Jump to content

How-to: Improve the Kintetsu 80000 series – Tomix Hinotori


JR East

Recommended Posts

Hello Fans, 

 

Let me share with you how I’ve improved my Tomix Kintetsu 80000 series (98695) also known as Hinotori

 

What did I decided to improve?

  • Replacing the Arnold couplers by Tomix TN couplers, 
  • Installing a driver
  • Enhancing the inner seats with MiyakoMokei KLC341A Hinotori Sheet seal
  • Lighting the train with HKTILC.com leds
  • Enhancing the pantograph look, adding copper strips
  • Adding destination stickers either from MiyakoMokei KLC 311A or Ajisaitei (the brand I get for my Tobu 500)


Forewords:

 

If for any reason you need to clean the body of the train (eg some adhesives remain, or remove an uncorrected applied dry sticker), never use chemical solvent or industrial alcohol, the paint is really sensitive. Use a wooden toothpick or a Q-tip, and do it gently. 

 

 

Tooling


As it's N gauge, you'll need some tools / accessories.

 

My latest purchase from Amazon is this clip zooming lamp.

 

1881937164_000.02-Tooling.thumb.jpg.1d2f1080242720bc80035513de4f43fb.jpg

 

In some situations, it more convenient than the magnifier headband. Anyway, both are now in my tool box. 

 

1813685106_000.03-Tooling.thumb.jpg.a69c97d52b427306a6238446c644b605.jpg

 

And some extra tooling. Those Revell tweezers are really great for a couple of euros. 

 

2138647289_000.04-Tooling.thumb.jpg.96bae6742089d08ed631bb71e2ba52f6.jpg


Now everything is there (I’ll let you discover later one some add. tools), let’s start. 


First of all, let’s decide where the train goes.

 

2067686466_000.00-TrainsetDirections.thumb.jpg.43e0738853c0ff9d0f0a355c5534b622.jpg

 

Despite I’m not reading Japanese, looking to photos in Google images allow you to easily recognize some characters as the notice is quite explicit. Thus, let’s go to Osaka Namba Station. 

 

1642045113_000.01-TrainsetDirections.thumb.jpg.897bf9f624acbd4e524a0d44f31540de.jpg

 

Looking to the case, car #6 is on top and car #1 at the bottom.

 

 

Premium Car

 

Sticking car numbers & Pictograms

 

Car numbers and pictograms are not printed at the manufacture but delivered as dry transfer by Tomix. I’m not a big fan of that as those dry stickers are quite fragile and sometimes a bit reluctant to stick.

 

Due the small sheet of dry transfer, I recommend to stick them in a raw, applying them to all the cars as they are clean from factory. 

 

The scotch tape on the picture is just for shooting purpose. I do not recommend to do so.

 

2101960973_001.01-Stickingcarnumberssigns.thumb.jpg.f5b9f3be92428ff46d8970dcc929c8be.jpg

 

For applying the dry sticker, align with grey lines and press the number through the plastic with a wooden toothpick, then remove gently the plastic sheet. 

 

37841065_001.02-Stickingcarnumberssigns.thumb.jpg.4c99d9ba0754c19ed66bac557e4c0c17.jpg


Once done, use the paper cover to finish sticking it to the body, pressing gently through it.

 

1303793434_001.03-Stickingcarnumberssigns.thumb.jpg.3adf1bba45d34f4bd7c93f30410a24ed.jpg

 

The result is quite nice. 

 

 

Changing Arnold couplers to TN couplers

 

For those not familiar with installing a Tomix TN coupler, it’s really easy. Unscrew the bogie, taking care of not loosing the two small springs. 

 

926829281_002.01-InstallingTNCoupler.thumb.jpg.638cbb6a699d282af8ff04ac47207ec5.jpg

 

Remove the wheel and cut properly the plastic bar. Once done, reinstall the wheel.

