Product Spotlight: On the Wings of Icarus

 
Hobby Master’s 1:72 scale Russian Sukhoi Su-35S “Super Flanker” Multirole Fighter – “Red 6”, 23rd Fighter Aviation Regiment, 303rd Guards Composite Air Division, 11th Air and Air Defence Forces Army, Khmeimim Air Base, Latakia, Syria, 2016

We’re getting close to the release of Hobby Master’s first-ever Sukhoi Su-35S Super Flanker (HA5701), a warbird clad in a garish yet functional camouflage scheme that makes the aircraft stand out a bit more in test bed flights, particularly when flown low to awe the crowds and gauge its prowess in high speed maneuvers. That said, we are of the opinion that the second scheme chosen for this elite generation 4+ fighter will likely do the warbird proud since it represents a scheme currently seen over the skies of Syria and built from the ground up to fight at altitude.

While it isn’t designed to be stealthy, it is, nevertheless, quite deadly, especially in the hands of a capable pilot

“Red 6”, as it is known, is a Super Flanker Multirole fighter that was originally attached to the Russian Air Force’s 23rd Fighter Aviation Regiment, 303rd Guards Composite Air Division, 11th Air and Air Defence Forces Army, but now deployed to Khmeimim Air Base, Latakia, Syria.

Khmeimim air base was built in mid-2015 adjacent to the Bassel Al-Assad International Airport to serve as “the strategic center of Russia’s military operation against Islamic State”. The existence of the Russian strategic base was revealed by the United States in early September and American officials expressed concern over the possibility of escalation of the conflict in Syria. The airbase became operational on September 30th, 2015.

The Super Flanker can carry a wide range of ordnance, as can be seen by this underside shot of the aircraft

During September 2015, the air base came under rocket attack by local Syrian rebels apparently using Grad missiles.

At the end of September 2015, NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe, General Philip Breedlove, said that the kind of military infrastructure that Russia had installed in Syria, which included anti-aircraft defense systems, was a de facto no-fly zone: “As we see the very capable air defense (systems) beginning to show up in Syria, we’re a little worried about another A2-AD (anti-access/area denial) bubble being created in the eastern Mediterranean.” (Russia’s third denial zone around Europe)

The Su-24 shoot-down by Turkish fighters on November 24th, 2015, was reported to be when the Russian jet was on its way to return to Khmeimim.

The military Tu-154 that crashed with loss of 92 lives on December 25th, 2016, was on a flight from Sochi to Khmeimim.

Look for “Red 6” to appear over the skies of the diecast community this December.

The nose-on view of “Red 6”
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Product Spotlight: PMA’s Rockets Red Glare

 

PMA’s 1:72 scale German V-2 Long-Range Guided Ballistic Missile with Meillerwagen Launch Trailer and Brennstand – Checkerboard Pattern [Test Scheme]
“Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down? That’s not my department.”
– A quote attributed to Wehrner von Braun, head of the German rocketry program

According to our distributor, PMA’s eagerly awaited pair of V-2 Long-Range Guided Ballistic Missiles are on the launch pad and expected to hurtle down on the diecast community in a matter of days.

For those of you unfamiliar with their newest piece of diecast, the V-2 (German: Vergeltungswaffe 2, “Retribution Weapon 2”), technical name Aggregat 4 (A4), was the world’s first long-range guided ballistic missile. The missile with a liquid-propellant rocket engine was developed during the Second World War in Germany as a “vengeance weapon”, assigned to attack Allied cities as retaliation for the Allied bombings against German cities. The V-2 rocket also became the first artificial object to travel into outer space by crossing the Karman line with the vertical launch of MW 18014 on June 20th, 1944.

Research into military use of long range rockets began when the studies of graduate student Wernher von Braun attracted the attention of the German Army. A series of prototypes culminated in the A-4, which went to war as the V-2. Beginning in September 1944, over 3,000 V-2s were launched by the German Wehrmacht against Allied targets, first London and later Antwerp and Liege. According to a 2011 BBC documentary, the attacks from V2s resulted in the deaths of an estimated 9,000 civilians and military personnel, and a further 12,000 forced laborers and concentration camp prisoners died as a result of their forced participation in the production of the weapons.

