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Old 01-06-2021, 10:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2020: The 400 Scale Year In Review - Part 2

In the second part of my 2020 year in review I complete my round-up of the highs and lows for the remaining four major brands - JC Wings, NG Models, Panda and Phoenix. I also talk to what 2021 may hold in terms of competition:

https://www.yesterdaysairlines.com/m...-review-part-2

2020 Year In Review Part 2 by Richard Stretton, on Flickr
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Old 01-06-2021, 11:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2020: The 400 Scale Year In Review - Part 2

Once again, an interesting editorial.

Regarding your comments about Phoenix:
Fortunately for them it seems most collectors really are poorly informed or simply don't care about the quality of the models they buy. Even worse once again people keep buying this drek.
Sometimes it is the only option available (at the time). For instance, I bought the VA 747 Millennium Falcon, not knowing that JC Wings would release one soon after.

I think the JC Wings 'Dreams Take Flight' deserved an honourable mention in the 'High's. What an amazing print job. I think it or AV400 MRTT should have been model of the year

2020: The 400 Scale Year In Review - Part 2-787-dreams-take-flight-small.jpg

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Old 01-06-2021, 11:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2020: The 400 Scale Year In Review - Part 2

For me 2020 was my biggest year of collecting. Exactly 50 new models arrived in my collection, way up from 2019, mostly due to the pandemic and me being stuck at home.

While more detailed in Part 1, I agree Gemini Jets is showing lots of strengths and weaknesses. Love their new military additions and Interactive Series, though I’ve been against the latter. May have to get one though before I speak a true opinion. Broken models, yes, especially with North American narrowbody releases. Two models for me arrived broken in 2020. It’s a constant issue and I don’t know if it’ll ever be addressed, but I highly doubt it.

NG’s growth has been something we needed in my opinion. Their interaction with the community has been great, despite the large amounts of people requesting new releases. I requested a Frontier A321 and Delta A330-300 (I think) for them to do, and I think they’ll deliver on the Frontier soon. While the amount of requests they acknowledge is quite high, and some of which NG probably doesn’t do, I still like the interaction with their community.

Despite my differing opinions in certain areas, both parts were great reads for me.
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Old 01-07-2021, 12:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2020: The 400 Scale Year In Review - Part 2

I think the nice thing with Phoenix is they release most of their stuff on time, and you know what you're getting. Maybe their moulds aren't top of the line anymore, but they're mostly decent, and you know you're getting half-decent work all the way around with the exception of the engines that like to point upwards.
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Old 01-07-2021, 12:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2020: The 400 Scale Year In Review - Part 2

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Originally Posted by vellnueve View Post
I think the nice thing with Phoenix is they release most of their stuff on time, and you know what you're getting. Maybe their moulds aren't top of the line anymore, but they're mostly decent, and you know you're getting half-decent work all the way around with the exception of the engines that like to point upwards.
That is true but I feel lots of people don't know what they are getting. Average moulds, below par printing and often poor QC are the standard for Phoenix.
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Old 01-07-2021, 02:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2020: The 400 Scale Year In Review - Part 2

Excerpted from the second part of Richard's 2020 Year in Review:

The Expectation. Sometimes it seems NG have set the bar too high even for themselves. Some of the expectation I see from collectors for 100% quality all the time and 100% responsiveness is way, way over the top. They are judged more harshly than many other brands who put in a lot less effort. Collectors need to keep their perspective.

Perfect observation of a collector's expectations - we expect too much of Next Generation Models and it becomes a dog chasing its tail. And all the producers come up with good models now and again. Looking forward to 2021, Doug
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Old 01-07-2021, 03:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2020: The 400 Scale Year In Review - Part 2

Interesting observation Rich, that Aeroclassics cater mainly for an ageing group. This is a fair appraisal, as inevitably those who loved the 60s/70s/80s/90s scene, like me are aged in their 50s or older. But then again, disposable income is likely higher amongst this age-group. At least another 10-20 year for Aeroclassics to thrive producing airliners from this era, until we inevitably cop it (:-.............and they do diversify when necessary.

I'm an advid supporter of Aeroclassics, but have to acknowledge that NG Models are excellent too.

I occasionally pick up bits from the rest......... GJ, Panda, Phx, JC Wings, AV400.......all have produced a few goodies.

Interested to see what new moulds are produced in 2021.
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Old 01-07-2021, 07:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2020: The 400 Scale Year In Review - Part 2

Thanks for the enjoyable read Rich, and i agree largely with your assessment of the new model releases in 2021.

Looking back at my own I find myself purchasing mostly Aeroclassics models once again this year, as there are as you say few others regularly catering for the 1990's UK civil aviation scene. NG make up the bulk of the rest of my first hand purchases with their excellent L-1011 releases.

I do hope NG work out how to produce a polished belly TriStar, and that we see a more regular flow of the classics from them in 2021, and that Panda continue with the TU-134 releases, focusing on the Eastern Bloc operators of the 1980's and 90's.

