RE: Trumpeter's kits AREN'T "Tamiya-like" quality

The Modern AFV discussion group is hosted by Erik Gustavsson and covers the variety of AFVs used by all nations in the post WWII era.

RE: Trumpeter's kits AREN'T "Tamiya-like" quality

Andrew Birkbeck
Andrew Birkbeck

December 21st, 2002, 2:14 am #1

Please allow me to give you my modeling background. I build my models for the most part out of the box, with the possible exception of replacing the tracks with after market ones if they exist for the particular model I am building. This way I don’t get bogged down with AMS, and end up building nothing. My goal is always to have fun with my models, while building the finest possible model with what I have to work with, kit wise. Consequently, I take the greatest delight in building Tamiya kits, and have done so since discovering my first Tamiya 1/35th military kit back in 1973. There is no doubt in my mind on this point: for the out of the box modeler, there is no product line of higher quality than Tamiya. With the possible exception of Tamiya’s decals (more on this shortly), EVERYTHING in a 2002 Tamiya armor release is the best there is. The plastic used by Tamiya is of the highest quality, producing crisply molded parts, with zero flash. My solvents that I use to glue my kits together react very well with Tamiya plastic. The parts bond together well, yet you don’t get melted lumps with very small parts, as you do with other firm’s kits.
The engineering of Tamiya kits is nothing short of astounding. The parts fit extremely well with each other, and right angled parts are indeed 90 degrees, rather than partly rounded as with many other firms. Cylindrical parts with the exception of very faint mold lines, are indeed cylindrical, not oval as with many other firms. The two sides of the mold mesh precisely, so that you get nicely molded parts, not ones with “mold slippage”.

And those legendary instructions, the quality of the diagrams are superb. Even the decals, if a little thick sometimes, can be made to work well, with a little care and attention to what you are doing. And if not, they are easily replaced in many cases by Archer dry rub, or photo etched stencils.

It therefore annoys me very much when people out there in cyber land bandy about the words “Tamiya-like quality”. The most recent use of this has been with Trumpeter’s latest releases, such as the Swedish S tanks. Well, as a guy who is actually BUILDING the Swedish S tank from Trumpeter, I can assure you that it ISN’T “Tamiya-like quality”. It IS a nice model, and the detail is pretty good, but Tamiya it is not. The plastic used in the kit is of a lesser quality than Tamiya’s. This is noticeable when you apply solvent to it. There is a fair amount of flash on certain parts. The mold lines are much more prominent than on Tamiya kits, and scraping it off takes up a great deal of time, and leads to misshapen parts in some cases. The cylindrical rods for the flotation system for example, aren’t cylindrical as they come in the kit, they are oval. This because the Trumpeter molds don’t mesh together precisely. The fit of the parts that mount the road wheels to the hull on S-tank aren’t precise, having a lot of “play” in them.

Trumpeter’s instructions, while quite adequate in most areas, simply don’t give you the near fool-proof instructions of a Tamiya kit. They also lack the very nice vehicle history that a Tamiya kit provides you, and the color and marking sections give you zero information on the unit the kit’s decals represent. Perhaps nothing those of you loaded down with book, magazine and photo references already have, but I don’t have a vast library, and I find Tamiya’s potted vehicle and unit histories very useful.

The price on the Trumpeter S-tank her in the USA, where I live, is $25. The recent Tamiya M-26 Pershing which I am nearly through building was about $45. I personally prefer paying the extra, for the extra quality. I know this is a personal choice, and others might disagree, but for an OTB builder like myself, Tamiya’s price is worth every penny of the asking price, and of course you don’t have to pay the asking price if you shop around. You can save up to 25% off the retail price if you shop around.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I am disappointed to be constantly reading about “Tamiya-like quality” kits from firms other than Tamiya, when in fact these kits being “reviewed” aren’t Tamiya quality. I wonder if those doing the reviewing actually build the kits they review, or if they perhaps haven’t built a Tamiya kit in a while. I get the impression many of the reviews are based on quick looks at the parts in the box. Often parts look great on the sprues if you look at them very quickly. It is only when you start assembling them that you find all the faults.

Perhaps other people don’t mind struggling away with misshapen parts, parts that don’t fit correctly with one another. Perhaps this is what “real” modelers crave, a huge challenge. I guess then that would make me an “un-real” modeler, as I like to sail through a model, and save the challenge for the paint scheme I am applying, and the “weathered look” I try to achieve. Or perhaps many modelers just stack kits to the roof, never separating the parts from their sprues, and so never determining via the act of building, that the parts that look “Tamiya-like”, aren’t.

Hope this isn’t too much of a rant.

