May 2015

Eaglemoss Claims, “Revenge is a dish best served cold!”

BirdofPrey

Building upon the success of their Star Trek starship series, Eaglemoss has officially announced that their fourth special edition installment will be based upon a Klingon D4 Class Bird-of-Prey. Larger than the standard ships in the series, this one will come with a specially constructed display stand, box, full-color magazine and other paraphernalia that are designed to bring this issue to life. Priced at just $49.99, look for the Bird-of-Prey to swoop down on collectors this July.

 
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The Motor Pool 3.0: New Features

War Stories

While our designers are hard at work grafting our new responsive template onto our site, we thought it made sense to preview some of the new features being incorporated throughout the site. First off, we’re creating a brand new section called “Insterstellar Warfare”. Essentially, this is our Diecast Military Science Fiction section on steroids, which will discuss the genre as it relates to books, films and other related material. With Star Wars, Star Trek, Warhammer 40K, HALO and other brands expected to dominate the headlines for the next few years, we thought it made sense to give this genre its rightful due.

Also being work on is a brand new section called “War Stories”. While its name isn’t set in stone yet, the idea behind “War Stories” was something we always wanted to develop fully but never had the resources to flesh out. Here. we will be examining particular weapons systems, units, armies, etc. in detail, incorporating maps, videos, background histories et. al. from across the web. Hope you enjoy some of the new features headed your way.

Update: Currently, we anticipate rolling out the new site on Friday, June 5th. Stay tuned…

 
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Still More Fabbri Enters the Battlefield

EMAM18

There doesn’t seem to be a week that goes by when we learn of more Fabbri military vehicles headed our way. This isn’t a bad thing; far from it, we love the line because it tackles subjects no one else has done and are priced at a paltry $11.99. Anyway, several new prosucts are expected in July, so here’s the run down: a French AMX Leclerc T5 Main Battle Tank in United Nations livery (#EMCV017), a Russian T-44 Medium Tank – Summer Camouflage (#EMCV018), a US M548A1 Tracked Cargo Carrier (#EMCV028). a Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces Type 90 Main Battle Tank (#EMCV029), a Russian 2S5 Giatsint Self-Propelled Gun (#EMCV034), and a British Centurion Mk.3 Main Battle Tank (#EMCV035). We regret that a number of photos show the product still in their blister packaging and will replace them once more suitable imagery becomes available.

 
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The USAF Looks to Lasers

An air-to-air left front view of an AC-130 Hercules aircraft during target practice.
An air-to-air left front view of an AC-130 Hercules aircraft during target practice.

According to a recently published article in Popular Science. the United States Air Force is planning to deploy laser cannons on AC-130 Gunships as early as 2022. “The AC-130 is a battlefield giant, a large transport adapted to instead carry inside its cavernous belly. Right now, AC-130s are armed with a range of guns, rockets, cannons, missiles, and bombs, and it’s used them to support troops on the ground from Vietnam to Afghanistan. The latest version of the AC-130 in the works is scheduled to have a heavy cannon, but there’s the possibility of adding in a laser weapon on the last few made, provided the laser is ready.”

DARPA had been testing laser cannons to see if they were suitable for mounting on board modified USAF 747 jet liners as a means of destroying ICBMs during their boost phase. It had been widely believed that they were unable to miniaturize the weapon so that it would fit within the confines of a 747. If these reports are true, then they apparently did meet with some success, since an AC-130 is significantly smaller than a 747. Moreover, the report goes on to indicate that specially constructed laser pods can be slung beneath a sixth generation fighter jet, and perhaps a drone, but these measures still need further refinement and testing.

 
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The Motor Pool: Updated for the New Millenium

Responsive

Its been several years since we last overhauled our site to give it its current look, feel and appearance. Now, as we approach the all-important holiday selling season, we felt it necessary to take our e-commerce site to the next level and give it an even fresher look.

From a technological stand point, we recognize that a great many viewers and customers are surfing the web from a variety of platforms, covering everything from the traditional computer desktop to mobile devices, tablets and even wrist watches.

People can even be transported to the web directly from a print advertisement. Equally important are the Google search rankings, which now examines each site to see if it conforms to mobile standards.

That said, we are close to deploying our first web site design utilizing what is termed a responsive template. In effect, the viewing area a customer sees on the screen dynamically rescales to fit any sized device, and, just as importantly, maintains the look and feel of the site across the entire device spectrum. So, what you see on the desktop will look pretty much the same on much smaller screens. We’ve posted an image of a similarly constructed site to this blog post so you can get a better understanding of what we are doing. We will post a follow-up blog post once we are ready to fully deploy the new template.

 
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Its Fleet Week Here in New York

EMGC49 Compilation

Ordinarily, Memorial Day weekend signals the start of Fleet Week, whereby several US Navy warships, Coast Guard cutters and patrol craft arrive at the port of New York City for a well-deserved respite from sea duty. To commemorate the event, we have loads of Eaglemoss Collection’s 1:1100 scale warships now in stock, ranging from stalwarts such as the IJN’s super-battleship Yamato to the recently arrived and oddly-designed HMS Nelson. Make sure to check out our entire collection of Eaglemoss warships, which typically sell out faster than we can replenish ’em.

