The Boeing 767 has probably never received the plaudits it has deserved and certainly with the type leaving the service of most front-line operators it has had a pale shadow of the number of releases its rival the A330 has in 400 scale. Nonetheless, there were still 15 767-300s announced in 2020, split between Phoenix and JC Wings / Gemini Jets – a surprisingly small number of which were freighters. I hear the occasional shout out for a new 767 mould, usually directed at NG Models, and I for one don’t really understand why anyone would think this was a priority. Here I’ll take a look at a recent JC Wings effort to hopefully illustrate why.
Each review is to split into three key areas:
The 767-300 has a complicated mould history, partly because at various times Gemini has used its own mould and the Phoenix one (sometimes alongside each other). JC Wings have only ever used the second version of the original Gemini mould, what I call the 1b mould. The 767-300 is also one of the few aircraft types where there isn’t a clearly obvious best of breed casting. Of the 25 767-300s I own 9 use the Gemini / JC Wings moulds, 8 the Aeroclassics / Big Bird, 2 the Witty Wings / AV400, 3 are Dragon Wings and 3 are Phoenix.
It is only Gemini / JC and Phoenix that still have moulds in use as of 2021 and both are good quality efforts. It is the Gemini / JC Wings 767-300 that is the better of the two in my opinion. The fuselage shape is excellent and captures the type well. The nose and cockpit capture the blunt nosed average kind of look that tends to make the 767 a little vanilla accurately.
There is one point that makes the Gemini / JC Wings mould stand out against its Phoenix competitor and that is the wing/fuselage fairing. The Phoenix mould is flat sided at the wingroot and does not accurately show the admittedly gentle bulge it ought to. Interestingly this is partly because the Phoenix mould is a slot in wings mould rather than an older cradle mount.
Like on their A320 series the slot in wings have allowed Phoenix to ignore the shape at the wingroot whereas the older origins of the Gemini 767 make it a cradle mount mould, but having the cradle at least allows for the fairing to be rendered accurately. The seam line that results follows the fairing shape forward well with a tight fit. It is far from the only time a cradle mould is better than a slot in wings one but it is the most obvious example I can think of.
I also really like the rolling gears that JC Wings have fitted to the old mould to update it. They are superior to the old static gear and have very nicely detailed gear legs and well sized tyres. Four aerials are fitted to the mould and as is often the case for JC Wings they are a little too tall and pointy. The trio of small humps above the wing are only printed on. The only other criticism I can level at the mould is that the tailfin is perhaps slightly too thin, but if it is it is hardly noticeable.
The wings and CF6 engines are generally well shaped and attached. The engines are older solid-core designs and could do with some extra detailing around the rear and underside of the nacelle. This version of the mould was first produced in 2015 – the difference being the addition of winglets. They are well sized and shaped.
Overall, this is a very effective older mould, which has been updated well. I just cannot see a worthwhile argument for the investment in a new 767-300 when there are so many other more deserving moulds to be made and both the existing moulds get semi-regular usage and are of this quality. About the only areas where major improvement could be made are removal of the seam and addition of new engine inners.
SCORE – 8
PAINT & LIVERY
I am underwhelmed by the LATAM livery, especially when previously LAN had such attractive schemes. I can understand they wanted a pan-South American logo and the red and purple swirls do make a passable map of the continent, at least when used in full on the fuselage, but the overall effect is poor. It is the tail that is the main failure for me. For one the form of the logo is completely lost and secondly the background grey colour is horrible.
Anyway, with that off my chest JC Wings have done a decent rendition of the purple and grey colours but not the red, which is too dark by a significant margin. The red on the real thing is a bright red (see here and here) but the model has a darker almost maroon red.
The placement of the tail striping is accurate as is the placement of the Colombian flag on the tail top and behind the cockpit. The LATAM logo and main titles are placed well also and use the correct attractive bespoke fonts. The South American continent logo is repeated on the forward fuselage underside.
SCORE – 8
PRINTING & QUALITY CONTROL
I have had previous issue with the size and placement of 767 cockpit windows but this model has better sized and well-placed windows. In general, I have high praise for JC’s print standards and there is nothing wrong with the level of detail on this model except perhaps the line of the engine thrust reversers on the rear of the nacelles could be shown. Major details such as the SCD are finely printed in good detail.
The model is very well put together with no quality issues.
SCORE – 10
JC Wings has made some interesting 767-300s recently (Iberia, BA, Eastern, Kalitta etc) and although this model is a relatively simple decal modification of the 2020 Gemini Jets Latam passenger variant it is a solid release on a solid mould. With only Phoenix as competition JC Wings has plenty of room to release new 767-300s using this mould, especially to replace older Gemini originals. I’d be happy enough if they did and, as I said earlier, don’t see the need for 767s from elsewhere as long as this mould gets continued usage.
FINAL SCORE - 26
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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