Way back in April 2021 I wrote about a company that I had been informed of going by the name of Jet Hut. It gradually became clear that they were the people behind the JAL Collection models. I was told they were going out on their own making entry level 400 scale models, but following the initial contact I heard nothing more. Well out of the blue, a few days ago, they contacted me and it seems their first product is almost ready.
As you probably know I like to keep an eye on some of the more obscure brands in 400 scale including those that cater heavily for the Chinese market. Two of these are HYJLwings and Yu ModeLs. The former is seemingly back as an independent company and the latter is growing well with new announcements so let's take a look at what's new.
The A318 didn't get a massive production run, but 80 frames is still quite a lot of possible liveries when you throw 20 private examples and 11 distinct Frontier tails into the mix. In 400 scale there have only been a handful of releases but with the new NG Models A318 imminent here I take a look at all the possibilities.
You spend hours organising your cabinets with all the models in just the right spots but there are always some that just refuse to do as they are told. These few are determined to point skywards rather than accept the touch of blessed tarmac. Tailsitters are a pain and require a range of solutions to solve. Just for fun here are the worst tailsitting moulds in 400 scale.
BigBird and Aeroclassics 747s are hard to come by so picking up a UTA 747 at Waffle's Scratch & Dent section for under $20 was an unexpected and lucky discovery. The only drawback was the nosegear was broken. Replacement nosegears for 747s are not common either and my repair skills are limited but I think this came out ok.
Some things in 400 scale are depressingly predictable. No sooner does a manufacturer come out with a new mould then other brands attempt to flood the market with as many versions of the same aircraft as they can hoping to steal away sales. Competition is good but this is pretty damn cynical. So a few days after AV400 announce its first A380s both Phoenix and JC Wings announce a raft of their own.
Back in May when I spoke with AV400 regarding their A320 series moulds they also told me about some other news. AV400 have long been fans of modern widebodies and now along with their new 787 and A380 they are expanding their widebody line to include the A330-900 too. Additionally at the same time they are making some changes to their A330ceos also.
When NG Models sent me the A320 moulds there was a conspicuous absence. Although they provided four A320 samples, covering both the A320ceo and neos, they did not provide an A320-100. Speaking with them they have now confirmed they will make a series 100 so let's take a look at that version, what has been made and what can be made on the original baby bus.
All of a sudden there is a lot going on in 400 scale and it seems rather incredible (and perhaps for some a little depressing) that less than a week after I announced NG Models new Airbus A320 family moulds that a short video leak has announced that Aviation400 has also built its own set of A320s. I've been in contact with AV400 and here's what I've learnt.
NG Models just can't stop making new moulds and only days after I was able to announce the A319/320/321s they have posted on social media of another new mould and have allowed me to announce yet another. Both round out modern families allowing them to compete head on in the narrowbody space. Read on...
I have been one who has been a little critical of NG Models move towards more contemporary and less retro releases of late, however now it appears NG will get a little bit of a hand in this area as a new brand named Buchannan Models is partnering to use NG moulds for more retro-goodness.
The Tristar 500 is another of the classic moulds owned by NG Models they seem to have rather lost faith in, despite its excellence. Obviously the situation isn't helped by the electroplating issues NG has had with its natural metal belly L-1011s but there remains quite a bit to be made and I am rather impatient to see more. Here's an updated wishlist for the type taking into account production so far.
While I don't think you should let the politics in China get in the way of your model collecting I am nonetheless fascinated by what goes on behind the scenes of the diecast world. Usually it is very unclear what that is but sometimes you get glimpses. The announcement of an A330-200F release by NG Models caught my eye and now photos seem to confirm that it is using the Panda Models mould, which is very interesting, at least to me!
As discussed here just under a month ago when Yu ModeLs announced their new IL-76 release they also discussed a 'mystery widebody' they would be releasing. Given that they have a penchant for Soviet era aircraft the number of options appeared limited and as myself and a few others guessed this time Yu have teamed up with JC Wings for the first IL-86 in some time.
The Tu-154 eventually gathered a rather poor reputation in Iran with nicknames such as 'Death Bird' due to various crashes, however the type was instrumental in getting many Iranian airlines into the air and saw wide service prior to it being banned in February 2010. As a collector of both curiosities and Iranian airliners the new NG mould would look great wearing these colours.