Thoughts on Tamiya’s New 1/32 Mosquito FB.VI

Well, it’s official…ish. Recently, Brett Green spilled the beans all over the interwebs. Tamiya’s next 1/32 kit will be the De Havilland Mosquito FB.VI.

yp-e-st-chris

Speculation regarding Tamiya’s next subject has been raging since the Corsair was announced two years ago. I heard it on “good authority” and “on the DL” from those with “an inside line” that the next kit would definitely be a Bf 109. Or a Hawker Hurricane. Or a P-40B Tomahawk. All of them, as it turned out, were wrong.

And so was I, with my fervent hope prediction of a 1/32 P-47 Thunderbolt.

Last time around, the months leading up to the announcement saw speculation solidify into rumors of a Corsair. This time around, the cat was let out of the bag much earlier when pictures of Tamiya’s engineers going over a Mossie were posted to Facebook. Even so, the confirmation still came as a mild surprise – probably given the impending release of HK’s Mosquito B.IV.

mosquito_FB_VI_test_fire

So…the Mosquito FB.VI.

We’re still a few weeks away from seeing the kit in all its glory at Shizuoka Hobby Show, but a few CAD illustrations have found their way online already. Between those and some educated guesses, I figured I’d put together a few thoughts on the Mossie and, yes, start the speculation of the next big Tamiya release!

1 – THE PRICE IS THE REAL SURPRISE

There’s been a lot of handwringing lately over the price of certain new kits – I think notably Wingnut Wings’ Felixstowe and AEG G.IV. Nobody expected a Tamiya 1/32 release to be cheap, but I think most people were expecting a twin-engine like the Mosquito to cross the $200 line with ease.

Not so. The officially listed price? 19,800 yen – which works out to about $166 (as of now you can pre-order it at HLJ for $133). That’s definitely more than the Spitfire, Mustang and Corsair, but not that much more.

2 – WE WILL PROBABLY ONLY SEE ONE OTHER BOXING, IF THAT

Tamiya is notoriously bad about following through on multiple variants of their kits – the Spitfire could have easily been extended into a Mk.Vc and Mk.XIV, at the least, with minor changes and a new engine sprue. A P-51B/C Mustang would have taken more work, but also would have sold gangbusters.

I don’t see any reason for Tamiya to change with the Mosquito. At most, we will see a B.IV bomber variant, and that will be it.

3 – THE F4U-1D IS UP IN THE AIR NOW

Every single modeler has been taking it for granted that Tamiya’s Corsair run would at least include the Birdcage, F4U-1A, and late-war F4U-1D. With the Mosquito arriving, I’m honestly calling that assumption into question.

It may well be that we never get a kit of the “Angel of Okinawa”.

4 – AS USUAL, SHADES OF THE 1/48 KIT

Tamiya’s 1/32 kits are very much their own animals, but if you squint your eyes, you can see how the basic outlines of the engineering draw inspiration from the 1/48 kits that came before.

60326 tamiya mosquito (2)

The same, so far, appears true of the Mosquito. Early CAD illustrations show the integrated cockpit/wing spar that is a prominent feature of the 1/48 Mosquito. This is far from a bad thing – Tamiya’s 1/48 Mosquitos are fantastic – but it is a very different approach than the one HK is taking with it’s B.IV.

5 – EXPECT SOME INTERESTING ENGINEERING

One glimpse of the kit’s tires shows that Tamiya, as usual, is giving as much thought to how the kit goes together as to the details that go into it. Having (thank god) abandoned vinyl tires this time around, Tamiya looks to be taking steps to avoid the dreaded “middle seam” and perhaps even come at realistic bulged tires in a new way. I’ll still be very, very tempted by resin, but these could be very promising.

60326 tamiya mosquito (3)

6 – ANOTHER FACTOR IN SUBJECT PICKING?

Two years ago, I posited that Tamiya picked their subjects based on two factors:

  • Popularity – Developing kits of this magnitude is not cheap, so they need to sell at volume. The Zero, Spitfire, Mustang, Corsair and now Mosquito all fit.
  • Competitive Opening – Tamiya doesn’t shy from competition, but they do tend to aim at subjects that nobody has “nailed”. Then they swoop in with the definitive kit.

With the Mosquito, I’d say we can add a third factor – Precedent. That the subject has been tackled before, in 1/48. This makes a ton of sense – these are the subjects Tamiya is interested in. These are the subjects where they already have a sense of the engineering. And where they have a sense of sales and general subject interest.

