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(rant)say no to Revell

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  • Member since
    November 2005
(rant)say no to Revell
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, December 8, 2003 2:08 PM
[rant]
I have had either a really bad day (hey look, it's only 2:45pm EST) or Revell makes horrible models.

I was working on a P-61 Black Widow. The directions were bad:
For example - paint a part of an engine without pointing to that location. Something like "paint the cylinder heads Dark Grey." Which part of the engine is that? I didn't know I was supposed to research this!

And then I these fuel pods where side "a" was larger than side "b".

I'm an amateur when it comes to getting rid of seams, but under a swivelling turret?!?
Lastly, those external fuel tanks again. If I wanted to build the Black Widow version I had to punch out holes in the wings. I'd punched them out before looking at how the tanks were fitted. It was a slot and a pinhole, but I was instructed to cut out two long slots Angry [:(!]

I suppose I should have done dry fitting first, but the directions should have been way better.

I had a model truck that drove me to frustration too. What a suprise, made by Revell. Things didn't fit, bad directions, etc.

I finished neither. Both got broken when I took my frustration out on them.

Yes, I could have gone slower. Yes I could have looked at the directions more carefully to see the faults. Yes, I could have dry fitted things first. (In some cases even that didn't help.

I've built plenty of models, but I have not felt so frustrated that I had to snap them in half (temper temper).

[/rant]

Okay, I feel a little better.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, December 8, 2003 2:25 PM
Now, now, now, some kits just aren't worth opening. But you do get a feeling of acomplishment and satisfacion out of knowing that you've made a bad kit look good.
Ranting they say is also good for the blood pressure.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, December 8, 2003 2:38 PM
For me what separates the good from the mediocre modellers is the skill on how to recover from accidents and experience plenty of it
May they be due to carelesness, bad instructions, stupidity, etc.

Even the top-of-the-line modellers have mishaps and make mistakes, but you can't see it once their kits are finished.

It is easy to build a nice kit if everything goes smooth and the Kit is top-notch quality, the real skill comes in when you take something bad and/or broken and fix it up so that people thing it was an easy build and the kit was top-notch.
  • Member since
    May 2003
Posted by karlwb on Monday, December 8, 2003 2:56 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by MadModelFactory

For me what separates the good from the mediocre modellers is the skill on how to recover from accidents and experience plenty of it
May they be due to carelesness, bad instructions, stupidity, etc.

Even the top-of-the-line modellers have mishaps and make mistakes, but you can't see it once their kits are finished.

It is easy to build a nice kit if everything goes smooth and the Kit is top-notch quality, the real skill comes in when you take something bad and/or broken and fix it up so that people thing it was an easy build and the kit was top-notch.



I agree, the real skill is taking a 'not so good' model and turning it in to some thing that will stun the people who see it.
When you have to scratch build the cockpit or re-profile the wings then you can feel that you have put some thing of yourself in to that model, no one else will have a kit like it Big Smile [:D]
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, December 8, 2003 2:57 PM
It was just one thing after another with the p-61. First it was the holes for the external tanks. They were already punched and the wings glued together when I noticed the design flaw. I thought I would just cover them over and build the Invasion version of the plane, but I couldn't get the nose off (super glue is a wonderful thing)

So then I thought I would build some dioramma where the tanks were off for some reason. Than I noticed the parts were not the right size. Next I thought I would cover over the holes and just leave them off. And I went on to something else.

Well the engine directions were bad and I had no idea what was what to paint. So I decided nothing would be showing and I would fudge the color.

I went on to the pylons, and was told that one of the doors was to be split at the front. I did that and glued it in place. The other portion was suggested as being closed. That was fine so I clipped off the little pin and tried to glue (small amount of glue) this panel in the closed position. Even with tape, it simply refused to stay put.

That is where I lost it. I suspect that models with few parts should be my forte' (I built a Warhammer 40k Eldar Falcon with no frustration at all, ie. few parts)
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, December 8, 2003 3:02 PM
ngc7293 - I built the Revell-Monogram P-61 a year ago. It's actually one of my favorite builds. Sure, the fit is a bit off and the instructions are imperfect, but there's so much detail! Two cockpits, a gun bay, radar, and one open engine bay! All that without scratchbuilding (although one could certainly add plenty of detail).
If you want well-engineered kits and clear instructions, Tamiya is the way to go.Smile [:)]
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, December 8, 2003 3:08 PM
I think we have all experienced this at one time or another with various kits. I will go so far as to agree that it builds character and patience and improves skill....however crappy directions are a big problem in some kits. I think we've all had them. People often wonder why teens/kids turn to video games instead of modeling.....though the video games can be frustrating the rewards/payoff are almost instantaneous where with models thats not the case!
Ive had quite a few kits that got botched on several parts/steps and over time I have learned the best thing for me to do is pack everything back in the box and set it aside for a while(typically a few days at least)....sure beats seeing if the model can fly....which Ive done in the past as well!
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, December 8, 2003 3:30 PM
Try their F101 Voodoo in 1/72 and then tell me they make bad kits!

or the Sea King AEW.

Cheers,

Rob M.
  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: Strongsville, Ohio
Posted by gbritnell on Monday, December 8, 2003 3:31 PM
I have to agree with you completely. It's one thing to get a model and have to do some cosmetic work to it like rescribing panel lines or removing a blister or bump to change from an E model to an F model. There are certain acceptable limits that a person should have to go to to complete a model but extremely bad matches on part halves and above all, imcomplete instructions are not some of them. What if you went to the barber and he cut your hair and when you looked in the mirror and saw a little tuft of hair sticking out somewhere and when you questioned him he said, "Oh just trim it off when you get home". Or how about if you took your lawnmower in to get fixed and when you went to pick it up they gave you a box of parts and when you asked what they were for the mechanic said " It'l run without them but if you want you can put them back on". You wouldn't tolerate these type of things so when some company is marketing a product it should be as good as it can be within certain limits. So many times I have read where modelers buy a certain kit and talk about how poor the fit is and how much work they had to do just to get it back to where it should have been in the first place. This even goes for aftermarket parts like cockpits etc. " Well I bought this aftermarket cockpit and I had to grind off half the side wall and part of the bottom for it to go into the fuselage and clear the nose gear well".
I have seen some spectacular models on many of these modeling websites but pesonally I don't want to spend my time fixing something that was just poor workmanship in the first place.
I bought a 1/48 Otter from Hobbycraft of Canada and it was one of the poorest 1/48 kits I have ever purchased. The wing had a twist to it that wouldn't come out, the small parts were so crude that they were only a reasonable facsimile of what they should be. My solution, I don't but Hobbycraft kits any longer. I have been building plastic for 48 years and the quality of my building has improved twenty fold from when I started but when I hear someone say that by fixing a piece of junk it show how good of a modeler you are is just plain bunk. If you are a good modeler you got that way from practice which led to skill and in some cases to art but the same way you would judge a fine model at a show you should judge the things you buy. If you accept mediocrity from a model producer then you are telling him " keep doing what you are doing and I'll fix it".
That's why other companys (auto for one) are losing customers or going
out of business, because people get fed up with the product and go elswhere. Bottom line: do whatever "you" want to do but don't excuse poor workmanship because "you" can fix it.
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Racing capital of the world- Indy
Posted by kaleu on Monday, December 8, 2003 3:54 PM
ngc, I'm with you on this one. I have had too many unpleasant builds with Revell kits. I tried to fix what I could, but after building a few (the P-61 was one of them) I had to ask myself if the end result would be worth the continued frustration. I have put them in the same category as AEF, meaning they won't be getting any more of my money. Now, back to the Skif 2s1..... Whistling [:-^]
Erik "Don't fruit the beer." Newest model buys: More than I care to think about. It's time for a support group.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, December 8, 2003 4:48 PM
Revell is rather spotty. Some of their kits are great, some are poor. I suspect it depends on the vintage of the kit. Their instruction sheets are almost universally bad. In fact, it almost pays to buy a second kit to have the spare parts when the instructions lead you into the inevitable goof on kit #1. Hey!!! Now that I think of it, thats a great marketing ploy! Lousy instructions sell more kits.

I will leave it to the masters to prove their mettle by making silk purses from a sows' ears. Being neither a master nor a masochist myself, I avoid Revell unless I know beforehand that a kit is good. There are enough great models out there to keep me building for many years to come.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, December 8, 2003 4:49 PM
The least the model mfg can do is to make the instructions match the subject and have the corret parts such as proper sizing. If we can get them do at least do that we can take it from there. Lets see a little more quality from the mfg companies.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, December 8, 2003 5:00 PM
Do any of you who have more Revell experience than I do make a distinction on quality between Revell-Monogram in the States and Revell-Germany? I've heard LOTS of good things about the R-G kits, no matter what the subject matter.

Mark
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, December 8, 2003 5:15 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by memeau

Do any of you who have more Revell experience than I do make a distinction on quality between Revell-Monogram in the States and Revell-Germany? I've heard LOTS of good things about the R-G kits, no matter what the subject matter.


Personally, I prefer R-G kits over the R-M ones. R-G, IMO, make much better kits and I also prefer their choice of subjects(maybe because I am european).
For me there is no difference between a Monogram and a R-M kit and they are rated just above AMT/ERTL & Polar Lights in my opinion.
  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Rain USA, Vancouver WA
Posted by tigerman on Monday, December 8, 2003 6:04 PM
No problem. I have a VW bug that I'm helping my daughter build as well as F-150 that my son and I are working on. Yah, they are my last Revell kits!

   http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y269/wing_nut_5o/PANZERJAGERGB.jpg

 Eric 

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Sunny Florida
Posted by renarts on Monday, December 8, 2003 7:53 PM
Best thing to do in a case like that is set it aside until you feel that your abilities can match the requirements for building the kit or that you are a little more confident in your skills to meet the challenge of the kit. Unfortunately now you don't even have a kit lacking in quality that you could come back to. At the risk of sounding like your dad, what did that act of frustration get you in the end other than $20 poorer and shards of plastic?

We always expect to get more for our money and deservedly so, but never has a promise been made by any company that you would have to do little more than assemble the kit. Some state that their accuracy and or detail are second to none or without equal (compared to what and to what measurement are they refering to?) . This is a hobby that has always required creative resourcefulness and some skill to achieve results that we seek. When you pay $20 for a kit what are you expecting? We want the lowest price for the most detail and quality. I also wanted a fair vote in Florida, but it doesn't always happen that we get what we expect and want.

I don't think there is a kit company out there that isn't hiding some demon within the confines of its packaging. Read through the various magazines and reviews and even the best manufacturers (if there is such a thing) required the builder to call upon his own abilities or resurcefulness to achieve the end result.

Look at this as an opportunity to have your skills challenged and a means to up your own personal resourcefulness and creativity. Accept it as a challenge towards the improvement of your skill, not a stumbling block or frustrating barrier. Stay away from Revell kits if you feel you have been wronged, have the satisfaction of not giving them your money and seek other kits that you feel better match and accomodate your abilities. Possibly as you progress in skill and patience you can give it another chance.

I wish you the best.

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
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, December 8, 2003 8:09 PM
The modelling companies can only put so much quality and detail into a kit for a certain price.

Examples:
AMT/ERTL's old X-Wing was not bad for the time and a cheap buy, look at the new Fine Molds 1/72 Kit goes for a mint or nearly so but the fit and detail level is outstanding.
The mold maker at Fine Molds is one of the best in the Industry.

Japanese Companies have been investing a lot of money into new injection technologies, bandai even uses micro injection techniques that allows them to cast Robot hands that are moveable and ready assembled on the sprue.

The other problem with fine detail is that when you scale it down it start often to look unrealistic or might even be hardly visible, next problem is that the metal molds can only hold so much fine detail before they pricing of making them goes through the roof.

Example:
Scale D&D human figure got their limbs oversized, correctly scaled a human would look more like an elf , etc.

Even AM suffer from the scaling problems, resize some of the details, panel lines, etc on a scale model and see how big it would end up in real life. So a lot of "fine" detail is actually oversized so that we can paint it, etc.

In the end it is not up to the modelling companies but to the buyers, would you be willing to pay Fine Molds prices for a 1/72 Harrier or not?
The Companies will supply if there is enough demand to justify the investment.

If you are not willing to pay in money for the high-grade kits you will need to pay in effort and skill to make it look good.

