Modeling in General
General discussions about modeling topics.
The Times They Are A Changin'
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Member Since: May 28, 2011
entire network: 34 Posts
KitMaker Network: 9 Posts
Posted: Sunday, June 05, 2011 - 02:20 AM UTC
Speaking as someone who's making a return to the hobby after many years, I'm noticing quite a few changes.
Nearly every kit you can buy has a dozen or more add-ons, resin detail sets, metal gun barrels, PE, etc. Figures too can be bought which come positioned to be doing anything, from shooting to sharpening a pencil.
I thought it would be interesting to find out how people get most of their enjoyment from the hobby. Do you like to scratch build everything or buy every after market item available? If you're like me you fall somewhere between the two.
I would choose to buy a well tooled, accurate kit, but wouldn't pay for for the add-ons, prefering to scratch build any I felt were needed. With figures, I tend to use stock items, but convert them to what I need at the time. I have scratch built figures in the past, but not the heads (I'm not that good!)
Surely we havn't reached the point where the amount of money we throw at a model replaces the skill in building it?
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Arkansas, United States
Member Since: June 29, 2009
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Posted: Sunday, June 05, 2011 - 02:26 AM UTC
The more parts, the better. I buy as many add-ons as possible. Photoetch, turned barrels and ammo, resin pieces, indy tracks, etc. I've been working on one model with full pe and am barrel for a year now. Enjoying ever minute of it. On the few models I don't buy am parts for, I can build and paint within a week. This is not cost effective and I don't enjoy it as much. Actually, I am buying a lathe to turn my own barrels and ammo. I am also considering buying a diy photoetch kit and a cupcake cnc.
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Member Since: January 11, 2003
entire network: 4,307 Posts
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Posted: Sunday, June 05, 2011 - 04:01 AM UTC
Richard, I feel exactly the same way - see my post in the thread re. costs of models. We are now "assemblers of box contents" instead of modellers. I'd rather buy a cheap kit and make any extra details, conversion parts etc than spend money on them. I get more enjoyment from my hobby, and get a sense of acheivement - it's my model and not the same as 10000s of others.

As for the time - I could build the most complex OOB kit faster than I'd build and detail a basic version - so which gives me better value for money? The cheap kit, plastic card/rod and a box of cheap figures to convert for the crew is the clear winner
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New Jersey, United States
Member Since: November 02, 2009
entire network: 609 Posts
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Posted: Sunday, June 05, 2011 - 04:22 AM UTC
I don't have a ton of modeling time so I don't waste it on badly engineered kits that require a lot of upgrades, scratch building, etc. But even some recent kits benefit from AM accessories. For example, as much as I like Tamiya's JS-2 kit OOB, I think it benefits from an ABER barrel and Friul tracks. Those two items alone nearly equal the cost of the kit, but with my average build taking three months (or more) I really don't care.

As for the "assembler vs. modeler" argument, I don't make that distinction. My goal (never achieved) is a perfect 1/35 model of the real deal. If someone posted pictures tomorrow of a model that was perfectly accurate and wonderfully painted and weathered, I wouldn't care one bit whether it was substantially scratch built or the person had "thrown their wallet at it". A great model is a great model in my book.
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Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Member Since: June 07, 2002
entire network: 8,797 Posts
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Posted: Sunday, June 05, 2011 - 10:52 AM UTC
Come gather round people wherever you roam.......

Oh wait this isn't about Dylan

Well it is an interesting point you raise there. Most of the kits nowadays are pretty well engineered even with all the extras that come in the box. And I can see how a more seasoned modeler would not find it too challenging to built some of the newer standard kits ootb. However I think One can find enjoyment in all sorts of things and it is pretty much different for any person.
I personally love the challenge that older kits give me bringing them up to todays standards with the help of AM and scratchbuilding and good ref pics. With some good hunting on Ebay I end up with a pricetag for the total package which comes close to what you have to pay for a new kit these days. And because of the rate at which companies are now producing a lot of the Resin and vacuform kits are getting cheaper and cheaper.
Just as with retired Yank I can spend a year or longer working on a kit with all the AM available and scratchbuilding and enjoying every minute of it. I recently bought Italeri's RSO with PAK 40 second hand from somebody.. The PAK is going to be changed for AFV Clubs offering which I also got cheap... And currently hunting down the 3 Aber Etch sets and a set of Modellkasten tracks. It will take me a lot of time longer then building the newer Dragon kit... But I don't mind... It is what I like to do.
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Louisiana, United States
Member Since: March 06, 2010
entire network: 3,128 Posts
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Posted: Sunday, June 05, 2011 - 11:43 AM UTC
Being recently returned after many years away, and also an old-school scratch-builder who worked with basic kits (OK, 40 years ago maybe all kits were pretty basic - probably even crude - by today's standards) and conversions using whatever was around, I find both today's super-detailed kits AND the wealth of AM stuff available just astounding.

