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1 hour ago, disturbman said:

They are increasingly producing models of European trains.

and all of them have been coming with non-japanese assy sheets for a long time already.


What just bugs me is that their PDFs are images without actual text an online PDF translator could grab. But most of the stuff is self explaining and the rest can be done with a phone and google translator 🙂

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it’s all about the return in investment with expanding markets. Have to make sure the numbers in the new market will cover the costs of going there properly.

The Japanese market maybe about as big as the rest of the world market outside japan, and not many folks want Japanese trains outside japan as within japan, so that market is going to be tiny. I don’t think the low number of folks outside japan that want Japanese trains is due to having to purchase overseas or visibility in the model railroad community or Japanese instruction sheets, it’s just the fact most just want to model their own country. We have had a Japanese model railroading club for over 15 years here in the Washington DC area and do a lot of train shows and such so our local modelers and general public get to see them a lot, it’s just very few are interested in doing non Japanese. A decade ago folks were a bit scared at ordering overseas, but with so much now Internet bases folks dont bat an eyelash at that anymore. It just seems we have a small, steady stream of Japanese interest, it’s not grown at all, but stayed constant, so appears more just dependent on personal interest not the hurdles.


even Kato’s expansion out side of japan to the us and Europe have been doing non Japanese, local trains. When Kato has done some sales of Japanese trains thru katousa, it’s been not a good story. The numbers were so small they did not warrant doing much, if any support for them and it created a backlash against Kato and Japanese trains a couple of times when there were issues. To do the necessary amount of support to make folks happy with Japanese trains outside of japan it would require much, much higher numbers. I think Kato realizes this and just lets it go as is for those who want them, little support and at your own risk. Tomix has always been pretty much japan only. They did do a distribution deal a few years ago with Walthers, the big issue distributor, but that was mainly for track and structure and it pretty much never took off and is pretty much dead (walther’s import prices were just way to high compared to direct importing by folks from japan exporters). Even then it was cited the small amount of English sticker relabeling needed on packaging just for legal reasons as one of the reasons for increased prices.


I realize it’s a pain to sus things out from Japanese instructions, but with computer and smart phone translators you can almost always figure things out well (I read zero Japanese but can get by well this way) and when really flummoxed the forum is a great place to figure out a puzzle from the translators.






btw we have our copyright policy as it’s really the only the clean way for us to have one. As soon as there are if it’s Tuesday exceptions then it just gets messy fast. So it’s simple here, just upload or embed your own stuff and link to others’ stuff (or embed where that site has a system for it like Flickr and YouTube). It’s cool to take a photo of a bit of an instruction sheet to post here to ask a specific question of for folks to use pms to exchange pdfs of manuals and such directly with each other. What we don’t want is wholesale uploading of others’ stuff as we have no idea if they are cool with that or not and we don’t want to become the referees on that.

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