I’d pretty much decided there would be no more 744’s added to the collection unless they were very very special (like BA’s last one, or a definite last flight). I’d dithered as I often do over spending £34 on something and while I liked it I sort of passed it by. Then I ordered the China Airlines 773ER and it was out of stock, Ben at http://www.aircraftmodelstore.co.uk offered to provide this for £1 less instead and having already paid I thought I may as well!
This aircraft was originally delivered to United in 1992 – then to Corsair in 2005. They are part of the Tui Group now and many of their planes have been painted in Tui Group old colours. However Corsair is being given a new lease of life as a (probably ill advised in my opinion) low cost longer haul hybrid carrier. As such in 2012 it got a new livery and the aircraft were refurbished heavily after returning from Indonesia on lease to Garuda in 2012. They also hold the 744 seating record for 587 passengers. The blue and white livery along with the sails of the old Corsair raiding ships on the tail is quite excellent in my opinion and looks really modern. Corsair is also the second largest airline in France after Air France. Based at Orly and Marseilles, they fly to the DomTom’s in the Caribbean (French owned islands that are classed as being a Department of mainland France – so legally they’d be the same as being in Calais or Paris), Montreal in Canada and Mimi.
This is, I realised the only Phoenix 744 I’ve ever purchased, so it’s a totally new thing for me.
1) Main Fuselage
This is a beautiful mould, well made and of the finest quality. It seems like it must be a new level of quality because I have to be honest and say it’s the best 744 mould I’ve got. I have a dozen Gemini, 3 JC Wings and a 4 Apollo versions and not one of them comes close to this. Is it a totally new mould? I don’t know but its damned good. For one it has aerials, and a comms dome, though I have to express some disappointment that the rear aerial has already vanished. The two heater aerials beneath are also painted red as they should be, nice detail.
There seems to be a precision to the paint and mouldings thats a whole new level from Phoenix and I love it. There is a level of crispness and clarity that is hard to fault.
Four Pratt & Whitney PW4056 are well made and detailed, neatly and accurately attached to the pylons. Again there is a degree of precision about these that surpasses anything else the other manufacturers have come up with. the paint on the inside of the leading edge of the nacelles is not quite up where it should be but it surpasses what many have managed in the past.
3) Landing Gear
Wonderfully detailed, metal and painted, the central sets move at the body slightly but the other sets are fixed, which I can appreciate because of the nice open-door detail.
4) Tail fin and stabilisers
Extremely fine and well made, again that precision seems to be on a new level. just perfectly neat and as they should be.
5) Wings and underbody.
The wings are push-in and elegant, not a drop of excess paint, all the detail shows everywhere you would want, really quite the tour-de-force of wing assemblies.
Spot on. No complaints.
7) Overall score – we start at 10.
I have nothing to complain about except the missing rear aerial. for that this must loose 1 point. 9/10. It is, to be honest, the best 744 model in a collection of 20. well done once again to Phoenix. Whatever it you’re doing, it’s worth every single bit of effort you’re putting in. Keep it up, but please find a better way of fixing in those aerials!