Part of the deal was that Yu Models paid for the repair of the defunct Aeroclassics Tupolev Tu-154 mould. The result is a pair of new Tu-154s - the first using that mould since 2007! In fact there have been no Tu-154s at all since 2016 when Phoenix last released one on their modified mould.
The Sichuan Airlines example below is one of the last releases and features the updated rolling gear Phoenix added to their mould version:
Indeed, the mould history of the Tu-154 is complicated since it was one of the moulds embroiled in the TucanoLine scandal, which meant two different versions of the same base mould have existed. See the following articles for more details:
In the below shot this Air Great Wall example is an Aeroclassics release dating from 2005:
This is an interesting and curious move by Yu Models as the Aeroclassics Tu-154, although having a superior number two engine and tail to the alternative moulds, has very old fashioned undercarriage. This gives the model's a rather nose high appearance and unlike on the later Phoenix Tu-154s, which got all new rolling gear, there has been little attempt to modify the mould's landing gear. The only possible change, and it is hard to see from the photos, is the usage of rubber tyres, which is suggested in one of the listings.
The other area of concern on the old Aeroclassics Tu-154 has always been that the nose is too rounded and not pointy enough.
Along with the characteristic lack of aerials, although new, the models have a curious pre-2010 appearance to them. The subject matter is designed to hit the Chinese market once again and the two livery choices for YU0001 and YU0002 are CAAC and China Southwest Airlines.
A CAAC Tu-154M has been made previously by Aeroclassics but is hard to find. Interestingly of the 10 Chinese Tu-154s made in 400 scale none have been China Southwest so this is a new livery for the type in the scale.
Both models come in attractive new boxes with what looks like historical text about both the aircraft and Tupolev on the back. I'm guessing that the 300 relates to the size of the production run?
This is an interesting development and the re-emergence of the Tu-154 opens up the door for more Tu-154s from Aeroclassics too (AK has confirmed there will be a small number). Even so, I'm not sure how much of a market there will be for models that lack cutting edge printing detail and are on a fairly ordinary casting.
If you're interested in getting either of these models they are available for purchase from Yu ModeLs store on taobao, which can be found here. I'm very tempted myself.
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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