Cheers,
Andrew in Seattle
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Erik Gustavsson
Erik Gustavsson

December 21st, 2002, 9:17 am #2

That does not detract from the fact that:

1. Trumpeter has improved their quality from "toy like" to something that migh not hold Tamiya quality, but atleast on pair with Italeri and Dragon. (This drastic improvment in quality have without doubt made some reviewers a bit extatic.)

2. Trumpeter has released an impressive range of kits many modellers have dreamed of for a long time. That Strv S you´ve built has only until recently been available as resin kits that have been on the entirely other scale of buildability out of the box than the Tamiya kits. (This is also a fact that might have contributed to the exaggeration.)

So, I am sorry if you are dissapointed in the quality of the Strv 103 kits. I am in the process of building one and I am happy they are available in cheap plastic instead of expensive resin.

Also, my final word would be:
Do try to build something that doesn´t come out of the box almost pre built for a change. It can be quite uplifting knowing that you have finished a hard kit or maybe even scratchbuilt parts for the kit, thus having a model that is not exactly like someone elses model.

best regards
Erik G

PS Atleast the T-55 will be "shake and bake" soon
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Rob Gronovius
Rob Gronovius

December 21st, 2002, 1:40 pm #3

Please allow me to give you my modeling background. I build my models for the most part out of the box, with the possible exception of replacing the tracks with after market ones if they exist for the particular model I am building. This way I don’t get bogged down with AMS, and end up building nothing. My goal is always to have fun with my models, while building the finest possible model with what I have to work with, kit wise. Consequently, I take the greatest delight in building Tamiya kits, and have done so since discovering my first Tamiya 1/35th military kit back in 1973. There is no doubt in my mind on this point: for the out of the box modeler, there is no product line of higher quality than Tamiya. With the possible exception of Tamiya’s decals (more on this shortly), EVERYTHING in a 2002 Tamiya armor release is the best there is. The plastic used by Tamiya is of the highest quality, producing crisply molded parts, with zero flash. My solvents that I use to glue my kits together react very well with Tamiya plastic. The parts bond together well, yet you don’t get melted lumps with very small parts, as you do with other firm’s kits.
The engineering of Tamiya kits is nothing short of astounding. The parts fit extremely well with each other, and right angled parts are indeed 90 degrees, rather than partly rounded as with many other firms. Cylindrical parts with the exception of very faint mold lines, are indeed cylindrical, not oval as with many other firms. The two sides of the mold mesh precisely, so that you get nicely molded parts, not ones with “mold slippage”.

And those legendary instructions, the quality of the diagrams are superb. Even the decals, if a little thick sometimes, can be made to work well, with a little care and attention to what you are doing. And if not, they are easily replaced in many cases by Archer dry rub, or photo etched stencils.

It therefore annoys me very much when people out there in cyber land bandy about the words “Tamiya-like quality”. The most recent use of this has been with Trumpeter’s latest releases, such as the Swedish S tanks. Well, as a guy who is actually BUILDING the Swedish S tank from Trumpeter, I can assure you that it ISN’T “Tamiya-like quality”. It IS a nice model, and the detail is pretty good, but Tamiya it is not. The plastic used in the kit is of a lesser quality than Tamiya’s. This is noticeable when you apply solvent to it. There is a fair amount of flash on certain parts. The mold lines are much more prominent than on Tamiya kits, and scraping it off takes up a great deal of time, and leads to misshapen parts in some cases. The cylindrical rods for the flotation system for example, aren’t cylindrical as they come in the kit, they are oval. This because the Trumpeter molds don’t mesh together precisely. The fit of the parts that mount the road wheels to the hull on S-tank aren’t precise, having a lot of “play” in them.

Trumpeter’s instructions, while quite adequate in most areas, simply don’t give you the near fool-proof instructions of a Tamiya kit. They also lack the very nice vehicle history that a Tamiya kit provides you, and the color and marking sections give you zero information on the unit the kit’s decals represent. Perhaps nothing those of you loaded down with book, magazine and photo references already have, but I don’t have a vast library, and I find Tamiya’s potted vehicle and unit histories very useful.

The price on the Trumpeter S-tank her in the USA, where I live, is $25. The recent Tamiya M-26 Pershing which I am nearly through building was about $45. I personally prefer paying the extra, for the extra quality. I know this is a personal choice, and others might disagree, but for an OTB builder like myself, Tamiya’s price is worth every penny of the asking price, and of course you don’t have to pay the asking price if you shop around. You can save up to 25% off the retail price if you shop around.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I am disappointed to be constantly reading about “Tamiya-like quality” kits from firms other than Tamiya, when in fact these kits being “reviewed” aren’t Tamiya quality. I wonder if those doing the reviewing actually build the kits they review, or if they perhaps haven’t built a Tamiya kit in a while. I get the impression many of the reviews are based on quick looks at the parts in the box. Often parts look great on the sprues if you look at them very quickly. It is only when you start assembling them that you find all the faults.

