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iHobby 2011 Report

By John Lester - images & text © 2011

The iHobby show held every year in the fall is a chance for the mainstream hobby industry to show off its wares, and to tout upcoming products. I've been attending these for over 10 years now. What was striking to me this year is how "bare bones" the show was. There were a lot fewer exhibitors and a lot fewer new releases - even as compared to last year.

That said, there was quite a bit of news for sci-fi scale modelers, which is summarized below. I apologize for the blurriness of some of the pictures - I went back twice to get better images, but it didn't always work (blame my too much coffee, gl;ass display cases and a crappy camera - not a good combination). Ah, well - you get the idea, I trust.

jl_2k11_ihobby_tease (303K)

^ Round 2's upcoming 1/350 TOS USS Enterprise was on display in mock-up form. More below.

Round 2 (AMT/MPC/Polar Lights)

A very preliminary mockup of the 1/350 TOS Enterprise was on display - held together with tape, so don't mind the nacelle droop. Expected retail $125US, due at the end of next year. In my opinion, it looks good. It looks like they're doing due diligence and getting the shapes right. As for the gridlines yes, they are on the model. No, they are not Tamigawa petite just yet. If this were the final version in the box . I'd be cool with it. But I'm not obsessed with the subject either (plus, I have a tube of Bondo and I ain't afraid to use it). R2 will undoubtedly refine those lines, so I'll withhold judgment right now. In fact, I'll withhold judgment until I see a ready-to-press test shot - and not something taped together for a trade show.

It's an impressive model, though - it dominated that display container. All the other Trek ships were cowering, just a little.

Speaking of - the DS9 station is being reissued in the 3rd quarter of 2012, in clear plastic. A clear version of the Reliant is coming around then as well. The old TNG Adversary Set is being resissued too; the Romulan Warbird on it's own in early 2012 (SRP $22US) and the KboP and Marauder in a set for $14US around the same time. The 1/1400 Enterprise-C is slated for Dec 2011 ($36US) and the regular (non-tin box) TOS Klingon Bird of Prey around the same time for $33US. The 1/1000 TOS Enterprise is being reissued with a collectible lunch box (too small for my lunch) early next year for a suggested $45US.

Something called the Strange Changing Time Machine (ex-MPC) will be out in the second quarter for an expected retail of $33US. A Deluxe version of the classic Batmobile (with a bunch of accessories, including the Penguin's umbrella - will be available around December 2011, for around $38US.

There was boxart for the Man In Space rocket set, but no other info. The AMTronic is coming back as well - yay!

Click any image to enlarge

[R2 Display] [1/350 TOS Enterprise mockup] [1/350 TOS Enterprise] [1/350 TOS Enterprise]
[Shuttlebay] [1/350 TOS Enterprise] [1/350 TOS Enterprise]
[Saucer & Gridlines] [Saucer & Gridlines] [Saucer & Gridlines] [Saucer & Gridlines]
[Position lights] [Bussard scoop details] [Bridge] [Shuttlebay doors]
[Bussard scoop details] [DS9] [DS9 & Warbird] [Klingon BoP]
[Adversaries] [USS Enterprise-C] [USS Enterprise-C] [Boxart]
[Time machine] [1/1000 Lunchbox] [Deluxe Batmobile] [Deluxe Batmobile]
[Boxart] [Boxart] [Boxart] [Batmobiles]
[Man in Space rockets]




The forthcoming Jules Verne Nautilus was on display - this was the rapid prototype model, not a test shot. The kit will include photoetched brass railings, cable runners, interior staircase and other surface details, plus a full interior and two different styles of clear portholes (one optimized for viewing all that lovely inside stuff). They are working on a dramatic base involving a squid grabbing the sub where the tentacles hid the supports for the model. Target date for his is now late 2nd Quarter 2012.

New: They have (now) a license for Terminator. They will be doing 1/35 Tank and Hunter/Killer from the first movie, plus a 5-figure set of Terminators. These will have options for posability - ball sockets for the arms/legs, different weapons, etc.

Also coming is a Dragonslayer model featuring Vermithrax and Valerian figures. The dragon's wingspan looks to be over 12" wide. The human figure is roughly 1/24 scale.

The Great White Shark is off to China for tooling. It will include a (vinyl) diver figure in a (plastic) cage, plus a dramaculous stand.

The 3D/ CAD work is done on the Randy Cooper Moonhopper, but that project is on the back burner while they work on licensed properties.

Click any image to enlarge

[WotW (2005) tripod]
[Terminator announcement] [Nautilus] [Nautilus]
[Nautilus] [Kathoga]
[Shark & Diver] [Shark & Diver] [Dragonslayer] [Tripod]
[Vermithrax] [Vermithrax] [Vermithrax]

Image: Galen figure


The big announcement from Moebius is that they will be producing a 1/72 Skipjack sub. There's a tie-in with their Irwin Allen stuff- subs of this class chase the Seaview in the original VttBotS movie. It's almost as big as the 1/128 Seaview. Expected retail is $120US, and release is planned for 1st quarter 2012. It looks really good, even taped together with 3M Blue Masking tape.

The 8 window big Seaview was on display. It's slated for 1st quarter 2012 at $120US as well.

A painted version of the 1/32 NuBSG Cylon Raider sat forlornly towards the back of the booth. I wanted to bring it home. Look for this kit, and the 1/6 Centurion, after the first of the new year

A lighting set for the big Jupiter 2 is planned for 2nd Quarter 2012, and a prefinished Space Pod (LiS) is due next month (SRP $50US). The 1/25 Batpod should be out in the next few weeks at $20US.

