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5 hours ago, HeavyArty said:

Simple.  Airplanes sell way better that helicopters, esp. WWII aircraft.  There is no comparison.  The market won't support it.

Ah a clear case of moving the goalpost...first its too big and expensive....now its subject matter! Glad you cleared that up 

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It's big and expensive, making it difficult to break even or make a profit. Because the subject matter is less popular than others, its logical to conclude that production of a kit like that makes poor business sense. That's not moving the goal posts, its you arguing against someone's point for the sake of arguing against it, and doing so in a thread that was started six years ago, and had been dead for over eight months.

 

To nail down the point, you can look at a company like HpH. They make huge kits that do not sell in massive numbers. How do they turn a profit? By selling them for well over 1000$ each. Would you buy a kit for that price?

Edited by Specter1075
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9 hours ago, HeavyArty said:

Simple.  Airplanes sell way better that helicopters, esp. WWII aircraft.  There is no comparison.  The market won't support it.

 

I can tell you from personal experience that isn't completely true. Most of my Helo stuff does really well. In fact, I've sold out two full decal runs of CH-53E sheets. 

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Thought we were talking about larger production company's and HpH are custom made models (limited run) and that's hinting Apples and Oranges...  HK models (1/32 Lancaster and 1/32 B-17) They are certainly not sold for the huge prices you are stating....they are around 350 Euro's/415 US dollar...And for a 1:32 Lancaster etc that would be a bargain if you just look at the prices Great Wall Hobby are willing to ask for some of their 1:72 kits which are in the 1:48 price range and their kits sell like hot cakes

 

i agree with the opening question in relation to a bigger than 1:72 CH-53E What are Manufacturers afraid of...The 1:48 of Academy is one of the most sought kit Out there! it will sell and make them a profit

 

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5 hours ago, Dave Roof said:

 

I can tell you from personal experience that isn't completely true. Most of my Helo stuff does really well. In fact, I've sold out two full decal runs of CH-53E sheets. 

But again, because a subject sells well in 48th doesn't automatically imply that it would set sales records in 35th.   Much smaller subset of folks who have the cash and shelf space (and tolerant wife) for something like a large scale 53E.    Given the massive costs to produce such a kit, it's not surprising that manufacturers are staying away. 

 

I always figured they would be better served by releasing smaller 35th scale kits along the lines of an AH-1G but it looks like they aren't even interested in that. 

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2 hours ago, 11bee said:

But again, because a subject sells well in 48th doesn't automatically imply that it would set sales records in 35th.   Much smaller subset of folks who have the cash and shelf space (and tolerant wife) for something like a large scale 53E.    Given the massive costs to produce such a kit, it's not surprising that manufacturers are staying away. 

 

I always figured they would be better served by releasing smaller 35th scale kits along the lines of an AH-1G but it looks like they aren't even interested in that. 

And i think that's a question of time...The 1:35 Helicopter range has just been started and the mindset of most Aircraft people is set in 1:32 because manufacturers made that shift between Armor 1:35 and aircraft 1:32 from the start....Then Tamiya began by making 1:48 Armor about 15 years ago and began mixing up a predominately Aircraft scale with Armor and it seems that the helicopter manufacturers have caught on in 1:35...i think in a few years there will be a Cobra in 1:35 give Kitty Hawk some time

Edited by Tomnavycat1970
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3 hours ago, Stephen said:

I'm surprised that Academy hasn't re-released the 1/48 CH-53E , it commands high prices on ebay. 

Maybe thats a license issue between MRC and Academy, It seems that all three models they did in cooperation are no longer being produced (MH-53E , CH-53E and the CH-46E)

 

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I have to think that the large companies don't see helicopters as good tooling investments.

 

Withness:

-There is still no modern H-19/S-55/Whirlwind kit, despite it being used by virtually everyone in the West in the '50s-'70s. Revell is still unashamedly selling it's window-less 1955-ish kit for good money.

-It too 30+ years for someone to release a Bell 47 kit...a type with unlimited decal options as well as civil variants. 

-Likewise, it took years for H-34 and H-21 (aside from the ancient and long gone Aurorakit) to appear.

-No Kaman Huskie in 1/72 or 48th.

These are well known types...many had big international sales, so it's not hard to imagine no one rushing to market with esoteric types like the Hughes 300 or Enstrom...which would be small inexpensive kits, let alone a huge 1/35th kit of the H-53.

 

 

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But, aren’t there a few 1/35 Cobra kits from MRC and / or Academy already?

 

I would have thought that the Hasegawa Principle would apply to helicopter models, one kit with multiple different boxings of different decals. 

 

I’d be happy to see more helo kits in 1/35, and wondered why Trumpeter didn’t release permutations of the Chinook, Hip, Hind, and Hound kits. Or even different boxings containing different decals, it’d be a straight forward effort for minimal cost. 

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5 hours ago, JohnEB said:

I have to think that the large companies don't see helicopters as good tooling investments.

 

Withness:

-There is still no modern H-19/S-55/Whirlwind kit, despite it being used by virtually everyone in the West in the '50s-'70s. Revell is still unashamedly selling it's window-less 1955-ish kit for good money.

-It too 30+ years for someone to release a Bell 47 kit...a type with unlimited decal options as well as civil variants. 

-Likewise, it took years for H-34 and H-21 (aside from the ancient and long gone Aurorakit) to appear.

-No Kaman Huskie in 1/72 or 48th.

These are well known types...many had big international sales, so it's not hard to imagine no one rushing to market with esoteric types like the Hughes 300 or Enstrom...which would be small inexpensive kits, let alone a huge 1/35th kit of the H-53.

 

 

Lets see  Huskie...1:72 by croco models and mach 2...1:48 AMP and the old aurora kit...ehm?

 

"I have to think that the large companies don't see helicopters as good tooling investments" And you got your answer right there...Tooling! To me its no surprise that only in the last couple of years Helicopters are getting more and more populair with Manufacturers (just look at the rate Kitty Hawk is producing helicopter kits in the last couple of years) ...The injection molding process has a giant leap forward and the techniques of 3D rendering to design these kits had to catch up first

 

And none of these models i'm interested in..in 1:35 However i am interested in a H-53 in that scale

Edited by Tomnavycat1970
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The problem for helicopter modelers is that the same old airplanes sell day after day, year after year. ME109, the Spitfire and P-51, for example, are sure fire sellers. As new mould technology arrives, all the big manufacturers roll out another kit of the three I have mentioned. Why? Because the vast majority of modellers will buy them, guaranteed! Not quite so with helicopters, unfortunately. The AH-64 is the equivalent of those big 3. Every manufacturer worth their salt has one in their inventory because they will sell but the cool stuff like Enstroms or TH-55s or Bell 407s apparently won’t. It’ll be up to the niche manufacturers to fill the gap in the market.

 

LD.

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Yes, this is true for tanks, too. Witness the Tiger, Sherman, T-34 et al; I still believe that there is an untapped market for 1/35 helicopters. With careful engineering, it is / would be possible to maximise an airframe to achieve several different types. Kittyhawk have started this with their Blackhawk kits, and to a lesser extent the Littlebird, too. I expect before too long there will be a 1/32 V-22, yet there’d be demand for such a kit in 1/35. But not both scales. In the meantime, I’ll continue to save my money, add to the stash, and try to finish those shelf queens. 

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tomnavycat1970...

Perhaps I should have said mass market kits...I've never heard of Croco, AMPs aren't exactly common or inexpensive ($46 online), and when was the last time you saw a Aurora HOK for sale outside of eBay (or similar)  AND for less than $50-100?

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Another reason new helicopter kits are a rare thing is because helicopters are hugely outnumbered by fixed-wing types both now and historically. 

 

I learned to fly a helicopter years ago and was privileged to obtain a private license. I can recall being asked one day by someone; “Why didn’t you learn to fly airplanes instead?” This sums up the attitude towards helicopters. Yes, they fly but they aren’t “true” flying machines. I think this is how helicopters are viewed by the general public and to a degree by the model manufacturers. While we are deeply interested in them, they don’t hold the same fascination for the majority. 

 

Go to a model show and count the number of helicopter models there versus airplanes. I reckon on average helicopter models will account for less than 10% of all models entered into the competition there. I’d guess the true figure is closer to 5%, sadly. 

 

Those figures dictate the number of new kits produced. Kitty Hawk are the exception it seems, along with the likes of Werner’s Wings and other small manufacturers. We will have to make do with the smaller multi media type kits if we want to build many helicopter types.

 

LD.

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Not that contests are the end all be all but I do agree it gives some insight to what people like. Most contests lump all helos into one category. IPMS USA Nationals breaks out 3 categories basically: small/large scale and OOB. 

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On 8/28/2020 at 2:26 AM, Newtonk said:

But, aren’t there a few 1/35 Cobra kits from MRC and / or Academy already?

 

I would have thought that the Hasegawa Principle would apply to helicopter models, one kit with multiple different boxings of different decals. 

 

I’d be happy to see more helo kits in 1/35, and wondered why Trumpeter didn’t release permutations of the Chinook, Hip, Hind, and Hound kits. Or even different boxings containing different decals, it’d be a straight forward effort for minimal cost. 

Not the grandfather of all cobras, the AH-1G. The only large scale is the extremely long in the tooth Revell kit.

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5 hours ago, midnightprowler said:

Not the grandfather of all cobras, the AH-1G. 

 

Not just the grandfather, arguably the G is the prettiest, the version rocking the most colorful markings and the version with the deepest combat history.   We are way overdue for a G-model Cobra in 35th.  

 

 

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18 hours ago, 11bee said:

 

Not just the grandfather, arguably the G is the prettiest, the version rocking the most colorful markings and the version with the deepest combat history.   We are way overdue for a G-model Cobra in 35th.  

 

 

Completely agree.

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