Sprue Cutters Union #19 – Black Friday


The Combat Workshop‘s “Sprue Cutters Union” is akin to a group build, only with blog posts instead of builds. Every week, a new topic will be tossed out, and participating blogs will each write their own post on that topic.

This week’s topic:

What did you score this Black Friday weekend?

The last two years, I’ve gone a bit nuts with the Black Friday thing, more or less by milking Squadron’s crazy-time sales for all they’re worth.

This year, I won’t be playing that game. If you look at Squadron’s site, a lot of what I would call the “high-demand” kits are either out of stock or suspiciously pricey (Tamiya’s Corsair is excellent, but if you pay $200 for it you’re an idiot). I still think they got burned pretty bad by their Black Friday sale in 2011, which led to some tightening of the terms in 2012. This year it almost feels like they’re trying to move as much stuff with 20-40% off pre-Black Friday sales as they can. But honestly, outside of kits, I find Squadron’s selection rather poor and pricey.

But…there’s another reason I won’t be partaking. I’ve done plenty of pre-Black Friday damage! So instead of a rundown of BF scores, here’s a look at my haul over the past few weeks…

Disclaimer: I have been selling off major portions of my stash as I 1) transition into 1/32 and 2) admit to myself that certain kits will just never be built, so this is a lot more me “adjusting my portfolio” than just plowing money. Well, mostly.

1/32 Trumpeter Messerschmitt Me 262A-2a

I already have Trumpeter’s 262A-1a and B-1a, so of course, when I come across a scheme that I just absolutely have to do like right now, it’d be the one variant I don’t have.

Squadron: $77.99 / I paid: $50

1/32 Hasegawa Messerschmitt Bf 109K-4 (Revell boxing)

I’ve wanted Messerschmitt’s ultimate 109 for some time now…the K has some great lines and some fantastic late-war scheme options. I’ve had a saved search on eBay forever, and a few weeks ago finally snagged one at an excellent price.

Squadron: $69.99 (K-4 not listed, based off other late variants) / I paid: $32

1/32 Hobby Boss Il-2 Sturmovik on skis


I’m not a huge fan of the Il-2. Not enough, at any rate, to pay the $143.99 that Squadron is asking for Hobby Boss’ Il-2 lineup. But when I saw one flying way under the radar on eBay, I leapt. The possibilities for a winter vignette…

Squadron: $143.99 / I paid: $20.50

1/32 Hasegawa P-47M Thunderbolt

I’ve become open to the possibility that I was perhaps too hard on Hasegawa’s 1/32 Jug…so a desultory search on eBay turned up this elusive P-47M. At $75, it’s not really a savings over Squadron’s price of the -D model, but the M is its own thing. I already know exactly which aircraft I’ll be doing, and it’ll be interesting to try to pull off the nose art as a mask.

Squadron: $74.99 / I Paid: $75

1/32 Hasegawa P-47D Thunderbolt


Most times, when I see a kit flying way under its natural price on eBay, I’ll place a snipe on it just in case, but as the auction hits the last 12 hours or so I’m usually booted as the bids rise. That’s exactly what I expected to happen when I saw this P-47 bidding at $30. But…I ended up winning it.

Squadron: $74.99 / I Paid: $32

1/32 Trumpeter AD-4 Skyraider

I recently got a serious bug regarding the AD-4 Skyraider. I want to build this kit RIGHT NOW and will probably break into it over the Thanksgiving break, other kits be damned. But being a new kit, discounts and steals are few and far between. Squadron actually had the cheapest price, but living in Texas I’d be staring down not only shipping, but sales tax. So going with free shipping via eBay actually worked out somewhat better.

Squadron: $87.99 / I Paid: $93

1/32 Trumpeter MiG-23MLD Flogger-K


The MiG-23 Flogger isn’t my favorite Soviet aircraft, BUT it has three things going for it. First, it’s by all accounts a great kit – one of Trumpeter’s very vest. Second, it wore reliably awesome camoflage schemes. And third, weathering possibilities abound. Basically, it permits a build with serious character. Particularly when you find one for HALF of what Squadron is charging.

