Last couple of years there is a tendency going, for every airplane model released – we get couple of armor models. They get more complicated and more diverse, and not only, but the companies that produce them multiply as well. Being and airplane modeler, I wondered for a long time what is happening, and why we get so many tanks. Why are they so improved, why are they now full with interior and there are finishing products oriented mainly to armor modeling.
When I started modeling armor, there were DML /aka Dragon/, Tamiya and Trumpeter. Well, there were others of course, Tristar for example or Revell and Italeri /kinda../, but the main players were the first three. Now…Meng, Takom, Bronco, MiniArt, RFM, Tiger… And I still missed the reason why.
Picture is taken from World of Tanks site
On the other hand, I have noted the expansion, nope, correction – the enormous expansion of MMO games worldwide, getting millions of fans every year, and among those there were some of my friends, who started noting the tanks I was building. Like: “Oh, Ferdinand, this is cool!” or “..this Tiger is probably the best tank ever!”.
What? How the hell do you know about this stuff guys? People are more tech oriented nowadays, they know about smartphones, 3D Tvs, PC vs Mac but not tanks? Well, gaming. That was the answer.
Gaming is a huge industry, being popular among kids 11 or 12 years old, up until grown man /and woman/ 50+ or even over 60! And then I got the answer noting Italeri line from World of Tanks. I started asking around, discovering that pretty much all the guys I know are playing, or at some point have played World of Tanks. I missed that, since I am Mortal Kombat/Street Fighter fanatic, missing all the new mainstream games, except for the sequels of those two, or some old Arcade games from time to time.
Picture is taken from Armored Warfare site
So as every game, World Of Tanks gathered devoted fans, and they eventually started learning history. They became educated in armor, what tank is good at what and so on. Not only that, but we all know that merchandise is a huge part of the business when it comes down to movies or games. And the best replica of a tank you can get is not a die-cast or one-piece molded toy, but a scale model. Hence, those WoT fans got themselves into our hobby. Either buying built tanks, or using help from modelers they know, or even starting modeling themselves! And the great demand for new and various kits boosted companies interested in making more and diverse products. Of course, a lot of die-hard players of tank games would love to have their favorite vehicle sitting by the monitor with its nasty, dirty look. Like World of Warcraft gamers have their heroes 7 inch tall made from plastic guarding the keyboard.
Picture is taken from World Of Tanks Site
On the other hand we know, that this takes time, skills, experience… And most of those guys are lacking it. But they get built kits from friends or online stores. However, same goes for modelers : started to ask around about games, I found out that pretty much most of the devoted plastic fans are playing those games. I remember one phrase specifically: “I had health troubles entering the army at young age, what is my other chance of being close to this thing if not models and games?”. Very true. And this came from a guy in late 40s who spend a fortune buying state of the art computer to play Armored Warfare – something like WoT but with modern vehicles. But this guy, he is not only a game fan. He is one of the best modelers of armor that I came to know. And very knowledgeable.
So there you go with the puzzle completed. World of Tanks – dealing with WWI and up until 50s tanks, and Armored Warfare, the newcomer satisfying the needs of the modern-era fans. With all the new stuff like M1, Leopard 2, Challenger or T-90. And we have models covering all this, with many new ones on the way. Tricky, ain’t it?
Picture is taken from Armored Warfare site
So there is the connection between the boom of scale models, armor fans and the reason why every airplane model created, equals 3 or more tanks being introduced by the companies. It’s all good. No, actually it is great!
Fans of games have …games. A whole universe! Fans of models have their unstopping flow of new toolings and now, both communities can work together! I am pretty sure that very soon we will see a special section at competitions selected for gamers, or if not only, at least games and movies. Remember “The Beast of War”, “Fury”, “Lebannon”?
Yeah, by the way Italeri just announced Sherman tank from the movie…
Check out those two games’ beautifully done websites: