Etihad 777-300ER A6-ETA Phoenix 1:400 11187 Dec 2015

First delivered on 27th January 2006, A6-ETA is presented here in it’s new livery. A 777-3FXER, the new livery (if you’re a fan of it, and I am), looks particularly good.

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I wasn’t originally getting this model but swapped it from the cancelled ANA Star Wars 787. I’ve cut down to just two Phoenix models this month until I’m convinced quality levels have returned to something that passes as acceptable. The KLM 787-9 was pretty good it has to be said, and the initial feelings on a quick examination, are that this is at least produced to a similar standard.

It’s also the first Phoenix I’ve purchased in this livery, the A380, 787 and 744F all being Gemini, Indeed the later is so good that it’s currently front runner in the MOTY 2015 contenders.

So how does this compare? Do the colours work, is the detail good, is there any rotting landing gear, do the wings actually fit properly?

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1)Fuselage

In all frankness everything about this model is pretty good, detail, print, everything is spot on. Aerials are all where they should be, the comms dome at the front is even neatly fitted and trouble free. There is but one issue and that comes later in this report.

2)Wings and landing gear

Well done, but the gloss paint still has a habit of obscuring detail, even when it’s a lot thinner than in the past. Overall the wings are more than passable and a good effort, especially up top, though there is no visible detail below.

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Landing gear is excellent, if a little over silver in paint choice. Just a bit too gaudy, a more mature metal colour with less heavyweight particles of silver would be a better option. The important thing is the doors and moulds are painted properly and free of rot. All of the wheels rotate and the bogies are flexible. Nose gear is first class and well fitted.

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3)Engines

Excellent. They won’t be outstanding until they match the amazing see through Witty/Apollo types. However what is here is very good, although there is still a little plastic showing through in the turbofans, it’s much better than we’ve seen of late and they look detailed and are an excellent colour. Even the F1 tiles are neatly visible on the nacelles and the silver rim paint is good.

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4)Nose detail

As good as Phoenix have ever done.Hard to tell if there is a dome line for the radar.

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5)Tail detail

In principle it’s all pretty excellent then your eye catches the glue on the port side stabiliser and on the port side of the vertical. It also become apparent from above and below the the stabilisers are actually not perfectly fitted – they actually don’t quite touch the fuselage but have been so heavily glued they can’t be removed to try and fit them properly. This is that moment when you think, why spoil the entire model for such small problem? The trouble is you can see it from both sides, they don’t sit flush. Over time you’ll ignore it, but that’s not really the point is it?

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Glue is visible and the gaps on both sides where the stabilisers don’t fit right are very annoying

6)Colours

This is where Phoenix have failed across the board. Now it has to be said that if you didn’t know, or really care that much, you’d probably just think it was all OK. What they have is beautifully done and well finished.

The main body paint is too heavy a metallic, and lacks refinement, it’s also too dark and has too much incline to the silver. All the other colours, various brown/sand/silvers are either too light (the sand colours), or too dark (the browns), or in the case of the silver greys, more silver than would be ideal.

Now it has to be said that while every one of the colours is wrong, they are not so wrong (except for the big sandy orange on the spine, which is way out), that they are catastrophic, or anything like it. They’re not right but they’re also not so bad as to be unacceptable.

Gemini nailed these colours on their models, Phoenix have got within range but they won’t win any accuracy competitions. And yet with Phoenix, that’s never really going to be a surprise is it? You buy them knowing it’s unlikely to be perfect, just, hopefully, almost.

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7)Score and conclusions

Al colours fail so -12, -6 for the stabilisers not fitting, -2 for the too-visible glue on the port tail and stabiliser. 80%.

It’s the colours that really score it down, they could be better, but it has to be said it’s not too bad a model. In my honest bottom line opinion, it’s the stabilisers that annoy far more than the colours.

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