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Nürnberg Toy Fair 2012

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The Czech manufacturer once again stole the show. Not only was their new 1:48 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109E-1 on display, but samples were already ready to be handed over to the reviewers present at the fair. The reactions to the kit were unanimous: it is the best Emil kit on the market. Congratulations to Eduard! I know a lot of people will say it's just another Bf 109, but the truth is that every major plastic kit manufacturer wants to have its own Messerschmitt in its catalogue and Eduard is a major plastic kit manufacturer. I'm sure it will sell well and I'm looking forward to the Profipack Editions, Dual Combos and Royal Class boxes. The latter will return before the summer with some nice goodies in it (an instrument panel like in the Bf110 box) and several decal options. Expect to see many Messerschmitts built in the coming months.

Though the Emil put everything else in the shadow, there are some other interesting things planned from Eduard for 2012. In 1:48 scale a Late Hellcat boxing, an Fw 190 A-7, an Fw190 A-8 Nightfighter (it was only available in a dual Combo Box previously, which is sold out) and a Spad XIII early. In Limited Edition boxings we will see many MiG-21s and also two Su-27s. And if this is not enough, about 15 Weekend kits will be released too.

Small scale builders will be happy to know that Eduard will downscale their most popular kits. In 1:72 scale will appear an Avia B-534, a Bf110 (E and G) and a MiG-15 (though the latter isn't available in 1:48 scale). In 1:144 Eduard will retool the Ju 52, and the MiG-21 range is already available.

For display purposes, Eduard has some new bases ready, like pre painted photo etched aircraft carrier decks in 1:72 scale and 1:48 scale pre colored PSP plates. While the former do look very nice, I must admit the latter isn't exactly my cup of tea. If you like dioramas, take a look at the new pre painted PE plants. While they are 1:35 scale, they can be used for 1:32 scale or even 1:48 in some cases. They are simply superb!

Talking about photo etch, of course we can expect the usual load of metal for our kits this year (if you like the P-61, don't miss the frets designed for the Great Wall Hobby kit!) as well as some nice Brassin stuff (resin and PE parts). Similar to the BigEd editions, Eduard will launch a new BigSin range. This means that for one subject, you will be able to get all the Brassin items available in one box… provided you have the patience and the skills to include them in your model - and of course the money to afford it!

The 1:32 scale Raiden was on display at the Hasegawa booth of course, but can't be considered a new item anymore. Civil aircraft builders will be happy to know that a 1:200 scale Boeing 787-8 is in the "now proceeding" status". If one wants to go even further away in the sky, then the 1:48 scale Voyager space module is certainly well worth considering. For military aircraft enthusiasts, Hasegawa plans to do a 1:72 scale Mistel combination and a Eurofighter Typhoon. Once again 1:48 scale is not represented other than reissues. Let's hope that there will be more news at the Shizuoka Hobby Show in May.

The French manufacturer was present in hall 7 for the second time this year. There have been some changes at the head of the company as well as in the offices. Marc Pradignac is the new head of the design staff and if his name doesn't mean a lot to you, it is enough to say that he has worked for 10 years for Tamiya in Japan. During this period he has lead some projects like the 1:35 scale Leclerc, B1bis and Renault UE Armor kits, the 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.VIII and the 1:48 scale M10 et KV2 Armor kits. He was also involved in the design of the fantastic 1:32 scale Spitfire and Mustang models, as well as the 1:48 scale Zero. Marc Pradignac won't have the same resources in France for sure, but if he is able to incorporate a fraction of the experience he has gathered in Shizuoka, we may see some nice surprises from Heller in the future. For the moment, the focus was placed on projects which were already well under way or simply left in their embryonic status but which had to be finalised. In the next few years Mr. Pradignac will launch new projects and I am already very impatient to see the impact on the aircraft releases.

For now, the only new items are reissues (1:72 scale MD450 Ouragan and 1:48 scale AMD Etendard IV M and Jaguar A) or upgraded kit which include resin and photo etched parts (1:48 scale Mirage 2000D Kandahar).

Last year Wingscale made a noticeable appearance at the Nürnberg Toy Fair and presented their impressive 1:32 scale B-25J Mitchell model. For reasons which I won't comment on any further the Wingscale project has been cancelled, but the kit itself, which was in a late development stage, did not vanish. In fact it has reappeared at the Pocketbond booth in a new disguise under the HK Models label. The box looked like a dummy but there was already a complete kit in it. Sadly I wasn't allowed to take pictures of the content. According to the little sticker on the cover, availability will be March 2012. Other variants will follow (B-25H Gunship and B-25J Straffer).

