As you may have noticed, our redesigned web site has gone live and now works in a more robust manner on both mobile devices as well as tablets, scaling in size to fit each system’s dimensions. Our blog has been cosmetically changed as well and offers full integration within our main site, and finally our newsletter mailings have been retrofitted to look like our web site. Essentially, everything you see will now have one unified look and take advantage of several enhancements now available to us. We hope you enjoy your shopping experience.
Hot off of Comic-com here in New York City, Eaglemoss was kind enough to provide us with several updates concerning several of their continually expanding intergalactic lines. First off, their convention exclusive USS Aventine, which was the subject of a fan-based petition, has a ship date — we expect the ship to arrive in November. If you haven’t already pre-ordered the ship we strongly suggest you do so since its become one of the critical ships in the Star Trek line.
Next up, the Nostromo, the center piece of the all-new Aliens and Predator ship line, also has a street date — look for it in December. Only 3,000 pieces are being made, each with a numbered certificate of authenticity.
Lastly, Eaglemoss is kicking off the Battlestar Galactica range with an oldie but goodie — a Colonial Viper Mark II fighter from the first televised series. The Viper is slated for a February escort mission with additional ships expected each month thereafter. Frankly, with rumors circulating that the manufacturer is considering a similarly-conceived Star Gate line, we’re beginning to wonder where people are finding the money to pay for all of these cool toys. Maybe that’s the subject of a separate debate…
At long last, we have some concrete information concerning Mattel’s range of 1:18 scale Elite diecast ships drawn from the Star Wars universe. Six products are slated for a mid-2018 release, among them a TIE fighter, X-Wing fighter and the Millennium Falcon, along with a First Order TIE fighter, Resistance X-Wing fighter, and Pom Dameron’s personal X-Wing fighter, all inspired by the feature film, Star Wars The Force Awakens.
We are currently taking pre-orders for all six vehicles but may have to curtail orders should they reach our order threshold already submitted to our distributor.
While we are still awaiting pricing and some ancillary information, Hobby Master announced today three new toolings for 2018. In the air, the Company unveiled their first ever Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker-B multirole aircraft (HA6001), something we kind of suspected was in the wings after they announced a Su-35 earlier in the year.
On the ground, two versions of the US M35 2-1/2-ton truck were shown for the first time (HG5701 and HG5702), the successor to the ubiquitous 2-1/2-ton truck first seeing action in World War II. And finally, in a surprise move, the Company displayed their first-ever NASA Orbiter (Space Shuttle), which depicts the Atlantis in 1:200 scale (HL1401). Other new items were also made known, and we hope to have them all listed on our web site by Tuesday, October 17th, once we get the ordering information finalized.
So, we’re never quite clear where we stand with Minichamps, particularly when it comes to their classic 1:12 scale motorcycles. Their release dates are never accurate, the stories behind their delays seem to change on a daily basis, and yet, despite all of the inconsistencies and inaccuracies, their bikes are some of the most sought after collectibles on the market today.
As of late last week, here is where we stand with several of their most eagerly anticipated bikes — the latest release schedule calls for the re-release of their 1939 Triumph Speed Twin motorcycle some time in early 2018 and their 1932 Brough Superior SS 100 is supposedly coming back to the market within the fourth quarter of 2017.
And now their pair of Vincents, first announced eight years ago, and still two of the most eagerly expected bikes ever to make it onto the manufacturer’s drawing board. Although the German Minichamps site has taken down both listings — for whatever reason — the US distributor has not been informed otherwise, and has therefore kept both bikes on their release schedule. We don’t know what to tell you folks. We are not connected with Minichamps, we continue to wish that the bikes still materialize, and have watched the asking price for the replicas increase year over year, and yet collectors are still keeping their fingers crossed that the bikes will one day show up. I know its not much to go on, and other retailers will likely tell you the same thing based upon the information they too have been provided. So, we are still asking you to hang in there and will post any further news the moment we receive it.
