I look on eBay and elsewhere, and they are near-impossible to find. Did Takom stop making them, or have they become so popular everybody is buying them out?
Probably because they’re not as popular as say WW2 German stuff.2
Excellent question, I’ve wondered the samething.
I hope the answer isn’t something stupid like the molds were made out aluminum and had a very limited life span like ~5,000 shots or so.
Funny, I should think that some things that would be popular are not being made, while things that would seem to draw little interest, such as paper Panzers, are in fact being made.
Because they are so small and so well camouflaged???
I’m grabbing my coat as I head out…
Kits get produced in batches and then the supply dries up for some years.
It’s been like that for a long time. Tamiya could be an exception to this “policy” but
Italeri does it (I missed out on the first time I heard about their tracked RSO, maybe the second or third re-pop of that kit and then I managed to snag one some years later).
The RSO-experience convinced me that I would need to circumvent the Swedish distributor (they had decided that the Swedish market didn’t want the RSO). Amen and Halleluja for the internet. The realisation that kits could become OOP (Tamiyas Quad gun truck was unavailable in Sweden for a while as well).
The other “lesson learned” was that if I want a kit I need to buy it when it is available.
Just to add to what Robin posted - model companies have more molds than they have injection molding machines. If you think molds are expensive, the injection molding machines they go in are astronomical! The company has only so many machines, and has to rotate molds in and out of the machines depending on what is selling hot, and what has petered out. WWI stuff was hot 3 years ago with the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, but since then demand has fallen, and Takom is now busy cranking out Bergepanthers and Challengers on their available machines. So, Mark IV males are hard to find. Which leads me to my second point - that’s why some of us have a stash! You have to buy kits while they are in production, at a model show, for 20 - 40% below MSRP. Bring it home, open it up, check it out, then put it on a shelf in your basement for future construction. That way you don’t run into this frustration and you can sleep at night (on your stash).
Matt and Robin, that’s exactly my strategy. Of course I may not live long enough but at least I have a choice of projects whenever I decide to do some modelling.
Of course I also hunt down out of production stuff at shows and on eBay, taking a ‘patient trader’ approach in order to control the cost.
I am in a constant battle to reduce my stash and aim at zero stash because I always find a more interesting kit in the shop than those I already have in my stash.
While it is correct that subjects can be out of production for a long time, there are so many high quality kits appearing every year that my wishlist is always full. I can’t imagine not being able to build because I can’t find a single interesting kit on the market
But hey, every builder his/her won strategy is what is keeping the community happy
Gotta remember that any plastic kit is “out of production” within a few days. The company produces enough for the next six months or a year using high speed molding machines, then they sell that batch off. They wait for demand to build up for a while, and they produce another batch. I was able to pick up the major WW1 types last year, but only after striking out for many months. Now they’re gone again. We see the same thing with Asuka Shermans. The version you want is always out of stock.
Of course, if it does turn out that nobody much wants a kit, it may be years before it is reissued, if ever.
Long_Tom, have a look at Ebay.de: As WW1 is of no special interest here in Germany, there’s always a good bunch of british Mk.IV and V on auction.
People seem to be obsessed with all things WW2 German.
One has to wonder what drives the re-issues. I felt fortunate that Tamiya is running the M-42 Duster right now, or at least did or whatever the combo was. Sentimental kit, I remember I got hooked on it when I built int he 80’s, searched and couldnt find it (and I even placed the orders at our LHS where I worked). One of my regular customers cut loose with one for me. Fast forward 30 years plus and low and behold its on the shelf and one goes home. While it shows its age throughout, sentimental value was worrth it.
AFV Cub makes two version of the M42, just to let you know.
I believe Scale hobbiest has a Tamiya Mark IV at the moment.