National Convention Hobby News Report

By Michael Benolkin

The 2001 IPMS/USA Convention was well attended by a wide variety of vendors. Here is a look at the news by vendor (the hyperlinks in the title and text will take you to their respective websites):


The folks from AirConnection had their large displays full of the Aber line of armor photo-etched detail sets. One of the latest releases is the SdKfz 138/2 late version Hetzer detail sets in 1/35 scale. We'll take a closer look at this one next month.

Absolute Air Land & Sea

Alasdair Johnston was showing off the six CD-ROM titles that are produced under the Tamiya banner - Supermarine Spitfire, Messerschmitt Bf109, North American P-51 Mustang, PzKpfw Tiger Tank, T-34 Tank and Sherman M4 Tank. The video collections, virtual views, diagrams, color schemes, etc., on these CD-ROMs are great interactive references for your favorite subjects.

Whenever the Tamiya/USA folks would fire up their 1/16 RC Tiger I with its digital Maybach engine roaring, Alasdair was able to counter the threat with the sounds of T-34s and/or Shermans on the prowl. The vendors room was a fun place to hang out.

On the upcoming release list, look for the Panther and Tiger II titles to be released before Christmas, and the Focke Wulf Fw190 and Messerschmitt Me262 to be available early next year.

Accurate Miniatures

A-M was present to close out their remaining inventory of kits and decals. Many of the talented folks behind A-M have formed a new group, the HobbyKit Association, to seek out and preserve as many kit molds as possible and to work with the hobby industry to help ensure the health and growth of our hobby. We'll hopefully have some good news soon about the future of the existing A-M molds soon as well as more details about the molds for the unreleased A-M subjects.


Eagle Strike Productions is the exclusive US importer of this excellent line of detail sets. On display was the upcoming 1/48 B-25 Mitchell cockpit detail set for the Accurate Miniatures kit.


Airwaves displayed their wide range of photo-etched and resin detail sets. Included were their latest releases including the Sea King conversions & details.

Alclad II

As many of you know by now, Alclad II is now produced in the US. The owner was present to show off the product line and give everyone tips and tricks on using the product.

Also on display were the four new color metalics for scale automotive (and other) applications. He has indeed found a way to recreate the multicolor effects when viewing the model from different angles. More on this next month.

Aviation Usk - Nebraska

The new Aviation Usk was present with a wide range of their wares. The new owner is as enthusiastic about the hobby and providing exciting products as the original Aviation Usk. To prove the point, the next five releases from Usk are:

    • 1/72 I-152 (July)

    • 1/200 Shuttle C Conversion (August)

    • 1/72 Hawk 75 (September)

    • 1/144 Hope Spaceplane (October)

    • 1/72 Bf109G-6 (November)

    • 1/72 Mew Gull (December)

Belcher Bits

Mike Belcher was present to show off his great line of resin kits, conversions and decals. His latest kit release is the Westland Lynx in 1/48 scale. This is the Royal Navy version and the details are nice. We'll be taking a closer look at this kit next month. Also on display were the two newest decal releases - Canadian F-104 and Canadian F-101. The printing, color and registration on these decals are spot-on!

Black Box

Black Box was on hand to display their impressive array of cockpit detail sets and to show off their cockpit for the new Trumpeter 1/32 MiG-21MF kit.

C&H Aero Miniatures

John Carlton and Novus Henry were showing off their stunning line of 1/48 scale conversions. These conversions take a stock Monogram or Hasegawa kit and converts it into a two-seat trainer or special mission variant, as applicable. Unlike some other conversion sets, these provide all of the parts (and decals!) needed to create the variant in question.

They were displaying their latest release, the TAV-8B which sports a new nose and tail for the Monogram AV-8B kit. Their next conversion will be the TA-7 Corsair II.


Brookhurst Hobbies was present at the show representing the CAM line. As you'll recall, the TAC Scale Dynamics molds were sold to CAM and these detail sets and weapons are now available from CAM. CAM has also expanded this line with a set of 1/32 AGM-65 Mavericks, 1/32 F-14B/D (GE F110) Nozzles and a 1/32 F-15I Conversion. Also on display is their new 1/48 and 1/32 Blue Angel markings for the Hasegawa kits.

Classic Airframes

Jules Bringuier was there with a wide range of his kits. Just a day into the show, the new 1/48 Lockheed Hudson Mk.Is arrived. Here is another beautiful kit that will be available in different versions in the near future. Jules also showed off a new line of decals for the Hudson.

