Archive for November, 2010

Maisto Tailwinds Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vb

Name: Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vb
Series:  Fresh Metal Tailwinds
Scale: 1:87
Company: Maisto

Price: Rs 199

I was first introduced to the Spitfire via some comics about the Battle of Britain and more specifically, piloted by ‘Killer’ Kane. I’ve been looking to add the Hawker Hurricane or the Supermarine Spitfire to the collection (I’m also on the lookout for the DeHavilland Mosquito)

From Wikipedia:

The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft used by the Royal Air Force and many other Allied countries throughout the Second World War. The Spitfire continued to be used into the 1950s both as a front line fighter and in secondary roles. It was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft and was the only Allied fighter in production throughout the war.

The Spitfire was designed as a short-range high-performance interceptor aircraft by R. J. Mitchell, chief designer at Supermarine Aviation Works (since 1928 a subsidiary of Vickers-Armstrongs). Mitchell continued to refine the design until his death from cancer in 1937, whereupon his colleague Joseph Smith became chief designer. The Spitfire’s elliptical wing had a thin cross-section, allowing a higher top speed than several contemporary fighters, including the Hawker Hurricane. Speed was seen as essential to carry out the mission of home defence against enemy bombers.

On to the plane!

supermarine spitfire

spitfire front

spitfire side

Spitfire top front view

spitfire top back view

The Spitfire’s wheels don’t rotate so no scooting around for this guy. While the camouflage details are good, the underbelly has little to no details. Given its size, that’s expected. Even though the underbelly has wheel wells, the landing gear itself is not retractable.

Take off! or landing?

The Tailwinds series comes with a small plastic stand to show the aircraft airborne. The stand also features the name of the aircraft.

spitfire on stand

spitfire stand side view

spitfire on stand - back view




Wheelie (Legend Class ROTF)

Wheelie - 3 side view

The latest in my legend class transformer collection is Wheelie… hated by many, he has somehow wormed his way into my heart!

Wheelie alt mode Sitting

Wheelie never really wanted to be a Decepticon. It’s just that, when people start yelling at him, he tends to do whatever they say. He’s easily startled, and simple to scare. His tiny size makes him an ideal spy, and even though he doesn’t like or agree with the Decepticons, they scare him so much he doesn’t know what to do except obey.

Wheelie Robot and Alt comparison

Though Wheelie is an RC monster truck and in legend form stands 3″ tall and has a hinged head and neck, balljointed elbows and swivel/hinge hips. He has a small Autobot logo on his chest

Wheelie’s conversion is a bit more complex than usual for a figure this small: tuck the head back down, rotate the heels and push them together, fold the legs up, pull down the shoulders and twist the arms away under the body. In the film, Wheelie was an R/C truck – a modified Ford F-350 with all kinds of extra nerdy add-ons. The toy is obviously genericized, so Hasbro didn’t have to pay any licensing rights 😉

1940 Ford Woodie

Designer: Ford Motor Company
Born: 1940
Birthplace: Dearborn, Michigan, USA
Manufactuer: Hot Wheels

1940 Ford Woodie

A woodie is a car body style, especially a station wagon, where the rear bodywork is constructed of wood framework with infill panels of wood orpainted metal.
After the demise of actual wood construction,manufacturers recalled wood construction with applied, simulated woodgrain, sometimes augmented with three-dimensional, simulated framework.

The 1940 Ford Woodie boasts of fat fenders, ablown V8 engine in chrome protruding out, and a“wooden” body. This surfer favorite will make you “beach your heart out.”

Transformers Powermaster Ironhide

Name: Ironhide
Series: Transformers Powermaster
Company: Hasbro


I’m not sure when or where this was added to the toy box, but quite recently, I wanted to compare it to one of the current transformers so I dug deep and found the long missing Powermaster Ironhide.

Alt Mode

Powermaster Ironhide

Ironhide side view

Ironhide front and back

Ironhide top and bottom view

The Powermaster Ironhide is one of those pull-back and it scoots off cars (or hummer in this case). The gimmick of the powermaster line-up (or at least for this one) is that if the weapons are taken off the top of the vehicle, the vehicle does not move forward if pulled back. The weapons need to be inserted into the top of the alt mode to make it go forward. The colours are good, though the fluorescent green windows look odd.


Transformation is way simple, even when compared to most Legend class of today.

Robot Mode

Ironhide bot mode guns

You feeling lucky, punk?

Ironhide bot mode guns

Ironhide face-off

The only articulation that Ironhide has is thanks to the transformation joints. The same ‘weapons in pegs to get him moving’ applies to this mode as well, and he doesn’t really have feet, just the back half of the vehicle. He can hold the guns in his hands or in the pegs.

In conclusion, Ironhide was pretty impressive for his day, but seems highly dated compared to what comes out today.


