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Old-Skool Japanese Three-Wheelers

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When most people think of a collection of vehicles from the mid 1950’s, they think of T-Birds, or Tri-Chevies or at least something with fins. Barring that, at least most people think of something with four wheels! However, I am not most people. For me, while they’re visually interesting and neat in real life, cars of the Fifties have never really “done it” for me as modelling subjects.

No, I like the weirder stuff, so when I got a collection of vehicles from the mid-‘50s, it was a bunch of Japanese three-wheeled commercial vehicles! Thanks to LS (and Arii thereafter), my lust for oddball automotive subjects can be at least somewhat appeased! Check out my collection of 5 three-wheelers from the fun and simple 1/32 “Owner’s Club” model series. You’ll never see a Big Wheel the same way again!

https://adamrehorn.wordpress.com/model-kits/out-of-box-reviews/arii-1-32-owners-club-three-wheelers/

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Those are neat little kits. I have one that may someday be built like the moving “truck” from Miyazaki’s “My Neighbor Totoro” movie...

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Used to see similar vehicles buzzing around the streets and roads of Thailand and Korea.  Never thought of modeling one though, although I would love to find a Dhiatsu  1-ton in 1/25 scale.

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I have the Mazda version.....It's big enough that if you change the steering wheel it looks 1/25 scale. 

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Oh man, that's cool!

I haven't watched Totorro in ages, and I forgot that there was a Midget in it! Now I want to do mine that way too, but I don't have the right amount of junk to put in the proverbial "trunk".  :)

I didn't think the Mazda looked too big - I mean, it's smaller than an EXP.

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Thanks for another great review!  I have several of these, and planned to use them in Vietnam-era dioramas.  Other builders have done that, usually with the three-wheeler heavily rusted, weathered etc.

Not sure if I should encourage this obsession...oh, of course I should! 

Some of these kits also came in a "Diorama Club" series.  I have one of those, the '55 Daihatsu 3-wheeler.  But they came with some neat extras. The Daihatsu has two large pipe sections to go in the bed.  Also a traffic sign, a garbage dumpster, a dog house(???), a telephone pole and a section of metal fence.  Plus a black diorama base to put everything on.

Here's the Mazda 360 from the Diorama Club series. It seems to have a fountain/water pump, a red Japanese postal box, a statue, a phone pole and a wooden fence. And a tree!

 

Arii-41079-2.jpg

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Oh man! I love the dio accessories that come with that R360!

It is a hideous little car, though. Maybe one day I'll find it, however!

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All those neat 1/32 accessories also came in a series of ARII kits called "Memorial Showa Saijiki."  I just did an eBay search and quite a few came up.  They were 1/32 diorama kits of life in Japan:  a milkman, postman delivering mail, carpenter, food stands, etc. (YODEL did the same kind of Japanese-life diorama kits in 1/24 scale).  

One of the neatest ARII dioramas is kit #55113, "Quick Bath - A Washtub."  It shows a woman in her back yard, in a bathtub.  She's drafted her younger siblings (or her kids) to bring her hot water.  Look closely and you'll see a Peeping Tom behind the fence!

 

arii_showa_13.jpg

Edited by Mike999
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