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Model Aircraft Makers: Who's The Best?  
User currently offlineAC888YOW From Canada, joined Jan 2005, 532 posts, RR: 1
Posted (7 years 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 32281 times:

I am quite new to diecast model collecting and have become a bit overwhelmed by the vast array of model aircraft makers. There is Herpa and Phoenix and Big Bird and Magic and Hogan and Dragon and the list goes on and on ...

I would like to start building up a collection but I have no idea who "the best" model aircraft maker(s) is/are. Can any of you more experienced collectors help? Is there a general consensus on who the best maker is/are, or are they all about the same?

For the record I only have a few models, some that I bought at the Boeing store, and some that I bought at Athens airport. The latter are Herpa brand.

Basically, before I get into more serious collecting I'd like to become more knowledgeable on what brand(s) to focus on, and what brand(s) to stay away from (if any). Thanks for any help!

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offline6YJJK From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 32296 times:

I must admit, all but two of my models are plastic, so I can't really say much about one die-cast versus the next.

But check out the new Gemini Jets 1:200s - http://www.geminijets.com/gemini200/ - they've only just come out, so why not collect them all?  Wink I just got the BA A320 and it's sweet.

Do you know what scale you want to collect?


User currently offlineSan747 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 4943 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (7 years 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 32290 times:

Herpa for 1/500, and either Dragon or Gemini for 1/400... I never collected models larger than 1/400, so I can't otherwise comment...


Scotty doesn't know...
User currently offlineAerLingus747 From Ireland, joined Apr 2006, 223 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 32277 times:

If you are looking for 1:400 go for Gemini Jets because there quality is better then dragon.Gemini also has 1:250 which are good and they come with retractable gear which is good.If you are looking for something bigger Hogan are pretty good.Corgi also make good 1:144.

User currently offlineAC888YOW From Canada, joined Jan 2005, 532 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 32270 times:

Thanks for all the replies.

As it stands right now I have a single 1:200 model, a couple of 1:400 models, and four 1:500 models. I didn't plan it that way; it just sort of happened so I'll probably let the majorty rule and focus on collecting 1:500. That is, of course, unless there's some obvious reason (other than size) to go with 1:400 or other. Are certain scales more readily available than others?


User currently offlineJewPilot From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 110 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 32265 times:

Hey. I just bought the brand new Gemini Jets 1:200 scale Airbus A320 US Airways NC and Airbus A319 Northwest NC. They are kick ass. The fan blades spin, the nose gear turns, and the paint is immaculate. A couple of things though. The NWA319's tail was bent about 8 degrees, no big deal, but just enough to be noticeable and piss me off. The other is that the chrome stands that are included are, at least for me, impossible to get together. All in all, for the $45 I paid a piece, it was a great buy. And, they also started my collection. Next up, Inflight200 747-400 in Lufthansa colors. Heck yes!!

JewPilot

(P.S. I got to hold and see the recently released Inflight B747-400 BA Hong Kong tail model at this hobby shop in Chicago, and it was amazing. He was selling it for $165, $35 off retail, but I didn't have that kind of money!!)



Go Sioux!
User currently offlinePITops From United States of America, joined May 2007, 1442 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (7 years 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 32211 times:

I have all Gemini Jet 1/400. I don't buy any other kinds. Quality is awesome on these. Definately check them out. http://www.airplanereplicas.com/ is a site dedicated to all 1/400 scale models. All brands as well.


Ground Ops, Southwest Airlines, CMH
User currently offline6YJJK From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 32175 times:

Quoting JewPilot (Reply 5):
The NWA319's tail was bent about 8 degrees, no big deal

 Wow! That's pretty horrific - I'd have taken/sent it back. It's always worth getting them to crack the box open for you before you buy - had I done that with my Aeroflot 734, I wouldn't have taken it, because the left engine isn't on quite straight.

Quoting JewPilot (Reply 5):
recently released Inflight B747-400 BA Hong Kong tail

Whew, that was close... I've got a thing for those World Tails, thought I might have to shell out for an Inflight 744 but I already have Hong Kong on a 757...  Smile

Quoting AC888YOW (Reply 4):
I'll probably let the majorty rule and focus on collecting 1:500. That is, of course, unless there's some obvious reason (other than size) to go with 1:400 or other.

Personally, if space isn't an issue I'd say go for 1:200 - that "across the room" impact is worth it.

If it's a choice between 400 and 500, though, I would definitely go 400 (specifically Gemini Jets, for their quality). The increase in size (and hence storage/display space) isn't huge, but it seems to make a dramatic difference. I think you'll have a wider selection in 1:500, but that just means there's more to want, which makes it more expensive and ends up completely cancelling out the space argument.  Wink


User currently offlineJewPilot From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 110 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 32131 times:

Quoting 6YJJK (Reply 7):
That's pretty horrific - I'd have taken/sent it back. It's always worth getting them to crack the box open for you before you buy

I bent the tail back some, but it is still way noticable. How do I go about sending it back? Do I need a receipt? Because I purchased it in a model shop in Chicago.

JewPilot



Go Sioux!
User currently offline6YJJK From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 32124 times:

Quoting JewPilot (Reply 8):
How do I go about sending it back? Do I need a receipt? Because I purchased it in a model shop in Chicago.

I'm in the UK, so I don't know whether you *need* a receipt, but it usually helps. I would call the store, as a first move, and see what they say. If you've had the thing a while it'll be harder to prove that it came like that.

If they give you grief, and you paid with a credit card, sic the credit card company on them. But if the shop are any good, they'll probably be okay about exchanging it.


User currently offlineFighterPilot From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 1398 posts, RR: 22
Reply 10, posted (7 years 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 32108 times:

Dragon, they come with a stand and their support if awesome. I have a broken nose wheel on my FX MD-11 and their sending me a free replacement.

Cal  airplane 



*Insert Sound Of GE90 Spooling Up Here*
User currently offlineKevinL1011 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2964 posts, RR: 47
Reply 11, posted (7 years 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 31821 times:

I just purchased this on ebay. I couldn't believe that someone modeled a UAL 1011! My favorite ship in my favorite colors. UA only flew a handful of 1011's they recd' in a purchase from PA and flew them less than 2 years. My Anet buddy "Buzz" gave me copies of the conversion from PA colors to UA that I posted in my profile a long time ago.
I have a Dragon Wings PSA 727-200 and for a 1/500 scale, the detail is pretty good. From the pictures, it appears as if they even used the correct PA reg.#.

http://www.shoporiental.com/Images/Picproduct/DW/55121c.jpg



474218, Carl, You will be missed.
User currently offlineAlaska737 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1063 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (7 years 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 31809 times:

Quoting KevinL1011 (Reply 11):
I just purchased this on ebay. I couldn't believe that someone modeled a UAL 1011! My favorite ship in my favorite colors.

haha i think i was bidding against you there


User currently offlineKevinL1011 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2964 posts, RR: 47
Reply 13, posted (7 years 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 31792 times:

Quoting Alaska737 (Reply 12):
haha i think i was bidding against you there

Yeah...that's why I opted to "buy it now".

Now I'm drooling all over this one. It's 11" long, made of mahogany and painted, no decals.For $89 bucks, I'm getting weak.  drool 




474218, Carl, You will be missed.
User currently offlineKappel From Suriname, joined Jul 2005, 3533 posts, RR: 17
Reply 14, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 31613 times:

I am also a 1/400 collector and Gemini Jets are among my favorites. But Dragon also makes some nice models. If you are into classics, you can't go wrong with AeroClassics, although their releases are usualy limited, so you need to get onboard early to snap up your favorite models. Phoenix also makes some nice models.

AVOID Magic, BigBird, Blue Box. Their models are not accurate!!!



