Ethiopian A350 ET-ATQ by Phoenix demonstrates unacceptable quality

This is not the normal format for a review as you’ll well know. This is Mr Angry, once again having had it with the atrocious quality that comes out of Phoenix. I said when they pubished a massive list of models that there would be only one guranteed consequence – quality would suffer as production targets were pushed higher, and the time allocated per model would have to be cut to meet deadlines.

And what have we got? Three rubbish models out of five. The worst is that the very issue of frankly disgraceful, and atrociously made landing gear, that we experienced a year ago has come back.

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I know that at least one retailer who buys directly from them, spent a great deal of effort trying to get them to see this was an issue, and for a while there it went away. Now it’s back, and as bad as ever.

Just to add insult to injury, the tyres are now just little more than lumpy bits of synthetic crap stuck on a wheel. That doesn’t just apply to the A350 either.

As for the A350, it is the best mould, it has the best wings, it has the best engines. However, nowhere on Earth will you find an A350 with its engines being used as a lawn mower to cut the grass at the side of the runway as they scrape along the ground!

The difference between the Thai A350 from a few months ago and the LATAM and Ethiopian is amost incomprehensible. Did they think nobody would notice? The answer is yes, because they didn’t notice it themselves, because they have absoloutely no quality control whatsoever. 

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These models could have been perfectly good, the fuselages and wings are excellent, in general the engines are, though the Ethiopian has a quality issue on the No2 where the rim isn’t fitted well and there are marks in the white paint. The Ethiopian also has red paint bleed and glue leaking out from under the wings. it’s a dissapointing mess.

The Lufthansa A346 is just a cock up. The wrong grey, poor paint finish between the white and grey, atrocious landing gear, the model wobbling about on its centre gear because the outer gear didn’t sit on the ground, then just falling off. Add to that a loose wing, a huge chip out of the rear paint and glued up stabiliser! What a joy.

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These three models are the best part of £100 ($127USD). In the UK that’s 13.88 hours of work for an adult on minimum wage. Are you telling me that if I got you to work for nearly 14 hours, and were given these three as agreed, and this is what they were like, you’d be happy? Honestly?

Collectors of anything, have a syndrome that blinds them to faults. It blinds them because they can’t face not having the object of their desire (in this case our models), and use any excuse, no matter how bad it is not to send it back. These three reasons are usually; a) I don’t know how; b)It’s too much hassle, and c) My supplier won’t take it back.

The first two are laziness, find out and deal with it, the last is illegal in most western countries anyway, and if you use PayPal to buy the items where that’s offered,they don’t have a leg to stand on, PayPal will make them refund it to you pretty much instantly. Most UK and European retailers offer it, so do a lot in the US.

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So that leaves us with The Syndrome. “If I send it back I might not get another”.  That then begs the question, “so you’re prepared to have a crap model, no matter how bad, because you’re afraid of not having it?”

Now you know why the manufacturers don’t care about what they make, and do nothing about the quality, because nowhere near enough of you send this stuff back. If you did, the retailers would order fewer, the message would get across over a few months, and they’d do something about it. Only hitting them in their bank balances is ever going to change anything. Appeals to common decency don’t cut it when profits are involved.

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Proof it wasn’t like this even a few months ago, the Thai A350 had none of these issues.

By doing nothing you condemn us all to ever creeping model making mediocrity.

As for the model makers, in this case Phoenix, their cynicism and commercial drive to sell more and more, charge more and more, and yet deliver lower and lower standards, is almost beyond belief.

If you’ve never had to work for your money, or have so much you can afford to just chuck it away on junk, well that’s your choice and aren’t you the lucky one!

However there are thousands of people out there who can only afford sometimes one model a month. Many have to save up and buy them when they can. Many want them and go without. For those people, it isn’t fair or right that what they get isn’t damned near perfect. It’s that reason that makes me campaign for better standards.

You can laugh and say “good luck with that”, but I know in the end pressure builds slowly, acceptance is a long haul flight with no end in immediate sight. Yet things can change, bit by bit, no matter how long it takes. So don’t ignore the issues, deal with them. If its crap, send it back! After all who really wants a damaged or badly made model in a collection? You’ll always know it’s not right, and that sort of thing eats away at you if you’re a serious collector with a passion! Help yourself, help us all; send it back!

Have a good weekend.

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One thought on “Ethiopian A350 ET-ATQ by Phoenix demonstrates unacceptable quality

  1. Well said and deservedly so. The thing is the technology ie. printing, glueing, casting, assembly is all there and the models can be done in a much higher quality. The trouble is that the manufacturer seems not to realise these models are mostly bought by serious collectors and are not toys. “If Märklin can do it (a German electric train manufacturer: http://www.maerklin.de) so can the others”.

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