China: LEE plastic models


PPP: I just returned from Beijing with 1/350 model of a Jiangwei
class frigate (Hull number 112) picture
formatting link
second is a slightly smaller ship without the Jiangwei's stern
helideck but with more radar and cannons (Hull number 168). They
should build into attractive static models but are designed for
running as well.
The parts detail and quality is real good. I have no opinion on
scale fidelity as I have no knowledge of PLAN ships. At RMB 80 or USD
$10 I'm not fussy. They are manufactured by LEE but I haven't heard
of this company before and couldn't find any information on the NET.
This is the jewel. Each comes complete with a dual shaft gearbox
driven from a single minimotor. Its 2 cm between shaft centers with
the output shafts just 0.3 cm from the base of the hull attachment
tabs. This allows the prop shafts to be almost horizontal and
therefore scale-like coming out of the hull. The overall gearbox
dimensions are 3.5 cm wide x 2.0 cm high x 0.7 cm thick. The bottom
corners are bevelled to fit the curve of a hull bottom. I have been
looking for something like this gearbox for a long time and would have
gladly paid more than $10 for the gearbox alone.
I bought them at the China clone of WalMart called Wu Mart. Don't
laugh. Its a real and credible Chinese retail rival who had a story
in FORTUNE. The owner is named Wu. I'd prefer Wu Mart anyway as they
had a more interesting mix of consumer goods, groceries and cooked
food delis as well as a sit down bar counter type restaurant. I
didn't see a Beijing WalMart while I was there. I don't know enough
Chinese to ask for the location of a hobby shop. I missed the only
chance I had when, on arrival, I spotted an outbound passenger with
Chinese knockoff kits of what looked like Tamiya's USS New Jersey and
HMS POW but did not ask where he bought them. The other missed
opportunity was in Guangzhou where in a RC models hobby shop were a
ready-to-run 1/6 scale Tiger II tank (
Reply to
ppp
Loading thread data ...
I've built a Lee kit of the Japanese I-401. I'm glad you appear to be happy with your frigate, but to be honest the I-401 was a joke. The kit took incredible amounts of filler, detail is minimal, and the result only resembles the original subject in that it is obviously a submarine.
Rob
Reply to
Rob van Riel
you know, some of the design and machining teams are still embedded in the Cultural revolution, hence the only tools they have are their hands and elbows. Man, I bought some airliner kits a while back, and they were pretty good stuff I thought. And cheap (yay! happens sometimes). But as we get more spoiled, we will force the Chinese to up the price and quality until we can complain about the same things as we do for the Japanese, LOL
Reply to
Gernot Hassenpflug
Maybe, maybe not. I don't mind building a 'temperamentful' kit, but the result has to look like the original. For example, the antique Airfix Phantom can be built into a fair resemblance of an F-4B, but it will put up a fight. The Lee I-401 will never look like the I-401, no matter how you fight it.
Rob
Reply to
Rob van Riel
The Cultural Revolution was in the 60s-70s which was eons ago. In any case the toy industry is far more significant in the overall industrial development process than is realised. I look forward to someone dowing an academic paper on this.
LEE, through its I-401 model, seems to have followed the well trodden path. Buy someone else's worn out and dated mold and put it into production. Probably with someone else's worn out injection mold machine. This is to gain cash flow and experience in production, distribution, marketing and market size. With that step upgrade soon to cloning someone else's models that sell well (those Tamiya USS NJ, HMS POW knockoffs?). Finally go into original design. Niche touches like motorizing the model and offering PLAN ships no one else does is good marketing.
(I forgot to add that I also picked up a $10 LEE 1/35 motorized Bradley AFV which is pretty good but has rubber tracks. Just as well Wu Mart had a limited selection of models or I would have gone gaga and overloaded my luggage limit. )
You will notice that all the fantastic selection of collectable models and action figures come out of China because it is the only affordable source where one can have patterns of the most fantastic fantasy action figure or dream machine made. The Chinese ability to transfer these design ideas into production molds is unchallenged.
Pay a visit to China. Its a very safe country and very easy on the pocket. There is so much to see that it overwhelms. Beijing will blow your socks off. So will Shanghai and at leat 100 other major cities. Take a look at their transportation systems. Their rail, light rail, buses, heavy road haulers, cars are up their with the best in the world and are practically all Chinese designed and made. I was at a technology show (electronics) that had an auto show on the side. Oversize muscle SUVs, specialized 4WD "safari" amphib truck, limos etc., the full range for every taste, would look good in any western auto showroom. The vehicles include every ergonomic and stylistic feature I could wish for or imagine needing. I was particularly impressed with the Semi-tractor unit and the large tour bus on exhibit. I had already used the light rail system and the double length articulated buses. They are all very modern, clean and purr smoothly.