7 – LET THE SPECULATION BEGIN

Last time around, I predicted Tamiya’s next 1/32 subject would be announced in 2015, and that it would be a P-47 Thunderbolt.

At least I got it half right!

Looking ahead to the next kit – I’m going to make a similar prediction. The next 1/32 subject will be revealed in April 2017, shown at Shizuoka in May, and released in July 2017.

Why? Precedent. Going back to 2009, Tamiya has established something of a release pattern, with new 1/32 subjects dropping in odd-numbered years:

  • 2009 – Spitfire
  • 2011 – P-51 Mustang
  • 2013 – F4U Corsair
  • 2015 – Mosquito
  • 2017 – ???

So what will we all collectively be freaking out about in 2017?

I’m going to call it now – it will either be a 1/32 P-47 Thunderbolt or a Messerschmitt Me 262.

Let’s look at those three factors again…

Popularity. The P-47 and Me 262 are definitely popular subjects – I would argue moreso than the Mosquito and possibly more than the Corsair. Either one would be guaranteed bank.

Competition. The Jug and 262 both have some rather good offerings in the marketplace. Trumpeter’s Me 262 lineup represents some of their finest kits (although there is still room for improvement). On the Jug side, Hasegawa and Trumpeter both offer what I’d call 75% kits. Good, and buildable, but neither of them is what could be considered a definitive kit.

Precedent. Tamiya has produced both the P-47 and 262 in 1/48 scale, and their kits of both are widely regarded as the best representations in quarter-scale.

Now…the Jug and 262 each have a “wildcard” factor in their favor as well…

  • With the P-47, it’s the Pratt & Whitney R-2800. Tamiya created an exquisite one for the Corsair, and they’ve already demonstrated a penchant for extending engines across kits (see Spitfire and Mustang).
  • With the Me 262, it’s those black crosses on the wings. Modelers just love them the Luftwaffe, and after five uber-kit releases with nary a German anything in sight, one has to imagine there’s pressure to put out something with a balkenkreuz on it.

Could it be something else entirely? Sure! I’m only guessing and projecting off of precedent here. I think the Jug and 262 are the most likely subjects to get the 1/32 treatment next, but here’s where I think some other contenders stand…

  • Bf 109 – Not going to happen. Other companies have swarmed all over the 109, and at prices well below what you see Tamiya’s kits selling for. While I’m sure they could do a much better 109G than Revell or Trumpeter or Hasegawa, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for one.
  • Fw 190 – See the 109. Also add in the imminent Focke Wulf flood coming from the likes of Revell and Zoukei-Mura.
  • Beaufighter, Japanese twin-engines, Skyray – All of these have precedent and competitive openings on their side, but I question the popularity of all of them – especially up against the Jug or 262.
  • Gloster Meteor and Do 335 – Doubt either of these will happen given recent and well-received releases from HK Models as well as an impending 335 from Zoukei-Mura. In fact, I can’t help but wonder if the Mosquito was chosen in part to get ahead of HK…
  • Il-2 Sturmovik – Tamiya’s latest 1/48 release would seem like an obvious target for 1/32-ification, but I just don’t know. The Hobby Boss Il-2 is well-regarded but you never see it being built. And even the Tamiya kit – I saw a ton of builds at first, and then it just vanished. I don’t know that the Il-2 is really all that popular. As a modeler I’d far rather see 1/32 kits of pretty much anything else in the VVS.

Left-Field Options

IF Tamiya goes off the reservation and kits something all-new, or do what I’ve heard a few rumors/made-up hopes of, and tackle a new subject in both 1/48 and 1/32, I think it could be one of these:

  • P-40B/C Tomahawk – Hasegawa has the later Allison-engined P-40s in hand, but nobody’s really made a good 1/32 (or 1/48) early P-40. And with the Flying Tigers in the mix, it’s a very popular aircraft.
  • P-38 Lightning – People have been hoping for Tamiya to tackle the forked-tail devil for years. If there’s one company that could probably crack the engineering, it’s Tamiya.
  • F-14 Tomcat – Last year, a flurry of rumors suggested that Tamiya’s next 1/48 kit would be the F-14. I think that may still be an option…and the complicated nature of the design could explain why 2014 came and went with no new 1/48 release. A 1-2 punch in 2016 and 2017 of a 1/32 Tomcat would make a lot of modern jet fans very, very happy.

What about you?

