Just opened mine yesterday and was amazed. Not at the detail and quality
that I've come to expect from Tamiya (which are amazing in this kit - die
cast road wheels already primed!); I was sadly amazed that the instructions
included steps for photo etched parts that are integral to the kit (driver's
hatch lip, fuel drum tie downs, screens) but only available in a separate
I don't mind if these were additions or modifications, but the drivers hatch
lip is not produced in the kit part, the fuel drum tie downs are not
present, and you get the idea about the screens. It's not that the extra
kit is nice to have, the extra kit is needed to accurately depict the model.
C'mon, sanding off the molded on hatch lip would have been an option if I
wanted to add an etched part, I've sanded many a molded-on fuel drum
tie-down on Russian tanks, etc... I'm saying that it should have been an
option, not a requirement.
The fact that the instruction show the installation of the parts in their
proper steps in the kits instructions just adds insult to injury.
At $57 I'd expect such major things to be molded on or optional to place in
lieu of aftermarket parts, not instructions to buy more necessary pieces.
As long as I'm my soap box, part of the instructions reminded me of a
magazine with advertisements scattered throughout (use Tamiya Glue, use
Tamiya benders, use Tamiya Scissors...).
Is this a fluke? Tamiya did something like this with the Kubelwagen awhile
back with the engine kit. It was an add-on that was not needed to make the
basic model, and was totally optional. Are there any other kits out there
that aren't complete that require more purchases to build the basic modeled?
Is this the shape of things to come? Am I wrong in thinking this way?
I myself will get real tired very quickly of spending $60 odd dollars for an
incomplete kit loaded with advertisements and instruction on what to
purchase next to actually build the kit correctly.
Ok, soapbox put away, thanks for letting me vent :)
"Michael Brizendine User"
Good info on a possible Tamiya trend. While I can't get too exercised about
the advertising in the instruction sheet, the need for a second, integral
kit is kinda cheesy.
Any mention in any form of the "optional" associated kit on the outside of
the primary kit box?
Nothing spelled out on the box that remotely hints that you need another
separate kit, though the phrase "Model may vary from image on box" is
sandwiched in with 3 other small blue sentences in the upper right hand
corner of the box. I had just assumed that meant the difference in decals
and/or painting; or the box artists creative license. No stickers on the
Can't account for the Japanese on the box however :)
Of note, the photos on the box (not the drawings) of a completed model show
clearly the photoetched drivers hatch lip installed and, and (to my eyes
anyway) I can see the fuel drum tie down straps and screens. The angle
makes it a little difficult to be sure on the latter two, but I think I see
The drawings clearly show the fuel drum tie-down straps, no mistaking them
They did the same thing with the Swordfish biplane several years ago,
brought out the kit and then released a seperate photo etch set including
the rigging wires, the torpedo sight and some engine details. Whilst you
could build the kit without them, a biplane simply doesn't look right unless
You have to give it to the Japanese model companies they know how to make
money out of us, Hasegawa produces it's aircraft kits with no weapons
supplied so you have to buy their weapons sets, and they also make multiple
releases of the same kit with differing decal options each time.
This is one reason both DML and Trumpeter are beginning to take the
1/35th market away from the big T. Both of them offer kits with
OPTIONAL etched parts included in them rather than after-market, and
also provide a choice between stryene or etched bits.
Trumpeter also offers a choice between link-and-length tracks or vinyl
in its kit, something Tamiya never did (you got one or the other, and
their aftermarket track kits were the most expensive styrene ones
around at one point.)
I think erroneous marketing goofs like this are one reason they are
going into 1/48 -- to cede the market to the other companies who do it
better -- and cheaper.
They are doing this in some of the new car kits also. The Calsonic Impul Z
also contains instructions for use of the optional Tamiya PE set. In the
case of the car, the kit builds just fine without the PE, they just
replace/enhance some parts, so they certainly aren't necessary to complete
the kit. However, it is a little confusing and annoying to have the
instructions in the box for something that isn't included IMHO.
My take on it is that if it is in the instructions, it ought to be in the
box. If Tamiya wants to sell PE separately, that's fine. They should just
keep the PE instructions with the PE set, like they have done for previous
sets for the Leopard 2A5 and M1A2.
After thinking on it for a few more hours, I'll take it one better - if it's
in the photos and drawings of the actual model on the box then it should be
included. I haven't decided if it's exactly false advertising yet, but it's
I don't build cars of airplanes so I was unaware of these other models
mentioned, but it does seem as if Tamiya is testing the waters one toe at a
time to see what we'll put up with. I have gone to the Tamiya site for the
Leclerc and clicked on the link for "tell us what you think" (or words to
that effect) and did exactly that.
For me the damage has been done. I usually look for a subject I'm
interested in from Tamiya first, but now I'm going to be a lot more
skeptical of the sales pitch on their boxes.
Michael Brizendine User wrote in
ought to be in
better - if
box then it
waters one toe
Like Cookie said, DML is releasing beautiful kits with with
all sorts of what would normally be aftermarket in the box
for half of what Tamiya charges. Frankly Tamiya is prcing
itself away from me anyway, but to HAVE to buy extra to
complete the kit? Not hardly. The AFV Club Tiger looks to be
in the same zone as DML. Trumpeter with the KV 1&2 seems to
really be socking it to Tamiya on thier home turf with better
and similarly priced kits.
I think Tamiya is becoming ossified in it's thinking. While I
applaud the 1/48 armor the tracks on the Carrier are a
dissapointment. I really don't get what they are thinking
unless they just don't care. RC is big for them, maybe they
are just doing kits from force of habit. Pity, that.
If it's in the picture on the box top, it better be inside or it's false
advertising. Different decals or paint, no problem- that's a little artistic
license. Photoetch on the cover and none inside is pretty out of line.
Hasegawa's tendency to rerelease kits with different decals, I'm pretty
happy with. Keeps kits on the market longer, they make more profit from the
same molds, and I just might not have to buy aftermarket decals.
Tamiya seems to be kind of coasting on their reputation. Trumpeter will be
eating their lunch, not to mention DML.
Have a friend who can translate the Japanese? If you're thinking of
charging false advertising you should find out if the disclaimer is
hiding there. Even so, how many of us Westerners can read Japanese?
Therefore hiding it there is unreasonable, IMHO.
Bill Banaszak, MFE
Well, I can't comment on the Leclerc, but the Tamiya 1/35 Calsonic Impul Z
car has basically the same deal with the kit instructions showing the
installation of the separately available PE set specific for the kit. The
side of the box clearly shows the PE set with the note that says it is not
included. Instead it says the PE set is recommended to add extra detail to
the model. That seems pretty clear to me that you aren't going to get it
inside the box. The actual instructions also pretty clearly state (in
English, Japanese, and French) just above the first step that a PE set is
available and instructions are included, but the PE parts are not included
in the box. Again pretty clear.
Now regarding the box art, the kit has a painting of the car. I'm pretty
sure the Leclerc also has a painting on it's boxtop. You can argue that
it's supposed to be a painting of the real thing, not exactly what's inside
the box. If comparing the box painting to what's inside is false
advertising, a lot more than companies than Tamiya are guilty of this. A
bad example of this are the box are paintings on Hasegawa's 1/48 F-104S and
1/32 F-104G/S kit, which show an Italian S with full underwing pylons,
underwing tanks, and the underintake missile rails, none of which is in the
I think the only thing that might come close to legally being false
advertising would be if they show a picture on the box of the actual model
(not a painting, not a photo of the real thing) built with parts not
included in the kit and don't say anything about it.
That is definitely a fuzzy area. If an aircraft model, on the box-top,
shows an attached stretched sprue aerial...is it then "false advertising"
if a length of stretched sprue is not included in the kit? Why are
"different decals" okay? Decals are "parts" just like pieces of
If one wanted to enforce "true advertising", then the box-top should contain
a photo of the enclosed sprues, decals, instruction sheet, etc....and no
more. Showing a finished painted model, would be "false advertising", since
very few kits come with the required paints.
Artistic and photographic "enhancement" of the subject, for selling purposes
is nothing new, nor is it unique to scale models....it has been the practice
for 1/1 scale "female" models for eons...lol.
Very few of us are the first ones to buy a new kit (except in the cases
where we have been granted a test-shot, or something). By the time we get
our kits, someone *else* has usually written something about it; telling the
rest of the world what you do and do not get, with the kit.
