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Juggernut

RE: the new B-24: How much is too much?

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I didn't want to screw the B-24 thread in the LSP Discussion forum with this since it is going so nicely and not having an interest in the kit but at what point is the "fixing" cost too much to bear, based on the US starting cost of $250?  $500, $750, $1000?  Holy crap.....  That's not modeling, that's investing....  There are those of us who won't think twice about shelling out upwards of $1000 on kit and conversions they're over-the-moon on and that's each person's choice.   But what if that $1000 kit needed tree times that cost in aftermarket to make it acceptable to you?  What's the difference between a kit costing $250 and a kit costing $1000 aside from the initial investment and initial expectations?  I know the question is subjective but in general, how much, two, three, five times the cost of the kit?  Is cost even a factor?  Now I'll be the first to admit I've paid north of $300 for certain kits (fully realizing that no kit is without errors and going in eyes wide open) but when it'll cost even the most general of aficionado's three to five times the "buy-in", to fix errors and/or omissions just to make it acceptable (subjective term, I know) how do you know where or can you draw the red line? 

 

By my guesstimation, a reasonably well detailed, accurate nose turret on that kit will run $45-50 minimum.  The tail turret, same... There you've got  and additional 40% of the cost of the kit just on two turrets alone (by conservative estimate).  A set of engines $100 (based on Eduard's set for the B-17)... you're at 80%... Gun barrels?  you're over 100% of the cost just in aftermarket.  We haven't even broached the dorsal or ball turrets, interior, or wheels/struts.... If Quickboost makes engine front's  (like they did with the Monogram 1/48 B-24J) that'll lower the cost of the engines a lot but we still haven't addressed the latter items.

 

To each their own and if this is your bag baby (best Austin Powers voice) then have at it.   I'm  interested to see what can be done with this kit.  I've seen what's been offered by the mfg. and as I've said earlier in the B-24 thread, I'm giving this kit a pass.  I don't have time, ambition or resources to throw at this kit.  At my age, I have to weigh my abilities against my desires and then add a healthy dose of reality check in making purchase decisions.  This is a very hard thing to do... desire is a m'r-f'r.  You'll note I did not add price into that equation as if I want something bad enough, I usually find a way to acquire it.  In this case, I liken throwing a lot of aftermarket at this kit to "polishing a turd."  You may or may not agree and have your own idea of a kit that deserves that phrase.

 

You guys that have picked up the gauntlet and are going to accept the challenge, have my respect (FWIW) and I look forward to seeing what you can do with it.  I'll watch patiently from the cheap seats while my wife and I are on the deck of a nice cruise ship in the Caribbean Sea or possibly an "all-inclusive" resort in that same area.

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For budgetary reasons mainly, my personal use of aftermarket sets is pretty minimal. Plus, I hate PE generally, so I tend to rely on a more DIY approach when it comes to addressing kit issues. If I can't address them, I'll either build the kit as is, shelve it until a solution comes along, or (rarely) move the kit along. It helps that I'm not an accuracy nut, and derive more enjoyment out of the process of bashing bits of plastic together than any knowledge that I've achieved something accurate.

 

The B-24 is an interesting case, in that it clearly has issues - some of them clearly difficult to fix. With such a large kit, the cost of aftermarket detail or correction sets can surely start mounting up, while the DIY approach will only get you so far; I couldn't imagine having to scratch-build 4 new engines, for example. I think the bespoke 3D-print guys may be able to offer some useful solutions, but the costs associated are possibly even greater than standard resin or photo-etch sets.

 

To answer the question directly, I can't really justify a project costing more than about $100 all in, whatever combination of kit and aftermarket that might represent. The more expensive the kit, the less money I have for AM products. Base kits that cost more than that are out of bounds me, unless they're review samples or gifts. I am, however, really looking forward to what better-resourced and better-skilled modellers than me do with the B-24.

