Unidentified, Non-flying Objects

Just a brief note to complain about the state of “kit reviews” on the internet.

It’s ghastly.

When it comes to 1/72 scale kits, most of the information you get about “what kit to buy” is garbage. It will drive you up a wall unless you just sit back, remember it’s only a hobby, and resolve to enjoy what you’re doing without getting mental about it.

The worst offenders are the people who can’t resist making a comment on a forum when somebody asks “What’s the best Zero (or Phantom, or whatever) kit?” and they just pile in with half-baked theories, unsupported guess-work and complete nonsense based on something they heard somewhere…

Some kits have been given a magical “pass.” It seems as if, in 1/72 scale, certain things (like “engraved panel lines” and other crap) make a kit “holy” and beyond reproach. Like Academy’s lousy P-51B. Or Hasegawa’s lousy Bf-109G or Revell’s lousy P-47D. They are magically “OK.” Other kits are bad for reasons that are never really explained. The Tamiya Bf-109E is WAY superior to any Hasegawa kit of this aircraft, but some guy put up a photo showing that it was “too short” so some fool will recommend the misshapen Hasegawa kit over the superior Tamiya one!

Other kits are “just wrong” but nobody seems to know why or how. One goofed-up review, written by some unfortunate individual with an axe to grind about panel lines, will mean an eternity of bitchy comments on forums from people who DO NOT REMEMBER WHAT THE PROBLEM WAS but just like to repeat anything negative.

The Revell F-22? Shape wrong. How? No answer. A review that tells you that something is wrong may mean that it is off by 25% OR IT MAY BE OFF BY 1% and the reviewer is a jerk. So you get this awful hodge-podge of nonsense.

There are many examples.

There are certain things that are known forum bait (like the Tamiya fuselage) and others, like the extra length in the landing gear struts on a Hasegawa P-47, or the too-small tail on their 109’s, that are just “mysteries” that you find out about, once in a while. Maybe.

Usually from some guy like me. A “troublemaker.” Ultimately, it’s no good to suggest that there is (or should be) a kit that is “right” and all else is wrong. It’s all relative. R-E-L-A-T-I-V-E. Forums promote lazy, un-engaged modeling. This is how.

3 Replies to “Unidentified, Non-flying Objects”

  1. Right on really!
    Standard answer when somebody new to the hobby who’s probably never built anything ask which kit to buy – Tamigawa! Easy to assemble (and do mean assemble – NOT build) so you’d feel good about the experience – these days everybody need to feel good about doing stuff not subjected to at times encouter a problem to be solved in some way.
    Todays modelbuilder is encouraged to become modelassemblers – don’t get into sanding or use of putty or change anything on the model EXCEPT unless you’d buy aftermarket stuff. That btw makes you belong to the upper spheres of the modelbuilding community…
    Oh and get an airbrush…

    1. I think that what I was really trying to say here is that, for many years, plastic kit “reviews” were just awful. I think the tide may be turning… but we shall see.

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