August 2017

Amercom Provides Some Late Night Reading Material

With several Amercom items returning to stock, we learned today that the range is finally being bundled together with their accompanying magazines. The magazines may be a bit dated and originate in Poland, but they are written in English and designed to shed some background information on the item in question, much like the Eaglemoss partworks line of Star Trek starships. Please note that not every item we currently stock comes with the magazine, so as we run out of an item each follow-on replacement will purportedly come with the full-color booklet, although this too could change should our distributor indicate they are no longer available or not included with each shipment. We’ve uploaded the cover for one particular magazine and its accompanying model, so you can get a better idea as to what to expect going forward. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that more partworks lines will come in this fashion, much as they are issued across the pond in Europe. Best of all, the additional magazine will have no impact on the item’s pricing. Henceforth, we will amend the header for each item indicating whether or not it comes with the magazine.

 
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Product Spotlight: Undertaking Marita

Corgi’s upcoming 1:72 scale German Dornier Do17Z-2 Light Bomber – U5 + BH, “Operation Marita”, 1./Kampfgeschwader 2 “Holzhammer”, Tatoi, Greece, May 1941

“1. The outcome of the battles in Albania is still uncertain. In the light of the threatening situation in Albania it is doubly important to frustrate English efforts to establish, behind the protection of a Balkan front, an air base which would threaten Italy in the first place and, incidentally, the Rumanian oilfields.

2. My intention is therefore:

(a) To establish in the coming months a constantly increasing force in Southern Rumania.

(b) On the arrival of favorable weather—probably in March —to move this force across Bulgaria to occupy the north coast of the Aegean and, should this be necessary, the entire mainland of Greece (‘Undertaking Marita’). We can rely upon Bulgarian support.”

– Fuhrer Directive 20 “Undertaking Marita”, the Invasion of Greece in early 1941

Throughout the early part of the war in Europe, the Dornier Do 17 light bomber established itself as a workhorse of the Luftwaffe, able to provide close air support for advancing Wehrmacht forces and, to a lesser extent, provide strategic bombing over Great Britain in concert with other bombers. It was therefore no surprise that it would again be pressed into service when the Axis High Command deemed it necessary to invade both Yugoslavia and Greece as a prelude to Operation Barbarossa due to their leaning with the British camp.

Developed during the early 1930s under the restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles, the Dornier Do17 was originally described as a freight aircraft for the German State Railway and a high-speed mail aircraft for Lufthansa. The aircraft was in fact a new breed of fast attack aircraft, or Schnellbomber, which was intended to carry out lightning bombing attacks, at speeds making it almost impervious to enemy fighter attack. With its sleek tapering fuselage, the Do17 was nicknamed “The Flying Pencil” and whilst this design certainly prevented the aircraft from carrying anything other than a modest bomb load, its profile made it more difficult to target in the melee of a dogfight. Seeing extensive service in the early part of WWII, the Do17s of KG.2 would support Luftwaffe operations during “Operation Marita” as the Wehrmacht attempted to invade Allied occupied Greece, following a failed Italian offensive. Attacking ground and coastal targets, the Dorniers also took a heavy toll of Allied shipping in the Mediterranean theatre.

During the invasion of the Balkans, Kampfgeschwader 2 “Holzhammer” (KG 2) I. Gruppe committed 29 Do 17s with 28 operational. It participated in the bombing of Belgrade, the Battle of Greece and Battle of Crete, attacking ground and naval targets. On May 20th, 1941, the unit claimed many Allied ships sunk north of Crete. It reported the loss of 6 Do 17s and 7 damaged. II. Gruppe did not take part. III. Gruppe participated with 30 Do 17s, 29 operational. It reported losses of 6 aircraft shot down and 5 damaged during the campaign. During June 1941, I./KG 2 was partially converted to the Do 217.

Look for Corgi’s rendition of this bomber (AA38807) to take to the skies in September.

 
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The Motor Pool’s Labor Day 15% Off Sale!

Summer may be over, the kids are back in school and everyone has returned to work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have one last fling by picking up some of the latest and greatest diecast replicas rolling off the assembly lines. From now until September 4th, you can take 15% off of any item we have in stock simply by entering our latest coupon code at the bottom of your shopping cart just prior to final checkout. Please enter discount code “TMP168” in the coupon box just prior to final checkout. Note: The following lines are excluded from this promotional offer: Air Force 1, Calibre Wings, Hobby Master, Luft-X and Wings of the Great War. Sale ends midnight, Monday, September 4th, 2017. May not be combined with any other sales discount.

 
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Forces of Valor: No Longer Eclipsed by the Sun

As Waltersons, the new owner of the Forces of Valor brand, continues to build out its web site, product images are beginning to appear for some of their upcoming products. By clicking on their Exhibition link, located within the footer of their web site, then clicking on some of the recent Asian Hobby Shows, you can make out some of the tanks and aircraft slated for a 2017 release.

While some of the images are rather small, they do go along way towards proving that the manufacturer is hard at work bringing product to market and what you can expect from some of the re-purposed items carried over from the original range. http://forcesofvalor.com/new_website/event_toyfair.php

 
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Marketplace Update: Earn Up to 8% eBay Bucks

Ebay is currently running a promotion where buyers can earn 6% on qualifying items less than $50, 8% on items $50 or more, for purchases made by August 24th at 11:59PST. Said discount can be applied 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: Dancing on the Edge of the Precipice

 

Thus far, Sukhoi has sold a paltry dozen Su-57s to the Russian Air Force and none for foreign export, despite entering into an agreement with India for a number of potential variants

Much has been made of Russia’s so-called fifth generation fighter, the Su-57 (formerly the Pak FA), although, according to recent reports, it may be a stealth aircraft in name only. Jane’s, the holy grail of weapons analysis and performance, has gone on record to indicate that the Su-57 is already a dismal failure, an aircraft that was supposed to turn the military aviation world on its ear and serve as a viable contender to go toe-to-toe with both the USAF F-22 and F-35 entrants.

