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Academy Model Kits Poor Fitting Parts

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  • Member since
    July 2011
  • From: Hurlburt Field AFB
Academy Model Kits Poor Fitting Parts
Posted by SmartGambler on Saturday, July 16, 2011 9:22 AM

I wonder if academy models ever put there kits together. I have been trying to assemble there F-15E Strike Eagle Kit # 2117. This kit has very poor fitting parts every part I have pre-fitted and assembled require alot of grinding and reshaping just to allow the simplest of things to go together. What makes it worse is none of the panel lines match up when putting 2 halves together. I given up trying to build this kit at least 3 times but because i spent $130.00 on photo etched parts for it and $42.00 on the kit and $28.00 on paints I keep trying to polish this turd. My last 3 kits i built were all Tamiya kits and they assembled perfectly and were a true joy to build. I have 2 more un-opened academy model kits on the shelf. Is this kit typical of all academy kits or is this isolated turd kit 

  • Member since
    February 2011
  • From: Bent River, IA
Posted by Reasoned on Saturday, July 16, 2011 9:49 AM

Wow, that is a bummer.  I hope it is just an isolated bad egg because I just bought two Academy kits to add to my stash.  The reviews I've read hadn't ripped on them for that but then I didn't look at the F-15 kit.

Science is the pursiut of knowledge, faith is the pursuit of wisdom.  Peace be with you.

On the Tarmac: 1/48 Revell P-38

In the Hanger: A bunch of kits

  • Member since
    July 2011
Posted by richardzoo84 on Saturday, July 16, 2011 9:54 AM

I purchased the Tamiya F-15 and I can't say enough good things about it. If you get the Academy F-15 completed you might try the Tamiya version. I have built a few Academy kits and ran into the same problem. Good luck.

  • Member since
    April 2010
  • From: Somewhere in MN
Posted by El Taino on Saturday, July 16, 2011 9:55 AM

I haven't built every Academy kit out there. But in the subjects that I'm interested in, Cold War and Modern Jets (some WWII also) my opinion about Academy is mixed. Their Viper F16 pictured below sucks in comparison with my 2 previous Italeri builds. And the Italeri has some fit issues especially fiddling with the rear wheel well components.

Their M1 1/35 Tank is almost half and inch shorter. Thanks goodness I found out before ripping the clear wrap off. I called the HS, sent my son with $5 extra and he brought me back a nice Tamiya M1-A2. The Mig-21 Fishbed  has a nice fit thought the dorsal fin (sorry for the term) is shaped wrongfully.. Their F-86F The Huff built very nicely and I chose it over the Hasegawa because it has nice details on the speed brakes. Another one will be on the works soon.

Like any brand, there is no such thing as the perfect kit, personally I try to be extra cautious with Academy.

 

Edited to add:

Their Mig 29's are also good, just need to add more details in the office.

  • Member since
    July 2011
  • From: Hurlburt Field AFB
Posted by SmartGambler on Saturday, July 16, 2011 10:02 AM

i was going to go with the Tamiya F-15 kit but they dont have the E model of the F-15 and the kit reviews for the Academy kit was good. Wish now i had went Tamiya and I probally wont trust anymore kit reviews I bought this kit to begin with to replace a revell F-15 kit I built before and was not pleased with the kit either.  

  • Member since
    April 2010
  • From: Somewhere in MN
Posted by El Taino on Saturday, July 16, 2011 10:06 AM

SmartGambler

i was going to go with the Tamiya F-15 kit but they dont have the E model of the F-15 and the kit reviews for the Academy kit was good. Wish now i had went Tamiya and I probally wont trust anymore kit reviews I bought this kit to begin with to replace a revell F-15 kit I built before and was not pleased with the kit either.  

 

Try to look for built reviews. I don't trust sprue reviews. A well known reviewer painted the F16 kit as a nice recommended kit. I don't think so, I took the decals out of the box and the kit is in the dark humid dungeon of my garage.

