October 2019

Eaglemoss Transitions from Impulse Power to Warp Drive in Birmingham

Eaglemoss’ Star Trek Archer’s Toy Ship [With Collector Magazine]

At the Destination Star Trek event held in Birmingham, England, Eaglemoss unveiled a bunch of new items for several of their Star Trek product lines. Here’s a quick look at all of the new ships you can expect to see in the months ahead:

Standard Sized Starships

#EMST0170 – Star Trek Penk’s Starship [With Collector Magazine]

#EMST0171 – Star Trek Denobulan Medical Ship – The Barzai [With Collector Magazine]

#EMST0172 – Star Trek Xindi Insectoid Fighter [With Collector Magazine]

#EMST0173 – Star Trek Antares Class Freighter – The Arcos [With Collector Magazine]

#EMST0174 – Star Trek Archer’s Toy Ship [With Collector Magazine]

#EMST0175 – Star Trek Pakled Transport – The Mondor [With Collector Magazine]

Special Edition Starships

#EMSTSP22 – Special Edition No. 22: Star Trek T’Plana-Hath Class Vulcan Lander – T’Plana Hath [With Collector Magazine]

Star Trek Discovery

#EMSTDISC24 – Star Trek Klingon Daspu Class Vessel [With Collector Magazine]

#EMSTDISC25 – Star Trek Section 31 Drone Ship [With Collector Magazine]

XL Sized Starships

#EMSTMEGA20 – Star Trek Federation Galaxy Class Starship – USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D [With Collector Magazine] (Large Scale)

#EMSTMEGA21 – Star Trek Federation Crossfield Class Starship – USS Discovery NCC-1031 [With Collector Magazine] (Large Scale)

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The “Shock”-Tober Update, Part 2

So, news has been flooding in of late concerning the release schedule. To begin with, we now have a fair idea of which Eaglemoss Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica items are expected in November, and which have likely been pushed back to a late year arrival. Rather than list everything here, we’ve updated our Eaglemoss sections and release schedule accordingly. Bear in mind that Destination Star Trek, which is currently being held in Birmingham, England, will undoubtedly show off some new items, which we’ll add to our web site the minute the news rolls in.

We were under the impression that both Wings of the Great War and Luft-X were terminally ill and on their respective death beds and that we weren’t likely to see anything new from either line, much less receive our back orders, which have been languishing for months on end. Well, we’ve been set straight, so-to-speak, and can now happily report that both lines are expected to resume production in early 2020. We’re not sure what is happening with their distant cousin, AF-X, a similarly conceived line unveiled earlier this year, that has received little in the way of further reinforcements beyond the lone X-15 produced to date. Reading between the lines, that means AF-X will likely take a back seat until both Luft-X and Wings of the Great War have resumed their aerial campaigns.

Modelcollect seems to be back in the swing of things after lolling about with their fantasy-based Fist of War series. Two BMP-3s are schedule for a late year release and we’re willing to bet that other more-traditional AFVs are probably falling in behind them. While the Company has been making 1:35 scale model kits, it remains to be seen if they are giving the go ahead to a pre-assembled line of military vehicles.

As we indicated in a previous post, Dragon has caught its breath and is finally resuming production of their iconic Dragon Armor line. Three replicas, all based upon the Stryker family of Infantry Carrier Vehicles, are slated for a November roll out, although the manufacturer has been known to delay releases for extended periods of time. Stiff upper lip and all that chums as we await their release and hopefully more new items as we head into the new year.

That’s it for now, but expect further updates as we transition to a November war footing.

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Dragon Rises from the Ashes

My heart beat still. After headed the way of the Dodo bird over the last year, Dragon has seemingly risen from the ashes and posted three new Dragon Armor pieces to their web site this morning. All three are based upon the US Army’s family of Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicles. We had pretty much given up hope that the Dragon Armor line would ever return to its former glory, so the news that not one but three new vehicles are in the offing comes as quite a bit of a shock to us and I’m sure to others.

