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Old 10-15-2019, 03:59 PM   #1
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Models review.

I decided to make an effort to deeply consider my models, something more than a simply photo.
I will try to make a review of the various models, according to the availability of the real photos, sunlight and many other different things.
I am preparing them.
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:18 PM   #2
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Re: Models review.

This is going to be one more interesting thread, Ale. Your experience in this hobby will make it a successful thread. Your insight and review of your fleet will help other newer collectors in their collection too. I think this is a good idea, my friend
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:34 PM   #3
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Re: Models review.

One thought--you could display your entire fleet, over time, in small airplane groupings as a photographic essay taking place at some of your wonderful airports. This would be a fantastic 1:500 scale anthology and something which has never done before with so many models--it would almost be a catalog!! Your devotion and dedication as shown on this forum truly elevates the hobby, and collectors like you help sustain the momentum.
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Old 10-16-2019, 02:06 AM   #4
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Thumbs up Re: Models review.

Two very good ideas!
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:51 AM   #5
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Re: Models review.

That's a great idea! I'd love to see that!
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Old 10-18-2019, 05:33 PM   #6
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Re: Models review.

The first model is Herpa 528702 Qatar Airways A380 A7-APB.







It is an A380 in old Qatar Airways livery and, at the first view, the model is extremely elegant and impressive.






Livery: the shade of grey, as you can see from these three pics, is different according to the sunlight.
Qatar Airways livery is not so easy to realize, it is a grey changing a lot if too light or too dark.












We could debate for hours, there are many shades of grey and, to know which is the right Qatar Airways livery, we should know the number of grey Qatar and Herpa used.
But i can affirm that Herpa model has a too dark shade of grey. Looking at the various pics of the real airplane, not considering the ones realized with a "weird" sunlight, it is clear that Qatar Airways livery is a light grey, as stated in 2006 when the airlin changed livery.
This is not a comparison but a review, but looking at 5Stars Qatar Airways A380 "refreshed livery" it wears the right shade of grey. In fact the airline refreshed the livery adopted in 2006, mainly for the tail logo with the Oryx continuing on the fuselage instead of adorning just the tail.
In my opinion Herpa realized a too dark grey.
Let me continue with the fuselage details, starting from port side.
The tail logo, the famous "Oryx":





The logo is almost perfect, even the position on the tail, and the 8 dark grey lines before the Oryx and the 3 after the Oryx are well realized.
On the upper side of the fuselage, from the rear part we have:
- 3 closed windows and two open windows, with the Qatari flag below, among the 2nd open window and the 1st closed window
- door with the rectangle below
- 5 open windows, 1 closed window, 4 open window
- door with the rectangle below



- 25 open windows and 1 closed window
- the Arab written "Al Qatariyah" below the 25 open windows, going from 9th to 20th window, large 12 windows.
In Herpa model the written is too large because takes 13 windows, from 9th to 21th.
- door with Oneworld logo and the rectangle below
- 5 closed windows and 6 open windows
On the lower part of the fuselage (always port side):





- door among the 1st and 2nd close doors, on the same vertical line of the 1st closed door
- 10 open windows, the registration number A7-APB below the first three windows
- door
- silver line of the belly wings section
- missing main landing gear edge line, which continues over the belly; missing vertical thin line, missing two horizonatl thin lines
- 2 closed windows, 13 open windows
- door
- 1 closed window, 16 open windows, 4 close windows.
Herpa model has 18 open windows, while they are only 16 on the real airplane. Herpa added two more windows don't existing in the real model: at the end of the A slanted line, the two windows are closed and not open.
- door
- 12 open windows
- door with Oneworld logo
- small service door under the Q, missing on Herpa model.
- QATAR written: has the right size and the right place on the fuselage, the only difference is that the A line hasn't open windows (as already said).

Now the nose/cockpit windows section.
In my opinion the cockpit windows are too small and too narrow and this flaw importantly changes the nose section of Herpa model towards the real airplane.





