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The Mikester

I love shopping in Japan!

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Just hit the local hobby shop in Sasebo with big wad of per diem money in my pocket, the damage:

Hasegawa Ju 88A-4 about $28

5X Fine Molds 109's about $18 each

Tamiya Bird Cage Corsair about $12

Free shipping back to the states courtesy of my suitcase! :cheers:

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Damn You!!!! :cheers:

I want a Ju88 for $28 and a Bird Cage for $12!!

Why aren't kit that cheap here!!

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Which outfit are you with Mikester? If you venture to Hong Kong I can point you in the direction of some SERIOUSLY cheap Tamiya 1/32 stuff (A6M2b about $42!) :cheers:

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I have a friend who shops at his local model emporium (Tam Tam in Gifu city) Good models for cheap. I buy Czech stuff for him in Oz by way of exchange.

Win, win.

G

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Why aren't kit that cheap here!!

He's in Japan already... he don't have to pay import taxes!!! :cheers:

Serelle

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Just hit the local hobby shop in Sasebo with big wad of per diem money in my pocket, the damage:

Hasegawa Ju 88A-4 about $28

5X Fine Molds 109's about $18 each

Tamiya Bird Cage Corsair about $12

Free shipping back to the states courtesy of my suitcase! :pray:

That's all 1/72, correct? That is pretty impressive, well, except for for the Ju 88. I got mine at a Hobby Lobby half-off sale for $20 & tax... ;)

I would've thought that Fine Molds was so expensive here in the States because of import fees, etc. But $18 in Japan still sounds kind of high. How much would a Hasegawa 109 cost there, in comparison?

Cheers,

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Actually, that's a tremendously great price for the Fine Molds 109s. I've seen them over here for as high as $40 odd US! If you buy them directly from HLJ, you can score them for about $23 but then you still have to figure in postage (and if you are in Canada, factor in the bending over that Canadian Customs will give you as well <_< ).

At $18 that puts them in the same ball park as what I've seen Hasegawa kits going for here. As nice as the Hasegawa kits are, there is no comparison as Fine Molds produced a correct looking 109, while Hasegawa's kits still have some "flaws" in theirs - still a nice kit though if you do not want to go the Fine Molds route.

As well, Fine Molds has produced versions that Hasegawa never did and most likely never will at this point - Fs, G-2/4s, G-10s & Ks. Granted with some work and parts scrounging / cross kitting you could produce many of these from the Hasegawa kit, but in the end, you'd probably spend just as much to get the Fine Molds kit and still have to do a lot of work to get the variant you want.

Now all we need to do is to wait for Fine Molds to give us a G-14 :beer4:

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Which outfit are you with Mikester? If you venture to Hong Kong I can point you in the direction of some SERIOUSLY cheap Tamiya 1/32 stuff (A6M2b about $42!)

I work for the Navy, haven't been to Hong Kong in about 5 years, have heard good stuff about the hobby shops though.

That's all 1/72, correct? That is pretty impressive, well, except for for the Ju 88. I got mine at a Hobby Lobby half-off sale for $20 & tax...

I would've thought that Fine Molds was so expensive here in the States because of import fees, etc. But $18 in Japan still sounds kind of high. How much would a Hasegawa 109 cost there, in comparison?

Yes those are all 1/72. The Hasegawa 109 over here is about $12, although I don't see it much anymore. Cliff pretty much nailed it, the extra money for the Fine Molds is money well spent, it's just so much better than the Hasegawa or the Academy.

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There is a flip side to this as well. It's true that Japanese kits are fairly inexpensive in Japan. My favorite shop has FM's plain jane 109's (those without the resin figures or turned brass barrels) for 1848 yen. At today's exchange rate that is 15.24 USD.

The same shop sells Italeri's recent F-16A and Cr.42 for 2990 yen each or 24.66 USD. I seem to remember both these kits retail for about 9 euro. Aviation Megastore lists them each at 9.20 or 11.93 USD. Books and aftermarket decals can be very expensive as well. AirDoc's recent JU 88 sheets run 4500 yen (37.18 USD) each. The SAM Modeler's Datafile runs 6000 yen (49.49 USD.)

Model prices are very relative. I really want Revell's Gato. I am not willing to pay 20000 yen for one. (No conversion here as the 20000 yen isn't the exact price, but it is somewhere in that region. I was too stunned to remember the exact price!)

Where the Japanese shops really shine is not on their nice pricing on kits, although I really, really like their prices on the FM kits as I really, really like FM's 109, but in all the very nice tools and modeling gadgets these shops sell. You'll find some nice to have tools, knives of unusual shape and size, a myriad of building supplies, and a lot of inspiration. You'll also find some of the finest model paint lines on earth as well as the best CA glues I've ever run across. You'll probably also see some really nice build ups as well.

I like HLJ and Rainbow 10's webshops a great deal, but you haven't experienced Japanese hobby shops until you've visited a good brick and mortar shop.

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<_< nice pull

that's what I do when I go to korea. I raid toystores (amazingly, they carry those) and buy Academy stuff for really cheap.

For example, I bought the full interior tiger for $16

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If you buy them directly from HLJ, you can score them for about $23 but then you still have to figure in postage (and if you are in Canada, factor in the bending over that Canadian Customs will give you as well

Speaking of getting "bent over", last year I decided to try Hobby Link Japan to purchase the Fine Molds Millenium Falcon. I place my order with HLJ and figured I scored a great deal. Here's the thing, I checked the rate of exchange on the Yen to the Canadian dollar on the day of my order (it was a Friday). The following Tuesday HLJ sends me an email to confirm my order and to pay. They quoted me the exchange rate - and it came out $43.00 higher! :lol: I send them an email telling them that the exchange rate was lower than their quote on the day I placed my order. HLJ replies that they processed my order on the following Monday. I went back and checked the exchange rate on the Yen from three banks and guess what?... it was even lower at the beginning of the week than the previous Friday. I cut and pasted this information back to HLJ and the replied with "Pay for your order at the eschange rate that we've quoted". I told them to take their "jaked-up" phoney exchange rates and stick it.

I purchased my FMMF kit on eBay for $20.00 less than I could have from HLJ (after exchange and taxes). Good score for me and a lesson learnt. Checked the actual exchange rates and don't trust HLJ to be accurate. I won't use HLJ again.

Randy

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