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What's The Deal?

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  • Member since
    November 2005
What's The Deal?
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, June 12, 2003 6:49 AM
I've been reading some post's on here and they tend to bash the Revell-Monogram kit's. What's the deal here? What has some modeler's gotton spoiled by the Tamiya and Hasegawa releases? I think this is the case. Or have they run out of insult's on Trumpeter releases and turned their attention now to Revell-Monogram? Revell-Monogram still turn's out great product and for those who say they dont need their head's examined or are just to damn spoiled that they dont know any better. At least Revell-Monogram dont keep screwing up on their releases like some of the other model companies do such as the case with Trumpeter. No they are not on par with Tamiya or Hasegawa but at least they dont charge an arm and a leg for their kit's, they keep their kit's affordable. Let's stop this nonsence of attacking Model companies and get on with modeling because after all that is what it's all about and as the old saying goes if you dont like the kit dont buy it. Period!

SteveEvil [}:)]
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Canada / Czech Republic
Posted by upnorth on Thursday, June 12, 2003 11:46 AM
Well put.

When I see the prices on some of those Asian kits, you can say all you like "You get what you pay for" but that doesn't mean squat when your wallet screams "No!"

Some folks have gotten seduced by the flawless fit, collector quality box artwork, flashy ads in the magazines... I call that spoon feeding.

I like my kits to have the flexibility and workability that I can play about with trial and error and experiment with new techniques and still maybe come out with a presentable finished product, even if it isn't presentable I want to be sure I didn't break the bank on it.

Enter the guilt factor:

You spend that much on one of those Asian kits, its perfect in fit, decal registration..., but you want to convert it to a different variant. Don't forget at this point the kit is your starting point, the price of aftermarket stuff goes without saying.

Lets draw an example:

You want a 1/48 representation of a post war Czech or Spanish built BF-109 variant, significantly different from war time ones in many respects.

You've got three choices:

Hobbycraft Canada made both in 1/48 a few years back and I'd seen them in shops for about $14.00 Canadian. Typical to Hobbycraft, they require a bit of work but are generally right for the price.

Revell-Monogram have had a few 1/48 war era 109s over the years, some better some worse. With the exception of whats in their Promodeler line, most of their 109's in 1/48 I've seen anywhere between $15 and $25 Canadian. As they are war era, there's considerable chopping work to do and you'll have to get research data collected, find aftermarket sets or scratchbuild the conversions.

Then there's our Japanese friends; I've never seen a 1/48 109 by either Hasegawa or Tamiya come much lower than about $38 Canadian, usually their up in the $40 to $50 range. You still have to spend your money on research data, aftermarket or scratchbuilding supplies...and its still a significant chopping job.

So, what sits better for you in that situation? Can you take a razor saw or whatever to a $40 or $50 kit and still break as little sweat as you would doing the same to a $20 kit. Yes? Great! can you loan me a 50 to get me through to my next payday too?

No? Me neither. If I really wanted that post war 109 and couldn't find the Hobbycraft kits to do the bit of trimming required, I'd definitely opt for the Monogram Revell kits. Yeah they they ain't perfect but they do well for the framework of conversions and leave you extra money to get the aftermarket stuff and research together, and if you ultimately screw up on it, what are you going to forgive yourself for that much easier?

If you believe Revell- Monogram is crap, may I refer you to the article in FSM a scant month or so ago about correcting the old Revell 1/32 P-47. I can be made not only respectable, but outright stunning.

Or are we so jaded and comfortable with the spoon feeding that our Japanese friends are giving us that we've forgotten how to hold our own utensils or eat with our hands when the need arises?

Something to think about.
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Green Bay, WI USA
Posted by echolmberg on Thursday, June 12, 2003 12:56 PM
Does everyone remember how the fit was less than 100% perfect on the Monogram P-61 Black Widow? Does anyone debate that Tamiya makes darned near flawless P-51 Mustangs? I'll tell ya what. I've won more contests with my Monogram kits than I have with any other. It's what you make of it. There are manufacturers our there that I tend to shy away from but others flock to them. I don't call THEM crap. To the people who can build those planes better that I ever could I say "God bless and good for you." My inability to have luck with a certain kit or manufacturer does not give me license to so crudely slam others. The problem most often lies with me, not thee.