Squardon: $153.99 / I Paid: $74.99

1/35 Meng Renault FT Light Tank

With one tank, whether they know it or not, Meng is blowing the whole WWI armor market wide open. After years of suffering crappy Emhar kits, we’re about to get flooded with top-of-the-line Great War iron. But to me, the Renault is the high water mark. This is the tank the American Expeditionary Force used. The tank Patton used to train his tankers at Bourg, and the tank Eisenhower used at Camp Colt. How could I resist?

Squadron: $70 / I Paid: $38

1/24 Trumpeter Messerschmitt Bf 109G-10


It’s hard to pass up the allure of a bigger Messerschmitt, especially when you can get your hands on for for an entirely reasonable trade (Trumpeter TBF-1C Avenger).

Squadron: $122.99 / I Paid: Nothing – traded Trumpeter TBF-1C Avenger

So that’s my, uh, “preemptive” Black Friday. What’s everyone else scoring this year?

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Shayne says:

    Wow that is a few purchases….some good pick ups there.

  2. Eric Bergerud says:

    Your comments about sales might be right: Sprue Brothers, Dragon and Squadron were offering some very tempting deals two years ago. They’re still there, but it’s a good idea to know how much things cost. (I check Scale Hobbyist because they normally offer the lowest standard prices.) But Squadron had a 1/35 Cyber Hobby Tiger II listed for $17 – like an idiot I didn’t want to be late to Mass (of all places) and when I came back it was gone. The Hasegawa 10 week sale provided major steals in PE ($8 for their Mikasa Upgrade Basic; $6 total for three separate 1/700 Kongo PE sets and $18 for a 1/700 Haruna to go with them).

    Because my stash is much too big, purchases of kits have gone down in favor of ever more paints, fluids and gadgets.But, the stash is like a collection and as far as collecting things go, it’s not that expensive. (I feel like Silas Marner fondling his gold when looking at my pile of kits – neurotic no doubt, but harmless.) And one good thing about buying bargains (like $12 for a DML PKW IVD on Ebay) is that my family will get most of it back if they need to liquidate my “estate.” So, when Sprue was offering a CyberHobby Jagdpanzer IV with DS tracks (I like those for anything with skirts or big fenders) for $19 I scored it.

    My holiday scores therefore have been few and really determined by things that I fancied. I don’t see myself ever going to 1/32 for WWII fighters. Actually kind of the opposite. I’m now building Revell’s splendid (no joke) 1/48 Ju-52 and it’s whopping big. I feel vindicated in picking up some four engined kits in 1/72 including the Academy B-17C (lovely lines – it’ll go to Fleet Air Arm), Italeri’s very nice Sunderland and Sprue’s $21 Minicraft B-24. Armor was simple. The Renault FT was one of the kits I asked for in the FS poll earlier in the year and got one of the first Mengs and really like the looks of it. I’m going to build a Cromwell for the Normandy GB at Finescale, but the FT will be next in the plane-tank-ship cycle. (My other wishes were for a modern 1/48 B-17 and a 1/350 CV6 Enterprise – the lack of which is the biggest scandal in the modeling world. I was not planning on the new 1/32 B-17,relased which would nearly filly my backyard. Rumor is about on Model Warship that one of the Asian makers is going to hatch a CV6 – in 1/200. Yikes. But Trumpie absolutely must bring out a 1/350 WWI Queen Elizabeth or Warspite as they both WWII versions in 1/350 and 1/700 renditions of the more elegant WWI ships.) Went to Japan to get a 1914 version of the Rolls Royce Armored Car by Roden. The 1920 version is widely available but that actually an interwar and early WWII weapon of no importance. The 1914 is much better – wish it was by Tamiya, but you can’t miss with a TE Lawrence Rolls. For the same GB I was going to convert a DML Laffey into one of the DDs that supported Overlord and some kind soul on Model Warship sold me a new 1945 Buchanan (a proper Gleaves class) so now I’ll be good to go for any of the DDs throwing shells point blank (at receiving them back) at German beach defenses at Utah and Omaha. Haven’t decided on the plane yet: might do a Tamiya 47 Razorback with invasion stripes or the Revell/Hasegawa Spitfire IX and throw in the Minicraft 1/48 Piper Cub used to spot for naval artillery and one of the most deadly weapons in Normandy until St. Lo.

    Sprue is having daily specials this season again. I’ll probably get stung.

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