New Panda & Skywings Narrowbodies
Panda models have created awesome new moulds for the 737 MAX-8 and the A320NEO and continue to put them to good use. The April announcements for Panda itself include 2 new 737 MAX-8s making it 5 models released for a type that hasn't even seen an airline livery yet. Admittedly one of these releases was Panda's annual Chinese New Year model but the other 4 have all been Boeing test livery versions. After producing N8701Q and N8704Q in January now they are putting out the 2nd and 3rd prototypes - N8702L and N8703J. These wear the simpler blue wavy line scheme.
The 737 MAX 8 mould is awesome - for more details see my detailed review of N8701Q at Diecast Flier:
On the NEO front Panda continue to dabble and have announced their 5th and 6th A320NEOs (after Lufthansa, China Southern and HK Express examples) in the form of All Nippon's first two A320NEOs.
If these don't rock your boat then I don't see how it could not be upended by the April announcement by Skywings (who usually use Panda moulds) of the 2 'in service ARJ-21s' in Chengdu Airlines scheme. The ARJ-21 may be basically a prototype that seems unlikely ever to be delivered in the numbers its orders suggest, but the new mould looks excellent.
HYJLwings Goes Wide
Last month HYJLwings released a pair of Air China A330-300s using the Panda models mould. Both are still available at their webstore, although they aren't cheap.
Now HYJLwings have announced a big surprise in the form of new A380s! I have spoken with Jelly Huang the owner of HYJLwings and he tells me that they are independent of Panda, although they have used their moulds (A319, A320, A330). I assume however that this A380 is not a Panda mould at all and is I'm guessing probably JC Wings? Either way the models announced are similar to the two just announced by Phoenix namely in the test schemes F-WWDD with iflyA380.com titles and F-WWOW with the 10th anniversary China Airshow titles. Both look like they come in very nice boxes with artwork that joins the boxes (similar to the way the Air China A330s did). Incidentally these were actually announced a while ago so technically HYJLwings got their before Phoenix did.
As always the easiest way to purchase these types is through taobao, which is kind of like a chinese version of Amazon with lots of separate shops. If you don't speak Chinese it isn't so easy but I use a separate website called engtaobao, which enables you to more easily buy. They allow you to put in taobao urls and create a shopping cart and buy. They then aggregate your orders and ship them on to international destinations, clipping the ticket along the way of course. If you can get through the dense Chinglish and less than great usage instructions it is reliable and safe. I even got a refund from them one time!
Happy hunting model collectors!
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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