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Thread: IMAI Elefant


  1. #1
    Elefant's Avatar
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    IMAI Elefant

    Good afternoon all,


    I would like to present you my IMAI Elefant.
    It is a restauration project, few parts are missing that need to be scratchbuilt. Nothing impossible.

    I know that few of you are very interested by this particular model and I'll post my progress here.

    Here are the photos :


















    Comments, suggestions are welcome !!!

    Antoine.


    PS : I remember the lucky member who managed to find an IMAI for 200 Euro...The seller was only few miles from me but I saw the ad too late
















    http://img48.xooimage.com/files/2/4/...901-5e7505.jpg

  2. #2
    Panther F's Avatar
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    RE: IMAI Elefant

    Very, very cool tank! Thanks for sharing!

    Hen Long, are you watching? Here's the next gold mine!
    Building the British Sherman Mk.III ~ Mid Production Sicily

  3. #3
    borealis's Avatar
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    RE: IMAI Elefant

    Wow I will follow this thread with interest: never seen a build-in-progress of the Imai Elephant

  4. #4

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    RE: IMAI Elefant

    Wow, congrats on managing to snag one of these rare kits! The last time I saw one on Ebay, I bid up to $1700, but I still got outbid. [:@]


  5. #5
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    RE: IMAI Elefant

    Awesome... Can't wait to see it finished.[8D]

  6. #6
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    RE: IMAI Elefant

    Really great work, especially the track and suspension. Have seen a couple, but this one is absolutely tops. Detailing is very nice, shows a great dedication of getting it right. Did you have a basis chassis or all sheet styrene?
    HL M-26, M-46, M-41B, T-34/85, IDF M-51 (2)

  7. #7

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    RE: IMAI Elefant

    Congrats on locating am Elefant. You'll have fun restoring it. You might wish to be careful when running it "off road" as
    there is some variation in the quality and location of the track pin holes leaving some track links with dangerously thin
    material to bear the stress. The track is not exceptionally fragile but if it binds while running there is there is a possibility
    of a broken link. I had such an occurrance while running one of my Elefants some years ago fortunately I have some spare links.
    I would feel substantially more comfortable running them if I had access to additional track.

    Jerry
    - http://tanks.linite.com/

    ~ Sic biscuitus disintegratum ~

  8. #8

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    RE: IMAI Elefant

    Does anyone have ANY idea if the molds still exist? This would be a monster hit if every re-released.

    I gotta believe that they're still out there somewhere....

  9. #9
    Panther F's Avatar
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    RE: IMAI Elefant

    I remember seeing that kit in a hobby store in Chicago when I was in Jr. High. Anything over $50.00 back then was considered expensive and I barely could afford the 1/25th Tamiya Tiger I when I was there.

    Last I heard (from other forums) is that there are no molds anymore. Too bad, we always seem to want more what we cannot have or get, huh?
    Building the British Sherman Mk.III ~ Mid Production Sicily

  10. #10

    RE: IMAI Elefant

    If anyone can find one that is available - I'd love to see what we can do with it for new production.

    Bill
    Owner - RC Command

  11. #11
    Panther F's Avatar
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    RE: IMAI Elefant


    ORIGINAL: RCCOMMAND

    If anyone can find one that is available - I'd love to see what we can do with it for new production.

    Bill
    I'd have to sell a couple of my Tamiya's to make room for that!
    Building the British Sherman Mk.III ~ Mid Production Sicily

  12. #12
    Elefant's Avatar
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    RE: IMAI Elefant

    ORIGINAL: RCCOMMAND

    If anyone can find one that is available - I'd love to see what we can do with it for new production.

    Bill
    Bill

    Please tell me more about your idea.

  13. #13

    RE: IMAI Elefant


    ORIGINAL: Elefant

    ORIGINAL: RCCOMMAND

    If anyone can find one that is available - I'd love to see what we can do with it for new production.

    Bill
    Bill

    Please tell me more about your idea.
    Just thinking there could be a factory that would pick this up.

    Owner - RC Command

  14. #14

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    RE: IMAI Elefant

    I love this tank!! Might be a stupid question or I might have missed it but what scale is it?

    Keep up the great work.

    Rich

  15. #15
    Elefant's Avatar
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    RE: IMAI Elefant

    Hi,

    yup I love this tank too !! It has something special...