Cheers,
Paul
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Old 01-08-2021, 12:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2020: The 400 Scale Year In Review - Part 2

where is the A320 component inserts for the Beluga available from?
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Old 01-08-2021, 03:46 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2020: The 400 Scale Year In Review - Part 2

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where is the A320 component inserts for the Beluga available from?
It’s still a prototype from JC. It’s not available yet
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Old 01-08-2021, 06:57 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Phoenix is the only manufacturer that releases the 747-400 on a regular basis and on time. Plus they do liveries no one else do. I guess people (not only collectors) just love the queen of the skies and they are ready to deal with the 'drag queen' of the skies from Phoenix.

And it seems livery is prior to mould and quality.
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Old 01-08-2021, 04:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2020: The 400 Scale Year In Review - Part 2

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Originally Posted by FlyingDog View Post
And it seems livery is prior to mould and quality.
For me I would say it's:
  1. Livery
  2. Color Correctness
  3. Nose shape/cockpit printing
  4. Mould accuracy overall

Not sure how exactly to define 'quality.'

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Originally Posted by FlyingDog View Post
the 'drag queen' of the skies from Phoenix.
now that's funny
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Old 01-08-2021, 06:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2020: The 400 Scale Year In Review - Part 2

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Originally Posted by dennypayne View Post
For me I would say it's:
  1. Livery
  2. Color Correctness
  3. Nose shape/cockpit printing
  4. Mould accuracy overall

Not sure how exactly to define 'quality.'
I agree. pretty much in the same order.
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Old 01-08-2021, 07:24 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2020: The 400 Scale Year In Review - Part 2

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Originally Posted by dennypayne View Post
For me I would say it's:
  1. Livery
  2. Color Correctness
  3. Nose shape/cockpit printing
  4. Mould accuracy overall

...
Question would be: what is considered a "correct" color? Even if the exact real deal color would be applied, you'd end up with a wrong looking color in many cases. Most of us only know the real deal from a distance, or even worse: from a picture.
So let's say the color should meet our expectations.

Priorities for me:
1. accurately shaped mould
2. accurately shaped mould
3. accurately shaped mould
4. attention to correctly shaped and scaled printed detail (cockpit, wing inspars, doors etc.)
5. titles, logos and all the rest of the expected candy coating printed in position
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Old 01-10-2021, 10:01 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2020: The 400 Scale Year In Review - Part 2

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Question would be: what is considered a "correct" color? Even if the exact real deal color would be applied, you'd end up with a wrong looking color in many cases. Most of us only know the real deal from a distance, or even worse: from a picture.
So let's say the color should meet our expectations.

Priorities for me:
1. accurately shaped mould
2. accurately shaped mould
3. accurately shaped mould
4. attention to correctly shaped and scaled printed detail (cockpit, wing inspars, doors etc.)
5. titles, logos and all the rest of the expected candy coating printed in position
Fair question, and I take your point that camera settings, lighting conditions, monitor settings, etc. etc. can all affect the look of colors, and that simply applying the exact shade while 'shrinking down' 400x is not going to produce the same look. I agree that judging from a picture (especially a single one) vs having the model in hand is not usually a good way to judge whether colors meet expectations.

That said...

It is generally accepted that the Aeroclassics A340 mould is one of the best out there, and the Gemini one of the worst. But would you really keep this Aeroclassics Olympic example on the left, versus the Sovereign (made by Gemini) on the right:



when the 1:1 looks like this, and never wore the clearly much darker blue that is on the Aeroclassics model?



I guess you could argue in this case that the AC is a fantasy model, but I couldn't get past that much of a color miss, no matter how good the mould is.
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Old 01-10-2021, 10:08 AM   #16 (permalink)
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The Gemini 340 looks fine. It’s not great but it’s not necessarily bad, just not as good.
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Old 01-10-2021, 10:51 AM   #17 (permalink)
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The Gemini 340 looks fine. It’s not great but it’s not necessarily bad, just not as good.
The cockpit area is....pretty bad I replaced as many as I could with the AC. Thankfully in this case it's mostly hidden by the blue cheatline.
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Kenya Airways 737-800 New colors
Alrosa Tu-154 latest colors / Tu-134 old colors

Flown on: A221/300/310/319/320/321/332/333/343/380 AN24/28/38/148 ATR42/72 B190
B717/722/732/3/4/5/7/8/9 B741/744/752/753/762/763/764/772/773/788/789 C206/208/402
CR1/2/7/9 D8S D93/4/5 DHC2/3T/7/8-200/Q400 Do228/328J E110/120/135/140/145/170/175/190
F50/100 JS31 L10/15 L410 MD11/82/83/87/88/90 RJ85 S340 SSJ100 Tu134/154 Yak42
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Old 01-10-2021, 10:55 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dennypayne View Post
Fair question, and I take your point that camera settings, lighting conditions, monitor settings, etc. etc. can all affect the look of colors, and that simply applying the exact shade while 'shrinking down' 400x is not going to produce the same look. I agree that judging from a picture (especially a single one) vs having the model in hand is not usually a good way to judge whether colors meet expectations.

