Monthly Archives: June 2018

Shizuoka’s ‘holy land’ for model kits has problem: It’s too popular

Modelers show off their stuff at a group exhibition of the Shizuoka Hobby Show at Twin Messe Shizuoka. (Takafumi Yabuki)

From The Asahi Shimbum

SHIZUOKA–“Big” is a common theme at the Shizuoka Hobby Show.

The venue is surrounded by some of the biggest names in the model kit industry. The annual event is held in the largest exhibition hall complex in the prefecture. And participation from around the world continues to expand.

But even the “holy place” for model lovers has its limits.

“It’s becoming too crowded,” one of the organizers said. “We might have to decline new exhibitors from next year.”

Every year, the Shizuoka Hobby Show attracts about 70,000 visitors. The 57th event was held from May 10 through 13 at Twin Messe Shizuoka.

The show is organized by the Shizuoka Model and Educational Material Cooperative Association, consisting of Tamiya Inc., famed for its Mini 4WD cars, Hasegawa Corp., known for its aircraft models, and Aoshima Bunka Kyozai Co., which has been praised for quality car models. These companies are all based in Shizuoka Prefecture.

A factory of Bandai Spirits Co., which split from giant toymaker Bandai Co. in 2018 and is known for model kits from the “Mobile Suit Gundam” franchise, is also based in the city of Shizuoka.

The show is dedicated to scale models, unlike other toy fairs around the world, and provides a venue for about 80 model manufacturers to showcase their new products.

But it also provides a rare opportunity for amateur modelers to share their works with like-minded fans.

More than 270 modeling clubs in Japan and from overseas showcased about 10,000 works in a group exhibition during the event.

Sven Frisch from Germany said he learned the name “Shizuoka” before “Tokyo.” The 44-year-old said he first assembled a Tamiya tank at the age of 8.

As part of Team Euro, he was here to exhibit a model of a German self-propelled artillery from World War II, which his grandfather served on.

He reconstructed the old vehicle from scratch after studying documents kept at public archives and libraries.

Despite all of his efforts, he said he could not exhibit it in his country for political reasons.

This year, participants from the United States and China, as well as countries in Southeast Asia and Europe, attended the show. According to organizers, the number of amateur exhibitors from abroad has increased in the last couple of years.

Tim Lingle, 54, who runs a model-making school in the U.S. state of New Jersey, was a member of Team America. In his first participation in the group show, he presented a fighter of the imperial Japanese military and a helicopter of the U.S. Navy.

“Shizuoka is the holy place for model fans all over the world,” Lingle said excitedly. “My childhood dream came true.”

He is not the only one with that dream.

Attendance of general visitors and exhibitors from Japan and abroad is expected to continue to climb. And this has created a big problem for the organizers.

Twin Messe Shizuoka was so crowded this year that exhibitors were spilling out into meeting rooms and the reception area.

The show organizer has asked the operator of the complex, an affiliated body of the city government, to build extensions.

However, the city official in charge of the venue said the overall usage rate of the facility is “dwindling, with the exception of the hobby show,” so expansion might not be financially viable.

Other areas of the “holy place” are also seeing more visitors.

Tamiya has been offering reservation-only tours of its headquarters here. About 600 foreign visitors joined the tour in 2017, a fivefold increase from five years earlier, and many are from other Asian countries, such as South Korea and China, according to the company.

The company said the increase may be attributed to the fact that model-making hobbyists are “often wealthy” and fall into the same group of people who can afford to travel to Japan.

The Shizuoka city government is also eyeing the modeling industry as a tourist attraction. It opened a permanent model gallery, Shizuoka Hobby Square, in 2011 in front of JR Shizuoka Station, a Shinkansen stop.

Source in Japanese language: The Asahi Shimbum

Some upcoming Tamiya motorcycle re-releases

14029 1/12 Suzuki RG250F Full Options
14034 1/12 Suzuki GSX 750S New Katana
16001 1/6 Honda Dream CB750 Four

Tamiya Summer Tour 2018

Tamiya summer tour August 7th and 8th

Not to mention model fans, those who are planning to start modeling and RC from now on, those who care about Tamiya for a moment can not be missed. We will hold the “Tamiya Summer Tour” which we can join in the group as well this year. The schedule is two days of August 7th and 8th. We prepare 1 day course and afternoon course on both days. In addition, you can choose 3 menus in the morning and afternoon sections to suit your taste. Please come and visit the fun filled tour. (Advance submission is required.)

