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Hobby Center Kato


Szdfan

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I received an email flyer from Hobby Search announcing an upcoming model for ED76-551. 
 

https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/m/10231386

 

(It looks like a great model, but wrong period for me)

 

The model is being released under the “Hobby Center Kato” brand. What is that? I assume it’s a part of Kato, but is it some sort of speciality brand?

 

 

Edited by Szdfan
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bill937ca

This doesn't require its own thread.

 

Hobby Center Kato is Kato's Tokyo sales and display location.

 

Sometimes special runs of models (usually special paint schemes) are released under different Kato brands.

 

 

Edited by bill937ca
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Essentially the HCK products are painted versions of other Kato models. 

 

Some other releases have been 

 

Kiha 110 Tohoku Emotion

185 series Shonan Colour

E3 Tsubasa Toreiyu

Keikyu 230 in Takamatsu colour.

 

All models are just repaints of existing releases, done very well, but sometimes may not truly reflect the real thing. Window arrangement or certain details may be missing compared to a newly tooled model. 

 

ED76 551 is an alternative paint scheme to the standard JNR red one they released with the 10 series Heavy Snow Taisetsu train in early 2013.

The JR 2 tone paint scheme came out in June that year from Hobby Centre Kato. 

 

They probably used to only be available from visiting the Kato shop but now lots of retailers seem to get them in. 

 

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2 hours ago, Kamome said:

ED76 551 is an alternative paint scheme to the standard JNR red one they released with the 10 series Heavy Snow Taisetsu train in early 2013.

The JR 2 tone paint scheme came out in June that year from Hobby Centre Kato. 

According to the little bit of research I did, ED76 551 was a one-off conversion to help meet the shortage of ED79s for the Seikan Tunnel. More were planned, but only one was completed, 

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roadstar_na6

Kato sells the Roundhouse models under that brand because they're not 100% prototypcial.

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chadbag

So, Hobby Center Kato is not the same as Roundhouse.  Roundhouse are normal production of a certain type (like the E3 or the JR 225) where they paint them to match a different livery where the underlying mechanics (windows, under body stuff, etc. as was mentioned by Kamome) don't always match the paint job.  Re-purposing existing molds and tooling to get new lines that they normally wouldn't do due to the economics.

 

AFAIK, the Hobby Center Kato versions are special versions, usually local livery etc,  and often only (initially) available at the Hobby Center Kato store(s) [I've seen ones in the past only available in Kansai for example at the Kato store there].  Obviously with Hobby Search carrying this, that is not the case -- was this an exclusive in-store at first and is just now going to dealers? (maybe what is left?).  Typically, from what I have seen, they are often one-off (Roundhouse get re-released as necessary) custom batches for local liveries or specialty or novelty trains.   This is just from what I've seen in the past.

 

Edited by chadbag
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ED76 551 was previously released under the Roundhouse branding with the same product number 3071-9.

 

This release states that the latest run is under Hobby Center Kato branding so it may be a case they have dropped  the Roundhouse brand altogether.

 

Other releases from Hobby Center Kato seem to be DCC installed models in N and HO as well as things like the HO EF81 with the Soundbox speaker pre-installed. These seem generally available from retailers or available for them to order. Kato also seem to be selling stock with lighting added too.

 

These products are not to be confused with some models like the Kyoto station Kato shop which has exclusive models as well as customised products for sale. 

 

 

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