I posted a plea for help locating an obscure model on the Lead Adventure Forum, and thought I'd copy it up on the blog too, in the off chance that a kind soul might see it here. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Hey LAF,I have rather odd request. I've been doing some google-fu detective work trying to hunt down a particular, illusive model in 1/144th scale - a French ARL-44. (https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&ie=UTF8&prev=_t&rurl=translate.google.co.uk&sl=ja&tl=en&u=http://www.geocities.jp/nokaze36/sub0144.html&usg=ALkJrhjB7sGt8zExcekdlplmcvlE97nI4g)I understand that a Japanese company called "Fairy Planning" or "Fairy Kikaku" produces a very nice kit, however I have been unsuccessful in tracking down anywhere that sells them.This site (http://henk.fox3000.com/fairey.htm) leads me to belive that 'Fairy Planning' might only sell within Japan itself, but I can't be sure of this.So, I was wondering if there was anyone in our little LAF community that might be able to help me out?If they do only sell within Japan, might anyone act as a middleman for me? or could someone who speaks the language pass on any details about the company that I've missed?Failing all that, does anyone know anywhere else that makes a ARL-44 kit in 1/144th?Thanks for any help,MM.
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What is an "ARL-44"? and why would you go to such bother to try and get one? I hear you ask.
The ARL-44 was France's first indigenous heavy tank design following their occupation by Nazi Germany.
It was designed in secret during the occupation by a group of bravely defiant engineers, with the idea that once France had been liberated they would need modern and powerful weapons to take the fight back to the enemy.
Due to this wholly unique development cycle, the tank turned out as the strange lovechild of a Char B and a Royal Tiger - taking the obsolete suspension from the former and the turret and armour configuration of the latter.
Arriving too late to contribute to the downfall of the Nazis, the ARL served in the postwar French military throughout the dawn of the Cold War -serving alongside a colourful mix of Panther and Sherman tanks and American armoured cars.
22-03-2015 Update: I have contacted the good folks at HobbyLink Japan, and they have since added this exact kit to their catalogue. Go them.