Holding period: Tuesday, August 7, Tuesday, Wednesday, August 2018 * End of the event 15:00

Venue: Tamiya Head Office Co., Ltd. (3-7, Injidahara, Suruga Ward, Shizuoka City)

Visiting fee: Free * Prices for teaching materials will be charged for the morning production experience.

Time schedule

course One day course (morning and afternoon participation) Afternoon course (participate only in the afternoon)
  9:00 ~ 9:40 Receptionist
9:40-10:00 Company information VTR screening
10 00 ~ 12:00
【Production Experience (charged)】
· Water Motorbike Working Set
· Plavan Accessory
· Mini 4WD High Speed ​​Machine
12:00 ~ 12:50 lunch Company information VTR screening
※ Reception by 12: 30
13:00 ~ 15:00
· In-house tour / RC experience
· Tamiya fan meeting
· Mini 4WD race experience
· In-house tour / RC experience
· Tamiya fan meeting
· Mini 4WD race experience

※ The contents of the event etc may be changed.
※ Please accept the reception on the first day course until 9:40 and the afternoon course at 12:30.

Morning department 10:00 ~ 12:00 Choose from the following 3
* Attendants are not required to pay the fee for teaching materials etc.

◆ Water Motorbike Working Set Production Experience
Equipped with a centrifugal pump at the rear of the underwater motor, the figure going forward while blowing water is exactly like a real water bike. You can challenge the making of a fun work series “water bike working set” that is perfect for such summer . After purchasing the set, we make it, and after completion we will actually play on the water. Since the staff will support assembly, we are safe even for first time.
【Teaching materials cost + battery included 2,052 yen (tax included)】

◆ Pla-Plate Accessory Production Experience
We make accessories using “Chi-mu transparent platrab” which
transforms small when heated . Draw pictures and letters with oily magic and heat in electric oven toaster. If you attach a key ring or a string, you will have your own original accessories. We will also sell and produce paper boxes. 【Materials cost + 1 key holder with 216 yen (tax included)】 ※ The design (pattern) to be photographed in Plavan is prepared here, but if you have a favorite picture you want to access as writing on paper (size 10 cm × 10 cm) You may bring it.

◆ Mini 4WD High Speed ​​Machine Production Experience
We will manufacture the machine by incorporating the upgrade parts into the mini 4WD kit (MA chassis). We purchase the necessary set, and the assembly is supported by Tamiya staff. We also prepared sales corners for parts and kits. It is a menu not to be missed by fans who are considering participating in the Japan Cup.
【Materials cost + battery + plated body attachment 2,160 yen (tax included)】

Afternoon Department 13:00 ~ 15:00 Select from the following 3

◆ In-house visits / radio control car maneuvering experience
Tamiya’s in-house observation menu such as the mold section, the planning development section, the design section, etc. which can not be seen normally. Moreover, detailed explanation of the staff in charge, of course, the question is also OK. Also, in a radio control car maneuvering experience, you can enjoy traveling and playing games on special courses. * Radio Control Car Carrying experience is done indoors.

◆ Tamiya fan meeting
full of talks that you can not miss if you are a model fan that spans a wide range of genres such as tanks, cars, airplanes, boats, etc. while talking about the experiences of President Tamiya. You can taste the deep world of Making Hobby. [Junior high school student and more limited]

◆ Mini 4WD race experience
You can experience the mini 4WD racing experience using the full-fledged 5 lane course used in Tamiya’s official race. As well as the machine completed in “Mini 4WD Fastest Machine Production Experience”, you can use your own machine OK. We also prepared a rental machine. Please enjoy the excitement of the Japan Cup.

Please enjoy freely after the tour. 15:00 ~ 16: 00

◆ Visit showrooms, historic halls
You can see precious wooden models, historical plastic models and RC cars.

