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Not everyone wants another Yamato: A rant


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I want to preface this by saying I have a LARGE number of IJN subjects in my stash. I have at least one example of every WII-era BB outside of Yamashiro, and one example of EVERY destroyer class that was completed. I like the unique and often artistic design of Japanese warships. Still, I'm really sick of having few decent examples of USN or British warships available in plastic. This rant is triggered more form the news that we're getting another 194-something Kongo class, updated with slightly modified bridge platforms and AA guns, or you know, stuff we do with styrene.

 

Yes. IJN subjects are popular, especially when you consider that MOST ship modelers are in Asia. Still, why don't we have one good CV-6 in plastic? Where are the USN heavy cruisers (outside of the Indy) in 1/350 done with some level of accuracy? Outside of DML offerings, there aren't really any USN destroyers that are worth buying unless you want a fight on your hands. Most ship modelers I've spoken to in person don't want a Fuso from March of 1943. We want something a bit different. Where's our Jutland-era German and British warships? HOW is it we don't have an HMAS Sydney or even an updated WWII Iowa class?

 

Oh wait... because what the ship modeling world needs is another Yamato. Retooled again.

 

Thankfully, Trumpeter is released the HMS Belfast and the Colorado (and hopefully Tennessee) class battleships. Blue Ridge is releasing a VERY reasonable line of resin USN battleships and Samek is doing the same. Hopefully, Dragon starts to trickle out some more ship subjects. I can't imagine building a Sims from a Gleaves would be too difficult. Heck, imagine a Dragon 1/350 Fletcher. I'd buy like five of them.

 

Anyway, in summation, enough with the date specific Japanese subjects, Arizonas, and Bismarcks. Let's have something different, please.

 

 

/rant.

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And the crowd said "AMEN!"

 

I agree about Tigers and Panthers or any other German subject in 1/72 scale armor. It's the same story; there's so many more WWII Allied and modern subjects just screaming to be done in injection molded plastic yet the model companies constantly release yet another German vehicle!

 

Okay, that was slightly off topic, To get back on topic; I'd love to see some more modern Italian ships in 1/500, 1/600 or 1/700 scale. Ships like the missile cruiser Vittorio Veneto and the Italian aircraft carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi. They are such beautiful ships and yet nobody does them. Then there's the Russian Kashin, Kresta and other 70's-era missile ships that were the mainstays of the Soviet fleet in the heyday of the Cold War, yet nobody does any of them.

 

Good Rant Chris! I agree wholeheartedly!

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I'm not big cruiser guy but if there was a kit of this one I might have to get it.

CA 132 USS Macon

Edited by sumterIII
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I would love that but my love would hate me for the price... lol :smiley24:

Still if they would cover more WW I or pre WW I that would be great. There must be more models of Sherman tanks and P-51's out there than was ever built in 1/1 scale. So we are not alone in the over marketing of a subject. :Smile_sceptic:

Edited by sumterIII
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Arthur, you gotta learn to sweet talk your lady. Take her out to dinner. Go see a movie that makes your insides turn out. It'll earn you a Merit 1/200 USS Hornet + eventual Nautilus Enterprise conversion set for Christmas. :smiley16:

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I'd prefer a 1/350 CV-6, but I don't think it's going to happen until we have EVERY SINGLE CONFIGURATION of the Yamato, Musashi, and every other IJN BB.

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I'd say Trumpeter, seeing as they've got the 1/700 Colorado molds, but I've been underwhelmed with EVERY 1/350 release they've had. My 1/350 Indy for my IPMS review is sitting at the apartment office, so we'll see what I think about that one.

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I think everyone but Tiger tank modelers scream this exact same rant across virtually all genres; "Why did they make the umpteenth model of (insert common subject here) yet not make one decent kit of the (insert an obscure or your favored subject here)?

 

My favorite warship model from my past was a USN Destroyer USS Ramsey. For some reason, I loved that kit. I need to find one again and relive that old build.

