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LATEST NEWS at Rare-Plane Detective


As usual the Rare-Plane Detective crew is hard a work spelunking their way through mountains of cool new old stock! We have a little bit of everything, cars, armor, aircraft, ships, aftermarket, figures, sci-fi, and decals! Stay tuned for these additions to hit the catalog and website over the coming months!

As 2023 quickly winds down, we reflect on the past year, and are grateful for all of our great friends and customers, and your support of our small Mom & Pop Model Shop! The Rare-Plane Detective family wish you and those you hold dear to your heart a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and PEACEFUL HOLIDAY SEASON!

For Delivery in time for Christmas:

DECEMBER 18 is the last day for USPS or UPS Ground Shipping!

Posted 10/23/23
November 5, 2023
10am - 1pm
Come and browse through the new shopping area, take a pic in front of our Box Art Wall. There are Order Discounts based on your total, Doorbuster Kits, and even some 'Free to a Good Home' modeling magazines! Check out the shelves for Aircraft, Armor, Cars, Ships and Sci-Fi... we hope you find something you just can't live without!

Order Discounts:

$5 off your order of $30 or more
$15 off your order of $75 or more
$35 off your order of $150 or more
Valid on regular priced merchandise in store only, 11/5/23.

Posted 9/21/23

WE'RE MOVING! ... Don't worry, it's only around the corner!
We are moving in stages so we can continue to service our customers with little interruption. Website inventory will be the last to move (still have a month at that warehouse location) so we are still taking orders, processing and shipping in our usual 1-2 day turnaround. The greatest impact will be to those local customers who drop by to shop the storefront. We are estimating a new storefront will be open for walk-in business after Oct. 3rd. The move consolidates our current two warehouse system into one larger warehouse!

Catalog subscribers: The September catalog is being finalized and should mail shortly. We are hard at work setting up to ship catalog orders from the new location!

Any questions, feel free to give us a call at 760.832.6213 or email:
[email protected]

68805 Perez Rd. #E1
Cathedral City, CA 92234

Posted 5/16/23:

June 17, 10am - 1pm
Rare-Plane Detective Warehouse

If you're in the area of Palm Springs stop by the warehouse for loads of savings on decades of model kits, aftermarket and decals! We have books on sale, door buster kits, decals and so much more!

CARS, CARS, CARS!! Rare-Plane Detective POP-UP EVENT
May 7th 10am - 1pm
La Quinta Inn & Suites Buena Park
3 Centerpointe Dr.
La Palma, CA 90623

We purchased a LARGE (OVER 1000 piece) car collection. We put the vast majority of the car models into our Rare-Plane Detective inventory. But there was still OVER 600 items left, that are outside our regular inventory. Our CARS! CARS! CARS! event will feature Die Cast (including Danbury Mint and Franklin Mint), Distressed and Junkyard Model Kits, Resin Conversion Bodies, Toys and Banks, 1/64Die Cast (like Hot Wheels & Johnny Lightning) Dealer Promos and much more! We also decided to include hundreds of train items as well, that we have collected over years of kit collection purchases.

All items will be VERY reasonably priced at 10AM when we open. And then, the prices will be reduced to 25% OFF, 50% OFF and 75% OFF during the sale. When sales slow at the price point (approximately every 45 minutes), we will close the room to rearrange and then re-open at the new reduced discount. There will be no holding of items from one discount period to another.

This event will be a great opportunity for vendors and retailers to add the car or train inventory. All shoppers are being informed that we are offering the entire car or train collections (or both) to any vendor/retailer who wants to buy them. This is a great opportunity for a savvy retailer to make some bucks! Once an offer is made that we will accept (and we are not trying to get rich with these items so we will be VERY reasonable), all other customer sales will be stopped in consideration of the collection purchasers. Shoppers can talk to the new owners (hopefully you), at that point.



Posted 2/9/2023

Many of the new features take advantage of the latest in site technology for an even more secure shopping experience, especially for customers using mobile devices. There is the addition of ApplePay as a payment option.

New Main Menu: When you cursor over a category (ex. Model Kits) it will automatically show all the subcategories under Model Kits for a one-click link to that subcategory page with all items in that subcategory.

New Inventory Slide Show: You can find the new inventory items just added to the website in scrolling feature on the home page. Click on the item for more detail or to place in your shopping cart.

Page Filters: Each product page has filters so you adjust how you'd like to see the products listed; by title, manufacturer, new items, price and how many products you'd like to see on a page.

Account Set-Up: a secure account will provide faster shopping as you input your information only once and will not need to fill out all fields with every order. You have an encrypted password that only you can access. The account will list your order history, provide tracking numbers for orders and more. You can log in to your account here at the top right corner of the site:

You are not required to register for an account, you can submit an order as a one-time guest. The above features are not available as a guest check-out.

