I own 130 models made by Phoenix and so it is fair to say I think they have made some good models. They have excellent moulds for the IL-96 and TU-154 (although they barely ever use them), a great A380, and perfectly decent moulds for the A330s and A320s. They also have a selection of less impressive moulds but frankly it is the low quality of their models that means in the past two years of 207 models I've purchased only 4 have been Phoenix models.
They are being deservedly mauled by Aviation400, JC Wings, Panda and NG Models and this month's releases illustrates the point comfortably. It is infuriating as I want to get some of their models but the end result is so clearly inferior that I'm not wasting my money on them.
So in lieu of me wasting my cash buying and reviewing them let's take a whistlestop tour of this month's Phoenix releases. I'll start with the model I was most interested in acquiring: the house colours A330NEO.
The mould looks ok, after all their A330-300 is pretty decent, but you can see they've not improved the issues with the undercarriage of their older A330 (nosegears too large and maingear bogies dragging on the ground between the tyres). More annoyingly it is clear the tail colours are nowhere near accurate, and don't give me any of this 'it's the photograph' rubbish. They are just wrong. When you can buy the JC Wings version with better colours and improved undercarriage why would you get the Phoenix? Plus JC Wings printing quality is always superior.
Next we have the Sichuan Panda A350. Firmly in my collection criteria but another abomination. The cockpit windows pinch oddly at the top and the engines drag along the ground, even when the nosegear leg is too long. Why would you get this when you could get the AV400 version?
On to the Ryanair 737-800 and Phoenix have constantly refused to bother to take a look at the cockpit printing of their 73Hs, which otherwise use a competent mould. I won't even go near what is going on with the nosegear and the huge tyre tab. Why would you get this when you can get the NG Models version? Checkout the maingear tyre and winglet printing and its clear even if you ignore the cokcpit whose printing is better.
Onto a MAX and who are Phoenix kidding suggesting this even is a MAX? The nosegear is way too short - it makes a better 737-800 than their actual 737-800 mould. Also what's going on with those wings? The tips look lower than the attachment to the fuselage. Plus once again the photographed example looks like it was put together by a 5 year old.
I'll finish this whistlestop tour with a look at the China Airlines 747-400F. It is nearly 2020 and Phoenix still keep on putting models out on this embarrassment of a mould. It looks dreadful.
In summary these are admittedly only 5 of this month's 15 releases but they are all poor for various reasons. Phoenix shows no interest in improving its products. It's been using that shocking 747 mould for near on a decade and still can't print cockpit windows for a damn. If anything they are showing some real contempt for collectors in my opinion.
I'm certainly not wasting my $$ getting any of these. Rant over...
I'm Richard Stretton, an aviation enthusiast and major collector of 400 scale model aircraft. This blog discusses ongoing events in the world of 400 scale.
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