It is Okay to Buy Phoenix's 747s, If You Feel Like...
For a comparison between a Phoenix 747-200 and the same model on the Big Bird mold please visit: Viasa 747s in 1:400 - Part 1, PH-BUG
Recently Phoenix Models announced a set of releases that included many 747s 100, 200, and 400 series wearing some of the most sought-after liveries in 1:400 scale. The list includes the following subjects:
Air India (Polished belly) Boeing 747-200 VT-EGA
Air India (Polished belly) Boeing 747-200 VT-EFU
British Airways Boeing 747-100 G-AWNP (Landor livery)
British Airways Boeing 747-200 (Landor livery with “The World's Biggest Offer” titles) G-BDXO
British Airways Boeing 747-400 (Landor livery with “The World's Biggest Offer” titles) G-BNLC
Japan Airlines (JAL) "Aloha Express" (Polished belly) Boeing 747-200 JA8149
The Phoenix Models 747-100/200 and 747-300/400 (referred to as PH74 mold from now on in this article) are regarded as the worst series of molds available for the type in 1:400 scale. At the same time, there has been a drought of classic 747s in the scale for some time now, at least on a decent mold. Furthermore, opinions have historically been radicalized in the world of 1:400 scale model aircraft collecting, with some collectors strongly advocating for an ever-increasing level of quality – and seeing those that settle for subpart molds as an obstacle in their way. While those that are easily pleased claim that the highly critical “ruin the hobby” for them with their seemingly never-ending dissatisfaction. And of course, those that fall somewhere in between the two groups.
Needless to say, this batch from Phoenix, which includes many grails (particularly the BA Landor trio), in a highly criticized mold, has stirred the pot a bit. I have to say that the discussion has remained civil, which is good, given the fact that we have been enjoying a peaceful stretch in the hobby, let’s keep it going!
Every Collector has Different Expectations
I would assume that by now most collectors are familiar with the shortcomings of the PH74 mold, and have already made up their minds in regard to these releases:
- Some will just ignore them, and not touch them even with a ten-foot pole.
- Some will see beyond the critics, buy them and enjoy them anyway.
- Some will wait and evaluate things such as their particular financial situation when the models hit the stores, how the liveries turn out, and how quickly are the models selling out, etc.
Then there are some collectors that might be struggling with deciding how to go about these releases. Boeing 747s wearing iconic liveries are hard to resist, but everyone is saying to stay away from that God-awful PH74 mold, what should I do? This last group is who I have in mind as I write this article.
Expect a Very Vocal Response Advising You to Stay Away from These Releases
Passions will be high in the wake of this announcement, and the anti-PH74 group will likely be very vocal in expressing their disgust with the batch and will try to steer you away from buying any of these Phoenix 747s.
They do have a valid point as the PH74 mold is indeed very poor, and unarguably the worst of all the 747-100/200 and -300/400 molds that are available today. So, when an iconic livery that many people want is released on that mold, the model is bound to trigger intense frustration in the anti-PH74 group. This batch is particularly irritating to them because it includes not one, but three BA Landor jumbos, in addition to other beautiful classics from Japan and India.
However, never forget that because a mold is not the best in its category, that does not mean that none should buy it.
It is Important NOT to Fall Prey to Peer Pressure
Seems like both groups include many well-known collectors in the 1:400 online community, but one of the most prominent anti-PH74 advocates is the owner of the site Yesterday’s Airlines: Richard Stretton.
Yesterday’s Airlines has become a household name in the hobby thanks to the tireless work that Richard has put into it. And the site really does offer an unmatched amount of high-quality and well-researched literature on the hobby, as well as – for the most part – very objective and unbiased mold and model reviews.
I have personally used Yesterday’s Airlines many times before when deciding on buying a model. I also enjoy reading Richard’s articles in my free time and consider him an inspiration for my own site. However, in the previous paragraph, I said that Richard is objective “for the most part” because at the end of the day, he is a very passionate collector – like you and me – and emotions invariably get in the way sometimes. One topic that seems to make Richard particularly emotional is precisely that of the PH74 mold. He has publicly acknowledged that he would like Phoenix to straight up stop making 747s, and people to stop buying them.
So, while the PH74 mold does leave much to be desired and its critics are by and large well-deserved, I think it is important for each collector facing a dilemma on whether to buy or not to buy a PH74 to understand the information that is available to them, and use it wisely to make their own decision, but don't let the community make that decision for you. At the end of the day, it is you who will regret getting or not getting a given model, and not the people affecting that decision with their online opinions.
It is Mostly an Online/Social Media Problem
I think it is important for all of us to remember that the majority of diecast model collectors are not active on online forums and on social media platforms. So for these collectors, it is a bit simpler of a dilemma: they either buy what they l