There has been a relative paucity of model arrivals recently, partly due to postage delays and partly due to NG Models struggling to get their own releases out on time. While they aren't quite JC Wings or AV400 it has become common for models to be delayed a month or two. Additionally they haven't necessarily been making what I'd like them to and in particular the 747SP has been getting a raw deal. To help 'big it up' and hopefully refocus NG I thought I'd take a look at one of the most recent SPs, which sadly means having to go back to the end of last year!
Each review is to split into three key areas:
Classics collectors are a demanding bunch and so despite this 747SP being probably the best 747 ever made in 400 scale (yes it is better than the new and underused JC 747-400) it has garnered a lot of criticism. I'm not saying some of that isn't warranted but I can't help but feel it might have put NG off SP releases somewhat. Hopefully it hasn't because this is a fabulous casting and I want to see a lot more SPs in the future.
And by that I mean not on the massively inferior JC Wings / Gemini Jets mould, which has suddenly started seeing a lot of releases, when prior to the NG version, it had been ignored previously for years and years. Competition is good so if they want to release SPs why not, but from a collectors stand point if it diminishes NG releases using this clearly superior mould then that is a bad thing.
I have covered the different 747SP moulds in some detail looking at how they compare directly to each other at this site already, which is why I can talk with such confidence about the comparative quality of this one. Check out that detailed review here:
So in this mould review section I will just provide a quick summary of the good and bad from the longer review. There has been a lot of discussion over the NG SP and it has been primarily focused on the shape of the nose region. I agree it isn't 100% correct in its form but it is still one of the best in this scale and I think looks excellent.
Outside of that there are no real issues of any size. The wingtip aerials are a little thick and the small intakes under the fuselage are not moulded in but these are both very minor points.
In all other respects the mould is superb. It is the only one to correctly replicate the 747SP wing flap structure, wing thickness and angle, and to get the unusual engine pylon shape accurate. It also has a superior hump form and tail region.
The JC Wings / Gemini Jets mould is a very old mould that has been updated with aerials and rolling gear. It should lose to a much newer mould like the NG Models one, but the scale of the loss is what is stark. In my detailed scoring the NG scored nearly twice that of the JC / GJ version (42:25). JC Wings may be releasing 2022 versions of the 747SP using their old mould but anyone buying them really should take a look in the mirror.
SCORE - 9
PAINT & LIVERY
The Korean Air 'Taegeuk' livery is a classic of style and design, which although introduced on March 1, 1984 is timeless. In today's age of bland white base redesigns it still stands out as a model of elegance and I hope Korean don't mess with it.
The primary colours used are a powder blue and silver. I think NG have nailed the colours and the silver in particular really shines. Placement of the silver band is accurate, although in keeping with most NG 747SPs it and the windowline at the nose does illustrate the slightly incorrect form of the nose itself.
The main title font works well and the Taegeuk logo (modified in this livery with a white dividing strip between the red and blue and circled with a silver border) is really crisp and beautiful. Indeed, the model looks better than the real thing usually did since this scheme is rather prone to fading of the blue.
The only criticism I can level at the livery execution relates to the outlining of the doors and cockpit hatch. They are outlined on the model but they really don't stand out as much as they do on the photos of the real aircraft I've seen where the white is a lot brighter.
SCORE - 9
PRINTING & QUALITY CONTROL
This scheme gives NG a good opportunity to show off their crisp fine printing skills. There's a lot of detailing and things like the fine window rims really stand out against the blue. Also standing out for me are the very nice logos on the Pratt & Whitney engines.
I can't see any print or build faults whatsoever.
SCORE - 10
Korean Air isn't even high on my list of 747SPs to be made but that didn't stop me from just having to replace the old Gemini Jets version that dated from the year 2000. To be fair the old Gemini is a nice model, but as I've said above it can't compete with this new NG version both in terms of mould or printing (and it shouldn't really have to given its age). I really hope we start seeing the SP being used again by NG and I intend to do my best to keep some pressure on as these are some of the best models 400 scale can produce in my opinion.
FINAL SCORE - 28/30
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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