Another van fan! My people! If you haven't seen the notice under the "Reviews" section, Italeri is re-issuing the Ford Transit van this year. I have 2 of the ESCI version in "Canon" markings but will probably get another one. Or five... When that FUJIMI Astro van came out, it was the first new 1/24 American van kit released in many, many years. I have 2 of the Chevy version and a GMC. My favorite is probably the "Field Liner." It includes roof carriers and a mountain bike with photo-etched metal spokes.
Grail arrived today! An AMT '60 El Camino with a perfectly clean bed. Nothing ever glued into it, which is rare. It also has the front bumper lower pan, often missing from these kits. It is missing one rear chrome taillight, but I have some of those. The paint is thick and goopy but all the emblems are there and untouched. And the emergency light glued on the roof left a mark but it looks fixable. Also arriving today: the Hasegawa '68 Mazda Cosmo Sport in the markings of the Hiroshima Prefectural Police. The HPP used these little Wankel-powered screamers as highway interceptors. I got this one because I'm currently working on the racing version of the Cosmo that ran the 84-hour Marathon de Route at the Nurburgring in 1968. That's right, EIGHTY-FOUR hours! "Achtung, Pierre, I see your wimpy little French race and raise you 60 hours!" Two Cosmos ran. One finished fourth, behind a couple of Porsches and an Alfa, IIRC. The other broke its left rear axle after 82 hours. This was the very first race for the Wankel engine and the Cosmo, so that was quite an achievement. The Cosmo kits are well-engineered and just fall together. They have the usual molding seams running fore-to-aft, but that's easily seen and fixed. They are curbside. Unless you find one of the very rare and expensive versions with the white-metal engine. Then you'll have to cut the hood open. The you-know-where seller offered this one for a starting bid of $10.99, a great deal. Someone tried to snipe me at the last second and raised it to $11.99. Still a great deal.
For your favorite Jo-Han, Precision Miniatures etc. hearse model. "I'm gonna ride to your funeral, daddy, in a black Cadillac..." Joyce Green wrote and recorded this amazing piece of rockabilly in 1958, when she was 19. And never did anything else. According to the internet, she's still alive and living in Arkansas.
Harbor Freight must be expanding aggressively. A new store just recently opened near me, in rural upstate South Carolina. Been in a couple of times and it's always crowded with customers. They sell a pretty neat little airbrush stand. Designed to hold 4 airbrushes. Though none of its holders will fit the blasted Aztek body. Unless you customize the holder with a pair of pliers, which is what I did.
A big X4 for the Transit. Didn't think we would ever see that one again. And very glad the rumor I heard was not true. (The rumor that Ford had ordered the molds destroyed years ago.) I have 2 of the "Canon" version but will probably get another. You can do so many things with that kit.
Another weird one in the Sci-Fi/Military category - 2 of those flying saucers guest-starred on the box art of the TAKOM 1/144 Landkreuzer P1000 "Ratte." The saucers are firing some kind of Nazi Death Ray, I guess. The Ratte kit does NOT include any flying saucers. But it does include 2 100-ton monster "Maus" tanks, to provide scale. Yep, this thing is exactly what it looks like - a naval gun turret (from a heavy cruiser) sitting on a multi-story tall tank chassis. With power maybe provided by two 24-cylinder diesel submarine engines. I guess this idea just shows how delusional Hitler was. Trying to put that 1000-ton tank into production would have strained the industrial capacity of all the Allied nations combined, let alone wartime Germany. It would have probably consumed enough resources to build the vehicles for an entire Panzer Division. And if a Ratte had made it to the battlefield, it would have been swiftly bombed out of existence. Despite its on-board anti-aircraft guns. Bizarre...but fun!
Maybe this one, that the fe-mail carrier delivered yesterday. 1/72 "Haunebu" (proposed) Nazi flying saucer. A snap-kit but a pretty complex one, since it has full interior detail. From a Korean company I'd never heard of, Hand & Head Models. I think they also do a George Adamski flying saucer in 1/48 scale. Ordered this one from Amazon, $45.00 including shipping. It arrived in about a week and a half from South Korea. I'm just glad they didn't name it the "Haune-bu-bu." That would annoy me...
