February 5, 2020

Robin Olds and “Scat XXVII”

Air Commander’s 1:72 scale USAF McDonnell F-4C Phantom II Fighter-Bomber – Robin Olds, “Scat XXVII”, 433rd Fighter Interceptor Squadron “Satan’s Angels”, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Ubon Royal Thai Air Base, 1967

Few pilots have become more synonymous with the Vietnam War than Robin Olds. A veteran of WWII, Olds took command of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing on September 30th, 1966, which was based at Ubon Royal Thais Air Force Base, Thailand, a hub of activity for bombing North Vietnam and interdicting supplies running down the Ho Chi Minh trail. A lack of aggressiveness and sense of purpose in the wing had led to the change in command (Olds’ predecessor had flown only 12 missions during the 10 months the wing had been in combat). The 44-year-old colonel also set the tone for his command stint by immediately placing himself on the flight schedule as a rookie pilot under officers junior to himself, then challenging them to train him properly because he would soon be leading them.

Olds’ vice commander was Col. Vermont Garrison, an ace in both World War II and Korea, and in December Olds brought in Daniel James Jr. to replace an ineffective deputy commander for operations, creating arguably the strongest and most effective tactical command triumvirate of the Vietnam War. The Olds-James combination became popularly nicknamed “Blackman and Robin”. Olds took to the air war over North Vietnam in an F-4C Phantom he nicknamed “Scat XXVII”, in keeping with his previous combat aircraft that all carried the “Scat” name.

Air Commander, no stranger to collectors for modeling a wide array of Phantom fighter-bombers, has now selected “Scat XXVII” as the subject for its next F-4. Expected in June, “Scat XXVII” will undoubtedly become the centerpiece in Air Commander’s range of F-4 Phantoms and will almost certainly take center stage for many Vietnam War aviation enthusiasts not only due to who flew the plane but because of their painstaking attention to detail and craftsmanship.

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Product Spotlight: The Jagdtiger Gallery

Forces of Valor’s 1:32 scale German Sd. Kfz. 186 Jagdpanzer VI Jagdtiger Heavy Tank Destroyer with Henschel Suspension – Kampfgruppe Goggler, 3/schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 653, Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, Germany, 1945 [Bonus Maybach V-12 HL 230 P30 Engine]

Back in December, we did a write up on the upcoming Jagdtiger from Forces of Valor, which is largely an upgrade to the Unimax Jagdtiger released several years ago but now comes with a detailed engine compartment complete with a bonus engine. At the time, there weren’t many images of the new vehicle available, so the article was somewhat text heavy and ended up discussing the reasons for building and fielding a Jagdtiger (hunting tiger) tank destroyer even when the Reich’s late-war resources were scarce and likely should have been diverted to other less costly projects.

Well, the manufacturer was kind enough to provide us with an avalanche of images for their soon-to-be-released Jagdtiger, which show off the upgrades made to the existing mold as well as the weathered ambush paint scheme it now bears.

According to our distributor, both the Jagdtiger and Jagdpanther (hunting Panther) are expected to arrive this month, along with a restock of their Sherman Firefly and other items. We anticipate brisk sales for all three vehicles and hope to share some additional information we’ve gleaned from the manufacturer in the days ahead. Stay tuned.

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