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Missing kit parts -- my experience
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Utah, United States
Member Since: March 16, 2003
entire network: 148 Posts
KitMaker Network: 106 Posts
Posted: Sunday, March 16, 2003 - 08:53 PM UTC
Hi all,

I'm sure most of you have been through a similar problem, but I thought I'd just recount my recent experiences in regards to missing parts in hopes someone can gather something useful from them. Also, any other experiences, good or bad, out there?

The first episode started back in about August. I was about to begin a kit that had been in my pile for a few months and realized there was a complete parts sprue missing. I proceeded to contact the manufacture and they said they'd send parts. After a few months, nothing, contacted again, etc. etc. Finally, said kit was OOP, but they would send a different kit. OK, fine. Well, then they magically got the parts, got them, and that worked out fine.

From that experience I started completely checking all my new kits. Sure enough, right after Christmas a kit I got was missing an entire sprue. Contacted the company, worked things out to have the parts sent. I get the parts in the mail, not even close to being the correct ones... helicopter parts instead of armor parts. Contacted the company again, go through hassles, then they decide THAT kit is OOP. Now supposedly they are sending a different one, but I'll have to see how it works out.

I guess the lesson I learned, and my advice if people don't already do this, is to check a kit as soon as you get it to make sure all the parts are there (I'm sure most everyone probably does this). Also, it's beneficial to save the box and the UPC code in case replacements are necessary. The other thing is persistence pays off. Just keep on the company until things get worked out. Both processes haven't been easy, but hopefully in the end I'll have kits I can actually build.

Sorry if this is something that's been covered before. I'm kind of curious as to how many other people this happens to and what some other experiences have been.

(I left out the company names and exact details just for fear that there is the possibility of taking advantage and trying to get free parts. If you want specific details, let me know.)

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Milano, Italy
Member Since: September 02, 2002
entire network: 2,606 Posts
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Posted: Sunday, March 16, 2003 - 09:43 PM UTC
if what you said is true, and I have no reason do doubt, I think that you should tell us the names of the manufacturers as well. If we all when we buy a model from those brands ask the model shop to check if all the kit's parts are there before paying for it, after the second or the third time this happens be sure that they will report it to the sales represenative and he will do the same with the distributor and so on to the manufacturer. Kits are something becoming quite expensive, so we have the right to get what we pay for. I think that here at Armorama we're a big community and I'm sure that manufacturers will not be very happy to be mentioned here for low post sales service and so on. I had only once a similar experience (of missing parts I mean), but Tamiya replaced the whole kit and did'nt want the old one back too!
Member Since: December 18, 2001
entire network: 12,596 Posts
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Posted: Monday, March 17, 2003 - 12:42 AM UTC
I have had terrific service from many model companies for replacement parts. Revell-Monogram, Testors/Italeri, Lindberg, and the old AMT/Ertl. Revell-Monogram sent me a set of decals for a TBF Avenger that I had bought many years ago (like 20) and asked for a set when they re-released it as a "classics" kit. I even offered to pay and they sent it free. I asked for parts to a Monitor/Merrimack kit by Lindberg, and they sent me the whole kit, a newer edition. I've received Hawk and Italeri parts from Testors, and had Esci parts sent to me by Ertl. I even got a Revell-Monogram part to a Revell of Germany boxed 1/32 scale P-38J Droopsnoot sent to me in about 30 days. Sent them an e-mail in German and the part came from Illinois.

Most recent one was an AMT/Ertl Hogan's Heroes Jeep that only comes with 4 tires. E-mailed them and they mailed me a new tire very quickly. This was about a month ago.
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Washington, United States
Member Since: October 02, 2002
entire network: 1,546 Posts
KitMaker Network: 494 Posts
Posted: Monday, March 17, 2003 - 02:39 AM UTC
I had an experience with a mongram special edition Dale Earnhardt Olympics race car in which the decals went bad when I sprayed Testors Glosscote over them. The whole body was ruined. Monogram sent me a new body with front and rear bumpers and a new set of decals and paid return postage on the old stuff. I guess they wanted to analyze the decals and see why they lifted. They were very quick about it and very courteous.

I am also curious to see which company served you wrong. I have heard AFV Club can be a little difficult to get hold of for service, but have never had to service their stuff before myself, so don't know for certain. Brent Sauer needed to buy a replacement part from Tamiya and got charged a ridiculous amount. They charged him $10 for an Abrams sprue and $10 for shipping. All he wanted was one piece of the .50 cal gun mount for the CWS. The whole kit only costs $28 or so.

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Utah, United States
Member Since: March 16, 2003
entire network: 148 Posts
KitMaker Network: 106 Posts
Posted: Monday, March 17, 2003 - 09:06 AM UTC
Well, there seems to be some interest as to the companies, so I'll give some more details as to the situations.

The first kit was from DML. The only problem I really had with the whole situation was the time it took. They told me several time parts were in transit, and then about three or four months after the first request decided the kit was OOP. I took digital pictures of the kit as they request to show I had it and they agreed to send a different kit as replacement after they sent me a list to pick from. This was in December. In February I still hadn't got a list, and they told me to wait until the middle of the month due to their holiday. Then, I get an email saying they suddenly had the parts. I received them last week. That is now taken care of and I'm happy I finally have the parts.

The second situation is with Testors/Italeri. I picked up the Italeri LAV/ADV cheap after Christmas on a 50% off craft store coupon. Got it home and it was missing the sprue for the entire lower hull and all the parts. It had two upper hulls though, whatever good that does me. Contacted Testor's and filled out the online parts request form, listing the 'A' sprue, as well as an itemized part list just to be safe.

