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Not everyone wants another Yamato: A rant


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Bro, I'm talking FULL rebuild here. Imagine if the Lexington was looking smart with the other Pearl Harbor battlewagons, say, in board of the Nevada. Being that the Lady Lex is a huge, juicy target, I'd bet some Kates would LOVE to deliver some ordinance right on top of her.

 

Figure she suffered fairly badly and the damage suffered a drastic modernization.

 

 

So, you get this:

Le44c.png

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  • 3 weeks later...

For car modellers As we see another Ferrari, another Porsche 911 derivative, and yet another Lamborghini. YAWN!!!!

The fastest supercar in the world, the Bugatti Veyron has not been kitted yet!

Pocher would have been a lot better to kit this than the Lambo Aventador, and other manufacturers in smaller scales.

The latest Revell GMBH offerings are well up there now with the Jap stuff we all take for granted, and much more competitive on price. Their Audi supercar was superb, if they would only do the Veyron?

I guess that similarly, die hard ship modellers get the same tired old subjects over and over. Some justify a retool of course.

Many of Revell's sailing ship kits have been re popped for 40 or 50 years. But it was nice to see a new kit of the Vasa released a couple of years ago.

Edited by noelsmith
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  • 2 months later...

I disagree with the general premise of the OP: What I really see instead are obscure subjects being well-kitted (because kitted more recently) while famous subjects linger on with old crap kits...

 

The OP completely ignores that obscure subjects have a huge inherent advantage over famous ones: The famous ones will usually be kitted first, therefore they will suffer from usually being the oldest releases around. This is a universally true rule far more impacting those wanting famous kits than those wanting obscure ones... With obscure subjects you either have a recent kit or you don't have anything... Pretty easy and clear-cut...

 

The exceptions to the old crap rule would be cases of unusually good old kits: In aircrafts, this doesn't happen too much, one of the rare exceptions being the Monogram 1/48 B-17G.

 

That famous "overproduced" subjects are not overkitted, at least not to a good quality level, can be best examplified by WWII 1/48th aircrafts:

 

Everyone knows that the Me-109 is overkitted right? Not true in any manner: The G-models represented 70%+ of its 30 000 production, yet the current "state of the art" 1/48 kit is the Hasegawa G, which has just recently hit its quater-century mark: A small number of attempts have been made since, all were very poor.

 

This would not be a problem if the vintage Hasegawa Gustav kit itself was not a joke accuracy-wise, with a cross-section fictional by 10%... This will probably be fixed in a few months by Eduard and Zvezda, but it still took 26 years to produce an up-to-date kit of the most produced and supposedly in-demmand fighter kit of all times... 1/48th WWII aircraft kit releases in recent times have been more along the lines of obscure scout and recon aircrafts...

 

The Spitfire is in exactly the same situation as the Me-109G, with only Airfix and Eduard this year producing accurate up-to -date kits Spitfires (P.R. XIX and Mk IX), despite accurate kits having been expected for decades...

 

The same holds perfectly true for the Yamato: New research had uncovered many new things about this secretive battleship, and the previous Tamiya kit had no hull plating detail of any kind: It would be a crime if the only kits available of this most famous Battleship were the old Tamiya kits and a handful of odd-scale antiques... I would of course rather see that they get old kits right to begin with, so that there would be no need for "updating"... See the 1956(!) release date Revell 1/196 "Constitution" to see what I mean... It shows what was in fact always possible, even with 1950s technology: To produce plastic kits to a level of quality and accuracy that makes most modern kits look like junk...

 

This not being an ideal world, most famous kits get poorly treated in usually less sophisticated times, and it is a good thing we eventually get the badly needed updating, if it is an improvement...

 

The only problem with the new Yamato is that it is just too expensive, to a point which shows that this hobby has become nearly unsustainable: Make no mistakes about it: The Yamato is that expensive because of the expected low sales volume, which has to be made up in unit cost...

 

Ken Lawrence, of Pacific Coast Models, said it best about our so-called "Golden Age": "Internet sales will not generate enough volume to allow investment in new moulds"

 

Please don't mention here prestige internet-only projects like Wingnut Wings or Zoukei-Mura: They avoid brick and mortar shop competition precisely because they are not meant to compete: Think "Citizen Kane": "I'm told our paper loses a million a year. I have a hundred millions: I figure we can go on another hundred years..." There are a few things like that out there, like the "New Yorker" magazine and many flying museums...

 

The real problem is actually that re-doing famous subjects does not happen often enough: Instead of updating horrible old kits, aircrafts makers have chosen to flee into the fantasyland of low-volume high-cost 1/32 (to better match low and lowering Internet volumes), leaving 1/48th in virtual limbo: Number of Hasegawa-Tamiya WWII releases in the past five years: 1...