 

2060225714_002.02-InstallingTNCoupler.thumb.jpg.f9f1a680d0a0aadf3022604b8ab41811.jpg

 

Clip the TN coupler

 

1723897167_002.03-InstallingTNCoupler.thumb.jpg.6cc2087f0dabb1de3bdff815606d56b1.jpg

 

Put the small springs in their holes

 

407664085_002.04-InstallingTNCoupler.thumb.jpg.3d297487479a41f528981759c25b00f4.jpg

 

Then place the floor above, pinch the bogie and the floor, check it’s on the right side (the cut part close to the TN Coupler)

 

1319987189_002.05-InstallingTNCoupler.thumb.jpg.26bb239a15fdfee94df15c974b7366cb.jpg

 

1951571611_002.06-InstallingTNCoupler.thumb.jpg.4b0921d51f7a2d27c019e4114128a096.jpg

 

And screw them again. That’s done!

 

399857173_002.07-InstallingTNCoupler.thumb.jpg.bb3eb130206fd179061431b9c1247863.jpg

 

 

Installing the driver

 

After removing the body, it’s time to stick the driver into the cabin with paper glue (easy to remove in case I decide to stick another one later on). 

 

1007269854_003.01-Addingthedriver.thumb.jpg.0debcc52b6e9273d5259ce31f55669f2.jpg

 

I’ve chosen a clear one to be sure to see him when the train runs. Purist will notice the color of the cap is not the right one, but I don’t have that many choices in my driver’s roster.

 

 

Enhancing the Premium seats

 

Don't think of rushing … it’s long and touchy, but quite easy to do. Remember that the more you do it, the easiest it becomes. 

 

Let’s have a look at the real seats:

 

320757789_004.00-Enhancingseats.jpg.45dd10ff8c992dbfd39b86cc41d4ab2a.jpg

 

And the stickers

 

1420230737_004.01-Enhancingseats.thumb.jpg.f0be8b44251ab15d17fe4622fa4690db.jpg

 

 Notice that for the single place, one black dot is not at the right place (should be inner, not outer)… but as you can see, there are much more stickers than needed which is convenient as they’re really small and not that easy to stick. 

 

How to stick them?

First of all, unclip the seats rows.

 

151828400_004.02-Enhancingseats.thumb.jpg.98947bbe2c4f0dbf275d7124ca8fce9d.jpg

 

After several attempts, the most convenient way to proceed is to:

 

1 - Uncover the raw you want to stick and cut the plastic close to the labels

 

1571576424_004.03-Enhancingseats.thumb.jpg.0410aad105188cf9df88a90a1bf59afe.jpg

 

2 - Approach the seat raw with a 45° angle between the plastic card and the seat, 

3 - Apply the sticker to the seat, rubbing the plastic card with a toothpick, 

4 - Use the elastic effect of the plastic card returning to its original 45° angle to all it to unstick from the sticker

 

498388212_004.05-Enhancingseats.thumb.jpg.317ba53d5a0991ce0dcd45c21177f17d.jpg

 

Not that easy to shoot as I have only 2 hands.

 

For the raw 2+1 it's also sometimes easier to cut the plastic in the length. 

 

992864172_004.06-Enhancingseats.thumb.jpg.17478d950463d46c69aad105a4b12994.jpg

 

Sometimes, it doesn’t work perfectly, but those dry stickers are quite easy to replace / move with a toothpick.

 

432655448_004.07-Enhancingseats.thumb.jpg.a2bbb38e4bf788473be9a19bb2835a23.jpg

 

Even if you damage one of it, there are enough to do it again. 

 

Once done, you should have that:

 

647656916_004.08-Enhancingseats.thumb.jpg.bc7f8760cc63b6189b813d7f218589a8.jpg

 

I tried to stick the small dots but I didn’t really succeed to do it properly. So that, I’m using a permanent pen to paint a black dot.

