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Getting back into modeling after several decades..

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  • Member since
    November 2005
Getting back into modeling after several decades..
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, February 6, 2003 11:30 AM
A question (or ten).

I haven't built a model since I was about 15 (or so) and I'm sure much has changed.

For one: Why the heck are Tamiya kits so freaking pricey? Yes I know it's a trip down memory lane and modern inflation and all that jive, but when I built them, the plain (non-motorized) tanks, like a Panther were running 10-15$. Now it's closer to 50$ Tamiya has always been 1st class (part of question #2) but am I getting something better or extra for that price?

#2: When I built models last, you had two choices: Tamiya or crap. Revel, Monogram, Airfix all sucked big time, poor fit, terrible details, etc etc etc. Tamiya was top notch (and I presume still is). The one exception to this was hte Testors/Italiarei joining that made some fine model tanks...are they still around??

Nowadays I see Dragon/DML, Trumpeter and a host of others I know nothing about...what's their story? Go or no go?

#3: I presume not much has changed about technique. There's still super glue, liquid model glue, Model Mater or Tamiya paints, drybrushing, etc etc etc. Is there something else I need to know?

Thanks for all the help gang.
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: USA
Posted by jcarlberg on Thursday, February 6, 2003 12:05 PM
Tamiya has gone several steps beyond most other manufacturers in quality, fit and engineering, which is why they are so much more costly. The older molds still in production are cheaper. Revell's newer stuff, like the Panzerhaubitze and their 1/72 armor line, is first class, and most of their old stuff is no longer marketed. Old molds never die,though, so they may be back sometime. Dragon's kits are very good, though not quite up to the Tamiya standard. Academy has some fine releases, and Italeri's are an excellent value, though, again, not quite up to Tamiya. I look for good things from Eastern Europe soon, as ICM has some armor in the pipeline, and their newer aircraft releases are outstanding.
  • Member since
    February 2003
Posted by Richard_Craig on Thursday, February 6, 2003 12:49 PM
Welcome back...we missed you !! Yes alot has changed but,Tamiya has still got a (slight) advantage over the competion...There are companies nipping at thier heals though...Dragon quality is pretty darn good but if you are just starting up again I would hold off on them as all thier kits have link by link tracks which are alot of work for a beginner(almost)..Italeri is still around and make some nice kits but they aren't like they used to be ..They make nice kits but they keep it simple. details are softer than the big T..Academy's new kits aren't bad at all ,but watch out for thier older stuff .(Lot's of cheap copies of old Tamiya kits) Trumpeter seems to be hit and miss ..One kit is excellent next is so so ....They also seemed to be( borrowing stuff ) from other companies at first but seem to be moving out more with new subjects.I think the best is to ask before buying in these forums! The choices are out there ....This is a great time to be a modeller...Glad you made it back ..You got alot of catching up to do...Have Fun!!
Richard
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: United Kingdom / Belgium
Posted by djmodels1999 on Thursday, February 6, 2003 1:51 PM
The messages above I think give you a good idea of what the market is nowadays... If you've not been around for 15 years, I still think one or two, maybe 3 things have changed the hobby quite a lot... The first two were around in the late 80s but not to the extent they are now. I'm talking about 'aftermarket' thingies to upgrade the basic offering from the manufacturers, such as separate decal sheets and rub-on transfers, sets of tracks, photo-etched this, photo-etched that, metal gun barrels, resin wheels, accessories and figures. Those have had a huge impact on how people build and display their models. The second thing is reference material: nowadays, you'll find a book on just about any subject you care to model. Modelers are not just happy with general shots and those books, magazines are now full of detail shots that should help you go beyond what the kit offers.
Finaly, and that's new since the 80s, is the Internet. This has changed the way I do things. You'll find, a click or two away, yet more info, more close-up shots, more ideas, and most of it is free. There are webzines reviewing kits, which is very useful if you do not want to spend your money on a bad kit, giving advice and of course we now have forums such as this one that makes life so much better and easier!

So welcome back, ask yet more questions, and enjoy!
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, February 6, 2003 2:36 PM
Tamiya is still the king. Dragon is good, but the individual tracks for their tank kits suck, use aftermarket products. Trumpeter, right hit-or-miss, Bear-H is pretty darn good fit and is just plain big. Go on Ebay and get some kit to build before spending the big buckos on quality stuff. Don't spend 60 bucks on a shelf duster.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, February 6, 2003 7:39 PM
Hi gang,

Thanks for the quick replies! I did make a 'newbie' error as I bought a kit before checking out the firm (Trumpeter) but I got lucky this time around (Swedish S-Tank). Not up to the standards made by Tamiya, but then again, it's not even half the cost.

Much of what I have suspected has come true, and the Internet is an *excellent* reference for images and the massive amounts of kit reviews, all in all a helpful thing.

The Dragon issue with the individual track bits got me interested...who makes the aftermarket tracks for their tanks? Is there a web site I can go to?

I have seen tons of the photo-etched bits, and many look outstanding. Last bit I worked with was a one-off in college of a Bradley AFV with complete interior (Tamiya naturally) with an aftermarket Dragon TOW launcher on top. I don't recall who made it, but the box was in camo design (I've still seen them around so they can't be that bad) but the whole thing was resin cast, making it brittle and a bear to work with. Nonetheless I got 1st place in the contest ;-)

Rest assured I'll probably have a ton of more questions as I get back into this.

Thanks again for your assistance.

Cheers!
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, February 7, 2003 2:36 AM
Hey all.. I too am a oldie newbie with a similar background so this seem like a good thread to tack on to. My question is, which waterbased paint do you guys use (if any) for airbrushing cause in the past, only enamels were suitable for dilution and airbrushing. I would hope that the technology has improved. Any recommendations?
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: USA
Posted by jcarlberg on Friday, February 7, 2003 9:44 AM
All the modern acrylics are usable in airbrushes. Tamiya, Testor's Acryl, Polly Scale, Gunze Sangyo are all optimized for airbrushing, and go on superthin, and cover very well. Some folks have reported problems with the paint drying on the tip, but this can be addressed with acrylic flow enhancer, made by Grumbacher and maybe others, and available at art stores.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, February 9, 2003 4:37 AM
Hey thanks jcarlberg. I have another question... what do you thin acrylics with? Distilled water?
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: United Kingdom / Belgium
Posted by djmodels1999 on Sunday, February 9, 2003 5:25 AM
Most ascrylics have their own brand thinner, and it's possibly best to use those products... However, alcohol works fine too...
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, February 9, 2003 5:30 AM
Hmm ..I think I have some scotch lying round. Only kidding, thanks for the tip.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, February 9, 2003 4:34 PM
Don't waste good scotch! Use vodka.Big Smile [:D]
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, February 10, 2003 10:21 PM
You are very correct, Tamiya is very expensive and they are top dog for armor. They do have very good kits but they are a little pricey. Its just like Polo clothes, just because it has the "Polo" label on it, they slap on another $50. Thats my analogy.
Italeri and Testors have models but Testors distributes Italeri so some boxes say Italeri and Testors
Not really anything new, just stick to basics and keep up on your reading, a subscription to might not be a bad idea if you havn't already
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, February 10, 2003 10:30 PM
I am also returning to modellingafter an even longer hiatus....it's maybe 30 years(!!) since I built my last one. I just bought a Tamiya Tiger mid-production....hope that I don't mess it up too badly....
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, February 16, 2003 5:53 PM
Boy are there ever alot of us getting back into modeling. All I can say is good luck and have fun. CHIMO!!!!!!

Sgt AL Buttree

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