Photo/IllutrationA 1/20 scale model of Yamazaki Mazak Corp.’s machine tool, left, and its internal structure that is invisible following assembly (Provided by Yamazaki Mazak Corp.)

  • Photo/Illustraion

MINOKAMO, Gifu Prefecture--Geared toward fanatical model lovers, a plastic model kit of a machine tool to shave metal is so faithful to the original that it has become wildly popular.

The replica of the Yamazaki Mazak Corp. Quick Turn 200MY, about the size of a palm, is available as a souvenir at the Yamazaki Mazak Museum of Machine Tools, which started operations in November here.

Despite its comparatively expensive price of 4,200 yen ($38.60) after tax, sales of the model topped 400 units in only a month after the opening.

As the reproduction is so realistic and complicated that it targets those 15 years or older, a note on the package says, “this product is not a toy.”

The model was developed by major machine tool maker Yamazaki Mazak to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding. The project to create a kit for model lovers was proposed after the company received requests to release replicas of its machine tools through a social networking site.

With the help of Fine Molds, a plastic model maker in Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, that is famous for its carefully re-created works, Yamazaki Mazak completed a 1/20 scale model of the Quick Turn 200MY.

The Quick Turn 200MY is the latest model of the company's representative machine, which has sold a total of 100,000 units both in Japan and abroad.

Measuring 143 millimeters wide, 98 mm tall and 113 mm long, a characteristic of the finished reproduction is that “every detail was carefully replicated with a machine tool designer participating in the development,” according to a Yamazaki Mazak public relations official.

The realistic model consists of 121 parts based on the design drawing of the actual machine. While the door can be opened and the control panel turned, the interior structure was also reproduced in exquisite detail though it is invisible after assembly.

The 24-page manual for the product, which is in Japanese, English and Chinese, shows not only how to assemble the components but also the history of Yamazaki Mazak and the mechanisms of the machine tool in detail.

The model has drawn considerable attention partly due to the fact that it is only sold at the museum. Requests have already come in for Yamazaki Mazak to market the replicas of other machines, according to representatives.