What’s this? Decent pre-painted models?

Following my recent purchase of the 2nd Edition of AirWar: C21, I have been  looking for some suitable models to game with.

Whilst I’m a big fan of the 1/600th scale aircraft from Tumbling Dice – I own quite a few US Jets and MiGs for Vietnam – (and the new modern jets are very nice) I wanted something with a little more visual impact. I had a look at the 1/300th scale jets from Scotia-Grendel at Hammerhead, and they were still not quite what I was looking for.

The aircraft used in the AirWar rules pictures look very nice, and whilst I was scanning through eBay I came across something similar – though maybe not quite the same – and these are 1/144th modern jets from the JWings range.

These are a set of pre-painted plastic models, which require some assembly (typically the tail-planes, hard-points and weaponry/extra fuel tanks need attaching) but actually look pretty nice.


The above example is an F14-Tomcat.

Whilst the paint job is nothing exceptional, it certainly beats the other pre-paints that I’ve seen from Revell before (their Star Wars and 1/100th Jets ranges) and it’s certainly good enough to game with.

The other thing that’s difficult to beat is the price. These come in at about £4.50 ($9.00) a plane – and that includes shipping from Hong Kong! QQmodels is also an excellent seller to do business with, and I’ve received all my purchases (yes, I’ve made several) with 3 or 4 days.

In comparison, I’ve bought some Academy, Revell and Minicraft 1/144th scale aircraft kits in the last few days, just to fill some gaps in the range, and I’ve paid £1.00 – £3.00 plus postage for these – and I’ve still got to assemble and paint them!

Two slight down points though.

Firstly, the scale. Though the entire range is advertised as 1/144th, it’s not entirely true across the range. Whilst the larger fighters (like the Tomcat above) are probably 1/144th, the rest of the range are more ‘box scale’ – which means that they are designed to fit the packaging, rather than exactly to scale. This means that the Hornet is the same size as the Tomcat, despite being a smaller aircraft in real life. This is especially apparent if you put the JWings aircraft next to a 1/144th model kit. My JWings Hornet is about 2cm longer than an Academy 1/144th Mig-29 Fulcrum, which can’t be right.

Whilst this is slightly troubling, and possibly even a show-stopper for the purist, when playing on the table I can’t see it being a huge problem.

Secondly, the range. They have just released their 3rd range of 12 aircraft for JWings, which focuses on the Vietnam Air War. The previous 2 ranges focus on more modern jets, but tend to be US focused, with F-14s, F-15s, F-18s and F-4s dominating the range. Other aircraft include the MiG-27, MiG-37 and Dassault Rafaele. There are 2-3 variants of all these aircraft, as they have different paint jobs (being pre-painted).

The lack of Russian kits especially is a slight problem. As I mentioned, I’m getting around this by buying some 1/144th plastic kits, but this is not a perfect solution.

However, as something that is cheap, quick and easy to get on the table, JWings certainly hits the spot.

1 Comment on What’s this? Decent pre-painted models?

  1. Scale is an issue with the diecast/plastic ones that come out from time to time. I’ve been collecting a number of the WW2 aircraft as well as the WW1 pieces that are mostly Japanese origin but probably made in Korea or Taiwan or even mainland China. Even the Nexus group which produces Wings of War stuff has them made in China.

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