Perhaps other people don’t mind struggling away with misshapen parts, parts that don’t fit correctly with one another. Perhaps this is what “real” modelers crave, a huge challenge. I guess then that would make me an “un-real” modeler, as I like to sail through a model, and save the challenge for the paint scheme I am applying, and the “weathered look” I try to achieve. Or perhaps many modelers just stack kits to the roof, never separating the parts from their sprues, and so never determining via the act of building, that the parts that look “Tamiya-like”, aren’t.

Hope this isn’t too much of a rant.

Cheers,
Andrew in Seattle
they have come a long way since I first bought a Wasan (Trumpeter in disguise) M60A3 kit about 3 years ago. It looked like a wax copy of a Tamiya kit that was under the heat lamp too long. I keep it as a "buyer beware" reminder.

I've since bought a couple of other Trumpeter kits, but only after seeing reviews from others. I agree that the quality of the Trumpeter kits is not "Tamiya-like", unless you compare it to the old motorized Tamiya kits of the 1970s.

They have given us kits that no one else produced. Additionally, maybe some modelers can afford to pay for Tamiya quality, but in order to get younger builders into the hobby, you have to have affordable entry-level kits on the market. Mom will spend $20 for an M1A1 tank for Junior, she may not spend $36+ on a Tamiya model of the same kit. I doubt many of the younger modelers will care or notice the difference in quality at first.

Just my 2¢.

RobG
owner of only 3 Trumpeter kits and countless Tamiya ones.
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Peter Anderson
Peter Anderson

December 21st, 2002, 2:11 pm #4

Please allow me to give you my modeling background. I build my models for the most part out of the box, with the possible exception of replacing the tracks with after market ones if they exist for the particular model I am building. This way I don’t get bogged down with AMS, and end up building nothing. My goal is always to have fun with my models, while building the finest possible model with what I have to work with, kit wise. Consequently, I take the greatest delight in building Tamiya kits, and have done so since discovering my first Tamiya 1/35th military kit back in 1973. There is no doubt in my mind on this point: for the out of the box modeler, there is no product line of higher quality than Tamiya. With the possible exception of Tamiya’s decals (more on this shortly), EVERYTHING in a 2002 Tamiya armor release is the best there is. The plastic used by Tamiya is of the highest quality, producing crisply molded parts, with zero flash. My solvents that I use to glue my kits together react very well with Tamiya plastic. The parts bond together well, yet you don’t get melted lumps with very small parts, as you do with other firm’s kits.
The engineering of Tamiya kits is nothing short of astounding. The parts fit extremely well with each other, and right angled parts are indeed 90 degrees, rather than partly rounded as with many other firms. Cylindrical parts with the exception of very faint mold lines, are indeed cylindrical, not oval as with many other firms. The two sides of the mold mesh precisely, so that you get nicely molded parts, not ones with “mold slippage”.

And those legendary instructions, the quality of the diagrams are superb. Even the decals, if a little thick sometimes, can be made to work well, with a little care and attention to what you are doing. And if not, they are easily replaced in many cases by Archer dry rub, or photo etched stencils.

It therefore annoys me very much when people out there in cyber land bandy about the words “Tamiya-like quality”. The most recent use of this has been with Trumpeter’s latest releases, such as the Swedish S tanks. Well, as a guy who is actually BUILDING the Swedish S tank from Trumpeter, I can assure you that it ISN’T “Tamiya-like quality”. It IS a nice model, and the detail is pretty good, but Tamiya it is not. The plastic used in the kit is of a lesser quality than Tamiya’s. This is noticeable when you apply solvent to it. There is a fair amount of flash on certain parts. The mold lines are much more prominent than on Tamiya kits, and scraping it off takes up a great deal of time, and leads to misshapen parts in some cases. The cylindrical rods for the flotation system for example, aren’t cylindrical as they come in the kit, they are oval. This because the Trumpeter molds don’t mesh together precisely. The fit of the parts that mount the road wheels to the hull on S-tank aren’t precise, having a lot of “play” in them.

Trumpeter’s instructions, while quite adequate in most areas, simply don’t give you the near fool-proof instructions of a Tamiya kit. They also lack the very nice vehicle history that a Tamiya kit provides you, and the color and marking sections give you zero information on the unit the kit’s decals represent. Perhaps nothing those of you loaded down with book, magazine and photo references already have, but I don’t have a vast library, and I find Tamiya’s potted vehicle and unit histories very useful.

