Tuesday, December 27, 2005

More Zeroes - Takara World Wing Museum

If you also collect airplanes, you may already know this. The next release of World Wing Museum from Takara is WWII Japan Fighter - Zero. There are 14 different verions.

I think I'll pass again this time as I don't think I need too many 00000000000000. I better keep my $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Hi Fellow 1/144 Bloggers

Merry Chrismas!!!
Wish you all have a wonderful 2006 and more 1/144 coming out!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Pro-Hobby - Land Rover (Pink Panther)

Couple days ago, I mentioned about the Pro-Hobby 1/144 kits. I have just placed an order for some German soldiers and also the SAS Land Rover (Pink Panther). From the picture, it looks nice and also I think it's one interesting item Dragon will not release it before 2020. Will keep you guys posted on the quality once I have them. Both the soldiers and the Land Rover Jeep have not been released yet so it may take a while before I receive them.

There is another future release which interests me - the 1/144 Panzer II Ausf. L or Luchs. This tank was widely use at the end of the war for reconnaissance purpose. For sure I will order at least one when they come out.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


These few days, I was trying to update my homepage http://www.bayareahobby.com which has been stayed the same for about 2 years. Please feel free to comment. I'm sorry if you don't see too many updates here. (Actually, not much news lately.)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Pro-Hobby Micro Life - 4 German Soldiers (WWII)

Here is a set of 4 German Soldiers you may find interesting if you like some foot soldiers to accompany your tanks.

The manufacturer is Pro-Hobby which just has released some 1/144 small dios, accessories and figures. Some of them are just civilians but some are military figures just like this set. I also saw some Russian Tank Riders.

Just looking at the picture, it seems they are in good proportion and look more like humans rather than hobbits. I'm kind of reluctant to buy any 1/144 figures as I found the quality of them are questionable and also very pricey. This set is not cheap either. The marked price is 525 yen in Japan some it will be like around 1000 yen with the postage for one set.

If you're lucky, you may still able to order some from Japan on-line shops.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Dragon Cando Giant Armor - German Railway Vehicles

I have just updated my web page with this to me a "must buy" for 1/144 armor collectors.

All the vehicles are very well painted. As shown in the pictures here, the painting quality is better than those from Dragon laterly. The car in the second picture has a wooden texture which looks pretty real in this scale. In fact, I have no complaint on the painting of all cars.

There are 3 tanks included in this set. The Panzer III and IV were previously released in the original Panzer III and IV series repectively (with same marking as well). The 38t also is the same one released in the Blitzkrieg Series (the special one with 2 figures).

It seems Dragon is trying to cut corners as now most of the "Special" are just one of the vehicles in the regular items with a different marking or painting. For example, the Leopard in Winter camo in the Modern German Armors. In the old days, you could get a more special tank such as the Flak Panzer IV or the Pz Beob Wg V, Ausf G.

I bought these a couple weeks after the release but I found it hard to get a full set. It seems either they are very popular to the fans or Dragon only produced them in a lesser quantity. So if you like these and find a full set, just buy them.

Verdict: Highly Recommended.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Dragon Cando Blitzkrieg Series

It's not something new but I found Dragon had just updated the Cando page with the new Blitzkrieg Series. You can click the link here to access.

I also found in a blog from Taiwan mentioned that they can just buy the WTM in 7-eleven in open boxes and they had just re-stocked some old releases including the hard to find WTM 04. How lucky they are compared to us who live on the other side of the Pacific. I think most of us buy these from the web.

When I was in Tokyo couple months ago, I couldn't find too many options in those big toy shops which I visited. May be they are sold mostly in the local toy shops which you may need a local to guide you there. If anyone knows where are the best places to get any 1/144 rare items such as resin kits, please let me know and I thank you in advance.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Trumpeter Museum Collection - LCM3 & AAVP7A1

I had a chance to update my homepage again during the weekend. 2 of the items I loaded are from Trumpeter. Trumpeter, following the steps of Takara and Dragon, jumped into the 1/144 world in 2003 with its variants of Sd. Kfz. 251 provided another option to the then hard to find Sd. Kfz 251 from Takara World Tank Museum (WTM) Series #5. Some of Trumpeter's following releases were ok but some of them were below par, IMHO. For example, if you compare the M1A1 with those from Dragon or Takara, you can see the difference. However, like the Sd. Kfz 251 mentioned, Trumpeter does provide something different to Dragon and Takara. Especially these are not packed in a blind box so normally you can get the same version as many as you like without paying a premium (unlike WTM or Cando).

The LCM3 and the USMC AAVP7A1/LVPT7A1 series are not new items. They were released this summer. I bought them from Brookhurst Hobbies in L.A. during my trip to Disneyland with my family (I also visited Pegasus on my way and probably I can talk about that later).

Both the LCM3 and the amphibious vehicle had been released in kit form from Trumpeter earlier. As I mentioned in my profile, I simply had no time to build any kits by myself. A well painted pre-built kit is my preference today.

Back to the kit itself, as shown in the picture above, the LCM3 is very well painted and you can fit a WTM M4 in there perfectly. I'm not a wargamer but if you are, you may find this kit more interesting.

