Wednesday, May 25

TMN on Tour: Japan's biggest hobby show - Shizuoka report 2016 – “Industry day”

TMN was lucky enough to get to Japan this year for the 2016 Shizuoka Hobby Show in central Japan. WE spent a few days at the show and today we thought we would show you the main points and kits that we saw on the “Industry Days” with new and older releases side –by-side. See what we saw at the show…
Shizuoka Hobby Show in 2016 “Business Day” tour

In reality, anyone can enter the Shizuoka Hobby show on the Thursday and Friday “Business Days,” Though you will need to hand over your business card before you enter. We found ourselves at the show on this quieter of days, and the busier show weekend. Both were just as interesting to us for two different reasons.
The business day has lots of new kits and model makers present - but there is nothing you can buy. Unlike Saturday and Sunday when model companies do a brisk trade and the other Main hall is open to the massive amount of amazing models on display.(and some cosplay as well)
To be honest, if you were to choose one day then the Saturday and Sunday have you using all of your hours in the day if you want to see everything. To get to the show you simply catch the 15-minute shuttle ride to the halls from Shizuoka station. Entry is free and there are several displays of Japanese and WWII enthusiast vehicles out the front.
Now let’s look at what was on the stands on the “Business Days” at the show – the Thursday and Friday.

Double click on these pictures if you want to see them in a gallery mode...

Beaver Corporation
This well-known Japanese Wholesaler with links to HLJ and a lot of companies in the business certainly had most people’s attention at the show. Although centrally located it housed many of the more interesting smaller model maker’s offerings
…along with displays from Mig Jimenez and well-known aviation artist Shigeo Koike with his “Flying Colours 4” book
HK Models had their new B-17E/F two in one kit at the show. This is the final test kit on show.
Several of the changes from the B-17G kit which was also on display were shown off, including engines, nacelles, fuselage and turret changes. This is certainly a kit with a LOT of changes done to it and a lot of thought put into it before It has gone to market.
The other large attention getter there was Takom Models. Showing all of the brash invention in thinking with THIS big sign that hinted at a later released 1/1 Panther track that is in the process of development in injection moulded plastic.
This as well as some alterations to the kits they have already announced at the show. Two SPAAGs were here, with the Gepard SPAAG A1/A2 and the ZSU-57-2 Soviet SPAAG. They were also showing are a pair of medium tanks, the Iraqi Type-69 II and the Russian T-54 B Late Type.
With their other kits showing some other features in their forthcoming releases
Our good mate and very good modeller Charlie Pritchett’s Chieftain was on display in his top- spec diorama “Answering the Threat” – wow!
Revosys are a new and interesting company that seem intent on showing off all they can on their two new internally and externally detailed VK 3601 tanks from WWII.
Freedom Model kits had their excellent Tigershark kits on display built up...
Panda Hobby had their four new releases on display also. The PZP and the Armata T-15 already made up.
As well as this very attractive 35th scale Sd Kfz 135-1 7.5 Marder 1 Lorraine is now built up 
Kittyhawk was represented at the show with one model – the built up 1/48th-scale release of the Super Etendard. This new-tool kit of the French carrier-based strike fighter will come with decals to build one of eight marking options.
Beaver had three of Masterbox’s kits on display made up and painted – they look pretty good.
Tiger Model’s new Terminator kit in 35th scale was there as well as their egg-celent “Mini” planes. No copyright infringement intended…
MENG has a strong line-up at the show – mostly models that we had already seen in the flesh ourselves with one or two new kits like the Abrams TUSK, ZSU-23-4 Shilka and Leopard MBT.
However, these older kits were pretty impressive to see built up in the showcase
KA Models had a MASSIVE model of the USS CV 63 Kittyhawk with their extras plastered all over it looking very attractive
As well as the line-up of 72nd tank range from Flyhawk Models – dinky indeed!
Amusing Hobby has made a return to injected modelling in plastic and that is a good thing! They had several new kits on display in the German late war and paper panzer mould.
As well as the new Conqueror kits of the FV 214 & FV 215
And some mini planes here also of two Chinese modern jets…
A bunch of other kits that made the Beaver Corp a great stand to visit
MinArt made the trek all the way from the Ukraine for this show and we were glad they did. We go to see their new 35th scale Su-122 up close…
Inside and out - it looks great doesn't it?
As well as the hint of what is coming next – the 35th scale T-54B was a cool looking release and the detail that is packed into it is really very impressive. This and the T-44 series of tanks which showed one already built up in an impressive dio