 

1077440892_004.09-Enhancingseats.thumb.jpg.b294727f6dbf7c8ebeb6158ba6339db2.jpg

 

979947729_004.10-Enhancingseats.thumb.jpg.05e99e99f902f5459d1a4b3d275bd35c.jpg

 

It’s less regular than the sticker,

 

2134018099_004.11-Enhancingseats.thumb.jpg.e62c279fa59a4e80b1b3a1913f368e74.jpg

 

but when you look at them from a reasonable distance, you don’t really) see the difference. 

 

 

 

 

Lighting the train with HKTILC.com leds

 

For lighting the trainset, I’ll use HKTILC.com non-flickering leds ramp instead of Tomix parts. Why? For a good reason: HKTILC.com are really better and somewhere cheaper than Tomix ones, providing a very good result once installed.

Moreover, the non-flickering feature is not a pure marketing feature, it does work as expected. 

 

Watching couple of videos, I’ve noticed that lighting in the Premium Car is warmer than the other cars. So that, I’ve decided to purchase a ‘bulb light’ led bar for cars #1 & #6

 

1731581150_005.01-HKTILCLedLights.thumb.jpg.b3e78b16cc54d0da20829a8c52dc4423.jpg


And to turn the lighting to the minimum setup (see the small switch where below, it's turn to maximum light)

 

1568489863_005.03-HKTILCLedLights.thumb.jpg.85c3e0ecd3536ffcacf0cf88759b5fe6.jpg


HKTILC is providing a small transparent cover to be installed

 

985918940_005.04-HKTILCLedLights.thumb.jpg.66ef8c8651ef76149000814a85ed5968.jpg

 

Just click it on the led ramp

 

1409788742_005.05-HKTILCLedLights.thumb.jpg.399b268f0dca6d8e9e6027d88952f19d.jpg

 

Screwing the small springs maintain them in place on the copper dots. 

 

 

1471278135_005.02-HKTILCLedLights.thumb.jpg.9968cf0cca22a015bee9412c78f52583.jpg

 

 

 

Once installed, the lighting ramp is perfectly horizontal. 

 

55517732_005.06-HKTILCLedLights.thumb.jpg.d17760d0e799062e5848c3440015d2ae.jpg

 

(.../... to continue)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by JR East
typos, corrections, addition of info. Change lighting info
  • Like 3
Link to comment

Final result of the Premium Car

 

Once done, the result is satisfying. 

 

The driver is in place:

 

1847654674_006.01-FinalresultofpremiumcarNo6.thumb.jpg.ef60223f03ad36ff32a3c4a0fe5b14dd.jpg

 

looking through the side windows, the inner fitting is quite good

 

1972777270_006.02-FinalresultofpremiumcarNo6.thumb.jpg.67b519a8c94bd3185e72c29e92476e82.jpg

 

and the black hand-made dots doesn't look irregular

 

498432481_006.03-FinalresultofpremiumcarNo6.thumb.jpg.b310730f5c025aded8ab8df15ed26440.jpg

 

624078861_006.04-FinalresultofpremiumcarNo6.thumb.jpg.0eb11f08188a4b5f5fdd7949662e8b19.jpg

 

and the direction sign looks good. 

 

443014802_006.06-FinalresultofpremiumcarNo6.thumb.jpg.35641c90abf734f063592c03fbabdfb1.jpg

 

I've now to clean the side & front windows to remove my ugly pingerprints !!!

 

(.../... to continue)

 

Edited by JR East
  • Like 4
Link to comment

Standard Car

 

Enhancing the Standard seats

 

Now you've understood the way it goes to do it, it's rougly the same for the standard car. I'll not depict things twice and only focus on differences. 