The AAVP7A1/LVPT7A1 total has 6 different versions (3 versions in each model). I like this kit a lot as you can mix them together with the Dragon Cando US modern armors such as the M1, M2, M109,...etc. Last year, I bought the same vehicle from Metal Troops (a 1/144 pre-built prepainted resin model manufacturers which I will talk about it later) and it costed me US$25 for one. This time I also spent the same amount of money on Trumpeter but I got six different versions. The Metal Troops one does provide more stuffs such as the accessories which you can mount them on the vehicles but 6 times more expensive is just too much to me. I may still buy one or two rare items from them but I can't see too many people will spend $25+S&H on a 1/144 tank. I also don't see much on the resale value on these resin kits (unlike the Dragon Special which has a market value of $20-$25+ all the time) as they're not very well known outside of Japan and Asia. For example, we already have tens of different Tigers from WTM, Dragon & Popy. How many different versions of Tigers you still want? People may still chase for a special Tiger if it's from Takara or Dragon if the original price is US$4-5 but US$25+ for a different color Tiger? I doubt the market will be very small.


Saturday, December 10, 2005

World Tank Museum Series #8

Hello. It's weekend again. What I want to talk about today is not something new but just let you guys know I have just updated the World Tank Museum Series #8 in my homepage. Click here to access more pictures.

Although I still don't quite like Takara keeps selling some re-painted tanks which are originated from past series such as the Tiger II as shown in the picture below. However, if you compare with what they released few years ago, you can still see the improvements during the past few years. I'm not saying they are much superior than other manufacturers such as Dragon or Popy (don't mention the new Millennium Toys as I don't think they are in the same category which the later one more targets the little kids or some wargamers who don't care much about the quality but make up the number. No offending to wargamers here as I'm just saying we have different requirements. I know WTM is still a toy which may not please serious modellers. However, I think myself is a collector so quality is one of the issue on what I want and what I'll just pass especially nowadays we have more and more choices. May be I should use another post to talk about it.) I think I don't mind to keep at least one set of these little gems. If you look at the Panther G, it's a new mold. If you look at the Tiger II without knowing it has been released before, you will appreciate the painting work a lot more. I did take some picture to compare the new Panther G with the past one as well as the Dragon Cando. I will load them in my homepage later and let you know here. Any comments, just let me know by clicking the comments link below.

Today I also bought a Lego hospital for my 3 years old son. I did like Lego a lot when I was a kid. Now I can play with him together.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Dragon Cando Blitzkrieg Series

Besides the Takara World Tank Museum, the next biggest player in this 1/144 world is Dragon and its Cando series. The latest release is the 1/144 German Blitzkrieg Series . Here is the line up:

Pz.II Ausf.B, Pz.Abt.z.b.V.40, Norway 1940
Pz.III Ausf.E, Pz.Rgt.3, 2.Pz.Div., Greece 1941
Pz.38(t) Ausf.G, Pz.Rgt.204, 22.Pz.Div., Sevastopol 1942
Pz.III Ausf.F, 4.Pz.Div., Russia 1941
Pz.IV Ausf.D, 21.Pz.Div. DAK, North Africa 1941
Pz.IV Ausf.F1, 5.Pz.Div. Russia 1942
SPECIAL limited item - Pz.Kpfw.38(t) w/ Tank Crew

From the picture above which I got from the web, it seems the special 38(t) quite nice and those 2 figures make this special really "special" (Not just a different color scheme from some previous releases). I think Japan has just released it but I'll wait for it to be released in the U.S. as I probably can pay less and also has a display box (In addition, you don't need to open it to know what's inside the box). I normally order one carton of 48 which includes about 2 specials. If you buy one carton in Japan, probably you can get 4 special out of 120 (15pcs x 8boxes). I will talk more about the differences between these 2 (Japan and US releases) in my coming posts.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

World Tank Museum Series #9

As I mentioned yesterday, Takara's World Tank Museum is the first company who brought us the 1/144 world with the pre-painted and pre-assembled trading kits few years ago. Total eight series have been released so far. For more details, you can check my homepage.

The next release, #9, will be released around March, 2006. Here is a picture which I copied from the internet world.

As you can see from the picture, this release will have:
1. M-551 Sheridan (U.S.A.)
2. T-10 (U.S.S.R.)
3. AMX-30 (France)
4. M-40 (U.S.A.)
5. S-Tank (Sweden)
Special Leopard 1A1

I'm not a big fan of modern armour so I leave the judgement to you. I may still collect one set though.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Welcome to the 1/144 World!

Welcome to my WTMBlog which dedicates to the 1/144 mini armor. Couple years ago, Takara in Japan introduced us to this 1/144 world with its World Tank Museum series. It was such a great success that Dragon followed with its Cando series the following year.

2004-2005, this topic has become more popular in Asia and we have more different kind of kits from new players such as Popy, Trumpeter, F-Toys...etc.

We did have 1/144 planes long before that but they were all un-assembled kits. Please join this blog if you're interested in these 1/144 trading kits.

Althought I will mostly talk about the 1/144 kits but I'll also share some of my other collections such as the 1/72 Dragon Armor which is also my favorite and they are even more popular in the US now as we're all too busy to build our own kits.

This is my first post so I just stop here. I'll update this as frequent as possible. Please come back and let me know if you have any comments. Cheers.