Oh yes boys and girls, it’s January! And January means ‘Kit Wish Time!” Oh how I love kit wish time. No longer is it foolish to dream big. These days it seems we can almost think of the most esoteric subject, or the most popular, done to death subject and bam, 2 months later the scale model illuminati are discussing its upcoming release.
Except it isn’t always like that, is it? There are some notable and important new kits that have not (yet) been released. There are some huge gaps in model kitdom. Yes, there are huge oversights and terrible injustices too. I know… I know… You’ve heard it before:
It is a line of blog material that is as old as the interwebs itself. I’m pretty sure the first dial-up billboard posting on rec.arts.scalemodels.aviation.prop.esoteric.moderated was a whiney complaint that FROG was releasing a two piece plastic “airplane” kit instead of sticking with the tried and true blocks of basswood and carving instructions.
Which I am sure got some heated responses in uniform ASCII text.
I am not going to complain because my “must have” kit is likely in some odd person’s “meh” pile. As well, complaint posts are boring and do not age well. So lets get right into the good stuff!
I had dream kit lists in 2019, 2020 and 2021. There have been a surprising amount of wins for me. Over the last couple years I got the Lightning I was asking for as well as the SR-71 which is being sold in some stores as I write this. I got my 1930s airplanes from Dora, Wingsy, Fujimi and Clearprop and (supposedly) a late variant of the U-2. There is also supposed to be a big Val from Infinity but, like the Hobby Boss U-2, it has not yet been seen on the shelves.
Even if some opportunities were missed, 2021 was a bumper crop for models released in all categories and 2022 is looking just as good. The Eduard Zero looks to be the bee’s knees and I will have it when I don’t have to buy twins. Tamiya released a definitive early Phantom to much applause and Flyhawk appears to have set the bar on 1/72 Props with its new Dauntless. I’m also very interested to see the new F-2A from Finemolds and if its anything like the Hind, count me in for the Su-25 from Zvezda.
Most importantly, I don’t think this is the end of the scale model cornucopia that has been gloriously drowning us in excellent kits. I believe there has been a healthy bottom line for model makers due to an uptick in the consumption of scale models in 2020 and 2021. Hopefully those funds have fueled future projects (especially the ones set out below). And hopefully all of the new “lockdown builders” enjoyed the hobby enough to join us and stick with it.
In one sense, I guess I should be thankful for what we have. But isn’t it more interesting to be saucy enough to ask for more?
Of course it is. So, here is my 5 most wanted kits for 2022 (in no particular order):
1. A Convair F2Y Sea Dart in 1/48
I first saw the Sea Dart on a pole out front of the San Diego Aerospace Museum back in the late 1980s. At the time, I thought it was some sort of X fighter or something from the space program. Or maybe a very angry stingy creature. Turns out this was built to be a supersonic interceptor sea plane. And they actually built it. Well, they built five and tested a couple of them before the adults came back to the room.
There is a rare Collect-Aire kit out there from who knows when and there are some 1/72 boxings from Mach2. Neither are easy to find and I am sure the Collect-Aire kit would be priced out of reasonability.
What a wonderfully strange concept from a wonderfully strange time. There is certainly no other plane that looks like it.
2. An A-10
The last one I built was sometime in the 1980s and it was the 1/72 Hasegawa A-10a kit. Despite the raised panel lines I remember it being a rather pleasant build. It was also the first time I applied cammo using an airbrush. Back then I had a big ‘ol external mix black badger with a compressor that delivered about 600psi with the whisper of a jack hammer. When dialed in, it cleared testors enamel paint from the siphon bottle in about 5 seconds.
Let’s just say I had to work fast.
I also thought I was clever to draw the cammo outlines directly on the fuselage with a soft mechanical pencil.
Yeah, don’t do that.
Anyway, that build did not quite go the way I wanted and I’d like to have another go at it. The problem is that the candidates in 1/72 are rather dated and have their issues. It seems the kits are better in 48th but there is certainly no consensus as to which is best 1/48 kit to get. I think the A-10 has a very healthy following and I have seen some amazing pictures of the Warthog in all states of damage and weathering so it would make for a wonderful canvas.
