The De Agostini JAL Collection
I have written multiple times concerning the JAL Collection of magazines published by De Agostini in Japan, each of which comes with its own diecast 400 scale airliner model. I have also written about a new 400 scale brand known as Jet Hut that was initially introduced to me in isolation but which quickly became linked to the JAL Collection magazine run purportedly as the manufacturers of the models issued with the magazines.
This page is designed to consolidate my writings on both topics and act as a launch pad to the material I have published about each. Since I first published on these topics in April 2021 there has been almost no new news on the topic and I am very uncertain whether Jet Hut will ever see the light of day in the way I was told they would - i.e. as a new lower quality 400 scale model brand. So far my e-mails to Jet Hut have met with silence, although this could be due to a variety of reasons from a lack of English to Covid or Chinese government related issues with production.
Issue 1 of the JAL Collection series was published in September 2019 and featured the Boeing 787. As well as the model each fortnightly issue of the magazine comes with information about the aircraft in service with JAL or its subsidiaries and I believe also a cutaway drawing.
The magazines are hard to source outside of Japan and very expensive (as are most things in Japan). I am personally more interested in the models anyway and I have found that on the Chinese site taobao there are various stores selling these models usually unbranded and not connected with the JAL Collection. They are typically very cheap - around 100 Rmb or less.
There has been quite an impressive range of models made so far and to date 45 issues have been made. Annoyingly many of the models cannot be found on taobao, often the more interesting ones.
Below is a list of the models and issues of the magazine. Issues featuring smaller aircraft types usually come with two models rather than one.
It is the models that I have been most interested in - mainly due to their potential if Jet Hut ever gets off the ground but also because some of them look rather decent and cover interesting subjects. What is impressive is the range of aircraft types that have been produced (29 so far) all of which have necessitated new moulds. Even with relatively limited details this must be rather costly.
In many ways the JAL Collection moulds are quite similar to pre-2010 standard 400 scale moulds. Typically they lack modern mould features in 400 scale. The moulds are of variable quality but standard features or lack of would be:
Some of the moulds are surprisingly decent. I have managed to acquire a good sample of the moulds and have been gradually working my way through what has been made with quick mould reviews and Youtube videos. For the selection of written and video reviews covering these models click the following button: