Popular Culture Collectibles Reviews

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Mitsubishi, Phantom and Porsche



A couple of new aircraft models are coming your way courtesy of Hasegawa Hobby Kits.  Both feature precise details both on the exterior and interior of the models.  
 
Pieces detach easily from the part trees with minimal or no flashing and by following the extensive assembly instructions modelers can assemble, paint and decal the aircraft in no time.

Both aircraft can be displayed with wheels up or down either hanging from the ceiling or displayed on a shelf.  Either way you’ll have realistic aircraft models that can be enjoyed by model makers and others who see the finished models.

The Mitsubishi F-1 '6SG Camouflage' fighter jet has served the Japanese Air Force for close to three decades.

First introduced in the late 1970s, the aircraft lands easily both on conventional landing strips and aircraft carrier flight decks. Scaled at 1/48 the Limited Edition F-1 6SG 'Sea Camouflage' model is a miniature marvel of precise model making manufacturing unmatched anywhere.  Two decal options are available.

With its 'Rising Sun' logo on its sides the F-1 looks like a sleek shark plowing through the air currents.  Side vents for the rear engine sweep seamlessly back into the rear fuselage.

Swept back front and rear wings and the oversize tailfin accent the jet's long pointed airframe.
Twin extra fuel tanks hang from the wings and various instruments and antenna protrude from the jet's body.

Two missiles perch on the front wings and the single pilot cockpit barely bulges up from the front fuselage.

Also a Limited Edition Model and scaled at 1/48 the F-4S Phantom II 'Vandy 75' jet celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the first landing of an aircraft on an aircraft carrier in 1986.

Long and lean and a fast machine the Phantom II is a aerodynamic bullet loaded with ordinance.

The model captures the sleek appearance of the aircraft as well as its exterior and interior details and equipment and weapons.

The U.S. Navy carrier-borne fighter carries on its underbelly six missiles along with a reserve fuel tank making to the perfect air-to-air and ground attack jet ever to serve.  A crew of two make up the aircraft's personnel.  

Take a moment to examine the underbelly of the aircraft model.  Missiles, tank, landing gear and other components make for a complicated assembly-a true testament to the engineers who designed the aircraft.  

Swept back front and rear wings and a large tailfin balanced out be a smaller underbelly stabilizing tailfin allow the F-4S to be both fast and maneuverable.

Among model makers Hasegawa Hobby Kits is primarily known for its military and aircraft models.  Few people realize that Hasegawa also turns out incredibly detailed and realistic car models.  

Just like its signature military and aircraft models the car models feature tight detailing, precise paint, glue and decal instructions and part trees containing detachable parts with little or no flashing.

The Porsche 968 is the epitome of automotive excellence.  Complete with new transmission, styling, engine and suspension the Porsche 968 is the next step in the evolution of the Porsche 944.

The Hasegawa Hobby Kit Porsche 968 is scaled at 1/24 and is also a Limited Edition release.
The two-door blue beauty duplicates the smooth lines and aerodynamic design of its sister real car.  Headlights and lights are tucked away in the body as well as the grill and bumpers.  
  
Smooth tapered side mirrors present little drag as the Porsche gears up for high speeds.
If you think the exterior and interior of the car are impressive you'll be blown away by the engine under the hood. Boasting a 4 cylinder DOHC 16-valve powerhouse the 6-speed manual transmission driving machine has a few more surprises.

Try out the retractable headlights and customized alloy wheels.

Like its larger namesake the Porsche 968 model fits together almost seamlessly with very little space between frame, body and openings.  

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Black Neon Unicorno



Displayed prominently in a neon colored window box Tokidoki’s latest Unicorno (courtesy of Italian artist Simone Legno) is a solid black Unicorno that was once a pony like his fellow Unicornos.
 
Passing through a magic waterfall the ponies were changed into Unicornos which traverse between the world of magic and our own.

Black Neon Unicorno’s is black but colorful multi-color skulls and crossbones decorated both of his sides.

His mane is magenta, blue, orange and yellow, his hooves are blue, magenta, green and yellow and his long black tail is tipped in magenta.

Black wings are decorated with a skull and lightning bolt, Black Neon’s eyes are yellow and red with a touch of green and a single blue horn protrudes from his forehead.  He’s a real cutie and the only place you can purchase him is at boutiques nationwide, the Tokidoki flagship store in Melrose and at www.tokidoki.it.

Hurry. because this very special Unicorno will go fast!

