Here we get a closer look at the Zvezda offering of the Airbus A321 ceo in 1/144th scale.


This introduction is as provided by Zvezda:

The A321 ceo (current engine option), is a most efficient single aisle jet liner. As the longest fuselage member of Airbus family that is the best selling single aisle A320 family member, the A321 cabin offers passengers even more space. Able to comfortably seat anything from a typical 170-200 passengers in a standard two class cabin, and up to 220 travellers in a more high density layout, the A321- with a wider cabin than any of its competitors - continues to define the meaning of single isle comfort in operations around the globe. It is equipped with either CFM56 or IAE V2500 engines. 


This offering from Zvezda arrives in a robust cardboard tray, with a flip top lid secured by wings. Further protection is then provided via an end opening card container, with artwork on the front and photographs of the finished model on the rear. Inside is a loose instruction sheet and painting guide, there is a loose stand for the model, and the parts for the kit are packed in two plastic bags with clear parts and decal sheet in a Ziploc plastic bag. An examination of the contents reveals no areas of concern, with good to fair access to all parts and cleanly moulded parts. 

Looking at the interior of the model, a reasonable representation of the cockpit is provided, but no cabin interior is provided. I appreciate that Zvezda has provided glazing for the passenger window apertures, Zvezda has also advised the modeller that a nose weight is required if going to be assembled on its undercarriage and clearly states the amount of weight needed. The very front access door has been provided as a separate part, so it can be shown open and provides a view into a portion of the cockpit area.

The wings of this release are provided with a full span under portion of the wing, to which you add two upper services. The leading edge of the wings are provided with alternate parts, depending on how you wish to present the finished model, by this I mean the leading edge of the wing extended or not. The raised portion at the end of the wing is well represented and serves the purpose of preventing wind turbulence at the wing tips. And I have also been advised by a pilot that they help to keep the aircraft stable in level flight, and so increasing fuel efficiency. 

The two engine nacelles are provided with a good level of detail, at the jet exhaust with good cone and flare detail provided. The intake side of the engine has a fair representation of the first set or air compressors. The detail between these two areas is shaped but does not provide a lot in the way of detail. The guts of the engine are provided moulded attached to the pylon. The shroud for the engines are then applied in two parts, and so create a very robust construction. The rear flight controls on the wings, have also been provided as alternate parts, depending on the orientation in which you intend to finish the model. As such, finishing the plane in a climbing setting would in my opinion look the most visually appealing. 

With most airline models being provided in 1/144th scale, I have always found the under carriage element to be visually blocky. In this release Zvezda has done a reasonable job of providing an under carriage with fair appearance, but obviously detail is simplified to a degree and I feel that the size of the struts may be larger to support the model. The wheels themselves are quite well replicated, but not weighted. I suspect this particular aspects of the model will not apply to too many modellers. As the generic display stand provided by Zvezda has very nice contours to it, and I feel provides the best way to present the finished model, and allows the flight control surfaces to be shown at their most interesting. 

The finishing option provided for the model is Condor Airlines, which is a German charter airline started in 1955 and up until recently was owned by Thomas Cook. With the demise of Thomas Cook, the company is owned by a Polish aviation group, and as best as I can tell still flies under the Condor Airlines Logo. The decals for the model are a little on the heavy side, but I believe with the chemicals used today to make decals lay down, they will be perfectly acceptable. One thing I would say, is that Zvezda do a very good job of providing silver decals and which are the best that I have seen.


As I have said previously airliners do not hold great appeal to me, but the offerings from Zvezda are such that they do garner my interest, which must say something for the modeller who finds airline kits particularly appealing. The detail and finish can be achieved is of a high quality and realism. I am not a fan of the undercarriage, but the great lines of the provided stand means that this does not matter and so I am very pleased with what this model offers.



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