Back in the days when we actually had an industrial / engineering based
economy, model companies would no more use each others moulds than swallow
each others spit.
The world of one mould / many brands was wished on us by the accountants.
I have some model friends who have models of say a 'Matchbox' Spitfire or a
'Revell' or an 'Airfix' Spitfire or whatever.
All nicely made and displaying the toolmakers misinterpretations, moulding
shortcuts and - yes, even genius occasionally.
Personally I like to use a kit as a base to replicate the original, but
theirs is another spin on the hobby.
Change' boos' to 'bos' in address to email directly
That's decidedly not so. Mold swapping, buying, and even
pirating has occured from the very earliest days of plastic models.
In the US, Lindberg bought tooling from Varney amongst others, Revell
picked up the Gowland tools, Aurora bought Best's Indy racer tooling
and pirated Hawk's F-90 and F9F, all in the early 50s. In the UK the
first Airfix aircraft kit was a scaled-down copy of Aurora's Spitfire
and some of their 1/32 scale antique cars were blatant copies of
Revell kits, while FROG got into the act by selling kits from Comet
tooling. Meanwhile the Japanese pirated kits left and right when
their plastic model industry first started up - Marusan was especially
well-known for doing that. When the industry started to develop in
South Korea it was again a story of pirated copies, mostly of American
and Japanese kits.
And all that's just a short synopsis of a subject way too
involved to cover thoroughly in a Usenet post. Suffice it to say that
there's little new under the sun when it comes to 'shared' kit
Your points are valid and expose the oversimplification of my statement.
After the majors became established should have been my qualifier statement.
Frog did import Hasegawa moulds before Hasegawa became a force to be
reckoned with, but they were already in trouble by then and it was a way to
reduce tooling costs for common projects.
What I meant to say was that you could be sure that the Frog Spitfire was
different to the Airfix Spitfire, which was different to the Revell Spitfire
and none were a copy of the Matchbox Spitfire, and so on. Each manufacturer
had a 'style' that was recognisable.
Can't say that today.
There's only so much variation possible before you would no longer have
a recognizable Spitfire. Unless the sprues are virtually identical in
part-outs and location, inspriation was probably limited to looking at
competitors' kits to see what the optimum part layout might be, and
where improvements could be made, to get a leg up on the competition.
Cost-effectiveness might have dictated using a similar parts layout,
without necessarily following to the point of copying tooling. Some
things to consider: Frog usually preferred separate control surfaces,
often breaking down the stabilizers into as many as four pieces each
port and starboard--I don't recall Matchbox going that route with any
kits. Frog's kits always had raised panel lines; Matchbox may have had
some of that, but I also recall the engraved trenches of a good many of
their kits. Frog kits were molded all of the same color plastic;
Matchbox kits were frequently molded in two or three colors (many of
which were god-awful). Frog seats were very different in shape from
Matchbox seats--not that either was the least bit accurate.
Of course. My bad.
Revell must have had collective migranes when they inherited both the Matchbox
and Frog Bf 110 molds.
They used the Frog molds back then, but who knows, they may eventually use the
The C as represented by the Matchbox kit has smaller spinners (just like a
Me-109E) that should be your first noticable difference. The nose, canopy,
engines and rudders were different on the G as well. Parts layout may have been
copied from Frog, that's good business sense. I don't have an open Frog kit for
The Keeper (of too much crap)