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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

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

There is some consistency with this entire recap so far. Not a lot to look forward to. But that all stops with the Airfix future productions list.

I have grown to love Airfix. Fellow fans know the reasons: decent product, a real effort to improve their technique (such as panel lines) and innovate construction process (Swordfish wing struts), good value for money. Plus, they still realize that 1:72 is a viable scale, which some manufacturers seem to have forgotten.

That ragwing Hurricane looks like a solid winner, and I am hoping that they will follow up with a metal-winged F1 sometime in the near future. F2s are thick on the ground, and I have run through most of my Mk 2 decals. I still have a number of markings sets for Mk 1s, however. Plus the ragwing provides the basics for a Hurricane prototype (once I figure out how I want to handle the exhausts and canopy). And same with the Lightning; I'm hoping for F1 and F3 issues at some future date.

The four new molds that have gotten me rather excited are the C-47, Blenheim, Do-17 and Tiger Moth. I think the Italeri and ESCI DC-3s are definitely still usable, but I want to see what a modern redo of the type would be like. The Blenheim and Do-17 fit in well with my ongoing twin-engined theme. And I've already mentioned my love for trainer and light aircraft types.

I'm a bit more ambivalent about the Swift, but that is only because I built the Xtrakit version a couple of years back. Maybe the release of a new mold will inspire aftermarket creators to produce some variant conversion sets and I can justify another model in the display case.

I have been pretty enthusiastic about a number of Airfix releases during their resurgence. I loved the Valiant, the Nimrod, the Gnat, Spitfire 22 and the Swordfish. And one interesting thing about new Airfix kits - they rarely go into the stash. Most get built as soon as they arrive in the mail (as will the Lightning and Hurricane when they get here).

So although I led this post with disappointment that there wasn't much to look forward to, I'm not to the point of despairing about the hobby. Not a lot of flashy, attention getting releases on the schedule (like, say a 1:72 injected plastic C-17 would be) but there are a number of good, interesting, workmanlike models coming. And I think the business model for announcing releases has changed forever. We'll no longer be finding out about them at trade shows or even in annual lists. All the promotion is done on the internet, where the timing is under control of the manufacturer, and an announcement can get its share of attention with its audience without any filters.

And be fair. Even if no new model is released in the next 25 years, I still have more than enough of a stash to build at my rate until I am 100. 

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