With my personal collection approaching 2000 models it seems like a good time to take a look back at where I began with 1:400 scale. I've had an interest in civil aviation for about as long as I can remember but it was only in 2008 or so that I gravitated towards this scale and finally cut my ties with 1:600s. Here's a look at the early days way before Yesterday's Airlines existed.
Collecting 1:400 scale models can be an expensive business, especially if like me you want a large representative collection. Then again at the same time it doesn't have to be expensive for individual models necessarily. Nonetheless at times you will probably have to splash out, although I am pleased to say that of nearly 2,000 models only 7 have cost me more than $50. What are those models?
It is now mid-February and with all the December releases (aside from the JC Wings ones obviously) arrived it is a good time to reflect on the year that was 2018 and what it meant for my collection. 2018 was an outstanding year for 1:400 Scale and certainly my pocket felt the pain of so many excellent releases but what was I buying and why?
I admit to getting boxes of models once or twice a month, usually from Waffle or the Skywings store, and for every model I receive there is a routine to go through. After the initial unboxing I take 12 photos of each model at various standard angles (more if it's going to get a detailed review) and then the task is to find it a place in the collection. In this post I'll detail the introduction of a selection of recent models into the wider fleet.
At its heart my collection has always had a core of models representing the USA from the end of WW2 until the year 2000. However, in recent years the primary growth areas of my collection have been non-US and to a degree the older part of the collection has been a little ignored. It seems only right therefore that the final part of the redesign of my hangar space returns to where it all began – in the USA.
Sometimes it appears, to my wife at least, that I am constantly rearranging the layout of the Yesterday’s Airlines hangar space. This is partly true but mainly I’d like to think due to the slightly ad hoc way I come across new display cabinets rather than just my own internal mania. Anyway, since I last updated on the status of the hangar there have been two rearrangements and now the display space is looking topnotch.
In this part I take a look at the new cabinet that allowed me to reshape the storage of the Asian fleet and free up space in the benchtop cabinets.
Nowadays all of my collection is behind glass or plastic and theoretically protected from dust. However, the cabinets are not all airtight and also are in the garage, which can be damp. So, I really ought to clean the models more regularly than I do. Recently I noticed that the 1980/90s section of the cabinet was looking a bit poorly so it was time to get in and clean away. That gives me a chance to also look at that part of the collection.
It is a minor peculiarity that a model that does not come with its original box is worth a tiny fraction of the price of one that does, even when a lot of 1:400 boxes are very generic and sometimes almost unidentifiable as belonging to a specific model. I certainly have avoided unboxed models myself but given the opportunity to own some rare models at super low prices a recent sale was too good an offer to pass up.
Charter airlines used to be a major, if often rather volatile, segment of the aviation market in Europe. The most significant portion of this was inclusive tour (IT) charters from the days when you booked your whole holiday as a package through a travel agent in your high street. These days are long gone – destroyed by the advent of the internet and low cost airlines. Nowadays traditional charter airlines constitute a tiny fraction of the market and as with Monarch last year continue to be lost.
Given the ever expanding size of my 1:400 collection I probably ought not to be expanding into new collection areas, however I obviously can't help myself. My latest foray takes me into the territory of manufacturer house colours and has been bolstered by some excellent releases from Phoenix, JC Wings and Panda recently.
What to do with all the boxes is a question any major collector of scale models has to ask themselves sooner or later. With over 1,600 1:400 models nowadays the boxes are often the bane of my existence. I had had them all well organised but recent purchases have seen that organisation go out of the window and so this festive season it was time to come to grips once again with the box terror.
If there's one thing I love in 1:400 scale it is an obscure national carrier release. Aeroclassics generally monopolise this part of my collection but there are a few other models out there from other manufacturers. One of the most sought after for me personally is the Magic Models Air Gabon Boeing 747-2Q2BM. A few weeks ago I was put onto the trail of one but it hasn't gone to plan.
I expect I am not alone in trying to build a diverse collection of model airliners. Obviously nations like the USA, Canada, China, UK, France, Australia etc are well represented in almost any scale but if you want a geographically representative collection then often your choices are rather limited or even non-existant in 1:400. In this 2 part series I plan on taking a look at where the gaps are in my collection and in production in general.