For other parts of this series see:
In this instalment as you can see we have only one true classic and four aircraft that were still common in the 1990s and 2000s. Unlike much of the rest of the list this time JC Wings / Gemini are not filling the majority of the spots and all the major manufacturers get a look in. Given the 1990s and 2000s are hardly many years ago you'd have thought that these moulds would be ripe for exploitation, but I expect the reasons for their lack of use come down to 4 factors:
It is nonetheless disappointing and you get the feeling if there was an active European based model manufacturer at least three of them would get a lot more use.
Anyway let's take a look at the most underused moulds in 1/400 scale filling positions 10-6:
10. Fokker 100 (JC Wings / Gemini Jets) - Used 15 times
This is a great little mould and JC Wings have gone to the trouble of adding antenna to it for the Qantas release from last year. Sadly despite this it has been used only 15 times and no doubt nowadays falls into the 'classic' category for JC who seem focused almost entirely on modern types. The F100 was a good seller for Fokker with 283 aircraft built and it has been operated by a number of major airlines that would sell really well. Airlines like:
Personally I'd like some of the more unusual Iranian airlines like Iran Aseman and Kish Air and especially the African flag carrier Air Gabon. I can accept these are unlikely, but clearly the above list has many major airlines or airlines with strong collector home markets like the UK, US and Germany.
I feel also the F70 by JC Wings / Gemini Jets should get an honourable mention too. It has been used 6 times. I know that only 47 F70s were made but surely 6 models can't recoup your costs? Having said that there are less obvious candidates for new F70s so I'll leave it off the list.
09. Tupolev TU-154 (Phoenix) - Used 9 times
Phoenix seem to have forgotten their rather nice TU-154 with the updated landing gear, which is a big shame epecially as 1,026 of the real thing were made! For starters I expect they could remake many of the examples using the previous mould - especially the Chinese airlines. The easiest money makers would however be the former Eastern Bloc airlines - especially Malev, Interflug and Balkan Bulgarian. I think a Varna International would be good too. Within Russia several major airlines (albeit extinct ones) could be made in smaller numbers. Airlines like:
There was a time the TU-154 got some loving but that finished by the time the later Russian airlines were on the scene. Either way there are some nice trijets that could be made and Phoenix could do with doing something new and interesting.
08. Handley Page Herald (Aeroclassics) - Used 11 times
In the world of Aeroclassics if you have a new mould of a classic British airliner obviously the first models you should make on it are those from Canada and Israel! I understand Andrew has a personal relationship with both these nations but this kind of release philosophy doesn't fill you with confidence about AC's method of deciding releases. Anyway of the 11 releases 4 are Canadian and 3 are Arkia! Only 3 are British and they are all very similar BEA livery variants. It's an admitted luxury to have a Herald at all but a crying shame to not use it for some British classics. I'm thinking:
Since Aeroclassics have recently returned to the HS-748 (albeit it not UK ones) it is perhaps not an impossibility that they may yet return to the Herald too. Don't hold your breath though!
07. Boeing 757-200 (Herpa) - Used 3 times
This list couldn't possibly be complete without including at least one Herpa mould! They make some obscure stuff - some well and some not so well, but the 757 represents one of the most beautiful types in aviation and they have far and away the best mould for it. The response has been 3 models, with a fourth (Icelandair Hekla Aurora) being delayed so long that it may never appear. This is not that unusual for Herpa, which seem keen to sink money into moulds so they can then ignore them. What are they thinking? There is a huge opportunity for 757s - as many of the ones made are old and use the inferior Gemini or Dragon moulds, whilst many others (Monarch, Air Europe, Britannia, BA Landor etc) have never been made. Herpa clearly have other priorities than 1/400, which begs the question why they bother at all. I think it is clear however that we are never going to see a decent spread of 757s from them.
06. de Havilland Canada DHC-8-100/200 (JC Wings / Gemini Jets) - Used 9 times
Years ago now JC Wings made a whole series of excellent regional airliners but then didn't really use them, or at least made some questionable choices with them. It is clear that a DHC-8 is never going to sell as well as a 787, but nonetheless there are plenty of airline liveries that could sell. So far of the 7 releases 5 are Canadian (why is it so many Canadian models get made compared to Europe and the US?). JC Wings even updated the mould with better sized wheels but since then it has been used only four times and one of those was a rather osbscure Japanese airline. Considering there were 292 DHC-8-100/200s made there is plenty of scope for sellable liveries such as:
OK so you may think the usage of these 5 moulds is poor but it pales in comparison to numbers 1-5, which'll be the subject of the next post.
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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