Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 39

Thread: Model Review: PH Virgin Blue 737-700 Standard Colours

  1. #1
    400scalehangar model reviewer Supreme Hangar Mechanic Speedbird91's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Beautiful Sydney
    Posts
    1,462

    Model Review: PH Virgin Blue 737-700 Standard Colours

    Model: PH4VOZ326
    Airline: Virgin Blue
    Aircraft: Boeing 737-700
    Registration: VH-VBH
    Release Date: 2008
    Units: 500
    Notes: Standard Colours.

    Virgin Blue is an Australian low-cost airline, Australia's second-biggest airline as well as the largest airline (by fleet size) with the Virgin branding. It was founded by British businessman Richard Branson's Virgin Group. Virgin Blue was launched on 31 August 2000, with two aircraft initially offering seven return flights a day between Brisbane and Sydney. This has been expanded to cover all major Australian cities and many holiday destinations.

    The Pros
    I was quite surprised when Phoenix released this model and the ‘50th aircraft’ version a few months ago, as Phoenix, in my opinion lacks diversity when compared to other 1:400 manufacturers such as AeroClassics and Gemini Jets. Every month you will see at least a Singapore Airlines, JAL, ANA or Air India model. Unless you fleet build these airlines, you are pretty much limited in PH releases.

    When I received my model I was pleasantly surprised to see it on Ebay for prices as high as $60 USD, only a few days after the model was released, showing that I had already made a profit of 31 bucks in just a few days.
    One first inspection the model seemed quite decent and I really like the new feature Phoenix added to this model, the small bump for live TV just behind the wings on the top of the fuselage as seen on the 1:1 version. This extra ‘add-on’ is a fantastic detail which takes accuracy and detail to a new standard in 1:400 model airplanes. Of course Phoenix are not the first company to add this new detail to their models with companies like Gemini adding ‘humps’ to their JetBlue models and even Blue Box who added even extra features like under-wing inlets, round lights and many other ‘small bumps’ you find on real aircraft. Dragon pioneered this detail in 1999 with two small communication humps appearing on all MD-11 models. Unlike the above models, the MD-11s humps were not added after production but rather included in the shape of the mould. They were basic but they added some extra detail which, back in the day, were unheard of on the very, very basic models of the late 90s.

    The ‘Virgin’ font on the tail is correctly positioned, the forward font and VB’s telephone number are also in correct positions and Phoenix even included, with great detail and good printing methods, the female flag carrier and Australian flag after the registration. Every little detail of the 1:1 version has been successfully replicated even down to the tiny Virgin font on the winglets bordered by the blue which is also seen on the tail. The engines also feature a thin blue strip just before the thrust reverser area and Phoenix have even printed the tiny red lines of the restricted zone on the engine. The engine inlets have been painted metallic black, another plus, as the silver paint was too stark and very unrealistic and the same metallic black paint is seen on the base of the engine pylon under the wing on the exhaust pipe leading out of the CFM-56s. The top of the wings have a border of faint black paint replicating the ‘No Step’ areas of the wings as seen on the real aircraft. Flap outlines and spoilers have also been added to the model by outlines being engraved into the mould rather than printed. Leading edge slats have been painted in a subtle silver paint adding just that little bit extra realism. The nose gear is a good size and the gear bay doors are not oversized barn like doors as seen on AV400 73G mould. The nose gear bay door even features the last two letters of the registration ‘BH’.

    Small ‘Phoenix’ logo on the belly of the model isn’t visible unless looked at from underneath and doesn’t wrap around with the curvature of the fuselage. Another plus!

    The Cons
    The major downfall of this model is the background paint, one of the most noticeable areas of a model and thus the most important to get correct. Phoenix stuffed this up big time. The colour should be similar to that of Gemini’s Virgin Blue 737-800, a bold red. Phoenix’s red is tangerine-orange red and therefore is incorrect. It is quite noticeable when both models are standing next to each other. On my diorama, I like to pretend that this particular aircraft is based in Alice Springs and has faded due to the heat.
    The nose on this mould is also quite poor. It is just too blunt to be that of a 737s. The 737 has a distinctive pouty nose and higher cockpit windows but the nose of the model is short and blunt showing an essence of Concorde’s blunt nose, though not to that extreme.

    The main landing gear is too tall. Although this is this the case on all of Gemini’s and Phoenix’s 737 NGs, this is wrong. The angle of the model hints the angle of an ERJ-145. The landing gears are angled too far backward, they should only be slightly angled although I think this was intended to balance the model’s Center of Gravity as the 737 NGs are notorious for falling on their backsides.

    Below are ratings out of 10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being excellent.
    1: Worst
    2: Bad
    3: Poor
    4: Could be better
    5: Satisfactory
    6: Average
    7: Good
    8: Great
    9: HOT!
    10: Excellent

    Mould (Airframe): 8.0
    Detail (Inc. Spoilers, Flaps, Gear bay doors, Cargo Doors): 9.0
    Printing (Accuracy, Colour, Finish, Correct Fonts): 7.0
    Quality (Any Scratches, Chips, Bent Pylons, Finish): 9.0
    Value (Price, Money well spent): 8.5
    Verdict: 8.5/10

    Final Verdict
    Putting the colour and minor mould issues aside, this model is still a must have for any person who collects Australian models. It has its issues but overall, Phoenix has done a good job at replicating the little Virgin. -VBH is a nice addition to the Virgin fleet. Expect to pay a minimum market price of USD $50 for this model. If you can get it cheaper, snap it up as it has become a much wanted model.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Cheers,
    Adam