A week later, get a phone call at about 7 a.m. wanting the part numbers because they said they couldn't due it just by the sprue letter. I called them back, got an email address and sent them not only the parts list but a scan of the instructions showing the parts I needed. They said they'd sent the parts. Then, a few days later get an email saying I have to send the UPC code. That was fine, so I sent it. Week later, parts for a 1/72 Huey show up. I was quite unhappy so I contacted them, and then suddenly the kit was out of stock. I explained the situation and they told me they would send a replacement kit IF I SENT THEM THE UPC.

At this point I was very unhappy. Tried emailing but they wouldn't respond. Finally called them up and they said it was being worked out and that I should just pick a replacement kit from their website that was about the same cost. Because I wanted to build the kit I have, I asked if they could send the lower hull from another LAV because they have about four variants and I'm guessing they all are based on the same hull. Additionally, it doesn't do me a lot of good to have the partial kit I've got with two upper hulls, although now I'll have a lot of spares. They said they didn't show any cross reference between the kits so they couldn't just get parts from another kit and instead would just send a new kit. I emailed them my kit choice, a different LAV variant, and am still waiting on it. That was two weeks ago and I haven't heard from them since. I'm hoping the kit just shows up in the mail.

If the kit shows up, I'll be satisfied, but if it is based upon the same hull as the ADV version, I may attempt to see if I can purchase/order the missing sprue from that kit just sol I'll have two full vehicles. Looking at the upper hulls, the parts sprue number is based on the standard LAV kit and only the turret is unique.

Sorry for being so long. Anyone wants any further details let me know.

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Texas, United States
Member Since: September 15, 2002
entire network: 8,985 Posts
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Posted: Monday, March 17, 2003 - 09:17 AM UTC
I've had great experiences with Monogram. Had an old 48th B-24J. A girlfriend flipped it over and the cockpit winshield broke. Had another one within 2 weeks. Never had any other problems with missing parts. The next worst was a broken part on the Italerie DUKW kit I got, but that is so minor and such an easy fix. why bother. Sounds like you just have "the cloud" over your head. Hope it goes away
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Croatia Hrvatska
Member Since: February 13, 2002
entire network: 5,579 Posts
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Posted: Monday, March 17, 2003 - 10:50 AM UTC
I had a good experience with Tamiya.. I needed some parts for my M113 ACAV and they sent me the whole sprue, decals and sprue with figures. No charge.. I even got a couple of posters and postcards in the same package, too.

Mario M.
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New York, United States
Member Since: May 07, 2002
entire network: 1,065 Posts
KitMaker Network: 497 Posts
Posted: Monday, March 17, 2003 - 11:03 AM UTC
I had a DML/Dragon Stug IIIF that was missing the main sprue (the one with the top of the hull!) and tried contacting Marco Polo imports to see if I could get a replacement.

A few emails and months of waiting and no luck.

I had bought the kit new, in shrink wrap, on the Internet.

So, I bought a whole replacement kit and I guess I'll have a lot of spare parts for the Stug. Maybe it might be usefull someday if I do some kind of conversion as I do like Stugs.

But, it's the only problem I've had so far (knock on wood) and I can't say I'm upset with DML. I think they are a great model company. But, I do think Marco Polo could have been a bit more helpful..

Member Since: December 18, 2001
entire network: 12,596 Posts
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Posted: Monday, March 17, 2003 - 11:16 AM UTC
Strange that you had problems with Testors/Italeri. I've probably dealt with them more than any other model company and always got great service. I first had troubles way back in 1996 when I bought a 50th Anniversary boxing of the M3 Scout Car. The clear sprue was missing. I asked for parts and they sent them. Also my latest mishap was a bad barrel for my T-62 (old Esci reissue). They sent me a replacement barrel. The old Hawk P-51D Mustang that was chromed that I won on eBay was missing the spinner. I asked if they still had their boxing of the kit available, and they send me the spinner. Wasn't chromed, but at least I have a replacement part. I've always got great service from them.
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Utah, United States
Member Since: March 16, 2003
entire network: 148 Posts
KitMaker Network: 106 Posts
Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 06:25 AM UTC

Got an email from Testors today now telling me the kit I had picked as a replacement, the anti-tank LAV, has now been discontinued as well and is not available. So now I have to try again. This is really, really getting old.
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Massachusetts, United States
Member Since: May 05, 2002
entire network: 8,074 Posts
KitMaker Network: 2,574 Posts
Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 08:10 AM UTC
I lost the windscreen from the old DML B-2. Dropped them a note (pre computer days) and got the part in a couple weeks.
Last fall, I picked up the Pegasso "Spartacus" figure and it was missing the crest from the helmet he's holding. I dropped them an e-mail and within a week a package arrived. Unfortunately, it was the wrong part of that helmet. Wrote them back with a scan of the box art with the part highlighted and a couple weeks later, the correct part came in. I'm guessing the initial problem was language as they are based in Italy and the English on their site is written "with an accent". I thought they had excellent service considering the distances involved. :-)
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Indiana, United States
Member Since: October 16, 2002
entire network: 5,272 Posts
KitMaker Network: 2,192 Posts
Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 01:33 PM UTC
A little off topic, but closely related... Last week there was a thread about the Coyote. Someone mentioned an article in the March FSM. I didn't remember seeing the article so I checked and I didn't get the March issue. I shot them an email on Friday and received an email reply on Saturday. I got the magazine YESTERDAY. Now, that is what I call customer service.