PMA’s 1:72 scale German V-2 Long-Range Guided Ballistic Missile with Meillerwagen Launch Trailer and Brennstand – Dark Green [Operational Scheme]
As Germany collapsed, teams from the Allied forces — the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union — raced to capture key German manufacturing sites and technology. Wernher von Braun and over 100 key V-2 personnel surrendered to the Americans. Eventually, many of the original V-2 team ended up working at the Redstone Arsenal. The US also captured enough V-2 hardware to build approximately 80 of the missiles. The Soviets gained possession of the V-2 manufacturing facilities after the war, re-established V-2 production, and moved it to the Soviet Union.

PMA is releasing two versions of the V-2: one in a black and white test scheme (P0321) and the other in a dark green operational scheme (P0322). Both come with a Meillerwagen launch trailer and Brennstand (firing stand). Please note that the Meillerwagen and Brennstand are composed of diecast metal while the V-2 is made of plastic.

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Anatomy of War: Sabre Rattling with the All-New SR-72

 
To celebrate the 70th year of its existence, the US Air Force published this banner touting but not actually showing the new mach 6 capable SR-72 strike aircraft

With the rhetoric between North Korea and the US heating up, and US generals, at the behest of Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis, now told to begin playing nice with the media as a potential prelude to war, the Air Force has taken the unprecedented step of shedding light on the successor to the retired SR-71 spy plane, the SR-72. We’ve touched upon the hypersonic aircraft in previous blog posts earlier this year, largely wedding what we’ve gleaned from the Internet with analysis and a bit of conjecture, but now the Air Force is starting to confirm reports about the existence of the aircraft and its ultra-secretive capabilities. Designed to fly twice as fast as the SR-71 spy plane, the all-new SR-72 will reportedly reach speeds of at least Mach 6, or roughly 4567.2 mph at sea level and under optimal conditions.Moreover, the SR-72 is unmanned, and is likely controlled remotely by ground controllers much like a drone.

Unlike the SR-71, the SR-72 will be capable of carrying out strike missions, thanks to an internal weapons compartment

Roughly the size of an F-22, the SR-72 would differ markedly from the SR-71, since it is designed to engage ground targets in real-time as opposed to simply gathering intelligence. Its not clear what types of weapons will be stored internally, but a likely scenario would include decapitation missions whereby the aircraft would penetrate heavily defended air space then employ a single GPU-guided bomb to be used to eliminate the heads of government hunkered down within a reinforced or underground bunker.  Interestingly, South Korea said this morning in Seoul, Financial Times reports. “Lee Cheol-hee, a member of the ruling Democratic party, on Tuesday said hackers had broken into a defence data centre in September last year. He said stolen documents included Operational Plan 5015 — the most recent allied blueprint for war with North Korea. The plans reportedly includes detailed procedures for a decapitation strike against the North Korean regime — a proposal that has infuriated Kim Jong Un, the country’s supreme leader.”

Last week, US piloted B-1B bombers from Guam along with F-15 escorts taking off from Japan, flew near but not into North Korea’s air space to its northernmost point in decades, likely locating and testing North Korean air defense measures should an incursion take place at a later date. In response, North Korea media reportedly told its populace that they had shot down both bombers, backing up the claim with a poorly animated video, while declaring that the two nations were now at a state of war, something the US unequivocally denied.

For more information on the SR-72, please visit this web site: http://www.avgeekery.com/air-force-highlights-sr-72-blackbird-successor-on-new-poster/

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Eaglemoss Grapples with the Cylons

 
By your command, flight commander.

If you’re a fan of the Battlestar Galactica sci-fi series — and let’s face it, who isn’t — then you’ll be thrilled to learn that Eaglemoss Collections is launching a brand new sci-fi range that focuses on many of the ships depicted in the series. Debuted at this week’s Comic-Con convention here in New York City, the Eaglemoss replicas will likely be larger in size than some of the Star Trek standard-sized starships, and will therefore likely carry a price tag in the $50+ range. We will wait for the manufacturer to roll out their latest web-based showcase before posting SKUs and additional product information, although we are willing to be that each ship will come bundled with a collector magazine like their Star Trek brethren models. Look for the first ships to take on humanity some time in early 2018.

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Dragon Armor: A Return to its Heyday?

 
A 1:72 scale M4A3(76) W VVSS Sherman Medium Tank is slated for a December roll out

Typically, Dragon Models announces the availability of new 1:72 scale model kits as a prelude to releasing new pre-assembled replicas a few months later. Earlier today, two intriguing kits were unveiled by the manufacturer: one portraying a WWII-era US M4A3(76) Sherman tank with a VVSS suspension and the other a German early production Tiger I command tank used by famed panzer ace, Michael Wittmann.

