Saturday, January 1, 2022

The Notable Moments of 2021

Let's take a look back at the best and most interesting models and moments of 2021.

We'll begin with the best box art of 2021. I think that award must go to Miniart for their Bulgarian Maybach T-IV H

The best box art for an aircraft goes to Jetmads for its 1/32 Viggen.

Most modelers would agree that the best release of 2021 was the Tamiya F-4B Phantom II, which hit the market in June. Sprue Brothers alone had more than 500 in stock. A trendy followed thereafter whereby every modeler who bought the kit was compelled to post a photo of it.

By mid-July the first Tamiya 1/48 F-4B was seen on the secondary market.

Border Models kicked off the year by announcing a 1/35 Bf-109G-6. That’s right…1/35 scale, not 1/32. I’ll be curious to see if we see additional 1/35 aircraft releases.

Also in January, without warning or any formal announcement, Squadron closed up shop for good. In April the Squadron name and the company’s inventory were auctioned with many of the lots going to smaller dealers. A month later Chris Decker — the force behind Midship Models, Yankee Modelworks, and Free Time Hobbies — announced his purchase of Squadron’s assets and his plan to re-launch the business.

In March Kinetic posted a teaser on their Facebook page about their next new release, which generated nearly 600 comments from their followers. The following month they announced the kit, a new tool 1/48 Fiat G.91. A keen eyed modeler found a minor inaccuracy in the wing leading edge, and Kinetic said they would postpone the release to fix the error.

In June Airfix announced that they were now on TikTok. I could be wrong, but I think they’re the first plastic model manufacturer to do that.

Also in June, Kitty Hawk announced they were closing up shop, which predictably generated mixed reactions within the aircraft modeling community. Many modelers suggested the company brought it on themselves with poorly engineered kits, though everyone seemed to agree that their subject choices were very strong. Either way, they will be missed.

There were other exciting and curious product releases throughout the year.

Just as the IPMS National Convention was kicking off, Sprue Brothers announced a joint effort with Phantom Phreaks to release 12 versions of the F-4 Phantom.

Some of the designers behind the defunct Wingnut Wings announced a new company, Kotare, and announced a 1/32 Spitfire Mk Ia for release in 2022.

Yenmodels released what must be the most specific kit of the year, a 1/35 Pripyat town sign.

CHINO MODEL announced what’s probably the most unusual item of the year, 3D printed ears. Yes, you heard that right, ears.

For those of you chomping at the bit to do a beach diorama, Armor35 released these figures.

Finally, the low point of 2021 has to be this 1/4 scale figure. 

It can only get better from here.

Happy New Year!