One of the most interesting events during the winter is Nurnberg Toy Fair in Germany. This year we witnessed many new announcements, but I want to point out Tamiya especially. They still haven’t announced new aircraft in 32nd scale, but they are promising nice armor models for 2016, and I wanted to mention those. They are two, and they are completely new toolings. Interesting is, that both of the subjects have been already released by competitors. That doesn’t mean that Tamiya are repeating themselves or copying others. They never do that. They improve existing kits usually, taking them to a new level of simplicity and pleasure of building. Japanese companies are famous in that regard. So this is new for the first half of 2016, and we can hope that there will be more during the summer and during the autumn modeling shows in Japan and Hong Kong!
First one is the AMX-13. Takom just released 3 versions of these in 35th scale, and now Tamiya are doing the same. For me, this is good news, since Tamiya are more modeler-friendly kits, while Takom, even though pretty nice, are still newcommers and they most likely will have some flaws. It is not sure that the flaws will be great, but so far I haven’t seen a company from China with a perfect model, even though they are improving a lot over the last couple of years. The kit is supposed to be delivered with two painting options, both French Army. Not many decals in it, and the tracks are vinyl ones, but again – Tamiya quality. That means that they will be flexible and easy to use. Realistic enough for sure! In general, this is very interesting vehicle, and I bet it would be highly appreciated by modelers.
Second one is the Su-76M. MiniArt released this same vehicle back in 2008, and alongside with their T-70 it is very well known and generally well-accepted model. Tamiya guarantees simplified tooling, better plastic quality, and eventually – lower price. Of course, that depends mostly on the market, but MiniArt are European company and I believe that in Japan and North America they will have prices slightly higher, while Tamiya keeps their market share there very stable.
Su-76 is a generally small vehicle, and one can only guess what details Tamiya included in their tooling. On the other hand, they showed 70% of the track length in one piece – a general advantage over Miniart which tracks are great but require attention. This vehicle was second most produced armored vehicle during the war in Russia, right after T-34.. That means a LOT of options of painting and rather interesting ones. Suchka /from Russian “bitch”/ as they called the vehicle – was reliable and easy to use SPH during the war. It won a great deal of fan base among the soldiers on the front. Although small, it is attractive and will turn into a great item once built.
Tamiya have very smart marketing, and choosing those two is not without a reason. They do choose their kits wisely and releasing of new toolings are cleverly though of. I cannot wait to see them and make some comparison reviews between Tamiya, MiniArt and Takom!