Royal Thai Air Force A320-200: HS-TYW
Government and MACs, or military aircraft, have been a mainstay of most manufacture releases lately on nearly a monthly basis. Further, most of the time, the MACs are more of a complement to the main portion of the releases, something to 'sweeten the deal.' In this case though, I feel that the Thai Air Force A320, HS-TYW, a brand new A320 is perhaps the best offering this month. In my opinion, only the Panda Models A320 is better than the Phoenix A320 mould. I have dabbled in government jets. Many wear extremely attractive liveries, but it can get expensive fast in trying to keep up with these on top of your standard mainline airliners. Rather ironically, I actually have the lackluster A340 that wears this same livery and it will be tempting to take a look at this one.
China Southern 777-200ER: B-2058
I've lost count at this point as to how many China Southern 777s we've seen from Phoenix. Years ago, grabbing on of these was reason enough to celebrate as it was once renowned as being the best 777 mould you could buy. Today the mould is about as attractive as an old abandoned wide-bodied airplane sitting alone at Victorville waiting to become scrap. There isn't anything all that special about it any more. With newer examples from JC Wings and AV400, there isn't much reason to buy 777s from Phoenix anymore, but someone will. Someone who is likely younger and new to the hobby, who hasn't figured out what's what yet, or missed out on one of the other, twenty two China Southern 777-200s that have been made in 1/400. This aircraft in fact no longer exists. It did its time with China Southern from 1998 until 2014 when it was pulled from service and then broken up in Arizona in 2017.
Garuda Indonesia 737-800: PK-GFT "Vaccine"
If there's anything more tiresome than another "Covid-19" livery, it's the Phoenix 737-800 mould. It's not even so much the mould as it is the printing of the flight deck windows. That isn't helped either by the commonly low hung engines, bent wings, and crooked gears commonly found on these models. Garuda operates a fleet of sixty six 737-800s, at an average age of 9.6 years of age, that is the exact age of this aircraft, PK-GFT. It was delivered to Garuda in 2011 and it performs usual regional running around duties for Garuda. I find this special livery to be unimaginative and overkill for both Garuda (on the heels of multiple "mask-up" liveries) and for Phoenix on making them.
Royal Air Maroc 787-8: CN-RGB "One World"
RAM waited patiently to take up its 787s. This one, CN-RGB was finally delivered in 2014 and has since been updated to the new RAM livery with the One World titles. JC Wings is the only other company that has made the RAM 787-8 with the new RAM livery, and no one else has done this model with One World titles. As of now, this is actually a very decent, but niche special release. This is probably the other most noteworthy model this month. I personally much prefer the JC 787-8 mould over the Phoenix one, but besides some wing flex, and less detailed gears, the moulds are similar. I don't think it would be a bad decision to wait for JC Wings to pump out a 'One World' version here as their standard RAM effort looks splendid. On the flip side, with big turnaround times, if you need this model, go get it.
SilkAir 737-800: 9V-MGQ
The final offering this month for Phoenix is a bit of a relic. SilkAir was always diet Singapore Airlines. It operated as a wholly owned subsidiary for the last 29 years before being finally observed by its parent in January of 2021 as many airlines in the Into-Pacific region have made efforts to cope with the collapse in air travel. The aircraft involved is 9V-MGQ. The airplane is just under five yers old. Sadly after the consolidation, this jet is now on standby, waiting for demand tp pic back up again. Surprising as it may be, this is only the second 737-800 ever made in 1/400 scale for SilkAir. The airline has had good representation in 1/400 scale. Many of their 23 Airbus aircraft and many more of their Boeing aircraft have been done, but again, this is only the second standard 737-800. The final product has obviously yet to be seen, but I'd still imagine the first iteration done by JC Wings will safely stay in first place comparatively.
I honestly like the direction Phoenix is going in. No matter if it's by design or necessity, I'd like to see them release fewer models with a much higher quality. This month, their selection isn't strong and neither is their mould profile. But to me this is moving towards a sustainable business model if they can focus on interesting aircraft, on their best moulds, flawlessly produced. I don't predict any of these models will end up in my collection anytime soon, if ever. Even still, I look forward to next month.
This page will be updated to rank and discuss monthly releases from the 1/400 model aircraft industry as well as other hobby news and info.