To read what was discussed in part 1 see:
I do feel that JC Wings do not get the level of attention they deserve in 400 scale. Indeed, they often get a fair amount of scorn, mainly for the leisurely release schedule they utilise. This is unfair as they power the production of Gemini Jets and have shown an impressive ability to produce new moulds and new ideas in this scale on par with NG Models.
Everybody loves NG Models (aside from some of the other brands) and in 2020 they have not only continued their growth but continued to keep collectors onside and engaged. This has been helped by producing some very impressive models, albeit at a premium price. They are easily the best 400 scale manufacturer at this juncture.
The ructions over at Panda have continued into 2020 and even been name checked by themselves. I’m not sure what the situation is but clearly, they have been impacted ever since 2018 by issues. I have heard rumours of ownership changes but can’t verify this. Anyway, they have managed to release between 30 and 40 models this year, which isn’t dreadful but is a pale imitation of their earlier years. Fortunately the quality of their models remains high.
Phoenix have always been a rather shadowy company that has never engaged with collectors but has nonetheless shown an impressive staying power, growing from one of the mystery meat brands into a 400 scale powerhouse. This strategy, which has served them so well, seems incredibly old-fashioned in 2020 but they continue to do what they do seemingly immune to praise or criticism - at least for now.
2021 - The Future
When you look at the current crop of manufacturers Aeroclassics clearly stands on its own. It produces models nobody else makes and I get the feeling that 99% of the people buying its models are regular purchasers. The plus side means it has a captive market, the minus side is it is aging and they don't stand much chance of growing sales without changing their strategy. As long as Andrew wants to continue to make models Aeroclassics will continue so I don't see them having much trouble in 2021 as long as that state of affairs remains. Thank Christ - as they remain a breath of fresh air.
It is with the remainder of the brands that the competition is happening and this is driven primarily by the increasing size of NG Models and to a lesser extent Aviation400. NG Models has the ambition, cash and the moulds to compete with anyone. They have already stated that they will be producing a lot more models in 2021 and introducing 10 new moulds!
If I was Phoenix and Gemini than I would be feeling the pressure. Having said that the former appear to have a substantial customer base in Asia and the latter a substantial one in the USA. NG's pivot towards more modern releases does however suggest that it will be taking the fight to both of the older brands in 2021 and Phoenix appear to be in the weaker position, especially as the Aviation400 A350, 777 and soon 787s will also be competing heavily against them.
Aside from NG, AV400 and possibly JC I don't see a lot of new material coming from elsewhere. Hopefully Panda will start to get some usage out of its new moulds and Phoenix appear to have given up the ghost on mould investment altogether. So, 2021 looks like it will feature continuing expansion of the newer brands at the expense of the older ones but I still suspect we will end the year with all 7 major brands about.
7/1/2021 01:07:27 am
I forget,so i'll add that NG ,i woulld like them to do a A321 NEO TAP Livery in RETRO colours of the aircraft they got a few months ago ! Tristars i'd love them to do is GulfAir Reto livery and BWIA 500 Version too! I have asked them directly before but i know they will be reading,so get on with it! You
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I'm Richard Stretton, an aviation enthusiast and major collector of 400 scale model aircraft. This blog discusses ongoing events in the world of 400 scale.
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