Thomson 767-304ER G-OBYF Phoenix 11043 January 2015 Release

Thomson Airways 767-304ER G-OBYF Phoenix 11043 January 2015 Release

Thomson Airways 763ER/w G-OBYF
Thomson Airways 763ER/w G-OBYF

This is an aircraft with a long and chequered career. She started off with what back in 1998, was Britannia Deutschland as D-AGYF until 2001 when she was registered in the UK as G-OBYF for Britannia Airways, who leased her to Garuda Indonesia. She then spent a great deal of time being moved back and forth on short leases between Britannia and Garuda, was then transfered when it became part of Thomsonfly, then leased back and forth between Thomson and Garuda usually for the Hadj months when pilgrims flock to Mecca. From 2006 she then seems to have become a stable part of the Thomson business. Now used on Thomson’s long haul routes and peak summer medium haul, often from Gatwick or Manchester.

What makes this model interesting is it sits in the current Sun Sea & Sky livery which I understand is now complete for the entire fleet. It’s a popular livery, not only is it quite stunning on models and the real thing, but for many younger people in the UK it is often their first flight on family holidays – most of Thomson’s work is charter for its own extensive travel business but it does sell  seats direct to its destinations. It’s one of those emotional attachment liveries that you’re not likely to forget.

G-OBYF with G-TAWL in the background
G-OBYF with G-TAWL in the background

1) Main Fuselage

The livery is almost edible, it just has that look of some sort of tropical ice flavoured cocktail like Blue Curaçao and is beautifully designed. It’s so understandable why people love it so much. This model has two rear aerials on the roof and one below, the print is excellent and highly defined. There is one other major thing that cannot be ignored with this fuselage – Phoenix have actually got the colour right!  Contrast it to the model they produced for Gemini of the 788 and you realise quite how out of it that 788 was.  Be glad they got it right on the model, because the box colours are the same as the ones on the 788 and quite wrong.

Front to back G-TAWL, G-OBYF & G-TUIA

The flight deck appears to be crisp and clean and its size commensurate with the real thing.  There is one thing however that is not right and this happens a lot on Phoenix models. They seem to fail to apply a strong enough colour to the overprinted Thomson and Tui logos. Another example is the Royal Jordanian 787 on which the lettering actually vanished at certain angles. While this doesn’t disappear, its not the correct shade or strength of red.

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2) Engines

General Electric CF6-80C2B7F’s power this 763 and they pass the basic eyeball test extremely well, though they don’t hold up quite so well in close up. The port side engine is a lot rougher than the starboard one, with a noticeable silver paint striation at the top that you can easily see. They are however both well shaped and well fitted.

Slightly untidy engine on the port side
Slightly untidy engine on the port side

3) Landing Gear

Painted metal with detailed struts and hydraulics, fully rolling wheels but the bogies sadly don’t tilt. The tyres are not the best by any means, being quite rough and lumpy on some. Being wheels on axels makes so much difference to these models rather than tyre pinned on a gear arm.

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4) Tail fin and stabilisers

With the exception of the wrong red and its lack of vibrancy the tail detail and stabilisers are all exceptionally neat and all made and assembled to a very high standard. No complaints.

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5) Wings and underbody.

Push in wings which are highly detailed in the upper surfaces and of course have the one thing many of us love about 767’s – huge winglets – they are truly massive but they seem to be the right size and everything is painted the correct colour with the correct detail. The underbody on 767’s is notably devoid of much detail and so is this model, the only thing I find a growing concern is that the stand hole is yet again, almost too small for even the thin arm Gemini stand. The model struggled to fit on it and it’s extremely shallow.

Few details underneath but neither has the real thing!
Few details underneath but neither has the real thing!

Somebody need to get a grip with this stand issue because its’s a big thing for many people – I use them constantly, not just for photographs but for arrivals and departures at RLSI – we need to be able to use the stands so come on Gemini & Phoenix, make more of an effort please, you’re both guilty of making these harder to use.

6) Colours 

This time Phoenix seem to have come up trumps with the blues – they match the 738 G-TAWL so they look like they are the same airline! However seeing both of them against that 788 and the difference is dramatic.

On stand at RLSI
On stand at RLSI

7) Overall score – we start at 10.

With a -1 for the reds and -0.5 for the silver striation on top of the engine it’s a highly respectable 8.5/10. To be honest I hoped it would be a little better – it is far from being bad, but I just thought it would be in the 9.5’s zone. The Thomson colour is disappointing, the way these logos are applied to the high-gloss finish of the main colours seems to have some bearing on the result. It needs resolving.  DO NOT however get me wrong, while it’s not perfect, the production standards and quality overall are simply excellent. The problem is that as the general quality improves then even the tiniest flaw starts to stand out far more.

It’s a lovely model, I am very pleased to have it in my collection and all I want now is one of Thomson’s 757’s in the same livery, preferably G-OOBA!


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