After many, many months of waiting the JC Wings version of the Singapore Airlines 787-10 has finally arrived. It’s a flaps-up version and therefore a direct comparison with the Phoenix is possible.
You can see the Phoenix review from February 2018, which contains technical and other historical details about the aircraft HERE
The Phoenix model is an updated version of their long used 787-8/9 mould. This one has the central ridge under the fuselage, long missing on Phoenix models. The JC Wings versions on the new mould have had this from the start. Gemini are still using the old cradle version which must be nearly 8 years old or more now.
JC Wings however still retain the lead in mould detailing – they have included the important air intakes at the forward edge of the fuselage wing root, something that did appear on the Phoenix 787-8 and vanished on their 787-9. It certainly isn’t on the 787-10 which is inexcusable.
Phoenix do show, as a raised and red-dot painted mould feature, the upper forward navigation light. This is marked on to the JCW version, along with detailed red roof graphics Phoenix didn’t bother with. JCW also added the other set of these behind the main wi-fi dome and another in front of the rear aerials.
The Phoenix wi-fi dome is a better shape, but it’s very marginal. The JCW one fits better but the paint isn’t very thick and it looks a little grey.
Both have the correct number of aerials on the roof and below.
There is one issue on the JCW that isn’t good – the shape of the nose tip is too flat and too rounded. Indeed this has surprised me as it really only seems to notice when you see as many of these things as I do, and you get used to how it should be. I physically see real-life 787’s at least twice, sometimes more a day, and for long periods, so it did strike me as odd.
There is more fine, detailed print around the JCW version, especially underneath. The Phoenix is somewhat lacking in comparison, but to be fair most, but not all of it is out of sight.
Both models have done an outstanding job of the gold/black livery lines and detailing the windows and doors.
Mould wise, JCW have the victory sewn up in this department. Their wing mould is outstanding, both in terms of small details and paint quality. All the detail is clearly visible, and finer, especially on wing edges and underneath. The wings also fit better into the fuselage, something Phoenix had a low-level problem with.
Phoenix’s mould pushes 100% into the fuselage gap – and its a gap that’s just a bit too long for the wing root.
The JCW version uses an 85% fit – with the back section around the flaps not rammed into the fuselage. This is what allows them to have the flaps-up or flaps-down versions. Phoenix won’t be able to do that on their mould because the fuselage hole is too big and would just reveal a huge gap.
The JCW wing is also a lot thinner. Like Phoenix they’ve painted the leading edge in aluminium but it’s much more realistic and finer than on the Phoenix version which is simply over done.
They appear identical in manufacture, but the Phoenix is painted very light grey. The JCW appears to be unpainted dark grey. Both are neat, wheels all operate and look decent. Hydraulics look unloved presented in such a bland fashion. Not brilliant.
Even less brilliant is the fact the JCW nose gear wasn’t properly fixed in and fell out, always a big negative.
More important however is that the JCW nose gear is about 2mm (80cm/31.5 inches in real life), too far forward. The Phoenix gear is spot on.
Very surprisingly different, and the win is on the JCW version by a small margin. The rim section is much more accurate in width side-on, and the difference is very noticeable. However, the Phoenix rim is a better colour, lighter and brighter, the JCW is a bit too dark.
The JCW method seems to be to have the fan blades (see through on both versions) attached to the rim mould and inserted into the engine. The Phoenix seems to be a separate rim piece that isn’t well painted on the inner, and the fan connected to the engine exhaust. The JCW finish looks better overall.
The exhaust colours on both lack realism – the cone especially is far to light on both, especially the JCW, but not well painted on the Phoenix.
The nacelles are good, with most of the markings underneath, but they are stronger and better defined on the JCW version.
The engine pylons shape wise, are better on the JCW too, as is the fit to the engine.
The Phoenix is a better shape, has better detail, and the cockpit windows are better, with a black frame and slate grey ‘glass’. The JCW version is just plain black. Overall the Phoenix is better.
The methods they’ve both used to fix the vertical are quite different. JCW slots in with a rear overhang fitted to the fuselage. However the Phoenix is much more in keeping with the actual aircraft , the mould around the base of the vertical and the method to insert it are superior in appearance and realism.
However in that good old game of swings and roundabouts, Phoenix haven’t indented the tail mould where the horizontals fit and JCW have! So the horizontals look more accurate fit-wise than the Phoenix! Out of the two issue however the vertical is very clearly visible and easily spotted, so to my mind this one goes to Phoenix.
No major issues on either, both are exemplary. You’d find it virtually impossible to tell them apart. Except for one thing (other than the silvers mentioned earlier) – the bright orange vertical tail line is too red on the Phoenix, and not orange enough – but closer – on the JCW.
In the accuracy zone, the JCW wins for the engines and wings, greater attention to technical detail, and the superior qualities of the under-body mould. However this is marred by the slightly out-of kilter nose shape and the too-far forward nose gear.But the Phoenix wins in tail, dome and cockpit finishes.
In terms of quality both are excellent but the nose gear fell out of the JCW and that’s not a good thing. The landing gear also looks unfinished being tacky in just plain dark grey plastic. The Phoenix inner intake rims however aren’t very neat.
Overall The JCW has enough going for it that to most people, the nose is reasonably but not wholly, forgivable. The Phoenix though, despite the lack of some technical details from a distance, where the nose shape and the tail fit all can be seen, has an edge.
This is very much about what matters most to you as an individual. They each have positive and negative traits, and I’ll be honest I’m seriously having a hard time deciding which to keep, and I’m making my mind up as I type.
It’s going to be the Phoenix, because to me the tail fixture vertical mould and the nose and nose gear are simply too important, too visible on the diorama, the rest is marginal or relatively insignificant. And the nose gear never fell out.