Despite rumours of its recent demise we’d like to assure Aster and Accucraft customers that Aster is alive and well and planning on growth! Bing Cheng of Accucraft Trains and Fujii Susumu of Aster Hobby have issued the following joint statement.
What is the future of the Aster Brand?
Aster Hobby will continue to be Aster. Our mission is a continuation of Aster’s legacy of excellence in Gauge 1 model railways with Japanese design and manufacturing.
Since our first collaboration in 2016 with the 9F, Aster and Accucraft have tested multiple paths of design and production to develop future best practices. All of us at both companies have gained a wealth of knowledge from our successes and trials. In that time, we have established strong relationships with new top-tier Japanese vendors and we will continue to keep the high precision machine and fabrication work done in Japan. Our philosophy will be to always strive for the highest quality.
Aster Japan’s 45 years of experience and knowledge has been retained with their senior staff and we have dedicated resources to passing on the legacy with new designers. Mr. Fujii and his staff will continue to focus on new designs, supply chain management, and quality control. We will continue Aster’s principle of keeping spare parts and replacements available for many years following a project’s release.
We are proud to officially announce the next two Aster British locomotive projects with brand new designs: The LNER Class B1 (Mayflower) and the LNER Class P2 (Cock o’ the North) with the B1 release aiming for Christmas 2019 and the P2 for later 2020. These projects will be thoroughly tested and sample kits will be independently verified by trusted builders. Our British customers can count on Accucraft UK, the sole UK distributor of Aster and Accucraft, for all their sales and service needs.
Global distribution for Aster will continue to be based out of California and a list of our trusted network of distributors and dealers can be found on our webpage under dealers.
Our head of marketing, Channing, has been involved with Aster’s projects since our union began, working for years in both Japan and China. Along with the Japanese staff, he will take feedback on future projects for the UK, North America, and Europe.
Accucraft Trains will continue its mission of providing high quality affordable steam and electric models and rolling stock in various scales. Since our collaboration began, we’ve had the added benefit of improving Accucraft’s manufacturing process with higher quality Japanese parts. Ultimately, Aster Hobby will continue to supply the Gauge 1 hobby with top of the line collectable live steam models for many years to come.
Bing Cheng & Fujii Susumu
Accucraft UK is now the sole agent for Aster Hobby products in the UK and will continue to supply spare parts to Aster customers for older Aster locomotives. Despite rumours about the quality of the recent 5MT locomotives and kits we are still able to supply these, any models being sold through us will have been double-checked at our UK warehouse and come supported by our two-year warranty and an Accucraft boiler certificate.