The price on the Trumpeter S-tank her in the USA, where I live, is $25. The recent Tamiya M-26 Pershing which I am nearly through building was about $45. I personally prefer paying the extra, for the extra quality. I know this is a personal choice, and others might disagree, but for an OTB builder like myself, Tamiya’s price is worth every penny of the asking price, and of course you don’t have to pay the asking price if you shop around. You can save up to 25% off the retail price if you shop around.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I am disappointed to be constantly reading about “Tamiya-like quality” kits from firms other than Tamiya, when in fact these kits being “reviewed” aren’t Tamiya quality. I wonder if those doing the reviewing actually build the kits they review, or if they perhaps haven’t built a Tamiya kit in a while. I get the impression many of the reviews are based on quick looks at the parts in the box. Often parts look great on the sprues if you look at them very quickly. It is only when you start assembling them that you find all the faults.

Perhaps other people don’t mind struggling away with misshapen parts, parts that don’t fit correctly with one another. Perhaps this is what “real” modelers crave, a huge challenge. I guess then that would make me an “un-real” modeler, as I like to sail through a model, and save the challenge for the paint scheme I am applying, and the “weathered look” I try to achieve. Or perhaps many modelers just stack kits to the roof, never separating the parts from their sprues, and so never determining via the act of building, that the parts that look “Tamiya-like”, aren’t.

Hope this isn’t too much of a rant.

Cheers,
Andrew in Seattle
I just picked up an S tank yesterday. My first impression when I opened the box and examined the sprues was- "hmm looks pretty nice, nice detail".

I'm going to build it this weekend (if my lovely wife gives me a moment's peace this weekend )

I'll try to post my thoughts as I finish up the kit.

Now- I'm approaching this kit as strictly out of the box- maybe scratch build some accessories or something- but mainly OTB. I'll see how it goes together...

Peter
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Mike Duguay
Mike Duguay

December 21st, 2002, 3:02 pm #5

Please allow me to give you my modeling background. I build my models for the most part out of the box, with the possible exception of replacing the tracks with after market ones if they exist for the particular model I am building. This way I don’t get bogged down with AMS, and end up building nothing. My goal is always to have fun with my models, while building the finest possible model with what I have to work with, kit wise. Consequently, I take the greatest delight in building Tamiya kits, and have done so since discovering my first Tamiya 1/35th military kit back in 1973. There is no doubt in my mind on this point: for the out of the box modeler, there is no product line of higher quality than Tamiya. With the possible exception of Tamiya’s decals (more on this shortly), EVERYTHING in a 2002 Tamiya armor release is the best there is. The plastic used by Tamiya is of the highest quality, producing crisply molded parts, with zero flash. My solvents that I use to glue my kits together react very well with Tamiya plastic. The parts bond together well, yet you don’t get melted lumps with very small parts, as you do with other firm’s kits.
The engineering of Tamiya kits is nothing short of astounding. The parts fit extremely well with each other, and right angled parts are indeed 90 degrees, rather than partly rounded as with many other firms. Cylindrical parts with the exception of very faint mold lines, are indeed cylindrical, not oval as with many other firms. The two sides of the mold mesh precisely, so that you get nicely molded parts, not ones with “mold slippage”.

And those legendary instructions, the quality of the diagrams are superb. Even the decals, if a little thick sometimes, can be made to work well, with a little care and attention to what you are doing. And if not, they are easily replaced in many cases by Archer dry rub, or photo etched stencils.

It therefore annoys me very much when people out there in cyber land bandy about the words “Tamiya-like quality”. The most recent use of this has been with Trumpeter’s latest releases, such as the Swedish S tanks. Well, as a guy who is actually BUILDING the Swedish S tank from Trumpeter, I can assure you that it ISN’T “Tamiya-like quality”. It IS a nice model, and the detail is pretty good, but Tamiya it is not. The plastic used in the kit is of a lesser quality than Tamiya’s. This is noticeable when you apply solvent to it. There is a fair amount of flash on certain parts. The mold lines are much more prominent than on Tamiya kits, and scraping it off takes up a great deal of time, and leads to misshapen parts in some cases. The cylindrical rods for the flotation system for example, aren’t cylindrical as they come in the kit, they are oval. This because the Trumpeter molds don’t mesh together precisely. The fit of the parts that mount the road wheels to the hull on S-tank aren’t precise, having a lot of “play” in them.

Trumpeter’s instructions, while quite adequate in most areas, simply don’t give you the near fool-proof instructions of a Tamiya kit. They also lack the very nice vehicle history that a Tamiya kit provides you, and the color and marking sections give you zero information on the unit the kit’s decals represent. Perhaps nothing those of you loaded down with book, magazine and photo references already have, but I don’t have a vast library, and I find Tamiya’s potted vehicle and unit histories very useful.

