EVA Air 787-9 B-17881 Phoenix 1:400 04229 Dec 2018

MODEL AND BRAND OF THE YEAR 2019

IS PUBLISHED 29 DECEMBER 1300 ZULU

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EVA ordered 24 787’s in 2015; 18 787-10 and 6 787-9, then reduced that to 4 and added 2 additional 773ER’s. The first and second 789’s were delivered in October-November 2018.

Equipped with 26 business class and 278 economy they’ll be operating international routes by new year 2019. Powered by GEnx-1B74’s they’re leased from ALC.

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EVA’s choice is in direct opposition to the one taken by China Airlines of Taiwan, who chose A350’s for their long haul option.

EVA Air has chosen a remarkably sober interior for the new aircraft, seemingly eschewing the often childlike cartoon image it’s used with its long-term involvement with the Hello Kitty franchise.

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The new ‘Royal Laurel’ business class on the 787-9’s

These were created by Designworks, whose brief was to come up with a modern, clean, simple and mature look for the new interiors.

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The economy seating colour palette is supposed to reflect that in the Royal Laurel business class. Not quite sure they go that right.

The decor isn’t to everyone’s taste it has to be said, and that’s as much a cultural difference as anything, what works well in Taiwan doesn’t work so well elsewhere, but that’s half the fun of flying in Asia, everything is different but familiar! Taiwanese airlines do tend to look for the somewhat gaudiest end of the seating and decor spectrum, and they try very hard to differentiate themselves – the business class tea bars on China Airlines 773ER’s being one example.

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Being the first 787 in the fleet, this aircraft and her sister proudly wear the numerals as a sort of special livery. The livery in general is that introduced in late 2015, with a sophisticated set of colours. Indeed its been said to be one of the most expensive liveries on any aircraft in production and use, matched closely only by Virgin Atlantic. Both use a series of mica-pearlescent topcoats.

EVA’s upper white is in fact a pearl coat, as is the dark green, and the red wave, which on the 787’s is much thicker than on the 777-300ER’s that first carried it. The mid-green at the tail and the lighter upper green aren’t metallic.

Overall, EVA Air have one of my favourite liveries, it’s a full-on real total body effort to make the airline stand out over and above the rest of the crowd, and on top of that it’s also really quite different. There’s certainly no mistaking it and it has something classy about it.

1.Fuselage

This is Phoenix’s revised 787-9 mould with the central ridge addition underneath. Something of a pointless add-on as the accompanying detail changes don’t really come close to the actuality of the design.

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The paint on this side is fine

However, overall it is now the third best of the four 789 moulds now in use. NG come first, followed by the new JC Wings mould then this Phoenix, then the antiquated Gemini version with the cradle mould. I would say if they were on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being highest, then the NG is a 9, the JCW an 8, the Phoenix a 6 and the Gemini a 3. Hard to think that the Phoenix was way ahead of the rest when it was first launched.

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The holes for the aerials are huge again, and no effort has been made to paint-fill them; they’re just holes with aerials in, this isn’t good enough.

The WiFi dome is better though, being mostly well seated, only some of the rubbish mould issues of the past are visible close up, but it’s not really good enough for the money.

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The dome’s good side…it looks much worse on the other side where it doesn’t sit quite right

Technical detail is excellent, lots of fine, details and neat windows and doors.

The paint is generally very good in terms of application, but I’ll talk more about that later under colours.

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The paint is messed up around the intersection, perfectly OK on the other side, dome fit is better than some past tragedies, but not by much

There is however something of strange ‘knot’ in the meeting point of the starboard side rear paint lines under door 3. The problem is that the paint has become angled, rather than curved then makes and awkward downward line, to try to make up for it. It’s not pretty and almost an eyesore when you see it.

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2.Wings

Phoenix seem of late to have reduced the paint thickness on the wings a little. It’s still too glossy, but whereas it once drowned the mould grooves they’re now clear and visible.

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Everything is superbly assembled and fits the fuselage with a high degree of quality, in fact they do appear seamless. Only bright close up flash spoils the naked-eye impression, so that really doesn’t count.

The leading edge chrome finish is still too bright though, but it is very smart and neatly done.

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3.Landing gear

Unusually a really nice set of tyres, without lumps or bumps, and they all rotate, even on the nose. Gear colour is light grey, but not an issue as it looks pretty much like that on the real thing.

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4.Engines

A really  nice set of see-through engines. I’m not overly delighted with the gaps in the fans but that’s being a little picky – this is something else that NG really got right first time. Rim colour is excellent, a really bright chrome as befits the real thing. Exhausts are excellent, as are the GE logos on the engines.

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5.Nose details

Superb paint and superb details, no failures in terms of quality.

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6.Tail detail

Just as with the nose, it’s a superbly painted and finished tail section, with seamless fit all round.

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7.Colour

It’s not the paint colour that’s the problem, nor is it the quality of the paint used. It’s the finishes. They have no opalescent finishes at all. It’s a flat white and flat green, they’re the right colours, they just lack the ‘life’ they’re supposed to have.

Part of the problem is unless you see them in direct sunlight and its glaring off the paint, the real depth of the paint finish just isn’t apparent. Phoenix are not renowned for their research, colour and colour finish matching are a real weakness, especially on liveries like this. The 773ER they did was truly terrible, but the JCW version was surprisingly good finish wise, it just wasn’t accurate.

8. Score and conclusions

Accuracy

  • -8 for lack of paint finish accuracy
  • -4 for the starboard rear paint “knot”
  • -4 for mould under belly – just not accurate

34/50 for accuracy

Quality

  • -3 for the over-large aerial holes
  • -2 for the WiFi dome, it could be much better

45/50 for quality

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Overall score: 79%

It’s a barely OK score. Quality is generally high, just the paint finishes, the knot, and those aerial holes spoilt it – and that revised mould that’s really just highlighting what’s wrong rather than what’s right.

Overall it in’t a terrible model at all, for most it will pass as accurate enough, but I just do not see why it’s so hard to get this livery right!

And that concludes the final review for 1400Reviews in 2018!

Thank you, Happy Holidays and a joyful New Year to all of you who continue to support the site.

1400REVIEWS MODEL OF THE YEAR 2018 is published at 1300 Zulu on 29th December!