As well as the T-44M
Along with all of their other kits – they are raising the game there in the Ukraine :-)

This well-known Japanese model maker had a massive stand of Gundam kits on sale – but all I was interested in (sorry Gundam lovers) was the new Star Wars kits that they had on offer.
Hey- don’t put it our if you don’t want anyone to take pictures :-)
The new A-Wing fighter has just been released in Japan (and therefore on E-bay to the rest of the world) – It looks a cool and tiny kit.
All of their other Star Wars kits are class – the figures with helmets and covered joints remain the best of the range of figures…

…while the spacecraft are very detailed for their price. They are so simple to make and the best modellers out there make these so much more than what you see on the box.
 The force awakens dio looked great
As did the Death Star Trench from ANH 
Hasegawa had a fairly large stand this year – set to the right of the hall as you came it featured a lot of very familiar kits and a few new items – also many you might have seen before but in different boxings and colours, kinda sizes things up for me with their recent releases…
Hasegawa is followed up on their earlier release with the late model Sunny Truck, the GB122. Released in Japan in 1989, the redesigned Sunny Truck featured new square headlights and a redesigned grille.
Also joining Hasegawa's line-up is the 1/100 TG-11-M Guarayakha Special from the popular arcade game series "Virtual-On" which celebrates its 20th year anniversary this year!
Many Egg-planes were the tiny stars of the show
As well as their 1/20th robot series which we will see by in the modeller galleries later is a very popular and flexible kit with many applications for creative modellers.
…As well as my new favourite since the show – the many Ma.K kits that before now I had been not really fussed by. Seeing some of the skill of Japanese modellers in the galleries to come I was swayed by this trip to look into them a little more...
Plenty of other kits to satisfy the needs of modellers new and older released were on show
Apart from a life-sized Lambo guarded by it’s cute driver Aoshima had plenty to look at with the show releases this year
1/72 JGSDF Observation Helicopter OH-1 Ninja is a low observable scout helicopter from the Japanese air force and it is no surprise that it was kitted in its native country first
1/24th scale F-1 Maclaren Mp4/28 car by Aoshima are never a bad thing
 The detailed 72nd scale Patriot was a bigger kit than you might think - even in 72nd scale
As were all of thier other diverse kits on display
1/700 waterline series looked good
1/144 JMSDF Rescue Flying Boat US-2 was a nice looking kit also. Sure to be well received by the flying boat and aircraft modellers in some nice colour schemes.
This Japanese company have lots of fans out there, and it is nice to see them going back to their roots with a new tooling of the 1/48th scale IJN Type 96 Carrier-based Fighter IV (also known as the Mitsubishi A5M)
In addition to the Type-96 Carrier-based Fighter II, the final version of the aircraft that was used during the Second Sino-Japanese War will also be making an appearance. The IJN Type 96 Carrier-based Fighter IV (known as the A5M4)
1/35 JGSDF Type 61 Tank was also there featured prominently. This is a revised version of their 1/35 JGSDF Type 61 Tank kit that features new parts such as the turret and the rear exterior of the tank in some detail.
The other kits from Finemolds were also shown - some under a magnifying glass to show you the tiniest of detail.
and the ever present Girls Und Panzer..
AFV Club.
AFV Club had a few nice kits on display at the show. Of course, another incarnation of the Chafee is always in order, this time, a Japanese version, along with the new Husker, the Starship M-60, the Israeli Centurion and IDF M109, the (Truck) M109 and the four-barrelled Duster kit.
There is also a prototype of the MASSIVE new kit in 72nd scale of the LARC60 landing ship (or whatever it is – it's HUGE in real life.)
World of tanks tie-ins
World of tanks fans rejoice at the prospect of the many guns on the many turrets of the 35th scale T-35 from Zvezda
As well as the full range of Italeri World of Tanks kits with the models made to show you their qualities…
This model maker had quite a few kits on display adjacent to the Hasegawa and smaller Revell stand. The kits they had were not as many as I might have liked but not lacking in quality…
Although we never saw them at the booth kinetic had a few impressive models on display.
Their new 48th scale F-18 was a highlight of theirs and you get to see the detail on the sprues of the kit and the built up sample kit.
The booth adjoining to Kinetic was Hobbyboss. They had a bunch of kits on display to sell, but also some plastic constructed models for people to see in the flesh.