Anyone remember these guys? It was vehicles like this that helped set the hobby on fire over a dozen years ago and now it looks like they may be making a return engagement.

If you recall, these pre-assembled vehicles sold out eons ago, snapped up by collectors for their use in wargaming, dioramas and curio cabinets largely for their historical significance. With other vehicles already in the queue, and likely even more bringing up the rear, this comes as welcome news for the hobby, perhaps harkening back to the glory days of collecting Dragon Armor pieces.

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Kamchatka to Yakutsk

 

Growing up, most youngsters go through a rite of passage of sorts, playing, or at least attempting to play, the board game of Risk. For those unfamiliar with Risk, its a board game that, at its core, is about world conquest, using rather simplistic rules, pieces and playing cards to facilitate movement and combat. The game was even profiled in an episode of the TV-sitcom Seinfeld, poking fun at the manner in which two central characters of the show took the game to heart while the world around them tried to ignore their chaotic shenanigans.

That said, you may want to give the following video clip a look, as it too pokes fun at some of the nuances of the game, and some of the would-be players you might find in a typical face-to-face session. Enjoy!

An Englishman Plays Risk

'An Englishman Plays Risk' – History can make things awkward…See us play live in Ireland this YearWexford Oct 24th: https://goo.gl/MvC6a4Vicar Street December 16th: https://goo.gl/vFyffnAnd in 2018 in Mullingar, Letterkenny, Cork, Galway, Dublin, Ennis, Limerick and more here: https://goo.gl/MGug2a

Posted by Foil Arms and Hog on Thursday, October 5, 2017

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Thank You and You’re Welcome

 
Thank you for your service soldier and enjoy your retirement.

Some times we get grief, occasionally we get a tip of the cap, but today we received a very special thank you from a new customer trying to make a former aviator proud. Earlier today we received this image via email which shows a 1:72 scale Amercom helicopter sitting atop a retirement cake. The following note was attached: “Thought I’d share with you how I used my purchase!! Made the DAY for a 42-year Army aviator veteran’s retirement party… he was SO impressed I found his first aircraft. Thank you for the fast shipping and seamless service.” Its acknowledgements like this that makes everything worth while.

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Forces of Valor Gets a New Coat of Paint and Some Added Goodies

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

At the 57th All Japan Model and Hobby Show, Waltersons, the new owners of the Forces of Valor brand, showed off some of the revamped 1:32 scale military vehicles expected this holiday season.

Walterson’s researchers even paid a visit to the Bovington Tank Museum in England to ensure their replica was every bit as accurate as the real thing

While none of the toolings on display were new, they did demonstrate some of the enhancements the manufacturer implemented since taking over the line last year, including updating the paint schemes, reworking some of the existing molds, adding bonus parts that include engines, and adding new figures such as Erwin Rommel to the new desert variant of the 88mm FLaK gun. 

The updated Sherman Firefly medium tank now features an opening rear hatch over the engine compartment and removable engine

We are hoping that additional images are forthcoming, since the Company is still insisting other 1:32 scale vehicles and 1:72 scale aircraft are due out for the holidays.

In other news, the manufacturer posted a video showcasing some of the painstaking lengths they’ve taken for their upcoming 1:16 scale radio controlled T-72 main battle tank. The manufacturer indicated that the vehicle may also be available as a kit, although details regarding this development weren’t made available.

Previously, only a desert scheme version of the 1:24 scale M1A1 Abrams tank was available. Soon, a tri-color scheme will also be sold

Also expected this holiday season are a 1:24 scale radio controlled M26 Pershing tank as well as two versions of the M1A1 Abrams tank – painted in either a desert scheme or tri-color European pattern.

Waltersons 1/16 scale Soviet T-72M1 (Export version), metal pa…

Preview of our new 1/16 scale Soviet T-72M1 tank, the model kit version and Radio control version (Enthusiast edition = Middle trim) both comes with 58 die-cast metal parts, these parts add about 1 Kg of weight to the tank, but more importantly they look very beautiful with the tank. If these parts would have been sold as after market upgrade parts it will probably cost maybe over 100 usd.

