NG Models have excelled at exciting collectors whether they are young people new to the hobby, established enthusiasts or those that had left or migrated to larger scales. The downside of this is that NG also has to deal with a lot of unrealistic expectation, especially from young collectors who expect their every request to be personally answered, and older collectors, who often expect a level of perfection even NG struggle to achieve. The result is that NG Models releases are held to a far higher level than those from other brands, partly also because they tend to be higher priced. This Iranian 747SP for example has come under intense scrutiny but has the criticism been justified? Let me take a look.
THIS REVIEW IS SPONSORED BY BEDFORDSHIRE DIECAST
Each review is to split into three key areas:
This is the second release of a 747SP by NG Models and the first airline version. Naturally it has gained quite a bit of attention and although the general opinion has been it is excellent there have been some specific criticisms also. I acquired the first sample of this mould back in August and posted a detailed review of it then:
My opinion of the sample mould was that this was another high-quality casting from NG and that opinion hasn’t changed. It probably isn’t going too far to say that this is the best 747 produced to date in 1:400 scale. A small minority believe that the curvature of the underside of the nose is incorrect and gives a nose that is too blunt. I disagree it looks fine to me and any modification would be both unwarranted and potentially dangerous.
Likewise, arguably the angle of the cockpit is not 100% correct but it is 95% so again not of real concern. The rest of the mould is beautiful too. The wings and stabilisers attach very tightly to the fuselage and the complex curves of the body are nicely presented. This includes the bulkhead just forward of the horizontal stabilisers whose ring around the fuselage is present and correct.
The undercarriage is at the usual level of delicate accuracy and the three aerials present are impressively shaped and sized. If I had to nitpick minor issues it would be that the wingtip aerials are a little thick (probably necessary to avoid the all to common breakages) and the triangular intakes on the belly are not moulded in. So, you could argue that there are minor marks that could be deducted but they don’t add up to an entire point in my book and I’m rounding this up to a ten.
SCORE - 10
PAINT & LIVERY
The Iranians received four 747SPs with the last arriving after the Islamic Revolution that made the nation a pariah to the West. The changeover in power necessitated modifications to the livery of the flag carrier although they were small and mainly related to the titles and addition of the flag. The aircraft was originally named ‘Kurdistan’ but sometime in the early 1990s this was altered to ‘Khorosan’, which is the version this model illustrates. Most photos of the aircraft represent it in the pre-revolutionary livery or when named Kurdistan. This livery and name variation appear to have been worn between 1992 and 1998.
This Iranian scheme is a nice classic with the tail striping mirroring that of the lower rear fuselage giving a pleasant symmetry with the legendary Homa bird between. Without the microscope out the livery application looks good from distance but if you’re being exacting there are several issues. The most obvious is the colour. The scheme could look quite dark in poor lighting but the blue used should be lighter than the later Eurowhite livery version and it is not. It is clear by looking at photos on brighter days (such as this one from Airliners.net) that NG has got the colour too dark.
The placement of the cheatline (and windows) is also not 100% correct. It is out by probably less than 1mm but the cheatline should intersect the nosecone slightly lower. I also think that the Homa bird on the tail ought to be slightly larger and the shape of the circles in the main titles letter Rs should be larger.
These are all relatively minor criticisms but they do add up to an unusually weak livery score for an NG Models release.
SCORE – 7
PRINTING & QUALITY CONTROL
Printing detail on NG releases is of course deft, fine and very impressive. I usually wax lyrical about it could easily do so here too, although once again not everything is perfection. The template that NG is using for the cockpit windows isn’t correct and the shape of the last side cockpit window is wrong. I have already mentioned that the cheatline is too high and of course this means that the main windowline is too, albeit by the finest of margins. This also impacts the upperdeck windows, which are also slightly too high.
Another interesting point is that in the photos I have seen of this frame with the name ‘Khorosan’ it seems to always have grey engine nacelles not silver. The aircraft certainly did have silver nacelles during its career and I can’t be certain whether it is an error or not. It certainly looks better with silver but I’m not sure it is correct for the scheme version here.
Build quality is wonderful – no problems to discuss.
SCORE – 8
NG Models are clearly feeling their way with the new 747SP mould and printing. Although in my opinion the former is spot-on the window template overall needs some minor modifications to make it completely accurate. Nevertheless, all the issues I have discussed with this model are very minor and don’t really impact the overall look of the completed item. 25 is a relatively low score for an NG Model but this is still a fine SP. Certainly, the mould is light years ahead of any other 747SP that is available on the market and the printing problems would have to be a lot worse to convince me to shop elsewhere for any SP releases. I am convinced that upcoming NG SPs will resolve the print issues this model has and will be superb.
FINAL SCORE – 25/30
I'm Richard Stretton an aviation enthusiast and major collector of 400 scale models. On this page I take a detailed look at new releases.
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