Herpa 1:500 Apron Boarding Station 520553 (used on a 1:400 diorama)

In all honesty these were an impulse buy. I had no plans for them when deciding to rebuild the diorama and was slightly dubious, but decided to oder 4 – they come in packs of  2 at £10 ($15.88 USD) each pack. They could work well for the edge of the roadway to the East end of the diorama. If the Floodlights were adequate then so might these be.

I’m pleased to say I wasn’t wrong, when they arrived I was actually amazed they could be small enough for 1;500 never mind big enough for 1:400! Now in principle they look good and the reception building design with its glass front and sliding door look, an interior that has stair ways moulded inside it into both sections you can see from outside, well it’s just a bit neat! In principle these are really a great idea. In execution they are not brilliant.

The building part of the station is generally very good, although one or two have mould marks and wobbly silver paint lines that are way too noticeable and you can’t do much about. The top section is easily spot glued to the base unit. Joy of joys, the Herpa and even the old fashioned Gemini school bus types both fit under the exception buildings awning.

The down side comes in the air bridges. These are awful, there is no other word. Three out of four would not, even with some delicate coaxing, allow the wheels to retract into the body of the arm. Two, one in each pack fell to bits out of the box – except the fixed in place wheel leg of course! How these on top of their leg were supposed to work on 1:500 scale aircraft I have no idea, they just work on 1:400 A320 and 757 and are nearly tall enough to service a 747!! They also do not retract like the Gemini ones do and are fixed length, though they do rotate easily in their vertical socket.

Glue the flat end to the top of the upper section and the building is complete.

Now I love the idea and the look of them, though I’ve never seen any in real life service, but the quality is not good enough. I don’t think Herpa even make them any more, but if you ever do think of buying them, be sure its what you want – on 1:400 they’re more than suitable, on 1:500 for which they are designed, just nonsense. 6/10 for quality, 8/10 for aesthetics.

 

The packet image shows the arms on a decline low setting. Forget it they don't work.
The packet image shows the arms on a decline low setting. Forget it they don’t work.

 

4 of the stations in use at RLSI. The arm position is a disappointment, that the work on 1:400 is great
4 of the stations in use at RLSI. The arm position is a disappointment, that they work on 1:400 is great