NOTE: This is being published while I’m away. It was written a few weeks ago but the site refurbishment was about to start and it was held back. Now the site has been updated and my web guys are happy enough, there is a small backlog of reviews that will be released through August. Don’t forget to bookmark http://www.1400Reviews.com
I’ve been looking to expand RLSI’s cargo profile for some time, but the storage space required for 748’s as passenger and cargo is little different to an A380. Something smaller was called for – and I found this at Aviation Megastore in Amsterdam. I do rather like 777F’s. I was lucky enough a couple of years ago to be a guest at AeroLogic and got taken aboard their new 777F and I can’t help it, I find the entire concept fascinating. The basic frame may be the same but a huge amount of work and customisable refinements are installed on these amazing machines. The technology and experience behind balancing and creating a viable cargo profile for every journey is fascinating.
However I digress. The model may well date back to mid 2012, but was brand new out of the box. I think it may have been one of the special commission series. It is pre-aerials and other welcome (or unwelcome depending on your point of view), ‘refinements’, such as aerials that fall out and so on.
Do not however start me on the box! A couple of fishing boats, some small islands and a field of rapeseed on one side, a coastal scene on the other? What on earth where they thinking?
Some people don’t like Phoenix’s 777 mould from then or now. In all honesty the 772 is my least favourite aircraft currently in service. It may be a competent work horse but its as bland as bland gets (enter stage right those horrified/disgruntled that anyone might have an opinion on the design of this old bird), which is why I tend to prefer it in strong liveries like this one, where it really stands out. The paint on this model is generally excellent and the coach – or cheat line as America prefers it – is accurately done in silver above the base white. All of the graphics are spot on for the period and in general I don’t really have anything to moan about.
2) Wings and landing gear
Phoenix and their excessively glossy wing paint strike again, but it’s well applied, it just obscures so much detail – partly by being overly shiny and partly from covering it up from being too thick. However from a model perspective it’s not unattractive. The landing gear is rigid, though the bogies do tilt a fraction. Excellent wheels and tyres. The nose gear is neat and well made.
The huge GE power plants are exceptionally well executed, with sharp detail and flawless paint. Always a good way to please yours truely!
4) Tail and stabilisers
The port side stabiliser isn’t as well fixed in as the starboard one, but it’s no big deal. I really have seen much worse!
5) Nose detail
Now I’ve heard it called all sorts of things and one day I’ll get round to having a look at it in the same way I have the A380 and A350. It;s one of those things where some people will say it’s one thing and some will say it’s another. You pay your money and make your choice. In the end facts alone determine its accuracy. In this case it’s perfectly acceptable and neatly done. One of the better models produced by Phoenix in 2012. The detail is crisp and clean with no eyeball visible flaws.
I have three Korean Air models, a 773 HL7533 (an older version with the square tipped wings) made by Gemini, an Apollo/Witty A380 HL7619 and this freighter. Guess which is the odd one out? The Gemini. Now it is a 2003 model and these others are 10 years newer, but the colour has not been changed for many years. After a lot of research, it seems that for once Witty/Apollo/Phoenix got this a bit more accurately than Gemini did back in 2003. Overall, a good and accurate colour combination then!
7) Overall score
There is so little to be concerned with that it gets a 97.5% rating. A tiny deduction for that rear stabiliser. Well done Phoenix. Now lets see if you can manage more of the same in 2015.