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Sunday, 8 May 2011

New Ray vs Forces of Valor Blackhawk comparison

I bought a very nice Forces of Valor diecast Blackhawk in 1/48 scale for £50 (US$80) a few months ago.

I think there was a metal, more detailed one (the one I have) and a plastic one with less detail in the 'Bravo Team' range, which I've never actually seen and may not have been available in the UK.

The Blackhawk comes with a choice of weapon and drop tank loads and a choice of the short or extended load carrying side 'wings'. It also features a nice clear plastic 'flying' stand that is very easy to detach but supports the model securely once in place.

The Blackhawk shown with MoFo 28mm US Delta Special Forces. The model also features crew and door gunners, sliding side doors and opening engine covers, but I'd avoid fiddling about with these too much as they could get damaged with continual opening and closing.

The Forces of Valor Blackhawk is considerably bigger than the New Ray 'Sky Pilot' range Blackhawk. Either one works fine with the more 'realistic' 28mm miniatures such as MoFo or Empress, but the FoV version would be better for 'heroic' miniatures such as Devil Dog, TAG and Britannia.

A downside of the FoV model is that two of the rotor blades have to be clipped in to the rotor hub but aren't that easy to remove, and I'd be worried about breaking them. The New Ray model has a very good system where one set of blades can be pulled up on a spring loaded shaft and rotated to lie parallel with the other pair of blades, making storage far easier.

For some reason my New Ray casevac Blackhawk didn't come with a 'flying' stand but my 'standard' Blackhawk did, as did my New Ray Apache. Both New Ray stands were made of black plastic and featured the name of the chopper in white writing. I'd prefer a clear stand, but it's good to have a stand included anyway.

Overall, the FoV model is great for the sheer 'shock and awe' factor of such a large, detailed model, but at less than half the price, more robust and easier to store I'd definitely consider the New Ray models for wargaming.


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