Lufthansa A321-231 D-AISX Phoenix 1:400 Nov 2013 Release

The real thing a couple of months ago approaching BHX over RLSI at 4500ft

The real thing a couple of months ago approaching BHX over RLSI at 4500ft in mist and rain

This is a model of the 2009 Lufthansa A321-231 D-AISX released by Phoenix in 1:400 in November-December 2013, apparently only 500 were made. Why buy it? Very personal reasons – my partner flew back from Frankfurt on it and not only did it fly right overhead, I was able to take a photo of the window that at the same time I was being photographed from, that’s how close it was at the time! Reason 2 is more mundane – I didn’t have a Lufthansa A321.

The box is dire. There is an image of the Chateau de Chenonceaux in France on one side and the Neues Museum in Berlin on the other. An almost impossible to see D-AISX is printed on the box and is the only giveaway to what’s inside.

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1)Main Fuselage

It’s all pretty good, the print detail is not perfect on the port side with the ‘n’ in Lufthansa.com at the rear loosing a piece of its print. Otherwise it’s very very good. The aerials that Phoenix add to their models now seem well fixed – many have mentioned these have been prone to going AWOL from time to time. The water heater aerial (that stops waste water freezing on exit from the sinks) is even painted red.

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2) Engines

These are the IAE V2533-A5 engines and the engines themselves are excellent. In fact they must be some of the best small engines I have seen, excellent print, lovely finish, lots of accurate well painted detail. Yet there is a downside, the port engine pylon isn’t as well fitted as the starboard one leaving a half-millimetre gap towards the front end.

3) Landing Gear

Rubber tyres that roll on all wheels, very simple painted metal landing gear. The starboard gear is not fitted into the mould as well as the port side on close examination.

4) Tail fin and stabilisers

The whole assembly is very good, no complaints. Lots of well coloured and finished detail, all as it should be.

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5) Wings and underbody

There is little detail there and not unusually there is just a bit too much paint on the underwings, although it’s hardly an issue. No logos. there is avery small hole that just allows it to use the Gemini metal arm – just being the operative word! I’d be careful when mounting it, I’m not 100% sure it would stay on.

6) Colours

The base colour is white so no issues. All others are commensurate with Lufthansa’s official colour palette.

7) Overall score – we start at 10.

It has to have a half point deducted for each of the faults because they are not obviously detrimental, but they are there, so a respectable 8.5/10. It’s a nice model, but while it is full of Phoenix good intentions, it’s not quite as Phoenix prove they can be with things like the 787-9 ANZ, which is simply perfect.

Would I have purchased it seeing it first? YES. It’s too good not to buy.