Right now, all three vehicles are listed as rolling out in November, although this shouldn’t be taken as gospel just yet since Dragon has posted optimistic forecasts in the past. Still, its nice to know that they are back and in a big way, no longer ceding the market to several companies that have carved out respectable shares of the marketplace while Dragon snoozed.

We are keeping our fingers crossed that this is but the start of something big for everyone concerned, and that other product categories in the Dragon catalog, long dormant but never quite counted out, will begin to make a return to their illustrious past.

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The “Shock” -tober Update

PMA’s 1:72 scale German Mid Production Sd. Kfz. 181 PzKpfw VI Tiger Ausf. E Heavy Tank – Obersturmbanfuhrer Otto Carius, ‘217’, schwere Panzerabteilung 502, Malinava, Russia, 1944 [Bonus Maybach HL 230 TRM P45 Engine]

There were several lines that we expected to arrive around the end of October that have apparently been shunted into November. Modelcollect and PMA have fallen victim to this shipping delay, as has Eaglemoss, which owes us a great deal of Star-Trek-related merchandise. Presently, its not clear if Corgi is on the docket for a “fright-fest” showing, which would have included two of their eight Military Legends combat vehicles and a pair of 1:72 Aviation Archive aircraft. Right now, we are assuming they will make it on time as will the October Hobby Master shipment. Even the two Air Force 1 1:72 scale B-17 Flying Fortresses have been asked to go round the tower one more time and are now scheduled for a November landing.

Air Force 1’s 1:72 scale USAAF Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress Heavy Bomber – “Swamp Fire”, 524th Bombardment Squadron, 379th Bombardment Group, Kimbolton, England, 1944-45

We bring this up because November is oftentimes a tough month in the industry, since its punctuated by the Thanksgiving Day weekend, as well as both Black Friday and Cyber Monday – two key selling days for the industry at-large. So, if new product hasn’t arrived before these second half events kick off, then we’ll have to keep our fingers crossed that they somehow still show up by early December in time to make it under the Christmas tree.

Corgi’s 1:50 scale British Cromwell Mk. IV Tank – “Blenheim”, 2nd Armoured Battalion, Welsh Guards, 6th Guards Armoured Brigade, Brussels, Belgium, September 1944

On the flip side, the upcoming holiday season looks to work in favor of sellers for other reasons. Thanksgiving comes late this year (November 28th) as does Hannukah (December 24th). FedEx is making Sunday deliveries thereby speeding up the supply chain, as will UPS in early 2020. It also appears as if the US has worked out a deal with members of the International Postal Agreement, which means the international landscape will change somewhat for both imports and exports, particularly as it applies to shipments coming out of mainland China.

Forces of Valor’s 1:32 scale German Sd. Kfz. 173 Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer with Zimmerit “302”, schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 654, Normandy, 1944 [Bonus Maybach HL230 P30 Engine

As we alluded to in a previous post, we plan on building out our new web site some time in January, as well as spin up two more sales channels, bringing us up to four. Two more will be spun up in mid 2020, once we feel comfortable our new order fulfillment system is working without major incident. That’s pretty much it for now so enjoy Halloween and make sure to submit your orders as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

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Anatomy of War: Things that Go Bump in the Night

A prototype of the Chinese PLAAF Type 075 attack helicopter

Even as the US Army begins selecting candidates for its Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program, and other conventional rotorcraft are considered finalists in the Future Vertical Lift Aircraft (FVLA) selection process, the Chinese may have lapped the competition with their own next-generation “chopper”.

The Type 075 helicopter, which some are calling the “Super White Shark”, looks more like a flying saucer than a true combat helicopter, sporting a circular fuselage with a center-mounted bulbous cockpit, all of which is purportedly clad in a coating of radar absorbent material designed to defeat radar detection at both low and high altitudes. Shown for the first time at the recently held Tianjin military expo, The Super White Shark concept model was described by Chinese State media as a two-seat turbojet stealth aircraft with a ceiling of 6,000 metres (19,685 feet), a top speed of 650km/h (404mph) and a range of 2,950km.

