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As you may have noticed, our redesigned web site has gone live and now works in a more robust manner on both mobile devices as well as tablets, scaling in size to fit each system’s dimensions. Our blog is scheduled next for cosmetic changes and full integration within our main site, which will then be followed by our eBay store and newsletter mailings. Essentially, everything you see will now have one unified look and take advantage of several enhancements now available to us. We hope you enjoy your shopping experience.


F-35 Dogfight

According to an F-35 test pilot, the F-35 isn’t a capable dogfighter, unable to turn or climb quick enough to keep up with a fictitious adversary. The single engine, fifth generation joint strike fighter is currently being deployed across several services, including the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy, replacing a number of aging weapons platforms.

“The F-35 was at a distinct energy disadvantage,” the unnamed pilot wrote in a scathing five-page brief that War Is Boring has obtained. The brief is unclassified but is labeled “for official use only.”

The test pilot’s report is the latest evidence of fundamental problems with the design of the F-35 — which, at a total program cost of more than a trillion dollars, is history’s most expensive weapon.

The U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps — not to mention the air forces and navies of more than a dozen U.S. allies — are counting on the Lockheed Martin-made JSF to replace many if not most of their current fighter jets.

The Pentagon counters that the F-35 wasn’t designed for close-in knife fights that form the essence of a one-on-one dogfight. They claim that because of its advance avionics, stealth, and other characteristics, the plane was actually designed for stand-off combat, in which the aircraft would take out a target from a distance of several miles. Frankly, this was the same logic that was put forward when the F-4 Phantom II was introduced in the Vietnam Conflict, as many argued that the days of the dogfight was over in favor of advanced missile technology. The result proved so disastrous that the F-4 eventually had to be configured to carry a gun pod below the fuselage so it could deal with enemy aircraft should its missiles fail, which oftentimes proved the case.


Silver Soldiers

In the “for the guy that has everything department”, army brats can break the piggy bank and shell out the big bucks for a set of sterling silver soldiers.  According to Defense News, “They’re like the classic green Army men toy figures. But for grown ups, grown ups with money.

For $235 each, or $2,585 for a full “squadron” of 12, you can buy sterling silver versions of the Vietnam-era Louis Marx & Co plastic Army men, from Good Art Hlywd, a Los Angeles jewelry maker. They come in “classic,” “skull face” and “doughboy” variants.” No word if the jewelry maker plans to up the ante by casting a squad of 14K gold enemy soldiers.


Hoverbike

Taking its’ cue from the fictionalized speeder bike seen in Star Wars: Revenge of the Jedi, the US Army, in conjunction with prime contractor Malloy Aeronautics, debuted a work-in-progress man-portable hoverbike at the Paris Air Show.

According to MSN News, “Malloy Aeronautics was testing hoverbike technology with a robot-carrying drone. A few months later, it’s partnering with a Maryland-based defense company to develop a hoverbike for the US military. Working with Survice Engineering Co., the UK aeronautics company will set up shop in Maryland as part of “an ongoing research and development contract.” The duo will also work with the US Army Research Laboratory on the project that aims to create “a new class of Tactical Reconnaissance Vehicle (TRV).

The goal is to replace some of the work a helicopter does with the hoverbikes, a vehicle that provides increased safety and costs significantly less. “With adducted rotors you immediately not only protect people and property if you were to bump into them, but if you ever were to bump into somebody or property it’s going to bring the aircraft out of the air,” Malloy’s marketing sales director Grant Stapleton told Reuters. Funds from a Kickstarter campaign for those compact UAVs was used to build scale models capable of carrying a human — one of which was on display at the Paris Air Show.”

No word as yet as to the carrying capacity, speed or altitude it can reach, and whether or not the vehicle can be weaponized with a lightweight anti-personnel or anti-armor combat system for close assault beyond its surveillance capabilities. Obviously, there are commercial applications implied by its development, as thrill seekers armed with the latest Go Pro modular filming device takes the vehicle through its paces off road in varying environments and conditions. Likewise, the vehicle can serve as a mobile search-and-rescue system, capable of crossing terrain that a surface-going vehicle might have trouble negotiating.

More information on the device can be found here: http://www.hover-bike.com/MA/news/


WW12002 Compilation

Relative newcomer Wings of the Great War announced three more single-engine fighters to their WWI lineup, which now includes a 1:72 scale take on the famous Sopwith Camel. Their first Camel, naturally enough, is based upon the craft that brought down the Red Baron, with Canadian Roy Brown credited for the kill (#WW18001). Other war winners include a Fokker Dr.I Triplane Fighter that was piloted by Oberleutnant Lothar von Richthofen, younger brother of Baron Manfred von Richthofen (#WW12002), and a reddened Pfalz D.IIIa Biplane Fighter flown by Hanns Muller (#WW11003). Look for all three aircraft to take to the skies over the Western Front some time in September.


