Monday 21 May 2012

SHIZUOKA 2012 #1

This year's 51st Shizuoka Hobby Show took place on the 17-18-19 and 20 of May at the usual place, the "Twin Messe Shizuoka". As always the first two days were closed to the general public and were open only to dealers and professionals. We visited the show on Saturday 19, two years since our last time there.
To start with, the bus taking the public from the Shizuoka train station to the exhibition hall was not free as it used to be resulting in extremely confusing, crowded and frustrating transportation. There are two exhibition halls, one dedicated to model companies the second to radio control companies with a big area reserved for the various modelling groups around Japan exhibiting their latest creations. The third and smallest area in an adjacent building was left to the smaller companies and kit traders. Although every year we hear the same complaints about how the show doesn't attract as many people and as much interest as before, this time we found every area extremely crowded throughout our visit.

The first booth we visited was Doyusha's. The usual, old but still beautiful 1/32 models were there together with the small 1/100 pre-built series.

Next was the Model Art booth with their latest MA#847 prominently displayed on the front table (see review below) but also some surprises by A&W. One is kit set AW144024 with a "Kawanishi E7K2 & MXY4" due in the end of May and AW144025 "Kawanishi E7K1 & MXY3" due in the end of June. All resin kits in 1/144 scale. We also saw AW144014 "Mitsubishi Ka-14" and "AW144015 "Kawasaki Ki-5"; again resin and in 1/144.


The biggest area was reserved for the TAMIYA booths exhibiting all the releases of the company. Their very latest was the pre-built Mitsubishi G4M1 Model 11 commemorating Admiral Yamamoto's final flight with a set of 17 figures including Admiral himself, pilot, co-pilot, machine gunner, reconnaissance crew member and 10 ground crew members. All in 1/48 at the reasonable (?) price of 41,790Yen or $US420+. Scared? Well, you can also get the un-built version for about $US80 and do all the work yourself.

It should be remembered that TAMIYA releases a vast array of subjects especially radio controlled and toys.

The next booth was the most interesting. Beaver Corporation is importing and distributing in Japan a number of Eastern European model companies so we had the chance to talk to Mr. Yasutake who was most friendly as always and showed us the latest and future releases.

Mitsubishi Ki-30 "Ann" by AZ Model, 1/72

Mitsubishi J2M "Raiden" (Jack) by SWORD in 1/72
Kawasaki Ki-100 by RS Models in 1/72 in two versions. A rather unusual choice considering the excellent Fine Molds kits.

The extraordinary Heinkel He-100D with hinomaruSpecial HOBBY in 1/32 (!).

And the much anticipated Nakajima "Kikka" in 1/72 by AZ model, in three versions: "normal", interceptor and night fighter. 

FINE MOLDS came to the show with a new release. Sets of seatbelts for Japanese, American and German airplanes of WWII in 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32. They are most unusual in that they are plastic, not metal. We promise to try them and let you know how good they are. We met FM boss Mr. Suzuki who declared to be an avid Arawasi reader but intriguingly did not reveal FM's future airplane release.

Last booth we visited was Hasegawa's. It's the second biggest after Tamiya. New releases include 07306 Nakajima B5N2 Pearl Harbor-Zuikaku due on July 18 in 1/48. Also 01993 Nakajima B5M1/2 with decals for one Kate belonging to Himeji Kokutai, one Pearl Harbor-Hiryu and one belonging to Usa Kokutai, due in June 28 in 1/72. Kit 07304 is due on June 18, is in 1/48 and the subject is a Mitsubishi A6M5a fighter/bomber belonging to the 653 Kokutai.
One of the most interesting new releases is the Mitsubishi J2M2 Raiden prototype in 1/32 including all the necessary extra parts for a different cowling.


Harold K said...

Thank you, George, for the report.
Not very much new in my scale (1/72nd), it seems :-(
It must have been very interesting for you to meet people like Suzuki-san of Fine Molds.

Arawasi said...

! Kikka, Raiden, Ki-100, Ann (okay older) and the FM belts.
But you are right. It seems there is a steadily growing interest for more detailed larger scales.
Yes, it was a pleasure meeting Suzuki-san but we exchanged only a few words since the place was really very crowded. Unfortunately FM didn't have any Ohkas for sale on their booth! Erratic availability is a typical problem of FM.