In November 16 new models joined the fleet, 15 of which were new releases made that month. For anyone familiar with my collection criteria (mainly classics except for modern Chinese airlines) it is obvious that Aeroclassics and NG Models fit the bill more often than anybody else. Indeed, there wasn't a single Gemini, Phoenix or JC Wings in this month that I deemed a necessary addition.
Aeroclassics announced an impressive line-up of models in November and I had to be strict to only purchase 5 of them. The Eastern 727, baremetal Air Canada 767 and Lufthansa Starliner were very tempting but, believe it or not, I do have a budget for models I try and stick to! I'm really pleased AC has gone back to using some of their excellent existing moulds, like the 727 and DC-9, so this month I acquired two of each plus my 7th HS748. These were my choices:
Both the DC-9s have been made in 1:400 scale before, albeit on inferior moulds. The Hughes Airwest was made by Phoenix in 2004 (as part of a boxset with a 727 using the Aeroclassics mould) and the Valujet was made also by Phoenix in 2004, but on its own. I own both the older versions (that must have been a very different Phoenix to the company of today) and they are fine but obviously the Aeroclassics DC-9 is fabulous.
Cockpit printing on DC-9s has been an issue but this time the cockpit window printing is good enough although probably better on the Valujet. They make an interesting comparison with the old Phoenix Nines. Aeroclassics often has issues with colour darkness and you can see here that their DC-9 is a lot darker than the old Phoenix version. It is also annoyingly darker than the other Aeroclassics Hughes Airwest aircraft I have. Fortunately it doesn't stand out too much next to them.
The Valujet is a little lighter than the old Phoenix and a better model than the older version all round.
Southwest Airlines has been a focus for Aeroclassics recently and the 727 fills a hole in the fleet and stretches my collection space for Southwest. One thing that is obviously noticeable are once again the colour inconsistencies. Certainly the Aeroclassics version of the Desert Gold is quite different to the Gemini version (here on the 737-500).
There was definitely variation in the Southwest fleet between a pea green and brown but the leased 1980s 727s wore a metallic gold style Desert Gold scheme and it definitely wasn't as green as this model. Annoyingly they have used the right sort of green that the 1970s 727 next to it (which is way too dark) should have used.
The other 727 is much better and a really nice addition to my South American fleet. It makes my 4th VASP aircraft.
The last new addition is the EPA HS748. Eastern Provincial is an airline that is well covered in 1:400 by Aeroclassics but very poorly served in my collection at the moment. I only have the 748 and a late colours 737. Aeroclassics still struggles to paint the tyres properly on their Budgies but otherwise this is a delightful little model.
My 6th Aeroclassics of the month is an older model I picked up at the Waffle collection sale, although it is probably unsold stock rather than a second-hand model. The delivery colours DC-6B makes a nice addition to my CP historic fleet:
NG also put out a strong line-up with their October announcements, which arrived in November. The Tristars are excellent and I've got most, but this month I had to miss out on the Aer Lingus, which doesn't really fit my criteria. I did get the 3 others though and one each of the 737s, 757s, and 787s. These were my purchases:
I can't get enough British charter 757s, although I admit to preferring pre-2000 examples. In fact, I technically shouldn't be acquiring post-2000 examples at all but as you can see NG have created a chink in my armour and there is now a small Thomson / TUI sub-fleet alongside the Britannias:
Air China is a focus airline of mine and you can see the NG 737-800 outcompetes the Panda example mouldwise when the two Expo 737s are next to each other. Even so I can't see me replacing my extensive fleet of Panda 737NGs.
I mainly got the Air New Zealand 787 for review purposes and I will probably sell it on soon, unless it permanently finds a gate at my Xin Long model airport. You can read the review of the model here:
It goes without saying that the NG Tristars are amazing:
The only other arrivals in November were four Panda 737-300s. I'm a big fan of the Panda 733 mould and one of these has already been reviewed in detail. See below for the review:
The other three have also already featured at Yesterday's Airlines with a look at the history of easyJet:
Aside from the Southwest 727 I'm really happy with November's haul of models although acquiring this many models a month is hardly sustainable. December doesn't look like it'll bring a lot of respite though as the announcements for Aeroclassics and NG Models are once again excellent. It will however also bring a sprinkling of Gemini, JC Wings and Aviation400.
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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