Platz/ Dragon Booth
This booth was run by a wholesaler for several companies but their main stock in trade was Platz and Dragon models kits.
Platz had an interesting pilotless release in the form of their new 1/72 scale USN Northrop Grumman X-47B. This futuristic unmanned aircraft is brought to you with all its details carefully crafted and ready to build.
 The 72nd scale He 219 A-7 is a very detailed little kit with a lot of potential as shown in the built up and the painted kits on display.
Dragon kits were dominated by two main types. 35th scale armour and the Avengers! The avengers were in several forms. Pre-constructed models, as well as some cute bobble head shaped kits that had some crossover appeal.
The AFVs from Dragon are really taking every vehicle ever thought of in WWII and transferring it into injection moulded plastic!

Asuka Model
This Japanese model maker oozes quality in their models and the main thrust of the show’s demo was their many Shermans which were pretty popular with punters.

The other thing that caught our eye was the 35th scale Luchs German light tanks – this release with metal barrels looked very nice…
...As did the Type-74 JGSDF tank

This added to all of the other Japanese-centric and interesting little bits that this company that used to be called Tasca makes.
I had not seen much from this company recently but hey seem to have a monopoly on some very fine racing car kits.
A very nice diorama with their completed cars was on display. This company is well known to the car modellers out there and the models on display looked great…
…What many Ebro fans might not have known about were the KV-2 and Panzer IV “Egg-like” kits on display – they will sell heaps of these I reckon…
To a lot of people, this show is really Tamiya’s showcase. I almost feel that it was because it is so well known as Tamiya’s hometown show that it kind of keep some suppliers away. This highly regarded Japanese Model maker has a large slab at the back of the hall, and they had several release on hand to interest the punters. There were also some RC cars on display but I was not so interested in that as I was the scale models on display.
The historical kits from the company were a great teaser to go and see the factory open day which was on that same show weekend. 
The new 35th scale M-10 tank destroyer was present in sprues and all built up – complete with crew and ammo stores…
Also the modern warfare JGSDF 48th scale Type 10 tank was on display…
The new 35th scale AMX-13 was also present. A good gauge of the quality against the other recently released AMX-13 kits on the market (as well las the old Heller kit) 

A new twist on an old favourite with the 35th scale GERMAN Field maintenance kit set.
As well as some other kits – the shop on site was doing a trade, even on the non-show days
Tamiya had their new spectacular Ferrari FXX K,  in24th scale at the show. With a high level of painstaking detail throughout, functional gull-wing doors and rear cowl among many other features, and additional photo-etch parts and a carbon slide mark set are also available to further detail this work of art.
The REAL star of the booth was the new 48th scale F-14A Tomcat. 
From seeing all of the club models this would have to be perhaps the most popular model at the show with aircraft types. I can say that around the world it will be a hit also…
The sprues
The pilot’s tub, weapons and swing wing mechanism are all shown here.

And the waepons for this kit look pretty neat...
Well that was it from this – the industry day at the show – the show opened up the throngs of people and I was really not expecting the amount of people that came the next day – or the amount of models that were to appear in the club meet in the hall next door – more on that in our model galleries soon to come.
Thanks to the lovely people at the Shizuoka Hobby Square for the access to this great show.