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Nürnberg Toy Fair 2011

I wasn't really impressed by the Hasegawa booth once again this year. There were some new items but no real cracker, at least for my taste. Nasa fans however will be pleased by the 1:200 scale Space Shuttle Orbiter & Boeing 747 and Space Shuttle Orbiter & Hubble Space Telescope kits. In 1:48 scale, the brand expands his range of aircraft weapons with set E: US air-to-air missile & jamming pods. In 1:144 a J-AIR Embraer 170 will be released soon.

In the program, but not visible in Nürnberg in other form than an artwork, is a new tool 1:72 scale Su-33 Flanker. The other releases of the first half of the year will be reissues, sometimes with additional parts like a 1:72 scale F-16E and He111 Z, a 1:48 scale EA-18G Growler and A-4N Israeli Skyhawk and a 1:32 scale Bf109 F "Galland Special" and Me163B Komet "Ekdo16". Chances are high that Hasegawa has kept one big release secret for the Japanes shows.

Heller is back! This time for real. I have met Madame Gaëlle Dumont, the new head of the French company, and while there was no real news for aircraft enthusiasts, the fact that Heller will produce three new tool kits this year is already good news, since that was last done years ago. Madame Dumont told me that they expect to do at least three new tools every year, so after having done cars and armor this year, maybe we can look forward for some aircraft releases in 2012.

However, some reissues will be available this year (1:72 scale Caudron Simoun and Saab J21 and 1:48 scale Etendard IV P and M) and the "Upgrade" range will expand after the release of the 1:48 scale Super Etendard "Afghanistan" with a Mirage 2000 "Kandahar" in the same scale. The "Upgrade" kits come with additional resin and photo etched parts and some modifications will be done to the molds to improve the fit of the parts.

On display at the Hobby Boss booth was the new 1:48 scale Ta 152 of course, but more interesting was the built models of their forthcoming F8F Bearcat and Yak-38. In 1:72 scale, it seems as if the Mi-2s helicopters and the A-4 Skyhawks will follow next. In 1:48 scale a F4U-4/AU-1 Corsair and a F3H-2 demon are in preparation, as well as a F-84E in 1:32 scale.

At the end of last year, ICM was hit hard by the news of the release of Great Wall hobby's 1:48 scale Fw189 kit, since they were working on the exact same subject. It should have been the main news of this year's Nürnberg Toy Fair but the project has been cancelled and the Ukrainian manufacturer had to change his plans. So rather than a German, the program this year will be almost only focused on Russian subjects. In both 1:72 and 1:48 scale, we will see the release of a new tool kit of the Polikarpov I-153. In quarter scale, this aircraft was only available in short run so this is good news. In 1:48 scale as well, ICM will do a Polikarpov I-16. There is already a good one from Eduard so I wonder how it will compare. In 1:72, a nice Polikarpov U-2:Po-2VS was present as well.

Another interesting item on display were the 1:72 scale Soviet PAG-14 Airfield Plates. 32 such plates are present in one box and I have already seen some available for less than 10€ which is a very good price. I've suggested the ICM people to do them in 1:48 and even 1:32 scale as well since bigger scale builders will probably be a little jealous. 1:144 scale fanatics will be happy to know that an impressive Tu-144 will be released in 2011.

Italeri was one of the manufacturers with the most new items planned for 2011. I will try to list the most important news and most likely to hit the shelves this year.

Let's start in 1:72 scale with what promises to be an impressive kit, the Sunderland Mk.I, which will come in a PRM edition. This means that the box will include a reference book. It will be a brand new tool from the Italian manufacturer. Other releases will be variants of older kits (Do217 M, G.222 "Panda"/C-27A "Chuck", etc…) or other companies' productions under the Italeri flag (B-17 Mk.I Academy, MB 326 Supermodel, H-21 Flying "Banana" MPM, etc…) and it is sometimes difficult to know what is really original in what is announced (B-25G, F4U-7, F6F-3, Bf110 G-4, etc…) for 2011.

The same problem arises for the 1:48 scale releases. The Hurricane Mk.I will be a brand new tool but the Prowler and the Tracker will be Kinetic kits reboxed. The Hs 126 A-1/B-1 find it's origins in Ukraine (ICM) and the Spitfire Mk.IXc "Beer Truck" in Portugal (Ocidental). But the biggest news is probably that Italeri will do a new tool F-104 G Starfighter in 1:32 scale with markings for German, Italian and Greek aircraft!

