About this site
I've been building aircraft models as an adult since 1985. Naturally, over the course of the years, that hobby has included some of Hasegawa's fine offerings. But even if it hadn't, I wouldn't have been able to escape noticing the glorious box art that adorned many of their releases beginning in the 1980s and going well into the 21st century.
Paying closer attention at some point, I noticed the name of the artist, signed at the bottom of each of these cut-above works: "Koike Shigeo." After learning how to recognize his unique, photo-realistic yet still beautifully artistic style, I knew, without checking at the bottom right corner of the painting that it would have that same, neat signature.
My respect for his work growing with each exposure, I happened to casually ask a Hasegawa representative during one of the hobby shows here in Japan, "does Mr. Koike ever attend these shows?" "Mr. Koike," he replied, "..is that man standing right over there." He pointed to a tall, simply-dressed gentleman.
I wasn't prepared for a sudden face-to-face, but I composed myself as best I could and said hello. Of course I told him how much I admired his work. He was quite humble about it in person, but I learned later that he appreciates the compliments far more than he shows.
Thus started an association that over the years has borne wonderful fruit: A series of 45 gorgeous and very affordable prints of some of his finest work, a high-quality collector's volume featuring 60 of his late-career classics, and now for the first-time ever, the ability for interested parties to acquire some of his original paintings.
Because we want as many fans as possible to be able to easily enjoy these spectacular aircraft portraits, we've priced them very economically. But we haven't skimped on quality; his works are printed on high-quality art board with offset printing, and Koike-san himself has approved all the color reproduction (he didn't give us any choice!).
Now, a beautifully framed copy of those two Corsairs greets me every time I sit down to a meal at home. I hope you, too, can find a few prints among those offered here to light up a corner of your home or workplace.
Scott T. Hards
Founder and Chairman
HobbyLink Japan, and...