While each kit continues to have several aircraft marking options inside, the aftermarket decal industry is no longer as quick to release decals to complement a new kit release. These new decals from Classic Airframes are printed by Microscale and will be available at the same time as the new kit releases, giving us some great kit subject options early-on.

Cobra Company

Sherman Collings & Chris Miller had a great display of their products installed in their targeted kits, including the (relatively) new Blackhawk Detail Set in the MRC 1/35 kit. They also had their latest conversion & detail set - UH-1C Huey Hog release for the 1/48 Monogram Huey on display (we'll be reviewing this in August). The great news is that their two 1/48 Sikorsky Seahawk kits are now available - the SH-60B and SH-60F. These are multimedia kits with the fuselages and the majority of details cast in resin. Upcoming kit releases will include the HH-60H and Coast Guard Jayhawk.

Commander Series Models

If you saw their booth, you were immediately struck with the vast number of resin ship and armor kits that this prolific manufacturer produces. On closer inspection, you saw that the quality of their resin castings is outstanding. Among their new releases include the 1/350 USS Arizona, 1/350 USS Vestal and a 1/35 T1E2 Light Tank.

Future releases include:

    • USS North Carolina 1/350

    • USS Arkansas 1/350

    • Fletcher-Class Destroyer 1/192

    • HMS Queen Elizabeth 1/350

    • USS Langley 1/350


Craftworks had a full table displaying built-up examples of their entire 1/32 resin aircraft line-up. It was obvious from the beginning that the owner is enthusiastic about the hobby and his product line. They were also showing off a new conversion for the 1/32 Revell Beaufighter kit which provides accurate exhaust collector rings and baffled exhaust stacks.

On the release horizon for Craftworks:

    • 1/32 A5M4 Claude

    • 1/32 T-6 Texan

    • 1/32 He162 Volksjager (w/open engine bay!)

    • 1/32 Bf109K

    • 1/32 La-5/5FN

    • 1/32 D3A1 Val

    • 1/32 Ar234B/C

Dangerboy Hobbies

Danger Will Robinson. If you happened by his seemingly innocent table unprepared, you walked away with one or more of these conversions. Thom Morton has created some masterpieces!

If you are a 1/48 USN WW2 aircraft builder, Dangerboy is where you need to be. His only product line (currently) is wingfolds. Unlike the wingfolds from other manufacturers, however, this conversion replaces the entire kit wing and the entire wingfold assembly takes less than a minute to assemble. Yet the detail is equal (or better) to the competing (and more complex) conversions. He currently has conversions for:

    • 1/48 TBF/TBM (Accurate Miniatures)

    • 1/48 F4U-5/-7/AU-1 (Hasegawa)

    • 1/48 F6F Hellcat (Hasegawa)

    • 1/48 F4F Wildcat (Tamiya)

Detail & Scale, Inc

Though Bert Kinzey didn't have a booth in the vendors' room, this information is definitely newsworthy. While the current series of Detail & Scale titles will likely continue to be published with Squadron/Signal Publications, look for Bert to offer future titles on CD-ROM.

Eagle Strike

Well it is official - Gaston Bernal has shifted his flag from Aeromaster to Eagle Strike! And with the move comes a great deal more flexibility. If you've been out to their website, you'll see that they'll be expanding on 1/32 scale offerings (something that Aeromaster was reluctant to do) and even venturing into 1/24 scale! In another smooth tactical move, Eagle Strike has become the exclusive US importer for the outstanding Aires line of detail sets/conversions.

The upcoming releases:

    • 1/72 Skyraiders (AD/A-1)

    • 1/72 Fw190

    • 1/48 American Jabos - Thunderbolts Parts 3/4/5

    • 1/48 Skytrain at War (C-47)

    • 1/48 Fokker D.VII Part 2

    • 1/48 Wild Weasel F-4G

    • 1/48 Augsburg Flyers - Bf109F/G

    • 1/48 Spitfire V/VIII/IX

    • 1/48 P-40E/K/N

    • 1/48 Jagdwaffe Over the Sahara

    • 1/48 Polikarpov Pe-2 Part 1

    • 1/48 357 FG P-51B/C

    • 1/48 F-86D Sabre Parts 1/2

    • 1/48 Tomcat Part 9 (F-14)

    • 1/48 Carl Vinson Hornets (FA-18)

    • 1/32 Kosovo Falcons (F-16)

    • 1/32 MiG Fighters of the World - MiG-21 Parts 1/2/3


Eduard was on-hand with boxes full of their great photo-etched details as well as stacks of their kits. Sharing the stage with their latest offering, the P-39 Airacobra, was a test shot of the next Eduard kit release - the 1/48 Bf108 Taifun.

