Best and Worst of 2012

by Acey28. October 2012 13:30

Best and worst of 2012


  • Oxford Aviation Dragon Rapide - in an almost unheard of move recently, we see a diecast manufacturer actually improving their quality in a big way.   Oxford's Dragon Rapide is a beautifully executed model of a beautiful aircraft, wonderfully presented.  Unquestionably the winner of the "quality packaging of the year" award.

Runners up:

  • Hobbymaster P-51.  Not a new mould, but really starting to come into its own in more recent releases.  "Big Beautiful Doll" should deservedly be a big hit.
  • Aviation72 Sea Hawk.  A very good model with nice heft, but poor value for money, poor packaging, poor parts fit, and lack of "extra bits" to make it serious model of the year contender.
  • Falcon Models F86D "Wetback".  Still Falcon Models' only mould without a major flaw.   This example is compact, heavy, and handsome.  

Not yet released or seen by me:

  • Corgi's Puma Helicopter.  I wouldn't put it past Corgi to surprise us with a wonderful Puma helicopter.  All of their other helicopters are excellent.
  • HM's Sea Harrier.  Looks very, very good from pre-Pros, though probably not "best of the year" material due to some issues with the nose.
  • Hobbymaster's T4 Japan Blue Impulse.  I know this one is released, though I haven't seen it yet.  From pictures, it appears to be decent but sterile and underdetailed.  Honestly, looks like a Witty affair.

Further afield:

  • Corgi's Tornado F3.  I'll get the 111sqn example, and I expect to like it.  However, the pitot issue seriously distracts from an otherwise decent model.  That said, it's much better than..
  • Witty's Tornado F3.  The best thing that can be said about this is that people really put off by Corgi's pitot are giving this a second look.  To be fair, this isn't a bad model (not nearly as bad as some say), but it's not in serious consideration for model of the year by a long shot, either.
  • Hobbymaster F-16.  Too much plastic, not enough love.  No truly compelling reasons to move on from Witty or Dragon except if you happen to find a livery that particularly appeals to you.  The "Deal of the Century" livery, believe it or not, does it for me, but beyond the odd must have livery it's just hard to get excited about this.
  • Hobbymaster Corsair:  I like the idea of folding wings.  However, the model in general just doesn't inspire me.  It's too fiddly and too light and just doesn't have that certain something.  I have bought two HM Corsairs in the last year or so - and 3 Franklin Mints (in addition to the 8 or so FMs I had before).   May get the Bunker Hill Corsair even though I already have the one-off prototype FM Bunker Hill corsair, but beyond that, well, probably not.
  • Falcon Models' Mirages.  Fool me three times, shame on me.  I'm tired of buying expensive Falcon Models aircraft with ridiculous flaws in them that are then fixed in later releases, such as the Mirages' intakes.  I got the Israeli Shahak 33 Mirage.  The intakes are inexcusable, considering that some muppet thought they'd be an improvement on the previous bad Falcon Mirage III intakes.  I'd love to get the Tiger Meet Mirage F1CK, but they messed up the intakes there, too.

Missing in Action:

  • Skymax.  Nearly everything you make is perfect.  Where are you?

Worst of 2012:

  • Aviation72 Scottish Aviation Bulldog - If you're going to charge an arm and a leg for a tiny model and offer it in the worst packaging in the business, at least get the basic aircraft more or less right.  The painted on rear windows on this model are pretty much inexcusable.
  • Aviation72 customer service, packaging, and value:  the worst in the business on all three fronts.
  • WarMaster everything.   Diecast aircraft from another planet.  Their bizarre bare-metal, heavy panel line Me262 is pretty typical.  It doesn't look good from either near or far and basically just leaves you scratching your head trying to figure out what these people were thinking.


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