Considering how fast the manufacturers usually are to produce widebody moulds (often before the new type has even flown) it is surprising that they are so much slower with narrowbodies. Even now not far from a year after A320NEO service entry only Panda has a useable mould on the market. JC Wings has announced a 737-MAX 8 but yet again it is Panda Models that has beaten everyone to the punch with actual releases.
Panda Models are really kicking bottom at the moment. Fresh from beating everyone that matters to market with an A320NEO they are now moving into widebodies and gazumping JC Wings with an A330-200F. Plus they have more new GSE. Compared to the other manufacturers they are really setting the pace for the new year.
Here's a summary of their latest announcements with some sneakpeaks at the finished products literally just released.
Just recently, courtesy of a random photo on Facebook, I was tipped off to a new player in 1/400 scale. After a bit of searching about I managed to find their page on taobao but who they are is still not entirely clear. Several factors seem to ally them to Panda models but a couple of others suggest that they may be something different. It's hard to be sure but this is what I've been able to find out so far.
Up until now Panda models have been happy releasing just Chinese airliners with a rare Asian or Japanese addition. However this could be the moment they start to become mainstream. Whatever you can say about them their models are excellent and the printing fantastic. Now they've scooped all the other manufacturers with the first A320NEO in 1/400.
2016 has been an impressive year for the upstart manufacturer Panda Models, which continues to exploit its excellent moulds for the 737-300/700/800, A319 and A320 (regardless of where the latter two were copied from). In fact in terms of number of releases Panda are producing more models than JC Wings and Gemini, it's just that if you aren't interested in Chinese airlines you're largely out of luck.
Aeroclassics has the finest A320 mould. This statement would be in almost no dispute if they fixed the nosegear tyre size and perhaps started adding antenna, but even so personally it is my favourite of the available A320 family mouldings. As always with Aeroclassics they have made good use of the mould but there are still lots of A320s to do. With Panda Models now competing for Chinese releases using the same mould here is a wishlist of B reg A320 family aircraft still to be made.