March was the first month for Aeroclassics surprising move to direct customer sales through its website aeroclassicsdirect.com . For further details see:
The new site worked well and I had no problem acquiring four of the new releases for competitive prices. It was however a little annoying that the pair of Varig 737-200s sold out almost immediately, assuming they were ever for sale on the site. I think I have found a source for the blue belly version and hopefully it will arrive in May.
Of the models I did acquire they all are very nice but as usual not without some issues. I have reviewed the VIASA DC-9 already and its worst failing is that the nosecone should not be natural metal:
Like I said in the review the model perhaps looks better for the error and certainly displays nicely in the South American fleet:
The pair of United FLUFs bring to 5 my fleet of the type - four from Aeroclassics and an older Saul Bass from Seattle Model Aircraft Co:
The three blue and white variants all wear different versions of the evolution of the Mainliner scheme but the pair of Saul Bass examples should be near identical. They certainly make an interesting comparison to each other.
There's no doubting that the Aeroclassics mould is superior to the older SMA mould but in other ways the SMA is sometimes better. The colour, position of the cheatline and font of the United titles are all better on the SMA version. The cockpit windows on the Aeroclassics are better.
Aeroclassics Sale Additions
The new Aeroclassics sales mechanism triggered several excellent sales from retailers no longer stocking the brand. Waffle Collectibles and Diecast Airplane Store ended up furnishing me with a nice variety of older Aeroclassics at very good prices.
Several of the models will be featuring in the aviation history blog in the coming months including the Finlantic DC-6 and the MAOF Airlines Boeing 720B:
The Quebecair and Eastern models are nice gap fillers for the representative fleets of those two airlines in my collection:
Asian airlines (outside of China) are not a focus of my fleet and so the Japan Asia DC-10-40 is something of an extravagance but it looks very nice displayed with the small JAL fleet:
The biggest surprise was the Cubana Viscount as I didn't realise that model existed. I am particularly fond of the Central American / Caribbean portion of my collection and this Viscount 700 fits nicely in as my 5th Cuban model:
The last additions for March consisted of a trio of Aviation400 models sourced from taobao. They featured a pair of older A350s and a more recent A330-200. The A330 has recently been reviewed - see:
The A350s were both replacements for existing A350s in the fleet, made by JC Wings (Cathay Pacific) and Phoenix (Air China) respectively. The two older models will stay in the fleet but move onto my Xin Long model airport for permanent display there.
There's little doubting the AV400 A350's superiority over the older version of the JC Wings mould:
Likewise I much prefer the AV400 in comparison to the Phoenix A350:
It seems even when there are few new releases I can still find plenty of excuses to buy models. Long may that continue! I am of course writing this from lockdown, which will begin to be eased from next week for us kiwis, but will still mean working from home and home schooling our son. The economy looks pretty f**ked. It'll be interesting to see how the model companies fare over the coming months. Ignoring Covid for a second and I'm quite happy with my March purchases. April has been quieter but has seen the advent of a, perhaps foolhardy, move into yet another expansion of the standard collecting criteria. Read all about that next month.
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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