Eric

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, June 12, 2003 8:23 PM
Rest assured Monogram & Revell have been supplying modelers with pleasure and fun for so long they can easily take the flak, they produce a great product as do 95% of ' big name' manufactures (including Tamiya + Hasegawa), its what we do with the product that counts after all - when the hype over certain kit manufactures is taken to the point of knocking some of the oldest and best loved in the business, it shows itself for what it is - strangely enough - crap !
  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: Washington State
Posted by leemitcheltree on Thursday, June 12, 2003 9:48 PM
Sure, folks are spoiled by the fantastic quality of some manufacturers, but even if a kit doesn't "fall together" (like a Tamiya kit) should that put you off buying it?
I don't think so.
For years I've loved the Northrop Flying Wings of the 40's and 50's and jumped at the opportunity of getting the Sword 1/48 N-9A prototype -
Was it a good kit? Sort of.
Does it fit together well? Not really.
Is it the only one available in that scale? Yep.
Am I glad Sword released the kit? Yep.
Would I still buy it knowing it's not up to Tamiya's standards? Yep.
Like Eric said, it's what you make of it.
I've seen some incredibly beautiful models, superbly detailed and finished, made from crappy old vac-formed kits. I've also seen butcher jobs on Hasegawa and Tamiya kits.
Life's what you make of it - some people aren't happy unless they're moaning about something.
I'd rather have fun and try and see the good in things.
Life is too short.
Cheers,
LeeTree

Cheers, LeeTree
Remember, Safety Fast!!!

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, June 12, 2003 10:36 PM
I don't generally build models of Japanese aircraft. But right now on the workbench I have two 1/48th Zero's. A Tamiya A6m2 and the Monogram A6m5.
Yes,there's a huge quality gap between them, and yes, the Monogram, which is an older kit, seems to have some things wrong compared to the Tamiya. ( I know the m5 had smaller wings & a different engine but there's a difference in the chord of the fin, I have to assume it's correct on the Tamiya).
And here's the thing, it just makes the Monogram kit more of a challenge. If I can get it up to the finish of the Tamiya, then I will be very pleased. The fact that it cost nowhere near the price of the Tamiya led me to expect quality shortfalls.
So, as in everything, You pays your money....
After all, What would it cost in the real world to get an average Chevy up to the standard of a Mercedes, or Lexus?
We hone our skills over the years, so lets get on with using them!
Pete
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, June 13, 2003 11:13 PM
I think that many of us are a bit spoiled by the offerings of our Eastern brothers. I'm fairly sure that I am, in a way. It's not that I really dislike a challenge every once in a while, but I would rather chose my challenges than have them decided for me when it comes to building a kit. If I just want to do a relaxing SFTB build, I don't really want to be hassled with poor fit, scratchbuilding poorly represented parts (or worse, malformed ones) or any of the other inevitable struggles that have continuously plagued the US offerings, with very few notable exceptions.

Things may certainly be turning around for Monogram and others here in the states. I happen to own a few of them, but VERY few. After being burned so many times by their lack of quality, I feel obliged to move onward and upward in my kit selection. If they manage to fix their problems, bravo for them, and I shall again purchase their kits. Until then, I will continue to be a staunch supporter of quality over cost.
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Tochigi, Japan
Posted by J-Hulk on Saturday, June 14, 2003 12:49 AM
Hi, folks.
You might be interested in knowing that here in Japan the opposite situation exists as far as cost goes.
I can get a Tamiya King Tiger here for 2500 yen (about 20 bucks US), while Monogram's beautiful 1/48 Catalina goes for about 8,000 yen (about 70 bucks US). The ol' B-36 goes for about 14,000 yen (120 bucks US). Yikes!
Most imported stuff (Revell, Monogram) is VERY expensive here.
Airfix and Heller are still pretty cheap, though. Guess it's all up to the import deal they can get.
So, it's all relative.

Also, while I basically agree with the "too much spoon-feeding" train of thought, I would much rather spend a few extra yen (or dollars, rupees, pesos, dinars, whatever) on the better of a choice of kits rather than masochistically torturing myself with a more difficult kit. I'd rather apply my skills towards turning a good kit into a masterpiece, rather than pushing the envelope just to bring a poor kit up to acceptable standards.
But hey, some people like doing that, and if so, that's fine.

