Tamiya Models: Are they Good?
Tamiya models are one of the famous brands when it comes to model kits. Furthermore, they aren’t just renowned for their kits. They are also famous for providing things needed for model kit building, such as paints, primers, brushes, and many more. So, generally speaking, how good is Tamiya?
Tamiya models are good as they are one of the best model kit manufacturers when it comes to providing quality and attention to detail. Furthermore, they are also very keen on producing kits with detailed content that is beginner-friendly. Thus, Tamiya has earned a good reputation for its customers.
In this blog post, we are going to discuss Tamiya, particularly the company and its models. Furthermore, we are going to see some awards given to Tamiya for their quality products. Finally, we are also going to explore some of their famous model series.
Is Tamiya Any Good?
Tamiya may be the most perceived brand name in the modeling industry.
They have produced high-quality, beginner, and intermediate military models, model aircraft, motorcycle models, and model cars.
Tamiya’s models of different scales possess such intricate detail that they are frequently depicted as “museum items.”
Tamiya’s radio control models are so good and have a lot of significance in the industry.
Tamiya has participated much in making everything simple and up to mark for the client’s ease.
They have made easy to use assemblies, paints, and parts as indicated by the expertise levels of a specific individual.
Their expertise level is so high that they make one of the best-detailed model kits in the industry.
Furthermore, they also provide you with detailed instructions to build the models with accuracy but give the modeler as little difficulty as possible.
Their products are valued in the market and are profoundly focused on their customers.
Famous Products of Tamiya
- Ford Ranger 4×4 Mini 4WD
- Hotshot Jr
- Avante Jr
- Sonic Saber Fully Cowled machine
- Nitro Thunder Mini 4WD PRO
- Aero Avante Mini 4WD REV
In the EVO Chassis, Tamiya produces exceptionally top-of-the-line mini four-wheel-drive models.
These models have carbon fiber and aluminum components.
Is Tamiya A Chinese Company?
Tamiya is not a Chinese company. It is a Japanese company that has been producing model kits since 1948. However, Tamiya has started outsourcing some of its manufacturing to China because of China’s lower labor costs. However, despite lower production costs, they have been able to maintain the quality of their products.
This is a popular question since a lot of model kit makers are usually made in China.
The truth is, Tamiya is essentially a Japanese company. They are also supplying in various states of China.
Tamiya also manufactures its products in China, but it is originally Japanese.
Tamiya has been producing excellent-quality scale model kits since 1948.
Today, Tamiya kits are widely recognized as some of the finest kits available.
Their meticulous attention to detail is so exquisite that Tamiya models are used in history museum exhibits worldwide.
A Tamiya model is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a stunning new piece for your collection.
Tamiya corporation is a Japanese maker of plastic model kits, radio-controlled cars, battery, and solar-powered educational models, sailboat models, acrylic and enamel model paints, and various modeling tools and supplies.
Yoshio Tamiya founded the company in Japan year 1946.
“Easy to comprehend and build, even for beginners.” This is what was followed by Tamiya at that time, so Tamiya produced metal molds from plans.
Tamiya Awards and Certifications
Due to its excellent quality and dedication, Tamiya has gained the trust of hobbyists. That’s why they are producing models of exceptional quality and accurate scale detail.
Tamiya’s philosophy is reflected directly in their motto which is to “Prioritize Quality Factor First Around the World.”
Due to their dedicating performance, Tamiya has been awarded the model of the year award, hosted by ModellFan, German Magazine.
After that, Tamiya was highly appreciated by the Military; in return, Tamiya has made 1/35 scale, especially for the use of the Military.
These scale models include gearboxes for motorization, options for batteries inclusion.
What makes them a priority is that they provide easy to assemble kits, along with excellent looks and accurate parts insertion.
Since it was released, Tamiya has earned a good reputation due to its rare manufacturing and features.
Their models allow motor renewal, while more scale-accurate products that did not allow for motorization were renewed after Tiger I’s later model.
From that point onwards, their products were seen as out of this world.
Seeing different organizations were imitating their ease of assembly and accuracy of parts, Tamiya went a step further and added deformities to make the models better looks.
Besides, other modelers felt deformities out of place at that time. People were unsure why King Tiger of Tamiya and other companies coexisted in the market.
Tamiya Water Line Series
The water line series has proudly displayed Tamiya’s manufacturing skills. From when they started selling this series, many kits were bearing their famous name.
Kihachiro Ueda, one of the famous artists of the waterline series, has handled most of the box art:
- Racer Car Series
- Grand Prix Series
- Motorbike Series
- Mini-jet Series
- Warbird Series
Notable Products of Tamiya
- Rough Rider and Sand Scorcher – It was released in 1980 and credited as the first radio-controlled cars to feature a proper off-road suspension.
- Original Blackfoot – This was famous for its monster kitand variations, was first released in 1986 and credited with much of the hobby’s growth.
- Clod Buster – This was released in 1987 as the first Tamiya R/C monster truck with 1/10th scale and radio-controlled features. It contains four wheel drive, two drive motors, and four wheel steering. Virtually spawned clod buster, an aftermarket industry of its own that catered to those who wished to modify their models.
- Bruiser – This is a radio-controlled pickup truck with 1/10th scale. This was released in 1985, had a working three-speed transmission that could be shifted via radio control. Also, a high-torque RS-750SH motor and an ultra-realistic Toyota Hilux body with a camper shell and interior detail.
