Saturday, April 26, 2008

Spot the difference? IXO vs F-Toys!

IXO vs F-Toys!
Top picture = F-Toys
Bottom Picture = IXO/Altaya

.....of all the planes nd schemes they could have chosen.... they are the same
(not even the most famous lancaster!)


smeg1959 said...

Could we be lucky enough to have a Dambuster Lanc with its famous Barnes Wallis' "bouncing bomb"?

Hope springs eternal ...

pbhawkin said...

Makes you wonder if these Japanese companys are too afraid to try anything different from their competitors OR if they are actually all part of a larger company when they produce either the same aircraft or same aircraft but with better attention to detail.
WHY would two different companies bring out models, albeit from obviously different castings, of the exact same plane in the same markings? Particularly when there are SO many to choose from?


bluedonkey99 said...

As commented before, the model companies seem to be a complex web of producers, distributers and cross licensing deals.

smeg1959 said...

The only positive I can see is that the F-Toys' Lanc will be considerably cheaper than its Altaya counterpart, both in terms of the item and postage.

As I've said elsewhere, it seems that Altaya/IXO is the only company (OK, two companies) in the "prefinished" category showing enterprise in their selections. Yes, they do have Lancs, B-17s, G4Ms, et al, and yes, you pay $US25+ apiece, but they also have Wellingtons, Stirlings, He177s, Ju290s, Halifaxes, Cants, Piaggios, etc.

When Peter H and I were discussing possibilities for his next resin venture, it made me look at the myriad of aircraft not yet touched in 1/144, or cast in such limited quantities that they are literally as rare as hen's teeth (e.g. the Curtis-Wright CW21 Demon from Fairy-Kagaku that recently sold on evilBay).

All the decision-makers in these companies need do is go into their local hobby shops, pen and paper in hand, and jot down every 1/72-scale item that does not currently appear in 1/144. Just a thought ...

bluedonkey99 said...

they also cant yse the excuse any more that you cant reproduce the same level of detail or quality in 1/144 as 1/72 as sweet/platz etc demonstrate with their quality offerings!

lakespeed said...

Yeah I snagged the CW-21. Wanna fight about it? :o) (just kidding)

It's almost wrong to have to pay so much for some of the HTF kits, and to be honest, the quality of the Fairy and Kamide-de-Korokoro are not really that great compared to what Platz and Sweet put out at a much lower price.

And bad for me being a 'Murrican because our dollar is sinking faster than the Titanic. But at least there will be less of a challenge from me on some of these kits.

pbhawkin said...

I actually contacted a few Master Model Makers with a view to one of them making a commercial master (of a Arado 196A) for either me to cast or for them to do it.
One replied and said that he could make a very detailed one complete with cockpit details and ribbing (or less detail if I wanted) but I would need to order/sell 1000 pieces to make it viable to cover his costs! OR he could have sold it to me for A$2000 dollars and then I could have cast to my hearts content!
Maybe when I win lotto!!

bluedonkey99 said...

The "high price" paid is a function of the "supply and demand" on ebay you and many others will bid against each other forcing the price up to levels that are extremely profitable for Radsan777. if we didnt want it so enough we wouldnt pay those prices!?

The "domestic" price at the shows for the KdK kits in the ballpark of 500-1000 yen. Which is roughly 4-8 USD, not that expsensive for hand cast items. Which is also similar to what US enthusiast kit makers charge (e.g Don Schmenk).

Resin is exspensive proportionately, keeping in mind your thats what is being paid for.
Mone of these guys do if for much in the way of profit or commerical enterprise. there are still a number of costs to consider as after making the intial master, you then have to create the moulds for resin casting etc, and this has its own start-up costs.

plastic kits are cheaper but the risk to the producer is greater, part in fact to the creation of high quality metal moulds, and teh other costs of ramping up commerical production, but ones you have a volume in teh tend of thousands the unit costs are acceptable!

OZMODS is a good example of guys who do both, producing nice resin kits and platic kits (although to be fair not quite up thier with platz/sweet, but still highly regarded) but they are a comerical organisation.... I wonder how canberras are stacked in his warehouse!

there has been some dicussion over the last few years on the 10mm yahoo forum, TMP and 1/144 armour forums about the relative costs and merits. needless to say for small run items resing is the most cost effective option albeit with issues, plastic injection moulding can cost tens of thousands of dollars to invest before making a cent....

hence, even moderate producers of wargaming product use metal casting - perhaps a resoanable compromise, less good for aircraft as opposed to figures or armour perhaps?

what amatuer enthusiast it going to remortgage their house to produce their favourate kit?

lakespeed said...

