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What's the worst kit you ever bought?

48 replies
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  • Member since
    February 2003
Posted by markfannin2001 on Sunday, March 23, 2003 3:19 PM
Airfix Grumman J2F-6 Duck, 1:72. The body halves are bowed - basically it's an unuseable kit.
Still looking for a good maker for this great aircraft.
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Canada / Czech Republic
Posted by upnorth on Sunday, March 23, 2003 3:48 PM
Another that comes to mind for me is a Revell 1/72 P-38 Lightning.

It came with a gun nosed European theatre version and a camera nosed version said to have been based in India during the war.

The shortcomings of that kit are too numerous to be mentioned. Weak landing gear. tail booms that were impossible to get straight... the list goes on.

If it ever gets re-issued (I don't suspect it will) I may have to boycott who ever puts it out again!
  • Member since
    February 2003
Posted by Anthony on Sunday, March 23, 2003 6:48 PM
Woop! Thanks for the warning, upnorth! I was planning to buy the Revell 1/72 P-38. Looks like I have only DML's P-38 to choose now. Perhaps later we should make a black list or lemon list for those really bad kits. I understand many manufacturers have tried their best, but some kits are really unacceptable.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, March 24, 2003 10:47 AM
I have to be diplomatic here, but I couldn' t resist a response.....

The Testors 1/72 Corsair is an ancient, aaaaaannnncient Hawk kit from the '50s. I remember my mom building one for my brother when we were kids; it was molded in the prettiest light blue plastic...... It was also one of the first models I built when I got back into the hobby as an adult. Look upon it as a historical item: what plastic models were like in the early days nearly 50 years ago.

As for the Trabant kit, maybe that was just accuracy: weren't the full-size cars noted for their, uh, somewhat indifferent workmanship? Black Eye [B)]

My candidate for the worst I ever spent hard-earned money for: A rather expensive Fairy Fulmar kit from a small manufacturer. The kit was a crudely molded shell on which a skilled modeler could hang scratchbuilt detail. Caveat emptor!

However, be careful about swearing off one company's kits because of a lemon: With the reissuing and sharing of molds that goes on, one kit may be a total dud, but the next one from the same company may be fine (yes, I've had this happen). If it's going to involve a significant outlay of $$$, check the FineScale reviews (the last 3 years of which are on this site), ask friends, query this forum, etc.

This brings up another question, which I will probably post in a separate thread one of these days. Traditionally, FSM has reviewed only brand-new (as in newly tooled) kits in our Workbench Reviews. What would you think of us reviewing some selected reissues, maybe call it "Second Look" or something?

I'm not sure how we'd decided which reissues to review--there are so many coming on the market--but it sounds like there might be some value to this for born-again modelers as well as newbies. The "kit roundup" articles that we've done over the last couple of years have been popular.
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Pominville, NY
Posted by BlackWolf3945 on Monday, March 24, 2003 11:52 AM

I think that would be a GREAT thing to do. I like all these new kits and their detail, ease of assembly etc. But whenever I see one of the FSM Kit Round-ups, which invariably include older kits, it usually takes me back to my days as a kid model-builder. Reminiscing about the "good 'ole days" can be fun sometimes, even if I do have flashbacks of that Monogram 1/72(?) P-40N. Dead [xx(]

Fade to Black...
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: East Bethel, MN
Posted by midnightprowler on Monday, March 24, 2003 4:11 PM
I concour, it's a great idea. Let's do it.

Hi, I am Lee, I am a plastiholic.

Co. A, 682 Engineers, Ltchfield, MN, 1980-1986

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 1 Corinthians 15:51-54

Ask me about Speedway Decals

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Canada / Czech Republic
Posted by upnorth on Monday, March 24, 2003 4:51 PM
Yeah, I can get behind that.

Anthony: Glad I could save you from the Revell 1/72 P-38. If you can find the old Matchbox 1/72 P-38 (it may also be out under Revell Germany) Its a fair kit for not a lot of money, its got a couple of little flaws but nothing that would stop you cold.
  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: Poland
Posted by Aleksander on Friday, March 28, 2003 7:50 AM
Surely - Westland Wyvern of "No-name" company - I wanted it so much, that I didn't care, but now it is hidden in the darkest corner of my cupboard - I even didn't glue a part of it ! Regards ! Aleksander

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, March 28, 2003 10:36 AM
Mr. Hansen's idea is a great one. Reviewing re-issues and mold swaps would be a great service for all of us. It seems like we all want new tooling, but I am sure there are some good re-issued kits out there that deserve consideration. I know newer modelers would be happy about just knowing which kits are reissues and which aren't.
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Canada / Czech Republic
Posted by upnorth on Friday, March 28, 2003 5:24 PM
Its good to know whats new and what isn't out there.