3. A New Tool F-86 in 1/48 (as well as 1/72 for those of us who like that sort of thing).
It isn’t like the Hasegawa and Academy kits are horrific. They are definitely buildable and I have seen excellent built kits on the tables for years. However, I think the Sabre is just as popular with builders as any Spit, 109 or Mustang. There are dozens of variants and pretty much everyone in the western world flew them. For my newly made armor friends: This is the Sherman tank of the Jet Age!
Ok, the elephant in the room is that we have a new tool F-86 from Airfix last year. And yes, it came with the initial predictable “it looks good in the box” reviews. However, I have not seen any glowing build reviews of this kit and I do not think I will. I’m told the Airfix kit offers no improvement over the decades old Hasegawa and Academy kits and certainly offers no price rebate. Which is too bad because there is an obvious gap here and Airfix could have cleaned up.
On the 1/72 side of things, there really isn’t anything close to a state of the art kit of the Sabre certainly none in the last 30 years. Either way, this is a huge opportunity for a new line of kits.
4. A New Tool High Grade Corsair in 1/48
Yes, this is my go to and my standby. I’ve been ranting for years and yes, I am going to ask again.
Yes, the 1/48 Tamiya Corsair is a fine kit with great detail. I’ve built at least 6 of them and I’ve got another half dozen in the stash. And chances are, when shows resume, I will pick up a few more of these kits too. Yes, it is a bit of an issue. Some people might say it is an obsession.
Some people are dumb.
There are well known issues and easily accomplished fixes to these kits. The bottom of the cockpit is “open” to the flap area of the wings. The wings are a multipart affair that require very careful attention to end up level at the tips. The top of the fuselage from the windscreen to the cowl almost always needs to be re-scribed and it involves a circle. And the reflecting glass is, well, definitely odd looking compared to the original.
The Tamiya Corsair in 1/32 completely eliminated these issues and I am pretty sure this kit could be scaled down to 48th and would instantly be considered the “Kit of the Decade” maybe even “Kit of the Millennium”.
So, yeah. Can we get this one done?
4. A Sally, Peggy or a Frances (seriously, I’m not that picky) in 1/48
My 1/72 people make me so jealous when they talk about all their experiences with Japanese twins. Hasegawa cranked out multiple boxings of the Sally, Peggy, Nell and Frances and probably every other twin out there. Builders have produced some amazing and wonderfully colourful models.
It may be that the Tamiya Gekko was not a huge seller but it definitely was an excellent kit. The Hasegawa Nick and the Tamiya Betty are always sought after. Both of those are getting a bit long in the tooth. Most recently, AZ Models brought us a Lily but it is a bit difficult to come by around here.
I think these planes would be popular 1/48 releases. They would be smaller twin engine aircraft (space is always a consideration with twins) with all sorts of interesting paint schemes to tempt builders.
5. A 1/72 PB4Y-2 Privateer
Previously I asked for either a 48th or a 72nd kit of this big ugly thing. There has been news of resin conversion kits for the Revellogram Liberator and I believe one short run full resin kit. I don’t know about you but my experience with resin models has been very so-so. It is possible that I have looked at the wrong ones but most of the time they are a lot of work and soft detail.
Not to mention the requirement to cut and sand outside, fixing all of the surface bubbles and fixing all of the broken parts and wonky parts.
I love this plane and I’d love to build a good one. Until the moons of Jupiter align, I am stuck with the Revell or the Matchbox 1/72 version which is old, light on detail, rather difficult to come by and commands a princely sum.
Let’s Hear from you: What do you want?
No matter what, I am wishing everyone a happy, healthy and fun 2022. I am looking forward to so many things this year and I hope the model gods smile upon me and answer a few of my requests.
My list is predictable as always so I’d like to see what you want to buy and build. Do you like any in my top 5? What would you add? Any glaring omissions?
Let me know in the comments.