Friday, 2 August 2013

Helicopter blues

Model helicopters in blue... I collect them because I'm very keen on helicopters in movies and TV (see my unique website, and blue is my favourite colour. To me, these models are cooler than a freezer full of ice-cream. This is the most expensive one I've bought so far: Blue Thunder, a diecast model based upon the modified Aerospatiale SA-341 Gazelle seen in John Badham's techno-thriller Blue Thunder, and its follow-up TV series.
Blue Thunder model by Organic (Japan).

The model is 1:32 scale and produced in Japan by Organic's dream machine project. Blue Thunder is certainly the most iconic helicopter in cinema, especially with its sci-fi dimension as a stealthy urban surveillance platform with limited capabilities as a gunship. The model's geeky qualities include rotors that turn, a swivelling and tilting front-cannon, and a removable cockpit canopy to view the cabin's interior detailing. There's a pilot figure, but no back-seat observer. Of course, it's an exquisite scale model, not a toy, and so many of the plastic parts are very fragile. The model comes with a long black plinth, but it can also be displayed without any stand, on its own landing skids. In my cabinet it shares pride of place with the 1:48 model of Airwolf (made by SGM-08).

The model Gazelle that I have is only a small 1:70 scale but, as it's a French helicopter I wanted this vintage red one for contrast, and because it was actually made in France by Majorette.     

I don't own one of the smaller and older 'Blue Thunder' collectables (made by Ertl, I think), but I do have a Matchbox 'Mission Helicopter' in a blue finish (they produced several different colours), which is quite obviously copied from Blue Thunder.

Collectors of diecast stuff might also like the Hot Wheels toy 'Sky Knife' - clearly inspired by the 
likes of Blue Thunder and other helicopter names such as Airwolf.