EgyptAir 737-866 SU-GDE Phoenix 2012 Release
It’s been that time of year and the January sales have been offering up some unexpected surprises – this made itself available for just £17.99 ($27.50US) from http://www.aircraftmodelstore.co.uk and I couldn’t say no! I already have the rather excellent A330 in the same livery and I’m never fond of paying high prices for smaller models – these smaller Phoenix often cost as much as £29 ($44.10US).
Supposedly a limited run of 500 of these were actually made.
I flew Egyptair in ye olden days from the now demolished T2 at Heathrow on a battered 767 in the old red and gold livery (yes 2 liveries ago!). Not an experience I’d seek to repeat, we reverted to BA in subsequent years. The new livery was introduced in 2008 and was a radical departure from the very staid and dull one that preceded it.
The box reflects the Eye of Horus motif (the ancient winged god of the sun) and the pseudo-hieroglyph font found on the livery.
1) Main Fuselage
While in general I am a fan of Phoenix models some things leave me disappointed – not enough to stop buying them when they are bargains mind you, or when the model is one I really want. The issue I have with this mould is the nose is just too pointy. When you look closely at it it’s not right, but you’d need to know that and be geek enough (hands up, guilty as charged officer) to notice. Its infinitely better than the too-often snub nosed Gemini hit and miss, and the shape is better on AeroClassics latest models. The masters, now gone were Witty Wings, whose ElAl 739, ElAl Up!, Turkish, KLM and Austrian Star Alliance 738’s are best by a wide margin. Indeed I rate the KLM 738 the best 737 in 1:400 ever made.
The rest of the fuselage is well printed and there seems to be a high level of colour accuracy, all the way to the blue gradation on the feathers of Horus which are varying degrees of sky and water blues. However at this point Phoenix were still painting on windows and as was usual at the time a small amount of over-run is visible on close inspection, though it passes the naked eye test.
The two CFM56’s are well made and well detailed, the paint is good for the year it was made in but far from excellent, silver and titanium on the fans looks great on a model this small, but close up there are flaws, however they do pass the naked eye test.
3) Landing Gear
One thing you can usually rely on with Phoenix is there ability to produce attractive landing gear and wheels and these are excellent, a clearly separate tyre on an axle looks infinitely better than the method used by AeroClassics which is just cheapskate.
4) Tail fin and stabilisers
The tail fin is good, the colours and the progressive gradation through a range of blues looks spot on. The stabilisers are commensurate with the detail on the rest of the model. there are some close up visible paint blurs and bleed but they pass the eyeball test.
5) Wings and underbody.
There is a surprising amount of detail under the wings and body but a little bit too much paint has made it hard to see. The winglets are fine and neat, if a little bit taller than they should be, but the Horus head logo is easily discernible and neatly printed on the inner surfaces. The model doesn’t easily sit on the standard Gemini thin arm stand that fits most Phoenix models – the hole is too big and it wobbles about, taking some effort to keep level.
These are easy enough to match, all are from the extended Pantone range and look an excellent match to the real thing.
7) Overall score – we start at 10.
This will get 7.0/10. Why? The nose is just not right even if it’s well executed so -1. The winglets are visibly to tall so -0.5 each. The engine paint is not good enough -0.5. Too much bleed on the tail and overprint in some spots -0.5. For a nearly three year old model at a bargain price, I’m not complaining though! It also demos’ again how far thing have come since mid 2012.
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