  • Member since
    July 2011
  • From: Hurlburt Field AFB
Posted by SmartGambler on Saturday, July 16, 2011 10:12 AM

1 other thing I did not mention in the original post was the nose cone has a dimple in the the very tip of it. I thought I had gotten a defective part so I contacted MRC Academy plastics for a replacement. well after 8 or 9 unreturned phone calls i got them to sell me a replacement. I waited 3 weeks for the part to come and it had the exact same dimple in the tip of the nose. I know just fill the dimple with putty and move on. Not so simple the dimple was located right where the 2 halves of the nose cone come together and the other half did not have a dimple keeping in mind this was all at the very tip of the nose cone

  • Member since
    May 2006
  • From: Spanaway, WA
Posted by aagranata on Saturday, July 16, 2011 10:20 AM

Academy is a hit and miss....Here are the kits I've built (or attempted to build):

Mig-29:  A bear to build.  The front end is about 6 pieces that don't fit well together.  Lots of filling and sanding and patience.  I started the kit, became frustrated, and nearly tossed it.  But, I toughed it out and got a great end result.  So much so that I apparently thought I could subject myself to the process again by buying Academy's Mig-29 UB kit.

F-117A:  Loved it....Went together smoothly and quickly.  But there seems to be too much angle between the vertical tails, which is a problem I also had with the Revell kit.

Su-27:  Also went together very well.  Except for the area where the front intake joins the rear intake, which is a problem on any jet that has this type of engine (F-14's in particular).

Mig-21:  I built mine so long ago, that I can't really comment.  My skills were a lot cruder then, but I do remember that the front fuselage doesn't mate well with the rear fuselage.  I have two more Academy Mig-21's, but haven't built them yet.

FB-111:  A real stinker.  I just couldn't get a decent mate between the fuselage halves.  I remember something ended up breaking while I was feverishly trying to sand the seam and I tossed the kit in the garbage can.  One of the few failures I've had.....

I've had great luck with Academy's World War II planes, but I've only built the F4U-1 Corsair and La-7 kits so far.  I also have Academy's F-22 in the stash, but I haven't heard any complaints about it really...

As for the F-15E, get the Revell kit.  It's cheaper and better quality!  Edited comment....I see you didn't like the Revell F-15E.  What didn't you like about it???

One good hour working on a model erases 8 bad hours at work!!
  • Member since
    July 2011
  • From: Hurlburt Field AFB
Posted by SmartGambler on Saturday, July 16, 2011 10:29 AM

i was cruder builder when i built it and had not had the joy of a tamiya kit yet. I also have the academy F-22 on shelf awating to be built I also purchased all the photo etched parts for this one as well

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Saturday, July 16, 2011 10:31 AM

Cant beat Tamiya and Hasgawa.I also built 1 Trumpeter a/c which had no problems

  • Member since
    July 2011
  • From: Hurlburt Field AFB
Posted by SmartGambler on Saturday, July 16, 2011 10:33 AM

before i spend another dime on model kits i going to check this forum for opinions on a specific kit

thanks for allowing me vent my frustration its good to know i am not alone

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Saturday, July 16, 2011 10:36 AM

Generally i have heard good things about Academy kits. Only built one so far myself, and that was fine. However, their decals seem to be a different matter.

The dimple you mention is somthing you will see on many kits, some brands more than others. Its a simple fix with a bit of filler.

I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so

 

On the bench: Airfix 1/72nd Harrier GR.3/Fujimi 1/72nd Ju 87D-3

  • Member since
    February 2011
  • From: Monterey Bay,CA-Fort Bragg, NC
Posted by randypandy831 on Saturday, July 16, 2011 11:25 AM

only done one academy kit and it was the F-16. only problem was the wing root gap between the fuselage. it was pretty good size. 

i want to give their mig29 a try.

tamiya 1/48 P-47D $25 + shipping

tamiya 1/48 mosquito $20+ shipping

hobby boss 1/48 F-105G. wings and fuselage cut from sprue. $40+ shipping. 

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: San Antonio
Posted by paintsniffer on Saturday, July 16, 2011 1:35 PM

I just built the Academy F-15C MSIP II which is 95% of that E kit.

It wasn't a perfect fit in every respect, but I have built far worse. there were some gaps and whatnot, and some basic model skills were required. In the end it built up nicely. The tailpipes left a little to be desired.

I built the very early version of the Academy F-15E and it needed some help, but wasn't bad either. The Revell is obviously better, but I wanted a kit with weapons, pylons, and MERs included.

Excuse me.. Is that an Uzi?

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Saturday, July 16, 2011 1:53 PM

I have only assembled a few Academy aircraft kits, but have 0 complaints about egineering and fit on those. I built the F-16C Thunderbird and was very happy with that one, and their Spitifire Mk.XIVc quite a few years back and absolutely loved that kit! Take each kit on itsown. Many of their current WWII 1/48 line up are actually original Hobycraft kits (F4U, Bf-109, P-40, P-36, La-7) which also vary in quality.

