Wizz Air A320-232 HA-LYQ Phoenix 11133 June/July 2015

When Phoenix first released the now old livery in November 2013, I missed out and bought it almost 12 months later (reviewed HERE), so this time I was quick on the draw to make sure I got myself the new livery.  Russia’s illegal annexation of the Crimea and it’s support for anti-Ukraine regions that has resulted in the loss of a Malaysian Airlines 777, caused Wizz to de-list it’s Ukrainian registered company and aircraft and move them to Hungary, incorporating them into it’s parent.  The twisted irony of politics, economics and war is that Russia now makes more money out of airlines than it ever did before, from overflights that avoid the victim of it’s actions – the Ukraine.

New Wizz (front) and old Wizz
New Wizz (front) and old Wizz

All that apart, I forgot to write the review on this for a while, vacations, new site upgrades and domains, then the awful T-MOM/DAD saga. The fact is this arrived in the same delivery, and sad to say it’s little better than the highly mediocre model they produced of Wizz in the old livery.

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This aircraft was only delivered on the 7th May 2015 – one of Wizz’s continuous growth plan that will see hundreds purchased as it aims to become the easyJet of Eastern Europe.

1)Fuselage

The new livery has very many of the same design principles as the old one.  However they are in effect reversed and for some bright spark in some corporate identity agency they paid far to much to, the biggest idea was to make the WIZZ lettering almost invisible – after all we’d hate anyone to know the airlines name! Phoenix’s interpretation of this is a mediocre dot matrix type of production that makes it look jerky and inconsistent.

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The blurring and inconsistent line paint from the pink into the white and the pink into the deep indigo at the rear is also poorly done. In fact you can see that better in the tail shot.

The three roof aerials are inserted and seem well fixed, as does the one below. The window definition, where the silver paint goes around the grey pane, on this model at least seems to have worked well.

2)Wings and landing gear

The upper wing detail is excellent, clarity and definition are all very good, but underneath the Phoenix gloss monster has been at work as usual and what detail there was has simply been over-painted until it’s vanished.

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The registration lettering is well done, as are the sharklets.

The main gear is a little stiff but the tyres and wheels are excellent. The nose wheel has very lumpy tyres that need attending to.

3)Engines

I’m not impressed. The silver intake/fan paint seems to consist of the largest silver paint flakes available. Not well applied, certainly not to the standard JC Wings have recently demonstrated. The rear of these engines – the exhaust is awful. The nacelle is fine as long as you don’t look too close but the exhaust exit is presented in a way that suggests nobody actually thought they needed to think about it. Far from being premium.

The engine exhausts look really rubbish
The engine exhausts look really rubbish

The other issue is one that only shows up in close up and on camera – so it has to be discounted in scoring. The upper paint on the nacelles is very thin and seems to have run down the nacelle when being sprayed.

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4)Nose detail

Other than the under-door black paint wobble, this is actually extremely well executed. We won’t concentrate on the mould of the nose, as that’s debatable, but the paint and detail/finish are extremely good.

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5)Tail and stabilisers

The metallic is good, if a bit thick, but that’s the nature of the paint. A couple of small but eyeball-visible glue blobs that can be removed with some blu-tac are all that spoils the tail. the stabilisers are well sited and sufficiently detailed on the upper surfaces.

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6)Colour

Not usually a Phoenix strong point, on this occasion I’m going to give them a pass. I personally don’t think it’s quite there, but any analysis is so close that it’s more than good enough. Full marks for effort, an unusual Phoenix success in the colour field. My main concern is that the new rear tail blue/indigo is too metallic on the model. It’s a similar story with Thai’s not dissimilar colour. In real life it’s flat matt, but model makers seem determined to make it metallic.

New Wizz and Old Wizz, I still like both liveries
New Wizz (top) and Old Wizz, I still like both liveries

7)Score and conclusion

-10 (-5 each) for the engine exhausts, just dreadful. -5 for the somewhat icky WIZZ graphic, -6 (-3 each) for the colour borders as they change colour. -2 for lack of underwing detail obscured by paint. 82%

Like the Cathay 777, it’s a good model, not an excellent one. More attention to detail and quality would always be welcomed. I’m really struggling to understand how Phoenix manage so many different levels of quality. The 787-8’s are generally really very good, if the wrong colours, the print and detail is always first rate. The 787-9 is hit and miss, the A321 another hit or miss, the A333/A332 well they go from one extreme to the other. 777-300’s started really well and now are slipping with each new release. However I have to be frank, the A320 has never been brilliant. I suspect that as with the legendary bird, The Phoenix it seems, has past it’s peak and is now burning to ashes. Who knows when it will rise again?. I’m certainly not going to be buying anything like what I have until they sort themselves out.

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