S7 Siberia Airlines A320-214 VP-BOL JC Wings XX4755 April/May 2015

If there’s a different livery and they happen to be in the OneWorld alliance (which as the smallest is hard to provide aircraft for), then it’s a model I usually want.  S7 Airlines is poorly represented in general (despite being one of Russia’s most successful private airlines). So when JC Wings announced they were doing an A320 in 1:400, I pounced. I already had a Phoenix 737-500 in the livery (VP-BTD) but as usual Phoenix colours are way off.

Well the wait went on…and on…and on…eventually it arrived in July when Ben at AMS said he would order himself one and me one from another source. Apparently – and this isn’t the first time lately this has happened, the UK middleman failed to order the aircraft soon enough and the relatively small run JC Wings produced was already sold out by the time they did.

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Now it’s not everyone’s taste this lurid green, but it’s incredibly noticeable, unquestionably different (especially in Russia where it’s almost insufficiently Putinesque not to base you scheme on the national flag), but it brightens up a sea of white based liveries and that alone gives it merit.

This example was only delivered new in October 2014. Fitted with 8 Business class seats and 156 economy.

I’m often really impressed with JC Wings, and as equally often let down. So how did JC Wings do this time?

1)Fuselage

Everything is crisp and clean, no hideous print, blurs or leaks. All round it’s really neat. The downside is where the two greens meet and the belly paint and upper body paint are not quite as sharp as I might like, but they pass the eyeball test.

Two upper aerials are correctly sited, and seem fixed perfectly in place, the same applies to the lower rear.

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2)Wings & landing gear

A surprising amount of detail is always present on this mould, especially on the upper wing surfaces. Being the cradle type fitting I naturally expect problems but again, the whole thing is extremely neat, and generally a very tight fit with the fuselage. Although the gap at the rear of the cradle isn’t brilliant, it certainly isn’t horrendous and doesn’t spoil the model.

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The sharklets are also very slim and neatly done.

The landing gear is rigid, but the wheels are smart and while some of the tyres are a little lumpy, the overall impression is a good one.

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3)Engines

I’m delighted to report that that the engines, 2x CFM56-5B4/3’s, which carry the darker luminous green of the underbody, are really neatly done.No paint or mould abominations, just good solid quality. This is a great deal better than their last BA and the Virgin Atlantic Little Red EI-DEO.

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4) Tail

If anything this is the models weakest point. Viewed from the front, the tail is tilting to the left by about 5 degrees. This has given the port side a noticeable gap while the starboard side is tight fitting. I tried to get the tail out but it’s far to heavily glued in to do that without causing damage.  Otherwise the print and paint are fine.  Once you spot something like this and know it’s there it’s really aggravating! After a few weeks I shall just forget about it but it almost spoils what is otherwise an excellent model.

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You can clearly see how the tilt creates a gap on one side
tight fit but tail tilt is pronounced
tight fit but tail tilt is pronounced

5) Nose detail

All crisply and accurately done, really rather good.

6) Colour

JC Wings have this spot on. The lighter green is accurate, the underbody and engine green is accurate, so is the red of the logo. Compare it to the Phoenix colours and you realise how bad Phoenix are at this key component of model making yet again. Great effort by JCW.

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7) Score.

Sadly the tail issue, which is really the only problem with this model, is a big down score, but even with it, it still rates an 85%. Once again it’s all about quality control. At these prices, we deserve the best, it sucks when we don’t get it. This model could easily have been 100%.