I'm of the opinion that a company like Fairy or Kamide de Korokoro seems to only make a limited amount of kits while the demand is quite high for these items outside their sphere of influence in Japan.

It would only make sense to me for them to produce more kits or find someone to produce more kits for them. They are not making any money off the higher demand for their kits so they should make more to sell.

Same could be said for Triplenuts.

I have a lot of Revieresco's metal kit offerings, and I'm not a huge fan of building kits in metal. It's just not a great medium to work in when it comes to wanting to modify or detail a kit.

Things can be done reasonably. The question is where's the line drawn at between price, quality, accuracy, and materials?

badger said...

What are everyone's thoughts on the dwindling "available" supply of oil and the rising demand by countries like India and China? Granted, all gashapon is manufactured in China so perhaps their price won't go up much. But I bet shipping from Japan, Hongkong, or Singapore will cost 10-15 times that of the actual kit in the next decade. This will probably hurt the scene more than the $60-$80 we pay for Japanese resin on ebay.

So, unless there is an immediate alternative to fossil fuels in the next 10+ years, I think we're going to see demand for kits drop considerably. Our disposable income shrinks while we're forced to get 2nd mortgages to pay for gasoline so we can drive to and from our jobs. I'm afraid this hobby of ours is going to see some tough days in the coming years. I can't even imagine how anyone will be making kits should they start rationing petrol.

I really do believe that buying kits will be dead soohn, like snail mail, anyway. We'll pay to download CAD files and will "print" our own kits. Granted, the first 2-3 generation printers will be low quality and expensive, but in about 5-10 years they may even rival Sweet. Molds, casts, and platic will be a thing of the past. If I were an executive at Dragon/DML, I'd start looking at setting up kinkos & copyshop outfits in every major city, where model makers would take their cad files and have custome kits printed/laser cut.

Our problem has always been that we wait for less than knowledgable executives and designers to satiate us by releasing the kits we want. They either don't know what we want becuase they're not listening, or the find our demands not fitting into their "bottom-line" corporate paradigm. Perhaps as the world economy collapses and we depend less on oil, the scene will actually be strengthened and diversified by the new technologies out there?

bluedonkey99 said...


i cant remember if your US based or not, but its always interesting to see Americans complain about the price of gas and hw the world will end if it cost more than a X dollars for a gallon etc.... yes not realising that in europe is not uncommon to pay more for a litre than the US pays for a gallon at the pumps!

that said, it is obviously an issued to be addressed, maybe traing some of those Pick-ups and SUVs for a Honda would ironially eliminate the dependency of external oil!?

i think that 3D Printers should be the way forward and change the dymanic ( i think then can printe using corn starch and other wierd stuff?).

there is already a strong pro//am marget for CAD models, you can download or purchase 3D models from basic forms right up to movie grade 3D models. Anything from the kitchen sink to a deepspace cruiser! (oh! and lots of aircraft and armour)imagine being able to resize or modify these to your hearts content.....

the interesting concept of the cost of the current gashpon verse the price if they were made in the US or Europe is an interestng one! would we still buy these htinkgs if they where 10x the price (i.e as sold in japan not the ebay price0 then i would imagine there still ould be a mark, but people maybe would be just buying one of each type etc so with only a handful being release each year.... certianly the range and choice would go down....

lakespeed said...

Currently 3-D printers are being used to make masters. I use one in my current job combined with Solidworks CAD to make prototypes of laser heads before we actually get the parts made. Plus it's nice to send the model to a customer to "play with" before you actually build one in case changes are needed.

The resolution on mine is .005" and yes, I have made some masters of a couple of Star trek FASA designs that I liked. Of course I had t odraw them up myself. I have seen machines with a resolution of .0006" and they are incredibly detailed and accurate. The biggest problem is that the machines are large and expensive to operate.

I don't really like the idea of buying a mesh and then printing out a model kit. It takes away from the hobby and the fun of building a kit. I buy to collect and build. That's why I won't buy any of the pre-painted stuff that's out now. I feel like I'm cheating lol!

I think right now we are in the Golden Age of modeling. Like anything else in this world it's time will run out and we'll have to rely on our stashes. :)

badger said...