  2. #2
    Master of the Cougar Arts Supreme Hangar Mechanic cougar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    1,681
    Very good review Adam, you covered all the major issues that have been bought up, but as you also mention, this is a must for all Aussie collectors. Lets hope that the "fading" look is addressed with furture productions. Phoenix has been very kind to us with the 2 Virgin Blue this year, perhaps the year isnt over for this fleet?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Master Collector steve k's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    HENLEY BEACH*ADELAIDE , SOUTH AUSTRALIA
    Posts
    13,073
    Quote Originally Posted by cougar View Post
    Very good review Adam, you covered all the major issues that have been bought up, but as you also mention, this is a must for all Aussie collectors. Lets hope that the "fading" look is addressed with furture productions. Phoenix has been very kind to us with the 2 Virgin Blue this year, perhaps the year isnt over for this fleet?
    Could we see a DJ 737-800 with the foxtel radome, or the gilette, or the forgotten EX Ansett reverse livery, or the head to Queensland, or the Ansett 737-300 in 3 diff colours!!
    over to you my "Firey Mate" pinky!!!
    Happy to be part of Aviation Delight Forum
    Owner of Facebook group "1/87 Car, Truck and Earthmover Group."

  4. #4
    Moderator / Dark Jedi Master Collector R. Minor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    17,660
    Nice review... I agree with Steve's future release suggestions as well.
    Ron / Mr. Polo / Posted With A Mac / Honorary Australian Citizen

  5. #5
    Senior Member Supreme Hangar Mechanic Flyingdoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    864
    Excellent review Adam - agree with everything you've said. The colour would rate as "Fuschia" according to my ex-wife, which should make Steve ecstatic (a pink Virgin!) - but sadly detracts a lot from the quality of the model.

    PS - some extra pics

    Even from a distance the difference in colour is discernible.


    Some detail shots.



  6. #6
    Moderator / Dark Jedi Master Collector R. Minor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    17,660
    Nice photos Gerard...
    Ron / Mr. Polo / Posted With A Mac / Honorary Australian Citizen

  7. #7
    Aging Collector Pro Collector transnat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    New South Wales, Australia.
    Posts
    9,143
    Nice work. Thanks for the review and the pictures you guys.

    Tnat
    Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars

    See the 1147models in Transnat's collection @ http://www.diecastmodelaircraft.com/collect/

  8. #8
    Moderator / Dark Jedi Master Collector R. Minor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    17,660
    Pulled my example out of the box for the first time today. Adam is correct. There is a noticeable difference in the GJ red and the Phoenix red.

    Phoenix is off in my opinion.
    Ron / Mr. Polo / Posted With A Mac / Honorary Australian Citizen

  9. #9
    Aging Collector Pro Collector transnat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    New South Wales, Australia.
    Posts
    9,143
    The Phoenix is WAY off. However it's better than nothing and in real life they do fade over time.

    Tnat
    Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars

    See the 1147models in Transnat's collection @ http://www.diecastmodelaircraft.com/collect/

  10. #10
    Moderator / Dark Jedi Master Collector R. Minor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    17,660
    Quote Originally Posted by transnat View Post
    The Phoenix is WAY off. However it's better than nothing and in real life they do fade over time.

    Tnat
    A good point. Now then, can we get a gillette to go with it?
    Ron / Mr. Polo / Posted With A Mac / Honorary Australian Citizen

  11. #11
    400scalehangar model reviewer Supreme Hangar Mechanic Speedbird91's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Beautiful Sydney
    Posts
    1,462
    Fantastic shots, really emphasises the blunt nose and wrong colour.
    I also noticed that the 'Blue version' has the same red colour on the tail too......

    Loving those customs.
    Cheers,
    Adam



  12. #12
    Aging Collector Pro Collector transnat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    New South Wales, Australia.
    Posts
    9,143
    Quote Originally Posted by R. Minor View Post
    A good point. Now then, can we get a gillette to go with it?
    Great idea Ron! Perhaps they could shave a bit off the nose to get the profile spot on.

    Tnat
    Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars

    See the 1147models in Transnat's collection @ http://www.diecastmodelaircraft.com/collect/

  13. #13
    Moderator / Dark Jedi Master Collector R. Minor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    17,660
    Quote Originally Posted by transnat View Post
    Great idea Ron! Perhaps they could shave a bit off the nose to get the profile spot on.

    Tnat
    Indeed. The nose could use a shave. I see a bit if stubble there...
    Ron / Mr. Polo / Posted With A Mac / Honorary Australian Citizen

  14. #14
    Master of the Cougar Arts Supreme Hangar Mechanic cougar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    1,681
    I find it interesting that it took 5 years between the initial release and the second, now we have 2 in a few months. I think Steve may be onto something, with the Aussie market known for being a "sure thing" we just may see those he mentions. I know I would be up for them. As always, I am most impressed with Gerards collection, you definantly set the bar for this hobby mate, along with Bob (QF787)

  15. #15
    Master of the Cougar Arts Supreme Hangar Mechanic cougar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    1,681
    Quote Originally Posted by steve k View Post
    or the Ansett 737-300 in 3 diff colours!!
    over to you my "Firey Mate" pinky!!!
    What 3 colours are you refering to mate? Are you including the Ansett liveries as well as the Virgin reverse colours?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •