Saturday, 25 January 2014


Here's some details about my latest Rotary Action related purchases, now on display in the ‘Hanger 13’ cabinets...  
Chop Chop helicopter
This 'Chop Chop' plastic helicopter is battery operated but it’s at least 35 years old, so modern batteries don’t fit into its differently sized compartment. Made in China for American company Marx Toys (long since gone), it is in good condition for its age. The USAF or RAF markings and window stickers are missing but, anyway, it’s the colour (my favourite) that makes this plastic toy such a collectible item for me.

Sikorsky’s MH-X Silent Hawk, is a version of the UH-60 (S-70) Black Hawk modified for stealth. Two of these helicopters were used by the SEAL team in a mission against Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan (as depicted in the movie Zero Dark Thirty). This is a neat diecast model, the very first of its kind, made by Italeri (who previously produced a fine model of an Agusta-Westland AW-101 Merlin from Skyfall), at a scale of 1:100. 
Silent Hawk
It’s a great addition to the ’Hawks (note the six-blade rotors, a contrast to the usual four on this type of helicopter) of my Sikorsky collection, which includes two Black Hawk models (New Ray - 1:60, and Amercom - 1:72), an SH-60B Sea Hawk (New Ray - 1:60), a bigger MH-60G Pave Hawk (FOV - 1:48), a U.S. Coast Guard HH-60J Jay-Hawk (Winged Ace, easy model - 1:72), a sand-coloured Desert Hawk, and a VH-60N ‘White Hawk’ (the U.S. President’s ‘Marine One’ flight), both smaller models made by the Maisto brand. An SH-60F Ocean Hawk (Amercom - 1:72) is still on my wants list.  
Super Stallion
Also added to my Sikorsky range, the CH-53E Super Stallion (Motor Max - 1:72), was bought cheaply (only £7) in Amazon’s New Year sales. Unlike the better quality model of the similar MH-53E Sea Dragon (Amercom - 1:72) that I bought last summer, this Super Stallion is a contrast with shiny and rather plasticy-looking finish to its die-cast weight, presenting itself as something in-between a collector’s model (boxed for static display, the CH-53 is screwed onto its own labelled stand), and a fairly detailed toy for playing with. Nonetheless, it’s a nifty item suitable for positioning on top of a small cabinet.  
Sea Dragon

Friday, 24 January 2014


Without a big fanfare, Interzone reaches its 250th issue, and I'm proud to be a part of its critical success - that, hopefully, will continue for many years to come. 

My usual 'Laser Fodder' column of DVD & blu-ray reviews for this landmark issue covers mostly newer SF & fantasy material:

Man Of Steel (8/10)
Big Trouble In Little China (9/10)
Elysium (8/10)
Upstream Colour (7/10)
Riddick (5/10)
Scavengers (1/10)
Game Of Thrones - season 3 (7/10)

    Peripheral Sighting: also received
Wolf Children

Also published this week, Black Static #38 includes another 'Blood Spectrum' batch of horror movie reviews:

The Conjuring (7/10)
Insidious 2 (4/10)
Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters (4/10)
You're Next (3/10)
Blood Glacier (4/10)
Bounty Killer (5/10)
The Complex (6/10)
Kiss Of The Damned (4/10)
Odd Thomas (5/10)
John Dies At The End (8/10) 

    Job Lot: also received
Big Ass Spider (3/10)
The Colony (2/10)
Prisoners (4/10)
Frost (1/10)