Is there a source besides EBAY that might have any of these old
vintage kits? I'm looking for the old Arfix/MPC kits in HO scale with
the vacuform bases. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!
I loved the MPC Historama kits, and have re-collected all of them - I
had to find mine on Ebay, so I'm sorry I don't have better advice for
the original poster. When I got back into the hobby as an adult, the
MPC Guadalcanal set with the M3 Lee and Japanese Infantry was one of
the first things I tracked down. There was also a series that was
done and sold by Airfix, which predated the MPC sets - but used the
same formula of vacuform base, armor or aircraft model, and a set of
MPC of course eventually did the giant size sets - Tank Battle at
Alamein, Commandos Strike at Dawn, and two different Normandy sets.
These had multiple vehicles, larger vac bases, and buildings/
emplacements in some cases ("Waterloo Farmhouse" serving as a Normandy
ESCI and Hasegawa both also dabbled in this formula - the Hasegawa
WWII dioramas were excellent, and the ESCI sets fetch some of the
highest prices on Ebay, due their relative scarcity.
Bless 'em all, they were a ton of fun and play value for a kid, and
we'll probably not see their like again.
he MPC sets - but used the
There was also a series done by (of all manufacturers!!!) Tonka, the
toy truck concern. I saw a few, a Wright Flyer diorama, a Spirit of
St. Louis and a 1850s railroad diorama, the last od which I have.
These were larger scale, maybe 1:72, although that Pioneer locomotive
appears to be 1:48. I'm not sure offhand which other dioramas were
offered, but I do know that they're were maybe ten in all.
I think my local shop may have had one of those old sets, but I have
not been there since before Christmas.
I remember having a couple of those sets, one was a Pearl Harbor
attack with a Zero model, US soldiers and the dio base had a crashed
US plane. Another one was Normandy with a pill box and either a
Sherman or panzer (prob Tiger). It may have had both tanks, not sure.
Balloon Buster!! That set actually had the Spad - the Camel was in
the Red Baron set, which also included the Fokker Tripe.
Here's great Airfix site with pictures of the original, Airfix-brand
sets. These are different subjects than the MPC Historama series, but
same concept. Excellent Airfix figure reference site.
Pictures of all the MPC sets (and a ton of other cool stuff) towards
the bottom here:
They weren't all that hot of kits; the vacuform base was pretty flimsy,
and when they did things like that coast artillery battery, the detail
on it wasn't up to their kits by a long shot.
The German Secret Strongpoint on the other hand had a injection molded
base, and with some work could probably be turned into a pretty nifty
ROCO (the "Minitanks" company) did some basic injection molded diorama
bases also, IIRC.