ANA 787-9 JA873A STAR WARS R2D2 livery (Phoenix) 2015/16 1:400 scale

 

This is most definitely, a rogue one. A glance by anyone with any knowledge will tell you that Phoenix are responsible for this model. It’s their mould, it’s their components, and it’s a typical Phoenix print, and font, on the box. Have you noticed too, that suddenly, they’re appearing all over the world?

I can’t say where this came from, and all I can say was it was cheaper than I ever imagined, at just £49 ($60US).  This is not like the official (plastic) ANA Star Wars reviewed here: ANA 787-9 JA873A “Star Wars R2D2” Livery 1:400 2015-16 by any means.

Back in 2015 before the tediously unoriginal remake known as Star Wars-VII was released, JC Wings, and then Phoenix, jumped on the band wagon, declaring they were going to make the Star Wars liveried aircraft rolled out by ANA. Until that is, men in black arrived with brief cases, and a whole host of legal documents suggesting they needed to rethink the idea.  If not, then Disney/Lucasfilm, and ANA were going to crap a great deal of ‘Bantha poodu’, to quote Jabba The Hut, all over their respective businesses.  Unsurprisingly, the power of the Rebels wasn’t up to holding back this much force, applied so deftly to their commercial throats, by Darth Disney. They gave in.

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Now you and I know that the arcane practices of The Force allows for many tricks. Once Darth Disney’s Law Troopers had flown off, deleuded by the use of the Jedi mind trick, “these aren’t the models you’re looking for”, I doubt he was aware that they were probably already on their way down the production line.

Even if they weren’t, there’s always a way around authoritarian oppression, as many Chinese know, and many American’s will soon have to discover, as Grand Moff Trumpkin takes charge. Incidentally, does anyone know how big a 1:400 scale Death Star would actually be?

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That aside, no sooner had the models been pulled from official sale, everyone was talking about a white box release.  Now I know (because it’s quite understandable if your first language isn’t English, and you’ve never been involved in marketing, and the fact I was asked four times what it meant), than many took this to literally mean, a white box. What it actually means, is an unbranded box with no indication as to the manufacturer, but with all the legal warnings (choke hazard and small parts for instance), and so on, required to sell the items overseas. Essentially, ‘white box’ and ‘white label’ are goods produced for someone else without the manufacturer taking credit for it. The food industry is probably the biggest culprit in the use of white labels, electronics industries for white boxes.

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Over the last year more and more of these models have made their way out of China. Just before Christmas I received a hush-hush phone call from a friend, who said he’d managed to get hold of some at a very reasonable price. What did you expect me to say? As collectors we thrive on JC Wings and Phoenix producing huge quantities of unlicensed product. If the airlines don’t care, I don’t care. If they do, I still want one.

So the rebels have smuggled the deadly model across frontier’s, avoiding the Trade Federation blockade. What does Rev Viewer, Blog Pilot, make of this dark machination?

1.Fuselage

It’s top-notch Phoenix across the board. In fact its extraordinary how good it is. The paint and detail are absolutely amazing. The whole R2D2 front end is some of the best print quality I have ever seen.  Just awesome.

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The aerials are all where you would expect, and all superbly painted and installed.  I’ve often said that when it comes to the 787, Phoenix have it in the bag for detail, and quality; lets face it they won the MOTY 2016 and 2014 because of exemplary 787 models. I’ll tell you now, if this had been available in 2016 through an official channel, it would be this model carrying off that trophy. It’s superb, every last detail is perfection.

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Even the door technical detail and warning print is superbly done over the top of the underlying R2D2 print. Just a technically superb job. Even the dome on the roof is exceptionally good.

2.Wings and landing gear

The wings are almost seamless with the body, fitting perfectly, and the paint finish, while as always a bit over-glossed, actually isn’t quite as heavy as I’ve seen in the past. Detail is visible, and having flown on a few Dreamliner’s now, I’m more than satisfied with the finish and appearance.

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The forward area of the wing root to the body is worthy of note, being exemplary.

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The landing gear is absolutely first class, all the wheels work, the tyres are lump free and there is no issue with the gear doors. The hydraulics are body coloured rather than silver this time which is a little unusual, but on close inspection entirely correct for the real thing in this instance. The nose gear too, is excellent.

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Those six-dot stains in the foil are actually chemicals that have leached out of a JCW 777-300 tyres!   

3.Engines

Another set of the superb Phoenix Rolls Royce units. Such detail! Have a look underneath and you appreciate how much even more. Nacelles and core jet are excellent. The only minor downside is the No.1 engine rim paint is a just a tiny bit rough on the inner rim, but the colour and fans are superb.

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The orange disk is the same full moon on Jan 11 2017 as is used in the other images. These photos are taken in the dark, through a window direct to sky. The other images are from a 16mb RAW file, imported and un-doctored, of an 80x zoom image adjusted only for size to cover up the orange discs. 

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4.Nose detail

Just superb. There really is little more to say about it. There is nothing wrong with this outstanding paint and print job, it’s a truly excellent example of the modern process we should be seeing across the board now from every manufacturer. It’s difficult to find a more magnificent set of truly tantalising superlatives to make the point.

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5.Tail detail

Once again a full force demonstration of how very good Phoenix have become at manufacturing this particular model, and then painting and printing it. In all honesty if ANA and Disney were to see this I would have expect them to beg to have it made for them. Rumour has it that the reason ANA didn’t want a metal model was because of the weight in carrying them about on the in-flight shop aboard their aircraft!

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Whatever the reasosns, the tail build and overall quality is awesome. Virtually seamless, outstanding quality.

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6.Colours

Perfect.

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7.Score and conclusion

What a truly awesome model. One to grace a collection and be proud of. A delight to own without exception. That the Dark Side tried to deny us this model and the rebels managed to smuggle it past the Imperial blockade, well for once, be grateful. If Gemini/JCW were charging £70 for this level of quality and satisfaction it would still be worth it. I doubt they’d get within a fraction of it though.

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It’s a truly superb model and deserving of the highest possible score. 100%. Such a pity that it can’t enter for an award.

My recommendation: if you can find one, or are offered one like this, don’t hesitate, a must buy!

 

3 thoughts on “ANA 787-9 JA873A STAR WARS R2D2 livery (Phoenix) 2015/16 1:400 scale

    1. I have both the JC and PHX versions. The JC version is pretty good, but PHX nailed the colors down almost perfectly. The JC version seems to be a bit more tanned in the R2 D2 nose paint area compared to the PHX and actual aircraft. It doesn’t hurt that PHX has the superior slot-in wings vs the cradle fit wings by JC/GJ.

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