 

In 1/35th scale WWII armor it is another story: Here there is a real glut of famous kits subjects done to a high standard: And what do we see?: A pretty wide, and widening, selection of lesser-known types... They probably have it best in choice of obscure subjects, and yet don't mind all those overlapping Panthers and Shermans: On the contrary, instead of complaining about those, they routinely combine the best of each kit to improve the final result...

 

Let's have the big subjects at least done right before we complain about them being done too much... And yes there is such a thing as a subject being done right: Just look at the 1956 Revell "Constitution" if you don't believe me...

 

Gaston

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" I disagree with the general premise of the OP: What I really see instead are obscure subjects being well-kitted (because kitted more recently) while famous subjects linger on with old crap kits...

The OP completely ignores that obscure subjects have a huge inherent advantage over famous ones: The famous ones will usually be kitted first, therefore they will suffer from usually being the oldest releases around. This is a universally true rule far more impacting those wanting famous kits than those wanting obscure ones... With obscure subjects you either have a recent kit or you don't have anything... Pretty easy and clear-cut..."

We have had three different Yamato kit issues over the past few years. I'm not terribly upset over the new, retooled 1/350 monstrosity, though, having a 1/450 "cheaper" version, then a 1944 version, then a Yamato with her 6" side guns still installed is a bit much. Whether you believe it or not, Japanese battleships are overproduced (though, considering the majority of ship modelers hail from Asia, I DO understand. You cannot fault my annoyance, though.)

I'm not asking for obscure subjects. The USS Enterprise (CV-6) had a far bigger impact on the war and deserves something other than a completely inaccurate 1/700 ancient kit by Tamiya. I also disagree that "obscure" subjects get more love. We see a multitude of popular Japanese battleships, Iowas, Bismarcks, and other traditional subjects. The USN's "big five" have barely been scratched in styrene, outside of the new Colorado-class, thankfully. The only obscure subjects that seem to get love are old reboxes of "Water Line Series" IJN molds. Honestly, it's been a while since Tamiya/Fujimi/Aoshima/Hasegawa has been anything out, aside from Yamato and maybe some other slightly retooled Japanese dreadnought.

Tamiya's Iowa WWII mold is about as basic, if we want to discuss big subjects that need some more love. I'd comment on their Bismarck, but the Revell version is absolutely fantastic. King George V is also rather.. meh.

My issue is this. These subjects have NEVER received a good plastic release:

  • USS Enterprise (CV-6)
  • HMS Vanguard (Again, ancient mold and utterly inaccurate.)
  • HMS Ark Royal (Old kit is a hot mess)

Tamiya's Fletcher is a decent kit, but has major accuracy issues. Trumpeter's square bridge is only usable with a major resin outfit. On the IJN, where's the Kaga or Soryu in 350? Two of the critical members of Kido Butai are hardly obscure. Nelson? Rodney? Perhaps an accurate Arizona?

I will concede this: Trumpeter, even with their accuracy issues, have made some in roads into a more diverse subject base. The Belfast is a breath of fresh air where little attention was given to the RN in 1/350. Their Indianapolis (and the better Academy kit) are also examples that we're seeing some good options. I'm shocked we're getting a British monitor and even more surprised at the Russian and Japanese pre-dreads that look to be on the horizon. I'm also curious as to what you consider "obscure" in naval modeling.

" Let's have the big subjects at least done right before we complain about them being done too much... And yes there is such a thing as a subject being done right: Just look at the 1956 Revell "Constitution" if you don't believe me..."

I'll concede this. I'll agree with it. A new Yamato was needed, at perhaps a not stratospheric price. We didn't need three, though. Perhaps a retooling of the Kongo into the Kirishima or Hiei would be palatable? Neither was obscure as both were important combatants in the Pacific War and saw far more action than the Yamato. I've resigned myself to the fact that we'll never get a truly good Yorktown-class in traditional styrene. I was interested in the 1/200 scale until I noted the severe accuracy issues it had. Like you said, do it right.

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Talking about "obscure" models; I'd love to see some of the 1960's- and '70's- era Russian ships that never saw any attention. Ships like the Kashin class, Kresta Class, Kinda Class, etc. Then there are the Grisha's and other corvettes as well. I'd especially love to see a Sverdlov class gun cruiser! It would be fantastic being able to expand my Russian Fleet with those ships.

 

Other ships I'd love to see would be some of the modern Italian ships; like the Andria Doria missile destroyers, the Vittorio Venetto helicopter cruiser and the Guisseppi Garibaldi aircraft carrier. Man those would look good on my shelves!

 

I'm even happy to see these all done in 1/700 scale, especially since that is about all I build in ships these days; except in certain circumstances. About 88% of my "fleet" is in 1/700 scale, mostly because of all the Japanese warships I've built.

