Sometimes when aircraft are painted into a special scheme, or the airline is part of a larger grouping the nosecone alters from that of the standard livery. Then at times it needs to be replaced in service but no alternative nosecone is available to replace it other than a standard scheme one. What you end up with is a weird combo of a nosecone that doesn't match the actual aircraft livery.
This is surely about as niche a market as a model can ever approach but nonetheless there have been several recent models made with non-standard nosecones mimicking real life events. So far both JC Wings and Panda models have created model versions fitting this concept. Panda often creates multiple similar versions of a scheme so it is relatively easy for them to do this I guess.
Do they sell? Well the Dragonair A330 sold out very quickly so I guess they are reasonably popular. Upcoming is a Xiamen 737 with a China Southern nosecone:
Also increasingly being made are aircraft in their pre-delivery state. Aeroclassics may have accidentally started this when it made a Tibet Airlines A319 which still had its German test flag on the tail. I say accidentally as I think it was a mistake rather than an intention! Also both Gemini and Aeroclassics have claimed their recent Virgin America A321 is also pre-delivery as justification for it missing the aircraft name (applied after delivery). This sounds like bullshit to me but hey!
Nonetheless again both JC Wings and Panda have been making intentional pre-delivery aircraft recently, although JC Wings one is probably still a test aircraft. The models appear in primer green and look quite good. However again this is surely a niche market to say the least. They don't even fit within the scope of an airport diorama, however I guess it isn't much different to making the manufacturer test schemes.
I can't say I own any of these models and yet they do have a strange allure for me. Personally I think they are an interesting movement for 1:400 but what do you think?
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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