According to War History Online, the only remaining derelict section of a German Horten Ho 229 flying wing has been completely refurbished at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a part of the US Air & Space Museum, and will likely go on display for the world to see in the not-too-distant future. The Ho 229 was an advanced secret aircraft developed by the Horten Brothers for the Luftwaffe that wedded jet technology with the world’s first stealthy design. It was largely intended to be used against rampaging allied bombers in an effort to defend the Reich from further bombing raids.
For more information on the restoration, click on the following link: https://www.warhistoryonline.com/military-vehicle-news/the-horten-229-v3-flying-wing-amazing-image-collection.html
Star Trek Beyond was easily one of the best feature length Star Trek films, combining great storytelling with imaginative graphics and superb acting. That said, we are proud to have finally taken delivery of two of the ships portrayed in the film: a Constitution class cruiser, USS Franklin NCC-1743 (STSP08), and its nemesis, an Altamid Swarm ship (STSP09).
Both are part of the Eaglemoss Special Edition series, meaning they are larger than a standard-sized star ship and made in far fewer numbers. We are already starting to run low on both of these exciting releases and we are not sure if they will be restocked and if so, when, considering many of the earlier Special Edition releases are still on back order with no sign of their return to the Neutral Zone.
We’re getting close to the release of Hobby Master’s first-ever Sukhoi Su-35S Super Flanker (HA5701), a warbird clad in a garish yet functional camouflage scheme that makes the aircraft stand out a bit more in test bed flights, particularly when flown low to awe the crowds and gauge its prowess in high speed maneuvers. That said, we are of the opinion that the second scheme chosen for this elite generation 4+ fighter will likely do the warbird proud since it represents a scheme currently seen over the skies of Syria and built from the ground up to fight at altitude.
“Red 6”, as it is known, is a Super Flanker Multirole fighter that was originally attached to the Russian Air Force’s 23rd Fighter Aviation Regiment, 303rd Guards Composite Air Division, 11th Air and Air Defence Forces Army, but now deployed to Khmeimim Air Base, Latakia, Syria.
Khmeimim air base was built in mid-2015 adjacent to the Bassel Al-Assad International Airport to serve as “the strategic center of Russia’s military operation against Islamic State”. The existence of the Russian strategic base was revealed by the United States in early September and American officials expressed concern over the possibility of escalation of the conflict in Syria. The airbase became operational on September 30th, 2015.
During September 2015, the air base came under rocket attack by local Syrian rebels apparently using Grad missiles.
At the end of September 2015, NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe, General Philip Breedlove, said that the kind of military infrastructure that Russia had installed in Syria, which included anti-aircraft defense systems, was a de facto no-fly zone: “As we see the very capable air defense (systems) beginning to show up in Syria, we’re a little worried about another A2-AD (anti-access/area denial) bubble being created in the eastern Mediterranean.” (Russia’s third denial zone around Europe)
The Su-24 shoot-down by Turkish fighters on November 24th, 2015, was reported to be when the Russian jet was on its way to return to Khmeimim.
The military Tu-154 that crashed with loss of 92 lives on December 25th, 2016, was on a flight from Sochi to Khmeimim.
Look for “Red 6” to appear over the skies of the diecast community this December.
“Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down? That’s not my department.”
– A quote attributed to Wehrner von Braun, head of the German rocketry program
According to our distributor, PMA’s eagerly awaited pair of V-2 Long-Range Guided Ballistic Missiles are on the launch pad and expected to hurtle down on the diecast community in a matter of days.
For those of you unfamiliar with their newest piece of diecast, the V-2 (German: Vergeltungswaffe 2, “Retribution Weapon 2”), technical name Aggregat 4 (A4), was the world’s first long-range guided ballistic missile. The missile with a liquid-propellant rocket engine was developed during the Second World War in Germany as a “vengeance weapon”, assigned to attack Allied cities as retaliation for the Allied bombings against German cities. The V-2 rocket also became the first artificial object to travel into outer space by crossing the Karman line with the vertical launch of MW 18014 on June 20th, 1944.
