Before I begin, its been a while since the last review, but there simply haven’t been any new models until now…and I’ve got to tell you that I’m now away for a while and the next review is at the end of week commencing 5th May. However there’s plenty on its way! Including a hopefully special 1:200 as well.
As I’m sure many of you are aware, this is the first of the 1:400 models to be delivered in the BEA livery for British Airways Centenary. It always was a smart livery and the original airline that merged with British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) was, of course British European Airways (BEA).
So Big Bird, whose name this model is sold under, is in fact Aeroclassics. Neither of their names actually appears on the box, just the Aeroclassics code.
G-EUPJ had been in the standard livery prior to this and she was first registered in May 2000. This is likely to be her final paint scheme, as BA has indicated it won’t be replacing the A319’s as they expire, preferring the A320.
The BEA scheme in this guise was used between 1959 and 1968.
Originally fitted with 132 seats she was refitted in 2015 to have 143 of the new lighter weight thin seats. She’s powered by a pair of IAE V2522-A5’s.
One good thing about AC based A320 series is their moulds are excellent. the downside of course is the endless persistence on refusing to update them with aerials and domes, so this is never going to score at the top end of the models available.
Overall, this is one of the best paint and detail schemes I’ve ever seen on an AC/Big Bird model. Theres a lot of fine and accurate detail, and something about the paint that stands out, is it seems to be the correct lustre and has a really nice finish and look about it so often ignored by model makers.
A splendid set of highly detailed, wings including the famous red under wings and wing end fences, that all match with the red BEA square. They’re really nicely fitted too, with no gaps.
The detail is so fine you can even successfully read the DO NOT WALK wording with little effort.
one of the great don sides of AC based models is the cheapo landing gear with just black tyres on a spigot, rather than proper wheels. At least these seem a bit better quality than has usually been the case, but it’s still so early 2000’s rather than nearly 2020!
A marked improvement on the engines we’ve seen on previous AC models. The rims are neat, the fan colour accurate and the exhausts good. Not only that but the pylons are also excellent and properly detailed with neat paint.
A real highlight, this is brilliantly done, lots of window, small and technical detail that’s remarkable for its finesse. A real joy to see.
Quite a good fit, could be a little more seamless but its good enough, as are the excellent horizontal stabilisers.
Outstanding. I think it’s really rather excellent.
8.Scores and conclusions
- -4 for missing aerials
- -3 for tyres on spigots – detracts from overall accuracy
- -2 Its a minor issue but it’s visible, the way the vertical stabiliser isn’t a perfect fit
OVERALL SCORE: 91%
This is probably the best A320 series (it’s an A319) I have ever seen from AC. I have a couple of others – and compared to the super-simple Finnair Oneworld OH-LVD, which was reasonable, this is far better. If it only had aerials and better wheels this would rank up there with the Panda’s because it’s far better in every respect than the Gemini/JCW – I simply won’t buy those anymore they’re so bad. An extremely good job from Big Bird/AC – go on take the leap and bring us the aerials and real landing gear we all crave!