Some times it doesn’t take much to cause a stir online. Early last night, Calibre Wings posted new pix on their Facebook account, suggesting, in rather subliminal form, that three more warbirds will be added to their foot locker in 2018. The three images include a French Dassault Rafale multirole fighter, Russian Sukhoi SU-25 “Frogfoot” ground attack aircraft and Russian MiG 35 multirole fighter. Earlier in the week, as part of the run-up to the upcoming San Diego Comic Con convention, the Company also indicated plans to offer Robotech merchandise, although this range will be offered to a new distributor that caters to a significantly different market. On the surface, it would appear as if this relatively new manufacturer plans on ramping up in a big way, competing with the likes of Hobby Master, Century Wings and Air Force 1 for their own stake in the modern military space.
Just when you thought you had things figured out comes word that one of our newest manufacturers seems to be headed down an unexpected road. Earlier today, Calibre Wings posted a titillating teaser on their Facebook page which indicated, in rather unabashed form, that they will soon be offering Robotech-related merchandise.
Robotech is a science fiction franchise that began with an 85-episode science fiction anime television series cartoon adaptation produced by Harmony Gold USA in association with Tatsunoko Production and first released in the United States in 1985. It was adapted from three original and unrelated – though visually similar – Japanese anime television series (Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross, and Genesis Climber Mospeada) to make a series suitable for syndication.
In the series, Robotechnology refers to the scientific advances discovered in an alien starship that crashed on a South Pacific island. With this technology, Earth developed robotic technologies, such as transformable mecha, to fight three successive extraterrestrial invasions. (courtesy Wikipedia)
Presently, we have no idea as to what they plan to offer, although the image does hint that more information is forthcoming at the soon-to-debut Comic Con Convention being held in San Diego from July 20th-23rd.
There seems to be a mad dash, of late, to see which manufacturer can lay claim to replicating some of the most iconic aircraft of the modern era. While Hobby Master is taking on the Su-35S Flanker-E and Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-25 Foxbat, Calibre Wings has set its stakes on other high profile aircraft, the most notable now being the General Dynamics F-16 Flying Falcon. According to several postings on their Facebook page, the Company is already hard at work putting the finishing touches on the CAD program for the F-16, rather than porting over model kits, which could contain their own anomalies. This permits the Company greater flexibility when attempting to model the intricacies of each Falcon variant, and shows the lengths with which this newcomer to the replica game is prepared to carve out its own niche in the marketplace.
If you had any doubts or reservations that newcomer Calibre Wings had the chops to do the F-14 Tomcat justice, then you may want to think again. The Company posted images for their second pairing of Tomcats, which are tentatively due out this coming August. The next duo include a US Navy Grumman F-14A Tomcat Fleet Defense fighter that was attached to VF-142 “Ghostriders”, then embarked upon the USS America (CV-66) during 1976 (CA721404).
The second Grumman US Fleet Defense Fighter is also an “A” variant, this time around attached to VF-14 “Tophatters”, then embarked upon the USS Enterprise (CVN-65), during its last cruise in 2001 (CA721403). Both products show some of the craftsmanship that have gone into the F-14, which includes variable geometry swing wings, opening canopies, adjustable engine exhaust nozzles detailed crewmen, a full suite of ordnance and more, plus a novel display stand. More images for both aircraft can be seen on our web site. Pre-orders for both aircraft are moving briskly.
Perhaps looking to catch up with Century Wings in one fell swoop, newcomer Calibre Wings posted an intriguing graphic to their Facebook page indicating they plan to offer six more F-14 schemes within the “forseeable future.” They also also indicated that their first pairing of F-14s — announced in early 2016 — have been delayed until May of this year, no doubt running into some unexpected production snags along the way, and that their second element has been pushed back to August. Apparently, they are very confident that their F-14 mold and its attendant accessories will unseat Century Wings as the reigning king of Tomcat producers, so we will have to see if the proof is indeed in the pudding some time next month.
Despite running into some manufacturing issues which has delayed the released of their first pair of F-14 Tomcats, Calibre Wings used the Nuremberg Toy Fair to show off their next tooling: a Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer all weather attack aircraft. Initially, two planes are being planned for an end-of-year release: one based upon a Ukranian Su-24MR and a second, and likely more popular, Su-24M variant flown by a Russian squadron.
Thus far, neither version is being shown in their markings and insignia, although the prototype was displayed with its ordnance and some of its characteristic features, among them variable geometry swing wings and opening cockpit.
Perhaps riding atop a wave of enthusiasm since revealing the first product photos of their upcoming F-14s, Calibre Wings hinted at the seventh version of their 1:72 scale Tomcat, no doubt due out some time in early 2017. Earlier today, the manufacturer posted an image of “Satan in the Cross Hairs” on their Facebook page, likely indicating that VF-74 “Be-Devilers” would be their next choice for an F-14 replica. Before being disestablished in 1994, after 50 years of service, VF-74 served as an aggressor squadron that was pitted against various US Navy and Air Force squadrons. So, we don’t think its a stretch to conclude that an aggressor livery will likely be chosen to commemorate this illustrious squadron, perhaps one designed to resemble a Russian-built Su-27 fighter.
While we still await official product images for their first paring of Grumman F-14 Tomcats, Calibre Wings has thus far announced their intent to produce at least six different schemes and versions for the A and B models in the coming months, to say nothing of the D model hinted at in their marketing material. Scuttlebutt has it that they have run into some factory-related issues which has prevented them from posting anything online, but rumor has it that actual imagery should appear in early November.
The community is expecting big things from this new manufacturer, despite running into heavy competition from the likes of Century Wings, Hobby Master and even True Scale Model Wings, all of whom now have product out the door. We certainly wish them luck getting both their photos and product in the hands of consumers before the holiday rush begins.
Newcomer Calibre Wings has disclosed that their next new tooling will be a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer attack aircraft. The announcement was made on Facebook, lately the de rigeur venue for new project announcements from a number of model makers. No word was given concerning the exact release date, price, model or livery to be chosen for their inaugural Fencer, although it would appear as if the first version will be a Fencer-D complete with a refueling probe.
At the 56th All Japan Models & Hobby Show 2016 held in Tokyo, Japan, Calibre Wings revealed the first set of photos of their soon-to-be-released pair of F-14 Tomcat fighters. Expected in October, the inaugural pairing of Tomcats will be based upon both an A and B variant of the fleet defense fighter: the first from VF-1 “Wolf Pack”, then embarked upon the USS Enterprise (CVN-65), during Operation Frequent Wind in 1974 while the second was attached to VF-103 “Jolly Rogers”. Each plane shows off the unique tri-stanchion display stand developed expressly for these models along with the product packaging.