Singapore Airlines A380 9V-SKI ’50 years livery’ Phoenix 11139 2015

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Singapore was effectively a British trading post for many years and as time passed it became a strategic port and naval base, often described as “The Linchpin of The Empire”.

During World War 2 it’s massive fortifications deluded British leaders into thinking it was invincible. Nobody believed the Japanese would strike from the north through the jungle and the huge guns sat facing only out to sea. Singapore fell quickly. Defending it Churchill had sent out new battleship HMS Prince of Wales  and older battlecruiser HMS Repulse. Both were rapidly sunk by Japanese bombers, not one enemy ship was involved. It transformed the worlds view of naval warfare overnight.

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Following liberation and the defeat of the communist insurgency in Malaysia during the 1950’s and early 60’s, the people of Singapore chose independence from the Malay Federation, and the city state became independent on 9th August 1965.

Now a shining example of a modern technocratic state, its often heavy handed government, almost a benevolent semi-democracy, has achieved a great deal, including one of the highest living standards on the planet. It’s not a cheap place to live but I don’t think, other than in Monaco, I ever felt safer, and the people are friendly and welcoming.

Fifty years on, Singapore, whose people are rightly proud of their independence, celebrated big-time. The airline wasn’t going to miss out on such an opportunity and decided the only way forward was to use the biggest canvas flying – the mighty A380.

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Two aircraft were chosen, the 2009 9V-SKI and 9V-SKJ. The decals are vast, some of the largest ever produced. The Singapore flag-themed design, divided into about 50 panels for each aircraft took five days 24 hours a day just to print each one. Twelve rolls of 1.2m x 50m were used for the decals – almost three quarters of a square kilometer. That’s equal to nine badminton courts or 56 double decker buses.

The entire existing livery had to be removed which took 12 people 7 days, then painted white which had to be done in one go without interruption, it then took 8 days to apply the livery.

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The result was stunning. It isn’t just the flag which is ingenious, comes up both sides and meets in the middle going over the top of the aircraft. There are also SG50 tiles on the No2 & No3 engines. Underneath is the ‘Majulah Singapura Our Golden Jubilee’ logo.

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1)Fuselage

The model itself, as has been proven here Best A380?, is the most accurate. Phoenix have done an excellent job and it’s a vastly superior to anyone else’s. It’s also incredibly light compared to everyone else’s being an aluminum alloy.

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It is of course dominated by the huge flag. Yet at the same time it’s beautifully done, This is Phoenix at their very best and it looks stunning. It’s a rare day when I can say that about any Phoenix model. really, from one end to the other, no complaints. It’s excellent.

2)Wings and landing gear

The A380’s massively over-engineered wings always look awesome. However the same old Phoenix excessive gloss paint hides any real deep detail. It’s well applied, just too much. they need to find a way of making the paint a little more technically accurate.It is not bad, don’t get me wrong, it just needs to be different in 2016.

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The landing gear is excellent, tilting bogies, black tyres on proper wheels, even a small amount of suspension on the centre gear. The nose gear is also excellent.

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3)Engines

Excellent, truly first class. The eyeball test is an easy pass.

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4)Nose detail

Flawless. It’s a first rate example of what can be achieved. The question of course is why they don’t apply this standard to everything all of the time.

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5)Tail detail

Again, beautifully done it’s rare I find nothing to whine about, but there is nothing to complain of. What looks in the image like a mark in the paint in the tail is just a light trick.

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6)Colours

Superb. Really, great. Phoenix deserve full marks for a first class effort. Again, why can they not do this every single time?

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7)Score and conclusions

No hesitation in awarding this 100%. Now all I need to know is why is every Phoenix model not to the same standard?

Come on Phoenix, tell us why it’s so hard to keep a sustained level of quality and commitment to your each and every model? If you can do this you can do every other model you make. Like Gemini with the Etihad Cargo 744F, this holds you to high standards. You need to get a grip and make every model as good as this. Anything less isn’t good enough.

Well done for such an excellent model. Now make everything like this and make us all very, very happy.

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