July 2017

Hobby Master’s A-10 Warthog Steps Away From the Dressing Room Mirror

Hobby Master’s USAF Fairchild A-10C Thunderbolt II Ground Attack Aircraft – “Tigress”, 79-0090, 47th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 917th Fighter Group, Barksdale AFB, 2011 [Low-Vis Scheme] (1:72 Scale)
Its been said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If that’s the case, then try telling that to the venerable A-10 Warthog ground attack aircraft — a much maligned tank buster that may have a lost a beauty contest or two over the years but more than makes up for its looks with a killer disposition.

Hobby Master’s fleet of A-10s have consistently done exceptionally well at retail so its no small wonder that they are getting set to release the 22nd iteration of the Warthog. The latest, due out in October, is dubbed “Tigress”, a fitting bad-ass name that does the plane justice (HA1324). “Tigress” was flown by the 47th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 917th Fighter Group, then deployed to Barksdale AFB, during 2011.

Adorned in a two-tone greyish camouflage scheme that bears both a warthog nose and an image of the “Tigress” on the fuselage, and coming at a time when all of the previous A-10s have long since sold out, we anticipate brisk sales this holiday season and have set our sales goals accordingly.

 
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Corgi Exclaims that the Vulcan, “Lives Long and Prospers”

Corgi’s 1:72 scale Avro Vulcan boasts tampo printed markings and insignia, just like other aircraft in the Aviation Archive range

Earlier today, Corgi indicated that their long awaited 1:72 scale Avro Vulcan bomber (AA27203) had reached the US and was ready for shipment. Several months ago, collectors on the other side of the pond reported that the Vulcans they had received had decals instead of the usual tampo printed markings. Furthermore, some claimed that the decals were already peeling or cracking right out of the box. While we cannot comment on the issue and what steps were taken to rectify the matter, we did ask our US supplier to inspect the shipment they received to determine if they too suffered from the same type of issues. Upon inspection, our rep said that the Vulcans in their possession featured tampo printed markings and insignia not decals, and that they looked fine to even a trained eye. So, we agreed to accept our order, and now expect our allotment to arrive the first of week of August.

Bombs away! Looks as if this Vulcan is getting set to plaster a target
 
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Is There a Phantom in Your Phuture?

1990 was a very good vintage for the RAF’s F-4J Phantom II fighter bomber

Photos were released earlier today for Hobby Master’s upcoming pair of RAF F-4J Phantom fighter-bombers. Hailing from No. 74 Squadron, which was deployed to RAF Wattisham, England, the first represents a bird flown in 1990 (HA1985) while the second portrays one flown five years earlier in 1985 (HA1986).

Turn back the hands of time by another five years and you have this equally impressive F-4J from No. 74 Squadron

Both come with a nice weapons load out and all of the hallmark detail and craftsmanship you’ve come to expect from Hobby Master for well over a decade. Look for this deadly duo to appear over our skies some time in October.

 
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Dissecting Diecast: Weapons of Mass Destruction

 

Germany’s Aggregat series of guided missiles

“To this day, I am convinced that substantial deployment of Wasserfall from the spring of 1944 onward, together with an uncompromising use of the jet fighters as air defense interceptors, would have essentially stalled the Allied strategic bombing offensive against our industry. We would have well been able to do that – after all, we managed to manufacture 900 V-2 rockets per month at a later time when resources were already much more limited.”

– Albert Speer, Reichsminister fur Bewaffnung und Munition (Reich’s Minister for Armamants and Munitions), from his memoir “Inside the Third Reich”

With the advent of PMA’s V-2 long-range guided missile, and the imminent arrival of Modelcollect’s V-1 “Flying Bomb”, we naturally presume that there are additional scale reproductions of weapons of mass destruction waiting in the wings. Towards the end of the War in Europe, the Germans, in particular, were testing a number of advanced weaponry, among them the Wasserfall (“Waterfall”), which was a guided missile based upon the V-2, the Backebo Rocket, a V-2 rocket using Wasserfall radio guidance, piloted V-2s, and, of course, the rest of the Aggregat series of ballistic missiles, all of which were in varying stages of development.

So, the question we had, in light of this recent trend, is what place do these types of advanced weaponry have in a typical diecast collection? Should they garner the same respect and admiration from collectors as a tank or aircraft would cast from the crucible of battle, or, should they be held in a different regard since they are, at best, impersonal means of destruction, that were, in large part, aimed at civilian population centers, designed to bring about the moral collapse of the enemy when other means were no longer deemed possible? What say you?

 
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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 July 23rd 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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The Motor Pool: More Improvements and Refinements Ahead

 

 

Each year, as part of our self-reevaluation initiative, we look at ways to improve our web site given the current state of technology. Earlier today, we rolled out a new suite of buttons across our main web site, all of which will hopefully do a better job of maintaining the overall look and feel of our present template.