The same question arises. How did the Chinese come so far so fast? My take is that experience working with the toy industry to come up with ever more fanstatic toy designs to tickle our fancies gave them the skills to come up with and incorporate futuristic design features into full sized vehicles. There are a lot more superlatives in every area. But that would be bragging.
Reply to
ppp
Simple. The communists embraced capitalism...
Reply to
Al Superczynski
Al Superczynski wrote in news: snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com:
Sorry Al, Youre wrong there. The Chinese don't give a bugger what their government says, they are, and always have been, CAPITALISTS. They don't let something as simple as idealism get in the way of business. The Chinese government has started to realise that it is easier to let the businessmen get on with it. If the government keep their noses out of it for another ten years, then watch out the rest of the world. They will bloody near own everything.
Ian
Reply to
Ian Burnley
Read it again. I said the *communists* embraced capitalism; I said nothing about the Chinese people as a whole.
Um, yeah. That's pretty much my whole point...
If their banking system doesn't collapse from bad debt first...
Reply to
Al Superczynski
Al Superczynski wrote in news: snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com:
Sorry Mate! When you said 'chinese' I assumed you meant the government. You know what they say about assuming things. Maybe the govermnment is just letting things go and seeing what will happen. Most of the old guard, hard line communists are dead now and while the government is still talking the talk (officially, at least), I really don't think they are as dedicated to it as the the old hard liners were. I think taking over in Hong Kong opened their eyes a lot.
Reply to
Ian Burnley
PPP: The bank assets vs loans valuation question is over simplfied. Business loans and personal loans are still pretty hard to get. So enterprises are mainly self financed be this domestic businesses or foreign direct investments (FDIs). If businesses get their sums wrong only they themselves get hurt. The banks barely. The big bad debts so often referred to are book debts of giant legacy government owned rust belt enterprises that are being wound down as soon as practicable. This because they employ tens of thousands in company towns that had provided the whole social support structure. This is not unlike the US government providing unrecoverable bridge loans to a bankrupt General Motors so that the whole sheebang doesn't implode suddenly. (The GM scenario is hypothetical but not impossible). You don't hear of spectacular bankruptcies from China ala Enron, WorldCom et al. The Chinese government has more than enough foreign currency reserves to undertake any support program it needs to.
A bulk of the bank debt is in real estate tied to real assets in a red hot market that has to be cooled down by regulation. If a developer fails (rare) someone else is only too ready to take over and finish the job and make money. There is so much going on that it is unlikely that any single developer can bring down a bank. How can you fail when properties are sold before they even get built and prices rise by the week. The banks have more money in personal saving than they have places to invest in. New government regulation to cool the real estate market will only i ncrease the problem of asset management not bad loans recovery.
Meanwhile pablums like " If their banking system doesn't collapse from bad debt first" and "the whole rotten system is corrupt and will fall apart soon" is a useful fiction to keep the western media happy and writing op-eds that really mean little and affect little to the business of making money in China.
Reply to
ppp
--snip-
--snip--
I agree with most of what you wrote and acknowledge the I'm quoting without context here, but the circumstances you describe above constitute the classic recipe for a "bust."
Charles Metz
Reply to
Charles Metz
I think the bottom line here is the Wasan Plastic Co. which seems to be the "leashholder" for most of the Chinese (state owned) model companies. That covers Lee, Trumpter, and several others, but right now they are hell-bent-for-leather making Trumpeter world class whereas the others get handoff or hand-me-down molds.
They all got their start like most other Oriental modeling companies -- buy someone else's kit and copy it, then undersell them. The Chinese are notorious for this, and the biggest and grossest example I ever saw was a 1/1 scale BJ-213 (AKA Jeep Cherokee) that sold for less than half of what the factory original Jeep did two blocks down the street.
But after getting body slammed -- and also making the kits in nearly unbuildable ABS like plastic, Trumpeter decided to clean up its act and go after the world market. Some of the others have come along, but then again they also have migrated molds (e.g. Hobbycraft of Canada had some of them not long ago.)
Would be interesting to see the entire "Wiring Diagram" of Wasan Plastic.
