Modeling in General
General discussions about modeling topics.
knocking kits why
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United Kingdom
Member Since: December 22, 2002
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Posted: Friday, August 08, 2003 - 06:34 AM UTC
hi i was wondering why it is that certain modelers start knocking a kit as soon as it is announced , they start to give it a bad press even before seeing or building the said kit , it seems that what ever italeri produce out come the knockers. so if you have not seen or built the kit , then please shut up , i am frankly getting a little fed up with the neg reports in many of the forums , all my comments and i must say i am lucky that i can access some of the real vehicles for comparisons but not all. all my comments are based on hard observation or at least building the kit.
one other observation it sems that those who knock kits never seem to show us their work. so what are your thoughts about the knockers cheers ian
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Member Since: September 11, 2002
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Posted: Friday, August 08, 2003 - 06:57 AM UTC
If its fair I see no reason why a kit cannot be critised. as for Italieri I love them I built all the 8rad series in the 80's the rso, wish i could get them again doing the Stug IV at the moment and i do have one complaint, no vision blocks on the commanders cupola but other than that 1st class kit.
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California, United States
Member Since: December 01, 2001
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Posted: Friday, August 08, 2003 - 07:15 AM UTC
My best advice for the "knockers" - is - don't open the door!

Let their berating go unanswered - and soon they'll tire of reading their own commentary...

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Posted: Friday, August 08, 2003 - 07:26 AM UTC
I enjoy building older, sometimes inaccurate kits. The only time I knock a kit is when it is really horrible. My top two are the Trumpeter M60A3 (looked like a Tamiya kit under a heat lamp) and the Zvezda T-60 (most of my parts were incompletely formed).

I do notice what you say about people trashing kits without ever seeing the kit out of the box (seeing a shrinkwrapped kit on a shelf doesn't count) or attempting to build it. I got into an arguement with someone on HyperScale regarding the Italeri M1A2. He stated that it was the old DML kit, and I told him it wasn't (I have both kits so I should know). He had never seen the kit and was just passing on somebody's speculation as fact. Of course I had to prove him wrong

Now does this stop me from pointing out inaccuracies? Of course not, for a vehicle that I have some familiarity with, I think I have the informed background (I hesitate to use the term "expertise") to make that determination. For a vehicle I have little familiarity with, like a Tiger or most panzers, I wouldn't criticize it at all.
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Texas, United States
Member Since: September 15, 2002
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Posted: Friday, August 08, 2003 - 07:28 AM UTC
Personally, I make my own decisions . I heed what they say in some instances. But , as in movies. Just because the critics don't like it doesn't mean you will. I only know one person who is a constant kit criticiser in this forum. I will say this, his points are valid, but a lot of them are based on something that is not perfect 100% accurate down to the smallest nut and bolt. So taking that into consideration, I make my own decisions
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Member Since: September 30, 2002
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Posted: Friday, August 08, 2003 - 07:37 AM UTC
:-) Couldn't agree more, Ian. Some modellers will knock a kit no matter how good it is. I build subjects for my theme WW II, the manufacturer doesn't matter. I would prefer not to have to do major remedial work but I will (If I can). If I can't I will try and increase my abilites until I can. It is true that some kits are not even worth attempting, but you are right, until you have had a go at it you shouldn't be knocking it. It is, of course,OK to pass on your findings. That's what reviews are for. It is odd, though, that quite often, reviews don't mention faults with kits. I wonder why that is? :-)
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California, United States
Member Since: July 08, 2003
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Posted: Friday, August 08, 2003 - 07:39 AM UTC
I'm pretty easy going so the knockers don't bother me. They are entitled to their opinion, BUT opinions are like noses everyone has one, so you pick, most times it's better to pick your own.
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Florida, United States
Member Since: January 26, 2002
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Posted: Friday, August 08, 2003 - 11:28 AM UTC
Wow, what a sore subject for me. I'm glad that I'm old enough to make a decision on my own is all I can say.

