NG Models continue to make a big splash in the 1:400 pond. They are not content with being a niche manufacturer and apparently have both the funding and capacity to take on the incumbent occupiers of the scale. Their latest assault on the existing manufacturers is a new Airbus A350-900 mould. Do we really need one? Maybe not, but if your plan is to compete directly with Phoenix and JC Wings then you definitely do. Here I'll take a look at the first sample of the new mould.
This year has marked the twentieth anniversary of 1:400 scale and several manufacturers (notably Gemini Jets and Aeroclassics) have been celebrating their 20th year in business. Meanwhile relative newcomer NG Models has been slowly getting its Tristar production into gear, which gives an opportunity to compare some models from the dawn of the scale with some from recent month's.
In part 1 I introduced the Gulfstream G550 as the first of the new NG Models 200 scale business jet moulds and it is partnered with its French equivalent the Dassault Falcon 7X, one of only two trijets still in production anywhere (the other is the Falcon 900). Aside from a selection of military fighters there appears never to have been a release of a die-cast Dassault business jet in any scale so this is truly a first.
I have said before that the capacity at NG Models for producing new moulds is quite startling and it seems there is no end to their ability to produce top quality castings. Swiftly following, in 1:400, 3 versions of the Tristar, 2 A330s and updates to their existing 737s and 787s they have also out of the blue produced a pair of BizJets in 1:200 scale. Let's take a closer look...
As I have said before 2019 is definitely the year of the Tristar. JC Wings rediscovered the Witty mould in 2018, but put ugly landing gear on it, and Gemini then cut and shut it to create an appalling Tristar 500. Neither of these were the Tristars that we were looking for and that was partly because NG Models had already shown an interest in producing the L-1011. They aren’t alone and within the next few weeks you can expect to see more Tristars, but for now let’s look at what NG Models is offering.
It has been pleasing for me that I have been able to build a relationship with NG Models, who have been easy to work with and open to suggestions, as anyone on DAC can attest to. In recent months they have taken to sending me sample models of new moulds for review and for me to publicise. So far this has involved the 737-800s and the Beluga but it was a surprise to receive a package a couple of days ago with two new moulds I didn’t even know were being developed!
You'd have to have been asleep for most of the year by now to have avoided the discussion that has been started by NG Models. They have been more proactive and friendly than any other 1:400 scale manufacturer and have firmly backed up their words with deeds. The effect on the 757 in this scale has been impressive. Not only have they created an excellent mould for the type but they have stimulated JC Wings/Gemini Jets to update their old mould and at the same time shared the NG 757 with Aeroclassics.
Back in April I undertook a detailed review of the 737-800s available in 1:400 scale and at the time given the MAX was coming on the market I didn't expect to have to update that review for a long time. NG Models have surprised me by producing a completely new 737-800 in 1:400 scale and as with their other moulds straight out of the box you can tell it is topnotch. In this post I'll compare it to the older 737NG moulds.
In part 1 I began to look at the 4 extant 787-9 moulds and gradually work through the features of each assigning scores. At the halfway point the JC Wings mould was out in front by a small margin. After concentrating on the nose, landing gear and engines in part 1 in this part we turn to the wings, and rest of the fuselage.
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of 1/400 scale model aircraft and airports. This blog reports work on my model airport dioramas and discussion of the model manufacturers output.