Wednesday 12 October 2022

Marusan 1/50 Hayate

With the very kind permission of the eBay seller an opportunity to share these images of a well made model of the Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate from the rare original Marusan 1/50 scale kit of 1961. The kit was re-released twice with new box art by Marusan and subsequently by UPC in 1966 and RSL Classic Models (a New Zealand based re-seller) in the mid-1960s (the various box arts are shown at the bottom of this feature). At the time of its release the engine and cockpit detail were considered noteworthy and the overall appearance commendable. This feature segues neatly from the subject of old Japanese kits of the 1960s to an autumnal season of single-engined Army fighter models including the latest Hayate kit to be offered in 1/72 scale.

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.  

With very special thanks to li_lit for permission to share these images. For those wondering what might have inspired the camouflage scheme on the UPC box art by Andrew 'Scottie' Scott Eidson (shown below) watch this space! 

Image credit: Model images © 2022 li_lit via eBay; Box art via web


Baronvonrob said...

So very enjoyable to see all the various fantastic Box-art interpretations of the same model under different banners.

Thanks to Nick for the history of the Marusan "plastic model" company's rise and eventual demise, and to Libor for the extremely rare models.

MDriskill said...

That's very interesting! I recall seeing some of these in UPC boxes in hobby shops as a kid, but knew nothing of Marusan's history. The collection of mint box art is remarkable.

Ken Glass said...

Thanks, Nick for researching the history of this kit. I missed out on it, when new.