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Modeling in General
General discussions about modeling topics.
in general, who can I trust
drewgimpy
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Utah, United States
Member Since: January 24, 2002
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Posted: Saturday, March 09, 2002 - 06:52 PM UTC
I have learned since coming to this site that all model makers have good and bad kits. I am trying to build up my collection of 1/35 armor models, mainly through E-bay when I can find good deals. My question is vague and I am sorry for that but I would like to know in general what companies to stay away from and which ones are good.

My understanding is that with Tamiya you should be O.K. I am wondering mainly about 4 other companies - Italeri, AFV, Academy, and trumpeter but any other information is welcome. As I posted in another thread I had some bad Italeri aircraft experiences and didn't want to use them anymore. After being advised to purchase a hummer from them that appears to be a nice kit so I am willing to try some more of their models now. Thats what got my mind working on this question

Again I know I am really vague and I am sorry. A good way to ask this question may be "in general which model maker do you like and dislike?" There will be a lot of different opinions on this I am sure, but thats what I am looking for. Thanks for the continued help from everyone.
GeneralFailure
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European Union
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Posted: Saturday, March 09, 2002 - 07:10 PM UTC
Andrew,

I"m affraid there's no simple reply to your simple question.

All of the brands you mention have a number of truly excellent kits. At least a few of them also have a number of kits that suck. And there's other brands, too...

I have the advantage of living in a city that has three excellent hobby shops, and at least a dozen others in a 50 mile radius. No matter how great the internet is, you can't touch, feel, examine, sniff,... like you could in a model shop.

But the internet has another advantage no shopkeeper will give you : objective advice and experience. Much depends on the model you would like to build. You have hundreds of years of kit building - and thus kit buying - experience at your fingertips through this forum. No matter how crazy a model you want to build, you stand a fair chance that another member of this community can get you on the right track with advice from his/her own experience.

Best thing is to ask a direct, specific question I guess.





Rune's Rule : If you don't care where you are, you ain't lost
ArmouredSprue
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South Australia, Australia
Member Since: January 09, 2002
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Posted: Saturday, March 09, 2002 - 08:08 PM UTC
Well;
Pretty much I do agree with Jan, the better is to ask about specific subjects, for example: "Id like to build a Merkava, what is the best model available?".
And so, we can help you the best way.
Just dont be ashamed to ask for help, were all here to help each other...
Cheers!
Chappy_ju87
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Posted: Saturday, March 09, 2002 - 08:14 PM UTC
I usually look for a review of the kit on the internet before I buy it. I dislike some of the Italeri kits of Russian subjects, but I think most of those are re-issues of Zvedza kits
Sabot
Member Since: December 18, 2001
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Posted: Saturday, March 09, 2002 - 08:56 PM UTC
I'm singing with the chorus here, but ask about a particular kit, i.e is the Tamiya Pz IV worth the money, or what is the best T-34/76 out there?

The Italeri Hummers are nicely detailed, well fitting and come in more variants than any other offering. Some people complain about the shape/look of the hood/nose of the vehicle, my major complaint is the lack of the ever present radio rack between the driver and passenger seat. This was the one spot that even the Esci kit got right.
AndersHeintz
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Posted: Saturday, March 09, 2002 - 09:48 PM UTC
If you like the model, and are intrested in the subject, buy it!
I mean, if you like it enough you'll either overlook the problems with the kit, or fix them.
Might be a silly answer to your question, but thats how I always did it
Sabot
Member Since: December 18, 2001
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Posted: Saturday, March 09, 2002 - 10:07 PM UTC
Very good common sense advice Anders!

Gets tricky when someone wants to build a kit that has 2 identical variants made by two different companies. Like a TOW equipped HMMWV, two choices: the Italeri M1036 and the Academy M966 (only difference is M1036 has an optional winch). Given this scenario, the Academy kit is head-and-shoulders above the Italeri kit and includes options like an opening rear hatchback, radio rack, gunner's stand, TOW ground mount, detailed interior stowage like TOW ready racks, 5 gallon water and fuel cans, driver, TC and gunner figures, TOW missile for the launcher, vinyl tires, a mesh for the radiator grill and USMC fording gear. These items are not present on the Italeri kit.
GunTruck
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Posted: Saturday, March 09, 2002 - 10:33 PM UTC
I'm with everyone else on this too. Specific questions are better than the general statement about a manufacturer's offerings. To date, there's been only one manufacturer that I've never had a gripe with in their offerings - and that one would be Skybow. Like Anders related, I have a closet full of subjects I like and I'll work on them as eagerly and as hard as a Skybow kit - and they're from all the major manufacturers. Fortunately, the armor modeling community doesn't have a universally-accepted "bad" manufacturer like the aircraft guys did in Starfix - everyone warns you to stay away from their releases. That's what makes answering this question difficult.

