There are few civil airliners with the importance of the 727 and it quickly became the mainstay of the world's airline fleets through the 1970s and well into the 1980s. There were 572 727-100s built and the type has had some interest in 1:400 scale, with over 190 models made, but there have been none since 2014. This sorry situation leaves a good number of models unmade, several of which are really important historically.
The late 1980s and early 1990s are a curiously poorly represented period in 1:400 scale. NG Models has been making good use of its 757 to fill the gap but there are large numbers of MD-80s, early A320s and 737 classics that have been neglected. Panda already has an excellent 737-300 but hasn't been using it as much as I'd like. Now they are producing a series 400, which is a major gap in production. Here's a look at what they ought to make with the new casting.
Few aircraft could make the ground shake quite like a BAC One-Eleven and being a Gatwick based kid I heard a lot of them. Dan Air, BIA, BCal and BA all flew One-Eleven 500s from LGW and the type kept going into the 90s with European. It is yet another of the overlooked types in 1:400 despite there existing a superb casting. Here's a snapshot of what could be made.
Considering there were only 85 aircraft made you could argue the Bristol Britannia has had a fair run out in terms of 1:400 scale models with 32 releases. Nonetheless the big prop has been rather ignored in recent years and no UK historic fleet is anywhere near complete without a larger representation of the type. It may be a long shot but let's see what could still be done.
The Tupolev TU-204 was robbed off a TU-154 style production run by the collapse of the Soviet Union, which is a real shame as it appears to be a decent aircraft broadly in line with Western contemporaries at the dawn of the 90s. In the end although the aircraft has had a 30-year production run only 86 aircraft were produced! Even so the type has appeared in a surprising number of liveries.
The A320 family is hardly under-represented in 1:400 scale. Even so most manufacturers are fixated on the now and looking back to the service entry of the original A320 is way outside their interest. That’s a shame as there are plenty of cool models that have not been made for A320s from 1987-1995.
I have a soft-spot for the mighty Convair 580 ‘muscle machine’ having flown on the type from the cockpit two years ago with Air Chathams. I am sure I am not alone in thanking Gemini Jets for announcing a North Central CV-580 as part of their June 2019 releases in 1:400 scale. Hopefully this model will sell successfully and lead to some more releases of the type. If so there is a decent range of possibilities that can be made.
Production of the F100 in 1:400 scale has been rather lopsided with only a small variety of models made focusing on the two US giants and a group of later operators. There is certainly plenty of scope for more F100s if only JC Wings and Gemini Jets can be convinced.
There have been few moulds as requested by 1:400 scale collectors as the Lockheed L-1011 Tristar. Although there have been various moulds made for the standard type most are either obsolete or awful and the best ones have been chronically under-used. The Tristar 500 is even worse off so what should any new mould of the type wear?
The Fokker F28 was an adaptable little jet that saw use throughout the world From Norway to Swaziland and Argentina to Papua New Guinea. As such there are lots of colourful and interesting airlines that it saw service with. Often these were some of the smaller national carriers that have not featured well in 1:400. Having said that there are still major European flag carriers in the mix as well. So here I’ll take a look at what can be made on the existing Aeroclassics mould.
Now the 767-200 mould is out and Aeroclassics have started pumping out releases it seems like an appropriate time to take a look at what they might turn their hand to. In my opinion there have been two perfectly good earlier moulds for the type and they have already plucked a lot of the obvious low hanging fruit. To that end I’m not too keen to go over already released candidates unless there is a good specific reason to do so. That still leaves plenty of fertile ground anyway and hopefully Aeroclassics agree with me.
Recently Panda Models have presumably leveraged their existing 737-700 mould to produce its shorter stablemate the series 600. The type was thoroughly unloved and therefore the number of operators of the type was limited. Panda have already made 5 737-600s covering SAS and Air China but there is a small group of further series 600s that can, and ought, to be made.
There have been nearly 260 A300s made in 1:400 scale with 159 of them coming from the excellent Aeroclassics mould. Unfortunately the rest have been mainly on the pretty dreadful Phoenix and Jet-X moulds. You might think that there weren’t any worthwhile A300s left to be made aside from obscure freighters, but you’d be wrong there are still plenty.
For over a decade the Boeing 727-200 Advanced was the aircraft of choice, if you didn’t want a widebody, within the USA and in many other parts of the world. Even into the late 1980s and early 90s it still formed a large chunk of the global fleet and so not surprisingly there is plenty of scope for 727s in 1:400 scale even though lots have been made already. Nowadays it falls only to Aeroclassics to regularly produce the venerable trijet so what easy pickings are left?
2018 in 1:400 scale has been the year of the 757 but we shouldn’t forget that prior to the recent 737 MAXs Aeroclassics last new mould was that of the 757’s competitor product the Airbus A310. The execution of some of the releases wasn’t fabulous but the mould itself is and I hope the recent paucity of A310s doesn’t mean we have seen the last of the mould as there are imho plenty of viable options left to do.