In 1941 Hasegawa opened a factory in Shizuoka, Japan, and began developing and manufacturing wooden models for use as teaching aids. Twenty years later, the company entered the new field of plastic models. Its first plastic kit — a glider — was soon followed by more advanced subjects. In June of 1962, Hasegawa released the 1/450 scale Japanese battleship Yamato. It was a huge hit, selling 150,000 units that year alone. Following the success of the Yamato, Hasegawa produced a 1/90 scale F-104 Starfighter and a 1/70 scale P-51 Mustang. These scale plastic models proved so popular that the company stopped manufacturing wooden models altogether, turning its attention entirely to plastic.
Since then, Hasegawa has earned a worldwide reputation for exceptional depth and detail in each plastic model subject category. You can choose from 1/200, 1/72, 1/48, 1/32 and 1/8 scale aircraft kits; 1/72, 1/24 and 1/20 scale vehicles; and 1/700, 1/350 and 1/450 scale ships. Hasegawa offers many kits for Science Fiction fans, plus comical Egg Planes that appeal particularly to younger model builders. Serious plastic model enthusiasts look forward to Hasegawa’s “Special Edition” and “Limited Run” kits. Many of these feature decals that represent an important aircraft, performance team, or vehicle from a particular period in history. Hasegawa also excels at scale models of aircraft variants, which are eagerly sought by the most critical hobbyists. “E” and “F” variants of the F/A-18 Super Hornet may look similar to the untrained eye, for example, but modelers who truly know these aircraft will recognize and appreciate the fine distinctions in Hasegawa’s 1/72 scale kits. Early on, Hasegawa realized that many builders have a favorite subject. The variants, Limited Run releases and Special Editions enable hobbyists with very specialized interests to expand their collections with different versions of the same model. If the detail found in a production model box isn’t enough, Hasegawa offers Detail Kits — option packages that often feature detail parts made of fine, etched metal, a material better able to replicate certain parts than injection-molded plastic.
Hasegawa has become a leader in scale plastic kits by producing highly detailed models that impress the most demanding hobbyists. Because of the accuracy found in such areas as cockpits, interiors, engines, weapon bays and aircraft wheel bays, many Hasegawa models are built by professionals for museum displays. Ultimately, Hasegawa understands that the reward in model building goes beyond successful assembly. For the enthusiast, each model represents an opportunity to explore history, learn more about the subject and create a scale miniature to enjoy for a lifetime.