Every so often, a handful of curious collectors take it upon themselves to ask the manufacturers directly about the possibility of offering a particular subject in replica form. Earlier this week, a member of the Model Hanger 3 board did just that, taking it upon himself to ask Hobby Master if they planned to replicate the B-58 Hustler in 1:72 scale. The B-58 is an iconic aircraft of the Cold War period, and, naturally enough, an oft-requested aircraft that seems to have eluded hobbyists and collectors alike. While no formal commitments were offered in the near-term by Hobby Master, the manufacturer did indicate that three more aircraft will be modeled in the not-too-distant future: a F-105G Wild Weasel Thunderchief, a Saab Draken fighter and finally a Eurofighter Typhoon. Its not clear when each of these aircraft will see the light of day, but based upon snippets of conversation posted to the forum it would appear as if all three will take wing within the coming year.
While some companies struggle to get product to market on a regular schedule, Hobby Master does so like clockwork, pumping out loads of product for the discriminating collector. This coming September, they have another dozen or so items scheduled for release, spanning everything from helicopters to armored vehicles, piston driven aircraft to jet fighters. Here’s a rundown of what you can expect when school returns from recess:
US M8 Light Armored Car – “C-30”, Unidentified Unit, Ardennes Forest, December 1944 (1:72 Scale) #HG3812
US M20 Greyhound Light Armored Car – Unidentified Unit, Ardennes Forest, December 1944 (1:72 Scale) #HG3813
Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21SMT “Fishbed” Fighter – “Blue 22”, Krasnodar Higher Aviation Training Facility, Soviet Union, 1980 (1:72 Scale) #HA0195
Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21SMT “Fishbed” Fighter – “Blue 60”, 296 IAP, Soviet Union, 1980 (1:72 Scale) #HA0196
USN Grumman TBF-1C Avenger Torpedo-Bomber – “White 93”, VT-15, USS Essex (CV 9), November 1944 (1:72 Scale) #HA1222
Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23MLD “Flogger-E” Fighter – “White 55”, 120 IAP, Bagram AB, Afghanistan, 1989 (1:72 Scale) #HA5309
USAF General Dynamics EF-111A Raven Electronics Warfare Aircraft – ECS/48th TFW(P), Operation Desert Storm, Saudi Arabia, Early 1991 [Low-Vis Scheme] (1:72 Scale) #HA3022
USAF Lockheed F-117A Stealth Fighter-Bomber – “Vega 31”, 7th Fighter Squadron “Screamin Demons”, “Operation Allied Force”, Kosovo War, 1999 (1:72 Scale) #HA5805
Chinese Peoples Liberation Army Navy Shenyang J-15 Flying Shark Air Superiority Fighter – Aircraft Carrier Liaoning, 2017 (1:72 Scale) #HA6402
Taiwanese Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian Attack Helicopter (1:72 Scale) #HH1206
Republic of Korea Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian Attack Helicopter (1:72 Scale) #HH1207
Merriam-Webster defines a commemorative as an item “issued in limited quantities for a limited time to honor or feature someone or something.” Poignant, to say the least.
As many of you may remember, Senator John McCain was a former US Navy attack aircraft pilot during the Vietnam War who was shot down over Hanoi and spent several fitful years in the ignominious “Hanoi Hilton” prison. The son of an admiral, he could have gone home early to nurse his wounds yet chose not to do so, deciding to remain in captivity with his fellow airmen for 5-1/2 years.
President George H. W. Bush, also a former US Navy pilot, flew an Avenger torpedo plane in WWII, one in which he too was shot down but fortunately made it back to friendly lines after being rescued by a US submarine. Both were dutifully remembered by our nation, McCain earning the Purple Heart, Silver Star, and Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions and Bush receiving the Air Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross and Presidential Citation for his exploits. Both men have since passed away, having served our nation on and off the battlefield as only they could.
