Monday, August 29, 2011


SMN report:
Thanks to the SMN reader who pointed out this Tamiya-based video for the UK boyband McFly's 2006 song Room on the 3rd Floor. The band is named after Marty McFly, movie star of the 1985-90 Back to the Future sci-fi trilogy, and inspiration for all those kits and diecasts of the DeLorean flying car.

Animated sequences
Whether or not you like MacFly's music, the video is well worth watching to see the components take on a life of their own, with - somewhat spooky, it has to be said - animation sequences, both parts on their runners and art on the box. A singing plastic head may not be quite to everyone’s taste, but It’s very well done indeed, and gets even better when the instructions come to life too, line-drawings moving around with gusto to show various pieces self-assembling in a very clear and satisfying way.

Animated brochures
The McFly video pointed to a possible future direction for Tamiya and other kit manufacturers, to add visual interest to their product brochures on the iPad and other tablet computers - which, of course, did not exist in 2006 - plus iPhone and Android mobile phones.

SMN Mobile Edition
You can already read your daily SMN this way, and on the iPhone or iPod touch you get added picture-power as there is more zoom control than the browser version gives you. SMN-ME comes up automatically when you tap in the address on your smartphone.

Tamiya app
Tamiya Model Magazine International (TMMI) already has an iPad version of the hardcopy magazine. It costs $2.99 USD, which seems fair value. Just search for ‘Tamiya app’ and it should come up in a moment or two.