 

There is a dedicated sheet for all the standard cars

 

240460495_007.01-Enhancingseats.thumb.jpg.5917a9d92b8abe7517e1ea0986c5b958.jpg

 

It's just a bit more painful as you don't have to stick them on a flat surface ... but rounded ones

 

2125019056_007.10-Enhancingseats.thumb.jpg.a587b76d3a08e7b383767513bde7abfd.jpg

 

 

Enhancing the pantograph look, adding copper strips

 

This has already been depicted in another 'how-to', thus refer to this post:

 

 

Adding destination stickers

 

As I need two hands to apply the MiyakoMokei destination label, I'll explain it. It's not possible to use the Kato method described in this post

 

 

for two reasons:

  1. The dry transfer of Tomix have a high risk to stick to the scotch band
  2. The sticky surface of the destination sticker will be damaged by the scotch tape

 

 

So that, the best way is to align the destination with the windows and rub the plastic card with a toothpick to transfer the sticker to the window. Remove the plastic card gently, making sure the destination sticker is sticking to the car. With the edge of a toothpick, finish to apply the sticker in the hollow. 

 

Final result of the Standard Car

 

Looking to the standard car, once destination labels are stuck, it looks good also. 

 

720272318_008.01-FinalResultofStdCar.thumb.jpg.67e6178d868c2d5936f409bd62aed87e.jpg

 

The destination label looks great as well as the copper strips on the pantograph

 

1138943427_008.02-FinalResultofStdCar.thumb.jpg.63a56cccdb3ed2aae0e6178d4bf69558.jpg

 

there are some misalignement ... but only if you look close the windows

 

355549015_008.03-FinalResultofStdCar.thumb.jpg.5c89eaba3e788fde61843acadd4e3111.jpg

 

Here it is. 

 

I roughly spend 1 hour per car. 

 

Now I've to focus on finishing the trainset ... thus 4 hours minimum to do it. 

 

Hope it'll help you to jump into the train enhancement, that is not difficult and - as you can see - everything can be return to original (even the painted dots can be remove with a Q-Tip moisted with Aceton ... I did it as my first dots were not satisfying).

 

Tips & Tricks: Option if you loose the HKTILC see-through plastic part

 

This is just here to help if - for any reason - you miss the small see-trough plastic part for installing the HKTILC.com led ramp. 

 

Use a simple scotch tape to make a bridge between the two side of the plastic parts

 

953456526_099.01-HKTILC-Alternateoption.thumb.jpg.39d562618ff368f2882d30350a4d7c68.jpg

 

2071504773_099.02-HKTILC-Alternateoption.thumb.jpg.58e5d9672f9b03c0bba0130b6e22f283.jpg

 

Then proceed normally, as you can see the led ramp is perfectly flat

 

450438541_099.03-HKTILC-Alternateoption.thumb.jpg.e6e335ebc91fb02390ad185872613a19.jpg

 

JM. 

Edited by JR East
typos, corrections, addition of info.
  • Like 1
Link to comment
disturbman
27 minutes ago, JR East said:

I’ve been obliged to cheat a bit to allow the led ramp to stay horizontal by creating a small support using scotch tape.

 

1621497139_005.04-HKTILCLedLights.thumb.jpg.aed141912ff7b74e327309705b4910c4.jpg


That shouldn't be necessary. HKTILC normally sends a little piece of see-through plastic that you clip to the light board and which keeps the board straight if correctly installed.

And I think you need to get black wheels too. After upgrading your model, silver wheels really do not cut it anymore.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
13 minutes ago, disturbman said:


That shouldn't be necessary. HKTILC normally sends a little piece of see-through plastic that you clip to the light board and which keeps the board straight if correctly installed.

And I think you need to get black wheels too. After upgrading your model, silver wheels really do not cut it anymore.

 

thansk for the info ... I was having those parts and I didn't realized it was for that. You're great @disturbman - I'll do the changes, take some pictures, and replace them in my How-to. 

 

For the black wheel, I'm not experienced enough to replace the cranked ones. But you're right, it's something I've to think about. I'll ask Masaharu San. 

 

JM

Edited by JR East
Link to comment
disturbman
4 hours ago, JR East said:

For the black wheel, I'm not experienced enough to replace the cranked ones.