What do you think of Tamiya’s new Mosquito? What do you think they’ll chase it with? Sound off in the comments!

33 thoughts on “Thoughts on Tamiya’s New 1/32 Mosquito FB.VI

  1. Back when we were talking about the new F4U-1 here I thought the Mossie would be next (I think I ever wrote that in a comment here). Frankly, I can’t wait. I wanted the fighter version and at that price it’s a shoo-in!

  2. Looks good from the images, not something i would be buying but hope to see some on the contest tables around the traps. Happy building guys to those that purchase.

  3. I have never been a huge fan of aircraft, until lately. Seems aircraft kits are getting better and better, so i will probably making more forays into the genre.
    That said, I have always been a fan of Tamiya armor, and I have always been a fan of the Mosquito. I have never even considered spending that kind of money on a kit of any kind, but with this news and stuff I have heard about the other large Tamiya offerings, I may just have to make an exception.

  4. This:
    “With the Me 262, it’s those black crosses on the wings. Modelers just love them the Luftwaffe, and after five uber-kit releases with nary a German anything in sight, one has to imagine there’s pressure to put out something with a balkenkreuz on it.”

    All WW2 subjects and no Axis stuff? Think German or Japanese and you would be correct.

  5. Well thought out, and well presented. Saluti. I would like to see an Axis aircraft next. But not sure it would be a jet. Maybe a Frank or a Zero, for Germany an Fw 190 or perhaps a Ta 152 which would not be a big leap.

    • They’ve already got a Zero – A6M2 and A6M5, actually.

      I highly doubt they’ll do a 190 with both Revell and Z-M planning to cover the radials from opposite directions (Revell starting with the F-8 and I believe Z-M is starting at the A-3). But we shall see!

  6. I agree the Mosquito is an interesting choice. With Tamiya’s engineering skills, it should prove to be a beautiful build. Where to put it after the finish, I’ve not a clue. Don’t see me plucking down the USD for it. Would take it if I won it in a model show raffle, however. In 1/48th scale from Tamiya, would like to see some more jets like an F105. The Monogram is still around and still a good kit. The other one has too many things that need replacement or correction.
    Enjoy our blog, sir! Particularly, the builds as they help point areas of “issue” and help with the correction. This is a “hobby” after all. Correct?!

  7. With an Airfix 24 scale Mossie in the market place currently and the Tamiya product soon to appear at a price point that wouldn’t be too much of a disparity from Airfix’s masterkit I do not understand the rationale of Tamiya’s board of Directors…

    • Tamiya’s board of directors know that their 1/48 Mosi has sold very well.
      Many have not purchased the 1/24 Airfix kit simply because it is toooo large.

      • Honestly 1/24 is a weird scale – and it seems like only Airfix and Trumpeter bother playing there at all. The kits can be amazing (the Typhoon comes to mind), but there’s just not critical mass there to attract more than moderate aftermarket interest.

        I honestly can’t help but see the scale as a hindrance. It’s probably depressing what Airfix can charge for its kits – I know MANY modelers (myself included) who passed on 1/24 subjects because they’d rather wait for 1/32.

        Hell – I paid $120 for my 1/24 Typhoon. As good as it is – if Airfix were to shrink it down to 1/32 and maintain the same level of quality, they could easily sell it for the EXACT SAME PRICE and attract tons of buyers.

  8. Would any one like to take a stab at estimating Tamiya’s production numbers for these
    1/32 “Top Shelf” kits ??
    Guys on The British forums claim Airfix had a break even of 1500 1/24 Mosquitoes
    and they have ended up selling 8,000 with another release this year including new decals

    • 1500 seems REALLY low. At a swag of $200/kit, that’s a total of $300K. I could see that maybe covering design time. Maybe. But design + tooling + raw materials + printing + box printing + decals + marketing? No way.

      I wish I had better insight into the operational details of modeling – but I’d be shocked if Tamiya boxes fewer than 10,000 Mossies. 1/24 is such a scale barrier that I’d bet they peg 1/32 sales probably somewhere midway between 1/24 and however many Tamiya sells in 1/48.

  9. I only hope that Tamiya has not abandoned 1/48 aircraft kits, the last kit was the IL-2 and this kit was released over 2 years ago and lauded as one of their best…..
    Still hoping they do the P47N, that’s a kit we all need (especially hard core P47 fans)
    PS – enjoy your work and your honest appraisal of the kits you build.

