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T7 Models

Tamiya. Still worthy?

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I have noticed as a retailer that Tamiya has the most fervent loyalty of any brand in the modelling industry. Much more even than Airfix. Some armour modellers, I've noticed, will not even look at another company's products, and it is remembered by many former modellers as being far superior to anything else back in the 1970s/1980s.

 

Now Tamiya products are market leaders, that much cannot be denied, and even a lot of their older kits are as good as many newer products from its competitors. But it is a much more crowded market now, and the products that the likes of Meng or Takom or Rye Field are developing are as good as or even better and the subject choices available now are widening beyond the fairly narrow field traditionally available. To my eye, of the three Mk.IV Male tanks issued in the last three years, the Tamiya kit is the least best, and while they have only produced the single kit, their competitors have gone on to issue nearly every type of British heavy tank from the Great War between them. Their 1/48 F-14 Tomcat, while receiving praise, does not appear to have been as big a deal as their 1/32 Mosquito or even Academy's 1/48 Phantom, and my distinct impression is that many are waiting for the AMG Tomcat.

 

So, my question to the readership is as follows:

 

Given that Tamiya is now only one of a number of producers of high quality models, and particularly of 1/35 military subjects, is it still worthy of the starry eyed loyalty the name receives? With only six new kits, including one new 1/35 subject (and another being a rebox of an Italeri kit) one 1/48 aircraft, two 1/48 armour subjects and one 1/6 motorcycle, is Tamiya in danger of leaning too heavily on a combination of its name and its past glories, and therefore being left behind?

 

Discuss.

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You might have a point there. With aviation kits, many of the newer manufacturers are producing kits with a lot more detail than Tamiya such as Zvezda and Bobcat (Ex Xuntong) for a fraction of Tamiya's prices. Personally I would rate Eduard better than Tamiya and even Airfix is making a bit of a comeback on the quality front.

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Considering how many years Tamiya have been going, is it inevitable that much newer manufacturers are now stealing some of their thunder?

 

Cheers.

 

Chris. 

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Has to be good news for customers if the new kids on the block are producing to Tamiya standards.  

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I know you're talking about Tamiya, but the same could be said about Airfix - wipe away the nostalgic tears and look objectively at their kits and you'll see they're nothing particularly special with too wide and deep panel lines and a surface devoid of any type of detail - plastic copies of die cast desk top models.

Tamiya kits have always been above most (all) other manufacturers but as some have mentioned new kit companies are rapidly catching up and surpassing them. Inevitable really.

There will always be those who will be loyal to a brand and there will be those who will use them as a reference point.

It is true that they don't seem to be as prolific as they may once gave been, but RC is very big for them and maybe (ever so slowly...) they're moving away from static models into a bigger more popular following?

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20 minutes ago, pinky coffeeboat said:

 

I know you're talking about Tamiya, but the same could be said about Airfix - wipe away the nostalgic tears and look objectively at their kits and you'll see they're nothing particularly special with too wide and deep panel lines and a surface devoid of any type of detail - plastic copies of die cast desk top models.

 

I disagree – at least in as far as the military aviation kits. Since I returned to modelling I haven't have much dealing with Airfix kits, but I have just done their 'Ready for Battle' set and it was excellent; good fit; nice moulding; well engineered and very good detail. Even the instructions were amongst the best I have so far encoundered.

I have heard quite a lot of good things about Airfix's newly tooled stuff and I for one, will definitely be buying more.

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6 minutes ago, Gorbygould said:

I disagree – at least in as far as the military aviation kits. Since I returned to modelling I haven't have much dealing with Airfix kits, but I have just done their 'Ready for Battle' set and it was excellent; good fit; nice moulding; well engineered and very good detail. Even the instructions were amongst the best I have so far encoundered.

I have heard quite a lot of good things about Airfix's newly tooled stuff and I for one, will definitely be buying more.

Airfix have a looooong way to go before they can be considered anywhere near Tamiya quality.

 

I'm not bashing Airfix by any means but if you compare the refinement, fit and finish of the Tamiya F-14 to to one of Airfix's latest releases the difference is glaring. I realise Tamiya are more expensive, so you would expect them to be  better, however, Airfix are not exactly cheap either.

 

I'm no Tamiya fanboy, even they aren't perfect and I buy far more Eduard and Meng than Tamiya, but is it a bad thing that we have so many manufacturers nearing the standard of Tamiya? Surely that can only be a good thing.

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I find it quite interesting what people will forgive with Tamiya ( for example some fairly significant errors in shape with their   Spitfire I and Vb, the shortness of their 1/72 Bf 109, etc) and to some extent, the same with Hasegawa, yet other manufacturers are jumped upon at the slightest error, despite often being cheaper.

 

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Tamiya like Hasegawa tend to look after their molds so the majority of early kits are still very clean and clear of flash and tend to fit exceptionally well, their modern ones are a step above the early ones but again fall together with ease.

I think thats why we tend to compare others by them as they tend set the benchmark

Eduard are very good but some of their early stuff seems to be showing it's age now, the Mirage III in particular has very bad mold slip on nearly all of it's small part sprues, you don't seem to get that with Tamiya.

Also as has been said others are certainly catching up but many can be over engineered and be a nightmare to build.

The F14 could have been better in the cockpit area but thats a small crititism compared to the detail and fit of the rest of the kit imho.

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Am I alone in this? I think I have built one Tamiya kit in my life. I have 3 in the deep stash, and have sold two more.