On the first page of this thread, someone is coming down real hard on a Revell Monogram P-38. I'm assuming they may be on about Monogram's old 1/48 P-38 from the late 1960's, its been reissued a few times in my memory and it is certainly worthy of a great deal of criticism on many fronts.

However, Revall-Monogram recently added a 1/48 P-38 to their Promodeler line. This kit is made off of Hasegawa molds and by any acount is as worthy of praise as the original Hasegawa issue of that P-38 kit. I've seen it build in both original Hasegawa and later Promodeler incarnations and its excellent either way. I've never heard anyone say a word against it.

With this Promodeler kit out, I think its extremely unlikely that we'll ever see the old Monogram Lightning come back.

One of my biggest pet peaves in modeling today is when a new kit isn't new its just someone else's on a different label. I nearly bought a 1/48 Italeri F-5 a couple of years back then I found out it was and old Esci kit and decided against the purchase. For me, Esci was always hit and miss in quality. The subject had to be very rare and only offered by them in kit form for me to consider their kits.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, March 28, 2003 7:38 PM
I would have to say that the worst kit I have built in the last few years would have to be the '60's Beetle by Revel. Nothing fit properly, there were huge sink marks and release pin marks. When you were able to get a couple of parts together, there were huge gaps. In general, I would have to give the model on the scale of one to ten, a -2!!!! Another pretty bad kit I have tried to do was a 60 something Malibu street drag car. Poor molding, crappy fit, shoddy chrome work. In general a really bad kit. I would have thrown the bug out , but my neice wanted one, so I made it for a christmas gift. It turned out ok, but I would never recomend it to anyone.
  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: NE Georgia
Posted by Keyworth on Friday, March 28, 2003 7:44 PM
By all means, please start including the new review section. Not everyone is aware of how the hobby started and what we had to work with in "the old days." Gor for it!!! -Ed
"There's no problem that can't be solved with a suitable application of high explosives"
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, March 28, 2003 8:11 PM
The Revell P-40B. The instructions have no decal placement guide only a picture taken of a finished model. There was also no landing gear bays and the moving flaps show the inside of the wings.
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: United Kingdom / Belgium
Posted by djmodels1999 on Monday, March 31, 2003 7:30 AM
I was surprised to see James putting William Brothers' kits amongst his 3 worst manufacturers. I know it's not Tamiya quality, and that the plastic is quite soft, but the few I have done were quite easy to build and they all looked really impressive when completed (I'm talking about the B-10, the C-46 and the Caudron Racer - the latter not fully completed).

What's your experience with William Bros' kits like?
  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by JGUIGNARD on Wednesday, April 2, 2003 12:10 PM
My 5 worst, and this covers many, many years:

Revell 1/72 P-51D - how could Revell have blown it THAT badly ?
UPC 1/48 P-51D - REALLY BAD rip-off of the Hawk P-51D.
Matchbox 1/72 P-47D - nothing useable except the decals ( on a different kit ).
Matchbox 1/72 P-40N - see Matchbox P-47D.
Fujimi 1/48 F6F Hellcat - after their Zero and Me-109G, expected better.

The above are kits that I made absolutely no attempt to build - just threw them away ( kept decals from a couple of them ).


Most of us are acquainted with at least one "know-it-all". He may be as close as the mirror. [}:)]
  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Rain USA, Vancouver WA
Posted by tigerman on Monday, June 9, 2003 12:07 AM
Esci's Demag. The fit was so bad, that it remains to this day the only armor related model that I failed to finish. Honorable mention has to go to my stepsons Revell F-150 Lightning. We had to use a lot of improvisation on that one and it's still not done!


  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, June 9, 2003 5:40 AM
Revell-germany 1/72 T-80,Any Italieri armor(fit problems galor),and the old Tamiya panzer IV-d.The panzer IV had enough fit problems to cause fits!Got into the "gonna build it even if it kills me" mode!It turned out nice,though.
  • Member since
    January 2003
Posted by shermanfreak on Monday, June 9, 2003 9:08 AM
I agree with tigerman's assessment of the demag .... what a dog.

But it was an absolute dream compared to the S-Model Staghound that I am working on right now (and will be for many, many months). It is a mutlimedia kit consisting of resin, PE and vacuform parts. But if you want to build something that isn't available in plastic, it's the only way to go.

These "dog" kits really challenge our skills as modellers don't they ?
Happy Modelling and God Bless Robert
  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: The flat lands of the Southeast
Posted by styrene on Monday, June 9, 2003 11:26 AM
Hands down...drum roll, please...the Renwal Ontos kit. Ughh!
Gip Winecoff

1882: "God is dead"--F. Nietzsche

1900: "Nietzsche is dead"--God


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