The 1:1 A380 has the cockpit windows developing until and ideal vertical line cutting the nose landing gear door in the middle; the 2nd and the 3rd windows are higher than the first window.
"Al Qatariyah" written developes from the half of the 2nd window to the end of the 3rd window.
Below, along and ideal vertical line starting from the end of the written, there are three small black details missing on Herpa model; Herpa model also misses the black borders of nose landing gear door, while it is just stylized.
If you look at Herpa Qatar Airways A380 cockpit windows, they are about at the same level, arrive at the start of nose landing gear door so they are too small and short.
Then there is another huge difference: looking at the 1:1 airplane mould shape, at the beginning of the first cockpit window the curve of the nose section stops, starting a new, curved shape-line; there is an interruption among the two curved lines and this create the typical A380 nose section.
Herpa model has a single, long curved line without any "interruption": this, added to the wrong cockpit windows shape, make the A380 nose section different among the real airplane.

Starboard side, upper side of the fuselage:






- tail logo is the same, right place and right lines
- 3 closed windows, 2 open windows, the Qatari flag among the 3rd and the 4th windows
- door, with the rectangle above
- 5 open windows, 1 closed window, 4 open windows
- 25 open windows, 1 closed window
"Al Qatariyah" written under the 25 windows, among the 9th and the 20th windows.
Here, Herpa model has the written ending a bit before the 21st window, a bit better respect the port side.
- door
- 5 closed windows, 6 open windows

lower side:
- door
- 10 open window, with the registration A7-APB going from the 1st to the 3rd window
- door
- the small and the big load doors are on the right place and of the right size
(small load door among the 2nd and the 3rd window, big load door among the 5th and the 9th window)
- vertical silver line starting from the wings belly section

- 2 closed windows, 13 open windows
- door
- 1 closed window, 16 open windows, 4 closed windows
- door
- 12 open windows
- door
- QATAR written is on the right place and has the right size: Q takes 5 windows, A takes the door with a line, T takes 1 open window, A takes 4 open windows, R takes 4 open windows.
- the big loading door is on the right place and has the right size (below the A, taking 5 open windows).
- Same problem of the port side about the nose section/cockpit windows.






The engines are nice, the Oryx logo on the engines is nice.
The wi-fi dome on the upper side of the fuselage, above the A of the written QATAR, is missing.

Conclusions:
the model is nice, the line dividing the grey section and the white section of the fuselage is at the right place.
The nose section shape is not so good as it seems, especially because of the single, curved line instead of two lines with different curvatures, meeting-dividing at the level of the cockpit windows: this is the same problem of Tu-154 nose section, the missing "step" among nose section-cockpit windows sections.
The cockpit windows are wrong, too small and narrow.
Some small details on the lower part of the fuselage are missing.
The starboard side is better than the port side, epsecially regarding the windows between QATAR written.
The wi-fi dome is missing.
The livery is too dark: in my opinion it should be light grey, the same of 5Stars A380 model.


P.S. Closed windows: just stylized windows, well realized by Herpa who made them realing the silver borders. You can see them using a magnifying glass.
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Old 10-19-2019, 12:24 AM   #7
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Re: Models review.

Very insightful review, Ale...interesting you'd choose Qatar A380 as the first one to review! There may be many differences between the real 1:1 scale aircraft and the Herpa model but at first glance, only "PB" are missing on the rear gears on the Herpa model! Like I said, Ale, there may be more differences but only you who has attention to details can make out the differences, my friend! Bring on the next review, Ale!!!
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Old 10-19-2019, 10:48 AM   #8
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Re: Models review.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solicitor82 View Post
Very insightful review, Ale...interesting you'd choose Qatar A380 as the first one to review! There may be many differences between the real 1:1 scale aircraft and the Herpa model but at first glance, only "PB" are missing on the rear gears on the Herpa model! Like I said, Ale, there may be more differences but only you who has attention to details can make out the differences, my friend! Bring on the next review, Ale!!!
Thanks Homzie.
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Old 10-19-2019, 11:28 AM   #9
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Re: Models review.

I agree with Homzie, insightful and detailed review of the Qatar A380!
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:25 PM   #10
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Re: Models review.

If I may interject something here of a general point of view about livery colors on models. This is in no way a criticism of Ale's detailed review, but as a long time pro photographer and a long time airplane model kit builder, I know that judging colors on scale models can become a point of contention among enthusiasts. There are so many variables when judging accurate colors (and not just with model airplanes!) if you will pardon me I'd like to point out some things on this subject that many model collectors may not be aware of.

One thing you will come across often in airplane model kit building forums is an item referred to as "scale effect." When viewing a scale model at arm's length, one is actually viewing the equivalent of the full size article being seen from a much further distance. When this happens colors often appear lighter and less distinct because the atmosphere interferes with an individual's color perception. Model kit builders have produced various paint formulas on mixing small amounts of white paint with the correct base color to produce this scale effect on their model builds. The smaller the scale, the more white paint should be added to the color. When considered this stuff really works. Models look far more "realistic."

So if a die-cast model manufacturer uses the correct color without altering it, the color will appear too dark on the model.

That's not to say the model manufacturer always gets the right color to start with, but even when they do, I doubt scale effect comes into consideration.

When viewing or photographing models on the small scales most of us collect, we look at them at even closer distances and also photograph them with macro lenses that are focusing in very close spaces. There's no atmospheric distortions there! When comparing a macro photo of a model with one of the actual aircraft there isn't anyway to really expect the colors to match.

When doing my mish-mash composite photos, I add in a representation of atmospheric haze to everyone of them in order that the macro-lens photographed model blends better with the actual objects in the original photo. If this subtle bit isn't done, the illusion can't be realized.

Another aspect to consider is computer monitor color reproduction. Photographers and graphic artists spend lots of money on monitors that can be calibrated to render color profiles accurately. When looking at smart phones, desk tops, lap tops, etc., where this cannot be done, or hasn't been done, there's no guarantee that you are viewing a full scale photo that is rendering an airline's livery correctly. Trying to match a model's colors to an airliner photo that isn't rendered correctly is a no win situation for anybody.

There are many other factors that can be considered in this discussion. Thanks for allowing my indulgence to make you aware of just some of those factors that can create problems when attempting to judge colors.

Now let's get back to reading Ale's excellent reviews.
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Last edited by N3424V; 10-19-2019 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 10-19-2019, 04:05 PM   #11
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Re: Models review.

Thanks Thom.


To complete the Qatar Airways A380 review, i must add some details about the 5Stars A380.
How to point out that in 1:500 scale things are never easy, 5Stars realized a nice model, with the right nose section/cockpit windows and the right livery but...a fantasy. In fact A7-GGJ doesn't exist: the 10 A380 in service with the airline go from A7-APA to A7-APJ.
Even the large Oryx on the tail, with the nose finishing on the upper part of the fuselage, does not exist on the tail of the Qatar Airways A380 fleet.


 photo DSCN9804_zps8ox8pvxm.jpg


 photo DSCN9805_zpsbxra9kzg.jpg


Many mistakes in this 5Stars model: ok for the Oryx, then the Qatari flag above the upper windows line instead of below, the wrong registration, the "AirbusA380" written that dosen't exist in the real A380.


 photo DSCN9808_zpsyqbpq4lj.jpg


The nose section curvature is not perfect like the real airplane but you can see a kind of different curvature at the level of the middle of the first cockpit window.
The cockpit windows are nice, more similar to 1:1 airplane than Herpa model, even if the first window is not so visible as the real A380.
There are more details, especially the small ones.

But, in general, the nose section is better than Herpa.
The engines have more details than Herpa model even if the print is clearly worst than Herpa A380.


 photo DSCN9809_zpszso3ec9m.jpg


 photo DSCN9810_zpswyo5p6iq.jpg


 photo DSCN9811_zpsfji6pjkp.jpg


 photo DSCN9812_zpshuo9khsj.jpg


 photo DSCN9813_zps1d4sp7n0.jpg


 photo DSCN9814_zps3pkxwutn.jpg


 photo DSCN9816_zps40pj3ruh.jpg


 photo DSCN9817_zpsc8aasrco.jpg
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Old 10-19-2019, 04:24 PM   #12
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Re: Models review.

