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Lifetime Monster Modeler
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Discussion Starter #1
I usually don't come to this forum as I am a figure modeler but I was reading the Aurora Model Kits by Thomas Graham book and wondered of some of the plane and tank kits that Aurora first put out...how many of those are still being re-issued today maybe by Revell or other?

If I was to take a specific genre...lets say WWI planes that Aurora first put out.

Does anyone have the lineage to follow up to today? It would be interesting to see how the box and boxart changed through the years.

I'm sure JP has a whole history on this that he can share...and probably build-ups too!

MMM
 

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Not much has ever been done with the World War I kits. Aurora revised most of them in the 1970s for thier last Aurora issue (white boxes with photo box art). When Monogram obtained the molds, they further refined the Sopwith Camel, Fokker D. VII, and S.E. 5a. Those three planes have been tweaked a couple times over the decades and are/were recently reissued by Revell Germany for the umteenth time. None of the other planes have either survived or are not deemed to be worth a reissue. Some of the tooling for the two-seater planes are actually some of the few molds actually damaged in the now epic train wreck story.

The only other Aurora planes I can think of that have ever been reissued were a couple of the airliners that Monogram popped out in the 1970s, and the heavily revised tooling for the F-111 and A-7 jet bombers. A few ships (mostly the subs like the Skipjack and Wolfpack U-Boat, but also the USS Enterprise atomic carrier have been reissued. Now and then a few of the super heros and monsters turn up. Monogram or Revell have reissued Batman, Superman, Robin, Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy, Godzilla, Kong, The Wolfman, The Phantom and The Creature. The Forgotten Prisoner mold has been loaned out and run also but not in a Revell or Monogram box. The Flying Sub and Invaders UFO were last run in the late 1990s.

A few cars have been reissued... the Astin Martin, Porsche and GT40.

Many of the Prehistoric Scenes kits have been repopped albeit with missing or shortened bases. The Monsters of the Movies Frankenstein and Dracula were also reissued in the late 1990s.
 

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Lifetime Monster Modeler
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Discussion Starter #3
djnick66,

So...reading further...keeping with the WWI planes...it would appear that K&B hobby and crafts division offered the Collectors Series in 1972 and would take 10 of the WWI molds from Aurora and re-issue them, cleaning up and re-tooling them so not everything was lost to the epic train wreck. Some of the raised markings were removed for decals instead of stickers. These did not have photo boxart.

MMM
 

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Glencoe rereleased the Nieuport 28, the Pfalz D.III, and the Spad 13 a few years back run on cleaned up versions of the old molds and with excellent decal sheets for each.
 

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Thats right, I forgot about the Glencoe reissues. They are similar to the 1975 Aurora white box issues. VERY nice decals.

Aurora/K&B issued those kits in the EARLY 70s before Aurora's bankrupcy and sale to Monogram in 1977. I dont really consider those reissues... I think at the time K&B was part of Aurora or partnered with them? Its been a while...

If anyone is interested in some... I have quite a few K&B planes

FYI none of the Aurora WW I planes ever had stickers... they all always had decals, which never changed until the small late 70s white boxings.
 

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Here are some quick pics I took of some of the Aurora kits on display in my shop.

This is a Famous Fighters issue of the Navy F4B-4. This kit does not have any molded markings since Aurora re used a lot of the tooling for their similar Army P-12. Note the tiny triangular decal for the display stand, and the larger kit decal sheet. There is even a tiny clear windscreen.



This is the early 70s K&B boxing. They are similar to the Aurora early 70s square box armor kits with the vacuuform display base. The bases are odd in an aircraft kit, and the terrain isnt even like a runway or air field... its rocky, with tree branches, streams, etc.



Merit of England made some Aurora copies back in the early 60s. These molds were passed on to Artiplast of Italy, and most recently to Smer. Not all Merit kits were copies, but the Aurora ones even had the molded decal and insignia locations (and still do today despite nice new decals in the Smer kits).

This is the (green) Smer Fokker D VII, which is essentially the same as the original Aurora kit, along with a Revell reissue Fokker in black. The reissue has thinner struts, finer detail, an attempt at showing some fusilage structure, etc.