If you're having fun, then nothing else matters!
~Brian
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, June 14, 2003 2:08 AM
I live in Aus and we have good exchange rate with the yen and i usually pay between 40.00aus to 70.00aus for tamiya kits and 25.00A to 45.00A for revellag and revell monogram, trumpeter kits are even better with most kits 25.00A . As for whats better, thats obvious you get what you pay for, but once the primer is on the kit can be as good as you want it to be and your skills allow.
Regards Bob.
  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by Faris on Saturday, June 14, 2003 2:20 AM
Here here. I was raised on Monogram, and I gotta say eveything thats come from them in the last 8 years or so has been damn fine by my standards. I love Tamiya, but honestly I get nervous when I look at the money and then I hope I do it justice. It makes me try harder and at the same time keeps me from starting certain kits. I think we all know what crap really is, and most manufacturers do not sell that, there may be an occasional bad part or truly crappy kit by somebody, but for the most part we are totally spoiled by the sheer size of selection of such high quality kits we could only have dreamed of 20 years ago.
The only time you have too much fuel is when you are on fire.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, June 14, 2003 5:04 AM
Firstly, Upnorth hit the nail right on the head. Like others of my age (mid-40's) all I had was those Monogram and Revell kits. Even when Hasegawa and Tamiya come to my attention in the late 60's, those kits were no better. I learned to be a modeler with those kits. I like the nice kits but will never shy away or complain about an ill-fitting kit because I've already lived up to the challenge of those older kits.

Secondly, if you do 1/72 (seems not many of us do anymore...) do yourself a favor and get R-M's latest F-104 and F-16 releases. I will put these two against ANY Asian manufacturers' counterparts and I think R-M will win. That F-16 is a jewel. And the kit has enough parts to build ANY single-seat F-16 variant except the F-16A (ADV). And it has weapons! I feel ripped off when I buy a Hasegawa kit and then have to buy the weapons set(s) for a couple Whatevers that I don't have in my spare parts box....
  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: USA, GA
Posted by erush on Saturday, June 14, 2003 10:02 AM
There's a lot of good points here and I agree with a lot of them. Bashing a company for a less than perfect kit is rediculous when the kit costs half or 1/3 or 1/4 of a Tamiya, Hasagawa etc. If all the companies brought their standards up to Tamiya's etc. then there would be nothing but $35 - $140 kits out there. Which brings me to the future of modeling.

Who wants to spend $50.00 on a Tamiya kit for their 6 yr old son or daughter to learn on for a first kit???? Do you remember what your first kit looked like when done? What happened to it within a week of rolling it on the floor, flying it through the...ooops it fell!!??

I think you get my point. There is a place and a market for the cheaper, less accurate kits. I wish Monogram still had all it's ($4.00 in my day) cheap, inaccurate kits out there for kids to learn on because even a $20 kit is a little hard to hand to a kid and say go for it.

If you desire the quality of Tamiya, buy a Tamiya and quit yer grippin' , nuf' said!!!Big Smile [:D]

Eric
Hi, I'm Eric and I'm a Modelholic too. I think I have PE poisioning.     "Friendly fire...isn't"
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Sunny Florida
Posted by renarts on Saturday, June 14, 2003 11:56 AM
I've used this analogy before, but it works so well here.
Living on an island in Florida you see alot of fishermen. Everything from fishing line wrapped around an empty soda can to guys with more money than god and enough gear and electronics to outfit a small navy. I've seen plenty of boats and "outfitted" guys comming in empty handed, where as I have never seen a guy with a cane pole get skunked. Its not what you fish with but how you fish.

Mike
Mike "Imagination is the dye that colors our lives" Marcus Aurellius A good friend will come and bail you out of jail...but, a true friend will be sitting next to you saying, "Damn...that was fun!"
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Niagara Falls NY
Posted by Butz on Saturday, June 14, 2003 7:48 PM
Well put Steve...!!!!!
To me it does not really matter if its a Tamiya,Hasegagme or a Revell/Monogram kit, if I like the a/c I will build it that is if the $$ will agree w/ my walletTongue [:P].
In the last few years, Revell/ Monogram releases have really impressed me(re boxed Hase kits dont count). The other day I walked out of the local hobby shop w/ a Dog nosed Sabre and guess what I still had money..!!! It is quite a nice kit and detailed too.
I guess what I'm trying to say here is that its all up to the builders likes and dislikes but never bash a mfg for their work.
One thing I can say is a TRUE modeller would build anything. Nothing would fear him or her.
Flaps up, Mike