◆ Shopping
Special prices items, shop limited original goods were also prepared. Please find a digging kit and use it for souvenirs.
【TAMIYA SHOP】 Business hours 9: 00 ~ 16: 30 (Saturday & Sunday and our company holidays are closed.) Plamodel, RC, Mini 4WD, Crafts, original goods, paint etc. were prepared in large numbers.

Application method · Inquiries etc.

· Small and junior high school students are accompanied by parents, but separate actions can be taken for participation programs . Parents should accompany the preschool children. You can apply for even more than high school students.
· For each application, please apply for 1 child and 3 children or less.
· We will group according to the family and group you applied.
· When applying from mobile, notifications and messages from Tamiya will be sent by domain mail of “”, so please set so that you can receive mail from this domain.
· For those who apply for one-day course, please have lunch. (There are also sales of lunch on the day.)
· In case of schedule, course, participation program change, in case of cancellation please contact e-mail or “Tamiya Tour” meeting (TEL: 054-286-5105).
· In the case of a large number of applications, I will make a lottery.

【Application from website】 ⇒ Please fill out this application form.
Application deadline: Thursday, July 19th 【Application by mail (sealed letter)】 ⇒ · Requested date · Requested course · Applicant’s name · Age · Postal code · Address · Telephone number · To the participation program Please include the number of participants (including attendants) etc, enclose the 92 yen stamp, and send it to the address below. Address: 〒 422-8610 Suruga Ward, Shizuoka City 3-7, Inamihara, Co., Ltd. Application deadline for Tamiya Tournament Corner Deadline: until July 19 th (Thu) arrival

* The final guide will be notified by mail or e-mail to all applicants in late July. Sorry to trouble you, but please contact the “Tamiya Tour Stage” staff (TEL: 054-286-5105) if there is no contact. Also, please contact us in case of schedule change or cancellation.
【Inquiries】 “Tamiya Tour” Participants TEL: 054-286-5105

Map ⇒ Access here

■ The pattern of the event is taken with still images, movies, etc., and it may be published on each media related to Tamiya, such as printed matter and homepage. Please acknowledge your participation.
■ The organizer will pay attention to accident prevention, but we can not assume the responsibility in case of accident, theft, injury or other damage.
■ If you do not follow the instructions of the staff, you may be sent off. Please note.

Tamiya 67418 Hooded Towel (manufactured by Imabari)

Tamiya marks on white background, simple original design hooded sports towel. Ehime prefecture boasts the top market share of domestic towels, using high-quality towel in Imabari city. With 100% cotton, the touch is soft and water-absorbing is also preeminent. Also, because it is hooded, you can wear it, it will be active in various outdoor scenes as a sun shield and rain exclusion. Hook with difficulty to shift when wore. It is a charming finish as a fashion item.

★ Color: White, Material: 100% cotton

※ The image on sale may differ slightly from the actual product.

Interview with a Tamiya tool mold maker

Provided by: Minabe College Editorial Department

Do you know the work called Mold Tool? It is a task to make a mold which becomes the basis for producing a large quantity of exactly the same things such as machines and automobile parts. Molds are used not only in automobiles but also in empty cans, various equipment and materials, etc. in a wide range of industries. Because each product must not have a difference, very much technology is required for its production.
This time I talked to Keisuke Sano belonging to the mold section of Tamiya Co., Ltd. about the appeal of work and the chance to get into work.

To summarise this article

  • Even a small mistake by newcomers makes veterans aware. It is absolutely not allowed to pull out hands!
  • An experience of making plastic models as a child is useful
  • Not only knowledge and skills, but also the feeling that it wants to be extremely important is important!

High technology is required for small model die

Q1. Please let me know the job overview and the schedule of the day.

We manufacture molds for producing our own products such as plastic models, radio controllers and mini 4WDs. Molds are necessary for mass production of high quality products and are essential for manufacturing industry. Especially since the mold which I handle is many small models such as cars and airplanes, very high accuracy is required. Manufacture of molds is very important, since the production of molds is directly linked to the quality of products.
07:30 Working 08:00 Starting in the morning 12: 00 Lunch break 13 : 00 Starting in the afternoon 17 : 00 Quitting work

Q2. What is fun and rewarding for work?

