November 2015

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Star_Wars,_Rogue_One

With the imminent debut of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, details are beginning to emerge concerning the next film set in the Star Wars universe, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. According to Wikipedia, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, or simply Rogue One (previously known as Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One), is an upcoming American epic space opera film directed by Gareth Edwards and written by Gary Whitta and Chris Weitz, from an idea by visual effects supervisor John Knoll. The film stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen, and Alan Tudyk.

Rogue One is the first film in the Star Wars Anthology series, a collection of stand-alone stories set in the Star Wars universe. The story is set in between the events of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005) and Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), and centers on a group of rebel fighters who come together to carry out the mission of stealing the plans for the Death Star.

The film is produced by Lucasfilm and will be distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Principal photography began at Elstree Studios, near London during early August 2015. Rogue One will be released on December 16, 2016, one year after the franchise’s upcoming film Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015).”

 
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The US Navy May Be Hitting the Rails

Zumwalt

The upcoming USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002) may be the first surface combatant to mount a rail gun. Still undergoing construction at the Bath Iron Works, the USS Lyndon B. Johnson is the third and likely final ship in the oddly-shaped Zumwalt class of destroyers, which first put to sea a few years ago. Once slated to comprise some 32 ships, budget cuts have reduced that number dramatically even though the US Navy sorely needs the stealthy littoral combat ship to bolster its in-shore capabilities around the world.

The Johnson, however, may be the first warship to mount a rail gun, which recently concluded testing with satisfactory results. The Zumwalt class has been identified as more suited to use emerging technologies, like rail guns, due to its superior electricity generation capability over previous destroyers and cruisers at 80 megawatts; Lyndon B. Johnson specifically is being studied because it is the latest of the class, while the previous two ships would be less likely to initially field the capability due to the testing schedule. The rail gun would likely replace one of the two Advanced Gun Systems.

 
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Atlas Adds More Firepower to its Winter Assault

ATL269020

A precursor to Eaglemoss Collections highly-successful Military Vehicles of the Second World War collection, Atlas Editions Editions is continuing to make more of their military vehicles available to collectors in the North American market. We’ve learned that five more 1:43 scale combat vehicles comprise their January order of battle, including a White M3 scout car, Horch Kfz. 15 command car, Canadian Willys jeep with Bantam trailer, US Army Dodge WC 54 ambulance and Dodge US Army WC 63 cargo truck. Priced at just $21.99 apiece, these integral members of the world’s motorized forces are sure to please anyone this winter.

 
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The Motor Pool’s Black Friday 15% Off Sale!

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Drop that drumstick and step away from the cranberry because we’re launching our annual “Black Friday” 15% Off Sale! You can now apply a 15% off discount to any item listed on our web site (save radio controlled vehicles and the Century Wings line) including back orders, pre-orders and special order merchandise, as well as anything listed as being in stock. Please enter discount code “TMP146” in the coupon box just prior to final checkout. Sale ends Monday, November 30th, 2015. May not be combined with any other sales discount.

 
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Hobby Master Confirms a Messerschmitt Bf-109 is on the Horizon

BF109F4Tv2

Apparently the rumors are indeed true. Hobby Master confirmed that they are working on a 1:48 scale replica of the Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter, although no word as yet as to which version will make the early cut. When you consider the many liveries, variants and schemes available, aviation enthusiasts will likely be thrilled by this decision, making it a great companion piece to their growing array of 1:48 scale warbirds.

 
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Merit Has the Answer to those Nasty Roadside IEDs

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While its unfortunate we no longer have the 1:16 scale Extreme Metal  vehicles from Unimax for sale this holiday, we do have some good news. Merit’s 1:16 scale US Oshkosh M-ATV Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicle is expected to arrive at our depot just before Thanksgiving, meaning we can get these under the Christmas tree or beside the Hanukkah menorah with time to spare. Fully built, fully painted and bearing all of the hallmark detail you’ve come to expect from our deftly assembled military range, we’re sure this vehicle will put a smile on many a veteran’s face as we close out the calendar year. Happy holidays!

 
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Thanksgiving is Shaping Up to Become Another Fleet Week

EMGC31

According to our distributor, a brand new squadron of Eaglemoss 1:1100 warships will be leaving port and headed our way around the third week of November. The five warships include Imperial Japanese Navy Shikishima Class Battleship – Shikishima (EMGC30), German Kriegsmarine Bismarck Class Battleship – KMS Tirpitz (EMGC31), Imperial Japanese Navy Kongo Class Battleship – Hiei (EMGC37), Imperial Japanese Navy Taiho Class Aircraft Carrier – Taiho (EMGC41) and Imperial Japanese Navy Mogami Class Heavy Cruiser – Mikuma (EMGC32). With Thanksgiving around the corner, we expect these fleet favorites to sell out quickly.

 
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The F-35 Takes a Dive, in Pricing

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If you’re a fan of either the Hobby Master or Air Force 1 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, then you may want to sit up and take notice of the following announcement. Yesterday, we learned that our distributor has dropped the minimum advertised price for the entire Hobby Master and Air Force 1 1:72 scale F-35 catalog to just $49.99 apiece, which, in some instances, equates to an almost 50% price drop from a high of almost $85. No reason was give for the huge price decrease ahead of the holiday season, so we assume they are just looking to move inventory and provide great value to the aviation collecting community. We’ve lowered our prices accordingly, and will bring in extra inventory to cover any orders that exceed our current stock level.

 
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News, Rumors and Scuttlebutt

Corgi2015Catalog

As we inch ever closer to the holidays, several interesting bits of news seem to have surfaced. For starters, Corgi will no longer be offering a Spring and Winter catalog, as they have done in the past. Instead, they plan to offer one catalog per year, which will be issued in the Spring, likely coinciding with the opening of several International Toy Fairs.

 

Meanwhile, Eaglemoss has indicated that the 1:43 scale Vehicles of the Second World War has reached its conclusion with the release of EM70, a 1939 Mercedes-Benz Gelandewagen Typ 4 (G4) Limousine – Heer, Germany, 1939. The series has done remarkably well for us, so we’re still hoping that they reconsider their decision or perhaps offer a follow-on series of vehicles from other time periods.  Likewise, it looks as if their Warships of the World series may be nearing its own run, as we get closer and closer to issue #80. We’re hoping that they re-release the series with English-translated magazines and packaging, thereby reaching a broader audience of naval enthusiasts. It would be a smart if somewhat more expensive decision on their part, should they look to keep the series afloat and perhaps add more naval subjects.

 
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