Sunday, 22 November 2015


The funny thing about having a hobby that I call ‘extreme collecting’ - mainly diecast models of helicopters, aeroplanes, assorted NASA vehicles, and sci-fi/ fantasy related items - is that when looking out for new stuff on e-bay now, the problem is I’ve already got one (my list of rotorcraft is 29 pages, but I’ve actually lost count of how many models there are), or I am really not interested (WW2 bombers, numerous airliners, blah), or - in a few cases - I simply can’t afford one (seen the ridiculous prices for Product Enterprise’s Gerry Anderson range?).
I have also reached the stage where all the display space left in the house is down to just a couple of shelves.  

My recent bargain buys include four aircraft of types that can float in water (see also 'flying boats'). Two are imported part-works from the Russian/ USSR Legends magazine series:

#63, Beriev A-40 Albatross (NATO name: Mermaid), a rare a jet-engined amphibious aircraft. The diecast model is by DeAgostini - 1:350 scale.

#82, Shavrov Sh-2S (nicknamed ‘Rusalka’ in USSR) a small wooden aircraft, this was the first mass-produced Russian plane of its type in the 1930s. From DeAgostini, this small (wing-span only 12 cm) diecast model (scale - 1:111) is the ambulance version.

The third is an Italian military float-plane, the three-engined CANT Z.506B Airone (Italian for ‘Heron’). It’s a sturdy diecast model produced by Altaya in 1:144 scale. 

I also bought a Savoia-Marchetti S.55X. A twin-hulled flying boat, this was used by Italian air marshal Balbo in a V-formation flight of 24 planes for the historic Atlantic crossing to Chicago for the World’s Fair in 1933. Exquisitely detailed, this diecast and plastic model is produced by Italeri - 1:144 scale. 

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