Sunday, December 29, 2019

2019 in review

What a year. Whatever we scale modelers might expect, there’s always something that takes us by surprise, and 2019 was no exception. HK released an unexpected 1/48 B-17G, Miniart released a series of 1/35 Grants, and we finally got our hands on AMK’s looooong awaited 1/48 F-14.

That said, some things seemingly never change, well, at least over the course of two years. Two trends that I wrote about in 2018 continued into 2019 — sexy female subjects and egg planes and all their offshoots. I’m anxious to see if that will change in 2020.


The influx of female subjects continued with many manufacturers introducing sexy figures in every scale imaginable. Right out of the 2019 gate, Nutsplanet introduced a new line of female busts with many more following through the year, most of them fantasy oriented.

Reedoak showed off this 1/48 figure of Miss Santa, posed on the intake of an F-14.

ZPLA jumped on the bandwagon with its 1/20 scale Girls in Action series.

Miniart released another variation of their weird ball tanks, this one with training wheels.

On a more mainstream note, Airfix’s announcement of a 1/72, new-tool Buccaneer was very well received by modelers, particularly on Britmodeller. Before the end of the month, Xtradecal announced a new sheet of Buccaneer S.2 markings.


In 2018 modelers were giddy when the remains of the USS Lexington were found. Nearly a year later they got equally excited when researchers found the USS Hornet.


RMG Resin Models released a 1/35 "modern toilet," and there was substantial discussion about toilet variants on Armorama. I shit you not.


Meng set the hobby on fire when they announced a new tool 1/35 Sherman, because, well...we didn’t already have enough of them already.

AMK assured us that their F-14 Tomcat was still coming.

And a small corner of the interwebz went berserk when someone suggested using cinnamon rather than pastels to represent mud. Seriously, this actually happened.


Not content to let a trend from 2018 die, Hasegawa announced four 1/24 scale female figures (Companion Girls Figures and Fashion Model Girls Figures) at the 2019 Shizuoka Hobby Show.

And Northstar Models teased a new line of naked figures, though I don’t recall them having been released yet.


The appetite for cutsie, egg-like models continued with Scale75’s release of toon figures of Rocky Star Cooper, Otto Von Lokimerg, and others.



Asuka left me scratching my head when they released a model of a tiny hamburger. Fess up guys; who's had this on their wish list?

Then something huge happened. Tamiya announced a new-tool P-38 in 1/48!


The month kicked off with buzz from the IPMS National Convention in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Tamiya offered a number of their new 1/48 P-38s via a raffle/sale, and quite a few of them found their way onto eBay, selling for over $100…never mind that they would retail for $50-60 just a couple of months later; I wonder how many of those early, overpriced kits were actually built before the kits became widely available. Also at the show, Eduard sold out of all their new 1/48 P-51D kits they'd brought with them.

Not to allow Eduard and Tamiya to dominate the news, AMK announced that their long-awaited 1/48 F-14D would be in distributors' hands at the end of August. Keep in mind that AMK first announced the kit back in June of 2015, so you can imagine that modelers were…skeptical, one person commenting, "End of August? Which year?"


As if new tool kits of the P-51D and P-38 weren’t enough, HK Models announced a 1/48 version of their B-17. And the crowd went crazy.


October saw armor modelers get WW1-era buses in both 1/35 scale (from MiniArt) and 1/72 (from Roden), which got me wondering why buses aren’t more popular, even in 1/25 scale.

Later in the month modelers freaked out across Facebook and the online forums after a rumor circulated that Rust-Oleum was going to discontinue the Testors line of hobby paints. A quick call to the company confirmed that that was not true. It turns out we can’t believe everything you read on the internet. Who knew?


Airfix announced their release of a 1/72 Vulcan, and guess what? Some modelers were excited about it and some were not, so bickering ensued. One forum participant said what more modelers need to say, “I’m not interested in the Vulcan. But I’m pleased to see Airfix still in business and releasing new kits." Amen to that!


Remember that 1/48 B-17 that HK announced in August? Well it hit the shelves this month. Quite the contrast to AMK’s 4 1/2 year launch of their F-14, eh? Naturally there was some rivet counting over the kit, but I think modelers generally agree that it’s very nice.

Here’s Flory Models' review on YouTube.

That's 2019 in a nutshell. We modelers remain a passionate group, and our conversations both online and in person are always amusing.

A Happy New Year to all of you! Bring on 2020!

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