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Saturday, January 4, 2014

2014 new model releases in 1:72 (1 of 3)

It is traditional in the modelling blogosphere to give some thought to kits that will be issued in the coming year. Besides a keen fascination with the new, an unissued model allows one to believe that this will be a great release, finely engineered and accurate, with wonderful decals. More to the point, any new model allows us to fantasize that this will be The One, the model that outshines all others in the display cabinet and will attract circles of worshippers at the next IPMS show. That it will more likely be an effort consistent with all the others is pushed out of the mind, at least until plastic is actually cut and glue applied. So what has been announced so far that gets the 72 Land authorities smiling?

Um, not a huge amount, actually. Since 1:72 is no longer the premier scale, we have to share release schedules with scales both larger and smaller. But that doesn't mean there aren't interesting bits out there to focus on. Now, don't forget that we haven't heard anything about Nuremberg or Shizuoka plans yet, but with the internet grapevine most of those releases are at least in the rumor stages by now. I'll be looking at new 1:72 aircraft releases in three groups: Airfix, the Czechs, and everyone else. This is mostly anecdotal, since I haven't seen any comprehensive release lists (like Mike McEvoy used to do in SAM), and Cybermodeler has only listed the new Hobbyboss items and Hasegawa re-releases. If I've forgotten any big news, let me know.

We'll start with "everyone else" first. Very little from Trumpeter (except maybe the Bv-141). Hobbyboss has revealed some A-4s (only of interest if you don't have access to the Fujimi ones), and I haven't heard anything from Zvezda. A-Model released a long list in later 2013, with some very tantalizing items (Do-26, XB-60, Tu-134). I have seen a lot of improvement in A-Model's efforts over the years, and they do not shy away from the large or the odd.

Revell released their "list" - consisting of one new Corsair - to a resounding thud. Is this just blowback from the consolidation/merger/re-alliance with Revell USA? Have they abandoned 1:72, considered a European scale, in favor of the USA's 1:48? Is this the lead time of the Great Recession finally having a chilling effect on new product coming out the pipeline? In any case, I can't imagine a new Corsair 1D making a big splash or replacing the Tamiya kit that has been out there for ages. I know that if I'm looking for WW2 Corsairs, Tamiya would be my first (well, only) stop. Not that I wouldn't consider some later variant Corsairs. But after years of adventurous releases like the Bv-222, Ju-290, Ju-88, B-17 and Lanc, this is all we get?

After a promising start, Meng seems to have cooled a bit, at least in terms of actually announced items, to concentrate on armor. Tamiya hit a couple of 1:72 items out of the park but I don't think they were very adventurous (Zeros, Il-10). Though with their commitment to quality of engineering I would seriously consider anything they put out.

I've heard good things (well, except for the price) for Hasegawa's recent Eurofighter and V-22, but there likely won't be anything on their radar til we get closer to May.

Italeri does seem to have recently drawn the attention of the nay-sayers for some reason, and there are rumors that the Stirling has been scuttled - say it ain't so! I was really looking forward to that one! And I can't say another F-35 stirs my blood very much, though I suppose it would be all right if they released B and C variants. Hopefully more will come out as Nuremberg approaches. 

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