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We have had three different Yamato kit issues over the past few years. I'm not terribly upset over the new, retooled 1/350 monstrosity, though, having a 1/450 "cheaper" version, then a 1944 version, then a Yamato with her 6" side guns still installed is a bit much. Whether you believe it or not, Japanese battleships are overproduced (though, considering the majority of ship modelers hail from Asia, I DO understand. You cannot fault my annoyance, though.)

I'm not asking for obscure subjects. The USS Enterprise (CV-6) had a far bigger impact on the war and deserves something other than a completely inaccurate 1/700 ancient kit by Tamiya. I also disagree that "obscure" subjects get more love. We see a multitude of popular Japanese battleships, Iowas, Bismarcks, and other traditional subjects. The USN's "big five" have barely been scratched in styrene, outside of the new Colorado-class, thankfully. The only obscure subjects that seem to get love are old reboxes of "Water Line Series" IJN molds. Honestly, it's been a while since Tamiya/Fujimi/Aoshima/Hasegawa has been anything out, aside from Yamato and maybe some other slightly retooled Japanese dreadnought.

Tamiya's Iowa WWII mold is about as basic, if we want to discuss big subjects that need some more love. I'd comment on their Bismarck, but the Revell version is absolutely fantastic. King George V is also rather.. meh.

My issue is this. These subjects have NEVER received a good plastic release:

  • USS Enterprise (CV-6)
  • HMS Vanguard (Again, ancient mold and utterly inaccurate.)
  • HMS Ark Royal (Old kit is a hot mess)

Tamiya's Fletcher is a decent kit, but has major accuracy issues. Trumpeter's square bridge is only usable with a major resin outfit. On the IJN, where's the Kaga or Soryu in 350? Two of the critical members of Kido Butai are hardly obscure. Nelson? Rodney? Perhaps an accurate Arizona?

I will concede this: Trumpeter, even with their accuracy issues, have made some in roads into a more diverse subject base. The Belfast is a breath of fresh air where little attention was given to the RN in 1/350. Their Indianapolis (and the better Academy kit) are also examples that we're seeing some good options. I'm shocked we're getting a British monitor and even more surprised at the Russian and Japanese pre-dreads that look to be on the horizon. I'm also curious as to what you consider "obscure" in naval modeling.

" Let's have the big subjects at least done right before we complain about them being done too much... And yes there is such a thing as a subject being done right: Just look at the 1956 Revell "Constitution" if you don't believe me..."

I'll concede this. I'll agree with it. A new Yamato was needed, at perhaps a not stratospheric price. We didn't need three, though. Perhaps a retooling of the Kongo into the Kirishima or Hiei would be palatable? Neither was obscure as both were important combatants in the Pacific War and saw far more action than the Yamato. I've resigned myself to the fact that we'll never get a truly good Yorktown-class in traditional styrene. I was interested in the 1/200 scale until I noted the severe accuracy issues it had. Like you said, do it right.

 

 

I agree about the lack of a Nelson and Rodney, and about how great it is to get a Monitor type(!): The problem with the Rodney/Nelson however is the same problem that plagues much of what you suggest is missing, which is in large part aircraft carriers: Nelson and Rodney, because of their strange configuration, look about as attractive as oil tankers, and that is even more true of the aircraft carriers...

 

I am sure, without even knowing anything about it, that aircraft carriers are poor sellers compared to battleships.

 

I would not blame manufacturers for not making even the minimal number of famous carrier types, when even Enterprise would lose them money compared to almost any Battleship: I can't blame you for being upset at this either, given their historical significance, except to reassure you that far dumber things (to my eyes) do go on in many other areas of this hobby (I'll mention here brain-dead metal hulls in 1/48th scale tanks, while I am at it...)

 

What make these aesthetic considerations worse is that ships are more of a long term building investment, so it is kind of hard to commit to something essentially unattractive for the long term, while for an aircraft you can sidestep into ugly ones once in a while more easily I guess: Despite this, you will notice few transport aircrafts are ever offered, despite some of those being actually quite attractive...

 

My comments on kit age and "famous vs obscure" are mainly informed by WWII 1/48th aircrafts, where kit maker behaviour seems to me rather more strange and dumb than what I can see in 1/350 ships. Even Hasegawa's Akagi makes sense to me, as its configuration is rather more exposed and interesting, from a modelling point,of view, than most other aircraft carriers... It even looks kind of better than most carriers...

 

To me the 1/450 Yamato is an attempt to re-start another scale (a very pleasing one I think, considering how nicely executed and affordable it is) so it doesn't really qualify to me as over-producing in 1/350...

 

To my mind there is only one 1/350 scale Yamato, Tamiya's new tool, and that doesn't strike me as too many: If anything, I would like to see another one with hull plating detail and a less insane price! There is room for another, cheaper, 1/350 Yamato!

