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Old 11-21-2011, 03:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How 2 tell is a model is metal vs plastic

I'm new to this hobby and am trying out eBay for my purchases but I'm frustrated because I can't tell if a model is metal or plastic most of the time.

I want to start out with 1:200 metal only models of my favorite airlines.

Is there an easy way to know?
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How 2 tell is a model is metal vs plastic

Well Gemini are all metal, as are AV200, JC Wings and I'm probably missing a few. Hogan and Herpa are both plastic. Although Hogan do have some diecast ie the AA md-83.
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How 2 tell is a model is metal vs plastic

Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyBoyNYC View Post
I'm new to this hobby and am trying out eBay for my purchases but I'm frustrated because I can't tell if a model is metal or plastic most of the time.

I want to start out with 1:200 metal only models of my favorite airlines.

Is there an easy way to know?
The weight,IF200 weigh a ton,plastic are light compared to diecast(ebay the postage should be more for diecast)...Herpa/Hogan are plastic,Skymarks/Risesoon are resin so they're a bit heavier than Herpa but you don't get as much detail,but you will know the difference even in a photo if you look at the detail...

Last edited by vince1159; 11-21-2011 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How 2 tell is a model is metal vs plastic

Thanks! This is going to be very helpful.

(@Neil33 - yes, Objective C is hard!)
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How 2 tell is a model is metal vs plastic

As neil said as well,the AA models,look for the polished/chrome finish on diecast,plastic is painted silver unless it's Herpa Premium then it costs a ruddy fortune (and it's still plastic)....
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How 2 tell is a model is metal vs plastic

Being pedantic... You may find a mix out there.... anything that comes even close to 'tailsitting' then the back tail planes may be plastic, in any case if they were that thin and metal, they would snap off...

The older brands tend to be all metal.. The Inflights and Westerns.. The likes of Hobbymaster, then such things as the engine nacelles and undercarriage parts will ne plastic...

Still in doubt, you can always ask...
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How 2 tell is a model is metal vs plastic

Herpa/Hogan/Wooster/Flight Miniatures/PC Holland(?)/Skymarks/Risesoon = Plastic (light on your wallet and postage!!)

Gemini/Inflight/AV200/AeroClassics/JC Wings = Metal (heavy on your wallet and postage!!)

Also I'm not surprised you cannot tell the difference between the two, because you can't tell the difference between "2" and "to"



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Old 11-21-2011, 04:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How 2 tell is a model is metal vs plastic

@Agent X20 - Just picked up a Hobbymaster Northwest Airlines Stratocruiser a few hours ago @ Flying Mule. According to the write up the nacelles are "integrated" so I assumed they'd be metal. (I'm quite curious as to how good Hobbymaster's fit n finish is.)

@Vince1159 - at this point Herpa Premium is the only plastic model I'd consider.
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by DannyBoyNYC View Post
@Agent X20 - Just picked up a Hobbymaster Northwest Airlines Stratocruiser a few hours ago @ Flying Mule. According to the write up the nacelles are "integrated" so I assumed they'd be metal. (I'm quite curious as to how good Hobbymaster's fit n finish is.)
And you would be wrong in your assumption.

It is more reasonable to expect the cowling is plastic, and the remaining part of the engine over and under the wing be metal, as it is part of the wing, and the cowling (nacelle) 'integrates' with it. Nothing wrong with this as for some manufacturers, it is typical construction. I really doubt you won't know the difference by looking at the model. BTW: The Northwest Strat is quite the looker, and you may be very pleased. (The aircraft shows up in Hitchcock's "North by Northwest" as do a few TWA Connies.) For the record, the Strat is arguably one of HM's better efforts if you can get past the plastic landing gear and props. The dreaded 'HM seam' in not evident in the Strat either. Enjoy this one.

