Many long-range wide-body jetliners have been part of American Airlines' fleet over the decades, including some iconic aircraft such as the 747 and DC-10, but it is safe to say that out of all of the ones that got to wear the classic bare metal -chrome- livery with the red, white & blue cheatline, the 777-223ER is the Flagship. American 772s were ubiquitous across the airline's long-haul route network during the 2000s and the livery was a highly recognizable classic.
In the world of 1:400 scale model aircraft, these silver giants have received quite a bit of attention over the years, with close to twenty different models released since 2000 by many brands. Most of them are, however, cast in dated (some are very dated) molds. One notable exception is a 2018 release by JC Wings on their superb 772 mold, but it does not wear the standard version of the livery.
Due to their popularity and appeal, AA 772s in the chrome livery hold their value and/or appreciate well, despite being plenty of them in existence. If you can find one for cheap, there is usually a reason for it.
Luckily, NG Models once again injects some new life into the hobby, by releasing an updated version of a popular model, allowing many collectors to obtain a brand-new copy from a regular retailer.
Let's take a look at the 1:400 NG Model American Airlines 777-223ER N795AN, July 2023 release. There are 6 parts that will be given between 1 and 10 points, 1 being the lowest and 10 being perfect. In the end the average of these scores will be the final score.
Accuracy of colors
The colors are simply spot on, but I should point out that the excellent mirror properties of this bare metal livery can be tricky. For example, the model initially looked too light to me,but after some research, I determined that it was due to the reflection of the white walls of my office.
The livery pretty much consists of a metallic fuselage, a tri-color cheatline, and the company logos. All elements are present and correctly placed.
Score: 10 / 10
Logos, titles and stickers
While all elements of the livery are present and properly placed, the font of the American titles on the fuselage is not quite correct. The titles on the real aircraft look bolder and thus make some letter elements align differently with the doors.
Score: 9 / 10
Typical of NG, there is a high level of detail accurately represented in the model. There is a small issue with the passenger and emergency doors on the main deck, they seem slightly oversized, or too high as they protrude a bit much above the cheatline.
VHF and WiFi antennas and dome are correct, though the antenna on the lower aft fuselage is missing on my model; those pesky things...
Score: 9 / 10
Paint and printing QC
Most of the printing seems solid and smooth. One notable exception is the nose region. In the photo below you can see signs of poorly refined over-printing, slight misalignments, and failure of the cheatline to neatly conform to the shape of the nose
Below you can see a comparison with a very old GeminiJets model from 2001. While undoubtedly the new NG release is superior to the very old and primitive GJ example, the latter does have an edge in terms of cheatline neatness in the nose area. The cheatline should have no waviness whatsoever.
Score: 7 / 10
As with most NG molds, this 772 casting is very young and it is holding up nicely, though the shape of the nose could be more accurate. One thing that I noticed, is some sort of wavy pattern all over the model that is evidenced by the chrome bare metal finish of the model. In the picture below you can see this "texture" if you pay attention to the upper fuselage.
Score: 8 / 10
With very few exceptions, most models produced these days are spectacular, even though the majority are not 100% perfect. I think this is a fine model that will make any collector happy, and certainly a better alternative to any worthy previous release that you can find on the second-hand market, given the price people are asking for them. Having said that, this model shows room for improvement at a glance (that nose area...) and I personally think it is just not quite up there with the so-called "NG standard" that we have become accustomed to expect from them. It is all good though, but it goes to prove the point that NG is just one more manufacturer from the bunch.
The total score is 53 / 6 = 8.8
Jorge A. Zajia