Having said that, Hobby Master recently decided to pay both men an additional honor by re-releasing commemorative versions of the aircraft they flew into battle in their respective wars. In the case of Senator John McCain, we will soon take delivery of his A-4E Skyhawk attack aircraft when he was a member of VA-163 “Saints”, then embarked upon the USS Oriskany (CV-34) in 1967 (HA1429). And, in May, we will be accepting Bush’s Avenger TBM-1C torpedo-bomber, which he affectionately dubbed “Barbara III” in honor of his late wife and former first lady, Barbara, an aircraft that he flew into battle with VT-51 then embarked upon the USS San Jacinto (CVL-30) (HA1221). Both models are expected to sell very well at retail despite seeing the light of day for a second time around and produced in far greater numbers this go round than in the past. As we see it, sometimes quantity and recurrence on the collector’s shelf are superseded by fitting memorials to two of our nation’s monumental heroes. The true meaning of a commemorative.
It has been brought to our attention by the distributor that the name plate for the McCain A-4E Skyhawk has been misspelled and that the second “c” was not capitalized as shown in the accompanying photo. The manufacturer has included a corrected name plate with each model that can be easily affixed to the display base after first removing the original name plate.
Its been said that March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb. Apparently, the same could very well hold true for Hobby Master, who ushered in the month with a bevy of eagerly anticipated models and looks to go out in much the same fashion although with a bang instead of a whimper.
According to our distributor, the March shipment of Hobby Master releases are expected to hit their loading dock late next week, meaning they’ve received two shipments of new products in a single month instead of the usual one. If that wasn’t enough, we’ve also learned about their August shipment, which includes several models having been pushed back by a month along with ten or so new items not previously announced. We’re currently in the middle of listing all the new vehicles and aircraft and hope to have everything, including some eye-catching line art, uploaded by the close of business.
If there was ever any doubt behind the saying “March roars in like a lion,” all you need do is look to Hobby Master and their latest batch of releases currently en route. Some items, such as this M60 Patton tank (HG5606), weren’t even expected until the end of the month, so all we have is this line art drawing bravely acting as a stand-in until pix are provided. Other key items are their first ever 1:72 scale F-35C Joint Strike Fighter (HA6201) as well as a handsome 1:72 scale F-22 Raptor bearing the markings of the 95th Fighter Squadron (HA2819).
We’ve updated our Hobby Master sections accordingly and hope to have all of the in transit items shown on our site ready for shipment by the start of this weekend, or early next week at the latest, depending upon when they arrive from our distributor.
Never one to disappoint, Hobby Master announced this week that they plan to complete their Sukhoi family of modern era aircraft with the addition of a bouncing baby Su-33 “Flanker-D” Air Superiority Fighter (HA6401). Scheduled for a June landing, the Sukhoi Su-33 is, essentially, (NATO reporting name: Flanker-D) an all-weather, carrier-based, twin engine, air superiority fighter designed by Sukhoi and manufactured by Komosomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association, derived from the Su-27 and initially known as the Su-27K. Complete with canards for better maneuverability under high stress maneuvering, it was first used in operations in 1995 aboard theaircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, the fighter officially entered service in August 1998, by which time the designation “Su-33” was used. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union and the subsequent downsizing of the Russian Navy, only 24 aircraft were produced. Attempted sales to China and India fell through. With plans to retire the Su-33 once they reach the end of their service life, the Russian Navy ordered the MiG-29K as a replacement in 2009.
As we hinted at earlier this month, there seems to be no shortage of new arrivals looking to pry open the 2018 door in an effort to still make it under the tree this holiday season. This weekend, Dragon announced that both of their long delayed 1:72 scale King Tigers are finally in the US and are now making their way to us as we speak (DRR60399 and DRR60400). With the holidays looming and shipping issues likely to kick in, look for both vehicles to become available the first week of January.
Corgi also announced that a flock of latecomers made port and are winging their way to us tout de suite. The haul includes:
AA38109 – RNAS Sopwith Camel Fighter – Flight Lieutenant Lloyd S Breadner, No.3 Squadron, Bray Dunes Aerodrome, France, 1918
AA38906 – German Fokker D VII Fighter – 4649/18 “Seven Swabians” Wilhelm Scheutzel, Jasta 65, September 1918 (1:48 Scale)
AA32820 – RAF De Havilland Mosquito Mk. VI Night Fighter – Flt. Lt. D A G “George” Parry, No. 105 Squadron [100 Years of the RAF] (1:72 Scale)
AA38808 – German Dornier Do17Z-10 Kauz Light Bomber – Erich Jung, R4+AK, I/Nachtjagdgeschwader 2, Gilze-Rijen Airfield, Holland, October 1940 (1:72 Scale)
AA36111 – RAF Consolidated Catalina Mk.IVA Flying Boat – JV928 ‘Y’ Flight Officer Alexander Cruickshank, VC 210 Squadron, July 1944 [100 Years of the RAF] (1:72 Scale)
The December Hobby Master shipment is reportedly on the high seas and could likely hit the streets in early January. While not exactly containing any stocking stuffers, the December shipment nevertheless includes a number of notable releases so don’t spend all of your gift card money just yet if you’re looking to nab some of these favorites.
