Monarch A300-600 G-MAJS 1:400 Phoenix 11003 October 2014 Release
Having seen this aircraft arrive at BHX on its last ever commercial flight earlier this year, it was a bit of a must have model. It was the last A300-600 in European passenger service and despite its age the current livery sat well enough to make it look surprisingly modern. Strictly speaking an A300B4-605R she was delivered to Monarch on 26 April 1991 and use on medium haul routes for all of her life, mostly out of Manchester in later years. Her arrival at BHX back in February was the only time I ever saw her in the flesh, then only by accident! She flew off the next day for scrap in the US.
1) Main Fuselage
This is either an older mould with updates or a new one, I don’t know the answer but she has aerials, but annoyingly doesn’t fit any of the Gemini stands (never usually a problem with Phoenix, so I had to modify this old plastic Witty one to get it to work). Once again, Phoenix seem to be taking a great deal of care to make sure they get quality and detail in their models and this one is no exception. neat straight lines, no blur or leaking, fine precise graphics, in fact an extraordinary amount of detail. It’s just top notch and no mistake. Even the small detail under the nose has been shown, just amazing.
2 General Electric CF6-80C2A5’s have powered this old bird for the last 22 years and once again, they and their paint and the mounting to the wings of the model have been done with precision and accuracy. Simply outstanding.
3) Landing Gear
Wonderfully detailed, metal and painted, but fixed in place.
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, another example of Phoenix excellence.
I see Monarch aircraft every day, sometimes a dozen or so, and this time Phoenix, who have made colour errors in the past have sadly made another. The yellow on the tail is way to orange, and frankly the Indigo blue is too black. The yellow is almost 4 Pantone shades away from where it should be. You can see the correct (on the Gemini A320) and the marked difference on the A300. This is caused by using photographs to verify colour rather than using official colours (Monarch don’t make this easy, but their ad agency Communique who designed the current livery were easy to track down). When you see the two together the difference is glaringly obvious. Disappointing but not fataly so.
7) Overall score – we start at 10.
Phoenix in general seem to be really picking up their game , but the colour issue is far from being a good one. Colour errors on a major element loose 2 points – as the rest of the model is so good, that means this is only 8/10. However don’t let that get stop you, it’s a lovely model and deserves a place in any early 21st Century collection.