The Model Aircraft Collector Forum

A friendly forum for hobbyists and collectors of die-cast and plastic kit aircraft replica models.
HomeHome  FAQFAQ  RegisterRegister  Log in  

Share | 

 Kyushu's underground hanger 2010 / 2017

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
Kyushu J7W


Posts : 192
Join date : 2017-02-18
Location : East Coast USA

PostSubject: Kyushu's underground hanger 2010 / 2017   Mon Feb 20 2017, 19:18

This is an updated collection of pics after the basement was finished around the Christmas holidays of 2010.

After the majority of the cleanup was finished and walls papered.    The 2010 finished look

I had picked up items over the preceding 20+ years and had the family give them to me as ready made gifts.  Stored everything away for the day when we became empty nesters again. So get your kids through college, pay off the wedding bills,  turn the rest of the house over to the wife then stake your claim to some portion of your basement or cape cod upper level space or at least one empty bedroom and have at it. You did your job dad,  you deserve it!!

                                     2017 After some cleanup and rearrangement.    

I took over 1/2 of the basement  space, put up some wall paper on what were peg board sheets mounted over concrete.  The previous owner was an artist, had put up the peg board and dropped ceiling.  Like most people the basement started out as a place for the kids to play, but as they grew older it morphed into a place so full of junk, you could not walk a 5 ft straight line.  Painted the room sky blue and ripped up the old carpets. It is a space 26 ft. long by 13 ft. wide, tapering to 9 ft. at the back due to the placement of the furnace and water heater.  The table is built with 2X4 lumber and wood screws. It includes some shelves and curtains to hide the boxes the wives seem to hate so much.  It is covered by an 8 by 4 ft. sheet of plywood & railroad modelers grass. The edges are trimmed with wood molding to prevent models from rolling or being pushed off the edges.

The tarmac & other sections of US and Japanese carrier decking, Marsten matting and concrete apron for the book shelves were found on the web and just printed off on a color printer. The book shelves are just inexpensive Target specials that I added rolling casters wheels to in case the basement ever floods.   Wheels make that big table easier to move as well.    

The books have been collected since the 4th grade when they would come around and you could get book for a quarter. I still have my first book, 70000 to One. The library numbers about 900+ now.  They helped a lot in the research for the WWII Memories web page.   Not all of the prints are out on display as I ran out of room. Many of them were obtained on a field trip to Wright Patterson ABF Museum as a member of AFJRROTC in the early 70's.

The die cast aircraft collection started almost 27 years ago with the FM A6M2-N Rufe as an out of the blue gift from the wife.   I started to buy them and took full advantage of the dump events, storing them unopened to have them given to me as gifts by the wife and kids for xmass, birthdays and fathers day etc.  You can build up the collection this way and avoid the dreaded arched eyebrow when the UPS man knocks at the door.  I was saved many  a time by purchasing from the Flying Mule.  Sally always put in a small bag of candy with the order & this distraction was much appreciated.   Smile

Just about the time I got my space the 1/48 die cast suppliers started dropping like flies. Crying or Very sad   To round things out I started getting  1/48 kits,  gap fillers - airfield vehicles, flak guns etc when they can be found  in this scale. The basement gave me a quiet place to build and keep everything together.  The cats usually sit on the back of the couch and just watch.    FM makes up the bulk of the collection followed by Marushin, HM, Carousel 1, Corgi WWI and a lone Yat Ming as its the only available Soviet fighter in this scale.  The die cast number around 83.  The vehicles are a mix of Corgi 1/50 scale, a couple of Hobby Master offerings and available 1/48 plastic kits where the difference between 1/50 & 1/48 in not discernable.  The 1/72 displayed are mostly kits built in the mid to late 70's and salvaged from packing boxes that followed us around for 30+ years and a few new items from the past years  forum projects.  

Now the books, prints, die cast and models are all together and I have a place to work on the kit builds or just read.  If I can just keep the damned cats off my shelves !!!!!!







2011 visit to Hobby Master

When I was working the job took me to Hong Kong and occasionally Shanghai.  They are two beautiful cities.  If you are ever fortunate to get to go, don't hesitate to get off the beaten path and walk about.   People are friendly and just as curious about you as you are them.   Their impression of America is sadly formed by what they see on TV shows. We are all rich..... When you tell them college education and health care is not free and you can lose your home if you don't pay your property taxes they are genuinely shocked. Even if your old they can take your house?   No they say,  not in America.    Plus many believe we all own guns and crime is rampant. TV & movies.  They point to no gun deaths in their cities... Stabbings, clubs and meat cleavers are used, but no guns.  I said I think I would prefer to be shot ..... lol!   They worry about the same things.  Is my job safe, can I get my kids into a good school, will things be better for them.