Its been years since Hobby Master, the most prolific maker of diecast aircraft models, offered up a rendition of a french-built Dassault Mirage aircraft. As it turns out, it wasn’t because of poor sales figures that resulted in the Company putting the sleek Mirage on the back burner. Rather, it was, as some have long speculated, a result of a licensing dispute with the aircraft maker, which prevented them from making any more models without the expressed written approval of Dassault Aviation. Happily, it would appear as if the dispute has been settled because earlier today we learned that Hobby Master is bringing back the Mirage 2000 for an encore appearance. According to Hobbymastercollector,com, the first model slated to rise like a Phoenix from the ashes is based upon a Mirage 2000-5F jet fighter that was flown by France’s Armée de l’Air and deployed to Dijon, France in 2010.
Now that they have the go-ahead from Dassault, its entirely possible that Hobby Master will be replicating some of the other aircraft Dassault has made famous over the years, including the Super Étendard, Rafale, and Mystere, to name but a few. Interestingly, the Mirage 2000-5F is expected this Spring, meaning Hobby Master must have put their spat with Dassault to bed earlier this year to be this far along in the production process.
Ordinarily we try to post important product announcements to our blog the day we receive the information. During the hectic holiday season, however, this routine often gets sidetracked, as we do our best to get orders out the door in a timely manner then post preliminary product information once the dust has settled and we get a chance to catch our breath.
That said, Hobby Master provided information yesterday concerning their May releases, which includes some notable introductions. Besides the George Bush Avenger we discussed in an earlier blog post, there are some intriguing new offerings in the hopper that should delight ground pounders and air warriors alike.
On the ground, Hobby Master plans to offer the first pairing of M60A3 Patton medium tanks, both clad in a MERD-C camouflage pattern (HG5608 and HG5609) suited for summer time warfare. While they have offered several versions of its precursor, the A1, this marks the first time Hobby Master will be examining the much more robust A3 version, which is still in service with several units and nations around the globe.
In the air, the Company has decided to extend its family of Boeing F/A-18s Hornet with the relatively new E/A-18G Growler (HA5150). The Growler is an Electronic Warfare platform intended to disrupt enemy tracking systems so that other aircraft in the “package” can perform their mission. As such, the Growler replica likely won’t carry any significant ordnance and instead will be loaded down with sensor pods, fuel tanks and other equipment intended to support the other aircraft it must shepherd into battle.
There are several other warbirds that caught our eye, among them a second rendition of the Navy’s F-35C Joint Strike Fighter (HA6102) and Albert Ulrich Houle’s Supermarine Spitfire (HA7851), but what really stood out was a Soviet MiG-21MT, clad in a sumptuous brownish-green camouflage pattern (HA0194). Any way, all of the new introductions have been posted to our web site and, if that weren’t enough, we’re happy to report that the Hobby Master December shipment is winging its way to us as we speak.
Last week, our nation paid homage to President George H. W. Bush, who passed away at the ripe old age of 94. While he will no doubt be remembered for his many accomplishments, he may, perhaps, be best thought of for his role as a pilot of an Avenger low-level bomber, who, in September 1944, accomplished his daunting mission despite suffering grievous damage to his aircraft and the loss of his fellow crew mates.
As we had hoped, Hobby Master will be paying tribute to the man and his machine by offering a new replica of his Grumman Avenger, this time around bearing the words, “Barbara III”, the third aircraft of his to bear the name of his future wife, Barbara Pearce (HA1221). According to our sales literature, this all-new warbird is expected in May and will come in a specially designed commemorative packaging and come bundled with a handsome display stand complete with a metal name plate. We anticipate this aircraft will sell briskly once news of its impending release spreads, so we strongly suggest placing a pre-order for it if you are indeed interested in obtaining one of these incredible replicas.