January 2018

Hobby Master Revs Up the Choppers Again

Hobby Master returns to the helicopter market with this 1:72 scale US Army Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow Attack Helicopter, which was attached to the US Army’s 8th Battalion, 229th Aviation Regiment

After inexplicably leaving the helicopter market several years ago, it now appears as if Hobby Master has once again set its sights on the rotary wing market for 2018. Perhaps sensing competition from a number of entrenched manufacturers, Hobby Master today announced plans to offer a 1:72 scale Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter (HH1201) later this year, likely an indication that other new toolings and liveries aren’t too far behind. Slated for a July lift off, it will be interesting to see how things shake out in the helicopter sector, with stalwarts such as Forces of Valor returning to its roots and both Amercom and Air Force 1 continuing to churn out a steady diet of iconic choppers aimed at different segments of the market.

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Solido Throws Down the Gauntlet a Day Ahead of Nuremberg

Solido’s 1:72 scale Bristol Beaufighter Mk.VI Night Fighter attached to a USAAF squadron based in Corsica, France, during 1943

With one day to go ahead of the opening to the Nuremberg Toy Fair, Solido decided to shed some light on their 2018 lineup. Four new 1:72 scale vehicles were shown in their 2018 catalog, including a German Flakpanzer Coelian Anti-Aircraft Vehicle (SOL7200010), US M12 GMC 155mm Self-Propelled Artillery (SOL7200009), French Giat AMX 13-75 Light Tank (SOL7200013) and a German Kfz. 70 Krupp Protze 6×4 Cargo Truck with 3.7cm PaK 35/36 Anti-Tank Gun (SOL7200012). In the air look for a British-built Bristol Beaufighter Mk.VI night fighter that was attached to a USAAF squadron deployed to Corsica (SOL7200005) as well as a German Dornier Do 335 Pfeil Fighter in British markings (SOL7200006). We thought it interesting that they elected to go with a British livery instead of the more desirable German scheme, but the die was cast nonetheless, if we can be so bold as to borrow an ancient Roman phrase.

LIkely the most sought after vehicle in SOlido’s early 2018 releases will be this US M12 GMC 155mm Self-Propelled Artillery piece in a flocked winter camouflage

No word concerning official release dates for this latest crop of military hardware that is produced by War Master for Solido, so we’ve tentatively listed them as Spring 2018 releases. We’ve posted all of the new items in their respective categories and are now accepting pre-orders for the entire bunch.

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Calibre Wings Reveals its No Longer on the Fence(r)

Calibre WIngs’ 1:72 scale Soviet Sukhoi Su-24M “Fencer” Attack Aircraft – “White 42”

Even as they continue to tease CAD drawings of their upcoming F-16 Fighting Falcon, Calibre Wings decided to post preliminary images of their upcoming Sukhoi Su-24. In development for at lease a year, the images for their first pair of Fencers reveal some of the detail we’ve come to expect from this relative newcomer to the diecast military space, even if the colors may need a little tweaking to get them to match real-world aircraft.

A second Fencer is in the hopper. A Ukranian Sukhoi Su-24MR “Fencer” Attack Aircraft – “Yellow 15”

Thus far, no hard-and-fast release information has surfaced, so we’re willing to bet that they’ll likely take wing in the summer, perhaps right after their second pairing of F-14 Tomcats make it to market.

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Films in Focus: The Exception

If you were ever wondering what happened to the German Kaiser after World War I, then you may want to check out a feature film entitled The Exception. The Exception is a 2016 romantic war drama film directed by David Leveaux (in his directorial debut) and written by Simon Burke, based on the 2003 novel The Kaiser’s Last Kiss by Alan Judd. The film stars Jai Courtney, Lily James, Janet McTeer and Christopher Plummer. The plot is a fictionalized account of the last few days in the life of exiled Kaiser Wilhelm II (Plummer), where a German soldier (Courtney) tries to determine if the Dutch resistance has planted a spy to infiltrate the Kaiser’s home in Holland during the onset of World War II, but falls for a young Jewish Dutch woman (James) during his investigation.

In 2014, Egoli Tossell Film announced that development on a film adaptation of Judd’s novel had begun. Principal photography lasted six weeks in 2015, across Belgium. The film held its world premiere at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival in the Special Presentations section. The film received a limited release and video-on-demand release on 2 June 2017 through A24 and DirecTV Cinema in the United States. The film was released on 2 October 2017 in the United Kingdom through Signature Entertainment.

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Nuremberg, Ja!

On January 31st, the world-famous Spielwarenmesse Toy Fair, held in Nuremberg, Germany, opens to the trade and public, which is typically a harbinger of things to come for the balance of the year. Several modelmakers will be in attendance (although we won’t), eager to share their diecast delights with their adoring fans. Thanks to the beauty of the Internet, email, and periodic show highlights, we will post all of the new information as soon as we get it, as well as update some of the listings we had been expecting but were unfortunately delayed. 

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Eaglemoss: Getting Back to Ship Shape

Eaglemoss’ 1:100 scale US Navy New Orleans Class Heavy Cruiser – USS Minneapolis (CA-36) could finally be weighing anchor

Earlier today we received news concerning many of the back ordered warships in the Eaglemoss Warships of the World series. According to our distributor, a number of long out-of-stock warships are expected some time in February, along with several new warships that many of you have been asking about for quite some time. We strongly recommend placing your orders for any ships you may be after since it could be some time before the next restock takes place.

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Eaglemoss Extends its Five-Year Journey in the Star Trek Universe

Eaglemoss’ Star Trek Federation Yeager Class Starship – USS Yeager NCC-65674. Like its predecessors, expect it to come with a handsome, full-color collector magazine.

Its beginning to look as if Eaglemoss views a black hole as nothing more than a well it can keep priming to churn out an ever staggering array of Star Trek products. While we have no problem with this strategy, we can only wonder how long they can continue to maintain this course in the Neutral Zone, returning to Star Base only when the well has finally run dry.

Anyway, the 122nd starship in their standard-sized Star Trek range was unveiled yesterday: a Yeager class starship named, rather appropriately, the USS Yeager, no doubt paying homage to USAF test pilot, General Chuck Yeager. We’ve heard that the series has been extended to 160 starships, meaning another trip to Ikea just to obtain more display cabinets may be in order.

We’ve also learned that their newly minted Star Trek Discovery collection will include several over-sized starships, much like their Star Trek XL collection. Typically, these ships measure around 9-inches in length and come with a bit more detail than their lilliputian counterparts. Frankly, if you’re looking to collect every single ship in the Eaglemoss Star Trek universe, expect to lay out several hundred bucks each month just to keep up.

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The Motor Pool’s 10% Off Winter Sale!

It may be cold outside but its never been hotter at The Motor Pool! From now until Sunday, February 11th, you can take 10% 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 “TMP175” 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, Sunday, February 11th, 2018. May not be combined with any other sales discount.

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Modelcollect Kicks it Up Another Notch

Modelcollect’s German Jagdpanzer E-100 Heavy Tank Destroyer with 170mm gun – Grey, 1946

Lately, I’m getting the feeling that the only two diecast modelmakers willing to throw the dice and take a chance in this day and age are Hobby Master and Modelcollect. While some of the other leading manufacturers seem to be making the same old, same old, month after month, it seems like these two companies recognize the need for new blood in the hobby and are willing to put their money where their mouth is.

Take Modelcollect. Late last week they announced a bunch of new 1:72 scale diecast military vehicles due out this spring, which will include, among other things, a pair of Jagdpanzer E-100 heavy tank destroyers. Mounting an utterly fearsome 170mm main gun that likely would have outclassed anything the Allies could have fielded late in the war, the latest two heavy tank destroyers will come in a feldgrau (field grey) and a summer camouflage pattern (AS72096 and AS72099 respectively). As part of the same announcement, Modelcollect showed off a new Waffentrager (weapons carrier); this one mounting, of all things, a V-1 buzz bomb (AS72100). Whether or not a V-1 could have been launched from a mobile gun platform is anyone’s guess, seeing as how it needed a launch ramp in the Low Countries to get airborne.

German Jagdpanzer E-100 Heavy Tank Destroyer with 170mm gun – Camouflage, 1946

Now lets get back to the new Jagdpanzers. With such a huge main gun, the vehicle’s superstructure had to be moved aft, located behind both the engine block and driver’s compartment, largely to balance out the weight of the gun and provide some support to it while in transit. From a modelling stand point, therefore, we are going to assume that the vehicle will come with a travel lock for the gun, otherwise it will likely suffer from persistent barrel droop and do no one any good.

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Product Spotlight: The Waffentrager

Modelcollect’s quartet of 1:72 scale Waffentragers (Weapon Carriers)

The Waffentrager concept was conceived to combine German artillery tractors and Self-Propelled Guns into one vehicle type that would salvage precious resources, like field guns, from the battlefield in the later stages of the war.

Work on the Waffentrager project started in early 1944, being part of the E-series of standardized, next-generation German tanks. Waffentragers (eng; weapon carriers) were intended to merge two types of vehicles used by the German army into one – artillery tractors and self-propelled guns. This new vehicle type would be a mobile, lightly-armored tank destroyer that could both use its cannon itself or, depending on the circumstances, unequip it and hand it over to other units to be used as field artillery. This concept was seen as highly practical by the Germans, given how it not only gave the German army one vehicle for the price of two, but was also saving on vital resources of which Germany suffered a great shortage of in the late stages of the war. Nearly all renown German companies that produced military equipment or vehicles took up the task, resulting in 4 different Waffentrager designs.

The Krupp-Steyr Waffentrager was first drawn up in early 1944. Development was split into two parts; chassis and turret. Steyr developed the chassis, whilst Krupp focused on the turret and cannon development. To keep the costs and required resources to a minimum, Speyr decided to base the chassis of their Waffentrager around their existing RSO artillery tractor and reuse as many parts from it as possible. Krupp on the other hand, reused the same 8,8cm KwK 43 L/71 cannon with which the Tiger II was outfitted, but had to come up with a new turret rotation mechanism to rotate the compact, open-topped turret. The re-usage of existing parts and equipment was put at the forefront during development of the Waffentrager, with the goal to build the most cost-efficient and resource-saving tank.

Nevertheless, Steyr was tasked with building four vehicles for testing and a wooden mockup of the vehicle. After several delays, the Krupp-Steyr Waffentrager was, along two other designs from other companies, tested in late 1944. The fate of the Krupp-Steyr Waffentrager after the testing remains to be determined, but what is clear is that this vehicle never left prototype stage, with a single testing vehicle and one wooden mock-up built.

Modelcollect has a quartet of Waffentrager scheduled to arrive in late January (AS72078, AS72079, AS72082, AS72085), provided they can salvage enough field guns from the diecast battlefield. <g>

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