Enjoy this final article from the May 1983 American Cinematographer – bringing this series of posts to its conclusion. I’ve also included a scan of the full-page ad taken out by Tyler Camera Systems congratulating the crew on its aerial photography work on the film. Will we ever see its like again the digital age..?
Though it is yet to be added to the extensive collection of THE SPECIAL, this first of many Blue Thunder merchandise/kit reviews takes precedent due to the discovery of this impressive Youtube video (top) showcasing an amazing buildup.
Part of the ‘Movie Mecha’ series (including tellycopter rival Airwolf) introduced at the 49th All Japan Model Hobby Show 2009 by Aoshima, this 1/48th scale replica of the Movie version of the helicopter (see original sale sheet/promo 3rd pic) is notable for being released in two versions – the first basic kit in a white box with painted art (below) and a special variant with metal gatling gun, also benefitting from a more attractive blue box with a still from the river chase sequence.
While the kit itself may be disappointingly small in comparison to, say, the vintage Monogram 1/32nd release, it compensates by being arguably be the most accurate tooling of the screen used prop to date – with details such as the video box cables, correct interior with fire extinguisher, oversize monitor at Observer’s station and inclusion of pilot figure. The decal sheet (below) has the correct registration marking and even includes the ‘Big Brother’ tape case –
With its versatile stand and base made for in-flight display, kit builder Chandler2001tokyo went one better and added working rotors, running lights and twitching gatling gun, with switches neatly mounted in the base for the complete Thunder experience in miniature (top). Still available as of this writing on auction sites, go here to see another fantastic finish/review from Germany and here to see the creation of an award-winning example (featuring a doomed barbeque shack diorama!)