Incidentally, World of Warships, a free, massively multiplayer online game has now entered alpha testing and should become available to everyone later this fall. Check it out at http://worldofwarships.com/

 
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The F-35C: Last of a Breed?

141103-N-AZ866-050 PACIFIC OCEAN (Nov. 3, 2014) An F-35C Lightening II carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter conducts it’s first arrested landing aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Nimitz is underway conducting routine training exercises. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kelly M. Agee/Released)

In a rather stark admission, US Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, disclosed that the soon-to-be-deployed F-35C will be the last manned strike fighter for the US Navy.

The F-35C “should be, and almost certainly will be, the last manned strike fighter aircraft the Department of the Navy will ever buy or fly,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said in a speech in April at the annual Sea-Air-Space Exposition outside Washington, D.C. Fighter jocks would still be needed for dogfighting, but Mabus envisions a future when strike missions will be fulfilled by unmanned aircraft.

According to Defense News, Mabus announced the creation of the N99 Navy staff office for unmanned weapons systems and a new position for deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for unmanned systems.

“Unmanned systems, particularly autonomous ones, have to be the new normal in ever-increasing areas,” he said.

The announcement came the same day as a milestone test for the Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration program, the first of three aerial refueling tests that mark the program’s concluding step.

Following the tests, the two UCAS jets will be sent to an aviation museum or to the aircraft boneyard in Arizona, Capt. Beau Duarte, Carrier Unmanned Aviation program manager, said Tuesday at the exposition.

“The UCAS-D program was born with the primary role of, ‘Okay, let’s show ourselves that we can successfully take off and land from the ship, integrate operations around and on the carrier, and work in the pattern [with manned jets],’ ” Duarte said.

 
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Lockheed’s Skunkworks: The Future is Now

SR72

According to a recent article that appears in the June issue of Popular Science, the folks at the legendary Lockheed Skunkworks are at it again.

“With regional threats growing and portable surface-to-air missiles evolving, engineers have once again set out to build the fastest military jet on the planet.

This time, it will take the form of a 4,000-mile-per-hour reconnaissance drone with strike capability. Known as the SR-72, the aircraft will evade assault, take spy photos, and attack targets at speeds of up to Mach 6. That’s twice as fast as its predecessor.

Aeronautical engineers at Lockheed Martin and Aerojet Rocket­dyne have been designing the SR-72 at their Skunk Works black site in California for the past several years. It will require a hybrid propulsion system: a conventional, off-the-shelf turbo jet that can take the plane from runway to Mach 3, and a hypersonic ramjet/scramjet that will push it the rest of the way. Its body will have to withstand the extreme heat of hypersonic flight, when air friction alone could melt steel. Its bombs will have to hit targets from possibly 80,000 feet. Lockheed says the craft could be deployed by 2030. Once it is, the plane’s ability to cover one mile per second means it could reach any location on any continent in an hour—not that you’ll see it coming.”

Several on-board systems will need to be redeveloped for such a reconnaissance and weapons platform to work at a speed of Mach 6, chief among them targeting, high altitude bombing, piloting, and stability at a high friction rate of speed. Frankly, if anyone can do it, its the boys at Lockheed, who are responsible for creating some of the most sophisticated aircraft ever to take to the sky.

 
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Hobby Master Super Sizes the Hornet

HA5101

Ever since Hobby Master came out with their first F/A-18 Hornet, it was long speculated but never confirmed that they would eventually up the ante by producing its larger successor, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Earlier today, the Company finally fessed up by indicating that a Super Hornet is indeed in the works and expected some time in early 2016. Their first bird is a US Navy McDonnell Douglas F/A-18E Super Hornet Strike Fighter that was attached to VFA-14 “Tophatters”, and bears their 90th Anniversary commemorative scheme (HA5101). Frankly, if you like modern US warbirds, then this is a no brainer, simply because its the inaugural release. While an operational scheme always seems to do better at retail, its going to be hard to pass this one up. 

As an aside, we hope they also decide to produce the Advanced Super Hornet, which is designed to maintain fleet requirements well into the 2030s. More information can be found here

 
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Star Wars: There is a Great Disturbance in the Force

DASW35 Compilation

Apparently, Disney has deemed that September 4th is when a great many licensees of its Star Wars brand will be able to reveal their merchandising plans to the public at-large. In the meantime, we’ve learned a couple of interesting tidbits that should get the party started a wee bit early. First off, our distributor has confirmed that the large majority of the legacy-based DeAgostini Star Wars vehicles and ships come with their coveted magazine, which offers loads of information and full color illustrations concerning each replica portrayed.

Star Wars Compilation

At the other end of the spectrum, Mattel has posted pix of three of their upcoming 1:18 scale ships that have appeared prominently in previous Star Wars films. Heavy in the hand, and bearing all of the detail you’ve come to expect from this long time toy maker, these limited edition replicas will certainly help to get the ball rolling ahead of the debut of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which is scheduled to hit theatres on December 18th. May the force be with them.

 
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