- Mini 4WD Dangun-Racer – this is a series of small (1/32 scale), single-motor, free-operating electric models designed to run in competition on a special, deeply channeled track.
- TRF414 – This is a radio-controlled car; holder of the 2002-04 1/10th scale touring car world champion title.
- TRF415 – This is the holder of the 2005 1/10th scale radio controlled touring car world champion title.
- Hornet – This is a radio-controlled buggy first released in 1984. One of the most popular and appreciated R/C kits of all time and has recently been re-released.
These products of Tamiya are based on advanced technologies and have various features, making them still useful and prioritized by the industry.
Tamiya Recent Releases
- Frog – a 1/10-scale electric buggy that served as the basis for the popular Blackfoot monster truck
- Lunch Box – a 1/12-scale electric monster truck topped with a customized Dodge Tradesman van body
- Grasshopper – one of Tamiya’s earliest and simplest entry-level buggies. An electronic speed control replaces the mechanical speed control originally shipped with the kit.
These three recently released products of Tamiya have highly added value to its production, trust among customers, and corporation in the marketplace.
Besides, these advanced featured vehicles are now becoming more and more popular this year.
What’s next? If you’ve decided to build a Tamiya model, do you know how long it takes or what you need to prepare for your build? If you’re interested, you can check my other blog post. Here is the link: How long does it take to finish a model?
“Only the things I love”
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So, here are the things I love when taking care of my Diecast Models.
Cleaning the Models
The first we are going to talk about is cleaning the models.
- Air Brush – For me, this is the best since it not just removes dust but you can use it in painting/clear coating.
- Air Duster – This is a good alternative to Airbrush
- Normal Brush – If you are short on budget, you can use a normal brush. However, make sure that the brush has soft bristles because there are some hard brushes than can cause scratches. That’s why I recommended a good brush that can do the job properly.
Cleaning and Shining Hacks
Well, here are some of my cleaning hacks for removing scratches, oxidation, and so much more.
- Removing Decal Adhesive – Use Goo Gone on those hard-to-remove decal adhesives. It works fast and works like charm!
- Waxing and Polishing – Here is something a lot of people don’t know. Waxing protects the clear coat and paint while polishing shines the model. Instead of buying it separately, use a 2 in 1 to save money. Get this instead.
- Beginner Wax – The wax I recommended earlier is good and provides the best results based on my experience. But a beginner might have a problem especially if they’re not good at applying wax. Solid wax reaching hard to reach surface can be hard to remove. You have two choices here. One is to use a qtips to reach those surfaces, another is to use a liquid wax I recommended.
- Cleaning Wheels, Rubber, Plastic – Do not forget that rubber and plastic surface are quite different, especially in the cleaning process. Just wiping it down won’t do the job. That’s why I use Meguiar’s Vinyl and Rubber Cleaner and Conditioner. Works like charm!
- Make the Wheels Shine! – Making our models look good won’t be complete without tiny details such as shiny wheels! Do not forget this because however small this is, the difference can be as big as night and day.
- Remove Scratches Easily – Tiny scratches are not the end for your model. Here is a simple trick I’ve been using to make my models look scratch-free even without repainting. Use T-Cut.
Painting the Models
Make sure when you paint models, have these ready.
- Tape – A tape is important if you are painting a straight line. Furthermore, it will prevent your paint to scatter on other parts. I recommend Tamiya Tape since it is really made for models. Furthermore, they stick really well preventing paint splatters.
- Brush (Beginner) – Find a good set of brushes to paint your models. Of course, you can opt for an airbrush but it’s quite expensive.
- Airbrush (Intermediate/Expert) – This will yield a significantly better result than an ordinary brush because you can easily spray the paint evenly. I recommend this if you know what you’re doing.
- Stand(Optional) – Stands are good because it can be hard to manually hold the models while painting. It is optional but in my opinion, the price is well worth it for the comfort it gives.
- Drop Cloths – Drop Cloths will protect your surroundings from the paint.
- Primer – The most common beginner mistake I see is painting models without any Primer. A primer will prevent imperfections such as bubbles or paint not sticking to your models. It is a small price to pay for quality results.
- Clear Coat – A clear coat will protect the paint of your models. This will make the paint last longer. Also, it is the one responsible for making your models shine.
Of course, you can’t do painting properly without paint. So here are the ones I recommend.
- Acrylic Paint – Good for beginners because it dries quickly. However, it doesn’t produce results as good as enamel paint.
- Enamel Paint – Provides a good quality finish and longer-lasting paint. However, it takes longer to dry and requires expertise to use.
- Simple Wood Cabinet – While it doesn’t let you display your models, wooden cabinets are good storage for these models. For one, they are not heat conductors which means that the temperature inside will remain constant and remain cool. Furthermore, they prevent light from reaching the models which can cause oxidation.
- Clear Cabinet with Lock – If you want to display your models, then I recommend this. It closes so dust won’t easily get to your models. I also recommend you don’t put more than 1 model in each compartment since metals are good conductors of heat.
So you want to show off your models to others? Well, I got you covered.
Here is my beginner-friendly model photography tutorial that teaches everything from taking pictures to the editing process.
You will also see me doing hands-on photography in that tutorial.
Here is the link: How to Take Pictures of a Diecast Model or Model Kit | Helpful Illustrated and Video Guide