Good Day, Dear Friends
We are at the beginning of May, and so the competition season is revving up nicely. We have just had the traditional Moson event and the Kit Show takes place in Kopřivnice on Saturday, so it´s a good time to talk about this year´s E-day. E-day 2023 takes place on Saturday, September 23 at the Tankodrom in Milovice and we will be following the same scheme as last year, meaning that exhibiting modelers begin on Friday afternoon and will include the early evening program. We haven't exactly defined what that will be yet, but we have interesting possibilities and I have no doubt that Friday's program will be at least as good as last year's. It will be the same on Saturday, and we will be sticking to our long-standing tradition of holding our “The Pot” Q and A session, a “one on one” with a special guest, and a flight demonstration which is bound to be very popular as it always is. This is also being discussed right now and the options are attractive. These are the parts that were successful last year and we will not make any fundamental changes to them. Then there are the points that were not quite as successful. This was the shuttle service from the railway station in Lysá nad Labem, and this year we will improve it and pay more attention to its organization. Another point to improve on is the management of the upper parking lot for exhibiting modelers, where the surface quality should be better this year. This year we will take more control over who parks where, and after last year's experience we will limit the freedom of choice of a parking spot to a certain extent. It may sound dramatic, but it will be of general benefit. And thirdly, we will push for the improvement of the catering, which is not under our control, but we will still push for an increase in its quality, as well as the speed of service. And that is about it for E-day for now, so on to May news.
We don´t have any super-hot off the presses premieres for May, but you will still find some noteworthy pieces in the collection of four new releases and two reissues. In the ProfiPACK 1:48th range, we have prepared a new edition of the Hellcat, a late version of the F6F-5. There is a new collection of color markings, five of the six are Hellcats from various US Navy aircraft carriers, deployed in the last year of the war in the Pacific, the sixth machine is a 1951 French Indochina Hellcat.
In the Limited Edition 1:48th range, we have probably the last of this type dedicated to the Spitfire Mk.V. Maybe not the very last, as there is still another Spitfire Mk.V themed LE kit in the game, dedicated to Czechoslovak pilots in the RAF, but it certainly won´t be this year. Likewise, there is also a similar Limited Edition item dedicated to Poles, but the same applies here, too. So “Malta”, as this item is called, is definitely the last Spitfire Limit Edition release this year. The story of the defense of Malta is a magnificent one of monumental proportions, interspersed here with other types of aircraft, such as the Bf 109. And also, next month, when we release our long-awaited Bf 109 F in 1:72nd, in the Limited Edition Wunderschöne Neue Maschinen boxing, something else Malta related will appear as well. Maltese Spitfires are colorful not only in the stories of the planes and their pilots, but also in their camouflage schemes and markings, as you can judge on the pages dedicated to this item in today´s edition of the newsletter. If Maltese Spitfires interest you, you can expand your knowledge about them thanks to one of today´s historical articles. Its author, Michal Krechowski, was, among other things, the product manager responsible for the development of this kit. He did this job enthusiastically and very well, because Spitfires in general, including Spitfires in Malta, are his lifelong passion.
We also have two Weekend releases. In 72nd scale, returning to the MiG-21MF Interceptor version, lovingly dubbed “the Greyishs” here in the Czech Republic. The nickname naturally comes from the grey coloring of these MiGs as delivered, which were the most powerful fighters of the Czechoslovak Air Force at the time. They were also the longest-serving of all the MiGs here, and the best maintained airframes were upgraded to MiG-21MFN standard in the 1990s and served until the arrival of the Gripen.
The second May Weekend release is the 48th scale Bf 109 F-4. The striking boxart image shows one of the four marking options, an airplane flown by Hans-Joachim Marseille, the Star of Africa, and another star is included as well, that of Hermann Graf. There are a further two equally colorful machines. Now, you can argue that there are already God knows how many 109s out there, but the simple fact that you can’t ignore is that there is a market for all of them, and they just don’t get old. After all, the main reason for releasing this Weekend kit is the fact that at the moment all our Bf 109 F kits in 48th are sold out, and the same is true of the Bf 109 G-2 and G-4. So in the coming months you can expect these types as well among new items. I just hope it won´t cause confusion with the pending wave of 72nd scale Fredericks and Gustavs. And they´re even nicer than the current quarter scale kits, believe me. I´m building one of the first ones here right now.
As a reissue, we have the Fw 190 F-8 in 1:72nd, which is a straight reissue in the current type of packaging, and we did not make any major changes to it compared to the original release. The 1:48th scale Fokker Dr.I didn´t see any radical changes either, but it does feature new box art, depicting the last aerial victory of the Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen.
In the Brassin range, this month we have, for the first time in our history, all new products made exclusively by 3D printing. They range from small items such as magazines for Vickers 97 machine guns in 1:48th, exhausts for the Spitfire Mk.IX in 1:24th, and German rudder pedals in 32nd, to large kits such as the engine for the F4F-3A Wildcat, and a cockpit, flaps and engine for the Rufe. Prints everywhere you look. For me, this is a nice result of our campaign for innovation. In addition to the mentioned sets, in today´s collection you will find an exhaust nozzle and a seat for the F-35A in 1:48th from Tamiya, a radar for the 48th scale F-16 from Kinetic and a gun bay for our Wildcat covering the F4F-4 variant. There are also two small 1:35th scale AFV sets and some new LööK items as well.
In the Space range, we have eight new sets, mainly for 48th scale models. Among photoetched and masks, there are collections that are geared to the F-86D and PV-1 kits from Academy, the Mi-17 from AMK and flaps for our Rufe, all in 1:48th scale, as well as the CH-54 in 1:35 from ICM and the P-40B in 1:32nd by GWH. There is one set is for the USS Missouri in 1:350, and there is also one single set in 72nd, a ZOOM for the MiG-21MF, which is, of course, intended to complement the Weekend kit mentioned above in the new kit release paragraph. Additionally, there are four new BigEds, two BigSins and three LöökPlus sets to consider. As usual, you can find a thorough description of all sets on the pages dedicated to May releases.
The article section of our newsletter, dedicated to history and technology, is probably its most popular feature today. This month, we have an article by Miro Barič about the fate of the USS Hornet and other aircraft carriers during the battles for the Solomon Islands. Next, we have an article “The Red Baron” by Jörn Leckscheid, bringing several new insights relating to the personality of the most successful fighter pilot of the Great War, Manfred von Richthofen. I have already mentioned the Malta Spitfire project by Michal Krechowski, in addition there are three Boxart stories: One shade of Gray about the MiG-21MF, The Last Victim about the scene depicted on the Profipack Fokker Dr.I box (both by Richard Plos) and Star of Africa about Hans-Joachim Marseille by Jan Bobek.
And that will be it for me for this month. I wish you a pleasant evening and hope that our newsletter will be a good reading companion to you.