Also announced was a 1/6-looking Creature from the Black Lagoon -carrying the girl, of course, and a 1/8 Batman and Joker set.

Click any image to enlarge

[Skipjack & Seaview] [8 windows + full interior] [Outer] [Inner]
[Lonely Cylon] [Bat Pod] [Lighted J2] [Lighting kit]
[Prebuilt Space Pod] [Iron Men] [Creature & Lady]   


Dragon is going nuts with real space. On display:

  • 1/72 Saturn V (with payload) - everything TBD. Big Model.
  • 1/48 Apollo CSM
  • 1/144 Space Shuttle on 747
  • 1/72 Mercury-Redstone - available as kit or prefinished
  • 1/72 Gemini capsule with space walker
  • 1/72 Apollo 18/ Soyuz 19 docked
  • 1/18 astronaut figures (prefinished)

  • Click any image to enlarge

    [1/72 Saturn V] [Upper stage] [CSM+escape rocket] [LEM]
    [1/18 Astronauts]
    [Gemini and Mercury/Redstone in 1/72] [1/72 Gemini with EVA] [Lotsa space stuff]
    [Apollo/Soyuz] [Apollo/Soyuz] [1/72 Mercury/Redstone]
    [1/48 Apollo CSM & LEM] [1/48 Apollo CSM & LEM]
    [1/48 Apollo CSM] [1/144 Shuttle + 747] [1/144 Shuttle + 747] [1/144 Shuttle + 747]
    [1/144 Shuttle + 747] [1/144 Shuttle + 747] [1/144 Shuttle + 747]   


    A dozen or so years ago, when I first started attending this show, Revell/Monogram dominated . They had this massive ... You can't even call it a booth, it was so big. Pavilion, maybe. Now they are a ghost of their former self and mining their kit library (the 1/48 Kingfisher is back again --- not that it's a bad thing since that's a nice kit - though the float is a bit off) and importing from Revell Germany. Of interest were the latest additions to the Star Wars line - a classic TIE/Fighter and a Landspeeder. The TIE is rather big - 1/32ish? The Landspeeder is also big, and comes with Luke and C3PO figures. It's roughly 1/20 scale, based on the size of those figures.

    In the SSP reissues, the 1/48 Mercury/Gemini is back. They will also reissue the Renwall Teracruzer with Mace - it's one of those funky 1950's military tractor-trailers toting a large, clumsy-looking missile. After seeing their Atomic Cannon repop, I really want one of these Teracruzers.

    Click any image to enlarge

    [X-34 Lanspeeder] [Sorry for the blurry shots [TIE] [Terracruzer & Mace]
    [Landspeeder boxart] [TIE Boxart] [PV-1 Ventura] [Mercury/Gemini box]

    Other Things

    Hasegawa had some MaK on display -- the 1/35 Melusines and Gustavs they have released. Nice to see these built up. Games Workshop had a ton of Warhammer kits - man, I love those things. stevens International was displaying (among other things) Trumpeter kits - while I really want that 1/350 Queen Elizabeth-class battleship, what really piqued my interest were the two 1/35 Soviet Aerosan kits. I mean, what's not to like? The real thing was a plywood box on skis, sometimes armored, sometimes not, crewed by one or two soldiers and propelled by an aircraft engine that wouldn't cut it on a front line fighter. The kits both include a small sheet of brass plus the decals, and they're both under $25US MSRP. I may well have to get some for the store - they're not sci-fi but they should be!

    The best part of the weekend, and the reason I went back on Saturday and Sunday, was the General Hobby Make-and-Take. There are a number of similar events at iHobby, staffed by volunteers from model clubs where kids attending the show can come sit down and build a model. The one I worked (not enough - between work and church, I could only get to the show on saturday and Sunday afternoons) was put together by Tom Grossman and Terry Miesle. Tom lined up the sponsors (Iwata, Moebius, Testors, Minicraft, Excel, Vallejo, and some I'm forgetting off the top of my head), who provided model kits, airbrushes, paints, tools and supplies. Terry enlisted the aid of Chicago-area IPMS model clubs (Butch O'Hare, Lakes and Techmages were represented) and ran the even from start to finish - my dogs are barking after only 3-4 hours on my feet, and he did this 8 hours + both days. That's dedication!

    Despite the long drive, the parking fees, the hours I could have been taking care of my to-do list, I have to say there are few things more rewarding than helping a kid build their first model, showing them how to use the airbrush and then watching them run all excited to their parents with their completed masterpiece in hand. If you get the chance - help out at a Make-n-Take.

    Click any image to enlarge

    [Hasegawa 1/35 MaK suits] [hasegawa 1/35 MaK suits] [Trumpeter Aerosan] [Trumpeter Aerosan]
    [Games workshop] [Games Workshop] [Weathering/painting at Iwata] [Robb @ Iwata]
    [Encore <odel's USS Olympia with all the goodies] [Make-n-take bug menaces the stockyards!] [Make-n-take]
    [Make-n-take] [Make-n-take] [Make-n-take] [Make-n-take]


    Overall, it was a good show for me ---- made some new contacts, signed up with some new (to me) manufacturers, chatted with Robb & Rob while hairspray filled the air at the Iwata booth, and Mike Benolkin from CyberModeler as well (haven't seen him in a couple years, it was nice to catch up). But I won't be trekking to Cleveburg for the next show - especially if exhibitors continue to bail on it as they have for the past few years.

    Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the reviewer.
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    This page copyright © 2011 Starship Modeler™. First posted on 21 October 2011.
    Last updated 24 October 2011.