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What happened to Hasegawa?


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Granted I just started really paying attention only  in 2019 after barely paying attention for probably 7-10 years.  But what happened to Hasegawa?  Looking at some things on ScaleMates and a few posts, seems like they aren't releasing anything new.  Saw a lot of New Boxes or New Decals in the past few years.

 

Always liked building their stuff. (2 - Spits, 2 P-47s and a Hawker Typhoon).  For the most part, their engineering was pretty decent, not Tamiya or Eduard quality, but other than a few minor issues nothing major.

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This has been discussed on here before. Hasegawa has a large home market which isn't as interested in the same things as the European market and if you have a limited new tool budget, it is going to get spent on stuff that are assured sellers. 

The Japanese kit  market has lots of stuff that rarely appears in Europe. I would love to wonder around one of the large Japanese hobby stores to see what they have, although it ain't going to happen. 

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I started building kits in 79, from the mid 80’s on Hasegawa was synonymous with excellent quality. They maintained that until I left the hobby in 2005. I came back early in 2015 and have built several of their kits since coming back. Folgore, P-51, P-47, Skyhawk, two Harrier’s, F-18, and three F-4 phantoms ... well two the third wound up being a disaster. Of the kits I built only the thunderbolt Folgore, Skyhawk, and standard phantoms went ok. The two harriers, hornet, and mustang were all nightmares. Ive decided that from now on will only be certain kits. Sadly I need to still build one more Harrier so(shudders at the thought). 

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If you look at their postings on forthcoming releases, one will see lots of non-aircraft subjects.  Gundam, Science Fiction, Aliens, Human Figures, and I think they even once released School Desks and Chairs.  Maybe cars and motor bikes too.  Few if any of these would appeal to UK retailers and surely not Britmodeller followers!

 

So one could say that they have 'moved away' from aircraft to other subjects which they feel have greater (home) appeal.  The only new aircraft subjects are those serving or due to serve with the Japanese armed forces.  However having re-tooled an Emily I am still hoping for a new G4M1 Betty.  Tooling very much of its era, while their G4M2 shows what could be achieved.  Plenty of 'hardware' in Japan.  Or maybe the new Emily didn't sell?

 

Moreover several items in their range, which others might have tooled eg Skyraider are still 'unchallenged'.  Similarly it is unlikely that anyone will produce a new tool F11-F Tiger.  On Japanese subjects, apart from the Zero which no self-respecting manufacturer fails to tool, there have been few other 'challenges' to their range.  Airfix Kate, Cyberhobby Val and that's about it.  In all fairness it should be mentioned that 'their' Kate is ex Mania, as are Lily and a few others.  Hard to see Airfix tooling an Oscar, or Revell Germany a Jack.  So in fact they have a comfortable monopoly until public tastes revert to what they were a generation of so ago. 

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3 hours ago, Denford said:

Hard to see Airfix tooling an Oscar.

I didn't expect them to do a Kate, but the did and in my view it's the best available in the world.  If they sell presumably there will be more. If they don't  .  .  .

I agree Hasagawa have gone off the boil as far as aircraft go.  Their recent Emily was a notable exception, but too expensive to be big seller in my view.  Does it matter though?  There are plenty of newer manufacturers who now produce better kits than Hasegawa.

 

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3 hours ago, Denford said:

If you look at their postings on forthcoming releases, one will see lots of non-aircraft subjects.  Gundam, Science Fiction, Aliens, Human Figures, and I think they even once released School Desks and Chairs.  Maybe cars and motor bikes too.  Few if any of these would appeal to UK retailers and surely not Britmodeller followers!

 

So in other words, nothing important being produced by them anymore! 🤣  I know I know..............the world also has modelers besides us Aircraft guys.  It's all good.......shame though, I enjoyed several of their kits over the years.  

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5 hours ago, 3DStewart said:

I didn't expect them to do a Kate, but the did and in my view it's the best available in the world.  If they sell presumably there will be more. If they don't  .  .  
 

It's my opinion that the decision to tool a Kate had the added motivation of completing the Pearl Harbour 'set'.