I'm in the hobby as I both enjoy the build work AND want to achieve outcomes. Historically, I could drag a project along a year. Today, I'm more conscious of time... and budget-limits. So I try to mostly avoid the crappier kits that really still need a year of scratching and/or a deep wallet to buy bunches of AM stuff in order to get somewhere. That suggests that I should go for those nice modern kits and limit my AM to some metal barrels and a few brass bits, right? Sounds like a right strategy for getting good builds done in modest time within a modest budget!

So why is it I am right now wrestling away scratch-building to make a half-way decent Flak 30 out of that rather poor Italeri / Esci 1/35 kit?

BUILDING is FUN! It's the Flak 30 kit I could get! And, hey, I did buy a metal barrel!

I confess that whenever Dragon or AFV Club or Bronco or maybe even Trumpeter put out a modern 1/35 Flak 30 kit, I'll buy it!

My next build will be a nice, detailed Dragon kit built "OOTB" (OK, mostly...). I promise!


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Texas, United States
Member Since: June 29, 2010
entire network: 5,854 Posts
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Posted: Sunday, June 05, 2011 - 05:54 PM UTC
It really depends on the kit. If I don't like certain parts then I will replace them, usually with AM until my scratchbuilding skills can suffice. Whatever way I go, I make sure that I enjoy it
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Tennessee, United States
Member Since: November 16, 2002
entire network: 751 Posts
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Posted: Sunday, June 05, 2011 - 09:06 PM UTC
I just like to build models. I have a few AM parts and Ive scratched / modified a few basic items but thats about it. I guess I'm more of an "assembler". I found myself becomming wrapped a little too tight around the axles worrying about total accurcy and minute details. "Modelling" sucked out all the enjoyment for me. So............Now I "assemble", with just a touch of "modelling", and thoroughly enjoy it!
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Member Since: May 28, 2011
entire network: 34 Posts
KitMaker Network: 9 Posts
Posted: Monday, June 06, 2011 - 09:07 AM UTC
I'm pleased to see that the word "Enjoy" crops up in these replies. Its what I hoped to see, since surely that's what we all want to get from the hobby, however we go about it.
I also think a lot depends on how we each display our models. For myself, they always were and will be fixed to scenic basis, as dioramas or vignettes, so as a general rule whatever underbody details the kit manufacturer includes is fine as they're not seen on the finished piece. I must confess to buying after market tracks where a kit comes with the "elastic band" type though.
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Kildare, Ireland
Member Since: November 21, 2007
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Posted: Wednesday, June 08, 2011 - 01:55 AM UTC
I'll only scratch-build the most basic details. I was quite proud of myself recently having managed to replace some broken handles with bent wire....for me that was good.

I won't buy AM sets to replace kit parts and make them more "correct" like replacement wheels etc. The AM sets I buy are either conversions such as converting a Tamiya TOW Humvee into an IDF TOW Humvee or they are add-on's such as Duke antena, IBIS bumper, storage etc
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Arizona, United States
Member Since: June 30, 2004
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Posted: Wednesday, June 08, 2011 - 08:04 PM UTC
i just plain like building the model. as for am parts, well if need be if i can't build it, then so be it, but i get a kick out of replacing with wire handles i built too. its part of me into the model, no matter its time frame, and if i have to study to get er right, campaign wise, then again so be it, i enjoy it and it helps me pass the time i have left to piddle with as me lil spouse says, lol.
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Member Since: September 11, 2002
entire network: 1,933 Posts
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Posted: Thursday, June 09, 2011 - 09:04 AM UTC
I always replacethe barrel on tanks,I hate all that sanding andfiller but thats about it I like to make my own tarps and bed rolls I some times buy a conversion set but thats different I think.
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British Columbia, Canada
Member Since: September 03, 2009
entire network: 6,965 Posts
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Posted: Thursday, June 09, 2011 - 10:03 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Surely we havn't reached the point where the amount of money we throw at a model replaces the skill in building it?

Today's wunderkits and aftermarket accessories are a lot like the P-51 and Ki-84 were; they make an average modeller good, and make a good modeller great, but there's still no substitute for the basic skills that everyone needs. Poor attention to detail, assembly, finishing and painting cannot be disguised by any amount of clever aftermarket or excellent engineering. So no, we're not at the point of throwing money at models, just at the point where we can throw money at models