That said...

It is generally accepted that the Aeroclassics A340 mould is one of the best out there, and the Gemini one of the worst. But would you really keep this Aeroclassics Olympic example on the left, versus the Sovereign (made by Gemini) on the right:



when the 1:1 looks like this, and never wore the clearly much darker blue that is on the Aeroclassics model?



I guess you could argue in this case that the AC is a fantasy model, but I couldn't get past that much of a color miss, no matter how good the mould is.
I should be receiving that Sovereign Olympic A340 shortly, excited!
Funny how it got bought up.
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Old 01-10-2021, 10:59 AM   #19 (permalink)
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[/QUOTE] It is generally accepted that the Aeroclassics A340 mould is one of the best out there, and the Gemini one of the worst. But would you really keep this Aeroclassics Olympic example on the left, versus the Sovereign (made by Gemini) on the right:[/QUOTE]

We subconsciously allow ourselves to be influenced by other opinions what the best mould is, what the correct colour is. Some people say they're not influenced by online reviews and other opinions but I believe that's wrong. A lot of collectors would pass that gemini A340 because of the strong online opinion about this mould.
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Old 01-10-2021, 11:03 AM   #20 (permalink)
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We subconsciously allow ourselves to be influenced by other opinions what the best mould is, what the correct colour is. Some people say they're not influenced by online reviews and other opinions but I believe that's wrong. A lot of collectors would pass that gemini A340 because of the strong online opinion about this mould.
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Old 01-10-2021, 11:32 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mark4323 View Post

I think the JC Wings 'Dreams Take Flight' deserved an honourable mention in the 'High's. What an amazing print job. I think it or AV400 MRTT should have been model of the year

Attachment 353690
Looks amazing indeed. Such a shame i had 2 preorders for it get cancelled and now all there is left are a handful of heavily inflated ones on ebay........
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Old 01-10-2021, 12:04 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2020: The 400 Scale Year In Review - Part 2

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We subconsciously allow ourselves to be influenced by other opinions what the best mould is,
'Subconscious' is exactly that - you are unaware of how it operates, and unable to control it. Don't try to figure it out... Doug
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Old 01-10-2021, 04:06 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2020: The 400 Scale Year In Review - Part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by vellnueve View Post
I think the nice thing with Phoenix is they release most of their stuff on time, and you know what you're getting. Maybe their moulds aren't top of the line anymore, but they're mostly decent, and you know you're getting half-decent work all the way around with the exception of the engines that like to point upwards.
The Gemini A340 is a product of its time and not offensively bad. There are degrees of badness. This is a good example Denny buy something of an outlier. I would usually go for the mould first but if the printing or colour is shocking then I concur it makes no sense to go with the mould.

There is also a difference between the decision when looking to replace an existing release from the past or when comparing two new releases of the same aircraft.
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Old 01-10-2021, 06:03 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dennypayne View Post
Fair question, and I take your point that camera settings, lighting conditions, monitor settings, etc. etc. can all affect the look of colors, and that simply applying the exact shade while 'shrinking down' 400x is not going to produce the same look. I agree that judging from a picture (especially a single one) vs having the model in hand is not usually a good way to judge whether colors meet expectations.

That said...

It is generally accepted that the Aeroclassics A340 mould is one of the best out there, and the Gemini one of the worst. But would you really keep this Aeroclassics Olympic example on the left, versus the Sovereign (made by Gemini) on the right:



when the 1:1 looks like this, and never wore the clearly much darker blue that is on the Aeroclassics model?



I guess you could argue in this case that the AC is a fantasy model, but I couldn't get past that much of a color miss, no matter how good the mould is.

The answer isn't that simple here. My interest goes towards 1950 to 1980 subjects and a few obscure ones, so the 340 is a no deal no matter what. I usually get one of each mould when I like a mould. The livery then is secondary - I do have the AC TAP delivery 343.


But you've selected a great example here. Color expectations...
So what if I really really would like the OA 343?
Mouldwise it would be the AC. But we all know Aeroclassics isn't really great in having "correct" colors.
I'd expect the 343's blue to match my ACs 732 "rainbow" cs tail or ACs 737-300 SX-BLA cause they should.

And even then the AC release would fail as it - like so many others as well - simply has the cheatline/windowline printed too high. An absolute no deal.

I might even end up with the Souvereign you posted but honestly don't know nothing about the mould nor have I ever seen it up closer.


Interstingly I'm not that much interested in anything Olympic even though I love the country, don't know how often I've been there or how many OA airframes I've seen there in the past 30 years.
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Old 01-13-2021, 03:01 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Looks like the JC Thai 744 you mentioned in your post is going to be more widely available shortly.
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Old 01-13-2021, 03:02 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Looks like the JC Thai 744 you mentioned in your post is going to be more widely available shortly.
This is correct - I have already been offered some for sale and placed orders
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