If you haven't already read my first part about Jet Hut here:
I had known for sometime that De Agostini had been publishing a magazine series titled the JAL Collection in Japan (there is also an Aeroflot version, although it has been a lot less successful). These kind of magazine series which come with models or allow you to build models over time are not especially uncommon and given its limited distribution I had rather ignored it.
Above: This is from the JAL Collection but is clearly the same model I was sent as an example of Jet Hut production.
I probably should have put two and two together sooner given that the Jet Hut sample provided is a JAL aircraft and the packaging was broadly similar to the De Agostini Yak-42 I acquired. Anyway thanks to the collectors who mentioned it to me. I have since spoken with NG Models further (remember NG are helping with distribution but have NOTHING to do with Jet Hut otherwise) and have some more information.
They told me:
"Several years ago, a company received an order from a Japanese magazine. In order to fulfill the order and deliver the products, the company has developed couple of moulds over the years. So far, the contract is nearing completion. The sample I provided to you are the product they fulfilled their order.
Now they want to use the experience and resources to create new brands, to develop new products, to face new markets. From what we've heard, they won't make any JAL related products in their new brand. In addition to the moulds already developed, they will continue to develop more new moulds."
So it seems that Jet Hut are the same company that makes the models for the JAL Collection magazine and has access to most, if not all, of the moulds that have been made to date.
There are still some incongruities to what I've been told. For starters the JAL Collection is only up to issue 38 of 80 parts so it doesn't sound like it is nearing completion. Also there have been far more than 'a couple' of moulds made. All I can do is go on the word of my contacts at NG, who seem to have a relatively loose association with Jet Hut.
It seems pretty clear that the JAL 787 model I was sent as a sample of Jet Hut's production is the same as the model provided in part 1 of the JAL Collection, which was published way back in late 2019. There's nothing wrong with that I guess, although it would have been nice to have been told that when I received it.
Anyway assuming what I have been told is the truth if Jet Hut indeed have access to the moulds used for the JAL Collection (and Aeroflot?) magazines it means they already have a massive backlog of moulds available for some very interesting types. Each of the JAL Collection magazine issues focuses on a specific airliner and comes with one or two models of it.
Looking at the JAL Collection now it seems I should have been paying a lot closer attention as with 40 issues published there is an impressive variety of moulds available, most of which look competent and some of which look excellent.
From what I can see at present the makers of the JAL Collection (which may be Jet Hut) have access to 30 different moulds covering a wide chunk of aviation history from the super modern (A350-900) to the classic (DC-6B). Basically if it was operated in Japan then they have a mould for it, with the addition of 3 Soviet-era moulds too.
Although a couple of moulds look poor (notably the 777-200) many of the others look better than a lot of what has been produced by 'proper' 400 scale brands. In particular the A300, MD-80, MD-90, MD-11, YS-11, Saab and several others look very good (although the photo angle may mask some defects since it is the classic Gemini angle).
Below is a selection of the JAL Collection moulds:
Especially interesting is that if this is all true Jet Hut have access to a variety of regional moulds (Saab 340, DHC-8-Q400, E-170) and moulds nobody else has (Yak-42) or has but doesn't use much (MD-80, MD-90, YS-11). Future editions of the JAL Collection even suggest there will be upcoming CRJ-200 and ATR-42 moulds!
Now imagine what could be done if Jet Hut had access to these moulds and could produce high volumes of model varieties each at only $20 or so? The potential here is enormous.
I admit I just don't know what to make of this. I have no reason to doubt what I have been told but the concept that a new maker with access to all these moulds will start producing models soon, at a super cheap price just seems too fantastic. It would certainly amount to a major attack on several existing brands - especially Gemini and Phoenix. And why not? Both have been producing ordinary models for a long time. If Jet Hut could do this they have from what I see a major market available to them.
However at this stage this is all not far off hearsay. I await to see what it is Jet Hut do and I will report any further information I can learn. Hopefully they will not disappoint.
I'm Richard Stretton, an aviation enthusiast and major collector of 400 scale model aircraft. This blog discusses ongoing events in the world of 400 scale.
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