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KATO SL Hitoyoshi (?)


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My local Kumamoto hobby shop has disclosed to me that KATO intends to produce the SL Hitoyoshi (as well as SL Aso Boy while they're at it) in N gauge during 2022. I trust their word as since they're long-time KATO dealers for several decades now, and I'm a frequent customer of theirs. It makes sense considering the number of JR Kyushu trains and locomotives they've made so far, never mind the Tohoku-region (2028-1) 8620. I'm hopping we'll all see it as a Planned Product in the soon-to-be-released 2022 catalog. I really like their JR Kyushu DE10.


This is the video from which I originally learned of the SL Hitoyoshi, way back before I came here. It immediately became my favorite train in Japan. 


Edited by SL58654Gō
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I had a feeling it'd be coming soon after they did the 8620 last year.  Good to know its in the works!

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Well, I certainly hope so. My hobby shop dealers expressed sincerity in their word of mouth about it. I'm itching to see it in the new catalog. It'll be my number one item in my N gauge collection.

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This was indeed hinted at in the 2020 Kato catalogue, IIRC.


Development may have been postponed due to a number of other factors but possibly due to the damage of the Hisatsu line. It would be a nice addition though and certainly one I’d purchase.


Am I right in thinking that the same coaches were painted when the service transferred to the Hitoyoshi from the Aso boy?

Edited by Kamome
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@Kamome Yes, they were indeed the same coaches, but repainted. I like their current livery better.

Why would they delay it just because the Hisatsu Line is disused? I think it may encourage its recovery.

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I think the factory have also had some challenges with release dates and perhaps the development got put back a bit. Some of their releases have been delayed this year, I know I had to wait for a number of HO releases and recently the Model Rail Contest Kiha 58 in JR Kyushu colour slid back from Nov to Dec.


The 800 series shooting star is something that Tomix tend to jump on but Kato produce the liveries with more longevity so there may have been more urgency for things like this with a shorter shelf life. 


Let's hope we see some more interesting releases in 2022.  I'm looking forward to the blue EF60 500 as I finally will have the right loco to pull my early version 20 series Sakura with Kani 22.  It would be nice to have some more everyday Kyushu trains too, 415-1500 as example.

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It was hinted a few years back as Kamone suggests. After the success of the seven stars.


But Kato always struggles with specially planned products. Their factory capacity is no where near as good as Tomixs. And we'll covid has slowed them even more this past 18 months.


I'll believe it when I see it.

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I'll be glad if Kato just do the 36 + 3.... i mean, since they already have the tooling and moulding for the 787, i dont see why not....  X_X

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@JR 500系 Why yes, I wouldn't be surprised if they took that route (36 + 3, which is a looker for sure) as well as the SL 58654. JR Kyushu trains are lookers and good sellers. That's why I feel really lucky to be here. How does it work by the way? Do they have to get licensing agreements from whatever company whose trains they intend to commercialize? Does JR Kyushu get royalties?

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Unfortunately, there's no sign of the SL Hitoyoshi by KATO, yet. Ah well, there's always next year!


Meanwhile, I've found this model in 1:80 (16.5 mm) scale of 58654 in blue. Was it ever in that particular livery? I can't seem to find photographic evidence of it ever being in a color other than green. https://page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/v1000560054?fbclid=IwAR1U1p_NLf9gWyJbCxxee0BIRHce8D8mUQRhwnhxHbvGKogmANfx9wu6jH4

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