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Model of the Year 2014 – 12 Plastic Kits that Define the Shape of the Hobby Industry

February 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

Held every February in Nuremberg, Germany, Spielwarenmesse is the world’s leading fair for the toy and hobby industry with about 2,800 exhibitors from 60 nations.

One of the highlights in the hobby section of the show is the announcement of Modell des Jahres (Model of the Year). . Sponsored by leading German modeling magazine ModellFan, Modell des Jahres is considered to be the world’s highest award for a model kit manufacturer.

Awarded to “outstanding models that had gone on sale in Germany during the previous year”, Modell des Jahres is given with “particular attention paind to the criteria of innovation, scale fidelity, precision fit, creativity, attractiveness and complexity, with the aim of identifying the top kits that exemplify the technical ability and creative skills of an entire industry.”

Let’s have a look at this year’s results in the aviation, armor and ship categories.

Aircraft, 1/32 and larger

1/32 B-25J Mitchell series by HK Models

Aircraft, 1/48

Airfix 1/48 Gloster Javelin FAW.9/9R

Aircraft, 1/72

Cyber-Hobby 1/72 Aichi Type 99 Val Dive Bomber

Aircraft, short-run

Special Hobby 1/48 Fairey Firefly series

Armor, 1/48 or larger

1/35 ATF Dingo 2 GEA2 PatSi by Revell

Armor, 1/72 or smaller

Dragon 1/72 Churchill Mk. IV NA75

Armor, short-run

1/35 Feldumschlaggerät 2,5t by Y-Modelle of Germany

Utility vehicles

1/35 D9R Armored Bulldozer by MENG Model


Bronco Models 1/35 German Type XXIII U-Boat coastal submarine

Ships, short-run

SMS VIRIBUS UNITIS 1:350 Kombrig Models of Russia


1/20 LUM-168 Camel by Hasegawa

Special award

This year there was also a special award, given to HK Models’ 1/32 B-17G Flying Fortress.

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9 responses to Model of the Year 2014 – 12 Plastic Kits that Define the Shape of the Hobby Industry

  1. I’m always amazed that with so many versions of so many aircraft available, that we don’t see more large scale Japanese aircraft. I’m not sure if manufacturers have identified a particular preference for American and Luftwaffe types and simply cater for those tastes, e.g., the American market, or if by focusing on these areas they in fact create the market that everyone follows.

    A Val in 1/32 would look great!.

  2. I’m too am amazed they (manufacturers) keep churning out the same ship models year after year in different scales. On ship model sites the folks salivate over a “new” Yamato or Arizona or Fletcher class destroyer, it’s the reason I scratchbuild a lot of models. Rob, you’re correct, they tend to aim at the American market in all things plastic. But the Japanese also offer a wide variety of “home grown” ship kits, stuff that an American plastic company would never think of marketing. For example the Japanese icebreakers come to mind, Revell issued the Eastwind ice breaker in 1957 and hasn’t placed anything “new” in their catalog since. If the ship isn’t equipped with an array of guns it’s pretty much overlooked..

  3. Pretty good list, but I think I might have included the Academy Phantom, BUT since the Javelin is a different subject for a change, I guess it is the better choice.

  4. At least this list does not include a Messerschmitt, Mustang, or late marque Spitfire. God knows we have way too many choices in those categories.

  5. Interesting the tamiya 1/32 corsair did not make the list… or maybe not! Apparently the corsair fan seems to be in minority, or so I am told. Does not change the fact that the
    corsair in 1/32 is finally being
    done to the same quality as the plethora of 109 kits. I salute tamiya even if I could only afford one of the three types they are releasing! Trumpy tried but failed, but tamiya did it justice even if they got dash 1 engine details wrong and only provide rubber tires!
    However, tough to make definitive choices these days. Its a great time for the hobby if not for our wallets!

  6. I’d agree with the H-K B-25 series. And the B-17 is the only thing out there deserving of a special award. They can get ready to give it the series award next year with the B-17E and B-17F (early and late) coming this summer. And their special award will go to the Lancaster when it shows up in November. The Javelin is a good choice, but I can think of several better alternatives for the 1/72 aircraft. While I am a fan of the Firefly, I don’t think that series is that outstanding, though it is pretty much the only limited-run series done recently. Can’t speak to the creepy-crawlies, but that Trumpeter U-boat must have won because it’s a German award – the Riich 1/200 US Fleet boat is a far more impressive kit and model. And it’s already a series.

    Just sayin’…

  7. AND… a new Buccaneer in 1/48 – nothing doing since ancient Airfix (I’ve just seen on Ebay available in UK Airfix Buccaneer S2/2c/2d/mk50 in 1/48 and neomega cockpit starting bid £15. The price is right, but with a lot of issues.

    Up for a challenge? For a decent build article (and listing of said challenges), see

    • I am on the verge of finally doing my black banana- have a few other kits in the way at the moment. I printed the article you linked quite a few years ago! Still debating if the airwaves wingfold etch parts will be suitable enough for me, or just go ahead with extended wings. Doing an RN bird, I really am leaning to folded!

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