I have open motorized bogies on Greenmax and Micro Ace trains, I understand it can feel intimidating but it's a very simple and straightforward task. As well as a know-how that is important to acquire to service and maintain trains. The important part is not to rush, pay attention how everything go together, and put all things in secured places.

First step is always to remove the bogie from the frame, then it's about to figure out how the bogies open. Greenmax wheelsets are simply accessed from the bottom, by removing a plastic cover that is clipped on each sides of the bogies, and can be removed by pulling them out. Micro Ace requires first to unclip similar clips, and then remove the top part of the bogie by freeing two tabs that are held by holes in the power pickups. After that you have directed access to the gears and the wheelsets.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

just takes doing it slowly, as that’s how you get the experience. Look around on YouTube, video there for just about anything if you can find it! 
 

Take a lot of pictures or a video as you disassemble things like this the first time. It can be a life saver! Even though I’ve got a lot of experience tearing things apart as I age even with ever increasing experience new bits can be confusing—I’ll chalk that up to a history of too many similar ones confusing me, not failing short term memory! I’ve given in now and take some snaps. I have a old iPhone I now just use to play music and snap pictures with on the hobby bench and a cheap little swing arm phone holder to take videos with as a third hand or just snap picts from the same basic angle each time w.o having to pick up the phone. I just set the sleep time long and plug it in.

 

one of these little silicone phone repair mats are great as they prevent stuff from rolling away and give you places to sort the parts and keep things in order. There are a scad of styles out there.

 

https://smile.amazon.com/Insulation-Silicone-Position-Soldering-Computer/dp/B06Y5KRFYR/ref=sr_1_9?crid=2YF4RHAOOW9FT&keywords=Phone+repair+mat&qid=1644957683&sprefix=phone+repair+mat%2Caps%2C52&sr=8-9

 

or just a pice of velvet or velour material on the bench to stop parts from rolling around.

 

jeff

Link to comment
disturbman

Having something at hand to put the metal bearings and the gears is definitely a good idea. These are very, very small and would be an horror to find replacements for.

Link to comment
JR East

Hi all, 

 

I've updated the 'how-to' to show the correct way to install HLTILC.com leds with the see-through plastic part coming together with the leds

 

@disturbman - I think you can now remove the reference to my initial post where I made the mistake. Thanks for having share that with me. 

 

JM. 

Link to comment
JR East
Posted (edited)

Now, as I'm finished to do the full trainset, let me share with you my personal feedback.  

 

Doing it is not difficult, it just takes time. 

 

Plus

- The Tomix Hinotiri 80000 series is really nice, the red body painting is incredibly beautiful

- Replacing Arnold couplers is easy and TN couplers are easy to install

- HKTILC.com leds are convient and everything is provided for a quick & easy installation. Cuting the led band the to the right length is also easy. I would have appreciate a quick schema about the see-trough platic part

-  MiyakoMokei destination transfers are very easy to install, more than Ajisatei and looking far better when lit

- MiyakoMokei seats enhancers are also quite easy to stick ... (but ... see minus)

 

 

Minus

-  MiyakoMokei seats enhancers are too rigid, so that, fi you bend then to fit to the seat's top curve as normally expected in economy class, they'll slowly return to the flat position. I'll consider to stick them only on the flat part of the seat in then future.

- Tomix doesn't sell all spare parts as 'Assy parts' like Kato does, very few of them are available, so that, if for any reason you scratch, loose, etc ... one part, including (esp) dry transfer, there is no option to buy it again. That's (for me)  a drawback I'll consider in purchasing more Tomix trainsets (if Kato produce them too ... of course)

- The Tomix dry transfer are quite fragile, and sometimes difficult to stick properly. There is no interest of having the side door indication to be stuck (seat, disability position) as this could have been printed at manufacturing process like Kato does. 

