JMTN blog

(Japanese Model Train Newsletter)

Tomix 92310 Kiha71 4 car ‘Yufuin no Mori’ review

Tomix have released their version of JR Kyushu’s ‘Yufuin no Mori’ train, and it is a beauty 🙂

This train is a diesel set that is run by JR Kyushu, and is normally used on the scenic tourist route between Hakata and Beppu, via Kurume and Oita. There is also another updated version of the train, called ‘Shin Yufuin no Mori’, but it is a Kiha72 type 4 car set.

Although MicroAce have already recently released their version of this model, I believe the extra wait was worth it, and the Tomix version is superior 🙂 The main differences I can see are …

  1. Tomix has lots of ‘stuff’ around the ends of the cars each side of the couplers – not just a big empty space showing the ugly Rapidos.
  2. As already mentioned, MicroAce has Rapido and the Tomix has body mounted close coupling TN’s.
  3. The grilles/vents on the sides of the Tomix cars look like some sort of recessed item – not just painted over like on the MicroAce.
  4. The underbody detail on the Tomix is a lot more defined with more intricate items and looks more accurate when comparing to photos in the Rolling Stock Handbook.
  5. The seats in the Tomix can be reversed (I know – a little trivial !!!).  

Some of the above-mentioned features, like TN couplers as standard, are due to the model being in Tomix’s ‘High-Grade’ category, and this is certainly a very high quality release. The cars are an iridescent green colour, with light gray underbodies and a flat green roof. Most of the windows have a gold edging, and there are gold stripes and logo on the car sides. The diesel motor underbody details is very complicated, and as already mentioned, looks correct. There are a number of small parts to add to the end cars (exhausts and aerials), and another aerial that has to be added to a middle car after drilling 2 holes in the end. At least Tomix supply a drilling template, which also doubles as a holder for the other fiddly parts. The interiors of the cars are a pale cream, but the seat assemblies are light green and are a separate molding (so can be reversed depending on the direction of travel !!!)

For some reason, Tomix have decided not to provide blackened wheels, but the rest of the running qualities are superb. The motor is equipped with small flywheels, and runs very quietly and smoothly. The head and tail lights come on quite brightly at low voltages. Tomix lighting units can also be installed inside the cars. The large open cab space begs for a driver figure though. The extras details like tanks, steps etc around the couplers really do set this train off compared to others. Even the ‘Yufuin no Mori’ logos on the car sides are raised, like the prototype. As an ‘HG’ release, the plastic storage case is in a gray cardboard sleeve rather than the usual blue, and the case has a nice drawing of the train along with it’s logo.

A fellow club member commented that even though he is not into Japanese trains, and doesn’t even like some of them, this one really caught his eye and imagination !!! I would go as far as to suggest that this would have to be one of Tomix’s best releases for 2006.

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January 4, 2007 - Posted by | model review, Tomix

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