AM General JLTV

Its called the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) and its designed to replace the venerable Humvee as the US Army’s vehicle of choice to move men and equipment over cross-country terrain in the early 21st Century. However, unlike the Humvee, the JLTV is well-protected against Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDS) which plagued the military during its recent campaigns in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Three designs are being submitted to the Pentagon: one each for AM General, Lockheed Martin, or Oshkosh (shown left to right in the accompanying images). According to Breaking Defense, “When you look at the three competitors’ vehicles, they all look pretty much like trucks. In fact, they look like smaller variations on the blocky theme of roadside-bomb-resistant wheeled vehicles — uparmored Humvees, Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, M-ATVs — that became as iconic of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq as the Jeep was of World War II.

Appearances, however, can deceive.

The first crucial difference is what the JLTV is meant to do: combine the protection of the bulky MRAPs with the off-road agility of the original unarmored Humvee, before layers of added armor weighed it down. Mobility matters both on the attack and on defense, because the best protection against a roadside bomb is to get off the road. Mining a key chokepoint along a predictable route is easy. Mining all possible cross-country approaches is not.

The second crucial difference is JLTV’s design. Squaring the circle of protection and mobility is impossible with traditional techniques. Even the lightest MRAP variant, the MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) specifically designed for the rough ground of Afghanistan, weighs almost twice the 14,000 pounds (sans cargo) that the military wants for JLTV. That weight, in turn, brings down its cross-country speed.”

According to current projections, the contract at stake in this year’s competition is for the first 17,000 vehicles, but the Army plans to buy 49,000 and the Marines another 5,500, thereby bringing the total to at least 55,000 vehicles including variants and task-oriented, purpose-built platforms. The Navy and National Guard will also likely take part in acquiring the new vehicles, driving per unit production costs down and total requirements up.

 


hms-queen-elizabet_2439198b

Some dad’s hope for an iPad, haberdashery, or a quiet day alone napping in a shade-covered hammock. For me, I have my own set of simple dreams for Father’s Day – perhaps a copy of Tom Clancy’s latest tome, but more importantly, loads of new diecast replicas that are oddly missing from the market.

To begin, there are a number of new navy ships from around the world that are now setting sail or coming to the fore, including the HMS Queen Elizabeth, USS Gerald R. Ford, the USS Independence (LCS-2), which is a bold trimaran littoral combat ship, USS Zumwalt – a stealthy guided missile destroyer, an all-new nuclear-powered People’s Liberation Army Navy cruiser, and a littany of other warships.

SR72a

In the air, there seems to be a dearth of 1:72 scale twin engine aircraft, including the Messerschmitt Me 410, the Pe-2 bomber, and all sorts of Japanese and Italian aircraft from WWII. As far as modern aircraft goes, there’s the new Lockheed SR-72 reconnaissance plane that comes to mind, as well as the USAF new long-range strategic bomber.

Armata Tankc

And then there are the ground systems, or lack thereof, now that several players have exited the market. Minichamps left the 1:35 scale military market several years ago, yet we still receive oodles of requests for new vehicles. Likewise, Forces of Valor’s departure in the 1:32 scale regime doesn’t necessarily mean there isn’t a market for these vehicles – rather a marketing strategy that some where along the way went afoul. The Russians debuted their Armata tank, the Poles have an interesting new vehicle aimed at the export market and there are other vehicles soon-to-be deployed that would make for excellent replica subjects. C’mon guys, now’s a great time to test the waters and try something new before some one else beats you to the punch. Producing the same old same old, might work in the short run, but it gives your competition ample wiggle room to enter the fray with something new and fresh.

Happy Father’s Day!


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Its refreshing to see that the Battle of Britain is still a topic of heated conversation some 75 years hence, which many regard as the pivotal battle to defeat Nazi aggression. To mark the occasion, Corgi will be offering three different WWII bombers to the public this fall,  each a key player in the attempt by the Luftwaffe to subjugate the island fortress. Expected in November is a German Junkers Ju 88A-5 Medium-Bomber that was attached to 1./Kustenfliegergruppe 806, during August 1940 (#AA36710). Also up for consideration is a German Heinkel He-111P-2 5J+CN Medium Bomber which was attached to Kampfgeschwader 4, and deployed to Oslo, Norway, during 1940 (#AA33714). And, finally we have a German Dornier Do 17 Light Bomber that was attached to 7 Staffel, III Gruppe, Kampfgeschwader 3, during August 1940 (#AA38806)