The price on the Trumpeter S-tank her in the USA, where I live, is $25. The recent Tamiya M-26 Pershing which I am nearly through building was about $45. I personally prefer paying the extra, for the extra quality. I know this is a personal choice, and others might disagree, but for an OTB builder like myself, Tamiya’s price is worth every penny of the asking price, and of course you don’t have to pay the asking price if you shop around. You can save up to 25% off the retail price if you shop around.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I am disappointed to be constantly reading about “Tamiya-like quality” kits from firms other than Tamiya, when in fact these kits being “reviewed” aren’t Tamiya quality. I wonder if those doing the reviewing actually build the kits they review, or if they perhaps haven’t built a Tamiya kit in a while. I get the impression many of the reviews are based on quick looks at the parts in the box. Often parts look great on the sprues if you look at them very quickly. It is only when you start assembling them that you find all the faults.

Perhaps other people don’t mind struggling away with misshapen parts, parts that don’t fit correctly with one another. Perhaps this is what “real” modelers crave, a huge challenge. I guess then that would make me an “un-real” modeler, as I like to sail through a model, and save the challenge for the paint scheme I am applying, and the “weathered look” I try to achieve. Or perhaps many modelers just stack kits to the roof, never separating the parts from their sprues, and so never determining via the act of building, that the parts that look “Tamiya-like”, aren’t.

Hope this isn’t too much of a rant.

Cheers,
Andrew in Seattle
Andrew,
I hear what you are saying and I agree on some points.

Yes the line art instructions of Tamiya are the best out there. The standard to be measured against.

Yes the plastic quality of the trumpeter kits and molding are slightly inferior.

Yes the unit history/markings info are missing.

BUT,

Like others have posted, I would have thought there would be monkeys flying out of my butt (sorry, Waynes World was just on cable..)before I saw ANY 1/35th modern Chinese kits, S-tanks, Sa2's or Hinds in injection plastic.

I agree that the quality is not Tamiya. I just got the Type 90 with mine roller and in the box it is a beautiful looking kit.
But the S-tank I am 85% done with is easily new Academy level of molding/assembly.
Yes, I did cut off the stowed rods for the floatation screen(cammo cover?) and use the kit heads on evergreen rod.
Yes it took a bit of putty on the rear hull seam.

But, I built 85% of the kit in the first week it was here from squadron , on a TV tray, while watching the tube. This beats 80% of the other kits I have lying around.

At this point I am VERY happy with the new releases list from Trumpeter, I for one, can't wait for a 1/35th scale Hind in ANY version. If it is as nice as their 1/32 A10, I'll be in heaven.

A guy in the local club built the old AEF kit in resin and won an AMPS intermediate gold medal with it. He was VERY impressed with the Trumpeter offering.

It takes all kinds of modelers, so it makes sense it takes all kinds of companies.
Mike
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Tom Ferris
Tom Ferris

December 21st, 2002, 3:50 pm #6

Please allow me to give you my modeling background. I build my models for the most part out of the box, with the possible exception of replacing the tracks with after market ones if they exist for the particular model I am building. This way I don’t get bogged down with AMS, and end up building nothing. My goal is always to have fun with my models, while building the finest possible model with what I have to work with, kit wise. Consequently, I take the greatest delight in building Tamiya kits, and have done so since discovering my first Tamiya 1/35th military kit back in 1973. There is no doubt in my mind on this point: for the out of the box modeler, there is no product line of higher quality than Tamiya. With the possible exception of Tamiya’s decals (more on this shortly), EVERYTHING in a 2002 Tamiya armor release is the best there is. The plastic used by Tamiya is of the highest quality, producing crisply molded parts, with zero flash. My solvents that I use to glue my kits together react very well with Tamiya plastic. The parts bond together well, yet you don’t get melted lumps with very small parts, as you do with other firm’s kits.
The engineering of Tamiya kits is nothing short of astounding. The parts fit extremely well with each other, and right angled parts are indeed 90 degrees, rather than partly rounded as with many other firms. Cylindrical parts with the exception of very faint mold lines, are indeed cylindrical, not oval as with many other firms. The two sides of the mold mesh precisely, so that you get nicely molded parts, not ones with “mold slippage”.

And those legendary instructions, the quality of the diagrams are superb. Even the decals, if a little thick sometimes, can be made to work well, with a little care and attention to what you are doing. And if not, they are easily replaced in many cases by Archer dry rub, or photo etched stencils.

