Saudia Cargo 748F HZ-AI4 Hogan 5453 2014 1:400

Please note that the next publication is now Tuesday not Wednesday, Friday’s remain unchanged.

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No, you’re not seeing things, finally after months of searching, I’ve finally obtained a model of the Saudia Cargo 747-87UF in the correct colours!

This is one of two versions produced by Hogan in 2014. This one, No.5453 is the ground version with no hole, and no stand – so no in-flight shots. The other version is No.5446, and was also available from the German seller, with full in-flight wings, removable landing gear and a stand.  I admit they were not cheap, £60 including delivery is a fair bit. However compare that to the appallingly bad quality of the now returned Gemini version from late last year, which was itself £55 and it doesn’t seem quite so bad.

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Now it doesn’t have aerials, but I really couldn’t care less. It was the one and only version of the 748F not in the collection, and it’s the only one with the correct Saudia colours!

It arrived in the large, generously proportioned, and beautifully packed mint condition box with no problems.

The aircraft has been written about before from a historical perspective, in the Gemini review so I won’t bore you with it again. You can find it here: Saudia Cargo 747-8F HZ-AI4 Gemini Jets GJSVA1555 Dec 2016

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1.Fusleage

This is most like the Phoenix version and It’s no loss for that. While Hogan don’t produce much these days in 1:400 – I wish they would – when they do it tends to be a lot better technically.  This is no exception.

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Technical detail is outstanding, and in comparison to the shoddy and decrepit over-priced junk that Gemini threw at us in December 2016, with its blistered cheat line and disregard for even the most basic quality control, this is something else.  It’s far better than even Phoenix at their very best manage, which at present is pretty damned good.

The fuselage is faultless, it’s absolutely superb. The quality of the paint, print, and finish is stunning.

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2.Wings and landing gear

Hogan always seem to do their research, and the wing colour is spot on, not the dingy, disastrously bad, dark grey applied to the Gemini version that was simply the figment of someone’s imagination.

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The paint is glossy, but – and Phoenix should take note – its high quality without being so heavily applied that it obscures the detail.

The wings are well fitted and almost seamless in the join.

Landing gear though, is very Herpa plastic tyre on a spigot, and doesn’t look very robust, even though I’ve never had a problem with them now or in the past. They’re just not quite as premium as the rest of the model would make you think they should be.

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3.Engines

These are both a highlight and a not so much of a highlight! The rims are amazing, superb quality. The entire assembly is premium in that the rims, see-through – yes, see-through, fans, are utterly awesome. The nacelles too, are superb, as is the pylon that attach the engines to the wings.  What lets the side down is the all-bright-silver exhaust; it’s a disappointing lack of detail, and the wrong colours on something that is otherwise first-rate stand-out, and head and shoulders above anyone elses versions.

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4.Nose detail

Ultra fine, but high-definition detail for the nose door, outstanding cockpit windows, the palm tree and scimitars under the nose is brilliant. the Saudi national flag under the three cabin windows is spot on, legible and the correct green. Excellent.

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5.Tail detail

The correct blue, superb assembly, and a magnificently printed palm tree, crossed scimitars with a crescent moon forms the national symbol.

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6.Colours

Absolutely spot on. Probably the best interpretation of the correct colours anyone has managed.

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7.Score and conclusion

  • -2 for the excessively silver engine exhausts, the just look a bit too toy-like
  • 98% – it’s a superb model over all

This model shows that quality, care, consideration, research and integrity can and are possible in 1:400 scale. This is the complete opposite to the travesty Gemini tried to pull on us with their utterly ludicrous version, that has to be a low-light of 2016.

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I so wish Hogan made more in 1:400. There is a desperate need for high quality models of this standard. Gemini and JC Wings are incapable of supplying that need at present, seeming to work on the Trump principle that if they keep saying it, you’ll keep buying it, despite the obvious failings.

Just a quick note on the reg which is often confusing depending on font types: it is HZ-AI4 (letter I not a number 1).

My recommendation: a definite buy if you can find one

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