TNT 777-FHT OO-TSA Phoenix 10554 2011

Well, with a set of models on their way from Holland this week, it leaves me with three of last years eBay purchases to review. JCW have coincidentally, released a new version of TNT’s soon to vanish livery.

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In brief, Fedex has bid on and been accepted by TNT as the buyer of the company. It will cease to exist and be subsumed into Fedex some time during 2016-17, once the regulatory and commercial issues have been resolved and the staff have had their say – this is Belgium and workers have rights not easily ignored.  The idea is that the aircraft, which are part of TNT Express and not TNT distribution (the part Fedex is buying),  will either be subleased from a new operating company (Emirates, Etihad and others wet lease their 744F’s from TNT), or bought up by a leasing group – ASL Aviation is on the cards.

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With a much loved livery about to vanish and few made I grabbed this while I could. it was only £19/$28US so not expensive.

She was delivered in mid-2011 for TNT as a 777-FHT (Boeing doesn’t like to use the 200 designator on freighters), and serves routes such as Liége (Belgium) – Dubai-Hong Kong and  Liége-Chicago or Atlanta.

It brings my TNT collection up to strength now with a 733F, 744F and a 777F. This was also released by Herpa in 1:500.

1)Fuselage

Overall a standard 772 type model although the mould on this one seems to have a slightly flatter nose than would be ideal. The livery print and finish is generally excellent although there are clearly quite large dust particles in the paint on the belly. Other than that the markings and details are pretty good. The fact it doesn’t have aerials really doesn’t bother me.

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2)Wings and landing gear

The wings are covered in heavy gloss white paint that has the effect of obscuring most detail, something of a Phoenix habit even to this day.

The landing gear is frankly a bit rough. The doors are poorly moulded, the paint on the doors and hydraulics is mediocre. The tyres are lumpy.

We’re talking 2011 here, and Phoenix seems to go through repeated cycles of bad to average to good, a short lived moment of excellence then back down to bad again. This looks like it was at the average point.

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3)Engines

Oddly enough these are pretty good, all the way to having a white cone tip in the centre. Paint is good and very neat. Plain white they may be, but they are free of defects.

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4)Nose detail

Problem free – really no issues in terms of paint and finish, it’s the flat nose that looks slightly off.

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5)Tail detail

No issues at all, everything fits neatly and overall it’s a tidy model.

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6)Colours

These are primary white and a TNT’s Orange-Black livery, they are spot on, well produced.

7)Score and conclusion

-4 for the flattish looking nose – its not a big deal but just not quite right, -6 for the landing gear doors and -4 for the landing gear paint, -4 for the dust under the belly which is far too visible.  82% . Not too bad a score for an average build Phoenix from 2011 – a period through to 2012/13 win the were either very average or very good, but never excellent. By 2014 they had leapt up to excellent only to dive head first into a pit of deplorable quality for much of 2015. The last few models of 2015 from Phoenix have just been shipped from Holland. Let’s see how they fare!

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One thought on “TNT 777-FHT OO-TSA Phoenix 10554 2011

  1. It was and remains for whatever reason the best produced model of the year. Gemini brand it and only Phoenix made another version which I didn’t buy because of their quality.

    The type of product-multi branding you describe is not uncommon and the same can be said for Audi A3, VW Golf, Seat Ibiza, Skoda etc etc. Same car underneath with different packaging. Yet all are different despite it all.

    Gemini sell and market specific models in their boxes. I find those of JC Wings branded I do buy generally poor and rarely inspired. I only buy them as and when they do something nobody else does and it’s often a disappointment. The new A333 mould is JCW’s used on Gemini’s Delta HGW version and it’s superb in all but those stupid wings. In the end if the Gemini marketed product is sold in larger numbers and is better quality, something is going on to make that happen. The whole manufacturing side of the business is a mess and totally lacks any real transparency. Quality is up and down in ways that suggest silo manufacturing – nothing else can explain such diverse standards.

    I made the scoring process and qualification requirements quite clear. 90% got you into qualification for MOTY – only 1 JCW branded made it.

    Finally while we all know who makes what for who most of the time, the vast majority only care about what’s on the box. Perception is everything.

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