It therefore annoys me very much when people out there in cyber land bandy about the words “Tamiya-like quality”. The most recent use of this has been with Trumpeter’s latest releases, such as the Swedish S tanks. Well, as a guy who is actually BUILDING the Swedish S tank from Trumpeter, I can assure you that it ISN’T “Tamiya-like quality”. It IS a nice model, and the detail is pretty good, but Tamiya it is not. The plastic used in the kit is of a lesser quality than Tamiya’s. This is noticeable when you apply solvent to it. There is a fair amount of flash on certain parts. The mold lines are much more prominent than on Tamiya kits, and scraping it off takes up a great deal of time, and leads to misshapen parts in some cases. The cylindrical rods for the flotation system for example, aren’t cylindrical as they come in the kit, they are oval. This because the Trumpeter molds don’t mesh together precisely. The fit of the parts that mount the road wheels to the hull on S-tank aren’t precise, having a lot of “play” in them.

Trumpeter’s instructions, while quite adequate in most areas, simply don’t give you the near fool-proof instructions of a Tamiya kit. They also lack the very nice vehicle history that a Tamiya kit provides you, and the color and marking sections give you zero information on the unit the kit’s decals represent. Perhaps nothing those of you loaded down with book, magazine and photo references already have, but I don’t have a vast library, and I find Tamiya’s potted vehicle and unit histories very useful.

The price on the Trumpeter S-tank her in the USA, where I live, is $25. The recent Tamiya M-26 Pershing which I am nearly through building was about $45. I personally prefer paying the extra, for the extra quality. I know this is a personal choice, and others might disagree, but for an OTB builder like myself, Tamiya’s price is worth every penny of the asking price, and of course you don’t have to pay the asking price if you shop around. You can save up to 25% off the retail price if you shop around.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I am disappointed to be constantly reading about “Tamiya-like quality” kits from firms other than Tamiya, when in fact these kits being “reviewed” aren’t Tamiya quality. I wonder if those doing the reviewing actually build the kits they review, or if they perhaps haven’t built a Tamiya kit in a while. I get the impression many of the reviews are based on quick looks at the parts in the box. Often parts look great on the sprues if you look at them very quickly. It is only when you start assembling them that you find all the faults.

Perhaps other people don’t mind struggling away with misshapen parts, parts that don’t fit correctly with one another. Perhaps this is what “real” modelers crave, a huge challenge. I guess then that would make me an “un-real” modeler, as I like to sail through a model, and save the challenge for the paint scheme I am applying, and the “weathered look” I try to achieve. Or perhaps many modelers just stack kits to the roof, never separating the parts from their sprues, and so never determining via the act of building, that the parts that look “Tamiya-like”, aren’t.

Hope this isn’t too much of a rant.

Cheers,
Andrew in Seattle
You just have to face the fact that Tamiya is the big dog of the model world and as such becomes the target
for those people with an opion and not much else.
I think that most people who really build models will argee with you. I know I do.
Tamiya has always been a leader in the field, always the guy to catch, for the last ten or twenty years they have set the standard for buildable kits.
Tamiya makes models for the average model builder, I think that their soft plastic tracks show that.Many builders I talk to prefer them to the link to link type supplied by other manufactures. The link to link can be big problem for some builders. One can always replace the kit tracks with link to link if they choose, but not the other way around.

All you have to do is look at the new Marder or T-55 kits to see that Tamiya is the best at what they do.

Now before some of you guys light torches and grab your pitch forks, I'm not saying that Dragon and Trumpeter don't make some nice kits, they do but Tamiya still sets the standard.

If any of the folks at Tamiya are out there I for one would like to say thanks and keep up the great work.

Tom
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Alfred Lai
Alfred Lai

December 21st, 2002, 5:17 pm #7

Please allow me to give you my modeling background. I build my models for the most part out of the box, with the possible exception of replacing the tracks with after market ones if they exist for the particular model I am building. This way I don’t get bogged down with AMS, and end up building nothing. My goal is always to have fun with my models, while building the finest possible model with what I have to work with, kit wise. Consequently, I take the greatest delight in building Tamiya kits, and have done so since discovering my first Tamiya 1/35th military kit back in 1973. There is no doubt in my mind on this point: for the out of the box modeler, there is no product line of higher quality than Tamiya. With the possible exception of Tamiya’s decals (more on this shortly), EVERYTHING in a 2002 Tamiya armor release is the best there is. The plastic used by Tamiya is of the highest quality, producing crisply molded parts, with zero flash. My solvents that I use to glue my kits together react very well with Tamiya plastic. The parts bond together well, yet you don’t get melted lumps with very small parts, as you do with other firm’s kits.
The engineering of Tamiya kits is nothing short of astounding. The parts fit extremely well with each other, and right angled parts are indeed 90 degrees, rather than partly rounded as with many other firms. Cylindrical parts with the exception of very faint mold lines, are indeed cylindrical, not oval as with many other firms. The two sides of the mold mesh precisely, so that you get nicely molded parts, not ones with “mold slippage”.