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15 minutes ago, bentwaters81tfw said:

Am I alone in this? I think I have built one Tamiya kit in my life. I have 3 in the deep stash, and have sold two more.

Wow 

 

So

If you want a  mojo build pick a Tammy

If you want to just relax and stress free build pick a Tammy
Tammy

The Heineken of the modelling world 

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If they made what I want, I might buy more. They don't. Simple.

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Only built the tamiya mossie, but I wouldn't say its streets ahead of airfix, yes the panel detail is softer from tamiya and those who like that sort of thing then I suppose you can say tamiya are much better, but current airfix is pretty close overall. Now eduard yes there streets ahead of airfix and everyone else. 

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2 minutes ago, bentwaters81tfw said:

If they made what I want, I might buy more. They don't. Simple.

Don,t say anything 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, colin said:

Tamiya like Hasegawa tend to look after their molds so the majority of early kits are still very clean and clear of flash

 

 the Mirage III in particular has very bad mold slip on nearly all of it's small part sprues, you don't seem to get that with Tamiya.

.

 

Once again I feel the need to comment  on the issue of the relationship of flash & the age of tools. Basically there is no correlation between the age of tools and their propensity to flash.  Very few mainstream manufacturers tools will suffer from enough wear to be the cause of flash. Obviously tools can be made with materials of differing properties with regard to wear resistance and thus the effect on their longevity  but I think its fairly safe to say most of the major players will utilise top end stuff. To back up my argument let me state that I used to be a shift maintenance engineer in a company who used to produce video & dvd cases & those tools used to produce tens of millions of products with little or no wear.

Flash is mostly a problem of human incompetence. A brand new tool producing flawless products at 1000hrs can be made to produce garbage at 1001hrs by making a minor change to any one of numerous parameters just as a 40 year old tool which is producing garbage can, invariably, be set up to produce good product.

 

Mould slip can be caused by wear but this is wear of the guide pins and/or the guide pockets, not the cavity itself.

 

The moulding machine can also impact on the quality of the product, a mechanically tired press with worn pins and bearings could cause both flash and misalignment, putting a new tool in a knackered m/c is not good practice.

 

Sorry for being so boring but every time I see the 'old tooling = flash' comments I feel slightly miffed,

spad

 

Obviously this probably does not apply to limited run moulds, I have no experience of this branch of moulding so would not presume to pontificate on it.

Edited by spaddad

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Can some one explain why Tammy Hasegawa can produce thousands of kits that fit  when  some companies  have  gaps ?

The gap in fuselage and wing fitting on some kits is beyond a joke 

Sci Fi kits esp some of the AMT Star Trek kits are exercises in filling and sanding 

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56 minutes ago, bentwaters81tfw said:

Am I alone in this? I think I have built one Tamiya kit in my life. I have 3 in the deep stash, and have sold two more.

You are not alone.. i also built exactly 1 Tamiya in my 30 year modelling career with the majority being those hard fitting Revell and Esci kits haha

But now i am mostly looking at my Airfix stash with those new toolings...

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, spaddad said:

 

 

dual post, sorry

Edited by spaddad

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I have built four Tamiya kits in my life, mosquito, Patton tank, Kawasaki GPZ900 and Suzuki 1100 Katana. The price and lack of subjects that caught my interest meant that other companies got most of my money.

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50 minutes ago, spaddad said:

Once again I feel the need to comment  on the issue of the relationship of flash & the age of tools. Basically there is no correlation between the age of tools and their propensity to flash. 

 

thank you, thank you, THANK YOU !I am glad there is at least one other person on this forum who gets it and actually understands what they are talking about rather than spouting misinformation and myths that they have picked up when reading reviews and such from "knowledgeable" people.

 

 

 

 

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42 minutes ago, hendie said:

 

thank you, thank you, THANK YOU !I am glad there is at least one other person on this forum who gets it and actually understands what they are talking about rather than spouting misinformation and myths that they have picked up when reading reviews and such from "knowledgeable" people.

 

 

 

 

 

No worries mate, but you do realise it will make no difference as its such a widely believed piece of BS, but every now and again I feel the need to try, at least now there's 2 of us!!

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2 hours ago, PhantomBigStu said:

Only built the tamiya mossie, but I wouldn't say its streets ahead of airfix, yes the panel detail is softer from tamiya and those who like that sort of thing then I suppose you can say tamiya are much better, but current airfix is pretty close overall. Now eduard yes there streets ahead of airfix and everyone else. 

If you have only built the Tamiya Mosquito, you aren't really in a postition to say Airfix are pretty close, which incidentally, they aren't. 

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39 minutes ago, spaddad said:

No worries mate, but you do realise it will make no difference as its such a widely believed piece of BS, but every now and again I feel the need to try, at least now there's 2 of us!!

 

So very true.    Now we just need to teach them what a sprue actually is

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Posted (edited)

I was first introduced to Tamiya as far back as 1971 and at that point they set the standard. They were streets ahead of other manufacturers at the time. But since then others have caught up and even surpassed them in places. But they still set a high standard. Be honest while Tamiya may not be top of the pile all the time. It's still the benchmark which all others have to match at least.

 

As for me I'm still biased in Tamiya's favour. After 46 years that's natural. Anyone who hasn't built one is missing out, believe me.

Edited by noelh

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I just recently bought my first ever Tamiya Kit, the 1/48 Bristol Beaufighter, after all the years as a kid and recently taken up the hobby again this Kit was like something new to me, never seen as much fine detail and no flash on the model either, you can be rest assured this wont be my last Tamiya aircraft.

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