I'm glad that Sabot mentioned Hyperscale because there are members over there that are the worst at bashing kits. Seems like the bandwagon over there is Trumpeter aircraft kits ever since somebody got their hands on a pre-release 1/32 Wildcat. Now anytime they release a kit they all start in on bashing the kits sight unseen. While no kit is perfect (I don't think), I do think that you will have to put up with some kind of innaccuracy if you want to model a particular subject in a certain scale if it's only made by one manufacturer. I also think that if they want to model a perfect subject they either deal with the innacuracies, fix the inaccuracies or go into business for themselves and produce perfect kits of their own.

On the flipside, I think that every model company needs to be open for some kind of criticism of their product. Customer opinion is a big driving force in this hobby and frankly, if the positive customer opinion isn't there, the manufacturers need to know that and why.
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Wellington, New Zealand
Member Since: January 14, 2003
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Posted: Friday, August 08, 2003 - 05:03 PM UTC
I dont know quite who Ian is having a go at. I only critisize kits I have built. I have every right to do so. The manufacturer has taken my money in exchange for a product. If that product is not what it purports to be I have every right to knock it.

A comparison for you. I have several Merit kits of racing cars. Made in the '50s these kits have few pieces and no detailing. They cost half a crown each when I bought them in the '60s. They are accurate in outline and dimension, and the quality of the moulding is excellent. They lend themselves to modification which on the basis of their cost price makes them a good deal. The cost price worked out at about at about 1% of my weeks pay at that time.

I have built two Tamiya armour kits. Neither accurately represents what it says on the box. The mould quality is poor, the detailing absent and the cost price, standard Tamiya NZ list, exorbitant. Both kits cost approx 10% of the average Kiwi wage today.

If I am paying ten times the price I expect ten times the quality/features/accuracy.

Worse, I have just purchased the Tamiya Meteor F3 kit. This is an extraordinarily simple kit;- I would expect in 1/48th to have seperate control surfaces for instance. Furthermore it does not represent a typical production F3. If I read Ian right I should simply say "wow what a fantastic model", do no research, and build it OOB.

As I pointed out to my local model shop owner, I would gladly buy several Tamiya Centurion kits and convert them to later marks if the basic kit cost around $20. Furthermore I would tell anyone who cares to listen what a good buy it is. But when I am paying $60 for a kit (the NZ list) I expect it to be absolutely state of the art, finely detailed and perfectly moulded. If it is not then I will critisize till the cows come home!

Regards Dave

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Virginia, United States
Member Since: December 13, 2002
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Posted: Friday, August 08, 2003 - 06:42 PM UTC
Well, I have to say that, I personally go with names I can trust when purchasing a new kit!!! I seem to Knock Trumpeter on the only fact is they seem to be hit and miss on kits. Their A-10 (I'm still trying to build it) is an atrocity to model aircraft. The S-tank is a mix of soft detail with a few nice touches added here and there. The SM.79 Torpedo Bomber is the far other end of the spectrum, I wish Hasagawa and Tamiya would follow this example. the moulding is great and there is alot of stuff in the kit. Yes I KNOCK Trumpeter, but with my wasting a few hundred dollars on their stuff, I think have the right to be sceptic!!!!
BTW I also wish to not that where I live model building is a life style for alot of people so the news in Japanese Model Magazines is very good. So when I see pics of trumpeters master for the upcoming Karl Morser from them and see the CMK resin kit in the pic I have to wonder What other kits they are trying to copy. The AS-90 SPG From Trumpeter is copy of the Accurate Armour kit. Such a bad job was done to get it to look right one would need to buy the update set and pay the same amount as you would for the Orignal AA kit.
Now to note I love Italeri as they arn't affraid of the now rear Allied armor kit. I love the selection of their products and it pleases me to build alot of their stuff. I wish they would do more in the area of the Allied armor and soft skins from WWII.
For Tamiya and Academy I like the steps they took after some of the companies from China showed up on the Market in the early and mid 90's. but beware some of their stuff from before DML showed up is still a bit off. KiwiDave was more than kind to remind us of the Tamiya practice of making toys!!! I feel his pain, but alas I enjoy building the old things for fun and a break!! ah well sorry for the rant and grip session!!! STUG
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Virginia, United States
Member Since: February 11, 2003
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Posted: Friday, August 08, 2003 - 08:36 PM UTC
I will only knock a kit I have personal experience and then only if asked. I don't just go around saying X kit sucks, but if somebody says "what do you know about X kit?" I'll tell them.

