EVA Air Cargo 777-F5E B-16781 Phoenix 1:400 11423 Feb 2018

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EVA Airways Corporation is the Republic of China’s (Taiwan) second main airline after China Airlines.

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It’s almost as far from Taipei to SFO (6489 miles) than it is from Taipei to Frankfurt.

Based at Taipei Taouyan International it’s actually a surprisingly small airline with just 76 current aircraft. 34 of those are 777-300ER’s, with 22 A321’s, 3 A332’s, 6 A333’s, 2 ATR-72-600’s and at present just one 777F which was delivered in November 2017, as part of an order for five aircraft. They will replace the five 744F’s currently in service by the end of 2019. The average age of its passenger fleet is impressive at just 5.3 years.

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The airline changed its livery a couple of years ago – and neither JCWings or Phoenix did it any favours, both somehow managing to screw things up and get it wrong on their respective 773ER’s. The problems mostly centred on the curvatures of the dark green and red line. Phoenix failed to get the fuselage pearlescent paint right as well.

As far as I can recall the is the first time since then that either of them have tried to do it again on a large aircraft, in standard livery.

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The one thing with purpose built freighters is the lack of any original windows that are covered up. It provides for a clean fuselage with far less detail – mistakes in the paint stand out more and any lack of accuracy is quickly spotted.

1.Fuselage

A standard 772 body with no real mould issues. Some don’t like the nose, but it’s passable to most. The roof has plenty of details with three well painted and seated aerials, and a small moulded-in dome. Phoenix haven’t yet started to mimic the new AV400 trend of adding tiny plastic running lights – I’m wondering how long it will be before that catches on?

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Underneath there is lots of neatly printed detail and one red waste water heater aerial.

I’d like to say that Phoenix have done a good job this time and have learnt from their mistakes. They sort of half have and half haven’t. As I’ve said before, I keep new models out of sight except for a quick inspection to make sure they’ve not fallen apart.

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I hadn’t therefore noticed a massive livery fail above the rear of the right wing. There is a 1mm wide gap 20mm long between the orange-red coach line and the dark green paint; at a quick glance it looks like it’s split open.

There is also a further issue. The orange coach line doesn’t break on the actual livery or aircraft, it’s continuous along the length of the aircraft, curving up and over the wing, Phoenix have it too low and it’s cut off over the forward upper ‘shoulder’ of the wing. Just wrong.

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2.Wings

The wings are the standard fare, well made, well painted, if over-glossed, and very plain underneath.

They’re also exceptionally well fitted – they look remarkably seamless.

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3.Landing gear

The landing gear door quality looks rough, even under the paint. They’re not the best quality, a constant problem with Phoenix.  The gear itself is too silver and would be best served as grey. Both sets of bogies rotate and all the wheels do too. The tyres are good, with no lumps or bumps.

Nose gear is good quality and properly fitted.

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The ‘split’ in the paint is a new experience – never seen one like that before.

4.Engines

A really rather excellent set, with detailed nacelles,  great exhausts, and dark coloured fans that look realistic! The problem is less than excellent silver rims – the age-old problem of paint that’s too poorly mixed and particles that are too large. Do you ever learn Phoenix? For gods sake it’s like we’ve gone back six years!

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This is after the rims have been cleaned up and blobs of excess paint removed

You know why China’s military power never bothers me? Because I doubt it even works. If they build the real thing as well as they build these models, they’ve lost before they even start.

5.Nose detail

I always think the tip of the nose looks a bit flat, but the detail is excellent with lots of fine technical print and good cockpit windows.

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Even door one has issues with roller marks running across it

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6. Tail detail

The paint is excellent and the fit and finish superb on the vertical and horizontals, it’s the blurry green paint as it goes to white that’s so horribly messy.

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7.Colours

The passenger 777’s fuselage is pearlescent white in the new livery, with the base coat, then bright white, then the logos and decals applied, then a pearlescent clearcoat sprayed over the top of that. It would seem pricey, even unnecessary to do this on a freighter, but a livery is a livery! Then again Phoenix didn’t paint the 773ER in the new livery with pearlescent paint back in 2016, but JC Wings did – and it was a really nice job too.

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8.Score and Conclusion

Accuracy

  • -15 for the white paint which, (on the fuselage, not the engines, which are just bright white) is supposed to be pearlescent – that was confirmed by Teague who designed the livery. In fact the above photo shows the slightly darker finish the pearlescent top coat gives compared to the white of the engines.  This is a big fail to get wrong a second time.
  • -10 for the orange line falling below the wing – should be above it. It runs out for 20mm then restarts on both sides. Another big fail.
  • -2 for over-silvered landing gear

23/50 for Accuracy

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Quality

  • – 15 for the horrible screw up with the green/white slash and coachline above the right wing. Should have been quality checked and spotted. Unforgivably poor.
  • -2 for the gear doors, still not as good a quality as they should be – this is a problem that’s almost unbelievably in its third year and still not resolved.
  • -3 for blurred paint – light green around the main cargo door/tail, small roller marks in front of door one on the right.

33/50 for Quality

Overall score 56% This puts the model in the “Very Poor” category

Quality of research, not learning from past mistakes, silo thinking, lack of quality control. These elements lead directly to accuracy failures, with a core paint colour, and the atrocious paint fault above the right wing, never mind the orange coach line fail.

It will be returned for a replacement, if that’s as bad, a refund. I am very disappointed. It’s been years since we’ve had an EVA Cargo model.

PS: update – the model was refunded as all remaining stock was found to have the same problem with the split paint. I’ll have to try and get the JC Wings one instead!

My recommendation: DON’T BOTHER!

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