ZSU-23 Shilka – Meng, Hong, whatever…

The same way BMPT was announced couple of years ago, featuring few competing companies working on the same subject during the same time, and the same way things are happening last year or so in the modeling world, we got the news about that kit on the market.

First, unknown company from China /what else!?/, called Hong Model ,dropped the bomb on the news market, announcing that new tooling of ZSU-23 will be released any minute now. Complicated, sophisticated, stunning looking model was shown on pictures, with turret interior parts, with very neat gun barrels, highly detailed radar, and somewhat movable looking tracks.
It was a definite hit, a lot a people started talking about it, waiting impatiently for it to appear on the shelves and to find out what the price will be.
The box looks nice on those pictures, instruction sheet /color schemes shown only/ too, and the detail of the shown model is stunning. Pretty strange for a first kit of a well unknown company, stepping into very fierce and competitive modeling scene.

Less than a month after, Meng Model announced that they will be releasing the same thing. This is not new, since we saw that same stunt /stupid or genius, still not clear/ with the Scud, Achzarit and BMPT.
Obviously, BMPT released from Meng killed the Trumpeter one, but Trumpi responded quickly – killing Meng’s Scud with theirs. Well, in the end, eventually modelers win. But still, that is not 100% sure.
So now, in the beginning of November, we have ZSU-23 Shilka, pending release from two companies, looking stunningly close in the pictures provided by both – Hong released pictures, Meng tried to be more clever and put out a video in youtube.

It is very interesting, is this a marketing trick – offering us pretty much the same product, making a false competition, or this is a ridiculous race between modeling manufacturers.
Maybe the guys who does the projects on the computer software sell their work to many companies and let them do whatever they will with this stuff, or maybe this is a trick for us modelers to buy more or at least some of these, based on the idea that it is ‘better than the other company’ or ‘I have the one with the more detail’.
Whatever the case is, I personally am past the point where I was thinking that this helps, but rather I think that we are being misled by tips and tricks learned in the books of the business school.
I have nothing against having new companies out there, nor having them release more and more different subjects, but this is already too much.
Most likely I will get one of those ZSU-23s. And more importantly, I won’t look and compare what’s in the other box. However it got me thinking. Why are the copy themselves. It is boring, and it is confusing. Let’s hope it’s not on purpose. Although few things aren’t nowadays.