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@Vince1159 - at this point Herpa Premium is the only plastic model I'd consider.
You may find yourself changing your tune when you see something with a livery that you want/need and find out it is Hogan or Herpa -- and plastic. Plastic isn't the kiss of death. There are some very nicely detailed models out there in plastic, and some that may NEVER be metal, like the monstrous A380. Remember, if you need certain features/bits like anti-collision beacon jewels, aerials, etc., plastic can easily be customized with simple tools and a modellers touch. They also sit nicer on stands (when space becomes a premium) than heavy weight metal monsters. Do yourself a favour -- Don't be so quick to blow off Herpa/Hogan plastic.

I guess you haven't had a chance to see the price that some of these Herpa Premium models go for on the 'previously owned' market? Try hundreds, and rising everyday.

Take it one step at a time, DBNYC -- this past-time is best enjoyed long-term.
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How 2 tell is a model is metal vs plastic

Not all Herpa models are made of plastic . Smaller airplanes like the Fokkers and Dc's are metal!

Btw,if you drop a model on your foot and if breaks a toe, it's probably metal!

Last edited by AUA200; 11-22-2011 at 06:35 AM.
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Old 11-21-2011, 05:07 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Wink Re: How 2 tell is a model is metal vs plastic

Same can be said of Hogan. Concordes, Caravelles, Constellations, and DC-3's are metal as well.

Herpa's Convairs, Connies, DC-3/6's, ATR's, and Viscounts (as well as Fokkers) are also metal.

Lot's of metal to go around.
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Old 11-21-2011, 05:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: How 2 tell is a model is metal vs plastic

This is starting to look more complicated that I had imagined!

@Upkeep - I looked at the plastic models in a couple Manhattan shops when I first started. No doubt there is more choice but I would have went with 1:400 if that was a deal breaker. Some of the cheaper plastic models appeared to be cashing in on exotic liveries by painting versions of very successful premium models. That's one of the reasons I thought it would be safer to start out with metal.

I've never seen a Herpa premium model so I had no idea that they were fitted out with lights etc. If they even do a Canadian Pacific or other livery that I'm interested in I'll probably bite the bullet and buy one - even if it is plastic.

Also, as a former model builder, I like the DIY aspect of plastic. But "best enjoyed long-term" is good advice, so I'll wait until there's something I cannot live without before jumping to plastic.
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Old 11-21-2011, 05:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: How 2 tell is a model is metal vs plastic

Hi DannyBoyNYC,

I have a Herpa 1/200 CP Air DC-10-30 for sale. I have the sales/pics posting in the For Sale forum.

Cheers! T7_4ever
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:18 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Talking Re: How 2 tell is a model is metal vs plastic

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This is starting to look more complicated that I had imagined!
It is, but I can tell you with the utmost of confidence, you'll be up and running inside 6 months or so. Use the search function and read, read, read. That's what I did when I got into the 1:200 realm here.

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@Upkeep - I looked at the plastic models in a couple Manhattan shops when I first started. No doubt there is more choice but I would have went with 1:400 if that was a deal breaker. Some of the cheaper plastic models appeared to be cashing in on exotic liveries by painting versions of very successful premium models. That's one of the reasons I thought it would be safer to start out with metal.
There IS a lot of plastic carp out there. If you do stray into this area for the purposes of 'in-filling' until a metal model appears (lots of us do it), keep it simple -- stick with the two brands already mentioned. Or you can just wait like many more of us do.

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Originally Posted by DannyBoyNYC View Post
I've never seen a Herpa premium model so I had no idea that they were fitted out with lights etc. If they even do a Canadian Pacific or other livery that I'm interested in I'll probably bite the bullet and buy one - even if it is plastic.
I don't know where you got the idea about lights, but that would be the cherry on the icing, for sure! You might want to search through the threads to see if you can find photos taken by members of their Herpa Premiums. There is a fella here (forget his name) that posted photos of a 727 that darn-near looked like the real thing. Make your teeth itch. Anyhow, you can expect springs in the struts, clear windows all throughout, and stuff like that. Regardless, too rich for my blood.

