Growing Canadian carrier WestJet created one of the most lustrous paint jobs I think I’ve ever seen with this. It’s not really my bag but it looked so amazing I thought I’d give it a go and it would be a first for that airline in the collection. Being a Phoenix model you can be pretty sure it will be good and not much of a risk. Its a relatively new aircraft delivered in 2010.
First impressions are around the packaging which is a high quality themed box to match the aircraft. Phoenix have improved greatly their packaging as they have their models – generally that is. Only 500 of these were produced, adding to its desirability.
1) Main Fuselage
It’s a brilliant reproduction, the graphics are absolutely first class right across the model and there is no doubt it has to be described as outstanding. Let the images speak for themselves. small aerials and and a coms pod are all welcome details.
These are CFM International CFM56-7B27’s and they look very good. Neat, no wobbly or missing paint. Spot on, great detail for this scale and size. They are not as good as the Apollo Up! versions in terms of fine detail and exhaust paint choice and use silver for the fans, which always strikes me as a little childish, but it’s far from the clumsy Gemini versions.
Painted metal with detailed struts and hydraulics, fully rolling wheels. The wheels are good on the nose, best in class compared to some, but the main gear has suffered over-spray from the blue paint and the tyres are far from perfect, being lumpy.
4) Tail fin and stabilisers
Oh God, how do I describe this abomination? Graphics are fine, top class, but the gaping space between tail and body is atrociously bad. This is something I’d expect from Gemini as a matter of course, but here it really is a mess. It seems the paint and graphics were applied and allowed to harden – having gone into the groove for the tail fin. The tail fin has then been pushed in and fixed as far as it will go – and that seems to have been acceptable to the Phoenix QC people (well you live in hope they have one), except it damed well isn’t! Now I admit sending it back to Hong Kong is an option as thats where it came from, but it’s sold out and there is a choice – break it out and re-fix it, so thats just what I’ve done and it works. The point is it should never have been sent like this in the first place.
5) Wings and underbody.
No complaints, decent amount of detail, not swamped by paint. Sits neatly on the Gemini standard stand.
Faultless, the graphics are tour de force, I don’t know exactly how its done though I do have a good idea, but well done Phoenix.
7) Overall score – we start at 10.
And loose just half a point for the overly lumpy tyres, another half point each for over spray on each wheel and a whole 2 points for the dire tail fin fit. 7.5/10 is very disappointing for something that should have been so much better with just a bit of QC! When will the Chinese learn that this sort of thing is just not good enough? The manufacturers are making huge profits out of these, lets see some QC over the output! It’s not acceptable not to complain back to your supplier, and I have. Good money should equal a good product!