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
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.
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!