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Correct, and an understatement.

 

Best bet is to do a lot of online research about the specific kits you're interested in, and choose to/not to buy accordingly.

 

D

Excactly,for example while the bubble top Thunderbolt is a mess the Razorback is quite fine

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I appreciate the clear description in this thread of which kits are done well, and which are done OK, but fixable. I appreciate even more the "tweak lists" and aftermarket parts that help fix those kits.

 

It is frustrating to want a kit that has serious flaws as executed by any model company. For example, look at the Revell Mig-29 and how much effort has been thrown at it, from Zacto-Man's replacement of vast portions of the kit to the latest amazing cockpit work. Look at the fuss and the huge number of aftermarket parts generated by Revell's latest Spitfire. Even Tamiya's Spitfire, P-51D and Corsairs have a large number of aftermarket add on parts. It is possible to build these kits to a high standard which you might desire or just throw them together and get some sort of model that will make your 8 year old grandson pretty happy, racing around the room making fun sound effects,

 

We are just below the level of possible detail execution in so many places with 1/32 scale (legible text, for example). We will always want more than we can get, but we should be able to get a reasonable shape to start with. That seems to be the root of the problem with the worst of Trumpeter's kits.

 

Tnarg

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I've built several and generally like them.  I built the F6F-3 and standing alone, it looks like Hellcat.  Of course put it next to an accurate model, then you see the differences.

Built the Razorback P-47 and the only complaint I have are are those sunken rivets.  My favorite by far is the TBM-3.

 

DSCN2897a.jpg

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So did American Motors and Edsel (for a while).

 

From what I've read, the Edsel was a fiasco from the word go - apparently it became a thing to ask an owner "where'd you win yours?" because the lottery companies were their main customers. :lol:

 

I also know that the word Edsel is immediately associated with failure.

 

(I personally like the thing, haha)

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Jennings, I agree with you that Trumpeter SHOULD use whatever resources it can. Better models sell better and it will help the company long term. Brushing your teeth 2-3x per day and never smoking are also sure-fire ways to help us all live longer. We all know that and yet millions of people don't pay any attention.

 

However much their listening to outsiders might improve their kits, Trumpeter continues to delight modelers, Here's just the latest example right on LSP by a relative newby to the forums.

 

IMG_7029_zpsc4476749.jpg

Edited by Bill Cross
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One bit of simple research the Chinese could have done was find out what kits were available that were already considered "accurate"- The Tamiya P-51B would have been a nice starting point for their 1/32 kit, which apparently sucks, and the Revell 1/32 F4U-1A, while basic, is supposedly very accurate in outline. The Chinese have no qualms about putting other folks work into the Pantograph, so how hard would it have been for them to do it with more of their kits? Or, maybe, after the SBD and TBF, they made a conscious decision to make crap. I understand that refs are hard to come by on the internet- Are they also difficult to get at the hobby shop? Trumpeter's variable quality problems are indicative that they just don't care.

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Trumpeter's variable quality problems are indicative that they just don't care.

I disagree, and if you read Lee_K's post, it will open up how Chinese companies work.

 

Corporations make decisions based on what their leadership decides. It may not jibe with our take on reality, but there are often other considerations than just "caring" and "accuracy."

 

A handful of modelers on hobby forums are flies on the horse's ass to large corporations. We should stop thinking so much of ourselves and realize we're probably less than 1-2% of the sales these companies will see from LHSs and OOB builders who are perfectly happy with these kits.

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I understand that refs are hard to come by on the internet- Are they also difficult to get at the hobby shop? Trumpeter's variable quality problems are indicative that they just don't care.

I've been in hobby shops in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shenzhen. The Western notion of a store that carries a full range of kits, multiple lines of paints, tools, and an entire bookcase full of magazines and references is not one practiced by Chinese retailers. The shops I've visited have not been much bigger than a phone booth, stacked from floor to ceiling with kits, one rack of Tamiya paints, and a cash register. Trumpeter's designers ("Song" was one of them before moving onto Kitty Hawk apparently) do get access to reference material, but evidently in far less quantity than we would imagine for the task. Also, as far as I can tell the Chinese modeling community is extremely small -- Trumpeter really creates their kits for export, with commensurate prices. As time goes by and the average Chinese citizen's disposable income rises will probably see a commensurate increase in the general acceptance of model building as a hobby, but it certainly isn't that way today.

 

Again, the point is we want Trumpeter to act like a Western model company, but they don't for the reasons I outlined in my first post. Also, one must recognize the great divide in thinking and cultural experiences between Hong Kong (Dragon, Cyberhobby, HK Models) and the PRC (Trumpeter, Hobby Boss). The former set of companies appear to strive to get things right, whereas the latter are driven by different motivations and pressures.

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And there is another aspect nobody mentioned: the competition factor!

 

For instance, the AFV market is far more aggressive than the plane one and more particularly its large scale part. So, we do not see here the same driver than the one which forced Trumpeter & Hobby Boss to improve continuously the quality of their AFV models because of Dragon, Meng, Bronco and others. This does not prevent them to do errors in their AFV models but they are less common and obvious than for the planes. The progress was less obvious for their plane models.

 

John Doe the sunday modeller is not going nuts because of accuracy issues in a kit. In most cases, he's simply happy to see a kit is released, purchases the box and builds it. However, this behavior becomes more complicated when he is seeing TWO boxes of the same topic on the shop shelf. As any consumer, he is now wondering which one is the better for his hardly earned pennies...! And he will ask at least the shop owner or the guy besides him in the shop! So, yes, even for John Doe the sunday modeller, competition has an influence on purchases and consequently on company sales!

 

Last, a plane is like an asymetric egg: this is a sum of curves! So, even, with good data, it is not easy to replicate this correctly... Just do not ask Eduard about the shapes of an obscure plane named the Me109G ;-)

 

Thierry

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Thierry makes a good point.

 

Trumpy's AFVs are generally given high marks, though early stuff was inferior. I cut my teeth as a reviewer in 2008 with this review of their SdKfz.7 German prime mover. The kit was not dimensionally correct, but still built up into a very nice model. Dragon actually went after Trumpeter with a troll on one of the forums (don't remember which one) attacking them as "the Lizard" and extolling the DML Sd.Kfz.7, which was dimensionally more correct, but simplified in places the Trumpy kit isn't (a better, more detailed chassis for example). I was even accused of being their shill.

 

Trumpy's KV series is considered excellent by Neil Stokes, one of my "mates" at the local modeling club and the recognized authority on KVs (he wrote a big-assed book on the topic that's considered the Bible on the tank series). Their modern Soviet armor is also quite good, along with things like their M117 and Stryker kits.

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