MMK Models does a pretty nice resin 1/35 (one-THIRTY-fifth, armor scale) Tatra 87. It even has an engine. And photo-etch parts, including the two big cooling grills in the engine cover. Which have to be very carefully blended with the resin. Unfortunately the quality is variable. I bought 2 of these kits at the same time, long ago. One was just about perfect. The other had quite a few pinholes and other dings in the resin body. http://umm-usa.com/onlinestore/images/MMK35014.jpg
Re-located from the West Coast to the East last year. When I went house-hunting, I told the realtor I was only interested in seeing houses with a basement or workshop area. Bought a place with a huge mostly-finished basement. Or a "basement and a half." Coming down the stairs, you turn left into the smaller basement, and right into the big basement. I've only been living here since August but I really like it. The big basement has plenty of fluorescent lights and 2 big sliding windows, so lots of light. I made a "window board" for venting the spray booth. The basement also has a door to the outside, which is nice to open up on warm days. The heat/AC ducts are exposed overhead, so it's pretty comfortable all the time. Along with room to work, I now have room to store all the unbuilt kits. And the scale model reference library!
From Lucky Model yesterday, received the EBBRO Citroen DS19 and EBBRO/ASUKA Renault Fourgon Boulangerie (bakery van). I was very happy to see the DS19 roof had no breaking or warping issues. For those who've never dealt with them, everything I've ever ordered from Lucky Model has always been packaged very carefully. Every kit box is individually wrapped in bubble-wrap, and the overall shipping box is heavy cardboard.
Late to the party as usual...but that Teracruzer is a really interesting vehicle. They weren't used very long, since the Mace missile was changed to fixed-site operation. One Teracruzer was still working in the Alaskan gold fields as recently as 2010: http://www.internetmodeler.com/scalemodels/flarmor/Revell-1-32-Renwal-Teracruzer-and-Mace-Missile_printer.php Here's a Teracruzer for sale not long ago: http://www.dieselarmy.com/news/the-original-diesel-monster-truck-is-up-for-sale/
Good quote! At a recent flea market, I ran into a guy with a few old model kits on his table. Told me he had recently bought a stash of over 1,000 kits and die-casts from a new widow. He paid her $1.00 each for them - but they were nearly all NASCAR stuff. Said he was having a really hard time getting rid of those and "nobody wanted them," even with very low starting bids on eBay. And how stash-crazy am I? Too crazy. A wall full of 1/25 kits on shelves. Plus half a shelf of resin 1/25. Then there's the motorcycles, from 1/16 up to 1/8. And the aircraft. And the wall of 1/35 plastic and resin armor. And the figures. And... Oh well. As other people have said, I like to look at them. On these cold winter nights, I'll often drag a kit out of the basement and fondle the sprues, cackling greedily like old Scrooge McDuck....
There are still thousands of Fiat 128s running around in Egypt. At least there were when I lived there, from 2005-09. Heck, at one time, the words "Fiat" and "car" were almost interchangeable in that country. The state-owned Egyptian car company, Nasr, license-built them as the Nasr 128 for several years. Many 128s were still used as taxis when I lived in Egypt. I lived in Alexandria, right on the sea, so the poor old 128s often had Flintstone floorboards and parts literally rusting off. But even the Fiats weren't as much fun as the other popular taxi, the Russian Lada. Those came equipped with giant, cast-iron Russian taxi meters under the dashboard, which cracked your knee if you got into the front seat. And none of those meters had worked since the Brezhnev Era. As for the Yugo, this book is a great read and you can find it cheap. Don't remember who said it, but my favorite comment on the Yugo was: "The UN air forces did humanity a great service when they bombed the Zastava arms factory. Since that factory also produced the Yugo..." "The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History" by Jason Vuic (2011) http://www.amazon.com/The-Yugo-Rise-Worst-History/dp/0809098954
Does anybody else remember that the 1/24 kits were also released as S.W.A.T. versions? Yes, as in "police!" A '72 T-Bird SWAT car was truly a weird and awesome thing to behold. As I remember, these kits were "1/24-ish" and looked bigger when compared to Monogram etc. They were also re-issued by ARII. Here's a 2011 Worthpoint ad with pictures of the OTAKI box contents: http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/1972-ford-thunderbird-otaki-24-model-21115208 If anybody saved their Sept. 1997 issue of Car Modeler magazine, Jack Swenson reviewed the OTAKI SWAT T-Bird. Here's a 1998 thread mentioning it, along with Tim Boyd and Larry Greenberg's comments on the kits. I may have that issue somewhere in the basement: http://www.foundcollection.com/18_c8cd0194a0194ddf_1.htm
Subscriber here, but I agree with trying to get MCM into Books-A-Million. BAM carries some pretty "niche" British modeling mags like Military Modeling and Military Model International. Along with That Other Magazine and the rest of the Kalmbach titles. The closest BAM is about 25 miles away and I go there at least once a month for my magazine fix.