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Arii model kits

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  • Member since
    December 2009
Arii model kits
Posted by docbailey on Thursday, December 10, 2009 12:06 PM

hello everyone,  i am looking at buying a few model off ebay made by ARII.  I've never bought one so i am asking for any feedback as far as quality, price, ease of assembly. Any information will be greatly appreciated. thanks, Doc Bailey

  • Member since
    December 2015
Posted by dcaponeII on Thursday, December 10, 2009 12:21 PM

They are mostly kits originally produced under the Otaki label.  For their time they were state of the art.  In the aircraft section you can see an F6F-3 I recently completed using an Arri kit.

  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: Peoples Socialist Democratic Republic of Illinois
Posted by Triarius on Friday, December 11, 2009 3:51 PM

As said, old but good for the era—and if the price is right, they build up nicely. Better than old Revell or Monogram. According to John W. Burns' Plastic Aircraft Kits of the 20th Century, they generally run $8-$12 in value for 1/72 and 1/48. Less for 1/144 unless it's a big kit.

Ross Martinek A little strangeness, now and then, is a good thing… Wink

  • Member since
    December 2009
Posted by docbailey on Friday, December 11, 2009 5:07 PM

Thanks for the great information!! Also on the Revell and Monogram. I am a "newie" at this (last time i built a model i think was 30 yrs ago) What old brands would you suggest to stay away from on ebay. I am looking for discount hobby companies to by from on the internet and any help here would be greatly appreciated.Again, thanks for all the valuable information. bob

  • Member since
    December 2009
Posted by docbailey on Friday, December 11, 2009 5:20 PM

Great information!! I am a retired "newie" of 59 getting back into a hobby that i loved a a young man.What old brands on ebay would you stay away from. Any suggestions on these disocount hobby shops ( tower hobbies, atomic hobby, hobbylinc,etc)as to which would be good to do business with. I really appreciate the help!!! thanks, bob

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Saturday, December 12, 2009 3:27 PM

The quality varies on them. Across the boards, the interiors are sparse- especially when compared to Monogrram kits of the same vintage. Landing gear is ok, again, being a bit on the sparse side for wheel well detail. Where they really shine is the exterior detail- recessed panel lines and rivets, on the P-51 they are just superb, the F6F is nice. Older kits such as their Ki-43 are not as nice. Canopies are on the thick side. A good place to maybe try a Squadron or Falcon vacu form replacement canopy.


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  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: Peoples Socialist Democratic Republic of Illinois
Posted by Triarius on Monday, December 14, 2009 5:02 PM

I'd stay away from ebay. There's a reason some call it "evilbay." If you know what you want and what you think it's worth, fine, but there are other sources for older kits.

I like hobbylinc—great folks to do business with, and they're having a sale. Also Discount Plastic Models. For older kits, try Rare-plane detective, Hobby Surplus, and Old Plastic Model Kits.

But don't deny yourself the pleasure of some of the newer kits, especially once you've gotten your "hand back in."  Try a Tamiya 1/48 P-47D, for example. My favorite online retailers are Roll Models, Sprue Brothers, Great Models, and Squadron. There are others.

But don't neglect your Local Hobby Shop (LHS), "local" being anything in an hour's drive or less. They can be your best resource for advice, supplies, and kits. Yes, it may cost more there, but if you need advice or help on what kit to buy, a good LHS can be a life and wallet saver.

A final resource is a local club. I've been a member of three different IPMS chapters. I loved all of them (still do!) and they are a PRICELESS resource and asset.

Ross Martinek A little strangeness, now and then, is a good thing… Wink

  • Member since
    December 2009
  • From: South Carolina
Posted by dahutist on Tuesday, December 22, 2009 3:31 PM

First the ARII kits. They were originally molded by Otaki, and it's already been said that their shining feature is exterior detailing, and that is so. Engraved panel lines and understated rivet detail were their hallmark, at a time when such did not exist elsewhere - we're talking late 1970's here. Only ESCI really had a handle on the notion of engraved, fine detail at that time, and that only in 1/72.