Cookie Sewell
Reply to
AMPSOne
Yes taking back Hong Kong did open their eyes ,if they thought the capitalist business was bad they would have reverted Hong Kong back to the old ways,save for an agreement with Gt Britan to keep Hong Kong unchanged. But every capitalist industrialised country in the world is at China's doorstep begging to invest in industry there because they see mega billions in it for them .It's almost the last frontier for the rest of the world to make money.Almost unlimited cheap labour for a few years at least.
Reply to
Kevin(Bluey)
All the nasty stuff about China is probably correct but I can tell you for certain that we (the USA) are very responsible for creating the monster. Our company sells industrial fasteners and have to buy a great deal of product from China simply because there is no other source. The price of steel, stainless steel, brass, zinc, etc. is going through the roof because most of the world is now "soul sourced" for these items in China. If the good old USA would have offered some protection to US manufacturers when these items were being dumped here at prices that were below cost, we would still have production here to fall back on. Without this production capacity, they have us by the "nads". We did it to ourselves, no one did it to us. I for one (and I know I am in the minority on this) would be happy to pay more for well engineered model kits developed and produced here then settle for badly engineered and produced product at low prices. That is what you get and will continue to get it this new "World Economy". Get used to it...........
Reply to
Count DeMoney
Well, a lot of it is from our outsourcing manufacturing there; that enables them to learn that side of the biz while getting paid to do so. After a while the sharper ones have picked up the marketing end of it by watching, so they take the manufacturing end and start their own company to compete with their former employers. It's not in principle different from the way industries expand in the US, but because of the big tilt to manufacturing in China from the low costs it's happening more quickly.
Reply to
z
US companies have been under extreme pressure to lower costs and thus prices. Shipping manufacturing jobs overseas to cheaper labour is the route they took to comply.
Bill Banaszak, MFE Sr.
Reply to
Mad-Modeller
At last a reasonable take I can respond to. I am Chinese but not mainland born. I saw the writing on the wall early on and took early retirement. My job(s) disappeared too. So my feelings are ambivalent and yet proud for China. In this rms series of posts many of you take the patronizing attitude that the Chinese are cheats, copy cats, will never amount to anything, the whole edifice will fall apart soon, communism doesn't work, etc. Should I feel offended? Not the least. All it means to me is that you people still haven't caught on that a fundamental and global paradigm shift has already occurred and is gaining momentum. Somebody will wake up some day and say "Who ate my lunch?" It won't be China.
But this group is a hobby, not a political forum. For those interested in global politics look up the URL for "Beijing Consensus" a seminal paper by Joshua Ramo on the asymmetrical challenge to American hegemony described as the "Washinton Consensus." You will come across these two terms in many serious papers on national development in the years to come. As an example of how prescient this paper has become read to recent (Jun 15-16) reports on the Shanghai Cooperative Organization just held in Shanghai. SCO sounds harmless enough?
formatting link
I am an active participant in the soc.culture.china newsgroup and you can read my recent comments on Chinese affairs there.
Reply to
ppp
It's not as if we hadn't been through this before, Japan being such a big example, but SE Asia with less public handwringing now becoming such a big source of our manufactured goods. To repeat my point, it seems kind of obvious; Revell or whomever sets up a manufacturing facility in China, thereby immediately bringing the Chinese folks up to speed with all the manufacturing knowhow Revell accumulated over the last 50 years. I guess the assumption is that they won't understand the US market enough to dare enter it. But of course, anybody with half a brain can get pretty well clued in to what's happening in the US market by just watching what they are manufacturing and how many, and figure out what is selling and what isn't. And like any ambitious and talented employees anywhere, they decide the management is just holding them back, so they quit and start their own company. It's the American way!
Reply to
z
PPP: That's very comforting.. I was a bit worried that I would appear to be gloating and cause untended and unecessary offence. My pride in China's rise has less to do with competing with the US or becoming a world force than China's ability to produce the whole spectrum of technologies and goods domestically and up to the latest standards.
Modernization in China is going on at a frenetic pace all over the country. Hundreds of ultra-modern cities are growing like mushrooms. Since there are few if any legacy infrastructures in the way the (central, provincial and municipal) governments can build on a clean sheet using the best and the latest. Just about everything you see will be produced within China and they are up there with the lastest and the best in the world. China is vast and her needs many. The rest of the country may take another 20 to 40 years to catch up but she will get there. And everything is already in place.
Reply to
ppp

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.