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Armor/AFV: Axis - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Axis forces during World War II.
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TAKOM Panther and King Tiger kits
GTDeath13
#481
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Attica, Greece / Ελλάδα
Joined: June 12, 2015
KitMaker: 770 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - 02:36 AM UTC
A friend of mine recently begun his modelling business and is improting TAKOM kits. We both have no knowledge on German WWII Armor, except distinguishing Panthers from Tigers and Panzer IIIs from Panzer IVs and so on.

I would like your opinion on the TAKOM PAnther and King Tiger kits, mainly in comparison to other companies kits of the same subject. Are they decent? Better in any aspect? Could use some more work and detailing? Are they relatively innacurate? Is there something that you really appreciated or did not like in the TAKOM kits?

I tried searching for reviews or comparisons but I could use your opinions on the subject too. Thank you all in advance for the replies, they are highly appreciated.
eoin666
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: March 31, 2008
KitMaker: 35 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - 05:10 AM UTC
They are great kits, very detailed, very well made. But they are also a little more expensive than say Meng, which are equally as good and probably a bit more buildable. Also I think Meng has the better idea of the base kit and then interior or suspension as extras if you want them rather than Takom approach of full interior only included or wait for them to release a separate kit later without it, because lets be honest 99% of people don't want a full interior. I really liked their T-54/55 series, but now I think Miniart has overtaken them for both quality and price.

Also bear in mind that Trumpeter and Hobbyboss are also now releasing their Tiger II (and Tiger I) versions at a fraction of the price of the Takom, a HB Tiger II shipped from China is half the price of a Takom kit.
Dinocamo
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: August 26, 2017
KitMaker: 54 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - 07:20 AM UTC
Almost any kit made since the 2000s are nice and well detailed, imo. Sure there are exception, like the rebox of the older kits and kits from smaller companies.

I don't own the Takom kits, but as far as I'm aware of, Takom offer only Panther full interior, and a single Tiger II kit without interior and numerous Tiger II with full interior.

Not many people want a full interior kit due to the difficulty to build and take much a longer period of time to do. The part count are also enormous. Most people just want some fast project and to make a good display piece.

I'm not saying that Takom Tiger II and Panther are bad. Just in term of business wise, it is not a the best idea to go with Takom.

As noted by Eoin666, Takom are quite expensive. Their current Panther and Tiger II are at premium price range. For the about the same amount of exterior detail, companies Dragon, Meng, Trumpeter, Hobbyboss, Eduard, etc. can do at cheaper price.

Though, I recommend to keep a very limited amount of the Takom kits in case someone want them.
nsjohn
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Scotland, United Kingdom
Joined: July 26, 2018
KitMaker: 18 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - 12:11 PM UTC
May be the case with Hobby Boss and Trumpeter but certainly not with Dragon which at least in the UK tend to be slightly more expensive and imho overrated
panzerbob01
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Louisiana, United States
Joined: March 06, 2010
KitMaker: 2,671 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - 07:58 PM UTC
Takom Panthers and Tigers are good - perhaps VERY good. So are the Panthers and Tigers coming from Meng, Dragon, MiniArt, Rye Field, Hobby Boss, etc.

There are lots of very good kits of these popular subjects, and more come out each month or so. NONE of them is actually in an objective way "perfect", and none actually realistically qualify as the objective "best". All have "goods and bads", all are fundamentally pretty accurate, all miss on some detail or aspect.

Each brand and kit offers buyers something - some matrix of things buyers might look for; quality of molding, refinement of details, presence of features like interiors, link tracks, PE, molded-on zimmerit when appropriate, included options and decal sets, and of course possible price-point. NO kit is likely to meet every requirement or preference of all buyers - perhaps of none!

Pricing is a good point to think about... Most kits are available from multiple on-line sources. Prices vary considerably among these. NO brand or kit is actually always the most expensive in the global market. Takom is not always more costly than Meng, etc. Global shoppers KNOW this.

My suggestion to marketers is to handle more than one brand, and offer kits which may appeal to different segments of the consumer world. Some w/ interiors, some not, some w/ links, some not, some pre-zimm'd, some not. And LISTEN to what customers are saying.

Just my opinions, of course!

Bob
b2nhvi
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Nevada, United States
Joined: June 17, 2016
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Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - 09:02 PM UTC
Somebody mentioned shipping from China. Is it my imagination or has ship time from there gone way up? Semms to me norm was about 2 weeks. Now it's like a month and a half. Same for Korea and Japan. This world wide or just a US thing? (Trump and Xi seeing who can piss up the rope farthest?)
Kelley
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Georgia, United States
Joined: November 21, 2002
KitMaker: 1,954 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - 11:07 PM UTC
I can't comment on the Tiger II as I don't have one, but I have 2 of the Panther A kits and they are outstanding, probably the best kits Takom has produced so far. Easily as good or better than any of the other kits on the market. The A with zimmerit has the best molded on zim I've seen on any kit. As far as pricing goes, I'm not sure where some of you guys are shopping, but my 2 panthers cost less than the Meng and Dragon kits. And you can choose how much or little of the interior to use.

Cheers,
Mike
GTDeath13
#481
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Attica, Greece / Ελλάδα
Joined: June 12, 2015
KitMaker: 770 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - 11:25 PM UTC
Thank you all very much for your input thus far.

Regarding pricing of kits, the TAKOM ones have a retail price (about 50) way lower than the Meng (65-70) or Dragon (65-75) equivalents and only the Italeri and Zvezda kits are cheaper.

The Greek postal service has changed its policies since last year and ordering from China or a non EU country has become a gamble, because 9 out of 10 times the import taxes and duty fees increase the cost way over the top.

The full interior is indeed an aspect of the kits that intimidates modellers, but there is always the choice of not building it.

Biggles2
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: January 01, 2004
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Posted: Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - 02:16 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Somebody mentioned shipping from China. Is it my imagination or has ship time from there gone way up?


China to me (in eastern Canada) always takes 3 - 4 weeks; about the same as US to me. But since ordering from China is so much cheaper, I don't mind too much!
panzerbob01
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Louisiana, United States
Joined: March 06, 2010
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Posted: Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - 07:14 AM UTC
I'll buy it the cheapest (all-up - kit, shipping, taxes as applied)I can, pretty much - from China, UK, USA, wherever. Delivery time doesn't matter - whether it comes next week or 3 months later, it will arrive well before I've built all of my current stash.

Again, modern kits are, in the main, going to yield a super nice model of the subject. But the kit WILL have detail and sometimes dimensional errors, omissions, and potentially features that YOU don't actually strongly desire. But you don't have to build all the stuff provided in the box, so...

Because there are always new kits coming along, always discussion about the parts and the goods and bads of those kits, and always gushes of personal preferences, biases, and other opinions about companies and kits.... And kits do cost MONEY... The prudent and realistic buyer should do some homework concerning the prospective kit and the subject BEFORE buying if one is seeking the current "best" kit. Or you may actually not really care all that much about having every little detail "correct" but would rather (like me! ) have fun building a cool-looking and well-done kit - so buy the one which you think meets your needs and wants at the best price you can!

PS: Takom kits ARE cool and Takom has some great subjects out right now, so...!

Bob
Dinocamo
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: August 26, 2017
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Posted: Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - 09:27 AM UTC
I was probably looking at some older Dragon Tiger/Panther kits or they were on sale that I didn't notice. Therefore, I assumed the similar price point, at 40CAD. I just checked the price of the newer Dragon kits, post 2010 kits online and they are all over 100CAD... That's is ridiculous. The price point is way over the chart. I mean, I can't even use the "but they have interior" as an excuse because they don't have interior.. I apology for not getting up to date.

About the shipping, I know some figure collectors. We, in Eastern Canada, agree that 3 to 4 weeks, sometimes even 6 weeks, regular shipping is becoming the norm.
eoin666
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: March 31, 2008
KitMaker: 35 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - 10:11 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Thank you all very much for your input thus far.

Regarding pricing of kits, the TAKOM ones have a retail price (about 50) way lower than the Meng (65-70) or Dragon (65-75) equivalents and only the Italeri and Zvezda kits are cheaper.




That's strange because i picked up a Meng Tiger II for under 30, the Takom versions were all 40-45, but like you say they had the interiors etc. Meng's new Panther D I've just ordered for 31 and a new release HobbyBoss Tiger II for 22 all which include shipping. Don't know how people can compete with the Chinese wholesalers unfortunately except on none Chinese products which by the time they've imported them and resold them aren't any cheaper anyway. But good luck with the new business anyway.
Wierdy
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Ukraine / Україна
Joined: January 26, 2010
KitMaker: 539 posts
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Posted: Sunday, August 19, 2018 - 02:17 AM UTC
Their King Tiger kits are mediocre to say the least. They are full of under/oversized parts, the hatches are designed to be in closed position only, the Zimmerit is out of scale, let alone the not-so-accurate running gear (well, the idler is more or less fine, unlike everything else). If I were to build a KT with full interior, I would try to squeeze Meng interior into a DML kit.
Panthers are much better effort, but... Nuts on road wheels are slightly smaller than they should be IMHO, the drive sprockets have standard hexagonal nuts when they should be castellated, plus the round grilles are slightly wrong in the way they form the pattern.