Gunnie
Sabot
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Posted: Saturday, March 09, 2002 - 10:51 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Fortunately, the armor modeling community doesn't have a universally-accepted "bad" manufacturer like the aircraft guys did in Starfix - everyone warns you to stay away from their releases. That's what makes answering this question difficult.

Can you say "Zhengdefu"?
TreadHead
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Posted: Saturday, March 09, 2002 - 11:07 PM UTC
Sounds to me like everyone's saying Andrew,

"The only stupid question, is the question you don't ask!"

The first time I ever heard this saying was from my rifle range instructor on Parris Island.
Never forgot it.

Tread.
GunTruck
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Posted: Saturday, March 09, 2002 - 11:09 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Fortunately, the armor modeling community doesn't have a universally-accepted "bad" manufacturer like the aircraft guys did in Starfix - everyone warns you to stay away from their releases. That's what makes answering this question difficult.

Can you say "Zhengdefu"?



Uh, uh - never seen a kit from Zhengdefu. I'm curious - where can I find one to add to my "Little Shop of Horrors"?

Gunnie
Sabot
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Posted: Saturday, March 09, 2002 - 11:31 PM UTC
Zhengdefu kits are 1/48 scale motorized kits of modern armor (M1, M2, Challenger, M60, T80, etc.). When they first hit the scene I pre-ordered a bunch from Pheonix Models http://216.142.1.222/ (their website never did work right) for about $5-10 each. The box art "borrowed" photos from Tamiya and Academy kits and when looked at, makes you think you are getting a panographed copy of a Tamiya/Academy kit in 1/48 scale. I thought it was going to be the next Bandai series 1/48 scale kits type release (much like Frog/Fuman re-released old Bandai kits).

What you get inside is a hull top and turret that are very badly molded. The lower hull and road wheels are the same for all kits. That's right, the same lower chassis for an M1A1 as the M2A2 and the Challenger, T-80, etc.

Here's one on eBay: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1710668603
I'm a fan of 1/48 scale armor and was sorely disappointed.
GunTruck
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Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2002 - 12:04 AM UTC
Now that's a sad story. I think "Zhengdefu" is universal armor-speak for "run away - run away" now...

Gunnie
TreadHead
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Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2002 - 12:20 AM UTC
Hmmmmmmm, kinda like FUBAR then, huh?

Tread.
GeneralFailure
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Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2002 - 12:28 AM UTC

Quoted Text

If you like the model, and are intrested in the subject, buy it!
I mean, if you like it enough you'll either overlook the problems with the kit, or fix them.
Might be a silly answer to your question, but thats how I always did it



Of course, if you live in a remote area and you have to rely on the internet to buy your models to get through winter... it's good to have friends who give you some advance.
For a beer, I tell you all my secrets !

no plan survives contact with the enemy
NeilUnreal
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Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2002 - 12:39 AM UTC
At the risk of making this thread sound like a one note song... I have to go with the majority and say I've gotten great, bad and mediocre kits from same manufacturer. This has proved true for most manufacturers, U.S. and international, and for all genres of kits -- not just military. I think a lot of it boils down to two groups of people: the individual sculptors and the actual technicians who produce the tooling.

I don't have a lot of experience with higher-end companies (e.g. Andrea, Verlinden, Warriors) or garage kits, but I assume they're more consistent than injection molded kits.

-Neil
GunTruck
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Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2002 - 01:10 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hmmmmmmm, kinda like FUBAR then, huh?

Tread.



Absolutely! One of my all-time favorite military acronyms :-)

Gunnie
Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2002 - 02:35 AM UTC
I know it isn't armour but i tend to steer clear of Academy WW2 figures as they all measure about 3-4mm out of scale!
And i only realised when i had finished making/painting and weathering them!
The "Elephant man on Steroids I believe!"