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Views: 2391 Description: Tamiya Incorporated (株式会社タミヤ Kabushiki gaisha Tamiya?) is a Japanese manufacturer 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. The company was founded by Yoshio Tamiya in Shizuoka, Japan in 1946.
The metal molds were produced from plans which had the concept of being "easy to understand and build, even for beginners". Even the box art was consistent with this throughout the company. In the same vein as everybody being able to build the models, they made the parts accurate and with a high degree of detail.
The company has gained a reputation among hobbyists of producing models of outstanding quality and accurate scale detail, a philosophy reflected directly on the company's motto, "First in Quality Around the World". Tamiya Inc. has also been awarded on a regular basis each year, the prestigious Modell des Jahres (Model of the Year) award, hosted by the German magazine Modell Fan.
The company was founded in 1946 as Tamiya Shoji & Co. (Tamiya Company) by Yoshio Tamiya (15 May 1905 - 2 November 1988) in Oshika, Shizuoka City. It was a sawmill and lumber supply company. With the high availability of wood, the Mokuzaigyou Company's wood products division (founded in 1947) was also producing wooden models of ships and airplanes, which later became company's foundation. In 1953, they decided to stop the sale of architectural lumber and focused solely on model making.
In the mid-1950s, foreign-made plastic models were beginning to be imported and wooden model sales were decreasing, so in 1959 they decided to manufacture plastic models. Their first model was the Yamato. However, Tamiya's predecessors had sold Yamato models at 350 yen. By competing, Tamiya was at risk to get into the red by setting their price the same. However, they could not recover the cost of producing metal molds, so once again, they changed their products to wooden models, but at that time the model trade's tide was turning toward plastic models.
Using metal molds no longer needed for plastic toys, they released a racecar mini-kit, which was to finance the production of their next plastic model. To their good fortune, it became a hit. They decided that the second plastic model was to be the Panther tank, which had a linear form which would make the molds simple to produce. They commissioned Shigeru Komatsuzaki to do the box art. The Panther was motorized, moved well, and had a clear instruction manual which made it easy to assemble. Because of this, it gained a good reputation. It was made in a 1/35 scale because it was decided that it would use a single TYPE 2 battery but would hold 2 of them.
At first, Tamiya produced metal molds, but had delays and unclear pricing, which led to trouble. Then they scouted metal-mold craftsmen and in 1964 started their Metal Molds division. Starting in 1966, they transferred a number of craftsmen to the Mold Manufacturing Factory. They slowly gained the know-how and came to make molds for Tamiya. Today, CAD has also been introduced into the process.
Tamiya was known by their extremely high accuracy of their molds, and that influenced even the condition of the products after they were assembled. In a time when Tamiya manufactured plastic models using mold craftsmen's skills and earlier plans, other companies' products' detail bolts were represented by simple hemispheric protuberances while Tamiya represented bolts more accurately as hexagonal posts. This level of detail and thoroughness with which they produced their models earned them a reputation even overseas.....