To clarify, the Leclerc has a painting on the box cover which shows the tank
angled in such a way that the photo etch parts would not be seen.
On the near side panel are three colored line drawings, and on the far side
panel is a picture of a completed model showing one of the photo etched
parts clearly, and several others that appear to me to be there.
Due to the angle of the photo I cannot say 100% sure, but I'd go with 99%.
The end panels are smaller copies of the box top painting.
To reiterate, it's not that the photo etched parts add greater detail or
modify the basic kit -- they are used in areas to complete parts that are
obviously incorrect without them (the shape of the drivers hatch with the
distinctive lip, the tie downs which hold the fuel drums -- they could have
been molded on IMHO).
As a side note all of this has caused me to study the box in far greater
detail than I have ever studied a model box before (aside from the
pictures). I found an address for Tamiya in Germany, USA, and the website;
but the kit was made in the Philippines without and address.
One other item that was a wee bit disturbing: "Warning, this product
contains chemicals which are known to the state of California to cause
cancer, birth defects, and reproductive harm".
Man, I'm glad I live in Alabama :)
Nah, I'm not that angry (or capable of taking on an international company
over a single model!). I've voiced my displeasure to Tamiya on their
website email link, and will modify my selection and purchasing practices
accordingly in the future.
Michael> On 8/26/05 5:57 , in article
Michael> H5NPe.5291$2 firstname.lastname@example.org,
Michael> "Dave Williams" wrote:
Michael> After thinking on it for a few more hours, I'll take it
Michael> one better - if it's in the photos and drawings of the
Michael> actual model on the box then it should be included. I
Michael> haven't decided if it's exactly false advertising yet,
Michael> but it's pretty close. I don't build cars of airplanes
Michael> so I was unaware of these other models mentioned, but it
Michael> does seem as if Tamiya is testing the waters one toe at a
Michael> time to see what we'll put up with. I have gone to the
Michael> Tamiya site for the Leclerc and clicked on the link for
Michael> "tell us what you think" (or words to that effect) and
Michael> did exactly that. For me the damage has been done. I
Michael> usually look for a subject I'm interested in from Tamiya
Michael> first, but now I'm going to be a lot more skeptical of
Michael> the sales pitch on their boxes. TMB
Interesting, and I feel for you! I looked at this model just last
night, in the local hobby shop, and thought,m damn, that looks
good. But at 3800yen with the box saying that it was supported and
licensed by GIAT, it plain turned me off completely. I did not realize
that PE parts were involved even though I skimmed the instruction
pages, and no, there was no mention of that on the box, in English or
Japanese. I could not find a date either, which is strange since it is
usually printed on the box somewhere. Now I hear that it is a brand
new kit. One thing that surprised me is that, compared to aircraft
models, the details are quite blunt and rounded. Perhaps that's how
the real thing is, but I kind of expected more crispness, even in the
fairly large 1:35 scale.
Ah well, glad I didn't buy it....
Michael> One other item that was a wee bit disturbing: "Warning,
Michael> this product contains chemicals which are known to the
Michael> state of California to cause cancer, birth defects, and
Michael> reproductive harm".
Michael> Man, I'm glad I live in Alabama :)
ROTFLM... yeah, the curtains swaying in the evening breeze knocked
over a bottle of Mr. Color thinner, which leaked ever so slightly
during the night, and causing me a massive headache in the morning -
despite the open windows! I would say, we modelers should be taking
far far greater precautions than we have thus far in dealing with the
materials of our hobby. With ever more new products coming to market,
ever stronger, quicker-acting, more durable, etc. etc., there are many
more chemicals and combinations thereof to worry about than ever
: With ever more new products coming to market,
: ever stronger, quicker-acting, more durable, etc. etc., there are many
: more chemicals and combinations thereof to worry about than ever
But first, we have to do something about hydrogen hydroxide.
The havoc it wreaks through its unregulated use and disposal in
the form of suffication and the cellular damage due to exposure
to solid hydrogen hydroxide and its vapors is unacceptable!
Not to mention the billions of dollars of damage this natural,
uncontrolled substance causes yearly worldwide.
California ourportedly had some politicians ready to try and
regulate this dealy substance, but were cowed into withdrawing
their bill by pressure from the chemical lobbyists.