BD: Yes I'm from the US. Yes, it does appear that we're paying for gas what Europeans have been paying for years. Yes, we think the world is coming to an end when we feel a slight discomfort. Admittedly, the majority of us are quite unworldly and think we are the center of the universe. Afterall, we apparently fought and won WWII by ourselves. Just watch our movies.

I was raised in Europer until 12 though, which is probably why I can be honest about this and admit it! Having said that, there are serious concerns about oil and what it would mean to the global economy if we don't replace our fuel source in the next 10-20 years. I doubt we can continue to operate as usual, and the same goes for kits. Styrene is synthic so it doesn't get impacted directly. I'm not quite sure what the active ingredients in resin are. But distribution, marking, and overall production of kits will likely suffer, one would think.

Anyway, as lakespeed mentioned, we can always go to our stash if it all ended tomorrow. By the way, the majority of gashapon I collect ends up getting soaked in brakefluid, pinesol, or superclean to eventually get a real paintjob. With aftermarket decals, they end up looking much better than what they started as. Takara kits are the only ones I've felt guilty about stripping, since they already rival mid-level modeler painting and detailing skills. That's not bad for $3-5 a plane with such amazing detail on subject matter never released in 144 (not counting the Me109 & FW190s). I still marvel at their midnight eagle F-15s. Wow!

I only hope that the golden age transitions into something better, rather than a slow disappearance. Now that I think about it, I doubt that would ever actually happen, but it might just slow down a bit.

pbhawkin said...

The advent of the ARF (almost ready to run) R/c models has really seen a downturn in people who are modellers or hobbysts.
One of the major modelling shops here don't sell plastruct or brass bits(tube stock) any more because no-one is buying them as people don't make anything anymore but rather just buy something ready to go and when it breaks buy another one! The 'old' days of having to actually cover a wing let alone make one have gone in this day of buy/use/break/buy another.
I am into the combat 1/144 scale warships and we ALWAYS have people wanting to know where they can buy the models/kits and when you say it is scratch built their eyes glaze over and you have lost them as far as getting them into the hobby.
Same with 1/144 planes a lot of people collect what the companys put out and bemoan not having this or that model available yet they don't have the skills or nouse or motivation to convert or scratch build it themselves.
rant over! :-)


bluedonkey99 said...

thanks badger.

indded imagine the day when oil is so scarce we have to model in secret and share photos covertly as such a frivolous use of oil and resources is frowned up.....

and yes, Hollywoods view of WWII is not yet quite matched by the gashopon producers... (youd have thought that it was the germans and japanese that had fought each other if the representation of kitsd produces was a meaningful measure)

lakespeed said...

I hear you Peter and I agree 100%. Here in the USA we are a throw-away society. TV breaks? Toss it and get another.

I like to build. For me it's a relaxing hobby. What fun is it to buy something already made and put it on the shelf? Where's the pride in that? I like buying stuff that I actually need to do some work to even if it's only filling seams and painting.

Anonymous said...

Just a belated response to the question about "how many Canberras are stacked in the OzMods warehouse". Greg's "warehouse" is a series of shoe boxes on a desk in a room under his house. He generally does a batch of 20 or so of each injected subject and then re-shoots some more when he runs out of stock. His stock on hand levels are almost always quite low.

raphael harris said...

Actually my late father flew on this aircraft. He was a wireless operator in 57 Squadron and although he and his crew flew on other aircraft during the tour, DX A (LM 624) was the aircraft on which he flew at least 20 times.

bluedonkey99 said...


Thnksa for your comments, itws always interesting to get feedback from someone who has historical connection with a sgiven subject or model produced.

One of my Grandfathers was a Mechanic on Lancasters in Yorkshire during the war, although its not clear from my mum which Sdn.

Have you bought either of these models? If you havent yet, try and get teh F_T0ys model its a better kit overall


Raphael Harris said...

Thanks. I will try and get one of the models. I came across the site completely by accident - I typed in Lancaster DX A and LM624. My father's last operation according to his log book was on 1 November 1944 and I have since found out that the aircraft carshed on 6/7 November - less than a week later. I have no idea why they produced this aircraft. What I do know is that DX A would have been first at the target (master bomber) and I think they had to hang aroun d a bit longer to mark the target - and they didn't award a bomber command medal. Thanks for your reposnse