March 2018

Oxford Penetrates our Air Space this April

Oxford’s 1:72 German Junkers Ju-87B Stuka Dive-Bomber – T6+DP 6, Sturzkampfgeschwader 2 “Immelmann”, Libya, 1941

Three new 1:72 scale aircraft are inbound from Oxford Diecast as part of their ever-expanding budget line. The trio include a US Navy Grumman F6F Hellcat that was piloted by Lt. Ray Hawkins, who was attached to VF-31, then embarked upon the USS Cabot (CVL-28) during 1944, a German Messerschmitt Me 163B-0 Komet that was attached to Jagdgeschwader 400, then deployed to Niemcy, Germany, during early 1945, and a German Junkers Ju-87B Stuka dive-bomber that was operated by Sturzkampfgeschwader 2 “Immelmann”, then deployed to Libya during 1941.

Oxford’s 1:72 US Navy Grumman F6F Hellcat Fighter – Lt. Ray Hawkins, VF-31, USS Cabot (CVL-28), 1944

We expect them to arrive the first week of April, honest, no joke!

Oxford’s 1:72 German Messerschmitt Me 163B-0 Komet Rocket-Powered Fighter – White 54-14, Jagdgeschwader 400, Niemcy, Germany, 1945
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Anatomy of War: Could the Next US Battle Tank be Made out of Foam?

An M1 Abrams main battle tank. Image courtesy of Popular Mechanics

That’s what the editors of Popular Mechanics are claiming  in their most recent issue. According to an online article, metal foam is both stronger yet lighter than typical steel armor, meaning tomorrow’s tanks could be better able to withstand the rigors of war and the many types of weapons that are intended to thin the armored herd.The article goes on to say that “Scientists at North Carolina State University and the US Army’s Aviation Applied Technology Directorate have invented what they call Composite Metal Foam (CMF). “Metal foam” is exactly what you think it is—metal with sponge-like holes in it. This not only makes CMF lighter than normal metal, but it also makes CMF spongy, allowing it to give slightly under impact, soaking up some of the energy of a collision.”

For more information on what could be a groundbreaking achievement in the armor versus armament debate, stop by this link: The United States Next Tank

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Product Spotlight: The KdF Volkswagen

While studying military history, and in particular the different stages of the Second World War, we sometimes gloss over the seemingly irrelevant – the footnotes to history that oftentimes get overlooked in favor of the ebb and flow of war including its battles, personalities and aftermath. And yet there are episodes that are equally important, such as the German KdF program and its impact on the psyche of the average German citizen in the run up to war.

Rio’s 1:43 scale German 1938 KdF Volkswagen Peoples Car Three Car Set with Hitler Figurine

The Kraft durch Freude (German for Strength through Joy, abbreviated KdF) was a large state-operated leisure organization in Nazi Germany. It was a part of the German Labour Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront, DAF), the national German labour organization at that time. Set up as a tool to promote the advantages of National Socialism to the people, it soon became the world’s largest tourism operator of the 1930s.

The KdF was supposed to bridge the class divide by making middle-class leisure activities available to the masses. This was underscored by having cruises with passengers of mixed classes and having them, regardless of social status, draw lots for allocation of cabins.

Another less ideological goal was to boost the German economy by stimulating the tourist industry out of its slump from the 1920s. It was quite successful up until the outbreak of World War II. By 1934, over two million Germans had participated on a KdF trip; by 1939 the reported numbers lay around 25 million people. With the outbreak of war in 1939 the organization was mothballed, and several projects, such as the massive Prora holiday resort, were never completed.

The KdF Symbol

One of the offshoots of the KdF program was the Volkswagen, the so-called People’s Car, which was designed to be a low-cost, family-owned vehicle that the average German family could own at a fraction of the cost of some of the more luxury-minded vehicles. It came about as a result of an edict by Germany’s chancellor, Adolf Hitler, who wanted his newly-developed Autobahn system to be flooded with masses of these vehicles. Developed and realized in 1938, the KdF Volkswagen never really got off the ground simply because it was overshadowed by the start of World War II. Volkswagen, as a result, was temporarily forced to abandon Hitler’s project and instead produce Kubelwagens and Schwimmwagens for the Wehrmacht.

Anyway, RIO Models happens to make an excellent representation of three 1:43 scale variants on the KdF Volkswagen (RIO4217D), which comes with a Hitler figure looking on, no doubt proud of his inspiration. Admittedly, its a bit pricey, but nonetheless a fitting tribute to a shard of history that often times gets overlooked.


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Graduation Day: The Class of 2018

We know its a tad early, but because of some family committments at our end, that will force us to close for a week in late April, we thought it made sense to start advertising the approach of graduation day. That said, we have some fabulous gift-giving ideas sprinkled throughout our Gift Giving section, all guaranteed to bring a smile to that special someone keenly interested in military history. And, need we remind every one that Father’s Day falls on June 17th, a special day that honors dear old dad and his many fatherly deeds done over the years. So, whether its celebrating a grad or honoring a dad, we’ve got you covered and then some in 2018. 

