Adjusting Herpa 1:500 Jetways For Smaller Models

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If you get frustrated by the standard Herpa 1:500 jetways, this article is for you. The regular jetways match up great next to the larger planes like Boeing 747s, Boeing 777s, Airbus 340s and Airbus 330s. Anything smaller, however just doesn’t look right, and the really small planes like Boeing 737s and Airbus 320s look ridiculous. In this article, I’ll explain one simple way you can adjust the wheels on the jetway to allow smaller planes to match up with it better.

This procedure will only be necessary on the jetway type that comes in the Jetway 5 pack. The clear plastic domed ones, as well as the double jetways both already have adjustable height wheels. The first thing to do is disassemble the jetway as shown in the picture to the right, and set the base (the piece on the left) aside. Next, you will need to get a thumbtack. The standard flat silver kind, or the plastic type is probably the best. Some tacks are just a bit too wide in diameter that they will crack the base of the wheel hole – these are clearly no good. Experiment a little by comparing the diameter of the tack to the diameter of the wheel stick.

When you have found the right thumbtack, carefully insert it in the hole where the wheels were. About 1-2 mm in, you will feel resistance – push through this being careful to push only straight. If you don’t push straight you might crack the base of the hole. As you can see in the picture to the left, I have pushed it all the way in. You don’t need to go in all the way if you want to adjust for a mid-sized plane like an Airbus 300, Boeing 767 or L-1011, but on the other hand, if you do go all the way in, you can still adjust it for those sized planes. Once you’ve reached the desired depth, carefully pull the tack back out. I recommend a plastic type tack with a handle because of this. These metal flat ones are difficult to get a grip on to yank out. Twisting sometimes helps, but be careful to pull it straight out or again, you risk cracking the base.

For the next step you have two options. If you look carefully at the wheel stick you will see a small ridge about halfway down the shaft. This is designed to stop the wheel from going in any further. The first option is to carefully sand off that ridge with sandpaper, or you could just compress it with a pair of pliers. Once the ridge is out of the way, you should be able to insert the wheel stick almost as far in as you could put the thumbtack. The other option is to cut the wheel stick as shown below.

Place a pair of scissors right at the ridge, and cut. This will of course remove the ridge along with the extra part of the stick as shown in the picture to the left. Now you can insert the wheels into the base all the way. You will most likely need to push them all the way in as shown on the right or they may fall out. The good news is when they are all the way in, the jetway will line up very well with Boeing 737sand Airbus 320s. If you opted for the sanding option described above, you may want to use a dab of superglue and set the wheels to the proper height for other sized planes.

The final step is to set the angle of the jetway. You should have discovered by now that the long jetway portion is detachable from the part the allows it to pivot side to side. You can easily pull them apart from each other. By that same token you can pull the top away a little more than the bottom and like magic, you can now pivot the jetway arm up and down. The photo to the right is a bit exaggerated, but it shows you what is possible. Your own experimentation will reveal how much is necessary.

Once you are done, put the arm pivot shaft back in the hole on the base and you’re ready to go! Take a look below at these before and after pictures.



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