 

Kev

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That is why for me Hasegawa 1:32 kits are best, good fit, simple build and reasonable details. I will only add aftermarket seatbelts and decals into the build ( and for the Revell 109G-6 gun covers since they are terrible ) Anything else is just adding to the cost but luckily for me I am not in pursuit for 100% accuracy and certainly not detailing. I can understand guys pouring hundreds of euros in kit, but its their hard earn money and its their choice . For what is worse the pleasure for me starts after the model is put together (painting and decals are my nirvana) so as easy to assemble the model the better :)

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As with almost everything that's hobby related, it usually comes down to the individual. Some will undoubtedly go hog wild nuts over correcting every real or perceived inaccuracy, some will happily slam it together out of box and many (perhaps most) will be somewhere in between those two polar opposites.

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Modeling is subjective... in every way. I've been on the sidelines watching this circus and seeing the comments from left, right and middle. I have no dog in this fight so have kept out of it, I certainly won't be getting any of the 4 eng bombers.. not because I don't like the kit/ manufacture/ ect but simply due to size.. no place to put them.

 

I tend to agree with those po'd with the new Liberator kit... in many ways it reminds me of the old Lindberg kits.. or Frog. Yes, it's nice it's in our scale but the simplicity of and mistakes in the kit that have been shown are a letdown to those hoping for a decent, modern level of detail. I'm certainly thinking that those saying that anyone who point out the inaccuracies are being too negative are for the most part being too defensive... I certainly agree with the comments about the thickness of the turrets and the fanciful interior detail. In this day and age what is shown is very sub standard.. what I see reminds me of the old 1/72 Revell Liberator. Now, that being said, some can scratch build, some can't, some can paint like the god's, some of us struggle, curse and bin models because we can't paint worth crap... We all have our skill sets, so I understand the level of disappointment in those who are let down by this new kit. I can scratch build pretty good but tackling those turrets is not something I'd want to take on. The issue with the wing is beyond me as well.. and to dump on the people who are pointing out those facts is unfair. To my mind, as long as you raise the point and let it go, not going on and on about it than one shouldn't be called negative and be called out on it. Yes we have folks here who can and most probably will, address the problems and show us all how.. but we must keep in mind that a good number of us can only dream of such skills.

 

To get back to the theme of this thread... We are all artists.. what we see in our minds eye is rarely what we get in the box or have the skills to create. I have seen modelers buy a basic Tamyia tank and then pour 3 or 4 times the cost of the kit into aftermarket to 'accurize' it. I've seen the same with ship, aircraft and sci-fi builders. It comes down to what you want and are willing to go for. I've balked at spending 'X' amount on a kit... and then dropped even more on another. I've bought aftermarket and after looking at it, tossed it and scratch built what I wanted because what I could do was better. The simple fact in my opinion, is that we will do whatever it takes within our skills and financial means to get what we want... to the point of silliness in some cases !! I can only sit back and look on in wonder at what so many of you do on this site. I love the rivet counters who educate us on a particular subject (even if you told us more about penguins than we EVER wanted to know !!) and I laugh in delight at those who slap something together and make a jewel out of a piece of crap.

 

Is it wrong or crazy to buy a $400 kit and then spend 2 or 3 times that to fix/ accurize ?.. for many it comes down to how much cash we have. Given the cash, why not ? Car nuts restore and trick out their classic cars all the time for example. For those who don't have the cash, a certain number will dig in and fix it with their skills... the rest will just either put up with it or not build it...and in their disappointment talk about and run down the kit/ company every time it comes up in conversation.. it's that simple. Is it right or wrong ?.. no, simply human.

 

Just my thoughts

 

Vaughn

 

 

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How much is too much? ... It depends! ... Is the subject/kit an important one to you? Is it going to annoy the hell out of you if certain things aren't accurately depicted?

 

All things being equal, my automatic AM purchase questions (for ANY kit) will be: brass gun barrels? (almost always), Cockpit AM? (sometimes), AM Landing gear and wheels? (sometimes), AM decals? (Sometimes) ... Everything else is taken on a case by case basis.

 

Using the B-24 as an example ... 

 

I had already decided on brass barrels before I even saw the kit - with that many of them poking out everywhere, plastic (or even resin) doesn't do them justice in this scale.

 

From there ... personally, I start with what I can see ... standing away from a subject (like looking at the photos from the hobby/model show).

