The aircraft is a model of a 787-8FZ leased from ILFC 29 June 2013 by Norwegian and then transferred to an Irish based company AOC Norwegian Long Haul, to allow for the use of “cheap” foreign pilots and crew while utilising the European Union “Open Skies” treaty with the US. This makes way for Norwegian Long Haul, an LCC, to start services to San Francisco (using Oakland) and Orlando.
It has a distinctive, oddly phallic livery, based on the colours of the Norwegian national flag with the distinct differential for each aircraft being that they have on the tail a graphic of a Norwegian who made a contribution to the country in one way or another, this one is Sonja Heine an Olympic sportswoman.
Even the packaging is good and completely model-appropriate, something Phoenix can be very hit and miss over.
1) Main Fuselage
The white base colour is easy enough and the red of the forward section seems to be accurate. The finish to the blue and red with the white line is very neat indeed, a difficult detail to ensure is spot on. The graphics and other details have been applied with some finesse and there is no overprint or sloppy paint. There is very tiny wobble on the paint line of the port rear door, but that is splitting hairs it really is, you can’t see it without blowing the image up. The three upper aerials and one lower aft are all mounted well – not a strong point on some of the older models with this feature.
These are RR Trent-1000’s and they look very good indeed. Everything looks realistic and acceptable, while they aren’t the see through HBE’s of the Witty models, the fans are neat, excellently painted and problem free. The nacelles and pylons are also very good and not in the least bit model like – something Gemini has failed to get right in the past out of cheapness and Phoenix have avoided. I’m fast loving this model.
3) Landing Gear
Painted metal with detailed struts and hydraulics, fully rolling wheels but the bogies sadly don’t tilt. Spot on. No cheap plastic here.
4) Tail fin and stabilisers
The tail is fine, fixed and assembled as it should be. The graphic of Sonja Heine is outstanding for this scale and looks very good. Even the http://www.norwegian.com in white in the blue band is remarkably good and legible.
5) Wings and underbody
Phoenix use the push in wings which are painted top and bottom, spot on and problem free. Even the registration under the starboard wing is accurate. Not vast amounts of underbody detail but the norwegian.com graphic is excellent. The hole for a stand fits the standard Gemini chrome types.
The base colour is white so no issues. The comparison to the real thing is flawless. All of the references for the red, blues, silver and white match as they should. This is one outstandingly good model.
7) Overall score – we start at 10
And we stay there. Flawless, Gemini-humiliating in its brilliance, they must so wish they could make models this good! If it had the HBE see through like Witty, it would be as good as anything they have done of late. Really excellent, very pleased and it looks wonderfully different amongst the others. Time for a 737 in the same livery please!
Additional links: Norwegian 737-800’s by Aeroclassics