Although the Super White Shark’s developer – known as the Parrot Laboratory – claimed to have learned from designs such as the US’ AH-64 Apache ground attack helicopter and Russia’s Ka-52 reconnaissance and combat chopper, it said no country had yet succeeded in developing and perfecting such wing-body-fusion technology.

A static prototype was shown sitting atop several square pedestals so it isn’t clear if the rotorcraft can actually fly and maneuver in flight as advertised or whether the aircraft was simply meant to spook western defense analysts.

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March Roars in Like a Lion at Hobby Master

Hobby Master’s 1:72 scale US Navy Northrop Grumman EA-6B Prowler Electronic Warfare Aircraft – 160432, VMAQ-2 “Death Jesters”, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina

Its no wonder that Hobby Master has established itself as one of the most prolific makers of diecast military collectibles. Operating like a well oiled machine even in the face of labor and trade issues, Hobby Master has consistently released a diet of eagerly sought after replicas that has earned it a special place in the hearts and minds of collectors worldwide. This March is no exception, with the following new models up for your consideration:

On the ground…

#HG3705 – US M46 Patton Medium Tank – 64th Tank Battalion, Imjin River, Korea, Spring 1951 (1:72 Scale)

#HG3706 – US M46 Patton Medium Tank – 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, 1951 (1:72 Scale)

…and in the air

#HA8713 – German Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 Fighter – I./Jagdgeschwader 77 “Blitz”, France, Summer 1940 (1:48 Scale)

#HA3552 – USMC Boeing F/A-18D Hornet Strike Fighter – BuNo. 164685, VMFA(AW)-121 “Green Knights”, 2004 (1:72 Scale)

#HA4813 – US Navy Northrop Grumman E-2C Hawkeye AEW Aircraft – 163536, VAW-125 “Tiger Tails”, NAS Norfolk, Virginia, September 2009 (1:72 Scale)

#HA6010 – Ukrainian Sukhoi Su-27 “Flanker-B” Multirole Fighter (1:72 Scale)

#HA5008 – US Navy Northrop Grumman EA-6B Prowler Electronic Warfare Aircraft – 160432, VMAQ-2 “Death Jesters”, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina (1:72 Scale)

#HA5228 – US Navy Grumman F-14A Tomcat Fleet Defense Fighter – “Super CAG” 160660, VF-111 “Sundowners”, USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70), 1986 [Low-Vis Scheme] (1:72 Scale)

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DeAgostini Removes the Chocks from its 1:72 Scale Warbird Line

We’ve had our eye on several partworks lines that are currently available around the world but have yet to make their way to the North American shores. One of them happens to be the DeAgostini range of 1:72 scale WWII era aircraft, a staple of the Japanese home market for a couple of years running. To date, the manufacturer has now released a whopping 97 different replicas, each accompanied by a Japanese written magazine that explains the aircraft and its role in combat in exquisite detail.

While most of the models in this range are based upon some of the better known fighters, seaplanes and reconnaissance aircraft produced by the Empire of Japan, there is a smattering of releases from the aerial armadas of other nations, meaning you’ll need quite a bit of shelf space to collect them all from start to finish even if you have no interest at all in Japanese warplanes.

Ordinarily, partworks manufacturers wait until each subscription-based line has run its course before making them available as open stock releases that can then be sold outside the home market. Interestingly, we’ve learned that some of the earliest releases are now available at one of our distributors and that they should be in stock at our warehouse by the end of this month. So, if you’re looking for a new line to collect or are simply interested in cherry-picking the range, we strongly recommend you keep an eye out for these models over the course of the next few months.

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Films in Focus: Apple Flies High with Spielberg and Hanks

Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are heading back to the 1940s for their third World War 2-inspired limited series. Originally earmarked as an HBO special project that followed in the wake of Band of Brothers and The Pacific, Masters of the Air got the green light by the soon-to-debut Apple Plus streaming service after it became evident that HBO was either unwilling or unable to pony up the $250 million required to fund the project. For Apple, $250 million is but a drop in the bucket as it attempts to launch a new streaming service aimed at competing with the likes of Netflix, CBS All Access et al.