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I think everyone but Tiger tank modelers scream this exact same rant across virtually all genres; "Why did they make the umpteenth model of (insert common subject here) yet not make one decent kit of the (insert an obscure or your favored subject here)?

 

My favorite warship model from my past was a USN Destroyer USS Ramsey. For some reason, I loved that kit. I need to find one again and relive that old build.

 

 

I think you have hit the nail on the head with that one. We don't need another 57 Chevy/32 Ford. Nor do we need the super-dooper new Bf 109. Who wants a next Sherman? These are all kits that we just keep buying over and over and the manufactures keep making a new one because we do. There is just no way to stop this nonsense because if we quit buying those models the manufactures tell us that there isn't enough money in what ever we want because the bread an butter sellers like a Yamato or 57 Chevy aren't bringing in the basic bucks they need. So with this conundrum I guess we will just what we get and be happy when something comes out that we want.

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It's nice to see other genre's suffering, as we in the a/c community have made similar complaints for decades! :smiley2: Of course, with us, it's the plethora of Bf-109s, Mustangs, and Spitfires that dominate the kit market.

 

Oddly enough, the bottom line for model companies is profit. Always has been, always will be! Long, long ago, a kit manufacturer at an IPMS symposium readily admitted that the major manufacturers would rather have 10% of the most popular model business (Bf-109, Tiger tank, Corvette Stingray, or Yamato; for example) than 100% of the market of the esoteric subject market! Also, from a marketing standpoint (where someone puts the company money on the line in the future), retooling or releasing something known to be popular is safe, as in safe for the company, and just as importantly safe job-wise for the marketing people!

 

As a modeler who's watched this debate for the last 40+ years, my advice is to be patient and be very hopeful! If you didn't model during the oil crisis of the 70's and the absolute dearth of releases in the 80's, you can't have the perspective that we long-in-tooth builders have! In those days we were sure the demise of the hobby as we knew it was close, and probably wouldn't see the new century! Yet here we are.......

 

I can tell you that you are building in the GOLDEN age of plastic modeling! Yes, there will ALWAYS be a plethora of Yamatos, and getting something a bit more esoteric will test your patience. If you have no patience, or like converting and scratchbuilding, and love the smell of resin in the morning; then have at that project you just have to have now! However, as a guy with a stash full of vacs and resin kits that have been eclipsed by styrene releases over the last 10-15 years, I can attest that if you WAIT, it will probably come!

 

There are more new kit companies in the last 10 years than in the previous 40 years! If a Wing Nut Wings can spring up and fill a WWI void, then who's to say who will spring up in the next 10 years to fill the plastic void in non-Japanese sea power? You may never get the exact kit you want, in the scale you want, with all of the details you feel are absolutely necessary. If you fall into that side of the camp, seek other means to build what you want as soon as you can. I can attest to the personal satisfaction I have for many aircraft subjects that have been released in the last decade when I can say "I've had that on my shelf for the last 5yrs, and don't need to buy the new one". But, there's plenty of other things to build in the meantime IF you can play the waiting game. And in that meantime, look on the bright side at just how many NEW models ARE being released! Cheers!

 

Gil :smiley16:

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I agree with the bottom line comment. In the armor world, for years we were screaming for a new M41 Walker Bulldog. It was one of Tamiya's more popular kits because it looked like a prototypical post war American tank, was dirt cheap (under $10) and readily available. To make an accurate model, it took literally $100 worth of aftermarket tracks, suspension, photo etch, aluminum barrel, resin mantlet and a lot of cutting and puttying even if you could find all the pieces parts.

 

Then in 2002, both Skybow and AFV Club released excellent models of the M41A3 Walker Bulldog. Skybow promptly went out of business and AFV Club's kit sat on shelves. Both kits were hard to find, rather expensive, more complex and the old Tamiya M41 still outsells them to this day. It probably costs Tamiya pennies to pop out the kit and it still retails for around $15. It is one of the best starter kits for kids to begin armor modeling.

