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.


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