Beware, some older Tamiya kits (Sea Harrier is a major example) are not all shake and bake kits and do require modeling skills.

Like you have learned, asking questions here ahead of time will get most of the info you want about a kit before you spend a dime.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Canada
Posted by HisNHer Tanks on Saturday, July 16, 2011 7:07 PM

Tried building an Academy M10 Tank destroyer once. The kit was the definition of worthless garbage. Looked like they bought a mold that should have been buried in the back yard.

This was from the mid 90s though. The thing is, it so utterly soured me on the brand name, that frankly I couldn't care less what anyone has to say about them.

It sounds like you got some tired old kit from the dawn of another company.

Tamiya 1/48th scale armour fan

  • Member since
    July 2011
  • From: Hurlburt Field AFB
Posted by SmartGambler on Saturday, July 16, 2011 8:39 PM

i agree with you on top of it all was the very poor customer support when i had to pay for a replacement part for somthing that was defective and the replacement was defective as well

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Sunday, July 17, 2011 4:56 AM

SmartGambler

i agree with you on top of it all was the very poor customer support when i had to pay for a replacement part for somthing that was defective and the replacement was defective as well

Don't think those are really classed as defective parts. Imperfections from the molds, falsh, sink marks etc are found on alot of kits. Even top of the range Hasegawa and Tamiya kits can have little flaws.

I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so

 

On the bench: Airfix 1/72nd Harrier GR.3/Fujimi 1/72nd Ju 87D-3

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Salina, Kansas USA
Posted by arnie on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 9:07 AM

I am  currently building the Academy F-15C kit.  What a nightmare!!  Poor fit, sink holes galore, no details in wheel wells or avionics bay and I haven't even got to the turkey feathers yet.  Very disappointed in this kit.  And yes, this kit also has the dimple on the tip of the nose cone.

"There is a fine line between 'hobby' and 'mental illness'."---- Dave Barry

"Giggity"      -------------------------------------------------------------       Glenn Quagmire

  • Member since
    December 2002
Posted by Bossman on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 11:55 AM

Being a 1/72 scale builder, I can't say enough good about the newer Academy kits I've purchased.  Their P-51, and  P-40 series kits, as well as their SB2c-4 Helldiver are among the best kits I've had the pleasure to build.  I've heard good things about their Stomovic and P-38 kits in this scale as well.

Chris

  • Member since
    October 2003
  • From: Mpls., Mn.
Posted by f-4phantom on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 1:28 PM

I have built a fair amount of 1/48 Academy fighters and all of them need a good amount of modelling skill to make them look good. My most recent Academy builds were the F-15I and the F-22. For the price I paid for those kits the quality should have been better. Their panel lines vary from cavernous to super shallow. I really believe there are problems with most of their 1/48 modern fighters.

Dean

  • Member since
    June 2010
  • From: Austin, TX
Posted by DoogsATX on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 2:20 PM

The only Academy kit I have recent experience with is their 1/48 P-38F. In my opinion, yeah it has recessed panel lines, the upkicks in the underside wingtips, and makes a very lazy attempt at providing gear bays, but other than that, it offers absolutely no improvement on the Monogram P-48, goes together worse, and introduces alignment issues not present on that venerable older mold. Major part fit was decent (well, except for the booms to wings...ugh), but flash was copious and there are zero provisions made for locating tiny parts such as counterweights, pitot tubes, etc. Eduard does the same thing, which to me just seems needlessly frustrating. Is it impossible to provide a hole-and-pin connection so the part can actually be attached with something approaching a solid join? The cockpit was another hot mess, five pieces, poor frame molding, especially on the side windows, zero provisions made for positioning the canopy lid in the open position (just two pieces of clear plastic, no hinge, no support point, nothing). When your clear parts are embarrassed by clear parts from a kit 20 years older, there's something wrong. 

I seem to have relatively positive memories of some of their older kits (Spitfire XIV, and I believe I build the P-47N once upon a time), but after my experience with the P-38 - which if my dog hadn't destroyed, I might have! - I view Academy kits as kits of last resort. When I get around to rounding out my Jugs with a P-47N, I'll probably look into the old ProModeler kit first.

On the Bench: 1/32 Trumpeter P-47 | 1/32 Hasegawa Bf 109G | 1/144 Eduard MiG-21MF x2

On Deck:  1/350 HMS Dreadnought

Blog/Completed Builds: doogsmodels.com

 

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: San Antonio
Posted by paintsniffer on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 4:32 PM

These threads seem to always split into two camps. One is the "OMG I had to putty and sand a little" camp, the other is the "It wasn't perfect, but I've built worse."