Originally known as The Mighty Eighth, Masters of the Air is based upon the book of the same name that was written by Donald L. Miller, which traces the exploits of the USAAF 8th Air Force and its daylight bombing campaign over Nazi-occupied Europe during WWII. Its not clear when the cable show is expected to air or how many episodes will be made to cover the tale.

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Product Spotlight: The Beast

Oxford’s 1:72 scale Soviet Ilyushin IL-10 Ground Attack Aircraft – 108th Guards Assault Aviation Regiment, Germany, 1945

Known by NATO as “The Beast”, the Ilyushin IL-10 was a Soviet ground attack aircraft developed at the end of World War II by the Ilyushin construction bureau. It was also license-built in Czechoslovakia by Avia as the Avia B-33.

In October 1944, the Il-10 first entered service with training units in the Soviet Air Force. In January 1945, the first Il-10 combat unit entered service with the 78th Guards Assault Aviation Regiment, but it did not enter action due to unfinished training. However, three other Il-10 units managed to take part in the final combat actions of World War II in Europe. They were the 571st Assault Aviation Regiment (from April 15th, 1945), the 108th Guards Assault Aviation Regiment (from April 16th, 1945), and the 118th Guards Assault Aviation Regiment (on May 8th, 1945). About a dozen aircraft were destroyed by flak or engine breakdowns, but the Il-10 appeared to be a successful design. One was shot down by an Fw-190 fighter, but a crew of the 118th Regiment shot down another Fw 190 and probably damaged another. On May 10th, 1945, the day after the official Soviet end of the war, (Victory Day), there were 120 serviceable Il-10s in Soviet Air Force combat units, and 26 disabled ones.

After the USSR reentered the war against the Empire of Japan, with the invasion of Manchuria, from August 9th, 1945, one Il-10 unit, the 26th Assault Aviation Regiment of the Pacific Navy Aviation, was used in combat in the Korean Peninsula, attacking Japanese ships in Rasin and rail transports.

After the war, until the early 1950s, the Il-10 was a basic Soviet ground attack aircraft. It was withdrawn from service in 1956. At the same time, work on new jet-powered dedicated armored ground attack planes (like the Il-40) was canceled, and the Soviets turned to multipurpose fighter-bomber aviation. The Il-10 and its licensed variant, the Avia B-33, became a basic ground attack plane of the Warsaw Pact countries. From 1949 to 1959, the Polish Air Force used 120 Il-10s (including 24 UIl-10), and 281 B-33s. In Poland, the B-33 was modified to carry 400 l fuel tanks under its wings. From 1950 to 1960, Czechoslovakia used 86 Il-10s, including six UIl-10s, and about 600 B-33s. From 1949 to 1956, the Hungarian Air Force used 159 Il-10s and B-33s. From 1950 to 1960, the Romanian Air Force used 14 Il-10s and 156 B-33s. Bulgaria also used these aircraft.

In the late 1940s, 93 Il-10 and UIl-10s were given to North Korea. They were then used in the 57th Assault Aviation Regiment during the early phase of the Korean War. They were initially used with success against the weak anti-aircraft defense of South Korean forces (following the US refusal to supply the south with “heavy weapons”), but then they suffered heavy losses in encounters against the United States Air Force fighters and were bombed on the ground themselves. After several weeks, about 20 remained. In the summer of 1950, North Korea received more aircraft from the USSR. The North Koreans claimed that they sank a warship on 22 August 1950 with Il-10s, but it was never confirmed.

Look for Oxford Diecast’s rendition of “The Beast” some time in late 2019.

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Tales of Transparency: Holiday Shipping Deadlines

The tempo of operations here at The Motor Pool has certainly picked up in recent weeks, with new merchandise flooding in at a record pace and outbound orders noticeably increasing well before the holidays arrive. That said, we just wanted to remind everyone about the shipping deadlines we’ve instituted for both domestic and international shipments that are intended for holiday delivery. Please make sure to check out our Calendar of Events page to determine the dates and service method that best suits your needs and remember it pays to place your order as early as possibly to avoid disappointment.

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