trumpeter ah-64 apache dn models scale model masks

Trumpeter AH-64 Apache

Over the years, Trumpeter/Hobbyboss duo have proven multiple times, that they are a mixed bag of goods as a company. Although they have more hits than misses, their ‘weak’ releases were sometimes beyond mediocre, which left us with bitter taste. Their hits on the other hand, all were accepted with a grain of salt at first, but then they stayed firm on their ground. Kits like their Intruder, Flanker and Avenger in 32nd scale, Aardvark, Thunderchief in 48th and even some of their trucks in 35th are memorable releases. On the other hand, their Flooger line was an absolute disaster, all together with their Fishbeds and unfortunately the list does not stop there.

One of their soon-to-be-released new tools is going to be #05114 – Trumpeter AH-64 Apache. This, by itself might’ve been a decision contemplated over the years that finally found its way to their catalogue. But we are guessing. The thing is, it will appear in a very very bad time. As once Arnold Schwarzenegger said: “Now is a good time to run for president”, when competition was Clinton vs Trump. Well, with the Apache from three other very serious players, now, dear fellow modelers – is a very bad time for Trumpeter to run in that race.

Let’s start with Academy. They announced their Apache quite some time ago and they definitely know what they are doing. With their Phantom release more than a decade ago, they made a kit that Zoukei-Mura, MENG and Tamiya are having trouble de-throning even to this day. Besides, Academy are well known for their helicopter lines and their 2019 AH-1Z Viper was a clear statement of what they are capable of. Now, with the 35th scale Venom pending release any day, the Apache we expect from them will be nothing short of the kit we all want. Maybe even a serious competitor to the latest releases mentioned below.

trumpeter ah-64 apache dn models scale model masks

Speaking of, MENG just released their vision of what 21st century AH-64 kit should look like. Surprisingly though, the kit has some flaws and unexpectedly – it is inferior to TAKOM’s release. Well packed, with clear instructions and great plastic materials, the tooling is lacking some sophistication here and there, with some even more serious flaws on the clear parts. Did they rushed to take it out quickly or it was something that they neglected – we might never know.

TAKOM on the other hand, produced a kit that took everbody by surprise. Their armor line is good, but it is considered simplistic and not overly accurate by many. Their Apache however, is a completely different thing. It is very sophisticated, finely detailed, cleverly thought through kit, that thus far have no competition in its real meaning. That is something new, considering MENG is in the game, and of course we are waiting on Academy to show their thing, but still, we have to give it to TAKOM.

trumpeter ah-64 apache dn models scale model masks

First of the many options that TAKOM gave us thus far

Now here we should make a full circle and return to Trumpeter. How can they possibly come up with something that will be even considered as a purchase when compared to the abovementioned? Detail-wise, they will definitely be inferior to MENG and TAKOM, because the latter have put a lot in their releases. Open panels, engine details, variations of all sorts. Accuracy-wise, if Trumpi is somehow geometrically better than these two, still we have Academy coming and they won’t drop that ball most likely. The latter is a subject of an argument, considering their A-10 kit, but its geometrical flaws are in one section mostly. But in the end, what do we get to see? If Trumpeter are not perfectly adequate to the real thing, both geometrically, panel- and rivet-wise, they probably don’t stand a chance.

Because let’s face it – they have many other chances that they missed. A perfectly good example is their Chinese variation of twin-seater MiG-21, which they recently released in 48th scale. And the kit, even though it has tons of potential – being a popular trainer in Asia and some small countries – was the same miss as their MiG-21UB. What they did is just to repeat the same mistake. They never re-tooled, never improved any section, they just took what they had and shaved it here and there to put another kit in their line. And as much as we hope they won’t do that with any future release, it still happens.

trumpeter ah-64 apache dn models scale model masks

Interesting and very different perspective of MiG-21 variants, which Chinese model maker failed to represent properly

Trumpeter AH-64 Apache in 35th scale might be the same case. It won’t be an old kit released with the same ‘ol errors, but even with their best attempt at this new tooling, we thing that it barely stand a chance of serious survival. Academy, MENG and TAKOM are … good. Very good. And they pay more attention to detail than Trumpeter, that is certain. So no matter how high expectations might be for this next release, until we see a proof to the contrary – we shall remain sceptical.