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I think there is a move in the model ship world for plainer is better. Tamiya is releasing a 1/700 Sims-class that's utterly devoid of detail. Note, however, the dimensions of the ship are excellent. They even cambered the deck! There is little to no detail, though. Hatches are plain rectangles, and assembled, the damn thing could be mistaken for a 70's kit! My 1/350 Trumpeter Indianapolis is made in much the same way. It FITS better than most Trumpeter kits, but detail is rather sparse.

 

Thing is, I'd rather have a well build kit over one with tons of small bits that I'd have to sand off to get proper fit. With the Trumpeter kit, MOST of it will go together like a layer cake. Areas requiring filling will be easer, seeing as I don't have to work around super detail hatches and hose reels. I'll add these with cheap photo etch. (It does exist.)

 

I'm -happy- with all the recent additions to the model ship world. I'm still sore that we do not have a good CV-6 in 1/350. I also cannot believe that there is not a single newer 1/350 Iowa, or heck, a TEXAS. Thing is, the primary market for my chosen niche is not the US. Most people who build floaty things live in Japan or Korea. I doubt many Japanese people want to even think about the hurt the Enterprise dropped on their fleets, let alone build her.

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I think you're selling them short. After all, how many American modelers do you know who's collections are NOT complete without the Akagi and Yamato, or the Japanese cruisers that tore us up at Guadelcanal? It's a matter of modeling history, which is what we all have in common. I completely agree that they would prefer and lean towards their own national subjects (as we do), but also believe they'd welcome newer, better American ships with open arms and wallets!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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I do want an Akagi, in 1/700. I'm going to do it up in a diorama with little 1/700 scale Dauntless bombers and 1000 lb bombs. One will be impacting her meatball.

 

Guadalcanal is actually a HUGE source of models for me. I have built the Quincy, Monssen, Laffey, and have most of the others in my stash. I fully intend on doing a 1942 USS Washington firing a broadside at the Kirishima.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I would love to see more 1/700 WWI dreadnaughts in plastic. Combrig has the market cornered in resin. There is something beautiful about the uncluttered deck of a British ship of the line.

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AGREED, Kenny. I'd love to see a Fujimi or some other high detail manufacturer make an Iron Duke or Tiger.

I'd love a plastic Agincourt.

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Scratch building separates the modelers from the kit bashes. A good CV-6? How about any example of a CV-5? Had to mod and scratch build one from a Tamiya CV-8. Still waiting for a CV-7! Hard to scratch build that one. Not a huge resin fan.

Edited by Gromit801
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I am an admitted model assembler, Jim. I don't have the time for a full scratch, and being two years in the hobby, the skill...

 

Now, I AM going to take the step of "kit bashing" an IHP Lexington battlecruiser hull into a "speculative" 1945 ship with similar superstructure modificatons made to the WeeVee. If THAT is successful, I may try my hand at scratching. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am an admitted model assembler, Jim. I don't have the time for a full scratch, and being two years in the hobby, the skill...

 

Now, I AM going to take the step of "kit bashing" an IHP Lexington battlecruiser hull into a "speculative" 1945 ship with similar superstructure modificatons made to the WeeVee. If THAT is successful, I may try my hand at scratching. :)

 

I want to see that Lex!

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One day, Mark. The IHP hull is based on the plans for a 1920's "as built" Lexington. In order to bring her up to a speculative modern design, she's need torpedo bulges (Milliput + Styrene,) a new superstructure, and fully upgraded secondary guns.

 

I THINK I could pull it off using either my old Trumpter South Dakota or a highly modified older 1/700 Iowa class kit. I'm not sure how I'd display her. I'm leaning toward showing her in a similar camouflage scheme as the USS Missouri, escorting a carrier.

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Do you plan to retain the cage foremast or replace with a tri-pod?

I assume you will do away with the aft mast and replace that with a fire control station or something along those lines i.e. USS Penn 1945.

Or you could do something like an IJN Tone with aircraft on aft deck. Just a thought....

Edited by sumterIII
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