I have a couple of companies that I avoid unless I hear one of their kits is good or they are the only company doing a kit that I'm really jonesing to do. But again unless somebody asks my opinion I just go about my business and don't buy from them and never mention to anybody that I won't buy from them.

I see no need to bad mouth a company on GP. They are producing models and that is good enough for me.
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Colorado, United States
Member Since: February 01, 2003
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Posted: Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 01:50 AM UTC
I just want to throw out this comment. I see very little of this kit bashing going on in THIS site. That is the reason I keep coming back here. There are other sites, and I'm sure you folks know which ones they are, that are constantly bashing kits, even ones that nobody has even SEEN yet.

I agree with the comment about choosing your critics. I'm trying to get a sense of who has the same likes and dislikes as me and then read what they have to say about a kit. That way I'll get a better idea of the worth of a kit.

This DOESN'T mean that kits shouldn't be knocked if they are bad. I totally agree with Kiwi that if a kit sells for a prime price it should be a prime kit. Any company that releases a new kit that is far below current standards deserves any complaints leveled against it. Any company that takes an old kit, puts it in a new box, and sells it for a prime price is beneath contempt. These comments though should be based on actually building the kit, not based on what others have said.

(please excuse any spelling mistakes. I can't cut and paste on this machine to my spell checker)
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Iowa, United States
Member Since: May 23, 2002
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Posted: Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 05:26 AM UTC
My 2 cents-

I don't generally complain about kits - unless they are advertising one thing and producing another.

I find other people's opinions of kits very interesting. I have my own list of manufacturers that I avoid - from personal experience. Many on this site love Italeri kits, yet I seem to avoid them if I can. My experience is based on building their Elephant, Marder IIIH, and PzJg IV (70). These kits just didn't do it for me. That isn't to say that others shouldn't like them - just that I wasn't happy with them. I typically look to Tamiya first, Dragon second and Academy/Italeri last if I want to build a certain vehicle. I tend avoid Trumpeter (M60) and Heller (Souma) all together. I have heard that Trumpeter has put out some REALLY nice kits recently, so I suppose I'll end up getting a couple - but who knows? I know Tamiya has some "dogs", I know - I've built them. Yet, their most recent releases seem to be absolutely fantastic - so I sort of "trust' them more. When I buy an old Tamiya - I expect a lot less, so maybe that is why I don't end up being negative on them as well.

Just my opinion-
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Provincia de Lugo, Spain / España
Member Since: April 23, 2003
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Posted: Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 05:46 AM UTC
Well Kiwis comment on the Centurion is spot-on. I really would love to build one of the Ozzie-Vietnam Cents. but until I have good raw-material to work with-forget it. I am now going more towards Academy and Afv club. Why, you may ask...well its simple, I can build OOB, I don't have to spend mental amounts of money on PE and the general effect is good. I personally think that manufacturers like heller are a waste of time but for some vehicles they are the only game in town.... Some of the 'expert' sites do not review, they start with a pre-conditioned view of what they are going to get and change the review accordingly. Which is why I feel at home on this site. I am sick of the gurus of the hobby, I am tired of the elitist group they wish to create. I like armorama because here there are superb modellers who are not afraid of asking for advice and pass on tips with a spirit of generosity, not as if they were handing down amendments to the ten commandments....Oh master! Thank you for the crumbs from your table.... Sod the lot of them......Jim
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United Kingdom
Member Since: December 22, 2002
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Posted: Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 05:52 AM UTC
hi , thanks for varied comments on the above subject , i feel that we all have reasons for constructive comments and they i feel are valid , but is those comments about kits that the knockers have never seen or built that get my goat, yes there are more on other sites and they seem to come out of the woodwork as soon as a new kit is announced , and not even hit the model shops . so thanks to you all for your time cheers ian
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Ohio, United States
Member Since: February 12, 2003
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Posted: Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 06:45 AM UTC
Hi. I think that if there is one thing that we modelers who have been into this hobby for a while, or the hobby of studing history, that has moved over into modeling side of things may be guilty of, is that we know too much sometimes. Not that this is a bad thing! Heck no!!!!! This is a good thing, really, a GREAT thing! But with the gaining of all this knowledge and information about certain vehicles and how they were used and looked like at certain time periods of their history, it has kind of led some of us to be disappointed when a certain kit is brought out or bought off the shelves that, once opened, just doesn't quite measure up to our expectations on what it should have been.

