This month I picked up the Malian 727-100 and the Sudanese A310. Both of these aircraft possess some vibrant colors and have gotten me feeling a bit better about Aeroclassics since last month.
Sudan Airways A310:
As I mentioned in the review of March's Aeroclassics release, this aircraft (MSN 437) was actually already made in 1/400. In fact, it was Aeroclassics who made it, and it was released a few months back in January as Sabena A310 reg. OO-SCC. The aircraft was initially sold to Sabena in 1987 but changed hands a variety of times through early part of the 00's. It finally arrived in the Sudan Airlines when it was leased from AMC Aviation after they acquired it from get this, Air Mali.
Air Mali 727-100:
More and more often, I've seen some really unnecessary gaps where the Aeroclassics 727-100 cradle mould comes together. There was one nearly big enough to fit a toothpick through on my ATA from last month. This month's 727-100 addition still displays those same mould deficiencies to a lesser extent based on slightly less careless assembly. I wonder how much longer the 727-100 mould that Aeroclassics is using will be serviceable.
The usual conundrum though is that Aeroclassics is the only option in 1/400 scale for almost anything that isn't two engined or 'eruo-white.' So while there is only one choice of 727-100 currently, it is beyond fortunate to have an option in production at all, let alone the creation of such a rare and unlikely subject as the Air Mali 727-100C. Like many African national airlines formed in the 1960's and 70's Air Mali was devised by the Malian government in an effort to connect many smaller West African cities that have never had any real domestic or international service at all. Air Mali was initially supported by Aeroflot and several of their first aircraft, many being turbo-propliners, were Russian made. As the airline expanded, it remained largely profitless on domestic routes, but the international connections were lucrative and allowed Air Mali to acquire jet powered aircraft. One of which is the this 727-100C. It was commonly used to connect Mali with Europe as well as major hubs in Africa. Air Mali however would go on to experience a number of accidents from which it would never recover and it ended all operations in 1988.
Without going into too much detail and droning on about the obvious, I simply say, all things considered, I'm extremely pleased with this model. There are of course areas that can be picked on, but the highlights for me are the areas of greatest importance. The colors and placements of the cheat lines, the size and font of the titles and the quality of the Air Mali logo and flag details are beyond quality. There are very few quality photographs of the 1/1 version of this aircraft. To see what AC has accomplished here is impressive. The other highlight is the way the golden chatline tapers down to the base of the nose of the plane as it passes the flight deck. Superb. I'll let my subpar photography do the rest of the talking.
This particular aircraft was built and sold to World Airways in 1967. It served with them, and others before being leases and then sold to Air Mali in 1971-74. This aircraft MSN 19509 was finally sold to Fedex in 1988 and was fortunately selected/donated to join the Kansas Aviation Museum in Wichita.^
Monthly releases on old moulds keeps the love-hate relationship alive. I'm more than excited about my two new additions this month. While there are still obvious flaws, both models represent the best part about the hobby, the wealth of history that they bring with them. This was in many ways a bounce back month for Aeroclassics in my book and as usual, I can't wait to see what next month brings.
As we complete reviews of the diecast products that make it into the collection, a summary and quick link will be shared here. Each review is the sole opinion of Diecast Curio and is in no way affiliated with any company or product.