Posted by Waltersons Industry on Saturday, September 30, 2017

Waltersons 1/16 scale Radio control tank, Soviet T-72M1 Export…

The most time consuming part with design is probably making something work without sacrificing the appearance. Thats exactly the challenge we encountered while designing the tensioner system in the T-72, we could have just make it as part of the chassis in plastic, why bother making a separate part in die-cast metal, and with a tensioner mechanism inside? Because that marks the border between toys and hobbies, so we go one step further.Things look so perfectly in 3D world, all the parts fit perfectly well, no tolerance, shrinkage and deforming etc… but in reality they all happen, at first we were in doubt whether this tensioner mechanism would work?? The interval is only so short, even our structure designer questioned, do tankers really care? Well, when he saw the assembled chassis, he was convinced 🙂 🙂 🙂

Posted by Waltersons Industry on Saturday, September 30, 2017

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War Master’s Elves are Hammering Out the Latest Ware for Solido

 
Solido’s 1:72 scale German Sd. Kfz. 9 Famo Prime Mover and towed 88mm FLak Gun

Produced for french manufacturer Solido, War Master has been busy cobbling together a new sack of diecast goodness, many of which are ideal gifts for the holidays. Here’s what you can expect to nestle under the Christmas tree this December:

SOL7200506 – USMC LAV-25 Piranha Light Armored Vehicle (1:72 Scale)

SOL7200507 – German Flakpanzer IV Wirbelwind Anti-Aircraft Gun – Unidentified Unit, Belgium, 1945 (1:72 Scale)

SOL7200508 – British Cruiser Tank, A27M Cromwell Mk. IV Tank – 7th Armored Division “Desert Rats”, Netherlands, 1945 (1:72 Scale)

SOL7200202 – German Sd. Kfz. 9 Famo Prime Mover and 88mm FLak Gun (1:72 Scale)

SOL7200003 – RAF De Havilland Mosquito FB VI Fighter – Unidentified Unit, India, April 1945 (1:72 Scale)

SOL7200004 – RAF Grumman FM-1 Martlet V Fighter – Operation Torch, North Africa, November 1942 (1:72 Scale)

Aviation buffs will go bats over this RAF De Havilland Mosquito FB VI Fighter – Unidentified Unit, India, April 1945

 

 

 

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Product Spotlight: Across the Pond and On It

 
Corgi’s 1:72 scale RAAF Short Sunderland Mk. III Flying Boat – W3999/ RB-Y No. 10 Squadron, RAF Mount Batten, Plymouth Sound, Devon, England, Early 1942

Ever since its launch in 2015, Corgi’s Short Sunderland flying boat has proven to be extremely popular among the aviation community, combining heft, depth of detail and legendary storytelling not often seen in today’s market. Their latest version replicates a ship flown by the Royal Australian Air Force, particularly one attached to No.10 Squadron, then deployed to RAF Mount Batten, Plymouth Sound, Devon, England, in early 1942 (AA27503). 

There’s no question that the latest Sunderland will sell out as quickly as its previous two iterations.

The majestic Sunderland flying boats of RAF Coastal Command were some of the most impressive aircraft of the Second World War and performed vital duties in protecting Britain’s sea lanes from enemy attack. With crews having to endure long and arduous patrols, they would often be sent to rescue downed airmen in perilous situations, with little thought for their own safety. Such an incident occurred on June 21st, 1942, when the crew of Sunderland W3999 took off from RAF Mount Batten to try and locate a dinghy containing the crew of a ditched Coastal Command No.172 Squadron Vickers Wellington. On reaching the search area, the Sunderland, along with an accompanying Whitley patrol aircraft, were attacked by a German Arado Ar 196 float plane, with the Sunderland taking a number of hits. Losing height immediately, the flying boat effected a landing on the open sea, but at the end of its landing run was seen to explode and sink beneath the waves. Coming under further attack, the Whitley took evasive action, before setting course for home, with the crew having the unpleasant task of confirming that there were no survivors from this tragic incident.

Look for Corgi’s rendition of this fabulous legend to dip its wings some time in November.

Corgi | Short Sunderland Mk.III W3999/ RB-Y No.10 Squadron RAA…

Coming soon, the majestic Short Sunderland Mk.III! Available to pre-order from corgi .co.uk or your local stockist. http://ow.ly/gK0F30fsFnX

Posted by Corgi Die-Cast on Wednesday, September 27, 2017

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