Sez, he who is still struggling trying to put 3 Gunze Sangyo High Tech Motorbikes together, those consists of White Metal Engines, spun exhaust, wires for the wheel spokes, etc. Very little plastic and it feels more like assembling AM and scratchbuild parts.
  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Exit 7a NJ Turnpike
Posted by RAF120 on Monday, December 8, 2003 9:04 PM
The last Revrll kit that I built was a jeep. It is by far not the best kit that I've built. there were very few parts all the detail was molded on and was chunky. It's not up to my standards but I try to look at the bright side and now I have a model to test new ideas on.
Trevor Where am I going and why am I in this handbasket?
  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Philippines
Posted by Dwight Ta-ala on Monday, December 8, 2003 9:16 PM
I agree with renarts. Sometimes we have to try our hands on not-so-perfect kits. It would be more rewarding if we could turn them into good pieces of work.

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, December 8, 2003 9:17 PM
I am actually thinling of getting a "horrid" Revell Kit soon:

1/8 Dragonfire Trike I would prefer the Ghostrider Trike(not available).

Horrible Kits, bad plating, bad fit and lousy detail.
Big Smile [:D]

Now why am I doing this, I want to try a few new techniques on the Kit and am planning on a quiet a few customisations.

If it works out it will be combined with an Anime Resin figure in 1/8 scale to form a Diorama.
  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: NE Georgia
Posted by Keyworth on Monday, December 8, 2003 9:46 PM
I've built any number of Revell(Monogram) kits over the years. One thing that seems to be missing fromthis thread is that the kits being noted are from molds over 25 years old. The detail won't be nearly as good as today's designs,but they were state of the art when they were released. For the most part, they build up reasonably well, are definitely affordable, and with some basic modelling skills, turn into pretty good representations of classic aircraft.
"There's no problem that can't be solved with a suitable application of high explosives"
  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Dahlonega, Georgia
Posted by lizardqing on Monday, December 8, 2003 10:10 PM
I agree that a bad kit can be satisfying. I just built the AMT Bandit Trans Am and it was the worst thing I have ever glued together, bu the feeling that I had when Iwas done and saw that I turned it into something nice was better than with a perfect kit for sure. Challenges is what this hobby is all about right?
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: United Kingdom / Belgium
Posted by djmodels1999 on Tuesday, December 9, 2003 7:28 AM
Keyworth said it all, I think. I've had my share of bad and poor kits from Revell and for a long while I just did not buy their stuff at all... I think I had to get a Revell kit to re-use some wheels and I was amazed at the quality I found in the box. Clearly, I made a big mistake in 'boycotting' Revell for so many years. Nowadays, they rate amongst my favourite manufacturers, because of their quality and their originality too. And their decent prices. However, I'm more careful than I was as a kid and I know that Revell re-boxes and re-releases kits from the stone-age of modeling as well as kits from many other manufacturers, so that I make very few mistakes... So, as far as I'm concerned, it's 'GO, go Revell..!'
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 9, 2003 8:33 AM
Revell-Germany is the only way to go-they're simple with good fit-remind me of the great Revell kits of my youth (before electricity).
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 9, 2003 10:20 AM
I personally love both R-M and R-G, actually!
Yes, the R-M kits have LOTS of pitfalls(no specific paintng instruction, for example), but, I think it is the triumph over adversity that makes the model worthwile.
Anyone can build a Tamiya, and it'll look good. Only a truly skilled modeler can do that with an R-M kit!

Am I the only one here who's never thrown a model in frsutration? I don't know, but, whenever I get mad at it, I just set it down and move on to another model for awhile. Let's me rethink my attack plan, y'know?
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Tochigi, Japan
Posted by J-Hulk on Tuesday, December 9, 2003 11:19 AM
Well ranted, Tench!
Glad to hear you feel better. Big Smile [:D]

Here's my take on "difficult" kits: No matter what our skill level or temperament, we're all going to run into something that will invariably give us some degree of trouble with every kit we build. Although some kits are very close, no kit is perfect in accuracy, fit, ease of build, or comprehensiveness of the instructions. As was mentioned earlier, how we deal with these challenges defines what kind of modelers we are.

Unlike other products we buy, model kits are hard to "regulate," for lack of a better word. They are "hobby kits, " intended to be assembled by the "hobbyist." Can we make a complaint to the Better Business Bureau if our P-61's fuel tank halves are mismatched? What if, out of the box, our P-61 is not entirely accurate? Legally, from a consumer protection standpoint, what responsibilities do kit manufacturers have as far as fit, accuracy, and ease of build go? Can we take a kit manufacturer to court over the words "easy to assemble" if we think it's a very difficult to assemble kit? A problem with truth in advertising, perhaps? It's all subjective, so I'd guess not.