 

Upon looking at the kit, the very first thing I could see is that the turrets weren't clear (I honestly thought at the time that this, being a test shot, would have the dimpling polished out of the moulds before production kits were made) ... and that the rather large seam reflected a rather poor engineering choice. Since there's not much chance of my skill set (or frustration levels) being able to match the effort required ... the purchase decision was put on hold until the AM appears for this fix - which it most certainly will, sooner or later. Once the wing shape issue was brought to my attention the question becomes "Buy and live with it ... or pass?" ... For mine?, I can live with the wing as is. Engines ... crude, but considering I'd have to shine a torch into the cowl to see what was happening deep inside anyway - no issue, I can live with that one too ... maybe, maybe, IF there was a similar replacement 'panel' made in resin (to pop the detail a little more, I'd consider it - but otherwise it seems much ado about nothing really seen). Cockpit ... considering the clear parts are closed up (main decision factor here) and the distortion created by said parts is always an issue, a few splashes of colour to indicate something going on in there is all that's required for mine (maybe a sticky Eduard IP) ... Can the landing gear support the model? If in doubt, I'll grab AM ... Wheel and tyre detail - too toy like to me? Again, resin wheels.

 

All of the decisions above are HIGHLY subjective ... and reflect personal choice ... If I can live with the majority of what is presented in the box - I'll buy. 

If there are a few relatively simple AM bits that I can employ to enhance or correct what is there, I will ... Just how much I spend on any given kit will depend my tolerance level for the end result.

 

Rog :)

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So as I am in the process of building mine, here are my opinions on the B-24. These are solely my opinions and how I chose to build mine.

 

1. Wings...I don’t care if it has a Davis airfoil, I will not fix it, nor would I ever consider fixing it.

2. As there is no AM available for it, I won’t use any.

3. Turrets...these are a big problem, but I am overcoming, I will scratch a front turret and vaccuform clears for the front and rear turret.

4. Decals...making my own masks, so not needed.

 

I have the plane about 1/3 assembled right now, I am having fun building the largest kit that will ever grace my display case. To each his own...

 

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To each his own...very well said.

This is an interesting question though I would be more interested in how the manufactures view this question as there would be fewer viewpoints.  Just how much does a manufacture spend on research and development of a kit?  How much time and effort in adding internal details that many buyers won't use or desire. ( But if you don't add them you may lose out on sales to those that want more and more details.)  Just where do you balance the cost of the finished kit vs fit, finish and ease of assembly?  Do you add extra markings and charge more for the kit?  If you charge more for more detail will you sell more kits to make a profit?  

What I do see is an unsustainable expectation of more and more for less and less.  At some point the manufacture needs to make some very tough choices and get the kit out the door to try and make back their investment in time, resources and cash, and hopefully make a profit.  I would love to know just how different kits all stack up in the profit/loss wash up.  I suspect that most kits just break even, maybe make a few bucks.  I don't think there are barrels of money to be made in this industry.  Accuracy cost, as does fit, finish and details either you pay for it in the base kit or you pay for it in time and money afterwords.  Weather a kit is worth it to you is an individual choice but spare a tiny bit of time to think of the guys making these things.

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For a millionair 500 $ is nothing.

 

For a working man it's 1/3 of his months pay.

 

I already feel bad if I spend 50 Euros on a kit. That's why I mostly buy and build old Revell,Matchbox,Hasegawa,etc... kits for about 20 to 30 Euros:D

 

I can afford more expencive kits.I just don't do it.

 

It's just a hobby to keep me bussy.

Edited by Erwin

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I love building models.  If I was a Liberator lover, i'd be pissed.  As a person not so enamored of the aircraft, I can say that the foggy transparent parts are a complete deal breaker.   Non clear parts aren't so bad to deal with, and scratch building can be rewarding.  But I hate vacform.  The wing profile I wouldn't consider so much.

 

Too each his own...   But it's you gotta replace turrets, engines, and wings, you might as well scratch the whole damn thing.

 

Gaz

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The one kit I'm really anticipating with any excitement is the HKM British Spey Phantom.

 

When it was announced, I expected it to be a good, high quality but basic kit (no full engine or exposed this or that type of nonsense) and to hit the shops at about  1 x Tamiya Phantom price plus 25-30%. Even it out currently to about GBP£150.

Now, I'm dreading it topping out at £250+ and the question becomes can I justify the grands worth of Phantoms I'd like in that size and format, when all the other Phantom sub-types can be had for around half that each, even with added aftermarket?

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