Interior details, wheel wells and the sundry fussy things we take for granted today, however, were sparse on the Otaki/ARII kits - which has also been mentioned. Your best bet is to either, a) see them as a blank canvas for super-detailing, or b) use whats there, keep the canopy closed and give them an exterior  "Wow!" finish.

The places Ross has mentioned as sources are all good - Ive used all of them. I like Sprue Brothers and Roll Models. But to be honest, these are retail outlets, including my old pal Jeff Garrity at rare-plane detective. These people are not in business to give you a deal. So let me be one voice that endorses ebay. It can be an overall part of your hobby if you learn "the ebay buzz."

On ebay, three primary elements, the Ebay Trinity, must be in your mind:

- Watch pricing. Many people think ebay is a retail outlet, and try to price accordingly. You see them re-listing and re-listing all the time, too, because they misunderstand their customer base. Ebay is an auction site and should be treated as such. people come there to get a deal, not pay what they can pony up somewhere else. Some good deals can be had there - I just got the Minicraft 1/72 Ventura on ebay for $5. I got the Promodeller Me 410 for $11, there, not long ago. But, you have to be persistent, patient and willing to go past those sellers who think it is just another store front. Understand auction buying and find sellers who do, too, and it can be a good place.

- Watch shipping. Many sellers opt for the easy way out and hit you with max cost, flat rate shipping. This tactic alone hits the buyer in the wallet more than any other. Then they add little tiddly fees, like bubble wrap and tape and "handling charges." In essence, they see shipping as a profit vehicle.

I also do a lot of model trading and ebay selling myself, personally. I've done hundreds of transactions there. I know what it costs to ship an item. There is no way a model should cost $15, or more, to ship anywhere in the U.S.... but you see that all the time. Even more insulting is these same sellers try to foist these things off as part of their 'service.' That's bunk. Learn to use the USPS shipping calculator and when you find a seller that charges actual shipping based on where you live, stick with that person.

- Learn to use the "Completed listings" feature. This research tool lets you see what those items you are interested in actually sell for. For example, lets say you find long lists of similar listings that didn't sell. It's usually easy to figure out why. If you find those that have sold, then you immediately know what the market will bear for that item. Soon, a pattern will emerge, steering you to what are real world prices and thus, winning bids. Sellers only rarely use this tool, because, again, they have the wrong idea about ebay. That is to their disadvantage - there is no "magic wand" to savvy up clueless sellers. But it is there for you to take advantage of and help you steer clear of them.

Back to ARII kits. In the 80's they were the foundation for many super detailed builds and to this day they make a decent model if you accept their limits. Add a decent AM resin set to an ARII/Otaki/AMT** that was purchased fro a fair price and you have a great combination. But, if you're paying more than $10-15 to get one, its too much.

** Several of the more popular Otaki/Arii kits were also sold under the AMT label in the 90's. These include the Jap Zero, Me-109, Fw-190, Spitfire, P-51 Mustang, etc. The lesser known Japanese subjects were not included in these boxes. however, I'm convinced that these kits spurred the Asian giants (Tamiya and Hasegawa) into updating these subjects, items that were previously only seen in OTAKI/ARII boxes.



"Give to Get, Be Civil and DONT be so afraid or sensitive over everything."

  • Member since
    February 2022
Posted by Luke Park on Friday, February 25, 2022 7:41 AM

I just received the three I bought from Hobby Link, Japan. All in 1/72 scale and new - a 'Dinah', 'Babs' and 'Peggy'. I threw in a 1/48 'Wilow' for good measure and the order total, including postage, was less than £40. I was fortunate in not having to pay additional UK tax, or postage fees. I'd never previously heard of this manufacturer, but took a punt on the grounds that I didn't want to pay inflated Ebay prices for tired old second hand Airfix kits, or overly expensive vintage Hasegawa models. They look fine to me. Yes, they're of their time and the interiors are a little sparse. You do get figures with them too though, which I personally like as they add scale. With these added, combined with the small scale, you'd have to look pretty hard to observe the limited interior detail! Incidentally, Hobby Link are excellent. One week from order to delivery from Japan to the UK and really good packaging.


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