  If you would listen to everybody about the inaccuracies, most of the kits on your shelf would not have been built Too Close For Guns, Switching To Finger

  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: Everett
Posted by markuz226 on Saturday, June 14, 2003 8:18 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by J-Hulk

Hi, folks.
You might be interested in knowing that here in Japan the opposite situation exists as far as cost goes.
I can get a Tamiya King Tiger here for 2500 yen (about 20 bucks US), while Monogram's beautiful 1/48 Catalina goes for about 8,000 yen (about 70 bucks US). The ol' B-36 goes for about 14,000 yen (120 bucks US). Yikes!
Most imported stuff (Revell, Monogram) is VERY expensive here.
Airfix and Heller are still pretty cheap, though. Guess it's all up to the import deal they can get.
So, it's all relative.

Also, while I basically agree with the "too much spoon-feeding" train of thought, I would much rather spend a few extra yen (or dollars, rupees, pesos, dinars, whatever) on the better of a choice of kits rather than masochistically torturing myself with a more difficult kit. I'd rather apply my skills towards turning a good kit into a masterpiece, rather than pushing the envelope just to bring a poor kit up to acceptable standards.
But hey, some people like doing that, and if so, that's fine.

If you're having fun, then nothing else matters!


This is so true. Even tho preferences are well-taken, nobody has the right to bash other companies (maybe criticize is a more politcally correct word). I lived in the Philippines and I started my modeling life there. Thought the Tamiya kits were more expensive than the Monogram ones, the difference wasn't great at all for anyone to take the obvious pick. The Academy models are a different story tho. Their releases were ALOT cheaper than the R-M ones (e.g. 1/48 f-15c/d for PP400 which is about $8) -- and more decent ! With experience, I don't see why people would not have strong feelings on this topic as I myself had strong sentiments after building the Monogram A6M5. It might be the challege, yes. But I didn't think the plastic was worth the money.
Don't get me wrong. I still build R-M planes. however, as long as i live here in the US, I will make sure I know what I am getting before purchasing.
It''s really simple: If I don't think it is worth to buy it, then I don't.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, June 15, 2003 2:46 AM
Hi Guys, me again. There have been a lot of good points raised here, and I agree with most of them, if not all. Every kit has it's pro's & con's no matter what the price, it's what you get out of it that matter's. To go back to my workbench; The Tamiya A6m2 v Monogram A6m5 build. I know the Tamiya will just throw together and produce a good model, providing I paint it well. The Monogram, well, the box has a 1990 copyright on it, moulded into the inside of one wing is a 1962 copyright! There are rivets sticking up everywhere, the challenge is on. So far I've extended the fuselage by 2mm, the fin by 1mm and built new u/c bays into the wings. And you know what, I'm enjoying myself immensely! and it's starting to come together nicely. Will it end up as good as the Tamiya? hopefully it will come down to the paint finish in the end. Which of the two will I have gotten value for money out of? Which do you think?
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, June 19, 2003 8:52 PM
Well Put!

Maybe the nips have gotten to there heads.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, June 19, 2003 9:35 PM
I've done a little revell bashing here, as is my right, and will continue to do so as long as they sell kits that deserve it. I don't mind a cheaper kit that requires more work to assemble/accurize but when one of the included features is a 1/8" (5mm) gap between the upper wing panels and the fuselage on both sides it becomes unacceptable. Yes i will finish the kit but, however, I WON'T recommend this kit to anyone or purchase it again. I don't have x-ray vision to see in the box on the shelf, I don't have unlimited time/resources to spend researching every kit I want. I do have the right to protest, complain, disagree with popular opinion, and/or be politically incorrect and if someone doesn't like it tough s**t.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, June 20, 2003 10:41 AM
I find that I am more satisfied with the final product with a Revell-Monogram product than many Tamiya or Hasegawa models. It is because so many Tam/Has kit just fall together, they are almost snap-tite. I have built some which are ready for paint in an hour or two with no need for filler or fixing fit problems. I know for some this may be exactly what they desire, and for them Tam/Has is perfect. But I enjoy doing some work before the painting and weathering. I get a much greater sense of accomplishment building a poor fitting model with a bit of flash and sink marks, and having it end up looking great.

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