Final Connections

Kent Kinal was showing off his line of beautifully detailed resin engines and details for a variety of British subjects in 1/48 and 1/32 scale. On display were the cockpit and exterior detail sets for the 1/48 Lysander kit.

Fusion Models

Here is a fresh new entry into the aftermarket line-up. Fusion was displaying their new conversion kit that provides a touch of irony. While there have been several kits and conversions released for Bf109s re-engined with Merlin power, this conversion puts a Daimler Benz engine on the Tamiya 1/48 Spitfire Mk.V. The conversion comes complete with a beautiful resin replacement nose, spinner and propeller blades, as well as decals and an excellent painting profile of the one published example of this Luftwaffe oddity.


The folks at Fort Duquesne Military Miniatures have starting releasing the detail sets in their Hawkeye line that were formerly offered as Cooper Details. On display were the 1/48 Sea Fury detail set and wheel well set.

Koster Aero Enterprises

Bill Koster had his two latest creations on-hand, the 1/48 Lockheed PV Neptune and 1/48 Fw200C Condor. These are some beautiful models and one of the Condors was already entered in the contest room - it was indeed stunning!

Meteor Productions

Dave Klaus and his team once again set up an enormous presence in the vendor room. While Meteor does carry a wide variety of products from around the world, it is truly awesome to see first-hand just how many different detail sets and decals that they produce under their own label. On center stage was Meteor's latest offering, a 1/32 cockpit detail set for the Trumpeter MiG-21MF Fishbed J kit.


Modelcraft was showing off their new 1/25 scale Chieftain (an updated re-issue of the Tamiya kit). On their upcoming release list:

    • 1/48 Vought SB2U Vindicator

    • 1/48 de Havilland Twin Otter

    • 1/48 de Havilland Beaver

Obscureco Aircraft

Chris Bucholtz was showing off several new products, including upgraded main gear doors for the 1/32 Hasegawa F6F Hellcat and the beautifully cast corrected cowling for the 1/48 Hasegawa F6F Hellcat.

Pend Oreille Models

This small company continues to turn out some interesting subjects. Their latest kit is the 1/48 Martin PBM-3 Mariner.


R-M was on-hand to display some of their upcoming releases, including the 1/48 F-86D Dog Sabre and re-issue of the 1/48 F-15E Strike Eagle in Tiger Meet markings and with weapons. Box art was also on display to announce a 1/48 F-84E Thunderjet and a 1/32 Fw190F-8.

Skylancer Decals

Skylancer had their new releases on display, including the Avro CF-100 Mk.5 in 1/72 scale as well as the F-84 Thunderjet in 1/72 & 1/48 scale.


The folks from Tamiya/USA were showing off the 1/16 radio-controlled Tiger I and even though I've seen this beast a few times, it is still impressive. The good news is that the 1/16 RC M4 Sherman is due out fairly soon. Also on display was the long-awaited 1/32 A6M Zero kit. These are due in US hobby shops in late July/early August, though examples are already arriving for those who pre-ordered theirs from Japanese-based hobbyshops. Beyond the Zero and Sherman kits, however, the Tamiya folks are not talking about future releases (yet). The only other news was an example of their new series - re-issued 1/48 aircraft with electric motors to spin the propellers - in this case an F4U Corsair.

TwoBobs Decals

Both Bobs were there to show off their line of aircraft markings. We'll be talking a look at two sets of F-5E aggressor decals and an FA-18 aggressor set in the August issue. On the horizon, they had the artwork on display for the A-4 Skyhawk that had a MiG-17 painted over the top of it.

Victory Models

Paul Cotcher was present to display his great product line-up and to show off the new decal releases under the Victory Productions label:

    • 1/48 Late Corsairs (F4U-5/-7/AU-1)

    • 1/48 Blue Angels A-4F & TA-4

    • 1/48 German Luftwaffe & Marine Starfighters

We'll take a closer look at these next month!

That is the news for now. We'll have more coverage of the hobby industry after the RCHTA show in early September. Stay tuned!


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