Antonov An-225 in 1/400 Scale
Updated: September 2021
There are few, if any, aircraft literally as unique and special as the massive Antonov An-225. The Mriya (dream or inspiration in Russian) was a product of the Soviet space programme, designed to surpass the already huge An-124 Ruslan and allow the carriage of the Energia's rocket boosters and Buran Class orbiters. Along with several other promising Soviet-era aerospace ventures the collapse of the Soviet Union ended the majority of the programme's aims, however the single completed aircraft has seen extensive service. It was brought back to operational status in 2001 and is currently in operation with Antonov Airlines.
As I have, contentiously, said before Herpa produce so little in 400 scale as to be effectively irrelevent, however there are tiny areas of activity and Herpa has shown a bizarre, but welcome, willingness to produce some obscure types such as the Tu-144, An-124 and An-225. Until recently they were the sole 400 scale manufacturer of the Mriya, however 2020 brought about the appearance of a new plastic not die-cast 400 scale An-225 made by YRD Model.
Here are some shots of the An-225 in action:
1:400 An-225 Moulds
Herpa (2010) - 4 Models
Herpa had produced a 1:500 scale An-225 in 2009 and presumably upscaled that mould to 400 scale a year later. They have since used it four times, although Herpa seem to tend to continuously release the models rather than making just a single batch. Unlike in 500 scale they have not seen fit to produce a 400 scale Buran Orbiter to attach to the top of the aircraft but otherwise have made 3 different liveries (including the CCCP registered one) with a fourth version on the way.
The mould is excellent across the board and has especially nice detailing in the undercarriage (although it doesn't look like it rolls). No aerials are fitted, but they are tiny on the real thing. The general shape of the casting is superb and, like their An-124, the wings are slot in rather than reverse cradle units. Herpa's printing detail is a little light touch, especially on the engines, however the important features are present.
About the only negative thing about the Herpa Mriya is that given the model's size the price point is rather high - in the $65-70 range.
YRD Model Mould (2020 - Still Available) - 1 Model
YRD Model are a Chinese outfit that, much like Herpa, seem intent on releasing obscure aircraft, however unlike Herpa their models are all plastic. In addition to the Mriya they have also made a Ruslan too. Given the plastic build and relatively simple detailing this model retails at substantially less than the Herpa version. I have seen it for sale in the US in the $45 bracket, however in China it resales as much less - my copy cost 168 RMB, which is about $26.
The model comes in a flip top box and also includes a clear plastic stand. Being plastic itself the model doesn't weigh much so is easily supported by the rather flimsy stand. Obvious differences with the Herpa version mainly revolve around 4 areas:
- It is a reverse cradle mount mould with the wings sitting atop the fuselage.
- The undercarriage is rather simplistic - especially the maingear
- It lacks one of the small domes on the aft fuselage behind the wing
- The nose cargo door is not printed on
These four issues definitely make it inferior to the Herpa, however across the rest of the model there is a lot to like, with an excellent fuselage shape and some nice details. As a cheaper alternative to the Herpa version it has merit, although the long term durability of the plastic is perhaps an issue if it is stored in sunlight.