The Chinese manufacturer presented some unexpected new items in Nürnberg. Amongst them some classic WWII aircraft in 1:48 scale. A P-47 and a P-51 were on display and a P-40 is also planned. The Thunderbolt and the Mustang looked a little simplified but the retail prices should be very low (less than 12€ for the P-51 in Germany!) which will certainly please those on a tight budget.

The impressive 1:18 scale Dauntless was also present in all its glory and a 1:32 scale P-61 is announced in the official catalogue as well. Let's hope they will get the canopy right!

For aircraft related subjects, nothing has really changed on the ICM booth when compared to last year. It seems as if the Ukrainian manufacturer has decided to focus on military vehicles and figures. Altogether, there are 7 new aircraft items in the 2012 catalogue. This is not much when compared to the 16 military related products in 1:35 scale. It seems as if ICM slowly mutates to an armour brand. This year we should see the 1:144 scale Tupolev-144 in a new D version, in 1:72 scale an I-153 and a Po-2 and in 1:48 an I-153 and an I-16. The latter were already announced last year so one can just hope they will find their way to the retailers in 2012. Modern diorama builders will be pleased to see that the PAG-14 Airfield Plates will be released in quarter scale as well.

This year Italeri celebrates its 50th anniversary and not only was the manufacturer's booth impressive but the 2012 program promises to be very spectacular as well. Let's start with the release of an all new tool F-104G/S Starfighter in 1:32 scale, of which it is said that it will be a fantastic kit. In a smaller scale (1:72) but similarly huge, we will see a Sunderland Mk.I hit the shelves this year. 1:48 scale is also well covered with a new Jaguar GR.1/3 (a French version is in the pipeline too) and variants of the Macchi MC.200 (2a Serie) and the Hurricane (Sea). There will be also the usual load of reissues of other manufacturer's kits under the Italian label.

Helicopter fans will be pleased to see that an all new tool UH-34 Sea Horse is in preparation in 1:48 scale and aircraft diorama builders will have new bases to place their 1:72 scale models (PSP and Carrier Deck Section plates with accessories).

Kopro's main news is a complete family of 1:72 scale Kawanishi N1K Shiden (George). If you like the Japanese subjects you will be happy.

At last I could put my hands on the new 1/48 scale PZL.43 kit from the Polish manufacturer. The first boxing (there will be at least three) concerns the Luftwaffe variant. In fact, only two exemples flew with German markings for trial purposes, so if you fancy ugly looking esoteric WWII subjects, this is the perfect kit for you. It is composed of new tool plastic parts, older sprues from the PZL-23 kit and photo etched parts. One thing's for sure, it will raise some eyebrows at modelling shows! No less exotic is a new boxing of the PZL.37 Los twin engine bomber in Luftwaffe markings as well.

WWI aircraft lovers will be pleased to hear that a Halberstadt CL.IV (Roland) is planned for 2012 and that there will be new boxings of the CL.II as well (Polish-Russian War and late production batch). Other WWI project are already in preparation under the direction of M. Piotr Mrozowski so expect to see many 14-18 aircraft from Mirage Hobby in the future.
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About the Author

About Jean-Luc Formery (TedMamere)
FROM: MOSELLE, FRANCE

I'm mainly interested in WW2 aircraft and I build them in 1/48 scale.


Comments

Once again Jean-Luc you have provided and excellent review! Many thanks! I noticed in your photos the company named "Admiral" releasing a 1/72 TBD Devastator. Did they have a test shot and if so, was it good? ~ Johannes
FEB 18, 2012 - 12:13 AM
Hi Johannes, The Admiral kits were part of the AZ Model line up and sadly they only had their kits displayed on the German importer's booth. The Admiral people weren't there in fact so I'm afraid I can't give more infos. Maybe Steffen can be of better help (his friend Volker is more into 1:72 scale stuff). Rowan, thank you for doing the editing for the article... Jean-Luc
FEB 18, 2012 - 02:32 AM
Nice show report!! though I cannot agree with alle statements, but thats always a matter of personal views. Thanks Jean-Luc! .. hope you got your little parcel when you come home from your vacation all the best Steffen
FEB 24, 2012 - 12:59 AM