Having such a large collection there aren't many moulds I haven't owned at one time or another. Most sit nicely on their landing gear but some are chronic tailsitters. Whenever I close the cabinet door slightly, there is a gust of wind, or an ant farts onto their tail they go. Some will just never sit flat.
I should add that I am a big fan of all these moulds but here are the top tail heavy moulds in 400 scale I am aware of - from best to worst:
6. JC Wings / Gemini Jets HS-748
I've only got a couple of JC/GJ HS-748s but this BKS version just refuses to accept having its nosegear on the ground unless the surface is absolutely dead level.
5. JC Wings / Gemini Jets Shorts 360
The Shorts 360s do have a tendency to fall backwards onto their tail if there is any movement of cabinet doors or shelves, however they do reliably sit on their gear if the surface is level and not subject to any vibration.
4. Aeroclassics Lockheed L-649-1049 Connies
I've got a lot of Aeroclassics Connies and Super Connies and while they do sit on their nosegear, nudging or vibration, such as the closing of the cabinet doors, is liable to send them into a tailsit quite easily. The larger L-1649 doesn't seem to have this issue.
3. JC Wings / Gemini Jets L-188 Electra
I have a lot of Electras but mostly they use the Aeroclassics mould. I own a couple on the JC Wings mould and they are both rather bad tailsitters, whereby the slightest nudge can send them onto their bums. It also seems like the recent Gemini Jets editions, especially the American Airlines version, using this mould also suffer from this affliction.
2. Dragon Wings Connies & Super Connies
The Dragon Wings Constellations would be awful tail-sitters except for Dragon's somewhat naff attempts to stop it, which I admit have succeeded. On the Super Connies they sent them along with a small plastic stand that fits under the fuselage. You can see it underneath the Lufthansa edition below in which the maingear barely touch the ground:
On the far better short Connies Dragon attached small wheel chocks to the maingear, which usually keeps them upright (note the Blu-tack under the nosegear needed here though):
The later L-1049s also got these wheel chocks as well so that my short nose Flying Tigers L-1049 doesn't need a stand and sits fine.
1. Gemini Jets BAE-146-200
The old Gemini BAE-146 mould is better than the Jet-X version but is a terrible tail-sitter. This Air Wisconsin version I can almost never get to sit true, whereas you can see the Jet-X version next to it has no problems.
A Dishonourable Mention
Finally I have one model from Panda Models that is incredibly tail-sitty and I don't know why. It is the house colours A320-100. I have plenty of other Panda A320s and they all sit fine but this one just won't do it. I therefore presume this is model specific rather than a mould issue.
A Wannabe Tail-sitter
The otherwise excellent Phoenix Airbus A380s are well known to struggle to sit on their nosegear. This is because the mould is hollow and made of lighter Aluminium rather than heavier Zinc, as used for most 400 scale models. They don't tail sit but they also don't sit on the nosegear well:
7/8/2022 08:21:30 am
The Gemini Macs C-17A Globemaster III early releases with the non-opening rear doors are a "bit light on the front nose wheel", but when they retooled it to have opening cargo doors, it took away enough weight to make them sit much better.
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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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