It was actually way back in May 2018 that I last spoke about Aviation400 releases and to be honest most of the models that I mentioned then only gradually appeared in fits and starts over the rest of the year. Their output was entirely A350-900s and A350-1000s for which they received generally positive reviews. It is broadly accepted that they have the best (or least worst) mould in 1:400, although recent modifications to the JC Wings mould may challenge that.
I did a detailed mould review of the A350-900 back in July 2018 and since then AV400 have resolved the engine angle issues:
I also reviewed one of their A350s in detail as a standalone model at Diecast Flier:
Indeed I presently own 5 of their A350-900s and they are my go to manufacturer for the type. This has been assisted by Aviation400 models having begun to be sold outside of China at sites such as Waffle Collectibles.
As I have said Aviation400 announce models fairly regularly but they are not necessarily released the month after announcement as is the case with Aeroclassics, Gemini Jets, Phoenix, Panda and NG Models. Instead they are more like JC Wings (although not quite as tardy). Therefore I won't break down releases into months and instead I'll talk about all 2019 announcements to date, including those announced in May itself.
The A350-900 continues to be the mainstay of AV400's releases. This year 11 have been announced of which just 4 have so far been released (China Eastern, Sichuan Airlines and 2 old colours Lufthansas). The latest announcements have more Cathay Pacific A350s; presumably AV400 heard the criticism of the previous releases, which got the colours all wrong, and these will be corrected?
The longer version of the A350 has also not been ignored with 6 announced, two of which (the Qatars) are available for purchase. Once again presumably the Cathay pair will have modified colours?
Probably less well known is that AV400 also has A330 moulds as well as A350s. They look pretty good and of the 7 announced in 2019 2 have been released. The subject matter isn't particularly exciting but it seems the manufacturers can sell endless versions of TransAsia and China Eastern!
The biggest news for AV400 is that they have also announced a new 777-300ER mould. This is however tempered by the fact that 1:400 hardly needs a new mould (since the JC Wings and Phoenix moulds are prefectly good) and also that the subject matter is so predictable. No images of the new mould have been released as of yet but I'm struggling to get too excited I admit.
Despite now being sold outside China there is no mistaking which audience Aviation400 are trying to hit. In many ways their models are rather superfluous since we really don't need more A330s and 777s. Only the A350s really hit the mark and then only because the competing moulds all have weaknesses. The appetite for modern widebodies of Chinese airlines seems insatiable, but just now and then AV400 do produce a more interesting model and so it is worth keeping an eye on them. Of course a nice extra is also that every model of theirs comes with a stand and a pushback tug.
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.
This site is free. Please donate to keep it going.