Herpa Scenix Series Airport Tractor Set 562461 1:400

Herpa Scenix 1:400 Tractor
Herpa Scenix 1:400 Tractors

These were never originally on my radar. Then they cropped up in a sale substantially less than they were originally advertised – £16.75 ($25.89US) was the official price which to be honest is utterly ridiculous. The fact they haven’t sold well is no surprise. This is bad because it makes Herpa disinclined to make more (they do almost nothing in 1:400 now).  However in terms of value for money even at half the price (which is what I paid), they are far from being a bargain.

Herpa Scenix 1:400 Tractor
Herpa Scenix 1:400 Tractor. The cabin is separate and it does have clear plastic windows – I tapped them with a pin to check!

Now the idea behind them is good and they look well detailed in principle in the box. They are especially useful in that the nose wheel sits in the rear ‘tray’ making actually possible to pull something A320 sized along – and yes, I tried it!  It can’t however pull anything bigger (just in case you were even vaguely interested).

Side detail is printed on to the mouldings but unless you have Inspector Gadgets microscope eye, you'd never know.
Side detail is printed on to the mouldings but unless you have Inspector Gadgets microscope eye, you’d never know.

So what about the overall build and quality?

It isn’t great, very thin, weak plastic. For some reason the cabin is a separate part. I wouldn’t have known that other than two of them fell off as soon as they came out of the tiny packet. This is the bizarre thing with Herpa. They have gone to extraordinary lengths to put real windows into the hollow cabin they actually have transparent plastic. Yet the wheels and black side detail is just printed on even though they are actually moulded – it’s almost impossible to see unless magnified – and while that might not be an issue in itself, it’s that they look from any distance, so much like they’ve been printed on, it totally detracts from the overall appearance.

Towing a TAP Portugal A332
Towing a TAP Portugal A332

From above they look like lumps of white plastic with a grey floor section to position the aircraft nose gear into. There is no detail and it looks ludicrously bland.

There are no rear lights and minimal detail. The front has red warning flash strips but that is as far as it goes.

Towing the TAP A332
Towing the TAP A332

These things cost a staggering  £4.18 ($6.46 US) EACH at full price – in honesty I doubt each one has 5 cents worth of plastic in it- really Herpa, you’re having a laugh.  I know there is a limited market and the cost of development and the need to make, stock and profit from them for all parties is essential, but I don’t believe for a minute they need to be this expensive. I would never have paid top dollar for these and even at half of it they really aren’t that good.

Towing an Air Australia (defunct March 2012) A320
Towing an Air Australia (defunct March 2012) A320

Value for money? Not in a million years. I could have got a pack of metal quality ones from Orn Castings for that price, but I’ll be honest curiosity got the better of me. Try not to let it do the same for you, that’s my advice.

1) Would I have purchased them if I had seen them first in the flesh? NO

2) Do they add anything to the Diorama? Not as much as I would have liked for the cost, NO

However I think a few careful spots of paint and I do mean tiny, judiciously applied minimal amounts for rear lights and a little bit of top marking could improve them. I’ve just got to get round to doing it.

It looks best with smaller aircraft.
It looks best with smaller aircraft.