Thursday, December 27, 2018

2018 in review

There are just a few days left in 2018, so let’s take a look back at the year that was and all of the things that generated buzz among modelers around the world.


Participants on Hyperscale’s forums went berserk when the site began loading slowly. “I don’t have time for this,” said one member. Another pointed out, “I can’t get into Plastic Pics at all.” Yet another found himself on the brink, exclaiming, "I’m giving up on Hyperscale until a new platform is found.”


February saw the release of the Great Wall Hobby 1/48 Su-35, which resulted in a 44-page discussion on ARC. We usually don’t see that level of conversation unless it’s a Bf-109 or AMK’s F-14.


The remains of the USS Lexington were located at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, and aviation enthusiasts went crazy upon seeing clear images of the ship and its aircraft. One excited modeler even went so far to suggest that we modelers should petition the Navy to permit the recovery of the aircraft and start a Go Fund Me page to raise the millions of dollars required to do so.


After years of reluctance on the part of the webmaster, Hyperscale finally converted their forum to a format similar to other forums using the Tapatalk platform.


Armor modelers ooh’d and aaah’d at the amazing quality of models displays at the Moson show in Hungary. In case you were on another planet in May, Martin Hronský has arguably the best collection of photos (more than 900) on Flickr. Other albums can be found throughout Facebook.


In June modelers lost their shit when Revell pulled its weird model of a hypothetical German flying saucer from hobby shop shelves due to pressure from the PC police. Modellers got the last laugh when the model hit the number one spot on Hannants’ list of best-selling products a week or two later.

Then, just when we thought modelers had no more shit to lose, Eduard made a political statement about the US talks with North Korea that set off an even larger shit storm. Their post to Facebook earned almost 400 comments. A subsequent clarification generated more than 200.


The IPMS National Convention was held in July, which always generates a good deal of conversation. You can view IPMS's slideshow of the award winners here. Judges Best of Show went to this 1/35 Stryker.

On a somewhat related note, my Annual Virtual Convention was a total flop. I'm saying goodbye to that idea.


Modelcollect released its 1/72 B-52G, and despite modelers’ enthusiastic anticipation of the kit (including me), they were disappointed to find significant inaccuracies in the model. To their credit, Modelcollect has fixed those inaccuracies in subsequent releases.

August also saw a very early CAD image posted to Facebook of what appeared to be a Blackburn Buccaneer. When it was attributed to Kitty Hawk, lengthy discussions followed with the typical comments of "I'm glad we're getting a Buccaneer," versus the "It's going to be poorly engineered." As my friend John says, "Let's wait and see what happens."


Not to be outdone by Eduard, Meng entered the political fray when it announced they would include a resin figure of Donald Trump in an upcoming release of a 1/35 M1A2 Abrams. That wouldn’t be so bad except the figure was a horrific likeness of the man.


Wingnut Wings sent the modeling interwebz ablaze with their announcement of a 1/32 Lancaster, despite their having said over the years that they wouldn't produce anything beyond the WW1 time period. That’s a promise many modelers were happy to see broken. This will give us two 1/32 Lancasters to choose from, the other from HK Models. Wingnut Wings is taking their model a step further, representing stressed skin over the fuselage. Matt over at Doog’s Models suggested that this might be a trend we see in future releases. Let's hope so!


Mantis Miniatures’ exciting release of a 1/24 scale snail was overshadowed by two announcements at the show. Airfix showed off its 1/24 F6F Hellcat and Wingnut Wings its 1/32 Handley Page 0/400. Both of these kits could easily be considered the biggest announcement of the year.

What I really liked about Airfix's announcement of the Hellcat was the video that soon followed, which featured the model's designer, Christopher Parker-Joy. It's very unusual to know the names of the designers behind a model, so it was a treat to hear Chris explain his team's approach to designing and tooling the model.

As if their 1/32 Lancaster isn't reason enough to celebrate 2018, Wingnut Wings announced its upcoming 1/32 HP 0/400. I'm not as privy to conversations around the company's releases as many of you are, but I think the last model that generated so much conversation was their Felixstowe.


In a year full of political discord, Meng capped it off with a special edition of their 1/35 T-90A, which includes a figure of Vladimir Putin riding a bear.

That, my friends, was 2018. I wonder what 2019 will bring....


  1. Very nice review of 2018. I definitely remember the nazi saucer but I was not aware of the Eduard "commentary" earlier in the year. I can tell you they (and a few other exhibitors) were free with their political opinions at the IPMS Nationals show. Disappointing but not surprising - everything has become politicized. Lets hope 2019 is just as interesting as 2018!

  2. Great review of the year and earned a few chuckles. We in the hobby do takes things way too seriously sometimes.