Quote:
Originally Posted by N3424V View Post
If I may interject something here of a general point of view about livery colors on models. This is in no way a criticism of Ale's detailed review, but as a long time pro photographer and a long time airplane model kit builder, I know that judging colors on scale models can become a point of contention among enthusiasts. There are so many variables when judging accurate colors (and not just with model airplanes!) if you will pardon me I'd like to point out some things on this subject that many model collectors may not be aware of.

One thing you will come across often in airplane model kit building forums is an item referred to as "scale effect." When viewing a scale model at arm's length, one is actually viewing the equivalent of the full size article being seen from a much further distance. When this happens colors often appear lighter and less distinct because the atmosphere interferes with an individual's color perception. Model kit builders have produced various paint formulas on mixing small amounts of white paint with the correct base color to produce this scale effect on their model builds. The smaller the scale, the more white paint should be added to the color. When considered this stuff really works. Models look far more "realistic."

So if a die-cast model manufacturer uses the correct color without altering it, the color will appear too dark on the model.

That's not to say the model manufacturer always gets the right color to start with, but even when they do, I doubt scale effect comes into consideration.

When viewing or photographing models on the small scales most of us collect, we look at them at even closer distances and also photograph them with macro lenses that are focusing in very close spaces. There's no atmospheric distortions there! When comparing a macro photo of a model with one of the actual aircraft there isn't anyway to really expect the colors to match.

When doing my mish-mash composite photos, I add in a representation of atmospheric haze to everyone of them in order that the macro-lens photographed model blends better with the actual objects in the original photo. If this subtle bit isn't done, the illusion can't be realized.

Another aspect to consider is computer monitor color reproduction. Photographers and graphic artists spend lots of money on monitors that can be calibrated to render color profiles accurately. When looking at smart phones, desk tops, lap tops, etc., where this cannot be done, or hasn't been done, there's no guarantee that you are viewing a full scale photo that is rendering an airline's livery correctly. Trying to match a model's colors to an airliner photo that isn't rendered correctly is a no win situation for anybody.

There are many other factors that can be considered in this discussion. Thanks for allowing my indulgence to make you aware of just some of those factors that can create problems when attempting to judge colors.

Now let's get back to reading Ale's excellent reviews.
You're completely right. To correctly judge the livery of a model we should stay in the same apron with the real airplane and compare the model and the real airplane under the same sunlight. No other ways.
But, with a review, we must try to give an indication, even with all the variables you posted.
Luckily. about the Qatar Airways A380, we have two different models to refer to and they have a different shade of grey so we can try to understand how the correct livery should be.
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Old 10-20-2019, 02:17 PM   #13
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Re: Models review.

Next review will be about Vietnam Airlines A350-900.
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Old 10-21-2019, 02:06 AM   #14
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Re: Models review.

Looking forward to a very "colourful" review, my friend!!!
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Old 10-24-2019, 01:49 PM   #15
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Re: Models review.

Like the Qatar Airways A380, even the Vietnam Airlines A350-900 is a wonderful bird and an incredible view for each spotter and enthusiast.
Even the two models, at a first sight, are elegant, beautiful, almost perfect; but, at a deep investigation, there are some things not so good.
Let me review the Vietnam Airlines A350-900.






 photo DSCN3554_zpsi20d5zkq.jpg


 photo DSCN3555_zpsomchmkxt.jpg



 photo DSCN3553_zpssv7e7l7n.jpg



The livery is a dark blue, then a gold-yellow strip and a white belly; then there is the Lotus flower logo on the tail, with the same gold-yellow shade but a bit lighter.
- the livery seems the same: looking different pics of the real airplane and the model, Herpa seems to have found the same shade of dark-blue and this is a good thing;
- the gold-yellow strip seems the same of the real airplane, even if in some photos it appears lighter. This is a problem because, perhaps because of the different sunlight, the gold-yellow strip seems to have two different shades of yellow (as you can see from the pics below);

- the Lotus-flower color on the tail has the same problem of the gold-yellow strip. It seems having the same shade of the strip in some photos while, in other pics, it seems having a lighter yellow.