Later in the year, our web hosting solution is planning on rolling out a brand new version of their e-commerce platform — which we have signed up for — one that will include a number of important front end and behind-the-scenes features that will help to keep us on the cutting edge of online retailing practice. We will share further details regarding the proposed update once we have gained familiarity with it and make the necessary tweaks to best address our product portfolio and audience.

 
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PMA Blasts Off this Fall

 

Judging by all of the “paper panzers” Modelcollect was producing over the past few months, and notably their soon-to-be-available V-1 flying bomb, we had erroneously concluded that they would be the first to market with a 1:72 scale replica of the V-2 rocket. Lo and behold, PMA may have beat them to the firing button, announcing, in short order, their plans to offer two different versions of the Vergeltungswaffe 2 this fall. According to their marketing materials, the PMA designed V-2 will come in two flavors: one in the familiar black and white checkerboard-like pattern we’ve seen in countless documentaries (P0321) and a second in a dark green (dunkelgrun) monotone scheme (P0322).

Both versions will come bundled with a field grey Brennstand as well as a Meillerwagen trailer that can be converted into a mobile rocket launcher, and, naturally enough, a tow hook so it can be attached to any of the recent artillery tractors PMA offers. As can be seen from the accompanying imagery, the lower portion of the rocket can also be opened to reveal a segment of the inner mechanism. Pricing for all this is just $49.99 apiece, meaning you get awesome quality, loads of detail and, best-of-all, a subject for your collection rarely examined or offered in pre-assembled form.

In other news, camouflaged versions of their recently released German Sd.Kfz.8 Schwerer Zugkraftwagen 12-Ton Heavy Prime Mover as well as their German Sd.Kfz.8 DB10 Gepanzerte (Armored) 12-Ton Prime Mover are in the works and will likely make it to market later this summer.

 
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Anatomy of War: Argentina’s TAM 2C Tank

The TAM tank was a German-Argentine product designed to resolve the Argentine armor requirement for modern tracked vehicles.

Lately, it seems as if everyone is getting into the armored game. Not exactly known for a vast military-industrial complex following its disastrous showing in the Falklands War, it appears as if Argentina is flexing its muscles with a brand new main battle tank dubbed the TAM 2C.

The Tanque Argentino Mediano (TAM; English:  Argentine Medium Tank) is the main battle tank in service with the Argentine Army. Lacking the experience and resources to design a tank, the Argentine Ministry of Defense contracted German company Thyssen-Henschel. The vehicle was developed by a German and Argentine team of engineers, and was based on the German Marder infantry fighting vehicle.

The TAM met the Argentine Army’s requirement for a modern, lightweight and fast tank with a low silhouette and sufficient firepower to defeat contemporary armored threats. Development began in 1974 and resulted in the construction of three prototypes by early 1977 and full-scale production by 1979. Assembly took place at the local 9,600-square-meter (103,000 sq ft) TAMSE plant, founded for the purpose by the Argentine government. Economic difficulties halted production in 1983, but manufacturing began anew in 1994 until the army’s order of 200 tanks was fulfilled.

The TAM series includes seven different variants, such as a 155 mm (6.1-inch) self-propelled howitzer and a self-propelled mortar vehicle. In total, over 280 such vehicles were built, including armored personnel carriers, artillery and mortar pieces. The TAM and VCTP (Infantry Fighting Vehicles based on the TAM chassis) were manufactured for the Peruvian Army, only to be integrated into the Argentine Army when Peru canceled the contract. The TAM also competed for other export orders, but the TAM was ultimately not exported.

The TAM has never seen combat, although 17 VCTP were deployed to Croatia for the United Nations UNPROFOR peacekeeping mission.

 
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Films in Focus: Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero

Meet up with Stubby, a 9-year-old veteran of the canine species. He has been through the World War as mascot for the 102nd Infantry, 26th Division. Stubby visited the White House to call on President Coolidge. November 1924

Ordinarily, we wouldn’t included animated movies in our Films in Focus section, however, this time around we are going to make an exception. Sergeant Stubby (1916 or 1917 – March 16th, 1926) was a dog who was the official mascot of the 102nd Infantry Regiment (United States), assigned to the 26th (Yankee) Division during World War I. He served for 18 months and participated in seventeen battles on the Western Front. He saved his regiment from surprise mustard gas attacks, found and comforted the wounded, and once caught a German soldier by the seat of his pants, holding him there until American soldiers found him. Back home, his exploits were front page news in major newspapers.

Stubby has been called the most decorated war dog of World War I and the only dog to be nominated for rank and then promoted to sergeant through combat, a claim having no official documentary evidence, but recognized in connection with an exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution.

Sgt. Stubby is the subject of an upcoming animated film due to premiere in April 1918. What follows is a behind-the-scenes look into the making of the film along with the film’s first teaser trailer.

 
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