Skywings are a shop in Guangzhou, which has for some time now been commissioning their own models using other people's moulds. Their models have been excellent quality and typically have been produced in the range of 120-200 units, but often spread across multiple similar releases - either different registrations, different engine options or minor livery differences. Since Herpa are cleary useless in this scale the only mould available for the 747SP is Gemini Jets, which is nowadays part of the JC Wings stable.
The only issue with Skywings is their availability. They are really only easily acquired through their taobao shop or via a limited number of other taobao shops. That is a big issue for most non-Chinese speaking collectors. So when in May 2017 JC Wings announced they were also producing the CAAC 747SP it seemed like a win win as their version would be available internationally.
JC Wings announced exactly the same pair of CAAC 747SPs, and the same Air China 747SP, that Skywings did, which are as follows:
The KD reference is JC Wings - Skywings have their own numbers Skywings 55-57.
By early June 2017 the Skywings releases were available, however it seems the B-2442 version sold out almost immediately as only 180 units were produced of each. Soon after the JC Wings version began to appear, on taobao at least. It appears common for JC Wings models to appear within China well ahead of them being shipped internationally.
For those people who have ordered the JC Wings version I am afraid you are in for some disappointment as they have completely missed the obvious anti-glare shield ahead of the cockpit windows on the two CAAC releases. Apparently Skywings noticed this and sent their whole lot back to JC Wings who then fixed them up. I had hoped that JC Wings would also make this correction but alas it seems they have not done so.
A search around taobao yesterday found multiple sellers selling the incorrect anti-glare CAAC JC wings models so I can only assume that JC did not fix the issue and models that must be incoming soon will be incorrect. I hope I am wrong but I doubt it. It is a major shame. I had held off buying the Skywings versions since they were quite expensive but after my search last night pulled the trigger on the N1304E version from Skywings.
I should also point out that Skywings has different box art for their releases, which also come with a collectors card too - see below photo:
Skywings still had a couple left but it seems most people will either have to live with the inaccuracy (yet again) or try and fix the model themselves. All the model manufacturers have been making some horrendous cock-ups in research and design recently. It's easy to accept that low paid factory workers might make a mess putting a model together, but entirely harder to accept that the design teams are so rubbish at their jobs. The only positive to take away is that Air China didn't put the anti-glare shield on their SPs so that model is unaffected by this problem. As always it is buyer beware it seems.
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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