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These models are re-releases of old models once made by Tomix. Nowadays
they are made in China to the same standards as Tomix used to do. Due to a bankruptcy Kawai models are not longer available new, only 2nd hand and old stock is offered. Some items are now available in the Popondetta range.
Compared with todays Tomix and Kato thes models may be a bit coarse, but all Kawai models have a certain 'character' that would make your Japanese layout complete and look destinctively Japanese.
For example, Kawai makes cement tank wagons, no Japanese outline layout is complete without them. Cement is one of the main commodoties carried by todays JR Freight. In earlier years cement traffic was even more extensive than today and more varieties of cement hopper or tank cars were used by JNR.
Hoki 5700 cement hopper car
Kawai also has a choice of tank cars, the 12-wheel tank cars being worth noting. These cars are very long (over 60 prototype feet) and were used for transporting oil products, like diesel fuel. These tank cars are available in black with choice of two different oil company labels.
Taki 50000 12-wheel tank car
Nearly all Kawai models are available in two or more liveries, the Hoki 5700 cement hopper is an exception. This car is available onl;y in 'Hitachi cement' black and white livery.
Taki 1900 Cement tank car in Hitachi cement livery,
also available in 'Sumitomo' and 'CT' liveries.
Taki 47000 Tank car,
These cars are also made by Kato in black and blue liveries,
the Kato ones are better (finer) detailed, but this silver tank version is
only made by Kawai.
Seki 6000 Coal and mineral hopper car
All model pictures are scanned from a Kawai promotional leaflet. As Kawai has only a rather small range of models, they don't have a proper catalogue.
For those who want to fit their rolling stock with Micro Trains couplers, ref. nr. 1133 is a good fit for the shorter wagons.
Meanwhile, new tank wagons have been released. Things move slowly at Kawai, but hopefully their range will expand.
Kawai Scenery products
Kawai also makes a range of structure kits in variuos scales, varying from 1:50 for a 'ramen' stand to 1:400 for a Japanese castle. Some structures are in 1:150 (Japanese N-scale) or very close to that scale and are suitable as structures on a model railway layout. The 'Onsen' picured below is made to 1:150 scale and certainly adds a true Japanese flavour to your layout. The kit includes real grass seeds to be used as foliage!
'Onsen', a Japanese hot spa, scanned from the cover of a Kawai kit.
Kawai products are available from Japan Model Railways.
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