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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Problem free – really no issues in terms of paint and finish, it’s the flat nose that looks slightly off.
No issues at all, everything fits neatly and overall it’s a tidy model.
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!