It may be the case that retro-airliners don't sell well but that's not going to stop me advocating for the history of aviation to be represented in 400 scale. Obviously when you're talking Comets it has to be Aeroclassics. The mould hasn't been used for over a decade but there are still some nice schemes that remain unmade, even Comet 4s that fit the mould's proportions. I wonder if we'll ever see them?
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.
Anyone with a decent sized collection is bound to have a few broken models - some you've broken accidentally and some you've acquired in a broken state. Even though I just translocated my collection across the world the number of breakages was very small and fortunately all easily fixable, however I have had a couple of other models in need of repair so I thought I'd give it a go and try to fix them up.
The IL-18 was a contemporary of the Britannia, Vanguard and Electra as one of the few big turboprops to see the light in the period when pure jets were beginning to take hold. In 400 scale the type has received very limited attention so there remains a decent number of possibilities for the type. Read on for a look at what is left to be made.
Increasingly, and a little annoyingly, it seems 400 scale releases are being made for specific retailers in specific localities. Don't get me wrong it's great that people can get models made but it's a pain when they aren't well publicised and/or almost impossible to get hold of. Here's a quick roundup of some models you may have missed from this year made exclusively for markets in Asia.
The Caravelle is back in 400 scale with Aeroclassics dusting off their mould for a new run of French built twinjets. The first month brought Iberia, Catair and Swissair but there's plenty more to be done even if just looking at the marks that the Aeroclassics mould can be used for. Here's a fairly comprehensive listing taking you from Europe to SE Asia, South America and beyond!
Latin classics always appear in high demand and until recently it has only been Aeroclassics that made them at all regularly. Now El Aviador is on the scene in 400 scale we can look forward to hopefully a lot more. Just recently there have been a selection of Peruvian releases and they have all sold like hot cakes. In fact, while people have zeroed in on that Gemini Delta CRJ I'd say it has been a lot harder to find a Faucett DC-8!
Soviet era types have not been well represented in 400 scale recent years despite appearance of a Tu-104 and now a Tu-134. The re-emergence of the Tu-154 is very welcome, even if it is not a 100% modern mould. The 154 got far and way the most diverse usage of all Russian types and that means there are still plenty of core operators to be made.
El Aviador is a company which has a standard webstore but also specialises in the production of 200 scale Latin classics airliners. It is based in Texas but its focus is definitely south of the border and since at least 2019 it has been using Inflight200 moulds to make an impressive array of A320s, 727s, 737s, 767s in the larger scale. It has now branched out into 400 scale and has 5 releases out, or in the pipeline.
With 2020 behind us I thought I’d take a look back at the year in 400 scale that was and pick out some salient points for discussion. Obviously for most it was a year best forgotten but in 400 scale it was actually a superb year. In general, the scale seems vibrant and healthy with some excellent innovation and models being made. In part 1 I take a look at 3 of the major brands.
The local service airlines had their routes in a postwar need for service to smaller communities and feeder routes into the the trunk services of the majors. Initially called simply 'Feeder Airlines' in July 1944 by the CAB they became known as 'Local Service' airlines when the survivors were certificated permanently in 1955. These airlines grew into majors over time and have had a decent representation in 400 scale, however there are significant gaps still to be filled.
400 Scale Hangar (found at www.400scalehangar.net) is one of the original homes of 400 Scale on the web. Now under new ownership it is back producing, in partnership with Aeroclassics, the Hangar Club models that the site is famous for. Thanks to Paresh at 400SH I was recently able to purchase the latest Hangar Club offering – a really nice hybrid 727-22 made in very limited numbers.
Given the number of models I own I really ought not to be starting new areas of the collection, but the post-deregulation period in developing nations has always been of real interest to me and Indonesia in particular is super interesting. In recent years there has been a nice selection of relatively obscure releases made, often in partnership with retailers, and even though I know I shouldn't have recently I started an Indonesian fleet too.
I was alerted today by my good friend Minh Quân Nguyễn that some new Tupolev 154s had mysteriously appeared on taobao. A quick search revealed there were two new releases using the Aeroclassics mould, but not made by Aeroclassics. Indeed, they are being marketed as Yu ModeLs - a new brand in 1:400 scale. Read on to learn more...
You've got to hand it to Aeroclassics they have motored through the Covid crisis, changed their sales over to aeroclassicsdirect.com and are still producing an excellent variety of 400 scale models. Last month's set saw the return of the 747 and 727-100. There are no 747s this month but the choices of release on other types sure make up for that.