Excuse me.. Is that an Uzi?

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Thursday, July 21, 2011 12:21 AM

In a nutshell, you hit the nail on the head Paintsniffer. Some folks drive on without a complaint and others have to let the world know. Whistling

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    October 2008
  • From: italy
Posted by bsyamato on Thursday, July 21, 2011 4:39 AM

I built lots of academy kits in 1/72, out of oldest kits never find great fittings problems, in 48 scales only built an f-14 and an f-111 and as i remember the fitting was really good Surprise

The sure disgrace from academy i know is about decals. Probably the eagle are an exception on fittings

Edit

Keep in mind that my first thinking when i buy a kit is the ratio between price/quality and academy oftem meet for me this require

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Utereg
Posted by Borg R3-MC0 on Thursday, July 21, 2011 7:26 AM

Bossman

Being a 1/72 scale builder, I can't say enough good about the newer Academy kits I've purchased.  Their P-51, and  P-40 series kits, as well as their SB2c-4 Helldiver are among the best kits I've had the pleasure to build.  I've heard good things about their Stomovic and P-38 kits in this scale as well.

Chris

 

Same here, I have build their Me-163 kit and it was a joy to build. Very good fit and good acuracy!

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Canada
Posted by HisNHer Tanks on Thursday, July 21, 2011 8:45 AM

stikpusher

In a nutshell, you hit the nail on the head Paintsniffer. Some folks drive on without a complaint and others have to let the world know. Whistling

 

True some times, but some of us also prefer a kit adhere to a minumum tolerance level of aggro from lousy excuse quality.

My example was a kit that should never have been marketed. ANYONE could have seen the mold was long since dead, the level of flash on it was epic, the part fit was almost gone out the window. I suspected it was a first era Tamiya kit that had been done to death and then sold to a company that wanted to enter the market cheap.

Which is why I figure Academy spells cheap. MAYBE, just maybe they have finally gotten around to making their own models. But I am not so willing to bank on it.

I think models should come with disclaimers saying when they were first made and not just the current owners copyright date.

Tamiya 1/48th scale armour fan

  • Member since
    September 2010
Posted by abunn1 on Thursday, July 21, 2011 9:10 AM

I haven't been too happy with Academy kits.  I've built their P-40 which wasn't too bad, but the detail in the cockpit was virtually nonexistent.  

I'm building their F-16A/C kit now and I'm not very happy with it.  The parts don't fit together well, and the cockpit detail is laughable.  

I don't have a problem using putty and sanding (I really enjoy building older Revell/Monogram kits, but at least then I know what I'm getting into before I start), but I really don't care for Academy.

I think from now on I'll stick to Tamiya and Hasegawa, and when I'm in the mood for a challenge or want to built a classic kit (think 1/48th WWII bombers), I'll go with Monogram.

 

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Thursday, July 21, 2011 9:22 AM

I've a bunch of Academy kits in my stash but can't say I've built many of them yet.

I recently did build their 1/72nd B-24J which  went together without any major problems. It wasn't Tamigawa quality but it wasn't far off. I'd build another for sure.

And a little off subject but their K1A1 South Korean modern tank was one of the best fitting models I've ever built. Solid detail and the thing falls together. Built one of their Shermans a few years ago, I've heard it's not nearly as accurate as the Dragon and Tasca kits but it looks like a Sherman to me. Kit came with loads of options and no fit problems at all.

Frankly, I've heard Academy is pretty hit or miss - turning out one excellent model followed by an awful one. I guess I've been lucky so far in picking up their good kits.

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Sydney, Australia
Posted by Phil_H on Thursday, July 21, 2011 9:23 AM

HisNHer Tanks
My example was a kit that should never have been marketed. ANYONE could have seen the mold was long since dead, the level of flash on it was epic, the part fit was almost gone out the window. I suspected it was a first era Tamiya kit that had been done to death and then sold to a company that wanted to enter the market cheap.

Actually, Academy began life basically copying other companies' moulds, but making some slight alterations here and there so they weren't exact copies.

Their Pz.IV based kits (PzKpfW IV.H, Stug IV, Wirbelwind), M2 Bradley, for example, were copied from Tamiya mouldings, as were  the 1/350 scale ship line.  They didn't actually use Tamiya's moulds. Some of their 1/72 scale aircraft kits were copied from Hasegawa originals too.

Their later original tooled kits are generally better quality than those old kits.  

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