a selection of shots of the sample from different angles with the gear up and on a stand:
Once again I can report that the new A380 is looking very good at the sample stage. The issues raised previously have been resolved and the issues I have raised now do not impact the general shape of the core details of the mould. The issues as I see them are all trivial and are:
- Winglet shape could be a slightly sharper
- Tailcone APU pipe slightly longer and tailcone slightly squarer
- Upper engine pylon shape
The removable landing gear isn't a feature I've covered here in detail but I'll take a closer look at in the upcoming video review so stay tuned to my Youtube account for that.