And those legendary instructions, the quality of the diagrams are superb. Even the decals, if a little thick sometimes, can be made to work well, with a little care and attention to what you are doing. And if not, they are easily replaced in many cases by Archer dry rub, or photo etched stencils.

It therefore annoys me very much when people out there in cyber land bandy about the words “Tamiya-like quality”. The most recent use of this has been with Trumpeter’s latest releases, such as the Swedish S tanks. Well, as a guy who is actually BUILDING the Swedish S tank from Trumpeter, I can assure you that it ISN’T “Tamiya-like quality”. It IS a nice model, and the detail is pretty good, but Tamiya it is not. The plastic used in the kit is of a lesser quality than Tamiya’s. This is noticeable when you apply solvent to it. There is a fair amount of flash on certain parts. The mold lines are much more prominent than on Tamiya kits, and scraping it off takes up a great deal of time, and leads to misshapen parts in some cases. The cylindrical rods for the flotation system for example, aren’t cylindrical as they come in the kit, they are oval. This because the Trumpeter molds don’t mesh together precisely. The fit of the parts that mount the road wheels to the hull on S-tank aren’t precise, having a lot of “play” in them.

Trumpeter’s instructions, while quite adequate in most areas, simply don’t give you the near fool-proof instructions of a Tamiya kit. They also lack the very nice vehicle history that a Tamiya kit provides you, and the color and marking sections give you zero information on the unit the kit’s decals represent. Perhaps nothing those of you loaded down with book, magazine and photo references already have, but I don’t have a vast library, and I find Tamiya’s potted vehicle and unit histories very useful.

The price on the Trumpeter S-tank her in the USA, where I live, is $25. The recent Tamiya M-26 Pershing which I am nearly through building was about $45. I personally prefer paying the extra, for the extra quality. I know this is a personal choice, and others might disagree, but for an OTB builder like myself, Tamiya’s price is worth every penny of the asking price, and of course you don’t have to pay the asking price if you shop around. You can save up to 25% off the retail price if you shop around.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I am disappointed to be constantly reading about “Tamiya-like quality” kits from firms other than Tamiya, when in fact these kits being “reviewed” aren’t Tamiya quality. I wonder if those doing the reviewing actually build the kits they review, or if they perhaps haven’t built a Tamiya kit in a while. I get the impression many of the reviews are based on quick looks at the parts in the box. Often parts look great on the sprues if you look at them very quickly. It is only when you start assembling them that you find all the faults.

Perhaps other people don’t mind struggling away with misshapen parts, parts that don’t fit correctly with one another. Perhaps this is what “real” modelers crave, a huge challenge. I guess then that would make me an “un-real” modeler, as I like to sail through a model, and save the challenge for the paint scheme I am applying, and the “weathered look” I try to achieve. Or perhaps many modelers just stack kits to the roof, never separating the parts from their sprues, and so never determining via the act of building, that the parts that look “Tamiya-like”, aren’t.

Hope this isn’t too much of a rant.

Cheers,
Andrew in Seattle
May be the other manufacturers still have some way to catch up with Tamiya. However, with the mere presence of Trumpeter, AFV Club, Academy and the like will sure put some real competition into the market.

Trumpeter's S-tank and the Beijing Jeep, AFV-Club's M38 Jeep are by default THE BEST unless someone else come up with the same subject. I think whether these manufacturer have the same refinement, i.e.Tamiya like or not, becomes irrelavant.

As consumers, especially one like me who like weird and wonder subjects, only stand to gain. I will get a few Tamiya T-55 for sure but I am an "Equal Opportunity Consumer". If and when the right subject
comes up I will get it. I am not wait for a Tamiya Challenger II.

My 2 cents and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

Alfred

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Tom Ferris
Tom Ferris

December 21st, 2002, 6:16 pm #8

Hi Alfred

My intentions are not to put down other manufactures,
I agree that the more manufactures making 1/35th. scale kits the better. One company can't fill the need. I simply stated that in my opinion Tamiya is the best.

Merry Christmas,

Tom
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Al Bowie
Al Bowie

December 23rd, 2002, 4:35 am #9

Please allow me to give you my modeling background. I build my models for the most part out of the box, with the possible exception of replacing the tracks with after market ones if they exist for the particular model I am building. This way I don’t get bogged down with AMS, and end up building nothing. My goal is always to have fun with my models, while building the finest possible model with what I have to work with, kit wise. Consequently, I take the greatest delight in building Tamiya kits, and have done so since discovering my first Tamiya 1/35th military kit back in 1973. There is no doubt in my mind on this point: for the out of the box modeler, there is no product line of higher quality than Tamiya. With the possible exception of Tamiya’s decals (more on this shortly), EVERYTHING in a 2002 Tamiya armor release is the best there is. The plastic used by Tamiya is of the highest quality, producing crisply molded parts, with zero flash. My solvents that I use to glue my kits together react very well with Tamiya plastic. The parts bond together well, yet you don’t get melted lumps with very small parts, as you do with other firm’s kits.
The engineering of Tamiya kits is nothing short of astounding. The parts fit extremely well with each other, and right angled parts are indeed 90 degrees, rather than partly rounded as with many other firms. Cylindrical parts with the exception of very faint mold lines, are indeed cylindrical, not oval as with many other firms. The two sides of the mold mesh precisely, so that you get nicely molded parts, not ones with “mold slippage”.

