Hello modellers! This week in the modelling news we have some SEALs and their rides, some more new announced Masterbox masterpieces, the original Japanese small car and  a boomer killer yet to break the surface…

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Dragon Models have announced two interesting kits I thought I would flag up this week. The first is an exciting (though it would be hard to check accuracy on these kits) 1/144 Stealth Helicopter from the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan. This kit, no: 4628 is a combination kit with two in one helicopters that are both from their Warbird series, so if you have a buddy who wants to make a version you are both in luck! Also, just an idea, you could model one flying and the other broken down and crashed into Bin Laden’s yard!!  This may be an interesting kit to make as indeed, just like the old F-19 stealth fighter kit I got when I was a teenager in the 80’s, you can’t really build it to anything but your own specifications. Which sometimes is pretty fun, and that is what modelling is about, isn’t it? The box art looks pretty right on the money anyway – is that a million pound property the helicopter is flying over?

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Part two of Dragon’s reliving of the Operation Geronimo is the re-release of kit DRA 3028, a 1/35 U.S. Navy SEAL Team. The box contains eight of the famous SEAL team 6 troops, each in slightly different scenarios and equipment. In this re-pop you get two figures dressed as frogmen and two heavily armed SEALs in jungle fatigues. The second part of the kit contains four figures dressed in close combat gear performing a “breach” operation. So these figures are indeed timely and together with the stealth helicopter would make a great diorama (you could even have the helicopters hovering above in smaller perspective.

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The mind boggles really; I can see a lot of people trying to re-create the Abbottabad neighbourhood on their benches! These figures should hit our shelves in July this year.

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For all of you “Hunt for Red October” lovers, Bronco Model has a new kit right up your alley this month, a nuclear attack submarine from the Akula II class in 1/350 scale, the K335 “Geparudo”.  This just announced kit is sketchy in true detail but I see HLJ has it on Pre-order at a discount at US$24.46. Not much outlay and you get a lovely rendering in styrene of this Russian attack boat.

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The Geparudo is now “apparently” operating as part of the Northern Fleets force of anti-missile boat defence. This boat, launched in 1987 was built to track and attack the “boomer” ICBM and the “Los Angeles” attack boats of the US and other allied navies. It is currently the Russian navy’s most advanced Anti-sub platform (that we know of any way!) and this model looks like a good representation of the double hulled, ultra quiet sub, complete with towed arrays and fine prop and sensor arrays. More news on this sub as it surfaces – pardon the pun…..

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Master Box Ltd has sent us some picture of a brand new figure kit currently in development. Not satisfied with their latest hand to hand and German staff car releases (not to mention the new Afrika Korps tank figures) this kit is an “in action” kit of several German soldiers repelling yet another soviet wave attack on their lines.

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Kit number 35102 comes with several soldiers, all in animated poses brandishing weapons including machine guns, rifles and light MG’s. The soldiers are for the most part using a barrel for cover and fighting from the prone position. One soldier is seen in the process of throwing a grenade. We will show you more as this kit develops

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ACE Models from the Ukraine brings news of a new kit in 1/72 scale this month, a Japanese Kurogane - Type 95 staff car. Some would say the original Japanese small car, it certainly looks like a lot of the small vehicles that Japan became known for. This new kit comprises three sprues of styrene complete with decals for two different Japanese versions of this car, one being army and one a navy vehicle. The decals also provide for a captured US Red Cross vehicle used as the world’s smallest ambulance I would imagine.   

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Kit number 72296 looks like an excellent little subject that I have not seen kitted in 72nd scale before. Ace Models are to me a company that are not afraid to take chances, which I admire in these times. Bravo to them.

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Next we have a great 120mm resin figure from Jeff Shiu's Miniatures. This model maker has some amazing larger scale resin kits of German troops and equipment. Jeff often makes Paratroops and heavily armed German soldiers, and while this kit is no departure in variety, it is just as well sculpted as Jeff’s previous releases. From the pictures I have seen, it would build up to be a really impressive figure for your show cabinet.

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WWII German w/Pz.B.39 Eastern Front 41'-42' shows a soldier in the earlier part of the battle on the massive eastern front fighting the Russian army. This soldier carries a Panzerbüchse 39 which translates as “tank hunting rifle”39 or PzB 39. These were much favoured by the German troops until later in the war when they became increasingly less useful when faced with thicker armoured targets. This early war soldier though carries this rifle, with the finely-sculpted ten round cartridges. The soldier’s equipment is amazingly accurate and fine in detail.

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Clearly visible are the fine details like the stripes on the corporal’s shoulders and the heavily packed equipment holders that the soldier carries, such as extra ammunition packs, poncho and gas mask canister, plus the soldier’s canteen and water container.

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Jeff has included on his site the picture of the soldier that the figure COULD be based on, I would be surprised if not – the resemblance is so strong! Great stuff.

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Have a good week and be assured that next week we will have an interesting review of a few great decal sheets with the history attached to the aircraft and of course some more modelling news to keep your interest (and to keep you going to the hobby shop!)

Have fun with your modelling!

Adam Norenberg