JC Wings can be a frustrating brand. At times they can produce the most wonderful models on excellent moulds, but way too often they produce a tedious carousel of re-releases on weak moulds too. Add to that the insane extended wait times, even for models you see images of when announced, and it means that I don't buy as much JC as I'd like. All too often someone else will have released the model before they do and often on a better mould. That isn't always the case though and this Hainan 787 has been overlooked by all other brands giving me a chance to take a closer look at the JC Wings Dreamliner for the first time in a few years.
Each review is to split into three key areas:
When it comes to JC's newer widebody Boeing moulds there is a lot to like. Not only do they have the best 777s, a great new 747-400 and solid older 767s, but they also have a very competitive 787 as well. Unfortunately the protracted delivery times means that in recent years the NG Models 787 has been my Dreamliner of choice and it was 2018 when I last acquired a JC Example. If only they could release their models on time I'm sure I'd get a lot more because this is a very nice casting.
This release was announced back in 2020 but I'm pretty sure that it didn't actually appear on the market until last year - a typically lengthy release cycle. I undertook a detailed scoring comparison of the four current 787-9s in late 2022 and the result was that the JC Wings mould was effectively neck and neck with the newer Aviation400 and NG Models versions (although the latter won on points narrowly). Only the ancient Phoenix mould fell some distance short.
Certainly the gap between all three moulds is very small and to a degree comes down to owner preference. That's not to say there aren't significant differences though, just that it is up to the collector to determine which features they prefer.
Unlike for the A350 all the 787 moulds have excellent cockpit and nosecone regions. Likewise the nosegear is excellent for the three top moulds so it is elsewhere that differences should be found.
The JC Wings engines and pylons are a strongpoint. The JC pylons have the best curve above the nacelles holding the engines higher. The rear engine nacelle chevrons are also the spikiest.
The maingear of the JC mould is also superb with the complex 3 section maingear doors recreated well albeit the small rhomboid element is not quite positioned correctly on the upper outside. On the plus side they are the only brand to add the tiny inside door on the maingear and the width of the maingear is correct, unlike on the NG version where the gear are too close to each other.
From the front the wings have a lovely profile and the engines are obviously hollow core. My only criticism here is that the fanblades on the JC mould are very thin and distinctly inferior to the fanblades on the AV400 and NG moulds.
One other minor criticism of the JC mould is that the wing join to the fuselage is a little loose with a bit of a gap. From the underside the forward join of the wing to the fuselage is also not as well modelled as on the AV400 and NG versions.
At the rear the tailcone and horizontal stabs are excellent but the shape of the forward edge of the top of the vertical stabiliser is too square. The result of all of this is that the JC version is as good as the competition at the nose, nosegear and wing shape, superior at the maingear and engines side on but slightly inferior when it comes to wing join, fanblades and tail form. The other moulds certainly aren't perfect either and nowadays I tend to score all three as very strong 9s
SCORE - 9
PAINT & LIVERY
This scheme denotes Hainan's position as a Free Trade Port - a law that was passed on June 10, 2021 to help enable Hainan to become an internationally welcoming location for investment and trade. The scheme was unveiled on August 13, 2020.
The scheme includes:
"the pattern of the brocades worn by the local Li ethnic group, logos and images of Hainan FTP, the Long March carrier rocket, and Boao Hope City. Many other iconic elements of Hainan, such as the Haikou Shiji Bridge, Yangpu port, Sanya International Duty Free Shopping Complex, coconut trees, waves, and Bougainvillea glabra, are also included in the design"
So there is a lot going on and I have to say that JC have impressively got everything in the right place. The finishing on the actual livery is very fine and difficult to reproduce to that level of fineness in 400 scale, even by JC who excel at that kind of thing. Even so, the model scheme looks great.
Some of the colours are a little dark, such as the blue of the wave at the rear of the fuselage and even the palm trees. The standard tail colour is also a little dark as I have discussed previously with the Hainan scheme. Aeroclassics, JC Wings and NG Models all make it quite a deep red while Phoenix make it far more orange. The red colour is a little too dark I think here.
SCORE - 8
PRINTING & QUALITY CONTROL
JC Wings can definitely print in glorious detail and obviously this scheme illustrates that well. There is a plethora of detail on the model both related to the scheme and related to the base template.
If I must find some criticism I would say that the very thin fanblades are silvery and make the engines seem a bit silvery too but that is extreme nitpicking.
Interestingly nowadays I don't hear much criticism of JC Wings build quality, whereas I hear, and see, plenty related to Gemini Jets, which are made by JC Wings. I don't understand why this is but it seems clear that it isn't the same people putting the printing and components in place for each. The only build problem with this model is that the nosegear is slightly slanted towards the rear and firmly glued in place can't be budged.
SCORE - 9
I get the feeling that this is the kind of model that has passed most people by, partly because it is for a Chinese airline and partly because when JC announce models so far out from their realisation that people forget about them and nobody notices when they're released. JC Wings certainly doesn't do a good job pointing out when models hit the market, which I can't help but feel must impact the sales. Anyway ignoring all of that this is an excellent model and illustrates that JC Wings have plenty of skill available, and plenty of great moulds too. Nonetheless, they remain an enigma and although I can certainly recommend many of their models they are hard to give the same sort of credit too as I can lavish on NG and AV400. Still, great model.
FINAL SCORE - 26/30
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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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