 

Label.jpg.33ff6d0c8e3e716f5877bff0c5f2c583.jpg

 

- Consider replacing silver wheels with back wheels is an option (very easy to do but for cranked wheels of the motor car) but I would have expected such wheels to be directly installed by Tomix as Kato does it for the Saphir Odoriko.

Edited by JR East
typos, unbolding, moderating my position about spare parts
Link to comment
disturbman
10 hours ago, JR East said:

Tomix doesn't sell all spare parts as 'Assy parts' like Kato does, very few of them are available, so that, if for any reason you scratch, loose, etc ... one part, including (esp) dry transfer, there is no option to buy it again. That'a a major drawback I'll consider in purchasing more Tomix trainsets


It's a minor drawback, if at all, except if perhaps you manipulate your trains like gorilla. Parts that are not available on Tomix assy list can usually be acquired via YJA "set-splitters" or by sourcing 3rd party replacements. They are quite a few transfer sheets available online. Afaik Kato assy parts are not always available at shops and some won't be easily acquired after their initial releases.

 

In all honesty, the fact that Kato provides a long list of assy parts is quite overrated. How many times do we actually need them? Very rarely.
 

10 hours ago, JR East said:

The Tomix dry transfer are quite fragile, and sometimes difficult to stick properly. There is no interest of having the side door indication to be stuck (seat, disability position) as this could have been printed at manufacturing process like Kato does. 


They are a bit difficult to apply when you are not used to them, but I never had any problems with them. And I definitely never had fragility issues. I actually find the rub-ons quite sturdy. The biggest issue I encountered was a set that was relatively difficult to apply, but that was one out of 20 or 30. I thought it was perhaps too old, the issue was that the plastic sheet they come applied to was too inflexible.

 

13 hours ago, JR East said:

@disturbman - I think you can now remove the reference to my initial post where I made the mistake. Thanks for having share that with me. 

 

Too bad you removed it, it was an interesting alternative technique.

Edited by disturbman
Link to comment
JR East
9 hours ago, disturbman said:

Too bad you removed it, it was an interesting alternative technique.

 

 

I've added it at the bottom of the 'how-to'

 

About the spare parts, it's your opinion. You're right when saying that not all of them are available anytime you need it. But I definitely prefer having the option to find spare parts at the manufacturer and I don't really understand why Tomix don't do it. It's a major brand.

 

Despite I'm not manipulating as a gorilla, I've encountered some difficulties with this trainset, esp. with the stickers not sticking as expected (despite I took car not to grease the bodies with my fingers). And I repeat it, what is not a 'variable' printout must be printed at the factory.

Link to comment
disturbman

I don't deny it, it's nice to have the option if something goes wrong, but I don't think it should be a consideration when buying something. In 12 or so years I lost one part, one antenna on a MA set, and had to buy a new roof part as I had managed to misdrill a hole on a Tomix KiHa. Imo, the assy parts are good for replacing light and motor units, and are incredible when Kato gives you the possibility to upgrade an older light board to new standards, the rest is more akin to fluff as you usually have enough replacements for detailing parts and/or things are sturdy enough not to get damage when being manipulated normally.

Link to comment
On 3/7/2022 at 8:08 PM, JR East said:

The Tomix dry transfer are quite fragile, and sometimes difficult to stick properly. There is no interest of having the side door indication to be stuck (seat, disability position) as this could have been printed at manufacturing process like Kato does. 

I assume this was done as the original intention was to release 2 additional cars once the 8 car sets went into service. This is no longer the case with the 8 car being announced but yeah, I also found this a bit unnecessary. 

On 3/7/2022 at 8:08 PM, JR East said:

Consider replacing silver wheels with back wheels is an option (very easy to do but for cranked wheels of the motor car) but I would have expected such wheels to be directly installed by Tomix as Kato does it for the Saphir Odoriko.