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3 hours ago, Denford said:

It's my opinion that the decision to tool a Kate had the added motivation of completing the Pearl Harbour 'set'.

 

But no sign of a new Airfix Judy yet.  Interestingly, that's one subject Hasegawa also never did in 1:72.

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Not relevant to completing a "Pearl Harbour" set, or indeed anything before Midway, and only just then.  Similarly Airfix didn't do a whole list of Japanese types, of which perhaps the Oscar is the most obvious gap.  I think that the main reason is that the British market is just not informed about nor interested in Japanese subjects.  Not a lot of Italian, French, or even Russian in the range, either.

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I've always been surprised about the lack of Italian types in Airfix's range, given that the UK did a lot of fighting against them in the Med, North Africa, Sicily and even BoB and so a lot of the 50s and 60s generation would have had a personal connection with them.  Maybe the perceived feebleness of the Italian forces made them unpopular subjects?

The one Japanese omission that still continues is the absence of any main-stream kit of the Betty. I am astonished that Hasegawa never did one of these. It would be like Airfix not kitting a Lancaster!

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On 10/23/2020 at 10:56 PM, Graham Boak said:

Not relevant to completing a "Pearl Harbour" set, or indeed anything before Midway, and only just then.  Similarly Airfix didn't do a whole list of Japanese types, of which perhaps the Oscar is the most obvious gap.  I think that the main reason is that the British market is just not informed about nor interested in Japanese subjects.  Not a lot of Italian, French, or even Russian in the range, either.

 

You're quite right. I was thinking of the Val but typed Kate!

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36 minutes ago, 3DStewart said:

The one Japanese omission that still continues is the absence of any main-stream kit of the Betty. I am astonished that Hasegawa never did one of these. It would be like Airfix not kitting a Lancaster!

Surely you meant to type in another subject - perhaps Sally?  Hasegawa have already tooled both G4M1 and G4M2.

The difficulty with Sally is the dearth of reliable data.  An 'early war' type there's virtually nothing left of them.  'Pacific Wrecks' has only almost unrecognisable wreckage - perhaps not surprising as there was little IJA involvement there, not to mention its replacement buy 'Helen' Just possibly werckage might be found in SE Asia (Burma, Malaya, Thailand) but in what condition?

 

I have a  much treasured (and unbuilt) Sally, currently going for around £150 on e bay.  Mine was issued under the Revell label (original source unclear) and some say it is 1/75 not 1/72.  At one time there was a rumour that the ship transporting the moulds sank.

 

Without going even further 'off thread' does anyone have any more information?

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1 hour ago, Denford said:

Surely you meant to type in another subject - perhaps Sally?  Hasegawa have already tooled both G4M1 and G4M2.

Yes, I meant Sally!  I'm really getting my Japanese WWII types muddled on this thread.

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I also have the Revell (ex-Takara) Sally, but hadn't seen any reference to it being 1/75 and have some doubt.  The other kits in the series aren't.  At some stage I'll stick a ruler onto it.  I've been a little wary of kits from this period: the early LS kits were indeed 1/75 but for some reason the Nell was 1/72, which for some reason wasn't spotted at the time.  Which does suggest that the Nell had a very compact fuselage for its abilities.  The Peggy on the other hand was 1/75 so I avoided it: it was much later released as 1/72 and I fell into the trap - it was just a rerelease and wasn't.  The MPM group did a Sally or two some years back but was generally slated as fitting poorly and requiring engines to be assembled from individual cylinders and with separate propeller blades, which some people (perhaps unfamiliar with the limited moulding facilities of the East Europeans that the time) found totally unforgiveable.  However it is disappointing that it didn't appear when Hasegawa did their revamp of Japanese twins.

 

As for missing examples to base a model on: hardly the only subject in that category, and I suspect that there is a (for example) Maru Mechanic on the subject, which will give more information that most model companies ever seem to use for their subjects.  But I don't have it - if it indeed exists.

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I'd love to continue this topic but it's somewhat strayed from 'What happened to Hasegawa', so I'll start a new one under Chat.  Hope that keeps the Moderator happy.

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