Scoot 787-9 9V-OJA JCWings XX4950 2015

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When an airline like Singapore Airlines decides to enter a new market, and not have itself left out in the cold while Air Asia-X and others swoop in and steal the low-cost passenger from under them, you can expect it will be done with some degree of style, and reasonably well.

Reviews about Scoot are pretty much that it’s a 3 stars out of 5 airline.  Peoples expectations about low-cost medium to long-haul travel do rather vary. Mine is simple, if I don’t use it I won’t find out what it’s like, ergo, there isn’t a problem! You get what you pay for and that’s just what Scoot provides.

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Singapore was so keen to get Scoot off the ground in 2012 they started with a group of older 772’s transferred from their own fleet, with the premise that these would be replaced as quickly as possible by the 787-9, which they knew would be the only way the airlines costs and margins could be contained, and make the project viable.

That concept is about to make one of its most important moves, going from concentrating on China and Australia as principal markets, to the first flights to Europe. Athens is first in May 2017 followed by London a month later. Direct flights, from Singapore Changi. The intention is to draw from the Australian and Chinese market, transfer them through Changi, and on to Athens and London.

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Why those two? There are almost as many Greek descended people living in Australia as there are Greeks in Greece. London of course is the cultural ‘home’ of the language; what else these days is much harder to determine.

I have the 2012 772 9V-OTC, a Phoenix model, now in Scoot’s old colour (it was a lot more orange rather than yellow), but she’s now been withdrawn, and is in storage. However probably not for long, as Thai based Nok-Scoot is expanding heavily into China and needs 7 772’s to make that happen.

You’ll probably know I’m not a fan of the JCW mould for the 787 that they foist on Gemini too. Being early 2015 it’s actually a lot better than the dross that was pumped out at the end of the year in the form of KLM and BA’s 787-9’s, which were frankly terrible.

1.Fuselage

Generally it’s actually pretty good. The print and definition of detail is fairly high and their’s nothing really wrong with it, even the top dome is fitted well, far better than Phoenix for example, manage on their 773 models.

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There are ony two of three aerials because JCW haven’t managed to work out how to do that small one at the back. They have included the rear aerial below but they haven’t painted it red. Too much effort required.

2.Wings and landing gear

The cradle fit on this is actually very good, but the front edge is untidy and has micro-chips in the paint. This was a new model from a retailer not a second-hand one.The upper wing is good with detail, the underwing is a bland snow-white field devoid of detail. Overall the wing assembly while good for a cradle, is still substantively sub-standard compared to the Phoenix model.

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Landing gear is one area where the details work better, but the plastic looking wheels aren’t my favourites. The doors and hydraulics look spot on though. Nose gear is good and the tyres aren’t lumpy.

3.Engines

The engine mould is a superb one, alway have liked it. It’s JCW’s incompetence at fitting them properly that so annoys. Always on this mould, the No.1 Engine seems to tilt too far down – same on the ANZ standard livery model and a couple of others (I don’t buy JCW/Gemini 787 models unless there’s no alternative or they’re like this, old stock going cheap).

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The good thing of course is the rims on these seem to be manufactured and inserted separately. While this ensures a great finish and none of the lumpy, flaking sadness that so often blights 1:400 models, it doesn’t allow for a correct fan blade colour.

These engines are also Rolls Royce Trent-1000’s, and you can clearly see the logo on the real life aircraft engines, but not on the model you can’t, because they’re completely missing.  The reason of course, is this is one of those “rush it to market” jobs; if you look at the aircraft post roll-out at Paine Field, they’ve not been applied, post delivery they are.

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On the other hand they have gone to some trouble to use the red markings, but for some reason they are way too big. You have to wonder what the people who set these things up on their computers, whose job it is to get it accurate, are actually doing. It certainly isn’t a well supervised or expertly executed job.

4.Nose detail

This is again where I prefer the Phoenix, they do a black frame with grey windows on their models, these are just black. The aircraft’s name ‘Dream Smart’ is easily visible despite its small size. Other nose detail is more than satisfactory.

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5. Tail detail

Perfectly good verging on excellent.

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6. Colours

As I’ve said already, Scoot modified their yellow-orange colour closer to the yellow end of the spectrum with the introduction of the 787, and this appears to be as good as can be expected.

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7.Score and conclusions

  • -4 for missing the RR logos –  a penalty for being too quick off the mark – have some patience! I’m petty sure most of us would prefer the in-service detail rather than the pre-delivery detail; after all how many people have a 1:400 diorama of the Boeing factory and Paine Field?
  • -2 for the tilting engine
  • -2 for the micro-chipped paint at the leading edge of the cradle. Chips out of white notice, however small they are.
  • 92% isnt bad, but it’s a 2015 model so not a competitor for MOTY.

A fine example of a still growing trend – rushing a model to market based on the pre-delivery photographs. It affects this one by missing the RR logos, not the worst thing to happen, but not the first time either. This is an issue of profit over quality. Mind you at the speed JCW are producing models at present – or simply just not producing them at all without saying they’re not going to, they have no excuse for not having had time to check the detail.

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Cancellations

On the subject of JCW and their unmade models. The Cargolux 748F Cutaway. I waited 7 months and cancelled it, got my money back. Then was told it was absolutely arriving in mid-July. Ordered it again. It never arrived. Cancelled it again. Now I don’t care if it arrives and is the best model on Earth, because I just don’t wat it any more on principle!

Cancelled all of the following as now waiting between 4-6 months: Thomson ‘Family Life’ 738, Austrian 772, ANA Cargo 763F, and the JCW version of  WOW’s TF-GAY.  If they can’t be bothered to make them, I’m not leaving the best part of £130 sat in retailers pockets for products JCW can’t be bothered to deliver. I don’t need these models, I only want them, but 6 months plus and I’m fed up waiting. There’s plenty else to spend that money on.

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