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As always model aircraft were some of the best-selling plastic model kits of 2016. This year we saw an increase in new tooling from some old and new manufacturers, culminating in a “year in review” that is hard to beat. Aircraft modelers of all ages have been stupefied by the quality of some of these new kits. Below are the seven top-selling model aircraft kits of 2016. Which ones do you have?

1/32 Cessna L-19/O1 Bird Dog (Roden, ROD619)

Used by the US Air Force for over two decades, the Bird Dog was an observation aircraft utilized before and during the Vietnam War. Pilots of the Bird Dog would observe the gunfire below and inform the military support of the enemy’s coordinates. A long-awaited kit from Roden, it finally arrived in November, but immediately became one of the top-selling aircraft kits of the year. Its arrival at the beginning of the holiday season was a perfect symbol of Roden giving this gift to the hobby world.

1/48 Boulton Paul Defiant Mk I Fighter (Airfix, ARX5128)

One of the most interesting fighter aircraft of World War II, the Boulton Paul Defiant was designed to attack mass formations of enemy bombers. Despite having extreme success early on in its military life, Luftwaffe fighter pilots eventually figured out how to defeat them, leading to many terrible losses at the hand of the Germans and the eventual withdrawal of the Defiant from operation. Nonetheless, this 1/48 scale kit by Airfix has proven to be a winner, beating just about all other aircraft – unlike its fabled history in World War II!

1/144 C-141B Starlifter USAF Strategic Airlifter Aircraft (Roden, ROD325)

Lockheed’s C-141B Starlifter was a strategic airlifter in the United States Air Force, utilized from 1965 to 2006. Nearly 300 of these were produced for the Air Force, with one even being produced for NASA for use as an airborne observatory. The B variant saw the bodies of 270 existing aircraft stretched to accommodate more payload. In kit form, Roden produced this as a new tool in 1/144 scale, which immediately blew off the shelves and becoming one of the top-selling plastic model kits of 2016.

1/48 Republic RF-84F Thunderflash (Tanmodel, TMO2201)

Tanmodel surprised the hobby world this year by blowing onto the United States market with their first, new-tooled American plane – the RF-84F. A photo-reconnaissance fighter utilized through 1972, the Thunderflash had technological innovations that were not yet seen at that point. This updated version of the RF-84F model kit proved that Tanmodel is now a player in the model aircraft market, giving us and thousands of modelers optimism for their future productions.

1/72 Junkers Ju87B-1 Stuka Fighter (Airfix, ARX3087)

One of the most feared weapons of World War II, the two-man dive bomber Ju87 saw action for the first time during the Spanish Civil War, and then over the skies of Poland and France in 1940. Airfix’s 1/72 model kit of the feared aircraft includes over 100 parts and measures six inches in length when completed.

1/48 MiG-31 B/BS Foxhound Fighter (Avante Garde Model Kits, AGK88008)

The MiG-31 is a supersonic interceptor that was initially designed to replace the MiG-25 Foxbat. However, as the development of the aircraft progressed, it became clear this was a different beast. The Foxhound Fighter had the ability to hit bomber sized targets from 120 kilometers, utilizing a state-of-the-art radar system. Utilized in the Russian and Kazakhstani Air Force, this aircraft was turned into a high-quality model kit by AMK and upgraded late in 2016. Its completed dimensions are 13”L x 10.5”W x 3”H.

1/72 SR-71A Blackbird (Revell-Monogram, RMX5810)

With a top airborne speed over 2,000 mph, and an altitude so high it is still classified by the military, the SR-71A Blackbird is one of the most famous modern aircraft. It was developed by Lockheed to replace the U-2 spyplane, to be used for strategic reconnaissance and drone carrying. Despite this kit being around for many years, it is annually one of the top-selling model aircraft kits on the market, partially due to its fame, partially due to its simplicity and ability to be put together by modelers of any age and skill level.

1/48 Curtiss P-40B Warhawk (Airfix, ARX5130)

Airfix surprised us all by announcing this newly-tooled 1/48 scale P-40, but no one was shocked when it turned out to be one of the top kits of the year, despite having been released with just 30 days to go in 2016.

Top 7 Model Cars of 2016

As in any year, model cars again proved to be one of the most popular categories in the hobby industry. This year was extra special, as we saw a large quantity of fantastic new kits introduced (or re-introduced) to the market. Below we list out Top 7 Model Cars of 2016 (by number sold). Click [...]

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Supplier Profile: Paragrafix's Paul Bodensiek

With everyday business keeping us pretty occupied, it's often nice to take a step back and dig a bit deeper into some of the relationships we have with our many suppliers. One of them, Paul Bodensiek of Paragrafix, is a relationship that goes back to the start of his business nearly a decade ago. Paul [...]

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MegaHobby.com Is Moving!

We are thrilled to announce that MegaHobby.com will be moving on Wednesday, October 19, 2016!A few years ago we made a short-term move from Long Island, NY to our current location in Runnemede, NJ. But our long-term goal was to construct a brand-new building to house our headquarters and fulfillment center. This construction is now complete, allowing us to complete this [...]

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Top 10 Weathering Products For Modelling

Using the proper weathering products is the best way to take your modeling projects to the next level. With an added element of realism, weathering is not just for advanced modelers. With the proper direction and products, a modeler of any skill level can turn their model kit into a beautiful, realistic scene.1. Xtreme Metal Color SeriesXtreme Metal is a new, [...]

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Top 7 Glues for Scale Modelling

The supply we modelers go through the most is plastic glue. Used at every point of each project, glue is not only the top selling item throughout the hobby industry, but something that each modeler finds a passionate preference for. Many have their preferred brands or types, while others aren’t quite sure where to start. The glue you choose should [...]

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How to Clean an Airbrush Properly

Cleaning your airbrush properly after each use is crucial to maintaining an efficient, operating airbrush. Purchasing a quality airbrush is often an expensive investment, and the best way to protect that investment is to do a quick cleaning to take good care of the airbrush by following these steps:1. Loosen the airbrush’s needle chucking nut2. Pull back the needle slightly to [...]

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Customer Builds: Brad Hair and Brian Gentry

This week's customer builds come from Brad Hair and Brian Gentry.Brad built Atlantis' Flash Gordon with a modified helmet. Build on a BHP vacuform rocket ship base, he airbrushed the figure with acrylics and inks to get this beautiful finish.Brian built this 1957 Chevy using an AMT Body, Revell's Bob Glidden Thunderbird chassis, and scratch [...]

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The German Blücher and the Battle of Drøbak Sound

Per the Treaty of Versailles, Germany was limited in the number of battleships and cruisers that they could have in their military after World War I – and those they were allowed had significant restrictions with regards to their size, strength and capabilities. But after the rise of the Nazi Party in the mid-1930s and the formal rejection of the [...]

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​The Sullivan Brothers and the Mark They Left on the US Navy

On January 3, 1942, five Iowan brothers enlisted in the United States Navy: George, Frank, Joe, Matt and Al Sullivan. With seven years separating their age, the brothers stipulated to the Navy that they be allowed to serve together, despite the Navy’s policy of separating family members that enlisted. The five brothers were assigned to the USS Juneau, a light [...]

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