Back in April, I posted a lengthy analysis of Tamiya’s 1/32 release patterns (LINK). If you have’t read it yet, I highly recommend it to at least get a sense of what the precedents are.
In that post, I put forward three predictions (among others):
- We would not see a new 1/32 Tamiya kit this past summer
- A second Mosquito variant – likely a B.IV or NF.II – would be announced this fall, likely at the All Japan Hobby Show
- The next 1/32 subject will be announced in April 2017, shown publicly at the Shizouka show in May, and released later in the summer
The first has borne out. But it’s the second I want to talk about.
Because I’m starting to think we’re not going to get a second Mosquito kit. That the FB.VI will be a one and done.
Because the All-Japan Hobby Show, the show where Tamiya unveiled its last two 1/32 “variants” – the F4U-1A and the Pacific Mustang, has just come and gone.
It was a busy show for Tamiya. They showed off not only their new 1/48 F-14A, but their new 1/24 Acura NSX, a new Kawasaki Ninja H2R bike kit, and an out-of-nowhere new-tool 1/35 M40 Big Shot that, honestly, looks really damn nice.
But…there was no Mosquito B.IV or NF.II in sight.
Now…it is possible that Tamiya is waiting. Maybe to let their F-14 and other new releases have the limelight.
The Spitfire XVI was first announced, after all, in November 2010, well after the late September timeframe of the F4U-1A Corsair and Pacific P-51.
So it’s totally possible that we could turn around tomorrow, or two weeks from now, with word of Tamiya’s next Mossie.
But I’m starting to doubt it.
It’s time to consider that maybe – and maybe even probably – there will not be another Mosquito.
Seems impossible? Seems absurd given how little tweaking it’d take?
Well where’s that 1/32 F-16D? Where’s that F4U-1D Corsair? Spitfire Mk.V or Mk.XIV?
Tamiya has a shitty history with filling in variants – they’re like the anti-Dragon. We’ve known it for years. Where’s the obvious late-block P-47D with the tail fillet? Where’s the early-block P-51D without it? F4F-3 Wildcat? Any of the four-bladed Corsairs?
The signs are there in 1/48 scale, in 1/72 scale, in older 1/32 kits (look at the Phantom family…).
Tamiya sucks at variants, and they very rarely go back to “fill in”. The only instance I can think of is the retooled 1/48 Zeros – but those were replacing some of Tamiya’s oldest efforts.
Where does that leave Tamiya’s 1/32 efforts?
It leaves them exactly where they are now. Tamiya’s Zeros, Spits, Mustangs, Corsairs and their Mosquito are among the best kits on the planet. If we only get one Mossie variant it’s not going to change that.
And next summer, we’ll get something new to salivate over.
I’m still predicting either a P-47 or Me 262 if the established precedents hold.
If they don’t?
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tamiya veer away from World War II. Whatever they do – it would be in keeping with their general approach though – a highly popular subject that would sell at volume and that would be sufficiently large and complex enough to justify a pricetag well north of $100.
If they’re going to left field us like that, I think the smart money would be on a new 1/32 F-14A Tomcat. Similar to the one-two punch of new 1/32 and 1/48 F-16s back in 2007/8. Their current F-14 dates back to 1980 and is far and away the weakest of their 1/32 lineup. And it’s honestly hard to think of another jet that would sell at a similar level of gangbusters.