June 2017

Forces of Valor Gathers Momentum

While it hasn’t been completed and there’s still lots of information that has to be uploaded. Forces of Valor’s new site should give collectors a better idea of what to expect moving forward

Waltersons, the new owners of the Forces of Valor brand, has announced the soft opening of its new web site. While it hasn’t been complete as yet, the new site should give collectors a better sense of what they can expect going forward as well as their intention towards putting their best foot forward getting the line off the ground. You can find the new site here: http://forcesofvalor.com/new_website/products.php

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Hobby Master Gets its Southeast Asian Scheme On

Look, if you can spot them, for a trio of three-tone warbirds flying in low this fall

Images were posted yesterday for three upcoming Hobby Master aircraft. Sensing a theme, each of the three new warbirds are decked out in a three-tone camouflage pattern, melding together a brown, green and dark green pattern that helps it blend into the triple canopy cover of the Vietnamese countryside as well as certain parts of central Europe. The three 1:72 scale aircraft include a USAF McDonnell F-4D Phantom II Fighter-Bomber that was attached to the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing “Statue of Liberty Wing,” then deployed to RAF Lakenheath, England during 1975 (HA1978), a USAF McDonnell F-4E Phantom II Fighter-Bomber that was attached to the 32nd Tactical Fighter Squadron “Wolfhounds”, then deployed to Soesterberg AB, The Netherlands, during 1989 (HA1979), and finally a USAF Republic F-105D Thunderchief Fighter-Bomber known as “Cherry Girl”, that was deployed to Vietnam during 1967 (HA2515). The pre-order window for each warbird is still open although we expect all three to do quite well at retail once they hit the streets.

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Marketplace Update: Earn 8% in eBay Bucks

Ebay is currently running a promotion where buyers earn 8% on qualifying items made by June 29th at 11:59PST. Said discount can be applied with no minimum purchase and across all categories. This discount may be deducted from any future purchases once the buyer has been notified, which generally happens one month later.

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Anatomy of War: “Pulling the Future Forward”

An artist’s depiction of an AH-64 Apache “Longbow” attack helicopter mounting the new Raytheon laser weapon beneath one of its stubby wings

Raytheon reports that they have successfully conducted a field test whereby an AH-64 Apache attack helicopter acquired and hit an unmanned target using a high energy laser. Its not clear what type of damage was inflicted on the stationary target, nor the rate at which the weapon can be recharged so that it can engage other targets. Since the helicopter is shown mounting Hellfire missiles, we will presume that the crew may have to wait while the weapon is fully operational before using the weapon again. Moreover, its not clear if the weapon can be fired at moving targets, hence the need for back up ordnance. Here’s a link to the article: http://www.raytheon.com/news/feature/high_energy_laser.html

If true, this all but negates the Afghanit active protection system being bolted on to the new Russian T-14 Armata main battle tank. At the time of this writing, I am not sure of any means of defeating a laser weapon, even if the target had the requisite time to respond to the threat.

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To Cloak or Not to Cloak? Hobby Master Gets Stealthy

Hobby Master’s first foray into the dark arts is this warplane known as “Fatal Attraction”, which was attached to the 415th Tactical Fighter Squadron, which participated in Operation Desert Storm

In a surprise announcement, Hobby Master has back tracked from its recent spate of Soviet warbirds in favor of offering a 1:72 scale version of a Lockheed F-117A Stealth aircraft (HA5801). As shown here, the model will feature an open bomb bay, so collectors can load out the aircraft any way they see fit. Slated to pop up on radar in November, the addition of the F-117 Nighthawk is an interesting move since there aren’t all that many liveries to choose from nor operators to cover. Still, adding the F-117 fills a niche in the marketplace, and helps to complete the entire pantheon of aircraft in the US arsenal for the better part of the 20th century.