Nothing really new at Kopro. The catalogue was still the one of 2010!? The impressive MiG-29AS in Digital scheme was on display but that's about all…

The Mirage Hobby booth was quite busy with aircraft items once again this year and I must say that I found my personal "Highlight" of the show there: a 1:48 scale PZL P.43 "Tshayka"! Never heard of this aircraft? I wasn't aware of it's existence neither until Mr. Piotr Mrozowski introduced me to the subject. It is in fact a variant of the PZL P.23 but it has an even less appealing appearance than it's predecessor! This, and the fact that only a limited number of exemplars were built, make this aircraft so interesting. The fact that it is released as a mainstream kit is probably a miracle but I do hope that all the modelers who always complain about a new Messerschmitt Bf 109 will buy the kit! Finding something more exotic and more original will be difficult! The Mirage Hobby kit will share some parts with the PZL P.23 kit (wings) but the fuselage and some other details will be brand new tooling.

In the same scale, the Polish manufacturer will reissue it's PZL P.37 medium bomber in the B/II variant with new tool tail parts. Other reissues will be the R.W.D. and Lublins which are older kits. But the instructions, decals and boxes will be new. The kits will be kept affordable (no additional resin or PE parts) but if you searching for detail sets, Part from Poland will certainly have what you need.

WWI lovers will be pleased to see the Halberstadt CL.II reissued in a new boxing of which one includes a full set of lozenge decals

There was a lot to see at the MPM booth which has changed it's location from Hall 7A to 7. Steffen and I have spent some time with Mr. Jan Hacijek again, who kindly showed us the MPM headquarters last year during our visit in Prague. We asked him if the company was slowly switching to 1:72 scale exclusively, because there have been almost only releases in that scale lately. He reassured us by saying that it was pure chance that this was the case. In a few month it may be the contrary and we will perhaps see mostly releases in 1:48 scale.

On display were examples of the new 1:72 scale Seafires from Special Hobby as well as the new Planet Model Yak-23 resin kit. The latter is 1:32 scale, as is the Yak-3 and Roland C.II Walfish, from Special Hobby as well, that will hopefully come out in 2011. While new WWI items where pretty rare in Nürnberg this year, quite a lot are announced by the MPM group in 1:48: Hansa-Brandenburg C.1, Shreck FBA flying boat, Fokker D.III, Aviatik-Berg D.I, Albatros C.III amongst other stuff. However, one has to be careful with the MPM list as there is still a 1:48 scale Tracker and a 1:48 scale Hawkeye present in the catalogue despite the fact that the Kinetic kits have been released now.

From Azur, the partner brand run by Mr. José Fernandez, the new and very nice 1:32 scale Caudron C.714 C.1 was ready to be admired and a Cierva/Leo C.30 Autogiro will follow in the same scale. Frrom/Azur, also a partner brand but run by Mr. Gilles Fontaine, is about to release a 1:72 scale Vickers Vildebeest serie of kit which will cover three variants (Mk.III, Mk.IV with in line or radial engines). The latter kit has been done using short run technologies but the masters have been produced using the computer.

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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

Thanks for taking the considerable time to put this together Jean-Luc- I enjoyed reading the news from all the companies. As you say, not much coming from Japan at the moment, but there are a few interesting subjects being covered- the Sunderland for one. Did you find out for sure if the Italeri Sunderland Mk.I is based on the same moulds as the future MPM (I think they said theirs will be a Mk.III)?
FEB 22, 2011 - 03:01 AM
Hi Ben, Thank you for the kind words. And thanks to Rowan for making the article live. Uploading all the pictures wasn't a piece of cake for sure! The Italeri Sunderland won't be the MPM tool apparently. Jean-Luc
FEB 22, 2011 - 05:42 AM
Well done Jean-Luc, some great stuff there to look forward to. All the best. tim
FEB 22, 2011 - 06:30 AM
Hi there I'll be really interested to see ICM's takes on the Polikarpov I-153 and I-16 in 1:48, because their 1:72 I-15bis is a lovely little kit. For the same reason, I was really hoping they'd scale up their He-70, so I have rather mixed feelings that AZ Model have announced one. Like Jean-Luc, I'll definitely want to grab Mirage's PZL P.43 - perhaps they might be tempted to do the P.46 too? (I think I've still got an unbuilt Polish vacuform kit of that tucked away somewhere.) And as for the Roden Staggerwing... I want! All the best Rowan
FEB 22, 2011 - 08:26 AM
Hi all Great report Jean-Luc! my favorites are Zvezdas Su-2 and Haulers Ba-64 (though I also like Tamiyas Pz.IIc). I do expect more stuff from Hasegawa and/or Tamiya at Shizuoka in May ... though Hasegawas MaK stuff is very popular and the "Großer Hund" announcement the the most clicked picture in my galleries! so I think this is one of the major news from Nuremberg. I got to say many thanks to J-L for being such a nice guy ... I really hope our November trip will work out! all the best Steffen
FEB 23, 2011 - 02:52 AM