Model: 1967 Pontiac Firebird 400
Birth: GM
Manufacturer: Hotwheels
Scale: 1/64
Price: Rs 89
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 PACKAGE
The Pontiac Firebird was built by the Pontiac division of General Motors between 1967 and 2002. The Firebird was introduced the same year as its platform-sharing cousin, the Chevrolet Camaro. The vehicles were, for the most part, powered by various V8 engines

1967 Pontiac Firebird Coke Bottle styling
The first generation Firebirds had a characteristic Coke bottle styling. [a term used to describe any automotive body styling bearing an overall body shape resembling the classic glass Coca-Cola soft drink’s contour bottle design. It is a style of automobile bodies with outward curving fenders with a narrow center in contrast to “straight-edge” designs
1967 Pontiac Firebird LIGHTS
Unlike its cousin, the Chevrolet Camaro, its bumpers were integrated into the design of the front end and its rear “slit” taillights were inspired by the Pontiac GTO.

1967 Pontiac Firebird SIDE
This is a 1/64 scale model of the ’67 Pontiac Firebird. The ’67 Pontiac Firebird 400 casting was based on the actual production model. . With a hood-mounted tachometer, hood scoops, bucket seats, and dual exhaust, this muscle car was made to flex its strength in a street race.
1967 Pontiac Firebird Stylized

The fiery red paint, white stripe on the side, silver trip details and white rims on the wheels make the Firebird a head spinner

Transformers ROTF Deluxe Sideswipe

Name: Sideswipe
Series: Transformers ROTF (Deluxe class)
Company: Hasbro
Price: Rs 499

The year was 2009, and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was just out in theaters (or was it already out of theaters). It was an innocent walk down Hill Road, Bandra when I spotted the first of the ROTF toys in the stores. The last transformer I had seen was Powermaster Ironhide (who will feature here later) and to be honest, even what was called ‘the legend class’ seemed much more impressive than good ol’Ironhide. After a few Legends and Scouts, I took the plunge and bought the more expensive Deluxe class, so the companion pieces were Deluxe Sideswipe and Sideways. Up today, is Sideswipe:

Alt mode

Side view of Sideswipe

Front and Back view of Sideswipe

Sideswipe - three quarters elevated view

Sideswipe: Top and bottom view

Sideswipe is a sleek, silver Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Concept car. The wheels roll and the doors don’t open. The alt mode actually looks pretty good, though there are some downers.

1. Robot parts hang a bit under an already low slung car. Keep off rough surfaces (which you would do anyways to the real car)

2. Panels take a bit of adjusting to keep the gaps small. Minor aligning issues with the front grille and headlamps part.

Overall a good car mode.


Since this was one of my first deluxe class cars, I found it tough to begin with (along with the constant worry that I might break something with the snapping) but as it stands right now, the transformation is easy to do. Takes practice I guess.

Sideswipe: Mid-transformation bird mode

Somewhere in the middle of the transformation sequence, you can get the elusive ‘Bird’ mode to match his chicken legs.

Robot mode

Sideswipe: bot mode - Front

Sideswipe: back and side

At first glance, Sideswipe has a very impressive bot mode. Hell, he looks impressive on second and third glance too. However, for me, all that impression faded away and was replaced with minor frustration when I tried to make him stand. He just refuses to do so, thanks to the design of his legs. Its a pain to get him to stand, and a bigger pain if you decided to pose him in any other pose than standing straight. Once you get him to stand though, he’s more or less stable enough to manage minor shakes.

Sideswipe: Lightpiping 1

Sideswipe: Lightpiping 2

Sideswipe and Sideways introduced me to the concept of light piping, a seemingly simple trick to use ambient / focused light to make transformer eyes glow. While Sideswipe does have light piping, its rendered pretty inert thanks to the big ‘backpack’ he carries. You really need to have light right there between his head and his backpack to get it to work.

And action!

Sideswipe: Skidding after Sideways

Skidding after Sideways: Just like the movie, but as far as his articulation will take him



Sideswipe kneeling
Will you…



Sideswipe: Wolverine style

Ready to be sliced and diced, bub?


In conclusion, Sideswipe has a great car mode, and a good looking bot mode that’s marred by his ‘takes ages to get standing’ feet. Looks cool though

MINI Cooper

Front and Back view - MINI Cooper - Maisto

Mini (styled as MINI) is a British automotive brand specialised in small cars owned by the BMW Group. Mini originated as one specific vehicle, a small car originally known as the Morris Mini-Minor, launched by the British Motor Corporation in 1959, and developed into a brand encompassing a range of small cars.  The original is considered a British icon of the 1960s and influenced a generation of car-makers. The vehicle is in some ways considered the British equivalent to its German contemporary, the Volkswagen Beetle, which enjoyed similar popularity in North America. In 1999 the Mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th Century, behind the Ford Model T.

MINI Cooper - Maisto

The styling of the car, like that of the Volkswagen’s New Beetle, is a retro design that is deliberately reminiscent of the original Mini. The retro styling is further enhanced by retaining other classic Mini touches such as contrasting roof colours, optional bonnet stripes, optional rally lights, and black trim around the wheel arches and rocker panels that mimic the wide wheel flares found on many classic Minis.

Door Detail - MINI Cooper - Maisto