400 Scale Hangar can still be found at: www.400scalehangar.net although most of the forums can only be viewed by members and creating new memberships has been a bit iffy for a while.
The Hangar Club was/is an invitation only club for up to 120 members. To be a member you had to agree to have a recurring payment setup which gave you access to special production models with a production run limited to the size of the club. Members did not get to choose which models they received – it was all or nothing.
The vast majority of the models were made by Aeroclassics, but in the year 2005 only 3 of 7 models were Aeroclassics. The other included a Sovereign DC-9 and three BigBird 747-100s. All the other years it was purely Aeroclassics releases.
The models produced for the club are quite a random bunch. Sometimes they have been relatively minor changes to existing models, with tweaks to the livery, but often they have been completely new airline/aircraft combinations.
The second model for example was a fantasy Lockheed Electra in the base colours of VARIG but with Drax Air Freight titles as worn in the James Bond movie ‘Moonraker’:
Another no doubt highly sought after Hangar Club fantasy model was the Columbia Airlines 747 from the Airport sequel of 1975:
Super high on my want list are a trio of fabulous DC-9-30s from Inex Adria, ZAS Airline of Egypt and ATI. Indeed, not being of suitable heritage to been grandfathered into the Hangar Club I find myself struggling to acquire the models I’d want. I’m not sure whether I would have been willing to acquire all of them, I might have though.
Often small numbers of the models were available on the open market soon after release as members chose not to hang onto particular releases. I picked up the pair of United Cargo DC-8s that way.
Certain others of the models appear in Waffle Collection sales fairly regularly. I have managed to pick-up 11 of the 53 models without specifically targeting Hangar Club specials in my purchases. I have even acquired a few without realizing they were Hangar Club releases until they arrived. The KLM Electra and Egyptair Cargo 707 are examples of accidental Hangar Club acquisitions.
In fact, the models don’t often have much to distinguish themselves from standard models aside from the fact that they come with a different manufacturer number (formatted as HC-0[No]).
Hangar Club models also initially shipped with a laminated card indicating they were special.
On the one side is typically the number of the model you own and on the other side is a history of the airframe. Otherwise the boxes and models appear like standard Aeroclassics.
The Hangar Club was a rather unique proposition for 400ScaleHangar, which in its heyday was (along with DAC) the primary forum for discussing 1:400 scale models. Nowadays Facebook groups have to a degree superseded the forums, however I do find that often the quality of information and knowledge on the forums is of a higher standard than that on Facebook. 400ScaleHangar members are a font of wisdom on 1:400 scale and under new ownership I'm sure the site can return to its former glory. Plus I have heard that the Hangar Club will return soon with a new model already produced!
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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