Manufacturing molds to produce various products by processing what was a mass of iron will be the process of creating hands “hand” by themselves, so it will be involved in such work I feel pleasure and joy. Since “Tamiya’s model” is also evaluated as the world’s highest quality, we are proud of making molds that produce that product. And when you witness the moment when you pour the material into the mold and become the shape of the product, you get a particularly great sense of accomplishment.

Also, die making is done using a wide variety of machines while considering efficient methods, but it requires extensive knowledge and experience. Learning from past failures and experiences, I feel challenging and enjoyable to absorb as knowledge.

Q3. Is there anything tough to do at work / feel hard?

The mold is made through many processes. In recent years the speed of development has increased and there are many jobs with short delivery times, so making one mistake makes a big inconvenience to the process before and after, making the production schedule inevitable. It is a severe job that does not allow deception as it remains visible in the form of a mold.

Even a very small mistake that you do not notice as a new die molder, you will immediately know if you see a veteran mold tool. I also often failed when I was a newcomer. Even though I thought “I do not notice!”, You are still seeing it (bitter smile).

At present, more than half of Tamiya products are produced in our own factory in the Philippines. Since we are also making molds in the Philippines, it is necessary for the mold staff to transfer abroad and convey the technology in order to make better products. Without deep knowledge and abundant experiences, I can not teach and I can not earn the trust of local employees. Although there are serious aspects, I try to absorb the skills of the seniors on a daily basis to become an ideal technician and I am studying.

Studying machining and drawing, getting employed to Tamiya

Mold of plastic model. There are many complicated and detailed parts, and there are many things that take months to complete

Q4. What kind of opportunities and circumstances did you get this job?

Originally I liked manufacturing, so high school entered business high school, hoped to learn machine machining and drafting and take advantage of it.
I was a local industrial high school and I was familiar with a lot of seniors who are active in Tamiya employment. I did not want to make a mold from the beginning, but in my recruitment form I came to the school there was a mold part of Tamiya famous for mini 4WD and plastic model which I was playing since I was a little, so I applied for it .

Q5. What did you learn to get to this job?

In industrial high school he entered mechanical department and gained basic knowledge of industrial such as machine processing and drawing.
After joining the company, I taught a lot of things to veteran mold workers. Although I was scolded for a few years after joining the company and it seemed to be frustrated, but now when I think about it, again, my seniors are very grateful that everyone is saying the right thing.

Q6. Do you feel that the dream that you held when you were a high school student led to your current job?

Since I was thinking that I wanted to get a job that could make things, the dream I had when I was a high school student has led to my present. The foundation of making things that I learned from my experiences at school and experiences playing with mini 4WD and plastic model when I was small was very useful.

Q7. What kind of person do you think is suitable for the mold maker?

As a proverb of saying “I love what I love”, I think that those who like to make something are suitable. Also, because there are many precise work, it is easy for skilled people to use their abilities.

Technical aspects can be trained as much as you enter the company. Learning something special in high school does not overwhelmingly become advantageous. Rather than that, I think that I like models, I think that it is important to feel something extreme.

Tamiya is a company that is made up of the passion of people who love models and likes it and the high technology that is regarded as the top level in the world. The mold maker is also a gathering of people who like monozukuri and like model making. If you have a strong belief that you do not give up even a little harder, you will surely be a good mold maker.

Q8. Please give me a message for high school students.

When you graduate from high school you will make a big choice about the way you will go in the future. It will be selected by asking advice from various people, but first I would like you to choose your own will to do the most.

And, even if you encounter difficulties or fall into a pinch do not turn backwards, I think that you want to try hard on the road that you chose. Even if that way is slightly different from what I first imagined, if it is the way I chose with my own will, I should be able to hold on!

The lawn on the other side may seem blue and it may actually be blue. There may be things that really does not go well on the road you choose. I do not want you to give up easily, but I think that it may be good to redo the way after doing what you should do.

In order to become a mold worker, you should learn about industries and machinery. In general, getting employed to mold manufacturers and parts processing manufacturers is a shortcut to die molding. Having a national qualification “Mold making skill” makes it advantageous for employment. Also, knowledge of mathematics and computers may be required, so if you want to aim for a die-caster, let’s learn thoroughly from now.

Profile: Tamiya Co., Ltd. Mold Manufacturing Division Keisuke Sano

Source in Japanese language: Shinro No Mikata