 

I see your point about some ships like the KGV, which does need newer tooling: My comments were more directed at the general idea that famous desirable subjects are overproduced: This is generally completely untrue for aircrafts outside of 1/32 scale, where the choice of subject in that scale is mostly famous because the scale is still essentially re-starting from ten years ago: My point was that most makers in most fields avoid overlapping old kits, even when these old kits are crap, and those crappy old kits are often of famous subjects... New kits of famous subjects are often crap as well, and for some reason I notice obscure subjects getting much luckier, for whatever reason: This makes even less sense, but happens all the time...

 

About US Cruisers and Battleships, you probably have a point as well, but if I can see any reason for this, it is that Axis will usually outsell Allied... On top of that, battleships were more of a Japanese "specialty" in a way that it was not for the US fleet: The "specialty" of the US fleet was its carriers... In addition, compared to oddball pagodas and strange shapes, many WWII-era US ships look (to my eyes) kind of "generic" and less colourful...

 

What I can say is this: What is being made happens to be more in line with what I am attracted to, and for once the makers, market and releases in ships are not something I find quite as nonsensical as elsewhere, except for the dumb hull errors in 1/200 scale...

 

For instance, I would not complain if post WWII ships were absent, even though I would recognize the validity of complaints about it...

 

Gaston

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I can't disagree about post-WWII ships. I just don't find many visually interesting at all, with the exception of the new Arleigh Burkes. Modern ships lack the "busy" look of most WWII (and ever WWI) subjects, and often lack the rather colorful paint jobs many of these ships once sported. There's also less history as none terribly distinguished themselves (thankfully) in a major war.

 

Carriers are an odd subject. Ship guys like myself aren't big on aircraft modeling for some reason. When you built a flat top, well, you build a LOT of small aircraft. Launches, lifeboats, and sub assemblies are enough of a pain. Throw in aircraft, and things get utterly painful. Each plane needs to be considered a kit in of itself, especially in competition. Most guys LOVE carriers, they just find them a pain to build.

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  • 1 month later...

I have 4 / 3D model printers on order so I can produce some masters for Resin kits. I plan to start with KMS Z plan ships in 1/350 scale. The M class cruiser, the SpahKruiser, the O class Armored Cruiser, and the P class Panzershiffe. I am hopeful that there is enough interest in these ships to generate a few sales around the globe. I am currently writing a book about the design history of these ships along with 3D illustrations. I hope to have the book published by July but I am thinking it will be more towards December. I have most of the writing finished, it is just taking me longer on Blender to draw the illustrations. I have thought about just using my 8 foot drafting table and coloring them after I draw them LOL but the blender program is doing well, I just have more to learn about it.

post-2609-0-31149900-1389665467_thumb.jpg

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  • 2 months later...

I agree, we definitely need more 1/700 scale WW2 Destroyers, not just Fletcher class. You cannot find hardly any early war destroyers in 700 scale. I know of one 1/700 scale Tamiya "waterline" series USS Hammann (DD-412). I really want to build a "Coral Sea" diorama with the Lexington (CV-2), the Minneapolis (New Orleans class CA), and the Hammann steaming in formation. The Lex is no issue. Neither is the Minneapolis. The issue is the Sims class destroyer. I really do not want to have to build all three as "waterline" kits just because of the Hammann model.

 

What about a nice styrene model of the Alaska class CB's? I would love a mainstream USS Alaska or USS Guam.

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I'd like to see some WWI cruisers and destroyers. Now those were some interesting looking ships!

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I agree, we definitely need more 1/700 scale WW2 Destroyers, not just Fletcher class. You cannot find hardly any early war destroyers in 700 scale. I know of one 1/700 scale Tamiya "waterline" series USS Hammann (DD-412). I really want to build a "Coral Sea" diorama with the Lexington (CV-2), the Minneapolis (New Orleans class CA), and the Hammann steaming in formation. The Lex is no issue. Neither is the Minneapolis. The issue is the Sims class destroyer. I really do not want to have to build all three as "waterline" kits just because of the Hammann model.

 

What about a nice styrene model of the Alaska class CB's? I would love a mainstream USS Alaska or USS Guam.

 

YES YES YES YES! More plastic USN WW2 destroyers.

 

I uh, bought the old Tamiya Yamato with the Lion Roar set. Is that selling out?

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

i'd like to say two things and they may not fit in but...

i have the 450th musachi it maybe crappy but i wish they had p-e/resin parts to improve it i would like to make it as un crappy as poss.

and point 2

does anyone feel that the 700 scale builders are slowly

being pushed aside for the 350th

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This may have more to do with the fading eyesight in our aging hobby than anything else. OK, maybe profit margins as well.

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1/700 scale is VERY popular in areas with limited shelf space. I think the upswing in 1/350 kits is due to the increasing popularity of the hobby in areas where people are a little more likely to want the bigger items. You have to also consider that a lot of subjects are already covered in 1/700 scale.

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