Azul A330-243 PR-AIZ Phoenix 11020 November 2014 Release 1:400

Azul A330-243 PR-AIZ Phoenix 11020 November 2014 Release 1:400

 Phoenix Azul A332

Phoenix Azul A332

This model is of Azul Lineas Brazilaeras A330-243 PA-AIZ leased from Aero Capital and delivered to Azul on July 1st 2014. She’s actually a 2003 machine and was previously EI-LFY of Bally Sky Ireland and before that A9-CKG of Gulf Air and before that F-OMEA of Middle East Airlines of Beirut, Lebanon who leased her from ILFC. She’s had quite a history.

It’s an attractive livery and was something of an early Christmas present. List price is around £34 but it was obtained for £28.95 (around $49 US). Azul originated as a domestic flyer in Brazil serving the large internal market as a low cost carrier, but it’s starting to fly international routes.

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1) Fuselage

The mould is probably the best available for the A330 and now includes the almost compulsory aerials and domes. Three aerials above and one below, with a small moulded comms dome up top forward between the front doors. The latest methods of printing the graphics and detail have worked exceptionally well and the whole thing is very neat and precise. The lower half of the body, dark blue,  is split from the upper white half by a very neatly printed green and yellow of the national flag coach line and this looks excellent. The Azul between the front doors have the u of Azul in a true azure blue colour, derived from the tropical and deep South Atlantic Ocean of Brazil’s coast line.

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2) Engines

The Rolls-Royce Trent 772B-60 engines are excellent moulds but easily mistaken for the fully nacelle encased CFM’s more often specified. However the RR engines have a distinct lean forward at the top of the intake and this has been captured on the model.   The nacelle, exhaust and paint are all very good, the pylons neat and the engines well fitted. The intake paint is excellent quality with no blobs, over large silver particles in the metallic or other unsightly distractions. All in all a good job though the exhaust area which is quite hollow is not painted fully inside – you’d have to do that manually and while it’s an oversight, the rest of the detail is so good it’s easily lived with.

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3) Landing Gear 

Fixed in position but good quality metal and painted. After a few hours and after I’d taken the photos, I noticed the paint on the port main gear door – a large flake of paint is now missing so I’m not impressed. It was OK now a lump paint has just vanished! Thats the second A330 I’ve had this happen to as well.

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4) Tail fin and stabilisers

The tail fin is a core part of any aircraft identity and the deep blue carries a mosaic of the States of Brazil forming the countries shape. It’s colourful and rather clever. The entire tail assembly is accurate and well made and fitted.

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5) Wings and underbody.

The push in wings make for a much better model and while the paint is excellent and the above and below wing detail is excellent, the starboard wing was slightly bent. I didn’t notice it at first until I took the photos and then it became obvious. It took a small mount of pressure to correct but for this price I don’t think I should have to be doing something like this!  The whole fits the standard Gemini stand arm which conveniently sits in the Blue Earth logo of the Brazilian flag. Of particular note is the excellent little detail on the winglets.

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6) Colours 

Really very very good. Phoenix can be so hit and miss with their colours but it looks pretty good compared to the photos I’ve seen. An excellent effort.

7) Overall score – we start at 10.

Issues are simple – paint fell off the main gear door and the bent wing. Both are easily remedied, but shouldn’t have happened. Both are a -1 on the score board and 8/10 is as good as it gets for this model.  It’s otherwise a really nice example of an A332 and the general standards are very good indeed. Phoenix still need to make improvements but overall it’s better than the JC Wings A332 and the Gemini’s which is very plastic in terms of landing gear and bland detail poorly executed. As a model I’d recommend it, but just check it out for problems before you buy.