Apparently, though, this concern was not enough to keep HM from making this spectacularly ugly heavy-tampo release:
Look, I have a fairly large JASDF collection. But there's no way in hell that I'm going to sully it with the above piece of crap. Shame on (otherwise honest and decent) HM for their lame excuses.
Still, that's no reason to make a total caricature of it as Aviation72 have apparently done:
In a nutshell, the Phoenix L-39 model is bad. Very very bad. "Worst model of the year, 2009" (or whenever it was released) bad. While getting the basic shape of the aircraft passably correct, it was bad in essentially every way imaginable from the awful cockpit detail to the utter lack of panels to landing gear so bad that it would make IXO stand a bit prouder of some of its worse efforts. To top it off, the livery was from some trainer-based display team that, well, few had ever heard of.
This time around Phoenix decided to outdo themselves - by choosing a livery of an even more obscure and unmarketable display team--the mighty "Baltic Bees" - whoever they are. To their credit, Phoenix has managed to put a little bit of lipstick on this dog by improving the cockpit by adding pretty awful looking pilot figures and by choosing a Suez-throwback livery that perhaps hides the sins of the mould a bit better (note to self: bees in the Baltics are apparently blue and yellow.. who knew?). But, at the end of the day, it's still some overpriced model of a display team you've never heard of. Why The Flying Mule would agree to resell these I can only guess - I sure hope their trade price is less than $20 each.
Here it is:
It's hard to imagine how they will sell more than 50 of these worldwide, given that quite a few of us must have simultaneously ticked the L-39 box and said goodbye to Phoenix forever after the first release AND many of the 500 are still available for sale on the web.
There are two things Phoenix should do:
This is the livery that will sell, accuracy or not. It will cover up many of the flaws of the mould. If you care about sales, put the red star on the tail, not the Czech roundel.
Or, if you want to be heroes, a Ukrainian Air Force one... oh, I'd like that, but it won't happen.
However, other times, a manufacturer's failure to make a certain livery is more of a mystery. Excluding liveries that have clearly been held back for "business strategy" reasons, here's my list...
Witty's been a bit more creative recently, putting out higher quality items with optional bits like landing gear and weapons and a few clever liveries and moulds that have and will take the thunder away from some Corgi and Hobbymaster offerings.
And then there's this:
Witty recently announced a new Tomcat. While their Tomcat mould isn't the greatest, certainly there are decent liveries still to be done. However, their choice of Tomcat is bizarre. The Fast Eagle 107 Tomcat was recently made to an essentially excellent standard by Century Wings. However, as anybody who has been paying attention realizes, CW made too many of them, and as a result CW's quite excllent Fast Eagle Tomcats have been and still are available for cheap.
Why Witty would think that there's any residual demand for this particular livery is beyond me. I kind of feel sorry for Witty at times, but this release strikes me as just dumb.
Best and worst of 2012
Not yet released or seen by me:
Missing in Action:
Worst of 2012: