For a time in the late 2000s and early 2010s Phoenix were a real trendsetter in 400 scale. They were the first to introduce aerials and with a selection of strong Airbus and Boeing widebodies became very popular. By 2022 much has changed, and now Phoenix find themselves behind several of the newer brands, but still have the capability to compete. It has been a few years since I acquired a Phoenix 777 so it is a good opportunity to see how this venerable mould stands up to the new kids on the block.
Each review is to split into three key areas:
This Phoenix 777 mould dates from 2007, although it has been updated several times since then. At that point it had no real competition and that remained the case until the short-lived Witty mould appeared in 2012. It wasn't, however, until JC Wings introduced its new mould in 2016, followed by Aviation400 in 2019 and NG Models in 2022, that serious regularly used challengers really came to the fore.
Broadly this mould still remains very good, however in detail I think it is weaker than at least the JC Wings and Aviation400 versions. There are few issues at the front end. The overall shape is fine and the nosegear is also well positioned, a good height and nicely detailed.
The mould was an early adopter of the seamless slot in wings system, as were all Phoenix moulds from this era. It still looks great today and the wings have a nice tight fit. Their overall form is excellent.
The engine pylons hang the nacelles at a nice height but lack the close connection to the exhaust sections present in the real thing, and there is a gap between the pylon and exhaust that shouldn't be present. The engines themselves are a little smaller than on competing moulds but have been updated to be hollow-core, albeit with static fanblades. The blade detailing is ok but the gaps between the blades are quite large.
The maingear looks good and has the pivot feature allowing the bogies to move. The detailing is nice but the shape of the maingear doors is not entirely accurate along the rear margin.
Towards the rear of the mould the distinctive chisel shaped tailcone is present but lacks the upper and lower protrusions (as does the new NG Models mould). The age of the mould is shown in that the tail joins to the fuselage along its entire width rather than as on younger moulds leaving the rudder unattached.
Impressively the mould has six aerials fitted, including a tiny one on the underside offset to the left of the midline. They are well shaped and sized.
This mould still stands up well and is certainly a solid and reliable option. I have no major reservations about acquiring it myself, however when up against the excellent JC Wings and Aviation400 moulds they would be my preferred options.
SCORE - 8
PAINT & LIVERY
This livery was one of at least two designed to showcase the 46th WorldSkills Championships, a world championships of vocational skills, scheduled to be held in Shanghai in 2022. Sadly China's continuing ultra-crackdown on Covid led to an initial postponement and then cancellation of the entire tournament.
The mascots of the tournament were called 'Neng Neng' and 'Qiao Qiao' meaning "skillful craftsman". "Wearing overalls, protective goggles and work gloves, they hold the lock of luban, which represents the spirit of traditional craftspeople" the marketing fluff tells us. Both characters appear on each side of the aircraft alongside a lot of other content.
There are at last five main colours, which all appear in the geometric shape logo the championships also uses and which appears 8 times on each side of the fuselage. I'd say that at least three of the five are the right colour but the medium blue, and the lighter blue at the nose are both too dark for me - at least when you see the aircraft in bright lighting.
Positionally, the livery elements are actually impressively detailed and almost completely accurate. That is impressive considering the complexity of the skyline and colour sashes. The only substantial criticism of the livery positionally is that the medium blue line above the cockpit doesn't curve correctly around the roof.
If you get out the micrometer then I'm sure some of the other lines maybe slightly out too (for example the position of the Boeing 777 titles shows this up) but it is very minor.
I am pleasantly surprised with how well Phoenix have replicated this very difficult livery. It looks great.
SCORE - 8
PRINTING & QUALITY CONTROL
I have historically been rather critical of Phoenix printing standards but they do seem to have upped their game here. Not only is all the printing crisp and detailed but areas that have traditionally been ignored by Phoenix, such as the underside and engine nacelles, are showing some nice work.
Another area that has also been an issue with Phoenix in the past are the maingear doors. They are present on this model but they are just rectangles that don't actually connect to the gear legs at all.
Cockpit printing has also been an issue in the past that this model has got right. Outside of all this praise the model does have a rather obvious paint defect in that there is a white mark on the left of the nosecone. I'm not sure whether this is a factory defect or caused by rubbing in the cradle. It is a bit of a shame.
On the plus side the model is well constructed with no build issues.
SCORE - 8
This model is a really nice release that has been well crafted by Phoenix and gives me hope that they really do still have something to offer in the scale, other than appalling 747s and shoddily printed 737s. The 777 mould is still competitive and let's be honest they do get their models to market much faster than the 777 competition in AV400 and JC manage. The final score is reflective of a 'decent' model but still not one that gets to 'awesome' - a score that others meet fairly regularly in reviews. Nonetheless, good work Phoenix.
FINAL SCORE - 24/30
16/11/2022 01:25:00 pm
After aquiring a good few of the type at 300ER and 200ER OR LR models at 1:400 scale from 4 brands NG the latest at 200ER only and the others both 200ERs And 300ERs i would say AV400 is the clear winner !! Though JCW i feel is poorer on some liveries and engines like the P&W engines for their B777-200 models that carry P&W engines under the wing! Mould hands downwards??? Not like that in real life att all from what i have seen in pics!
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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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