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Sunday, January 5, 2014

2014 new model releases in 1:72 (2 of 3)

I do love the Czech modelling industry. Those guys have really grasped capitalism with both hands since the end of the Cold War. It is one of the few real hotbeds of 1:72 modelling releases (I think Airfix would be the other) in the last years. Sometimes the atmosphere gets a little heated, and competition is clearly brutal - what is going on between MPM and AZ? - but the proof is in the releases. For my purposes here, I am thinking as "the Czechs" in examples like MPM, AZ, Sword, Eduard and Czechmaster Resins.

Not a great deal of personal interest from the MPM brand announced. I might eventually pick up a Fouga Magister, but I'm less interested in the AH-1 variants. The Canberra and early Lightnings seem to have disappeared from the project plan, possibly due to concern about what Airfix is going to do with their Lightning molds.

Special Hobby has always been the most interesting part of the MPM empire to me, if only because they tend to release the unusual - and sometimes formerly unkitted - types under this brand. But even this seems somewhat underwhelming. The Grunau Baby glider maybe, and I would say the Vampire looks nice. I've already built a Heller example, but this would be a more sophisticated version than that 40 year old kit. One of these days, I presume MPM will issue one of those "five year plan" documents that outline their long-term releases, unless they are keeping the cards close to the vest due to competition.

At present, the MiG-15 is rolling out from Eduard, and they have not announced what their next 1:72 kit will be. But given the quality of the Hellcat and Bf-110, it should be a stellar effort.

AZ Models has been remastering a number of earlier Pavla releases, which is a worthy endeavor given Pavla's general fit and media issues (too much in vac and resin bits IMHO). There are some light Cessna types on their list and a new Chipmunk as well. Light aircraft are an area that never has been mined deeply, so hopefully these types will be successful enough to inspire more releases.

Sword's models are a bit of struggle for me. I can't fault their type selection, but I at least have found their execution to be less than adequate. Mostly just fit issues; my most recent one was their P-47N and it was a fight the whole way. But you can't complain with an F3D Skyknight. I'm not enough of an expert to know if the Hobbycraft F2H needs replacing, but I suspect that it will be adequate for me. If they continue with their series of Japanese WW2 types, I'm sure there is something I will find interesting.

Not really much in the CMR future world I'm fancying at present, either. 

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