An up-close look at the bomb bay door shows the “intricacy” of the artwork

Footnote: There seems to be some confusion over the price of Hobby Master’s first F-117A stealth aircraft. After bouncing around a bit, our distributor has set the final price at $104.99, a bit more than we originally thought, but a price that should help Hobby Master recoup its investment in the mold within a relatively short period of time.

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Marketplace Update: Up to 10% Ebay Bucks Till June 22nd

Ebay is currently running a promotion where buyers earn 6% on qualifying items, 8% on items $25+, and 10% on items $50+ made by June 22nd at 11:59PST. Said discount can be applied with no minimum purchase and across all categories. This discount may be deducted from any future purchases once the buyer has been notified, which generally happens one month later.

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Corgi Pounds Out a Bunch of Hits for Its Second Half Lineup

The centerpiece of Corgi’s second half Aviation Archive releases is this Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress ‘Little Miss Mischief’, which was attached to the USAAF’s 324th Bomb Squadron, 91st Bomb Group, and will likely be compared to the recent efforts by Air Force 1

Many ardent aviation enthusiasts weren’t holding out much hope for Corgi’s second half lineup, citing all manner-of-reason why the manufacturer was falling behind the competition. So, when word came that Corgi announced their second half releases, quite a few collectors did a double take, instantly praising the “pooch” for finally pumping out some eagerly asked for favorites. While we are still awaiting important information concerning the new introductions before posting them online, consider this: Corgi is finally offering a heavily requested Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress as part of its back half mix, giving Air Force 1 a run for the money this fall and reestablishing themselves as the predominant maker of WWII-era fliers.  

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Hobby Master Paints a Portrait of a Summertime Lightning Storm

Hobby Master displays a quartet of upcoming Lockheed F-35A Joint Strike Fighter covering four different air forces

Say what you will about the oft maligned Lockheed F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter. Hobby Master obviously holds a different opinion, offering four liveries to choose from this summer that should keep even the most ardent critics more than satisfied. Shown in the upper left hand of this montage is a F-35I “Adir” that served with the Israeli Air Force in 2016 (HA4410). Next, is a Royal Australian Air Force F-35A JSF that entered service with the country earlier this year (HA4411). In the bottom right hand position we have a F-35A that was accepted into service by the Japanese Air Self Defense Force last August (HA4412) and finally we have a USAF F-35A that was attached to the 34th Fighter Squadron, 388th Fighter Wing, which is currently based at Lakenheath, England (HA4413). The montage shows, in visual form, just how many nations are accepting the F-35 into active service to replace their own aging fleets of fourth generation aircraft, with other nations also selecting the F-35 over other possible candidates.

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Product Spotlight: What You Can Expect from the New Forces of Valor Line

Forces of Valor explains the depth and breath of nuances that goes into producing a pre-assembled model

We’re constantly deluged by inquiries asking why its taking so long for Waltersons, the new owners of the Forces of Valor brand, to bring their product portfolio to market. Beyond the learning curve associated with creating a static model, its a question of trial-and-error, as the new owners experiment with different techniques to both enhance the range and satiate the appetite of baying customers looking to get their hands on the newest introductions.

Vincent Tsang, Managing Director of the Forces of Valor line, posted a three part essay on Facebook describing the process in detail and why they are taking their time to get things right. We strongly suggest paying a visit to their Facebook page and read up on their explanation, which will hopefully provide added insight concerning how they are approaching the model making business.



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Paying by Plastic: The Differences between Debit, Prepaid Debit and Credit Cards

Last year, the Kingston Community Credit Union produced an informative if somewhat whimsical YouTube video that discusses the differences between debit, prepaid debit and credit cards. We strongly suggest everyone take a few moments out of their busy schedule to watch and review this video, since it goes a long way in discussing the advantages and disadvantages of using each type of card. We hope to integrate this video along with a few others within our shopping cart in the coming months, making them more visible during the checkout process. Enjoy!

The second video goes a bit further in describing the pros and cons of using each type of card and when they should generally be used.

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