Please note that Friday’s publication time may be different to what you normally get, as I’m in Washington DC.
Well here we go again, a major airline and a new livery. Now, in my humble opinion, the old ice blue livery, was an adventurous, different, and clever concept. However it was also expensive, to apply and to maintain, and what could be simpler than reverting to the free of charge standard delivery white? Paint the tail black, the engines the same, and tweak the cockpit windows a little and we have a new, cheap, not so different from anyone else, or ‘like it used to be’ livery, nobody will moan about.
Does it look smart, yes the way black and white always has. Red always looks striking on black and white – you only have to trawl through thousands of years of history to know that.
More annoying is that the best Air Canada model I own isn’t the mediocre, mostly wrong coloured Gemini 789 C-FNOE, but the truly superb Witty Wings ‘Apollo’ labelled C-GHPQ, in the ice blue livery. So now I’ve got two of the same reg. Other than it doesn’t have aerials, the Apollo is stunning, with rotating fan blades, and detail that’s been missing on 1:400 for years now. The model is 1:400 excellence exemplified, so Phoenix have a lot to live up to.
Delivered on 12th May 2014, she was the first of eight 788’s, fitted with 20 business class, 21 premium economy, and 210 economy seats. These 788’s are powered by the GeNex engine. She carries fleet number 801 on the tail and nose gear doors.
So the question is do I like the livery? It’s OK I suppose. A bit generic in a world that seems to prize generic above unique. I mean white? Show me an airline that defies that these days – you can almost count them on one hand, Aeroflot, American, SAS, Vietnam, Etihad, Jetstar, La Compagnie, were the only ones I could find out of some 600 models, oh and of course the old livery Air Canada’s!
Well it’s another superbly made and put together Phoenix 788. They really know how to do these and it’s unquestionably brilliant. Superb HD detail, ultra-crisp print and an general air of quality from the aerials to the logo.
Everything is where it should be and even the belly detail is exquisitely done. I can’t fault it.
Even the roundel of the red maple leaf near the door under the A of Air and the last A of Canada, looks pristine and the right colour.
2.Wings and landing gear
Unchanging quality, superbly fitted and pristine in their neatness and finish. You can’t argue with the fact that when it’s done properly it’s a beautiful thing to behold. However, the detail on the Witty version is actually even better.
The Witty landing gear and doors are more accurate, but on the phoenix they’re done nearly as well, and they are fault free, superbly made.
The nose gear door does have the red bar but more about that later.
The mould is excellent, with excellent colours on fans, rims and exhausts. However they aren’t a patch on the Witty ones, which as I said earlier, have see-through rotating fans.
As a sideline, I’ve been told that we’re going to see this rotating see-through engine on the next generation of 773ER models from Phoenix – upping the game now that JCW have finally updated their 777 mould.
Meanwhile the inner rim of the starboard engine is oddly rough, (it looks like filler) and discoloured in parts.
Superb, and the one thing I do like about the design is the “Batman mask” around the cockpit windows. It looks excellent and has been superbly executed on this model. Minor detail is outstanding. However the black at the very tip is shaky.
Build and paint wise, exquisitely done, outstanding in almost every respect except one. The only fault with this model, is the appallingly bad colour choice for the maple leaf roundel on the tail, and the red bar on the nose gear door. It’s spectacularly bad, not only is it burgundy rather than scarlet, it’s so poor it almost vanishes into the black tail.
It’s a horrible mistake and very much impacts the overall look of the model, taking the edge off of what is otherwise a superbly made item.
The roundel red of the maple leaf is a disastrous choice. Almost inexplicably bad.
- -10 for the roundel colour, a big mistake
- -1 for the no.2 engine inner rim
- -2 for the wobbly nose paint underneath
- 87% is otherwise a good score, but it could have been so much better
It’s not close to the Witty in terms of overall quality, but engine wise that’s in a higher plane of existence anyway. The tail roundel lets the side down badly, but other than that it’s a well made and finished model, maintaining Phoenix a the leader in 787 model making overall. But, it’s no Model of the year, and Phoenix need to look hard at what they’re doing.
What I want to see is every model everyone makes made to this standard as a minimum. It proves it can be done so why aren’t they all doing it all the time?
My recommendation: Despite it’s one major flaw, it’s still a lovely model, and I’d still buy it.
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