So this disappointment will lead to griping about the 'poor quality' of the kit, as most of these folks feel that they were 'ripped off' by the manufacturers.

Now maybe in some cases this is true, but you can darn well sure bet that if this manufactuer is making sub-quality kits they will not be in business for very long, once word gets around. And with the advent of the Net and all the modeling sites on here, this word gets out like, yesterday. Know what I mean?

But we, as modelers, have to remember that these kit makers aren't in business because of the modeling, they are in business to make money off the modeling. Right? So they have to be able to make something as good, but as cost productive as possible for them to do, while still satisfying the modeling enthusiasts out here in consumer-land.

Now they will mold a kit that will be pretty much absolutely perfect for us, but are we willing to pay $500+ for it? I think not. At least I can't, or won't.

So corners have to be cut here and there in order to be able to market a kit that most builders can afford. And personally speaking, I think they do a real bang up job of it.

A lot of us older folks who used to model years and years ago, when the earth was young an T. Rex was standing out side the cave, can look back and see just how really far these maunfacturers have come along on the road to perfection, while still keeping their prices in some reasonable limits for us. And with the advent of the PE and Resin cottage markets coming along several years back, these same makers not only have to compete with each other for our business, but also with this after market and it's ever-expanding industry as well.

We also have to remember that these kit are not the real thing in miniature, but representations of the real thing, and most of us aren't going to build anything near perfect anyway. (At least I'm not! H---, if I can just get the d----- thing together with a base coat of paint on it, I think I'm one or two steps ahead of the game as it is!!!!!!!!!)

What really tends to aggravate me is picking up an issue of MMiR, like the most recent copy, and looking at that Pz. III and infantry men on the front cover! Now I'm not kocking the buiilder, H----- NO!, but it makes me just want to take my stuff I've built out to the shooting range with my son's AK and a couple 30 rd. clips. What's left I keep. Ha!

But I think that before anybody out there writes up something on on a new kit, or an old kit for that matter, they should build it completely and then sit back an view the whole picture before commenting on the kit, either one way or the other. We all deserve that at the very least.

Thanks for the time, take care, sgirty
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Indiana, United States
Member Since: October 16, 2002
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Posted: Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 07:26 AM UTC
I think it is important to remember that Ian is wondering how some people flame kits, sight unseen. If you have struggled with a kit, fire away. If you haven't, frankly, shut up. If there is something specifically wrong, write a review and let me know. But, laying all over a kit you never even tried to build? Please...

Just my 4 cents,

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North Dakota, United States
Member Since: December 01, 2001
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Posted: Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 07:31 AM UTC
I have been warned off a bad kit in the past. A problem with bad moldings and fit. Quality control.
That said, I don't get too excited over a hull that's 1 mm too short or the number of rivets on a turret. If it's a fun build and looks good I'm happy. I do respect those who have the skill to correct those things. I enjoy looking at thier work.
I just feel grateful for all the choices we have now. (I'm old, remember? I started building in the 50's. ) Old guys just wanna have fun.
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Indiana, United States
Member Since: October 16, 2002
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Posted: Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 07:37 AM UTC
Poor Quality Control!!! Heck, that never happens, trust me.

My title:

T Shaun Keenan
Quality Assurance Manager
Atlas Foundry Company


Yeah, just blame it on the quality control people... LOL
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Massachusetts, United States
Member Since: May 12, 2002
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Posted: Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 09:48 AM UTC
If I want to build something, I'll build it regardless of what someone says. Yes, it is good to know what to watch out for as far as the inaccuracies or fit goes, but usually by that time, my mind is made up to build it no matter what.

If I enjoyed building it because it was an interesting subject (to me anyway) and it looks close enough to what it is supposed to look like, then it was a good kit.

I pay little attention to those 'knockers' .
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Metro Manila, Philippines
Member Since: May 31, 2002
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Posted: Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 06:46 PM UTC
The only time I've criticized a kit is when I started building Revell Germany's F/A-18E Super Hornet, specifically when I was doing the intakes. I didn't know if it was really a bad fit or I missed something in the instructions. Turned out it was a bad fit. And, oh yeah, also Academy's 1/144 VF-114 F-14A Tomcat, considering I've built several Dragon 1/144 F-14s and know which is better.