Kato have been using blackened wheels on the majority of their models for a good amount of time. I actually don't mind the silver wheels on the Hinotori, similar to those used on the shinkansen. The modern expresses may have relatively shiny wheels and the glossy paint adds to its sleekness. My main (well-documented on this forum) issue is putting them on old goods wagons or locomotives. The Tomix SD55 and JRF DE10 should have not been fitted with bling wheels in my view.

 

Looking good though @JR East I really need to add lighting to my Fire Bird.

22 hours ago, disturbman said:

I don't deny it, it's nice to have the option if something goes wrong, but I don't think it should be a consideration when buying something.

Its certainly an added advantage. I guess Kato has always had the philosophy that their models would be run on temporary set ups and accidents would be inevitable. It may also help keep returns to a minimum as customers can repair themselves rather than the embarrassment of returning something.  The downside is the wastage. I decided to replace the front deck of my EF15 as the one fitted at got damaged or warped in shipping or storage. I found the replacement part which came in a pack of 6 and still have the 5 others, which I've had for the last 10 years. So the loco can take 5 more nosedives before I have to worry.

 

Tomix offer some spares but they and Microace offer a repair service, although only open to domestic customers.

Link to comment
disturbman
49 minutes ago, Kamome said:

It's certainly an added advantage.


It's, but not one I would base my purchases on. Which was my whole point, it's nice but not necessary as they are extremely rarely needed.

 

My criteria are usually:
- Want

- Quality

- Price


But the second criteria does not really apply to Japanese models, as details and mechanical quality are high, and we can count on all the major manufacturers to provide good products, with a few and notable exceptions, notably related to light bleed.

In all honesty, I'm baffled to see video of contemporary British OO gauge models that cannot run properly. These are much larger and heavier models that shouldn't have mechanical issues.

Link to comment

I have to agree at a few hundred trains I’ve needed few replacement parts over the years. Some of the most prone to break parts like drive shafts are much more available and cheaper as just shafts from Tomix than the whole truck/shaft Kato replacements. I’ve even repaired some Kato drive shafts with Tomix drive shafts when the Kato replacements were not available. Micro ace’s non replacement parts has only made an issue for me a couple of times and once I was able thru a chain of events to get their repair service.

 

i think there are a number of issues going on with replacement parts. First is domestically in japan you can get repair services for issues from Tomix and microace, that is not easily available internationally. While annoying it’s understandable, we are a tiny minority which just doesn’t make business sense to cater to. Second Kato is a private company that can focus on more personal sercice than Tomix which is actually part of a much larger corporation. Parts inventory is a huge resource suck and very low margin and usually a profit loss.
 

Modern business culture also is towards to the disposable and not to the repairable. Even in autos it’s going to larger and larger component exchanges to fix things and many times a large component is jettisoned with a very minor part is damaged. Case in point here is Kato selling the whole truck and drive shaft only and not just the drive tiny drive shaft which is the part that fails most all the time. I’ve replaced a few dozen drive shafts in my trains and the club members’ but only had one truck get melted and needing replacement. Tomix seems to focus on the prime parts that might fail. As disturbman notes Thant with the high quality of Japanese trains in general it’s down to focusing on the fee critical parts that usually fail. Yep detail parts and sticker sheets would be grand for have but hard on some of these to run a bunch of extras and run them thru their finishing processes. Number sheets may get overlooked as I’d guess a small fraction are actually used and there is actually such a vibrant yahoo.jp on spares not used or breakups to make a few bucks.

 

i agree it’s nothing I would make a purchase decision on, it’s more do they have what I want and with the features (details, functional differences, etc) I want. i don’t think ever has it come down when all other aspects are equal and that spare parts are what would decide things for me. 
 

cheers,
 

jeff

Link to comment
JR East

Reading your post makes me obvious that we've different criteria. Anyway, I was not aware of the different spare part resellers. Very interesting. I'll try to find a new set of dry transfers for my Hinotori. What is the real challenge is being able to search it properly as Japanese language is (despite Google Translate and some sites in English) a barrier. 

 

I'll try. 

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...