The bottom line is that I believe we, as modelers, should accept the challenges presented to us by less-than-perfect kits, and do our best to build them to our own level of individual satisfaction. What more can you ask from a hobby? It's supposed to incorporate a certain degree of "creativity," no?
If you're the type of modeler that absolutely cannot tolerate fit problems, ambiguous instruction sheets, and the need of some kits to be researched independantly a bit, then I suggest you at least do a bit of research before you buy a kit to make sure a kit is suited to your personal "tolerance level." Do not buy those that are not. However, I cannot agree with denouncing an entire company based on a bad kit or two or three. Heck, even Lindberg has a few good kits. None of which are coming to mind right now...Wink [;)]

To conclude today's dissertation, it's interesting to note there are usually two camps in the "good kit/bad kit" debate: modelers who demand a perfect-fitting, OOB masterpiece that requires no fiddling or research whatsover, and those that don't want a model to "build itself." That is, they feel they have accomplished much more when they have taken a horribly detailed, horribly fitting and horribly inaccurate kit and turned it into a work of art.

Personally, I choose a subject I want to build, look for the "best" kit available of the version of the subject that I want to build, and then I just deal as best I can with the inevitable problems that are bound to crop up on the journey from vision to realization. If it's a subject I am passionate about building, then I won't let any technical problems stop me. I build to the best of my skill level, not the level of the kit.
~Brian
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 9, 2003 1:09 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by J-Hulk

To conclude today's dissertation, it's interesting to note there are usually two camps in the "good kit/bad kit" debate: modelers who demand a perfect-fitting, OOB masterpiece that requires no fiddling or research whatsover, and those that don't want a model to "build itself." That is, they feel they have accomplished much more when they have taken a horribly detailed, horribly fitting and horribly inaccurate kit and turned it into a work of art.


Although I suspect you say this tongue-in-cheek, J-Hulk, I still would like to remark that I don't think that is quite the issue.

Before this topic started, I would have thought that once deciding on a subject, most modelers would go out and buy the best kit available (or at least affordable). I guess I am pragmatic rather than artistic, but I personally wouldn't start with a Monogram P-51 if a Tamiya was available just to show that I could make the Monogram look like the Tamiya when it was done. (I might choose the Monogram for other reasons, though.) If I am going to fiddle with kits, I would rather spend expend my "fiddle factor" by adding more detail into a good kit rather than correcting the errors in a poor kit.

Evidently some people like this sort of struggle. I guess Michelangelo could have started on the Sistine Chapel with dry paint and dirty brushes just to make it more of a challenge..... To me it's not about having a kit that "builds itself", its about starting with the best raw materials. Carried to the logical conclusion, we would have to conclude that "real" artists don't start with kits at all - they are scratchbuilders.

In fairness, there are some good R-M, R-G kits out there. I have always liked their 767 kit, for instance. The knock I have for Revell and other manufacturers, is that their instruction sheets, part locations, painting instructions, etc, could be greatly improved with only very modest effort and expense on their part. I mean, if they are going to do the research to engineer a more-or-less accurate model of the 1:1 article, tool the molds, and print an instruction sheet, it can't be much more expensive to print a good instruction sheet than it is to print a bad one.

Finally, I do sometimes wonder why we do feel such a sense of accomplishment in our hobby. If we all announced that we would never build another model, the world would answer with a thundering yawn. I guess the real accomplishment is gaining our own peace of mind and scratching our artistic itches. Both the "perfect kit" and "artistic challenge" camps accomplish that.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 9, 2003 1:18 PM
Some of us enjoy the process more than the finished product.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 9, 2003 1:44 PM
Does anyone like the finished product more than the process? It's all about doing. I have only a passing intererest in my finished work. (Maybe that says something about the quality of my work....)
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by cassibill on Tuesday, December 9, 2003 1:50 PM
I just bought a Revell Zero that fits like a dream the panels lineup on the wing pieces and the fuselage halves. It even stays without glue. When I build it I think it'll be a favorite.

cdw My life flashes before my eyes and it mostly my life flashing before my eyes!!!Big Smile The 1/144 scale census and message board: http://144scalelist.freewebpage.org/index.html

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