JC Wings continue to innovate and it is just as well, as modern aircraft continue to be rather uninspiring, now we are in the age when even intercontinental airliners are twinjets. These innovations help to keep things interesting. I had heard there was a rumour that Boeing had refused to allow the creation of a folding wingtips mould for the 777-9X but JC Wings have avoided this possibly spurious issue by simply producing two moulds, one with wingtips down and the other with them folded. It is the latter that I take a look at here.
Each review is to split into three key areas:
JC Wings have been producing some really impressive widebody moulds in recent years. Their 777-200/300, 787s and 747-400 are very nice and they have successfully layered on extra features like flaps down to make some outstanding models. Now they are the first into the market with a new 777-9X mould and have two variants (wingtips up and down). Since when on the ground, at least when near the gate and in it, the aircraft will presumably have the tips folded up I think this version makes sense for many collectors. Also, it looks really cool.
The JC Wings 777-300s are probably the best available at present in 400 scale so there is no reason they can't translate that over to the 9X and I have to say they do appear to have managed to do this. The nose and cockpit mirrors that of their smaller 777s and so it near perfect. The rest of the fuselage (now the longest of any commercial airliner) also has the right look and detailing.
The maingear is a work of art. The bogies pivot as you'd expect and the gear legs are thin and detailed. The shape of the maingear doors is excellent and the small inner triangular doors are also present. The nosegear isn't quite as good however. The position and height of the gear leg is fine but the forward prongs on the gear leg are too low. Also the size and shape of the nosegear door is not accurate. It is slightly too tall and not wide enough. These are hardly major problems and the look of the model isn't really impacted.
Of course aside from the fuselage stretch the biggest changes with the 777-9X are the wings and engines. The wings are well shaped and fit tightly to the fuselage. The upturned winglets are also well shaped and the join to the main wing is strong and the turned up portion sharp. You could argue that the underside of the wingtip to wing join should not be flat and should have the brackets exposed, however at 400 scale that is perhaps asking a bit much.
The massive GE9X engines, each wider than a 737 fuselage, are correctly impressively sized. The inside nacelle fan shape and detailing is some of the best I've seen in 400 scale. I am a little surprised that the fans don't rotate, however this has always been in my opinion a rather worthless 'feature' so I don't really care.
The overall shape of the engines is very good and the pylons attach both to the wing and nacelles well. The underside of the nacelles shape doesn't curve as much as it should in relation to the exhaust cone but once again this is minor.
The mould comes fitted with four aerials and a rooftop dome. The aerials are well sized but I don't think the shape of the radome is quite correct. The front is fine but the rear doesn't curve downwards in the correct teardrop shape.
Overall this is an outstanding mould for the type. There are no major errors or concerns but there are three small areas that could be improved (nosegear, pylon underside shape and dome form). Together I'll subtract a point for these three minor issues.
SCORE - 9
PAINT & LIVERY
Boeing's modern house colours are surprisingly detailed, especially in comparison to Airbuses, and the better for it. JC Wings have accurately managed their colours and got the various blue tones correct in relation to each other and the grey striping. At least they have for the most part, I'm less certain about the large 9 on the tail, which I think could be deeper in colour and merge less into the tail dots.
Positionally the livery elements are broadly in the right place but there is an issue at the mid-fuselage. After the L2 door the dark blue curve downwards isn't strong enough, which means the line doesn't intersect at the right place with the wing. The curvy line never gets low enough and curves upwards again from a point where it is too high. This is linked to the position of the windowline, which I'll discuss in the printing section.
The large GE logos on the engines look good, as do many smaller elements such as the airline tails just forward of the L2 door. Under magnification you can just about tell some of the detail and identify the airlines (the Oryx logo of Qatar for example), which is impressive considering how small they are.
Overall this is a solid livery rendition let down mainly by some poor positioning in the mid-fuselage region.
SCORE - 8
PRINTING & QUALITY CONTROL
JC Wings print their models with large amounts of detail and this model is not an exception in that it has plenty of fine lines and crisp high quality detailing. Unfortunately as intimated in the livery section there is an issue with the print template for the windowline, which leads it to be too high. It isn't dramatically so but it seems to get a little worse the further towards the rear it gets.
Broadly the model is well put together but there are a couple of small QC points worth raising here. Firstly the attachment of the nacelle front ring to the nacelle body is increasingly an area for problems with the modern multi-part engines and on this example the left side engine has a rather rough seam on the outward edge.
Secondly, although both wings are firmly attached the right side wing isn't as well fitted as the left and from above there is a noticeably larger gap between the wing and fuselage than on the left. Both of these QC criticisms are minor and don't really impact the model that much I admit.
SCORE - 8
I applaud JC's continuing innovation in 400 scale and like this new mould a lot. Overall the model presents well and is very attractive. It has lost points for a selection of minor issues, none of which arguably have a dramatic impact on the package as a whole. However, windowline height has become something of an issue with a few manufacturers of late (see Panda 737s and Aeroclassics 767s) and it really ought to be easy to get right.
FINAL SCORE - 25
I'm Richard Stretton an aviation enthusiast and major collector of 400 scale models. On this page I take a detailed look at new releases.
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