According to Jane’s, there are a number of critical areas in which the Su-57 fails to live up to its billing. For one, the aircraft’s internal weapons compartment is incapable of storing some of the latest weapons in the Russian arsenal, forcing the designers to hang the ordnance as external stores, thus all but undermining the aircraft’s stealth profile. Meanwhile, the aircraft’s power plant borrows from older fourth generation weapons platforms, and from a cursory observation, doesn’t seem to be shrouded in any type of heat dampening mechanism, again defeating the aircraft’s radar cross section return. Interestingly, NATO has yet to assign a reporting name to the Su-57, something they typically do for all potential adversarial aircraft produced by Russian aircraft makers. Perhaps they will go with “Failure”.

More information on Jane’s critical analysis can be found here: http://www.businessinsider.com/russia-su-57-stealth-fighter-disappointment-2017-8

 
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Dragon Armor Pits the East vs. the West

Its been an interesting 24 hours in the Dragon Armor camp. Yesterday came word that two more German PzKpfw IV Ausf. F2 (G) medium tanks are on the horizon, long overdue mainstays of the Wehrmacht throughout the prosecution of the Second World War. The first represents a vehicle that served with the 13.Panzer Division in the Northern Caucusus region of Russia during 1942 (DRR60697), while the latter portrays a tank attached to an unidentified unit during early 1943 (DRR60698). Both are slated for an October arrival.

Meanwhile, to keep the panzers at bay, Dragon has indicated that their first pairing of T-34-85 medium tanks have left the factory, ready to go toe-to-toe with these panzers. Expected next week are a Soviet T-34/85 Mod. 1944 Medium Tank that was supplied to the 1st Battalion, 63rd Guards Tank Brigade, then serving on the Eastern Front during 1944 (DRR60255) while the second represents a Soviet T-34/85 Mod. 1944 Medium Tank that was doled out to the 38th Independent Tank Regiment, on its march through Eastern Europe in early 1945 (DRR60256).

 
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Modelcollect Fires Off a Salvo of Tempting FLaK Artillery

You should have no trouble warding off enemy aircraft with this German Flak40 128mm Zwillingsflak Anti-Aircraft Gun

Sure, Modelcollect has churned out enough T-72/T-80 main battle tanks to fill up an armored museum, but that doesn’t mean they’re leaving everyone high and dry on the WWII battlefield. Besides their German Flak40 128mm Zwillingsflak anti-aircraft gun (AS72071), which is designed to sit atop a FLaK tower, the Company has also announced plans to offer a German 12.8cm Flak40 Anti-Aircraft Gun with Kreuzlafette (AS72076), which is essentially a larger version of the famed 88mm FLaK gun affixed to a cruciform mount.

Modelcollect’s second artillery pieces portrays a German 12.8cm Flak40 Anti-Aircraft Gun with Kreuzlafette

The manufacturer claims it is already in stock, although only a line art drawing has been posted to their web site. Nevertheless, the new model demonstrates their eagerness to fill a void in the military space, which has thus far been served by only a handful of accurate replicas.

 
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Forces of Valor is Hunting More than Rabbits this Holiday Season

Walterson’s new portrayal of the Jagftiger heavy tank destroyer boasts lots more metal than their Unimax counterparts.

Its been awhile since we last saw product photos from Waltersons concerning their range of 1:32 Forces of Valor military vehicles. We’re still hoping for updated photos shortly, since these items are scheduled to go into production soon in order to meet the holiday deadline.

In the interim, we decided to post a couple of pre-production photos Waltersons uploaded to Facebook for two of their upcoming tank destroyers. As you can see from the images, the manufacturer is going to great lengths to return the line to its former glory when they were first introduced way back in 2002. The photos clearly demonstrate the amount of metal being used to flesh out the chassis, gun and other key areas, meaning they will be much heavier in the hand when they are completed. While its important to note that the engine compartments for the new range will come fully modeled and boast a removable engine, we thought it equally important to point out that even the accompanying crew figures are being reworked, thereby showing the Company’s commitment to quality as well as value.

Reworked crew figures will accompany each vehicle, in keeping with the Company’s belief that everything will be overhauled.

We’re still hoping for actual production photos before Labor Day, along with realistic release dates for the first group of vehicles on the docket. We will keep everyone apprised just as soon as we hear back from the manufacturer.

 
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DeAgostini Exclaims, “Never Say Never Again”

The USS Saratoga may have sunk beneath the waves over seventy years ago, but that doesn’t prevent it from serving in your navy today, provided you order it right away.

We often get asked if sold out items will ever return to stock. Typically we say no, since many items are made in single batches, although we have learned in recent years that some times treasure troves exist, if you turn over enough rocks. Earlier today, we were told that several sold out DeAgostini Warships of the Second World War will be returning to the high seas in November, among them the USS Saratoga, IJN Yamato, and HMS Vanguard, three of the quickest selling warships in the series. Quantities are limited, so if you are interested in procuring any of these favorites, we strongly recommend pre-ordering them now before they make port during the holiday season.

 
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