Alternative Airport Terminals & Herpa Air Bridges

I thought I’d look at something different today. The growth in social media and other outlets like eBay has opened up markets to specialist hobbyists like you and me as never before. It’s also encouraged others to see a market, and exploit their creativity.

I saw these on eBay and had no idea who’d made them. I saw a price of £8.99 for two including shipping so thought what can hurt, I’ll give them a go.  As it happens they are made by Nathan Bennett, who many of you will know through Facebook, forums and twitter.

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They are simple wood with printed facings and a grey roof material, suitable in size for 1:400 or 1:500, scales that are often easily mixed. To demonstrate this, just the day before I’d seen as part of Aviamart’s closing down process, some Herpa double gates. It’s actually an interesting pack, I think now no longer available, containing two double gates and two single ones.

The scene here is entirely temporary set up to demo both these parts with 1:400 accessories. Even they are a minor revolution. The Herpa catering trucks are superb (I’ve now got 24 of them and every single one is perfect), and so are the KLM painted tractors. The tractors are not made on an industrial scale, but from what I can gather are 3D prints. If that’s the case they’re amazing and the thin edge of the wedge for a movement that can only grow, who knows where it will eventually lead but it could make a huge difference to our hobby as the 21st Century moves on.

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I also believe that the 3D market will eventually undermine the model makers and force them to adapt and make quality a watchword if anyone is to buy their product. Years into the future? I’m not so sure. The next 5 could be interesting.

The Nathan Bennett terminals

A two pack, they are simple and yet effective. Interesting too, as with some imagination, they are double faced so you could have several as an airport arm, and the very minimum as a free-standing terminal, either with one or two arms, or, and this is always a choice, with none, ideal for smaller aircraft in the Dash/ATR/Fokker/Embrarer stables, or even older 737’s which are quite small and low, where passengers often walk to aircraft or are bussed. I’ve even though about using them as Cargo support, much as the Berlin Tegel cargo offices are.

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Natan numbered them as a sort of limited addition, just for fun. I have 69 + 70

They do need to be a tiny bit tidier, but I have to say, I think they are extraordinarily good, unbelievable value for money and a credit to their creator. Now all I have to do is find a way of incorporating them into RLSI!

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90% is my score and it’s richly deserved.

You can reach Nathan Bennett on www.twitter.com/man_with_piano

The Herpa Air Bridges

The bar code says ‘Airport Accessories 8’, the box says they are 1:200 on the back, but that’s not possible, the blue 1:500 is on the front. As usual Herpa’s 1:500 is almost indistinguishable from 1:400 and works perfectly well, as you can see here.

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The were very cheap, the overall quality is vastly superior to the flimsy, poorly fitting Gemini packs that frequently vary in quality from pack to pack – I know I’ve tried several of them all and have two terminals.

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Now if you can get them, they do fit in the Gemini terminal. In fact they fit better than the Gemini ones do, easily sitting under the overhang in the terminal. The downside is the double arms, the rear one isn’t long enough by a couple of millimetres, but it really isn’t a big deal.    So another extra to trial and use and I commend anyone who tries to do something to improve diorama options. Believe it or not some of the most read articles on this site are about diorama kit! Demand is clearly there. Scoring is a bit pointless as Herpa Scenix items come and go with the wind. One is due this week that will be the first of it’s kind, a Swiss Bombardier CS100.

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