It looks as though the continued worldwide economic and shipping struggles will continue to impact ADI at the end of 2021. This will be the third and fourth month in a row of combined monthly releases. The good news though is that there are a handful of nice looking options.
The best news of all is that both of the superb JC Wings 777 and 787 moulds appear to be here to stay. Two 'flaps-up, flaps-down' options are available this month and both will be popular provided an absence of production issues.
Aeroclassics continues its trend of early month announcements in October. What with the 10th month of the year starting on a Friday, it made sense to wait until the 8th to go live. I'm sure this decision was made easier by the many delays impacting all imported goods. I also suspect with this lighter list of models Aeroclassics is awaiting the arrival of a variety of finished product.
If there is any benefit, the slimmer release list will make choices easier for collectors. This month sees eight 1/400 scale models on the brochure, but an additional BA A319, G-EUPZ is listed on Aeroclassics direct. The other selections include a Max8 and a Max9, two 767-200s, two DC-10s, an A320, and a TU-154.
Altogether, there are a total of seven countries represented from four different continents. Seven different moulds are here to choose from. With the usual variety, there's plenty to take a look at.
Phoenix continues to stumble along rather aimlessly in 2021. It has been a long time since I have deliberately ordered or preordered one of their models. It has been well discussed and documented by collectors the status of the most commonly used moulds. Most, if not all are now reaching obsolescence. Still, it couldn't hurt to keep an eye out for them. Here's what's on tap for July 2021.
After a busy first quarter, Gemini Jets have slowed down substantially. By the time this month's announcements materialize and reach store shelves the better part of two months will have past. This means for non-MACs collectors, we get a scant 7 models. If each one turns out to boast improvements in quality however, you won't hear me complaining. Let's see what's in store for May & June 2021.
With the delay from last month, I'm still digesting what Aeroclassics released in April, but May's offerings are already on the market and have been for about five days now.
This month is a fair testament to the utter disorganization that has been Aeroclassics the past few months. Whether it's intentional or not, the manner in which models have been put on the market has been chaotic. For example, there were about five models not on the flier that were momentarily available for purchase. Without any warning, they were there and then gone much to the dismay of many collectors.
While I'm sure there are some very happy folks out there, there are just as many that are lamenting the lack of opportunity to even think about what to buy. Still, the usual diversity is something to be recognized. For more, read on.
In May, NG Models have slowed their pace to a certain extent. Nine announced models for the month is a little below average for NG, but considering two for the month have been delayed, that leaves a rather slim group of seven. If you're similar to me however, this creates a nice rest from a blockbuster year for NG Models. For a breakdown of this month's releases, continue on.
March should have been a banner month for Gemini. Long awaited models like the Delta CRJ-900 and the Retro Southwest. But plagued with production issues and aging mould, Gemini was burdened with a PR nightmare.
Gemini seems to be attempting to pivot, but they are doing so at a snails pace. This month once again brings an alluring selection, but can ADI deliver on big promises? This month, 11 new models come online. For more, read on.
Not to be outdone by itself, NG Models seems eager to show its brawn once again. NG models have announced by my count 16 new models for the month of April. The best part is that two brand new moulds will be used to allow NG full autonomy in the 737NG market. This will enable for the production of many long sought after models and the rerelease of many others.
There's a ton to unpack this month and due to the sheer volume of this release, my review will be a bit more brief on each specific release. For my thoughts on the April releases read on.
March brings Gemini's most exciting lineup of the year thus far and perhaps, the most exciting batch of models in over a year for the American based brand. 7 of the 9 models being released this month are American registrations so it's not that Gemini have done well in the diversity department. It's more about a few models in particular that are sure to be insanely popular.
NG Models took a long hiatus for the Chinese New Year, but are back with their February-March releases. While only using essentially four moulds this month, there are a total of eight variants. There are also aircraft from six different countries from five different global regions. No one except Aeroclassics has been doing more in terms of diversity and selection.
As models hit store shelves this week, I'm taking a in depth look at what's new. To see my take on all eleven, 1/400 models...
March 12th was the day that a fresh new batch of Aeroclassics models became available for immediate shipment. This continues the trend of Aeroclassics models being largely unknown until they are on the market for sale.
This is a method that most collectors have well adapted to however it forces some quickness and panicked buying that doesn't allow for studying before models are available motivated by short run numbers and sporadic availability at a variety of retailers.
This month, minus the single 1/200 Pan American release, Aeroclassics brings us eight models on four different moulds. There are just as many countries represented as there are models (8), and Airbus, Boeing, Douglas, and Tupolev are all represented. Every month is an illuminating reminder of the strength of Aeroclassics' portfolio.
Aeroclassics roll into February 2021 about a week later than usual. Typically they announce releases the first Friday of the month here in the U.S. but pushed back a week. The reason for that largely is unknown but in the work of 1/400 diecast, a week late is barely late at all.
For February, AC returns with once again, a very generous bunch of models. This month 11 models were released on 7 moulds. Most of the moulds from last month have returned. That includes the TU-154, the DC-8, the DC-4, the 727-100 and the A310. New mould this month include the A321neo (2x) and the DC-7.
From a geographical standpoint, 9 different countries from 6 different regions once again means that there is something here for every collector to at least consider. Not to mention there is also variety in manufacturer and time period, from the most modern to some of the earliest commercial aircraft. For my full take on things...
I'm sure there are still those out there that have no love or interest for NG Models. They were truly a juggernaut in 1/400 scale model airlines in 2020 and they made it quite clear they intend to continue their impressive foray in 2021.
NG Models brought in the new year with a bevy of models. 9 aircraft types on 7 different moulds and a total of 15 different registrations. It's amazing to see the NG catalogue develop before our very eyes.
Not only has the quantity of offerings been generous but so has been the regional selections made available. Collectors specializing in aircraft from China, Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Mexico, Qatar, and the Philippines all have something to pay attention to. To see all HG has to offer in January 2021...
Gemini's second wave of 2021 is now beginning to arrive at retailers. There isn't very much innovation this month however a safe set of releases to targeted collectors ensures some average sales.
This month Gemini Jets continues to get millage from its A380 mould counting out 2 of the 10 releases. They also have doubled up on their 737NG with an El AL and a TUI. Still they double up once more on the 787-9 Dreamliner with a model representing Aeromexico and United Airlines. It's easy to see what Gemini are up to and it's certainly not innovation, but there are a few lookers this month as well.
As January comes to a close model retailers are taking delivery of Gemini Jets' January 2021 offerings. This month Gemini puts an emphasis on wide bodies with 6 of 7 commercial releases being of this variety. A loan DHL 737-800F is the only medium body aircraft. 1/400 scale also gets a strong military emphasis this month as three military models, all from the United States are available to MACs collectors. The most interesting is the new B-1 mould.
Unfortunately, this is a very limited set of releases. If you're a collector from Europe or the U.S. there are some good offerings, but minus the Garuda A330, there isn't much here that excites me personally. For my full take...