Royal Jordanian 787-8 Phoenix Item:11028 November 2014 Release in 1:400
The aircraft is a model of a 787-8 which at the time of writing has just gone into service with Royal Jordanian Airlines being delivered in early October 2014 as its second of the type. Possibly one of the most “liverygenic” (I claim the word as my own invention) aircraft to have ever been designed the 787 looks utterly classy and sophisticated in what is already one of the classiest liveries in the skies today. RJ is a member of OneWorld alliance and based in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan at Amman’s extraordinary Norman Foster designed Queen Alia International Airport. The current King while at university in California, got himself a bit part in a Star Trek Next Generation Episode (as a complete side line but vaguely amusing factoid).
I was genuinely excited taking this out of the box because to be frank, it’s so beautiful to look at! My joy was short lived as the front wheels fell out of the nose gear. Not very impressive. Fortuneately with some very careful minor glue management and a lot of patience – the axel didn’t want to go through the tiny hole in the opposite wheel again, it was repaired. The down side is the wheels of course no longer rotate. I did get a £3.00 credit from the retailer aircraftmodelstore.co.uk for my trouble, which I appreciate, but I’d rather have not had the issue Phoenix, thank you!
The box is almost as classy as the aircraft itself – Phoenix must have employed someone with at last with a sense of taste and style as their boxes have improved no end of late and not before time, some have been truly hideous and an affront to the airlines they’ve tried to represent.
1) Main Fuselage
What really matters about this aircraft is the colour. It’s a very specific grey main upper with darker grey striations on the tail fin, a double red coach line and a thicker gold coach line with delicate Arabic and English writing in gold. The base of the fuselage is white. The red coach line is so fine even on the 1:1 version you can barely tell it’s two lines with a very small gap and Phoenix have interpreted this with extraordinary accuracy, somehow getting the grey centre to show on a graphic that is less than o.25mm thick. What I don’t think they’ve managed so well is the gold writing, it just isn’t quite bright enough and looks almost invisible unless it catches the light full on. The gold coach line has the same problem, it’s beautifully printed as is all the other detail, but has tendency to simply vanish in all but the strongest lights. This I think, is partly down to the colour choice which is an almost antique gold, it isn’t quite right and Phoenix have chosen conservatively rather than over-do it.
There are three roof aerials 2 aft and 1 fore, with a rear one underneath. At the moment they all seem to be fixed in place. There is white moulded comms dome on the roof that’s very neatly done.
These are the massive GeNex-1B engines and the nacelles, pylons and rear engine detail are beautifully made, assembled and painted. Engine detail is excellent, though not the see-through HBE fans introduced on the A350 models, they are still exceptionally good and the paint is perfect. The exhaust cone detail is of special note and the anti-noise serrations spot on. Excellent quality all round.
3) Landing Gear and nose detail
Painted metal with detailed struts and hydraulics, fully rolling wheels but the bogies sadly don’t tilt. I’ve referenced the nose gear failure so won’t go on about it again.
4) Tail fin and stabilisers
They look so good and are so perfectly straight, flawlessly mounted, just as you would hope for, outstanding. The dark grey serrations with the detailed graphic of the crown are perfect. Oddly the crown gold seems brighter and doesn’t vanish at all. See top photo.
5) Wings and underbody.
Phoenix use the push in wings which are painted white top and bottom, spot on and problem free with plenty of detail above but a bit less than ideal below. Even the registration under the port wing is accurate for position. Not vast amounts of underbody detail but no complaints about what is there. The Phoenix logo is black on white but doesn’t impinge on the overall look. The hole for a stand fits the standard Gemini chrome types.
Only the gold writing concerns me, everything else seems to be a very accurate match for the real thing. Two shades brighter and it would have been spot on I think, yet I’m glad they chose restraint rather than overdoing it which would have been ghastly.
7) Overall score – we start at 10.
The wheel failure is a -1 for a start and the writing colour/brightness issue is a -0.5 but that’s all there is to criticise. Exceptional detail and a great effort, just not perfection. It’s a little sad as this model, if not having had the wheel failure only had the gold paint colour as its issue. Yet again, this is where Phoenix have used photography to judge colours rather than find the actual references. It takes a sharp eye to see the accuracies and is no small skill, but they haven’t pulled it off this time. It’s a lovely model, but that gold seemingly vanishing just takes the edge off of it. It may seem harsh, but if I had seen it first with my own eyes I probably wouldn’t have purchased it – forget the wheel issue – it just doesn’t quite work well enough and on a livery this exacting, this precise and this classy, it needs to be bang on the nose and sadly, despite the good score, it just isn’t. 8.5/10