I wondered whether to call this an A220-300 because of course the box says it’s a CSeries, but time in aviation world moves fast and one has outpaced the other. I was hoping this would also be the review for the Qantas 789 – but it’s not here until Friday with the Virgin Atlantic A35K!
Since the airBaltic review I’ve actually been on an A220-100 with Swiss, which was an interesting experience; overall I liked it, but the vibration – somebody sort out the vibration! Read the review here: Swiss A220-100 flight review
So far SWISS have 15 A223’s in service with another due soon along with 8 A221’s and two more this year (2018). HB-JCB was delivered in June 2017, only the 11th customer aircraft to be delivered.
The first thing of course is how much bigger the -300 is compared to the -100. In effect, it’s the equal to the entire nose section – cockpit windows forward are extra length.
The mould is definitely a tiny bit different to the CS100 Herpa produced in 2016 and 2017. The nose seems more accurate – it’s the smallest change but it compares far better, looking a fraction steeper and longer, which was the main issue with the CS100, though you’d be hard pressed to see it unless you spent an age looking at it.
It has three aerials on the roof, all superbly done, as well as one underneath below the main cargo door.
In terms of detail print, lets start at the back-end and work forward. The technical details are all exceptionally good, especially when it comes to the density and thickness of the blacks at the base of doors and tops/bottoms of cargo hatches. Even the grey colour of the tops of the doors has been carefully reproduced. Passenger door detail is exemplary, as are roof markings and the logo.
However(!), for reasons that escape logic, the red roof technical lettering in front of the rear and behind the forward aerials, is missing. It appears on the -100 and the airBaltic -300, so a poor oversight.
The mould is outstanding. Inserted into the fuselage, it fits neatly, but with almost a 1mm gap at the rear edge where it meets. This often happens when smaller moulds are stretched – the Phoenix 787-10 suffers the same issue.
Oddly enough, the thing about the wing assembly is, it looks on the real thing more like a cradle, with a clearly visible wing root, that strangely doesn’t seem quite as obvious on the model. The wing assembly on the -100 is better, tighter and more appropriate somehow.
The paint quality is excellent, white with lots of very visible detail, as it should be. What is wrong, is the silver leading edges – they aren’t silver on the real thing, more a composite grey. I find this sort of lack of accuracy annoying and model manufacturers should stop presuming and do some research – modern wings rarely use aluminium alloy mixes on leading edges, and these aren’t. So why are they silver?
Herpa produced the Air Baltic -300 model which was in fairness quite good except for the hideous hob-nail boots it had as landing gear. This is no different. Side-on they look perfectly OK, from anywhere else the nose gear is just far too thick. The nose gear especially is a sin a renowned model maker like Herpa should be ashamed of.
Much improved over the airBaltic version, better rim paint on the intakes, but poor at the sides, good coloured fans, but devoid of any other detail at all, and the exhausts are far too silver.
As good as any other type of model these days, lots of small detail, very neat. It’s just that nose gear – I mean please!
APU paint is lacking in detail and quality of paint, looks like someone just blobbed a drop of silver on the tail. The rest is neat, well assembled and printed.
8.Score and conclusions
- -10 for the landing gear – horrible and cheap
- -2 for the engine pylon lower colour – still missing
- -4 for the leading edge wing colour – still too bright
- -1 for missing a detail on the rear starboard quarter – still missing
- -2 for the engine exhaust colour fail – still wrong
- -1 for the colour fail with APU – still wrong
- -2 for the cockpit windows lack of depth – same as before
- -2 missing roof technical detail
26/50 for accuracy
- -5 for the quality of the also inaccurate landing gear – remains unchanged
- -2 for the not quite fully fitted wings in the too-big gap – still present
43/50 for quality
Overall score 69%
Despite having the moulds, nobody else seems in a rush to produce any of these and we have little choice. JCW seem to have gone for the -100 version and most of the orders are for the -300. Phoenix haven’t even bothered to produce one. So this is for now at least, all we’re going to get.
Could it be better? Of course it could. The crappy landing gear is awful, but it’s not enough to stop me buying these from Herpa. Price isn’t too bad, and I’d rather have these than nothing at all, despite their flaws.