Sunday, January 27, 2008

1/144 Big Bird Vol.3 - Cafe Reo

1/144 Big Bird Vol.3 - Cafe Reo
Available March 2008
There currenly appears to be 3 main aircraft available, with 2 colour schemes and a "secret" scheme making 9 in total.... not sure if there will be a surprise aircraft or a side release to this as at the show last year when these where shown as prototypes where was a single engined aircraft! - or, waybe that points the way to another future Cafe Reo release? (lets hope so!)
KI-21 "Sally" interestingly one of these versions has two types of tail markings, probably via a change of decals, but already effectively means there is is another varient for the enthusiast!
Do 217 - [Note the Air to Surface Henshel Missiles!!]





bluedonkey99 said...

if you look on the cafe reo site and look at some of the other pictures, it is interesting to note that some of the fit/panel lines still look a bit too wide!!?

I think I will take the dorniers, and see what the specials look like? i can see the Do217s finding a home!

maybe a silver B17F would be interesitng?

the sallys do not look too great! esepecially the canopies! they may be accurate, but they look clumsy?

oliver said...

Yeah I do agree with you guys, the fit really sucked on Vol 2. Also i think Cafe Reo was doing us a bit of injustice in packaging some boxes without the TSR2.

I got a silver Nell bomber as the special item in mine. Silver Nell? what's so special about that? I feel ripped off somehow. Dont get me wrong, i like the Nell, but i got FOUR Nells in my box... thats a bit of overkill.

smeg1959 said...

As I said the first time I saw these items, it’s a pity CafeReo opted for the same model Ki-21 as the Hasegawa kit. The later version with dorsal turret would have made a nice contrast. However, as I had difficulty getting my Hasegawa Ki-21, perhaps they’ve got it right. I do like the Hs293 missiles on the Do217E’s!

I'm also interested to see everyone's comments on the fit of parts on models in Vol.2. And I thought it was just me! The dorsal gun on the He111 was a real pain. Another criticism I had was that the He111 canopies were markedly "fogged" - unfortunate with such a large "glassed" area. The Nell was only slightly better.

Whilst on the subject of 1/144 bombers, an Aussie colleague pointed me to the range of diecasts issued by Altaya/IXO in France and Spain. The French Altaya site ( lists 30 models, some current and some 2008 releases, and includes items like a He177A-5 complete with Fritz X underwing missiles, Ju290A-5, SM79, Piaggio P.108, Bv222, Petlyakov Pe-8, Fiat BR20, Me 264 and Ju188A-1.

Whilst items like the Stirling, B-17G, Wellington, Halifax, LeO-451 and Fw200 have appeared in the French Atlas Editions range, the feedback I have is that these models are of considerably better quality both in terms of detail and finish.

I believe that they sell for 7.99 euro in France and Spain, whilst at least two US sites have the range at $US29.95 each.

bluedonkey99 said...

i had always assumed that the "Atlas Editions" and "Altaya"/"IXO" where the same?

anyone able to bring any light on this?

smeg1959 said...


From what I can gather off the web, Altaya and Atlas are definitely not the same other than sharing France as a base. I'm told that IXO is a Chinese company. My colleague has an Altaya B-17G and a Cant Z.1007 bis on the way from Spain. As I have a C-46 Commando and Hampden from Atlas, I hope to make a comparison when his models arrive.

Incidentally, the 7.99 euros is only a special offer for items 2 and 3 if purchased via subscription. The normal subscription price is 12.99 euro plus postage. This partially explains why there was such a wide gap in the French and US prices.

In addition, the Altaya website doesn't list everything in the pipeline. The US site has a much more expansive list, complete with proposed release dates.

As with all these items, I find it amazing that the one price applies to all of the models. After all, the Bv222 Wiking is enormous when compared with, say, the LeO451 or Ju188. Then again, I belive the list price for much of the F-Toys range is the same, irrespective of whether we are talking fairly big (e.g. the He219) or pretty small (e.g. the He100).

I note that the Editor of the monthly Scale Aviation Modeller International is an advocate of 1/144 scale. In the November issue, the mag featured pics from the 1/144 Special Interest Group display at Telford. The pics include a number of displays featured on Kampfgruppe's blog post (well done, BD!!!), including that vast collection of Gloster Meteors. The issue also has a review of the Anigrand RAF Globemaster.

Good to see the print media is finally recognising that there's more to 1/144 than just the old Airfix airliners! And, if the rumours that the 1/144 gashapon craze in Japan is dwindling is true, such recognition couldn't come at a better time.

oliver said...

1/144 fading? not likely, i dont think. Its the next growth area IMHO!

I cant wait for trumpeter to do a C17!

bluedonkey99 said...

Mehusla of "144 Direct" fame, sent me this info:

As far as I know, the French company Altaya are distributors for both. They are die-cast in China by 'Atlas' (?) I think.

However, Atlas Editions (Military Giants of the Skies) are die-cast metal.

The new Altaya range are
called "die-cast plastic". They are simply, I believe, injection moulded ABS.

However, there is a strange 'softness' to the plastic, although it could simply be the huge expanse of the wings that suggests this, so I am not sure what exactly they are.

Certainly the detail on the new bombers is much improved. But the props are a push fit and not free to spin