Conclusions: to understand if the gold-yellow strip has a different shade respect the Lotus-flower on the tail or they are the same, and if Herpa model's strip/Lotus flower are the same of the 1:1 airplane, we should compare the Herpa A350 with the real airplane parked on the apron.
Considering that it is impossible to discover the truth and that the difference is not so big, in my opinion Herpa made a great job even with the gold-yellow strip and the Lotus-flower of the tail, making them the same.


Now the details of the model, starting fromport side:


 photo DSCN3554_zpsi20d5zkq.jpg





 photo DSCN3560_zpsafmrdfy5.jpg


The tail is well done with the Lotus flower of the right size and on the right place both regarding the body of the flower and the petals.
The red flag with the star inside is nice and well proportioned, exactly on the imaginary line departing on the right main petal.
The first door is well porportioned, going from the "Airbus A350-900" written and the airplane registration, finishing slightly higher.
The writtens:
- while "Airbus A350-900" is well realized, below four windows and half, the registration position is wrong. The model has VN-A886 registration and is situated above three windows: in Herpa model it covers four windows so, maybe it is too big respect the real airplane.
On the white belly, almost exactly under the middle of "Airbus A350-900" written, there is a small door: Herpa model has this small door too but is situated on the gold-yellow strip, on the wrong position!
Then there are 19 windows, but the first two starting from the rear, are closed-doors: Herpa did not consider these two windows realizing all open windows. A mistake.
Below and above the 12th window there are small details, not present in Herpa model.
Then there is the second door.


 photo DSCN3561_zpsztf0ljpv.jpg


After the 2nd door there are 24 windows: above and below the 8th window there are some details, not present in Herpa model.
The last two windows before the third door are closed windows but Herpa did not consider this on its model.
Then there is the third door.
Then 15 windows: above and below the 10th window there are small details not present in Herpa model.

On the real airplane there are also a small white square below the 6th window, another below the 13th window close to the gold-yellow strip border, three small black rectangles surrounded by a dotted line on the white part of the fuselage, before the belly, covering the 3rd, 4th and 5th windows as lenght. These details are not present in Herpa model.
The 1st door before the main door is a closed-window, Herpa did not make it the same.
Then the small Skyteam logo and the main door.
Lotus-flower logo and Vietnam Airlines written: these two are perfect. The flower logo is above four windows , the written is 16 windows + the 2nd door long, starting from the 5th window from the front and finishing at the 5th window after the second door. The written "Vietnam" is 10 and half windows long, the written "Airlines" is 5 and half windows + the door long, with the A starting at half of the last window before the second door, IR in the middle of the door and S finishing above the 5th window after the second door. If we want to find something wrong, the Lotus logo should be a bit higher than the V of Vietnam, but this is just a small and passable detail.
After the main door there is the big Skyteam logo, then the cockpit windows; below there are some details: a big white square surrounded by dotted lines, three small square, two small white lines on the radar cone. These details are missing on Herpa model.
The big Skyteam logo is in the right place, over an imaginary line linking it to the nose gear door, the main door has the right height and is situated in the right position, the cockpit windows are well done and with the right size.
So, why the nose section of the A350 seems weird or, at least, not so similar to the 1:1 airplane? Because of the mould shape!

 photo DSCN3561_zpsztf0ljpv.jpg





 photo DSCN3559_zpsecode2kn.jpg





As you can see from the pics, the horizontal line of the fuselage dosen't come down so abruptly like in herpa model, but the angle is less inclined; the radar nose is perfectly conical, then there is a small step at the level of the cockpit windows, where the shape of the airplane is less inclined. A350 nose section shape is more similar to an "aerodynamic bus" than an airplane, while Herpa model nose shape is more simlar to an "inclined plane". Herpa model nose section is a long, uniform line with the same inclination and the same angle respect the cockpit windows, making it really different from the real airplane. Maybe, in Herpa model, even the radar cone is too pointy respect the 1:1 airplane.
Unfortunately even the gold-yellow strip is wrong: on the real airplane it ends after the nose landing gear, at the same level of the central cockipt window while, in Herpa model, it ends with nose landing gear door.

END OF PART 1.
IN THE NEXT DAYS THE PART 2 WITH STARBOARD SECTION AND THE OVERALL CONCLUSIONS.
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