While I was in Hong Kong  I visited the plant where William works.  First  let me say thanks for the hospitality William and the people of Hobby Master showed me during the visit.  Like everyone I have ever met in China the people there are most generous and welcoming.    I took their public transit from HK up to the border, a trip of less than an hour and William escorted me through the two customs checkpoints and drove me to the plant.  You still have to go through customs again to enter the PRC from Hong Kong and it requires a visa.   The highway system there is comparable to our interstates but much newer of course.     He drove me to the plant where he stays much of the week before returning on the weekend to his home on the HK side of the border.     With their permission I took just a few photos  not wanting to be too much of a bother to the workers.   The amount of hand work required is quite substantial and they do their computer design and mold & die work on site.   In their display room of products I saw where they had produced  toys that I had purchased for my kids years ago.    Gremilns, some star wars related items.  They specialize in higher end collectibles and special runs with many of these runs being just a few thousand pieces.   They also have produced many of the 1/6 action figures dressed in WWII uniforms etc.   That Canadian Avro CF105 and other special commissions were there.    Interesting enough they produce a great deal of anime figures for the Japanese market.    I asked who purchased these figures and it seems there is a  rather substantial market in Japan among younger men.  

First the entrance to HM featuring one of the happiest smiling receptionists I have ever met.   One of their die cutting tools, the result, the tool and die crew ( looks like my old days at GE building ranges ) the injection metal molds, then begins a great deal of hand work, especially  painting to get to what we see in the last pic of the F106.  After seeing how big these jets are I am reconsidering collecting 1/72 versions of these.    The stamping/ painting that I did not take a picture of is a rather painstaking process with many jigs set up to position the parts perfectly followed up with a lot of inspection along the way.  Row after row of paint application stamping machines one color at a time.    They were making the 144 airliners that day.

William with a lot of his research books , model kits in a break room  just outside the engineering design room where several of the guys were working on new products and modifications to some things we already have.  A copy of the issue of HM catalog issued in Taiwan the inside of the first page has a picture of William talking about HM. Its a pretty good magazine with some history of the aircraft featured with period pics and of course pic's of HM's versions.     The small altar is common in Chinese plants and is adjacent to the reception desk.

The Tillys.  I have the RAF Tilly on order but William provided me a few samples  Very Happy    I have to say they did a great job on these and seeing the effort to handle the small aircraft parts and painting plus having built a few 1/48  airfield vehicles myself these are real gems IMO.   Nice heft and detail.  The clear plastic display case is of very high quality and marked with some added information  if you want to keep them inside.   I came home with a destroyed piece of luggage and these came through with out a hitch.

The Schwimmwagen 166.     They continue to expand on the range of vehicles  and they made me another  gift of a pre-production sample they had in the office of this new offering.        
This afternoon after waking up still being on China time I visited a used bookstore and picked up a copy of Volkswagen Military vehicles in WWII.  A large section was devoted to this vehicle in detail photos and engineering drawings......I have to say they nailed it.

I asked about the carrier decks, especially about the Japanese one in 1/48 hoping to get a peek at  the future.  The engineering manager brought the modern carrier deck in. It's larger that the WWII decks and they are still working on the process to produce the deck and reduce production costs.   Due to this size the painting ( notably the white circles )   are not easy to automate and this one has a great deal of hand work.      

Some photos of the deck in their products showroom and one with my Panther on the couch at home to give some sense of scale.   Its pretty substantial and made it through all the luggage destruction with flying colors.

We can expect the yellow wings to continue and at some time perhaps a yellow winged Fury trainer I was hoping for.    A new US yellow wing biplane is on the drawing board.     Sadly my 1/48 Macchi 202/205 may be very long in the future.  The Italian market just does not seem to be there and its a natural  consideration for any business if the "home " country will not support it with sales.   I was hoping for an I-16  possibly in Spanish livery.  But aircraft in Spain's colors have not moved as well as hoped with the economic conditions in Spain not helping things much.    We can expect the Spitfire line to continue with the various marks and I put in my request for some tropicalized versions of the  Spit V and its clipped wing variants.

Again thanks to William and his co-workers for allowing me to visit and for the gifts.      I have some pre-orders coming in September via the Mule a PT-17 and  Ewa Buffalo with the RAF Tilly and Kublewagen.    I have a greater appreciation now for what it takes to produce these.


I had dinner with William in February in Hong Kong and he brought me one of the engineering samples of their Mustangs Detriot Miss. They have been successful with the different liveries & continue to be successful in getting the few remaining aces to provide autographs for these. The detail as always is great, the paint etc. Overall business has improved for them but a lot of the small factories in his province have closed and the economy there has made things tougher while the RMB exchange rate has made things more expensive for the collector. Their factory has been keeping going with the die cast and orders from Japan on Anime figurines. I saw some of this  at the factory. Seems the Japanese markets for these are still pretty big. Lots of collectors for different themes who are pretty demanding on detail. Does that sound familiar to any one here?

The Hawk is still up for the golden wing series and the ME-109 series is in the line for everyone clamoring for it. Makes economic sense as there are lots of livery possibilities, known aces and they can go through the marks like the Spit and FW-190. I raised the idea of a Trop Spit VB as the big Vokes filter would be a very easy bolt on to the VB/VC. I think he will seriously consider it as its a part that might be easily produced and added..... Tossed in my request for a clipped wing version while the idea as fresh. Wink

I raised the issue of using other producers molds, but they prefer to make their own and control the quality. After my exchange with Franklin Mint they probably do not physically exist as nothing has turned up in the years since FM exited the business. Tooling for these are made of very high quality steel and once FM lost control for what ever reasons they probably have been melted down.