And those legendary instructions, the quality of the diagrams are superb. Even the decals, if a little thick sometimes, can be made to work well, with a little care and attention to what you are doing. And if not, they are easily replaced in many cases by Archer dry rub, or photo etched stencils.

It therefore annoys me very much when people out there in cyber land bandy about the words “Tamiya-like quality”. The most recent use of this has been with Trumpeter’s latest releases, such as the Swedish S tanks. Well, as a guy who is actually BUILDING the Swedish S tank from Trumpeter, I can assure you that it ISN’T “Tamiya-like quality”. It IS a nice model, and the detail is pretty good, but Tamiya it is not. The plastic used in the kit is of a lesser quality than Tamiya’s. This is noticeable when you apply solvent to it. There is a fair amount of flash on certain parts. The mold lines are much more prominent than on Tamiya kits, and scraping it off takes up a great deal of time, and leads to misshapen parts in some cases. The cylindrical rods for the flotation system for example, aren’t cylindrical as they come in the kit, they are oval. This because the Trumpeter molds don’t mesh together precisely. The fit of the parts that mount the road wheels to the hull on S-tank aren’t precise, having a lot of “play” in them.

Trumpeter’s instructions, while quite adequate in most areas, simply don’t give you the near fool-proof instructions of a Tamiya kit. They also lack the very nice vehicle history that a Tamiya kit provides you, and the color and marking sections give you zero information on the unit the kit’s decals represent. Perhaps nothing those of you loaded down with book, magazine and photo references already have, but I don’t have a vast library, and I find Tamiya’s potted vehicle and unit histories very useful.

The price on the Trumpeter S-tank her in the USA, where I live, is $25. The recent Tamiya M-26 Pershing which I am nearly through building was about $45. I personally prefer paying the extra, for the extra quality. I know this is a personal choice, and others might disagree, but for an OTB builder like myself, Tamiya’s price is worth every penny of the asking price, and of course you don’t have to pay the asking price if you shop around. You can save up to 25% off the retail price if you shop around.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I am disappointed to be constantly reading about “Tamiya-like quality” kits from firms other than Tamiya, when in fact these kits being “reviewed” aren’t Tamiya quality. I wonder if those doing the reviewing actually build the kits they review, or if they perhaps haven’t built a Tamiya kit in a while. I get the impression many of the reviews are based on quick looks at the parts in the box. Often parts look great on the sprues if you look at them very quickly. It is only when you start assembling them that you find all the faults.

Perhaps other people don’t mind struggling away with misshapen parts, parts that don’t fit correctly with one another. Perhaps this is what “real” modelers crave, a huge challenge. I guess then that would make me an “un-real” modeler, as I like to sail through a model, and save the challenge for the paint scheme I am applying, and the “weathered look” I try to achieve. Or perhaps many modelers just stack kits to the roof, never separating the parts from their sprues, and so never determining via the act of building, that the parts that look “Tamiya-like”, aren’t.

Hope this isn’t too much of a rant.

Cheers,
Andrew in Seattle
They aren't Tamiya prices or limited subject material which makes them attractive to lots of modellers.
Tamiya may have beatiful engineering and make superb kits but a bit of variety is a nice thing as is a bit of competition.
I'm thankful for another quality player in the Market, that means more subject matter available and at the prices trumpeter charge some of the younger members of the hobby can afford it. I'd prefer two Trumpeter quality kits to one excellently engineered and first rate quality Tamiya one but that's my opinion (particularly becuase there aren't enough years left of my life to wait for Tamiya to release one.
An interesting sidenote: Compare the 1970s italeri Leopard with the 80s Tamiya one. Tamiya was not always the best.
Cheers
Al
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Rob Gronovius
Rob Gronovius

December 23rd, 2002, 12:45 pm #10

I agree with the Italeri Leopard 1 over either of Tamiya's Leopard 1s, but take a look at the Tamiya Leopard 2A5 of the late 90s with the Italeri Leopard 2 and 2A5. Tamiya leaps ahead of Italeri here! It's good to see the #2 guy keep the #1 guy on his toes.

RobG
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