  10. I have miss quoted some production figures in my earlier post ,it should be:
    By August last year Airfix had sold three production runs of 1/24 Mosquitoes
    totalling 4500 kits and 8,000 1/24 Typhoons.
    Michael Benolkin wrote a very interesting post called “what’s in the box”
    about kit manufactures having to adapt to todays market to stay in business,
    saying Monogram etc used to do kit runs of 50,000+.
    Tamiya seem to have nailed it with making these special 1/32 kits “highly
    desirable”

  11. Thank you Sir.
    The HLJ…Pre-Order was a winner.
    Kit (will be) sitting in the Private Warehouse,
    Giving me a chance to clear the shop floor.

  12. …What was a surprise, ( to my tortoise speed thought processes) was that Tamiya didn’t offer a later marque knowing that HK would be working on a B MKVI. Kitting a two stage 70 series Merlin variant (with a little bit of detail change from the existing Tamiya Spitfire IX’s 60 series), would have been an economical way to lower development costs and potentially include drop in bulged bomb bay/photo recon options to steal more of the HK market share. IMO, the later two stage Mozzies are more prolific and offer more decal options and mods for the resin guys than the Merlin 21 equipped FB Mosquitoes. Or maybe its a little clue and we’ll see a MkII Hurricane from Tamiya in 2 years time or maybe another early Spitfire?

    • ” Or maybe its a little clue and we’ll see a MkII Hurricane from Tamiya in 2 years time or maybe another early Spitfire?”
      A very interesting idea!

  13. While I am looking forward to a nice 1/32 Mossie, well two actually, there are others I’d really like to come along sooner rather than later. I’d LOVE to see someone do a Twin. I mean come on, no one has done a 1/32 P-82 Twin Mustang in styrene, and the 1 done in 1/48 is piss poor at best. Not to mention near impossible to find anymore. I hope some company does a decent job at a new P/F-82 series.

    • Kitty Hawk seems to be dancing around the idea of a P-51H…which has some common ancestry with the F-82. But I think if we ever see a Twin Mustang, it’ll have to come from one of those hungry, younger kitmakers like Kitty Hawk, or HK. I don’t see Tamiya chasing that one…

  14. I realize that this thread is to be more in the nature of speculation than suggestion, but I’m going there anyway.

    You all know what we really need. Tamiya needs to hear it too. So in case they’re listening in (and I do hope so), what this world REALLY HAS TO HAVE is… wait for it…

    A state-of-the-art (basically Tamiya)…

    1/32 F-86E Sabre!

    (And while we’re at it, 1/48 and 1/72 as well.)

    Think about it, all the blasted F-86s out there are F-86Fs and the Es are what everyone wants. Even the Fs there are aren’t any too hot. A 1/32 F-86E will sell like hot-cakes and be a perfect lead in to the MiG-15 they already have in 1/48. I know we’re all talking WWII here, and there certainly are some great ideas; but come on, you gotta let me have this one. A 1/32 F-86E would be brilliant!

    Michael

  15. Indeed we need a really good P-40B/C Tomahawk in 1/48 or 1/32. This is a real need. Hope that this takes place
    Tolga

  16. So here is the scope on the Tamiya Mossie straight from Tamiya. When I talked to the Tamiya reps at the IPMS NATS the Mossie is coming in at between 260.00 and 280.00 That is way over priced in my opinion for this kit. Factor in that you can now get the HK Mossie for much less. Now before you start to say well the HK kit isn’t as good take a good look at it. The detail is superb in my opinion. Tamiya does offer up a different version, but is it worth the extra to have this kit over the HK offering? I’m not sold on the over pricing of the Tamiya brand anymore. I think Tamiya has lost connection with the average model builders.

    Cheers Murph…

    • Murph – I don’t disagree. This was written when the only price indication was coming out of HLJ – the US MSRP of $281 borders on insulting.

      As for the HK Mossie – I’ve never said it isn’t as good and honestly, engineering-wise, it breaks a lot of new ground. If it weren’t for some shape issues fueling the rivet nazis, I daresay Tamiya would have significant competition from HK’s wooden wonder. They probably still do on price alone.

      If HK ends up doing any later Mossies or – PLEASE – a PR version, I’ll be all over it.

  17. Pingback: 5 Years & 10,000 Likes | Doogs' Models

  18. Pingback: No New 1/32 Tamiya Kit for Shizouka? | Doogs' Models

  19. Pingback: Tamiya’s New 1/32 F4U-1D Corsair – Quick Thoughts | Doogs' Models

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s