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The Eaglemoss Strike Group Minus Two

If you were looking to complete the six-ship aircraft carrier task force that set sail against the US to attack Pearl Harbor, then we may have some bad news for you. According to our distributor, the aircraft carriers Soryu (EMGC60) and Zuikaku (EMGC63) will not be made available for general sales. Frankly, we may be lucky if we get a couple of each warships when and if they are located. So, we are sorry to be the bearer of bad news but it looks as if we will not be able to fill any pre-orders we have received for either ship. We have taken down both listings from our web site.

On a separate matter, we have asked our distributor to provide us with an update list of warships Eaglemoss plans to reintroduce into the market, which we hope will include many of the Japanese aircraft carriers that have been out-of-stock for some time. Hopefully, we will have an answer shortly.

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Forces of Valor: Panzers on the Ōi?

The all-new 88mm FLaK gun now comes with eight figures including the Desert Fox himself, General Erwin Rommel.

The Wehrmacht’s panzers never got as far as the Volga River during their assault on Bolshevism in the early 40s, no doubt a testament to the resolve of the Soviet Union and its war weary citizens. Seventy years hence, and those same tanks may have vaulted past the Soviet Union and reached the banks of Japan’s Ōi River. That’s because two important hobby shows are on the horizon, both situated on the doorstep of this Chinese manufacturer and therefore serve as excellent ways to showcase their Company’s progress.

Coming up in April is the Beijing Hobby Show (April 20th-22nd) and, one week later, is the all-important Japanese Shizuoka Hobby Show (April 26th-28th). Last year, if you recall, Waltersons, the new owners of the Forces of Valor brand, showed off snippets of their refurbished line at both shows, and are likely planning to do the same thing at this year’s events. That said, we know a great many of you are waiting with baited breath to see what’s in store for the coming year and when they’ll be hitting the virtual store shelves. Hang in there a bit longer and we feel confident you’ll get to see, hear and touch some of the latest and greatest military wares the hobby has ever seen. 

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Hobby Master: One Frogfoot Hopscotches Another

Hobby Master’s 1:72 scale Soviet Sukhoi Su-25 “Frogfoot” Ground Attack Aircraft – “Red 59”, 378. OShAP, VVS, 40th Army, Bagram AB, Afghanistan, 1986

A few months back, Hobby Master announced their intent to offer a 1:72 scale build of the Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot (HA6101), a ground attack aircraft designed along the sames lines as the US A-10 Warthog. However, late yesterday, we learned that a different version will ship first this June (HA6103) and that the original model has been pushed back all the way until February 2019. As one forum member pointed out when HA6101 was announced, “it would have been nice to have included that big red star on the tail of the aircraft, to give it that menacing look we’ve all associated with Soviet aircraft.” We’re betting this is the principal reason for the line-up change and that other Frogfoots will more than likely come clad with the same star.

Hobby Master’s 1:700 scale US Navy Ticonderoga Class Guided Missile Cruiser – USS Ticonderoga (CG-47)

In other news, Hobby Master revealed images for their forthcoming USS Ticonderoga (HSP1001), a 1:700 scale guided missile cruiser that will form the nucleus of the new Hobby Master navy. Finely detailed and designed to work in conjunction with other 1:700 scale naval forces, it looks as if Hobby Master is in the warship game for the long haul, with other meaningful releases not-too-far down the road. 

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The Motor Pool’s March Madness 15% Off Sale!

He drives to the hoop, and scores! Scores with The Motor Pool’s March Madness 15% Off sale, that is! From now until Saturday, March 31st, 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 “TMP178” in the coupon box just prior to final checkout. Note: The following lines are excluded from this promotional offer: Air Force 1, Calibre Wings, Extreme Metal, Hobby Master, Luft-X and Wings of the Great War. Sale ends midnight, Saturday, March 31st, 2018. May not be combined with any other sales discount.

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The Eaglemoss Navy Returns for One Final Battle

Eaglemoss’ 1:1100 scale US Navy New Orleans Class Heavy Cruiser – USS Minneapolis (CA-36) [With Collector Magazine]
In what could be the last time the Eaglemoss navy weighs anchor, the latest, and perhaps greatest quartet of warships are leaving the manufacturer’s shipyard and heading towards our port of call. Expected this weekend are the following warships:

EMGC64 – US Navy New Orleans Class Heavy Cruiser – USS Minneapolis (CA-36) [With Collector Magazine]

EMGC77 – Imperial Japanese Navy Mogami Class Heavy Cruiser – Kumano [With Collector Magazine]

EMGC79 – Imperial Russian Navy Gangut Class Battleship – Gangut [With Collector Magazine]

EMGC76 – French Marine Nationale Richelieu Class Battleship – Richelieu [With Collector Magazine]

Priced at just $24.99, and bundled with a full-color magazine, these warships have become the de facto standard other replica navies have had to sail past to gain their own place in the sun.


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“I’d Like to Build Three Hotels on Blitzkrieg Road, Please”

The Panzer Museum, a highly regarded armored fighting vehicle museum based in Munster, Germany, indicated that they have lent their logo, photos, and other information to the makers of the board game, Monopoly, to create a game centered around WWII era tanks. Based upon photos posted to Facebook, it appears as if the game has been localized for the German market and likely their own gift shop, and therefore not meant for the global market. Still, its a fair bet they could offer the game in other languages, making it an ideal stocking stuffer for armored enthusiasts world over.

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