Thanks again William.

Summer 2013
I was back in Hong Kong and Shanghai last week.   Tried to find a few grails for members but no luck.   C1's  &  FM we will just have to  forget about it.   Best look on Ebay I'm afraid.  

    UML was and maybe still is  the biggest hobby shop chain in Hong Kong.  I've been in 5 of their shops.     The largest one was stuffed with models & Diecast  of every kind.  The deals were incredible much to the chagrin of my wife when I would  come home with kits Smile       I have watched the kit aircraft diminish over the last few years and the die cast get shoved to the upper shelves behind banners.    The SOGO department store chain   had unbelievable glass display cases  of die cast  4 years ago  showing dragon corgi, HM  and others but in the last 2 years  removed them from their shelves.   A few shelf worn HM are all they have.    William told me on my last visit that UML was actually owned by Dragon which explains why I never saw anyone else's die cast in the place

So if UML is seeing a big drop off of model sales and their new flagship store won't even carry them,  what does that say?    Everyone is giving up to the internet?

This pic was from  spring 2011 if i recall  and they asked me not to take pictures    This was just one small corner but the die cast was already relegated to the upper shelves .   That shop is gone this trip.   They opened a new store in a very high end  incredible 12 story shopping mall!!      Guess what.... not one model kit and only a handful of airliners as an afterthought .    I went to the two small shops near the hospital .....tiny but they had models but little in die cast.      

I was lucky and in an adjacent no name shop I found a Hasegawa 1/48  Pete Floatplane kit for $10.   It would be $35-$40 before shipping in most on line listings I could find .....but most all say sorry, its  unavailable.

January 2013  FM molds thread generated some discussion.   Since then it seems some FM 1/48 jet molds may have survived the smelter.  

I was able to  get the people at Franklin Mint to tell me about their molds.  Bottom line they are no longer available to them.  Read into that what you will.  

However they indicated they were open to new aircraft but the run size needs to be 10,000 and be of a type that would lend themselves to enough liveries to make smaller runs of each livery perhaps in the 1000 to 1500  range  and entice collectors to possibly purchase multiples.  I'd like to set up a poll on this and the other forums. What are some suggestions?    

I personally missed out on the F4 Phantoms.  Certainly the 2 Navy and 1 USAF aces aircraft command very high prices and there were IDF aces flying the "Kurnass".    Wild Weasle aircraft and enough colorful other variants worth re-doing?    

Certainly the Mig 21 is a missing aircraft.   NVA vs US  =, Egypt, Syria  vs Israel,   India vs Pakistan.    China (J7) vs Taiwan.   Iraq vs Irans F4.s  They all flew this in combat against western equipment and created a few aces.

If you score a victory but lose your wingman, you lost the battle.

Last edited by Kyushu J7W on Thu Mar 09 2017, 14:14; edited 18 times in total
Back to top Go down


Posts : 273
Join date : 2017-02-18
Location : California

PostSubject: Re: Kyushu's underground hanger 2010 / 2017   Tue Feb 21 2017, 00:35

What a wonderful man-cave you have. I hope to retire in the next 2-3 years and move from California to a place where I can have a basement or shop building of my own (rather than the tiny little bedroom-office my queen allows me to have) to display all my models and stuff. Your basement pics will serve as a template for me. Smile
Back to top Go down


Posts : 30
Join date : 2017-02-20
Age : 52
Location : Yucaipa, CA

PostSubject: Re: Kyushu's underground hanger 2010 / 2017   Mon Feb 27 2017, 21:02

Wow very impressive. And you say I have a lot of mustangs lol. I really like your Marushin's. I also like how you have emblems and "stuff" sitting under some of your models. Would kill for a Betty but even I give pause at $500 for one. I'm almost there as far as getting my own room...oldest at college but still visits. Youngest about a year out but sooner or later I should be able to get a "war room" also.

Those who don't learn about the past are doomed to repeat it
Back to top Go down


Posts : 41
Join date : 2017-03-19
Age : 47
Location : Sydney, Australia

PostSubject: Re: Kyushu's underground hanger 2010 / 2017   Mon Mar 20 2017, 05:46

Magnificent mancave Ken. Its great how you develop little mini-themes into their own semi-diormam. The NIKE Missile and Strategic Bomber theme is brilliant.

Also, very interesting to re-read your comments with respect to William and Hobby in 2013.

Excellent!!! Cool

Back to top Go down
Kyushu's underground hanger 2010 / 2017
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
» Only panda born in U.S. in 2010 named 'Po'
» China gives £50 million in aid so mobile phones work on underground by the Olympics
» CDO convention book 2010()^^
» Darlene and Alan Nevil -- Found Deceased 8/17/2010
» Monthly LTD payments starting in January 2017

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
The Model Aircraft Collector Forum :: Other Collectibles :: Collections-
Jump to: