But it's the models that get our attention, right? I guess we're going to have to get used to seeing weird stuff like Meng's 1/35 Tortoise and Special Hobby's upcoming 1/72 Gloster Meteor F.Mk.8 Prone now that the manufacturers have released kits of nearly every variant and subvariant of the Pzkpfw IV and P-51. That's not a not bad thing, but I predict that surprise is going to become the de rigueur standard in our hobby for 2013 and every year thereafter.
There will always be a group of modelers who appreciate every new model no matter how obscure, and the rest of us will remain, at best, intrigued; we might purchase one of these oddball subjects for shits and grins. What will truly surprise us will always be the completely bizarre choices, and this year that award must go to Academy for their decision to mold their beautiful new 1/48 F-4B Phantom II in two colors. Really?
Yes, it's true. It would seem that the design and management team from 1975 Matchbox have come out of retirement and are now gainfully employed at Academy. The Phantom is molded in white and light grey, presumably to make it easier for the beginner modeler to create a reasonable representation of the aircraft without paint. Wasn't that the intent behind the two-color Matchbox kits? In fairness, that's a good idea, but how many beginners are buying a $69 kit at their local hobby shop for their first foray into plastic modeling?
Now I'm going to log onto my favorite online retailer to order three.