On their web site, Century Wings recently announced plans to build a special edition F-14 Tomcat that celebrates their tenth anniversary of diecast modelmaking. To no one’s surprise, they have elected to produce another 1:72 scale VF-84 “Jolly Rogers” warbird to commemorate the event, this time around boasting:
- Magnet attachment gear
- With flap down wing for landing style
- 2 Arresting hook parts ( Normal style and Hook Down Style)
- Fully opened jet nozzle
- Special design package
No images or production numbers have yet been provided, nor has a definitive date of release been given. For more information on the announcement, you can visit their News Page.
For the last few years, Century Wings seems content to rely upon a pair of replica aircraft to see them through the global recession, reaping the rewards of two toolings produced well over a decade ago. While the strategy has worked, other competitors have crept into their wheelhouse, offering similar, if slightly cheaper versions of their bread-and-butter mainstays to woo away some of their audience. Be that as it may, the Company has announced yet another F-14 Fleet Defense Fighter aimed at a holiday take off, this time based upon a “D” variant which flew with its final cruise with VF-104 “Blacklions”, then embarked upon the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) back in 2006 (CW001617). Thus far, only a line art drawing has been provided to the trade, so we anticipate a completed mock up in the weeks ahead.
Yes, Virginia, from time-to-time we do publish blog posts related to actual replicas. In the case of Century Wings, the Company has revealed photos of its upcoming Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird (CW001616). This version represents SSN #1-7958 “Ichi Ban”, which was attached to the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, then deployed out of Beale AFB, CA, during 1990.
Originally slated for an October touchdown, we’ve heard that it has now been delayed until November, and will feature slightly revised packaging than in the past. These aircraft typically sell out as soon as they arrive, particularly when they are expected during the height of the holiday season.
With their recently released “Santa Cat” being checked off from every aircraft collectors holiday wish list, Century Wings is turning the clock forward by a couple of months with their latest release – an operational scheme F-14B that saw action over Afghanistan in 2001. Based upon a bird that flew with VF-102 “Diamondbacks”, their latest deployment of the Tomcat will be strengthened to a release run of 1,500 pieces, up several hundred pieces from their most recent Fleet Defender replicas, and perhaps a sign that demand is once again outstripping present supply levels.
Century Wings is one of those model makers that defy explanation. Rather than branching out and offering new molds, they seem to prefer producing only a handful of aircraft types painted in virtually every conceivable skin. Their latest introduction showcases a SR-71A in “Skull and Crossbones” motif, always a war winner among the aviation crowd (#CW001607).
Currently, their newest Blackbird is penciled in for an August fly-by, and commands a king’s ransom of just $149.99.
Snowboarder, Shaun White, eat your heart out. Century Wings will soon be offering its own rendition of the ‘Flying Tomato’ – a F-14B Tomcat Fleet Defense Fighter (#CW01608) that was attached to VF-101 “Grim Reapers” way back in 1995. Even though their new Reaper Bird commands a price tag of almost double that of its first Reaper F-14, this diecast investment still seems sounds, with many older CW F-14s easily fetching double or even three times that price tag in the after market on eBay. Expect their newest blushing Tomcat some time in May.
The folks at Century Wings report that a new SR-71 is finally in development and scheduled for take off some time in February 2014. The difference here is that two versions will be offered to aviation enthusiasts: a standard 1:72 scale model and a second variant signed by both the pilot, Major Brian Shul, and the RSO, Major Walter Watson. According to the manufacturer, the signatures will be on a very nice certificate that would be ideal for framing alongisde the model. This particular spy plane, known as the “Lybian Raider” took part in the fly over of Colonel Muamar Qadaffi’s Lybia back in 1986. Only 500 pieces of each version are slated for manufacture, making this a low-run, key release in their SR-71 series.
Announced several months back, Century Wings has finally posted photos for their pair of upcoming A-6 Intruder aircraft. Sporting a rather clean exterior instead of a weathered, battle-hardened look, the new dynamic duo are nevertheless important additions to Century Wings fleet of 1:72 scale aircraft, and hopefully harbingers of more things to come.
Both aircraft are pegged for an October fly-in.
What do you say when you see 1:72 scale Century Wings F-14s commanding $500 or more on ebay and people more than willing to pay the price? Even the recently released VX-9 Vampires, ‘Vandy 1’ (#CW001601), is already going for well in excess of its MSRP, just a week after its debut. When you consider the fact that the global economy is still recovering, that’s saying a lot for a company that seems willing to pump out more of the same year after year.
Anyway, we hope more of the F-14s, SR-71s and other aircraft CW has been known to pump out are in the pipeline, since it says a lot for the manufacturer, its products, and impeccable standing within the diecast community.
On the plus side, Century Wings has gotten over its infatuation with the F-14 Tomcat to produce some additional aircraft for 2013. On the down side, no new tooling(s) have been announced thus far, instead more of their older aircraft types at vastly inflated prices. Don’t get us wrong, its nice to see a new Vought A-7E Corsair II attack aircraft parked on the tarmac for the latter half of this year (#CW001604), however, the choice of scheme, price, and proximity to the holidays could have been better planned. No offense to the Ohio National Guard, but an A-7E in southeast Asian camouflage would have generated a lot more interest, especially when their first SEA Corsair II is fetching big bucks in the after market. It also appears as if a $117 price point will be the new normal for Century Wings’ smaller aircraft types (A-6 Intruder and A-7 Corsair II), twice that of comparable Hobby Master jets, such as their F-16 and F-4 Phantoms. We’re happy to see that they are still in the scale aircraft game when others were giving up on them, its just that we have to wonder how they can justify their stance when some of their key competitors are doing well enough at much lower asking prices.