LOT Polish Airlines 737-8 Max SP-LVA Phoenix 11488 1:400 Oct 2018

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LOT polish Airlines is almost at its 90th birthday, on Jan 1st 2019. Based at Frederic Chopin Warsaw Okeice Airport, it operates 62 aircraft.

The airline has had some extraordinary ups and downs in the last five years, not long ago being run by one flamboyant CEO, who while busy boasting at how marvellous the airline was, and how well it was doing, in an issue of Airliner World, then was actually unceremoniously dumped the month the article came out, as the airlines finances went into headlong nose dive.

On a side note has anyone noticed how appearing in Airliner World is often the death knell of an airline? Take the Swiss airline Sky Works that folded almost on publication two months back! There have been quite a few others over the years. It worried me that a major article on Flybe is in the current issue….

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LOT has however moved on, picked itself up, dusted itself off and recovered from a grave scenario where it had so little money it was leasing out it’s 787’s to the UK Ministry of Defence to ship troops to Afghanistan, and to Finnair to cover scheduling gaps.

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The number of ancient 734’s has been cut to just 3 and they are being replaced on a one to one by the new 737-8 Max of which 4 are already in service.

This one, SP-LVA was delivered in December 2017. Equipped with a CY186 layout and fitted with a pair of LEAP-1B’s. Like her siblings, she’s leased from ALC.

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1.Fuselage

This is a surprisingly good mould from Phoenix, long overdue that they came back to the 737. I admit to having painfully few 737’s of any type in my large collection – the airlines I prefer tend not to have them in large numbers and they’re massively outnumbered, almost 10 to one by A320 series.

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Notice on the real thing, how the forward wing root is far more pinched-in than the JCW/Gemini mould shows, but Phoenix does.

It’s a very different mould to the JCW/Gemini version with a different core very noticeable underneath where the wing root sits. On the Phoenix it’s very much more pinched-in at the forward wing root, which is actually far more accurate than the JCW/Gemini, and the pig in a poke that AC recently chucked at us with that dismally grave Icelandair 738.

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Indeed, overall I think Phoenix have gained a great deal from a little patience in bringing this mould to market. I think it’s substantially superior, in detail shape, the two aerials underneath (the JCW/Gemini only has one), and two on top plus the excellent and correctly shaped and painted satellite communications dome, even though it isn’t quite as tightly fitted to the roof as would be ideal.

The technical detail is outstanding and in super-fine 4K definition.

2.Wings

An excellent mould, but once again, spoilt by excessively thick glossy paint which fills in too much of the detail, coupled to its reflectivity which makes it even harder to see.

The split scimitars are also excellent with the required logo detail superbly painted on the uppers.

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The wings are seamlessly fitted and look unified with the fuselage. they are also nowhere near as raised up as the ones on the JCW/Gemini which are over-elevated – a disease that seems to be running through many of JCW’s moulds these days. they actually look a lot better for it, especially on a diorama.

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The two different wing roots are very noticeable

3.Landing gear

Excellent detail, all functional, a little bit too Toytown silver for my liking. Nose gear is especially good.

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4.Engines

One step ahead of the JCW/Gemini’s, even at this size Phoenix have see-through engines. These are in all but one respect, a remarkable triumph, with a great mould, excellently fitted. It’s the fan colour, how many times does it need saying? Phoenix please they are not and never have been, never will be, silver! They’re black, for all intents and purposes BLACK!!!!!!  BLACK BLACK BLACK!!!  If you can do it on the Air Belgium, why can’t you do it here and on everything else? Why is it so bloody difficult?

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For heavens sake China has stolen just about every other piece of technology through hacking and spying, couldn’t someone from the MSS slip you the technical fan colour for a 1:400 model?

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5. Nose detail

Great cockpit windows, nice micro-detail, lots of sharply defined technical print. The StarAlliance logo is especially detailed.

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6.Tail

Sharply defined quality detail and superbly assembled. First rate.

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7.Colours

The company hasn’t changed its livery in years, so it’s still spot on. Frankly it’s such a classic simple livery I don’t see why it would need to be changed. Excellent.

8.Score and conclusions

Accuracy

  • -4 for the fan colour. Need I say black? Really it’s better if it was black!
  • -2 over glossed wing paint. It’s just too much.

44/50 for accuracy

Quality

  • -1 The dome fit on the roof is not especially brilliant, but to be fair, it looks much worse in close up and I doubt most of you would have a problem with it.

49/50 for quality

Overall score: 93%

Run that by me again…93% from a Phoenix 737? Stab me in the eye with a musket bayonet I must be seeing things!  Blame the music I’m listening to for that comment but really? Astonishingly, a Phoenix with a super-high score despite it’s failure on the fan colour.

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Not only is it a better mould than JCW/Gemini, it’s the best one I’ve seen yet, and the print quality is outstanding. Get the right fan colour and with those see-through engines, it’s a winner every time over any over priced Gemini and certainly over the “will they or won’t they ever make it” JC Wings. It makes Aeroclassics version look like the trash it is. That Icelandair of theirs is so bad I’ve boxed it back up as a representative of one of the worst models of the year; and we’re fast approaching the end of 2018 and MOTY will soon be upon us.

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One thought on “LOT Polish Airlines 737-8 Max SP-LVA Phoenix 11488 1:400 Oct 2018

  1. Hi Jon. Lovely review of this model! But please, keep in mind that 737 MAX don’t have “split scimitar winglets”, as these are used on the 737NG only (the 757 have a Scimitar winglet variant, although not “Split”). The 737 MAX uses the new “MAX AT” winglet, which is shaped differently from the SSW. Best regards.

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