jetBlue A320-232 N564JB Velocity Models VM0002 ‘Blueberries’ with special box art February 2015
Velocity Modelshave had more than their fair share of ups and downs in a very short space of time, but this isn’t about them. I’ve always had a little bit of a thing for jetBlue and while there is no way I would ever order from Velocity directly until their stability is assured, they do supply a tiny handful of retailers and I managed to get this model from one of them. I wanted to see if it was any better than the beautifully boxed but hideously discoloured Air Canada version reviewed on these pages previously.
The model cost considerably less than it would have from Velocity because of the weird and wonderful exchange rate situation (it passed through three currencies) coupled to the fact that the cost of shipping was drastically less than it was from the US directly.
For whatever reason this model code is VM0002 though it was released later over some production vagaries that don’t really matter. So the question is how good is it?
However, first of all that box art work, because it is excellent. A great poster image, summoning up surreal skies sits very well. It’s very neat and a major improvement over what many have done in the past and a positive experience when receiving your new model. There is also a printed side and model code showing the contents, though the colour on this is pretty poor. Compared to the box with a sticker AeroClassics normally give us its a million miles better though!
The aircraft itself is a 2003 vintage A320-232, named ‘Absolute Blue’. She has the IEA engines and that’s the big difference with the Air Canada model with its CFM’s. It’s my third jetBlue – I allow them a Trans-Atlantic service to RLSI in a tie up with Lufthansa – just about feasible though it is stretching things a little! I like flying on them when in the US (or Virgin America), so they are just about “OK” in the parameters I set for collecting!
The mould is standard AeroClassics and as such quite acceptable as it’s one of the best of its type out there though it doesn’t have any aerials. The general print detail is excellent, with flight deck and doors/windows all neatly printed. The jetBlue logo is as it should be and the print appears to be the correct colour.
Now unlike the horrible blue of the admittedly hard to replicate Air Canada, this is quite different. The colours look, to all intents and purposes, accurate – which makes me happy. Indeed overall the quality is first class, I’ve nothing to moan about (or nit-pick as critics of critics and my grandmother would call it), and to be honest it has a better finish and integrity that the Gemini A321 from late 2014.
Wings and Underbody
Push in wings give a much better finish and this is no exception. The level of paint and detail is very good and I have no moans about this models wings and underbody quality. As usual landing gear is AeroClassics “tyre on a spigot” system and frankly it ‘s the worst thing about this model – they just don’t look premium and they need an update. It’s time they moved on to tyres on wheels rather than these cheap alternatives that even 1:500 models often avoid these days.
Engines and pylons
The moulds on these are very good. The colour is excellent, but the pylon paint isn’t perfect. The silver paint on the intakes and fans is great – some manufacturers make this horribly bright silver, but these are a neat half-way house for the fan blades themselves, which actually look like a separate part – quite effective. The exhaust paint is good too, with a nice titanium colour used. Even the wording is printed neatly to be no cause for complaint. A great all-round effort.
Nose and tail detail
The nose is OK, minimal detail, the flight deck paint is excellent and at this size better for being simply applied. The blueberries tail is excellently done and works well.
And out of 10…
It’s a very good model. The landing gear is the downside, but in terms of accuracy, acceptability, overall quality, this has to score 95%. It’s way better all round than the Gemini A321 from 2014. A neat, decent model worth its price.