Qantas A330-300 VH-QPJ Mardi Gras Special Livery Phoenix 04128 1:400 May 2017

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It’s not often we get a brand new livery from Qantas. It’ even less often we see a special livery on an aircraft that’s only just been given a new livery. It’s even rarer that Phoenix produce the first, then the second within 3 months.

However it did give Phoenix a chance to make up for the mistakes of the first model, not least of which, was the fact they put the wrong registration on, using an O instead of Q.

Australia’s annual LGBT Sydney Mardi Gras is a big event, and the airline, that rightly wants to be seen as all-inclusive, embraces it with sponsorship, creating this special livery to celebrate it, and long may it continue.

The original model, reviewed here: New livery A333 had the wrong red, wrong registration, and bad tyres, and scored just 83%, a fraction above the minimum score.

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1.Fuselage

I have no problems with the Phoenix fuselage mould. Three aerials are installed neatly and well, as is the one underneath. Printed technical detail is all first class and there are no obvious problems.

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The Qantas font is the same but the colours have been changed to match the rainbow flag, and have been really well done. The strap-line beneath the windows is the correct font and colour, and perfectly legible.

2.Wings and landing gear

Perfectly fitted and painted wings, not quite as drowned in paint as we’ve seen of late. You can actually see the mould lines in the wing surface. The underwing is just as plain as ever. The wing end sharklets are neat and it’s the correct logo.

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Landing gear is neat and problem free, with rotating lump free tyres/wheels, and the nose gear is good.

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3.Engines

No problems, just an observation. The Kangaroo logo is smaller and finer on this version than on the original, otherwise it’s all perfectly good, a very neat job. In fact its a really neat set of engines, exhaust cones, everything look spot-on.

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4.Nose detail

Great detail, accurate print, no issues.

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5.Tail detail

Excellent, all the way to the rainbow flag being carried by the kangaroo. Excellent, quality detail, it looks really good!

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Even the red and white transition lines to silver have been improved, it’s all rather excellent.

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6.Colour

The red remains a shade too dark, but for most of us it’s entirely livable, but it does mark it down from perfection.

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7.Score and conclusions

  • -10 for the wrong red (that’s the only possible score for a major brand colour fail), but I know most of us will live with it. It’s not hard to get right but they just haven’t.
  • 90% is a good score and an improvement on the original version which only scored 83%.

My recommendation: this is better than the original version, and an interesting livery worthy of any collection, a buy.

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