Wednesday, November 28, 2018

What Happen To All Those Superseded Kits?

Luke Pitt, writing in Model Military International, December 2018 issue, asks, “What happens to all those superseded kits?”

He goes on to describe his Tamiya 1/35 scale T-55 for which he purchased aftermarket tracks, a full interior, two photo etch upgrades and a conversion kit.  His problem is that the kit is now “essentially redundant” because a newer kit is available with all that detail in the box and maybe some more.

We all do that.  If we do not buy those items that we like as they become available, we know we will likely be disappointed later when they are no longer available.

He (and I) suspect that these superseded kits never get built and are fated to stay forever in some modeler’s stash or possibly sold off for little money to be sold again at some saw meet or show.

Back in the mid-1990’s, I added the Tamiya Spitfire Mk. I to my stash along with some AeroMaster decals.

Now, Tamiya has just announced and will soon release a new tool Spitfire Mk. I which includes extraordinary detail, etched parts and masks. I understand there will be three sets of markings too.  Yes, the price will be more than the “old” Mk. I kit, but it also contains so much more.

The 1990’s vintage Tamiya fighter kits are perfect for a quick, trouble-free build.  And, being a Spitfire fan, I know it will be built soon as it is on deck under my workbench right now.

Recently, I was thinking of looking for an M551 Sheridan kit in 1/35 scale.  Tamiya’s dates from the 1970’s.  I had some decals from the recent IPMS/USA convention in Phoenix for a  Sheridan crewed by an Arizona native.  I thought that might be interesting to  build, even though the kit  was ancient and not that good.  A few kits were available on eBay at inflated prices.

And then Tamiya announced a new tool Sheridan in 1/35 scale to be released early in 2019.  And Tamiya’s armor kits released this century have been truly excellent.

I am glad I left alone the old ones I saw on eBay.

Basically, I applaud Tamiya going back to their older kits and replacing them with modern kits up to today’s standards.  I know the Sheridan will be in my collection as soon as it is available, and I doubt the Spitfire Mk. I will be far behind.

That is not to say I will be done with the older kits.  At the IPMS/USA convention, I saw an Airfix P-40B Warhawk that was simply gorgeous, and right next to it was a Monogram P-40B, which was also superb.  I bet the 1960’s vintage Monogram kit took more than a few months to create and includes tons of aftermarket goodies, and it was still competitive.

What happens to all those superseded kits?  I hope they are all built sooner or later.  But that is my eternal optimist side speaking.