But otherwise, I don't go criticizing kits. I'm not that well versed with accuracy enough that I can safely say "That kit is lousy, that one isn't." It is only when I've had it in my hands and built it that I can safely give a critic. And still, often my critic tends to be on the positive side (Dragon's M1A2 having ill-fitting parts? Well, the turret yes, and the basket, but the rest looks ok in my book. Rest of Dragon's AFV model line up? So far, no ill fit as far as I'm concerned based on my experience).

I look sadly on those who quickly criticize a kit even if they hadn't opened it up yet. They think they're "All Knowing" but they aren't in reality. Besides, it's more fun to do an innacurate kit and either do it OOTB or accurize it. :-) Case in point, Dragon's BRDM-2 SA-9 model, with its mufflers. I didn't curse on its lack of having an interior, nor having lousy mufflers, nor not having the right hinges. I just made a mental note to fix it and improved on it. And had a fun time as well building it. :-)

One other thing about such knockers is that they, to me at least, create a sense of inferiority complex for the novice builder. Assuming there's a novice builder who just got his first model kit. And then goes to an internet forum and asks about it. Then the knockers slam the kit, saying it's a POS, I can just imagine the disappointment for the novice builder, and he'll start thinking "Great, I spent my savings for a worthless POS. I hate this hobby." And there goes a kid who's missing out a great hobby. I reckon this happens in real life and I hate such knockers and rivet counters for doing such.
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Virginia, United States
Member Since: February 11, 2003
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Posted: Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 07:09 PM UTC

Quoted Text

One other thing about such knockers is that they, to me at least, create a sense of inferiority complex for the novice builder. Assuming there's a novice builder who just got his first model kit. And then goes to an internet forum and asks about it. Then the knockers slam the kit, saying it's a POS, I can just imagine the disappointment for the novice builder, and he'll start thinking "Great, I spent my savings for a worthless POS. I hate this hobby." And there goes a kid who's missing out a great hobby. I reckon this happens in real life and I hate such knockers and rivet counters for doing such.

That's one of the great things about this site. If one person has a bad experience with a kit, there is always somebody coming along behind him who had a different experience or maybe able to offer tips to make the construction easier.
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Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Member Since: April 09, 2003
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Posted: Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 10:16 PM UTC

that was a little-bit of my first experience... I had been surfing around some, and then went to the store. Bought a Mig-27, Academy Tiger I with interior and Stug IV and the Tamiya Sd.Kfz 251/1 D....

Came back home read a few reviews and saw the one on the Stug IV especially which were not favorable... that put me down a bit, but then right after someone did build the same Academy Stug IV and made a great model out of it...And decided to use it as a practice-piece... always good... Basically got all stressed out... I have now relaxed a little, and after having started a few kits, now I see the progress in my building it really is encouraging... now the same process has to be gone through with the painting...

And of course reading up on things on this site does help a lot. Though it also tends to get you too anxious, and buy and wanting to start too many kits... my collection is growing rapidly...

Knocking a kit and rivet-counting IMHO in itself is not bad, but is the way it is sometimes done. and the grounds it is done on that makes it bad.. Look at the way Twig is rivet-counting on his Tiger I, and some of his other kits Yet he does not do it in a negative way, and only encourages people, IMHO...
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United States
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Posted: Sunday, August 10, 2003 - 03:06 AM UTC
I buy kits that I would like to build. Since I have now built a few kits, I now know which manufactures I like and which ones I try to stay away from. Yet, if I want a certain vehicle that is only offered by one guy then that is the one a buy. I know that certain kits are going to require loads of work to make a decent kit. But, I hope that my modeling skills keep improving so that I am able to succesfully complete any kit I might tackle. I do read reviews so that I might be aware of structual pitfalls. I also build too the level that if I like the way it looks it is fine to me. I have too many kits I want to build to spend a lot of time and money to get enough info to build a model of a specific vehicle. So, until that time I am building to a reasonable level for me. I am also striving to improve my building/ painting skills. Since I am not where I want to be in that area, those skills take precedent over other efforts.