Boeing 787-8 1:400 Scale New Mould Sample
Modified: August 2022
Only last month when I debuted the new A350-1000 sample from NG Models I mentioned that NG's coverage of the major modern airliner families was nearing completion and that they were only missing a few entries. Well here is one of the missing variants, which completes NG's lineup for the Dreamliner. This means they now have complete A320, A330 classic, A350, 737NG, 777 classic and 787 families with only the 777-8/9 and A330neos missing from that lineup.
The 787-8 was swiftly eclipsed in service by its big brother the 787-9 but I still recall the excitement that the Dreamliner programme created, and I admit, the equal disappointment as the initial design was pared back and multi-year delays crept in. Certainly the short body 787-8 doesn't look very much like the pointy nosed, shark-finned futuristic beast Boeing originally teased us with.
I recall being rather underwhelmed when the rather dumpy looking real 787 emerged and to this day the 8 version is the least attractive of the family in my eyes. Obviously development was rather fraught. The 787 was launched in April 2004 by an All Nippon order with deliveries originally planned for 2008. The first aircraft wasn't rolled out though until July 8, 2007, but even this was something of a shell and the first flight didn't get off the ground until December 15, 2009. The initial deliveries finally took place to ANA on September 25, 2011.
With the longer 787-9 variant delayed even further it was the 8 that took up deliveries for the first three years when 114 aircraft were delivered. By 2014 the 9 was gradually entering service, with 10 delivered that year, but the 8 still made up the bulk of aircraft deliveries (104). Since then deliveries of the short version have tailed off dramatically with 10 or less in each year from 2018 onwards. Deliveries currently stand at a respectable 377 units, although this is dwarved by its larger sister the 787-9 which has 568 deliveries and 313 further orders.
The Real Thing
The baseline model of the 787 externally shares all the features of the larger variants but is of course much shorter at only 56.72 metres (compared to 62.81 for the 787-9 and 68.28 for the 787-10). Interestingly initially the 787-8 and 787-9 only shared 30% commonality with each other but this has now grown to around 95% commonality.
Competing 787-8 Moulds in 400 Scale
It was only last month that I published a 787 mould review, which is now out of date! Anyway this covers in detail the available moulds for all variants:
At the time the moulds for the 787-8 looked as the table shows to the left. Of these the old 2006 Phoenix mould still gets some usage (1 in 2022, 3 in 2021) but the real competition is coming from the excellent 2016 JC Wings mould, available in flaps up and down configuration. Even so their usage of the mould has not been heavy in recent years and as you can see their partner Gemini Jets has only used it once.
I should also mention that Aviation400 have 787 moulds under production with the 787-9 almost at retailers. They will be making a 787-8 also but probably not until next year I'd guess.
787-8 Release Options
With so many 787-8s made in 400 scale (186) across 6 other moulds there isn't a lot of potential for all new releases that have never been made before. In contrast however several of the older moulds are very weak and a lot of the models were made quite a long time ago, which will no doubt make new versions on this mould more attractive.
Some major airlines such as Aeromexico, Air India, American Airlines, British Airways, Jetstar and United Airlines exist in 400 scale primarily on the inferior old seamed Gemini or Phoenix moulds and would be ripe for re-releases in my opinion.
This mould shares all the features of NG's 787-9 mould aside from obviously its length. The 787-9 was one of NG's very earliest moulds, dating from way back in 2018. Even then it did very well and was effectively equal with the newer JC Wings mould. Certainly the scoring was well into margin of error territory. Since then NG has modified the landing gear to remove the hot rod stance some of the earliest versions had. Because this mould shares almost all the features of the 787-9 I don't feel the need to go over it in any detail.
This is clearly an excellent 787-8 on par with the also excellent JC Wings/Gemini Jets offering. That means it is easily way ahead of the very old Phoenix version.
Obviously this isn't the 747 that many are waiting for but the business case for this mould is clear as day. For minimal investment NG Models have rounded out another family of aircraft for a type that will prove popular with many collectors, especially younger ones in Asia and the USA. It is also another step to allow NG to compete in totality against competing brands - something it has proved it is more than capable of doing. The difference in NG's standing from 2018, when the 787-9 mould was released, to 2022 is dramatic and this ability to produce high quality moulds and excellent models is the reason for it.