    The scale is between 1/16th and 1/15th...it is not a 100% accurate Elefant, but as the only one that was available many years ago...you cannot ask for more...
    There are some minor details to change...and the biggest : the hull is slightly too short.
    Another thing to replace for the hardcore modeler : the gun and muzzle break that are wayyyy too big (picked on a 1/15th scale kit when the Elefant was released)

  16. #16

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    RE: IMAI Elefant

    Aoshima bought all of Imai's assets. There was proported interest within Aoshima mamagement in offering a kit with plastic components in place of the tediously (read expensive) difficult to make metal suspension components. So far as I know it never got done.

    Below are my three:


    Prior to repairs on one and resetting the bow MG on the far left vehicle.. All 3 are in running order. No comments on the paint work, they were done in the late 1970s /early 1980s...

    Jerry
    - http://tanks.linite.com/

    ~ Sic biscuitus disintegratum ~

  17. #17
    Panther F's Avatar
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    RE: IMAI Elefant

    Thanks for sharing that picture once again Jerry! Very nice.
    Building the British Sherman Mk.III ~ Mid Production Sicily

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    RE: IMAI Elefant

    You are welcome. I need to take some better shots sometime. I originally took this as one of series for a frind who
    was looking to restore one. They were taken before I had a digital camera and scanned; since I no longer own a
    scanner I haven't had the impetus to get them digitized. I should snap a few in better surroundings; perhaps amid
    more contemporary models by Tamiya and the like.

    Jerry
    - http://tanks.linite.com/

    ~ Sic biscuitus disintegratum ~

  19. #19

    RE: IMAI Elefant

    Hope you don't mind, Jerry, I resized them for easier viewing.

    Thanks,

    Bill
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Ig11627.jpg 
Views:	11 
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ID:	1026405  
    Owner - RC Command

  20. #20
    herrmill's Avatar
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    RE: IMAI Elefant

    Antoine,

    Glad to see you are proceeding with the build! Just like any fine wine, its always better to enjoy than allow to sit on the shelf collecting dust. Just ask Jerry... am sure he can relate.

    Chuck

  21. #21

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    RE: IMAI Elefant

    Hi Chuck. Yes I can. I know I've told the story ad nauseum but I do remember when these models came out
    and I remember them sitting around for the longest time 'cause no one wanted to pay $400+ for a model in the early 1970s, especially an ugly one. The only reason I got my first one( the only one of mine to be purchasd in kit form) was that a store going out of business had marked it down to $250 in 1977.

    Yes yes I can hear the "I'd buy a dozen for $400 each" but that was in 1972 dollars; whaen a Ferrrari Dino 256 cost $16,000 new and gas was 30 cents a gallon.

    Somewhere around here I have a letter from Mr Imai himself written in the late 1980s and when I find it I must get it scanned and I'll post it on my AGW website...

    Elefant I wish you much fun with yours. It's a great addition to any collection. If I might be of assistance let me know.

    Jerry
    - http://tanks.linite.com/

    ~ Sic biscuitus disintegratum ~

  22. #22
    Elefant's Avatar
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    RE: IMAI Elefant

    Thanks Jerry for the story...I like the "1972 dollars" parts ! (I would have bought dozens of ferrari too but with actual bucks )
    Thank you too for your help, I think I'll contact you

    I would be very interested in reading the letter from Mr Imai ( whose fate was tragic []).

    Chuck,

    Well...for the moment, my main goals are finishing the painting of the JP and modifying the stug III. After I'll begin to scratch the missing part for the Elefant.



    Thanks guys !

  23. #23

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    RE: IMAI Elefant

    Because of it's 'box-like' construction, the Elefant seems to be one of those tanks that's ripe for scratchbuilding.

    With that in mind, I'm really surprise that over the years someone hasn't taken the suspension from the IMAI kit, and recreated a set of molds and started selling 'new' castings of the treads, wheels, idlers and sprockets.

    Or... has anyone? I'd be into those for sure.

    Shep


  24. #24
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    RE: IMAI Elefant

    Not quite clear, but it appears there is (or recently was) a built IMAI Elefant R/C available in the Bay Area for a mere $3000.

    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/clt/815698837.html

  25. #25
    Elefant's Avatar
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    RE: IMAI Elefant

    its been about 6 months (or more) I see this ad on the net....I do not even know whats this sale site (Bay?? where's the E )...but for $3000 it has to be complete and bloddy well built !!! It is almost the price of a kit in box (well....if we could know the exact value of such a kit...but I saw few going for 3000 to 4000 bucks)


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