Research into military use of long range rockets began when the studies of graduate student Wernher von Braun attracted the attention of the German Army. A series of prototypes culminated in the A-4, which went to war as the V-2. Beginning in September 1944, over 3,000 V-2s were launched by the German Wehrmacht against Allied targets, first London and later Antwerp and Liege. According to a 2011 BBC documentary, the attacks from V2s resulted in the deaths of an estimated 9,000 civilians and military personnel, and a further 12,000 forced laborers and concentration camp prisoners died as a result of their forced participation in the production of the weapons.
As Germany collapsed, teams from the Allied forces — the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union — raced to capture key German manufacturing sites and technology. Wernher von Braun and over 100 key V-2 personnel surrendered to the Americans. Eventually, many of the original V-2 team ended up working at the Redstone Arsenal. The US also captured enough V-2 hardware to build approximately 80 of the missiles. The Soviets gained possession of the V-2 manufacturing facilities after the war, re-established V-2 production, and moved it to the Soviet Union.
PMA is releasing two versions of the V-2: one in a black and white test scheme (P0321) and the other in a dark green operational scheme (P0322). Both come with a Meillerwagen launch trailer and Brennstand (firing stand). Please note that the Meillerwagen and Brennstand are composed of diecast metal while the V-2 is made of plastic.
With the rhetoric between North Korea and the US heating up, and US generals, at the behest of Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis, now told to begin playing nice with the media as a potential prelude to war, the Air Force has taken the unprecedented step of shedding light on the successor to the retired SR-71 spy plane, the SR-72. We’ve touched upon the hypersonic aircraft in previous blog posts earlier this year, largely wedding what we’ve gleaned from the Internet with analysis and a bit of conjecture, but now the Air Force is starting to confirm reports about the existence of the aircraft and its ultra-secretive capabilities. Designed to fly twice as fast as the SR-71 spy plane, the all-new SR-72 will reportedly reach speeds of at least Mach 6, or roughly 4567.2 mph at sea level and under optimal conditions.Moreover, the SR-72 is unmanned, and is likely controlled remotely by ground controllers much like a drone.
Roughly the size of an F-22, the SR-72 would differ markedly from the SR-71, since it is designed to engage ground targets in real-time as opposed to simply gathering intelligence. Its not clear what types of weapons will be stored internally, but a likely scenario would include decapitation missions whereby the aircraft would penetrate heavily defended air space then employ a single GPU-guided bomb to be used to eliminate the heads of government hunkered down within a reinforced or underground bunker. Interestingly, South Korea said this morning in Seoul, Financial Times reports. “Lee Cheol-hee, a member of the ruling Democratic party, on Tuesday said hackers had broken into a defence data centre in September last year. He said stolen documents included Operational Plan 5015 — the most recent allied blueprint for war with North Korea. The plans reportedly includes detailed procedures for a decapitation strike against the North Korean regime — a proposal that has infuriated Kim Jong Un, the country’s supreme leader.”
Last week, US piloted B-1B bombers from Guam along with F-15 escorts taking off from Japan, flew near but not into North Korea’s air space to its northernmost point in decades, likely locating and testing North Korean air defense measures should an incursion take place at a later date. In response, North Korea media reportedly told its populace that they had shot down both bombers, backing up the claim with a poorly animated video, while declaring that the two nations were now at a state of war, something the US unequivocally denied.
For more information on the SR-72, please visit this web site: http://www.avgeekery.com/air-force-highlights-sr-72-blackbird-successor-on-new-poster/
If you’re a fan of the Battlestar Galactica sci-fi series — and let’s face it, who isn’t — then you’ll be thrilled to learn that Eaglemoss Collections is launching a brand new sci-fi range that focuses on many of the ships depicted in the series. Debuted at this week’s Comic-Con convention here in New York City, the Eaglemoss replicas will likely be larger in size than some of the Star Trek standard-sized starships, and will therefore likely carry a price tag in the $50+ range. We will wait for the manufacturer to roll out their latest web-based showcase before posting SKUs and additional product information, although we are willing to be that each ship will come bundled with a collector magazine like their Star Trek brethren models. Look for the first ships to take on humanity some time in early 2018.