Draw! #26, Fall



Now in full color, the 26th issue of Draw! magazine from TwoMorrowsPublishing focuses its attention on artist Joe Jusko.  It's hard to believe Joe started his professional career at the tender age of 14!  Included in this special issue is a glimpse of Joe’s work at such a young age and his first professional commission.
 
Inside readers are treated to a visual journey through Joe’s long and illustrious career courtesy of sketches, drawings and completed paintings. Considered one of the most professional and all around nice guys in the industry Joe Jusko is an icon and inspiration to fantasy artists worldwide.

Also included in this issue are articles about  two equally influential artists: longtime Marvel and DC artist Jerry Ordway and somewhat controversial artist Jim Rugg.

I especially enjoyed catching a glimpse of the each artist’s thought processes as evident by their sketches and a peek at their studios

Both articles features lots of old and new artwork, extensive interviews and retrospectives of their work along with future plans both artists have in store.

Mike Manley and Bret Blevin conduct a Comic Art Bootcamp (Drawing Dynamic Figures) and the Crusty Critic reviews the tools of the trade.  This time it's correction fluid.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Curious Critters



Photographer and author David FitzSimmons is known internationally as a superb photographer, especially of intimate and up-close portraits of animals. He also has a knack for writing prose suited for young readers that is fun and informative.
 
Combine his photography and prose together and you have Volumes One and Two of his Curious Critters books that are pure visual delights.

Readers (both young and old) are treated to silhouetted, full color photos of various small land, air and water critters of all types.  The photos are so bright and crisp one can almost feel the fur or scales of each animal.  The details are eye-popping and the colors vibrant.  

What a wonderful way to introduce youngsters to the world of animals!  I have to admit my inner youngster was fascinated by each image while my ‘adult’ side appreciated the technical skill it takes to pull off each photo.  

Beside the whimsical text each book features a Natural History section in the back that goes into the more ‘scientific’ facts of each critter.  Pick up both books today-your kids and grandkids will love them.

Reynes, Mara and Varanda



I really wish more people here in the United States would pick up and look at the wonderful Sketchbooks published by Comix Buro.
 
They feature some of the best artwork by cartoonists and illustrators Europe has to offer. 
The books come stuffed with illustration of not only completed work by each artist represented but their sketch work also.  I find that especially interesting and enlightening.  As an artist myself I know what it takes to come u with a completed illustration.  I often tell my drawing students that the finished drawing you see is the results of sometimes dozens of sketches and compositions drawn before.

In this go around artists Varanda, Marta and Reynes are spotlighted. Each has their unique style: Varanda’s style tends to more sketchy and detailed with deep shadows and stark lighting. 
Mara is much more whimsical reminiscent of classic cartoons from the 1940’s and 1950s with their slick minimalistic rendering and Reynes art is modern and sophisticated with hints of digital manipulation present.

What I find especially interesting about each artist is that all of them tackle American superheroes in one fashion or another.  Superheroes from the major comic book publishers are represented along with the occasional small press character.  

I wish the American comic book industry would take notice of the Sketchbook artists’ work.  The industry could use a good shot in the arm creatively and the Sketchbook artists are just the ones to administer it.

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction #710, November/December




For 65 years The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction has been serving up the ‘best-of-the-best’ stories from veteran and new talent fantasy and sci-fi fiction.  The November/December issue of the magazine (#710) is no exception.  Here’s a quick lowdown on what you can expect to read.  While you’re at it be sure to look at the stunning cover illustration from Mondolithic Studios.
Novella
  • “Success” by Michael Blumlein
Novelets:
  • “Through Mud One Picks a Way” by Tim Sullivan
  • “Hell for Company” by Albert E. Cowdrey
  • “The Soul in the Bell Jar” by KJ Kabza
  • “Stones and Glass” by Matthew Hughes
  • “Baba Makosh” by M.K. Hobson
SHORT STORIES:
  • “Hard Stars” by Brendan DuBois
  • “Sing Pilgrim!” by James Patrick Kelly
Departments:
  • Books to Look for by Charles de Lint
  • Books by Chris Moriarty
  • Plumage from Pegasus: “More than Bookman” by Paul Di Filippo
  • Films: “The Modest Pleasures of a Summer Bomb” by Kathi Maio
  • Coming Attractions
  • Curiosities by Douglas A. Anderson
  • Cartoons by Danny Shanahan, Bill Long, David Keck, and Arthur Masear.