The buying experience for many this month was swift again. With fewer choices than in months past and with some presumably small runs, many models didn't stay listed for more than a few days. Quick apparent sellouts were both of the Tu-154s, all three of the 727-100s and the A310s. All of which are currently sold out on Aeroclassics Direct, and many of us are just hoping that the site reloads with a few more examples or many of these.
A Pair of TU-154s:
For the third straight month, Aeroclassics have put a quarter of their effort into the TU-154. These two Tupolevs are version's 5 and 6 since Yu Models have refurbished the nearly 20 year old mould, AC seems firmly determined to, in the same vein as it's 727-100 mould, get all it can. Point being, there's obviously room to improve this mould and bring it up to 2021's standards. Still, it's good to have the Russian metal available monthly, and AC seemed to have really hit the sweet spot with the Hungarian, Malev Tu-154. HA-LCE was delivered to Malev in 1973 and served with the airline until retirement in 1995. The aircraft stayed long enough to reach the end of it's career in Malev's final livery. Its final days we spent on the backfields of Budapest, slowly parted out over time and left to the on site fire brigade for trainings.* Next up is the Aeroflot Tu-154. There are seldom few airliners that better represent the American perception of Russian aviation than this aircraft. There is a relatively smalll amount of information available on this articular frame. It is quite clearly airframe 885.** but it was soon after a service with Aeroflot shifted to Vladivostok
Another mould that continues to get a good workout if the AC A310 mould. This is once again, another work horse for AC, but as with almost all of their moulds, it is showing its age. There's nothing upfront that's wrong with the casting. In fact it is easily the best A310 in 1/400 scale, but it is slightly chunky. The gear and engine components are not from this decade, and it's harder these days to justify the price paid for a model without these modifications. But the question has to be asked, who else is making A310's these days, and further, who is making ones from Sudan? I have taken a real interest if African retro jets the past few years and AC has been pumping them out quicker than I can make enough money to buy them. In fact, this model registered ST-AST will be a lock for me this month and I can't wait to get it in hand. This is actually an airframe that was made up recently (January) by AC but in its original Sabena colors.*** One other detail of note, I'm a little surprised AC didn't include the red 'www.flysudanair.com' titles, but I'm happy they didn't as the scheme looks much cleaner without them. Next up, is the Aerolinas Argentinas A310 carrying the scheme commonly worn during the 90's. This aircraft would eventually be transferred to Aeroflot. As there seems to be a continuing and growing demand for classic South American airliners, I'm sure this will be a very popular release.
A Triple set of Tri-jets:
If you can stomach some major wing gaps on an old mould and some occasionally shoddy paintwork, A is happy to quench your thirst for retro 727-100s. I don't have an exact count on how many 727-100's we've seen since the return of the mould, but in 2021, these are numbers 5, 6, and 7. I have no doubt that that trend will continue as many of these appear to be small run productions that are bought up extremely quickly. As you may have guessed, the one here that is a lock for me is the Air Mali. There isn't much information on this aircraft of this airline, so it presents a good research challenge that I look forward to. The other jets representing the northern hemisphere are the Dan Air, and the combi, Pacific Western. Both aircraft will be big gap fillers for fleet builders.
Quad Engined Springbok:
A relative few collectors look forward to, and gobble up classic prop-liners. If my own resources were infinite, this would be an instant grab. South African is one of my top ten favorite Airlines and this classic scheme on this classic DC-7 looks fantastic. I'm currently in a gamble with time, that I'll be able to get the 'spending money' together to lock this prop down. Until then I'll have to sit, wait, and impulsively check online stock piles of this model just hoping to one day get one .
Once again, another month, and there's so much to choose from. If you collect model aircraft and care at all about what you buy, or have the slightest idea about what you're doing, then you will truly appreciate March's releases. I was bitten a bit last month by lazy detailing and worse, bad quality control having issues with two of my four monthly selections. I'm hoping the two models that come in this month will be better. With word from Andrew Kline that there will be April releases without interruption from the Chinese New Year, I'll be busting my butt to clear up shelf space (and cash) for whatever comes next. One thing is for sure as I write this, I can't wait for next month and I appreciate the thrill of the speculation that no one does better than Aeroclassics.
This page will be updated to rank and discuss monthly releases from the 1/400 model aircraft industry as well as other hobby news and info.