Above is the image that was posted. The two new moulds are the smaller ones either side of the 767 and have been positively identified by JC Wings as an Airbus A310 and a Tupolev Tu-204. It is hard to say anything about them or their quality from this photo other than they are clearly modern slot in wings moulds. The selection of both types for new moulds from JC Wings is however a little perplexing so let me have a look at the business case and how I think they'll be used.
A New A310
The A310 has had a series of weak moulds made for it before 2016, but that year Aeroclassics released their A310 and it is quite strong. Areas of improvement for the JC Wings mould would be a tighter wing seam, better shaped engines, gear hubs and the addition of aerials.
Aeroclassics has also made lots of A310s using the mould - 73 in fact. It is hard to see there being a lot of A310s left that would fit within the larger production runs JC makes. Presumably Gemini Jets will also have access to it but the A310 hardly fits with their release strategy either.
I suspect that the new mould will not get a lot of usage but we will see at least the following models:
Back in September 2018 I did publish an A310 wishlist and since then Aeroclassics have made several models from it such as SABENA, THY and Aerolineas Argentinas. The rest remain to be made but I can't see many of them being produced by JC or Gemini. Here's the list:
Is 400 scale big enough for another Tu-204? JC Wings clearly think so, although I am dubious about that. It would have to be an excellent mould to beat the new NG Models versions. Once again given JC's quite large minimum production runs there aren't many Tu-204s I can see that they could release. I guess it is entirely possible that this mould was started well before NG's own moulds came into view, given the seemingly very long lead times JC needs to make new moulds (as shown by their 747-400) and the seemingly near finished state of the sample in the photo.
I have made a wishlist for the Tu-204-100 already but I suspect that the Air China example will be an early JC release.
So there we have it - two new moulds. I have currently got no further information to impart but I will try and find out more. Who knows when these will hit the market. If I had to guess I'd say it won't be until mid-2022 at least. Are either of them needed? Given the existing moulds and the nature of releases by JC and Gemini I'd have to say no not really, but manufacturers don't listen to me!
Personally I'd like to see JC Wings and Gemini focus on the good moulds they have for many types that never get any usage such as:
Still it is good to see new moulds being made and I look forward to seeing how these compare to existing available moulds for the types in question.
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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