Marusan pioneered plastic model kits in Japan with the release of the Nautilus nuclear submarine in 1958, subsequently releasing an extensive range of aircraft kits in various scales including a series of 1/100 kits and 1/50 scale classics such as the Ki-46, Ki-15, Navy Type 10 triplane torpedo bomber and Aichi 'Jake', all later released by UPC. The company was not without controversy in Japan with a lawsuit following their attempt to copyright the term 'plastic model' and accusations of copying foreign-made kits. The company ceased the plastic kit business in 1967 as a result of bankruptcy.
Wednesday, 12 October 2022
Saturday, 8 October 2022
Initially attracted to the floatplanes Mike went on to acquire as many of the kits as he could find. He considers them to be remarkably nice considering their age and size, and the instructions even make suggestions for detail additions as shown below (note extra Jake struts in dashed lines) and for conversions (Rex prototype).
Mike managed to assemble most, added a few details, hollowed out radial cowls, etc., but never got the overall project finished as he was stymied by the biplanes! Seeing the models and the display base here it is a project that deserves completion.
The images reveal that the subjects are well-shaped and pleasing given the limitations of the scale. In another comment Mike has speculated about the full extent of the range as 'Rufe', 'Jack', 'Grace', and a radial-engine 'Judy' are conspicuously absent from this otherwise impressive selection of major IJNAF single-engined wartime types. The range did extend beyond Japanese types as this website explores, with images of some of the models painted with decals applied, including 'George', 'Rex, 'Pete' and 'Jake'. The site also provides details of other manufacturers 1/300 and near scale aircraft kits.
Nichimo or Nichimoco as they became gave up the plastic model kits business in 2013 after 62 years but this blog's retrospective on the company's aircraft kits failed to include these 1/300 scale kits. Sadly none of the Nichimo moulds seem to have re-surfaced under other brand names.
With very special thanks to Mike for extending knowledge about this range of kits and for sharing these images.
Image credit: All photos © 2022 Mike Driskill
Monday, 3 October 2022
The moulding looks remarkable for the scale and the kits came with decal sheets offering alternative subjects. With special thanks to Kevin for sharing the image of the kit box and parts.
Image credit: © 1981 Nichimo via Kevin Bade and Scalemates.