This is the last Aurora version of their venerable D VII kit, now molded in blue. All previous issues were molded in metallic green, unless an odd shade of plastic happened to be in the mold machine. Aurora's small (1/75ish) P-38F is not a bad kit but is not as well known as their clunky 1/48ish kit. The little Cutlass is not a common model.



Famous Fighter issues of the SPAD and Sopwith Camel



Some built World War I planes along with some boxed Lindberg and Aurora kits



The Aurora World War I planes are actually 1/50 scale, except for the Eindekker which is somewhere around 1/40. Although the WW I planes are some of their older kits, they were better in many ways than later kits. Most of the Aurora jets and WW II planes were pretty poor.
 

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Oxidation Genius
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Revell still occasionally reissues the Aurora SE5 and Fokker DVII models to this day (or at least till recently), in new boxes at 15 times the original cost.

I've still got a 1974 issue Nieuport 11 on my to-build pile, and a partially built Gotha in a K&B Hobby box.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, after reading and getting stoked up about some of this older stuff, I thought I would go looking and found this kit and grabbed it at a great price of $14.75.



Not a bad start to this collection...great boxart!

MMM
 

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I am a HUGE fan of the old Aurora, Revell, and Lindberg box art. :thumbsup: The only reason I haven't started collecting old kits (In a big way at least) is the amount of space they take up. I just don't have anywhere to display them.

I am hoping that Mr. Graham (Who did the excellent Aurora, Revell, and Monogram books) will tackle a book on old model box art and the artists who painted it. I heard a rumor about that at one time, I don't know if is being worked on or not.

David - I wish I lived near your hobby shop, great looking old kits there!
 

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Oxidation Genius
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I can usually find some at MosquitoCon in NJ every spring. The prices sometimes go up around 30 bucks or so. Good return on an initial 90-cent investment. :)

It's kinda crazy to find that Fokker D VII in an original box for $30, then two tables away fing the identical kit in a 1990s Revell/Mongoram reissue for less than ten.
 

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You can get almost all of the World War I fighters in various Aurora boxes on eBay for $12-$18. A few of the fighters bring more like the SPAD and Sopwith Triplane, but most are common, especially if you aren't fussy as to the exact packaging or color of the plastic. The K&B issues go for next to nothing. I sold some of those this summer and a few went as low as $10.
 

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That box art is beautiful. I will have to pick up a few of these. Pretty cheap compared to some of the vintage kits. Thanks for posting the pics!
 

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I am a HUGE fan of the old Aurora, Revell, and Lindberg box art. :thumbsup: The only reason I haven't started collecting old kits (In a big way at least) is the amount of space they take up. I just don't have anywhere to display them.

I am hoping that Mr. Graham (Who did the excellent Aurora, Revell, and Monogram books) will tackle a book on old model box art and the artists who painted it. I heard a rumor about that at one time, I don't know if is being worked on or not.
Box Top Air Power by Thomas Graham has been published and is the book on the box art and artists.
Nice book,Schiffer publishing.
Tom
 

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There are quite a few books that feature box art. Schiffer has books on both Aurora and Revell that go into box art and artists to a great extent. There is also a book on Roy Cross who did the Airfix box art for many years. There are similar books on the history of Airfix, Frog and Monogram with a lot of box artwork. The guy that does Hasegawa's box art has multiple books with his aviation art. I think there is also a book on John Steele who did great work for Revell and Aurora back in the day.
 

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Yeah I have the Aurora, Monogram and Revell books - Great reference for box art. When I ordered the book on Amazon I saw an Airfix book and the Roy Cross book (I put them on my wishlist :thumbsup:). I really hope there is a Steele book, I will have to try to find it for sure. Thanks for the info djnick!
 

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Oxidation Genius
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If you can afford it, HLJ has a book of Shigeo Koike's boxart for Hasegawa. He's my favorite aircraft artist.
 

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Thanks John - Another one to look for!

Just saw that there are three volumes of his work - At about $65 a pop I will have to start saving my pennies...
 

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You might check Rainbow 10 for the Japanese books. Their web site isnt as flashy as HLJ but their prices are often 15-10% cheaper. I have had VERY good service from them.
 
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