Enlarged Search Feature: Looking for a specific item? Simply type in a word or a few, or even item number and search will provide a list of each items that meet your search criteria.

Electronic Payment Options: We still accept all major credit cards, PayPal, PayPal Express and have added for mobile purchases, Venmo (via PayPal) and coming soon - ApplePay!


Posted 1/30/2023

After absorbing postal rate increases over the last five years we have come to the point where we must increase our rates in order to bring you models at affordable prices. We still use flat rate shipping no matter where you live in the U.S. rather than actual weight. International shipping has seen the largest increase in prices by carriers and we have increased our "shipping deposit" for international customers. We will continue to review each international order and determine if shipping requires a refund or added funds based on final order. We would rather give a refund than ask for additional funds to cover actual shipping costs.

As many of you know, in 2019 shipping carriers changed how they determine package shipping for large, lightweight packages (model kits) based on size and not actual weight called dimensional shipping. This impacted our business significantly as models are light but can fill up some big boxes! Since models are lighter, carriers use a formula based on size rather than actual weight. If a box is over 1 cubic foot, they charge exponentially as if the package weighed more rather than the actual weight of the package.

Our goal is always to bring affordable models kits and accessories to the modeling community and hopefully some childhood memories too!

We appreciate you spending your hobby dollars with us and hope you will continue to turn to us for affordable modeling. GET MORE HOBBY FOR YOUR MONEY!



A Look at Planet Models

Posted 10/7/20

The majority of Rare-Plane Detective inventory is produced using injection molded polystyrene, however we do come across highly detailed, limited run resin casted model kits.
Planet Models is one of many resin model kit companies and falls under the Special Hobby/CMK company.

The process of limited run resin casting provides a highly detailed model but also adds many man-hours to the process for each model. If lucky you can yield up to 40 pieces. Many of the these companies broadened the subject matter over the years. Yes, the cost is higher for resin casted models, but if you're looking for detail and advanced modeling techniques, resin may be for you.
Special Hobby has employed more modern technology over the years using 3D design and CNC milling equipment to ensure continuity in their molds and products.

We are featuring Planet Models/Special Hobby
R3D-1/2 U.S. Navy & U.S. Marine Transport
. The R3D-1 is the Naval designation of what began as the civil short-haul aircraft, DC-5. Design began in 1938 and when war broke out during some design modifications and the ill-fated DC-5 was cancelled. Douglas produced just 12 of the DC-5s and W.E. Boeing purchased the prototype for his personal use and the remaining units were donated to the Navy.

KLM purchased four aircraft and operated in the Dutch East Indies. After the Japanese invasion, 3 of the aircraft were sent to Australia and served RAAF and USAAF, designated C-110E. Both U.S. Navy and U.S. Marines ordered a few more aircraft and were designated R3D-1 and R3D-2 respectively.

Wingspan: 23.77 m
Length: 18.96 m
Range: 2,570 km

The model kit contains resin aircraft parts, vacuform canopies and reinforced undercarriage legs. Kit weighs in at 0.5026 kg. Markings include: USN R3D-1, BuNo 1902 and BuNo 1902, NAS Anacostia; USM R3D-2, BuNo 1905; VMJ-152, BuNo 1907 and VMJ-252 Otis, BuNo 1905.

POSTED 10/31/19:
MPC - A Golden Opportunity!

Model Products Corporation (MPC) entered the model kit business producing car kits in the early 1960s. MPC’s first issue - 1964 Corvette Stingray coupe! They ventured into aircraft in the mid 1960s in a licensing agreement to rebox Airfix for the U.S market under the “Airfix Craftmaster� name. In 1968 they discontinued the Airfix Craftmaster name and established MPC still using the Airfix molds until 1978.

Beginning in the late 1960s and into the 1970s most MPC red/blue kits came with "wild customizing" decals and/or chrome-plated and unique interlocking display stand. It was the sign of the times.

In the early 1980s, MPC’s parent company, General Mills purchased Airfix and once again, the MPC name appeared on model kits. During these years, marketing promotions were used… remember the “Golden Opportunity Kits?� How many of you collected the “Golden Tokens� on the box for free kits? For 10 tokens you could get a Sea Knight or Corsair, Ajax Destroyer or figures. Collect up to 30 tokens for a big 747, Destroyer or 1:25 scale car. MPC 2.0 only lasted four years until ERTL purchased all MPC assets, around 1985. During this time, ERTL also acquired AMT and eventually ERTL with all its acquired assets was folded into TOMY. Take a trip down memory lane with some our MPC kits.

Airfix Craftmaster 1413
Airfix Craftmaster #1413 F-4B Phantom II, U.S.S. Forrestal

MPC Liberator
MPC #1502 B-24J Liberator

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