L1011,733,734,73G,738,743,744,752,763,772,77W,DC855,DC863,DC930,DC950,MD11,MD88,306,319,320,321,343,346,ARJ85,CR7,E195
User currently offlineBwest From Belgium, joined Jul 2006, 1370 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 31613 times:

I'm collecting 1:500 (though sometimes I wish I would've started out in 1:400). The Herpa ng is pretty good quality, but I must say Inflight500 adds more detail to their planes and would get my vote as the better of the two ones. Then, Herpa scores with its much wider catalogue...

Anyway, I think the quality differences between the different modelmakers in general isn't that big. Some models though are quite different. The Herpa DC10 is notorious for being not much more than a fat pencil, while the new Inflight mould looks to be better.



I love my Airport Job! :)
User currently offlineStarAlliance38 From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 1445 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (6 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 31171 times:

I think the Herpa 1:500s are alright. They are pretty expensive and fragile though. If I buy a model, I would buy a Skymarks 1:200.

When I went to the US Airways HQ in Tempe, AZ, the Company Store there has a great new brand called IDT. Its plastic, but I like it  Big grin



Roar, lion, roar
User currently offlineN231YE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (6 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 31142 times:

I have a handful of die-cast and small scale (1:400, 1:500...) models, but the majority are plastic snap-together models. I love Hogan Wings, but they can be pricey and often don't have what I am looking for. SkyMarks are nice, not as detailed as hogan wings, but pretty accurate, and have a wide range of airlines and aircraft, and are priced "about right."

I have a few Long Prosper (junk) models and a Wooster (junk) and if I could find a replacement SkyMarks or Hogan Wings, I would replace them. Long Prosper and Wooster models are typically cheap, both price and quality. The only reason I have them is the lack of the airline/aircraft combos that the two have and the rest of the model manufacturers don't.


User currently offlineUltimateDelta From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 2125 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 30720 times:

I think two of the best model makers are Skymarks and Herpa. They are both extremely accurate, and reasonably affordable.


Midwest Airlines- 1984-2010
User currently offlineLACA773 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 4018 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (6 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 30554 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting KevinL1011 (Reply 11):
just purchased this on ebay. I couldn't believe that someone modeled a UAL 1011! My favorite ship in my favorite colors. UA only flew a handful of 1011's they recd' in a purchase from PA and flew them less than 2 years. My Anet buddy "Buzz" gave me copies of the conversion from PA colors to UA that I posted in my profile a long time ago.
I have a Dragon Wings PSA 727-200 and for a 1/500 scale, the detail is pretty good. From the pictures, it appears as if they even used the correct PA reg.#.

Kevin, this UA L15 is a true beauty. I wish I could find one for my 1:400 collection.
Myself, I've been very happy with Gemini Jets. The detail and accuracy is excellent.
I do have a question: Are Herpa's 1:400 scale models generally more expensive because they do not make many of them? What are y'alls impression of them?


User currently offlineKappel From Suriname, joined Jul 2005, 3533 posts, RR: 17
Reply 20, posted (6 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 30542 times:



Quoting LACA773 (Reply 19):
I do have a question: Are Herpa's 1:400 scale models generally more expensive because they do not make many of them? What are y'alls impression of them?

Herpa's 1:400 quality varies. I like their 763 and L1011 models, but I really don't like the a330, a340 and 747 models. 1:200 is great though.

Quoting UltimateDelta (Reply 18):
I think two of the best model makers are Skymarks and Herpa. They are both extremely accurate, and reasonably affordable.

Agreed for 1:200, I also like Hogan a lot for that scale.



L1011,733,734,73G,738,743,744,752,763,772,77W,DC855,DC863,DC930,DC950,MD11,MD88,306,319,320,321,343,346,ARJ85,CR7,E195
User currently offlineKPWM From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 2288 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (6 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 30525 times:

Most of my models are Gemini Jets 1:400's. They are great and I would recommend Gemini any day. Their models are accurate and not too expensive.


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