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Also, as a former model builder, I like the DIY aspect of plastic. But "best enjoyed long-term" is good advice, so I'll wait until there's something I cannot live without before jumping to plastic.
Wisest move.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:45 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: How 2 tell is a model is metal vs plastic

Whatever you choose (metal or plastic) you're going to like
this hobby and this forum!!!!
Cheers!
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:48 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: How 2 tell is a model is metal vs plastic

Whattya mean no working lights on Herpa premium? For those prices they should have working engines!

Now how am I going to do my night time diorama?
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:32 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: How 2 tell is a model is metal vs plastic

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Not all Herpa models are made of plastic . Smaller airplanes like the Fokkers and Dc's are metal!
I know that their Tu-154s are also metal. By the way, OP, don't be put down by a model if it is plastic. Hogan makes some beautiful models, but they are all plastic. Also, do not listen to what anyone might tell you about Skymarks. They are much MUCh lower quality than, say, Gemini Jets or Inflight, but for the price they are not bad. You can also put them on higher shelves and in precarious places without any fear of breaking them! They also make great first models for younger siblings/relatives.
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:02 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: How 2 tell is a model is metal vs plastic

OK, so I bought a plastic Royal Jordanian L1011 from JC Wings as an experiment and because I am traveling to Aman with them in April (don't tell my girlfriend, its a surprise).

From the pictures in another thread I don't think I'll be too disappointed ;-)

I can see that this site is going to be very helpful (and hard on my AmEx).
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: How 2 tell is a model is metal vs plastic

I got alot of diecast models, but my favs are the plastic. I love my Hogan Qatar A340-600 and Singapore Airlines tropical.
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:07 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: How 2 tell is a model is metal vs plastic

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OK, so I bought a plastic Royal Jordanian L1011 from JC Wings
That's a clever move as the one I have is solid metal....
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:22 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: How 2 tell is a model is metal vs plastic

The JC Wings L1011 is plastic? i think it is metal
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:14 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: How 2 tell is a model is metal vs plastic

I know it is....
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Old 11-22-2011, 07:39 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: How 2 tell is a model is metal vs plastic

Your kidding me. A metal model for 65 dollars?

That illustrates my point - its impossible to tell if the darn things are metal or plastic.

The vendors almost always say "die cast" and a newbie would be forgiven for thinking that that means metal.

This industry needs a truth in advertising code of ethics.
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Old 11-22-2011, 07:40 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Default Re: How 2 tell is a model is metal vs plastic

Your kidding me. A metal model for 65 dollars?

That illustrates my point - its impossible to tell if the darn things are metal or plastic.

The vendors almost always say "die cast" and a newbie would be forgiven for thinking that that means metal.

This industry needs a truth in advertising code of ethics.

Last edited by DannyBoyNYC; 11-22-2011 at 07:43 AM. Reason: Ooops - double post
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Old 11-22-2011, 07:55 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Default Re: How 2 tell is a model is metal vs plastic

.. so good you said it twice....

Pricing is all over the place with this hobby...

....if its a ready assembled model with undercarriage then there is little difference between the mainstream manufacturers when it comes to what its made out of.. A Herpa Premium is plastic but it will set you back the best part of $300...

Where they are plastic and you have to attach the wings to the fuselage, they tend to be cheaper..
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Old 11-22-2011, 08:26 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Your kidding me. A metal model for 65 dollars?
A STUNNING metal model for 65 dollars. Enjoy the 'gift'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyBoyNYC View Post
That illustrates my point - its impossible to tell if the darn things are metal or plastic.
All will become clear over the next few months, I can assure you.

FYI: JC Wings, Gemini Phoenix, and InFlight do NOT do plastic. (JC Wings has flirted with composite construction on some A320s). Nor do Jet-X and Aviation200 (AV200). Generally, the cross-over firms are Hogan and Herpa, but now you have their list too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyBoyNYC View Post
The vendors almost always say "die cast" and a newbie would be forgiven for thinking that that means metal.

This industry needs a truth in advertising code of ethics.
It needs a lot more than that, but for now, enjoy that undeniably gorgeous model!
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