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The price of sugar ( well modelling anyway )


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I recently built the 1/32 scale Hasagawa Fiesler Storch of 1976 or so vintage, which I found to be an absolutely delightful experience. This was down to the simple breakdown of parts, I think 3 sprues in total, and finished in a month which is fast going for me, and for under £30. I mention this as I wondered what other LSP modellers thoughts are on the direction of our hobby and the attendant exponential rise in its cost. I feel that most modern kits are way over engineered, every hatch, canopy, access panel and gun bay has to be open and if something can be done in more parts all the better therefore at greater cost to the customer. Because of this hell bent direction by manufacturers they are making the hobby more esoteric, unattractive and unaffordable. For example, beautiful as it is when the 1/32 Tamiya spitfire came out it was the first mainstream kit to break the £100 barrier, is over engineered and more a technicians kit, I bought 1. Revell then released their way cheaper simpler equivalent , no bells or whistles just what it says on box, and  this is a modellers kit, you have to work at it and love it. So far I have bought 7. It has been very successful for Revell. So my point is manufacturers should be looking at examples like this and learning instead of driving the hobby in the direction they want as opposed to the modeller. 

 

Thank you for reading.

Jon 

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...So my point is manufacturers should be looking at examples like this and learning instead of driving the hobby in the direction they want as opposed to the modeller. 

 

So, THE modeller wants cheaper kits, without all the fancy stuff that's in kits that the technician wants.

 

The modeller doesn't care about accuracy, details, options, etc. The technician wants over engineered, esoteric, unattractive and unaffordable kits.

 

Conclusion : manufacturers mostly make kits for technicians, rarely they make kits for modellers.

 

A modellers kit : you have to work at it and love it.

 

A technicians kit : You don't have to work at it and you don't love it .

 

 

Sound a bit like the "builders" vs the "assemblers" theory. And I don't agree with that line of thought either.

 

 

Personally : every person that spends his or her time in making a scale miniature is a modeller. Whether it's a budget kit, a kit with a ton of aftermarket, or a complete scratchbuild project.

 

Of course you are entitled to have your own opinion, but for me there's no comparision between a 1978 1/32 Hasegawa Storch and a 2009 1/32 Tamiya Spitfire.

 

The Tamiya kit costs 3 times as much as the Hasegawa kit, but it's also 3 times better.

 

My today's car costs 3 times as much as the car I drove in the '70's. I'm very glad that car manufacturers decided to go in the direction of safer, better, more comfortable and more luxurious cars (at a higher cost), then continue making 1970's era cars witout ABS, air bags, sat-nav, airco, cruise control, etc.

 

 

Just my 2 cents (*)

 

(*) If those 2 cents become 6 cents because the manufacturer decides so, I'll still be happy.

 

Sincerely

 

Pascal

 

 

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I agree with you Jon. The 1/32 DeHavilland Mosquito kits are a classic example. The Tamiya FB.VI is (arguably) over-engineered and unnecessarily complex, making it a well-fitting chore; alas it is, unfortunately, the only fighter variant to be had. The Revell bomber Mosquito is a relic from the past, and almost an antique, whereas the Hong Kong Models bomber variants are in the goldilocks zone of just right in terms of buildability and fun but not as pretty as the others' body shapes, especially the Tamiya which is an expensive date. 

 

Many of the Trumpeter jets from the release period roughly 2005-2015 (discounting the often irrelevant stores) have the right balance of parts, fit and fun. The prices used to be about right too, making a bit of corrective surgery well worth the risk. The Trumpeter MiG-23 series and Revell's later Hawker Hunter kits immediately come to mind. ICM similarly offer great fitting well-engineered kits with the right work-fun balance, but sadly events in the Ukraine may mean we have seen the last of them, at least for a while. 

 

Tony 

Edited by Tony T
Unconscious wishing that there was a 1/35 Mosquito
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When i bought the Tamiya Mossie, i opened it up, looked at the instructions, the sprues and realized about a third of the kit would be spares. I have no desire to do open panels, etc, so all that fine detail stuff is wasted on me. Others may think, it's not enough(!!!) but that's personal preferences. Does seem like Superkits are becoming the norm, but Revell for one seems to have a balance. I've always liked the way Hasgawa did their kits, simple for hack builders like me, a great base for the builders that choose to go all out. Plenty of kits out there to satisfy everyone, prices...yeah, that's a sticking point.

 

Don

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I do not get this “modeler” verses “technician” thing.  This “issue”  has shown up in various forms and descriptions. But  I am both!  I am sure many others are both and we like to sample and chose among the offerings of the kit manufacturers.  I am glad to have Tamiya, Revell, and WNW and Dora and Roden and Special hobby and my go to WNW replacement ICM.  lICM strikes

a balance. 

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Thankfully, the market at present provides both simple and complex kits to chose from.  At present, I'm building a Z-M kit which is more complex than a simple Tamiya kit, which is again more complex than an old Hasegawa or (possibly) Revell kit.  I'm really enjoying the Z-M build at present, but the next kit will be something simpler.

 

See where I'm going with this??

 

 

Cheers,

Michael

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Personally, I'm finding Hasegawa kits somewhat frustrating as they always stayed a little bit under the good balance of features! If they just added a dozen of small parts to have finer and  more detailed cockpits and separate movable surfaces, they would be far better and the additional design and cost tooling would be ridiculous! This would not even ask for additional sprues. A stupid case in mind: the P-40 seats would be far better if made from two parts rather than a single one! Another puzzling example: the Me109 pit sides showing the wing roots! Obviously you can rely on aftermarket but it is ridiculous to spend 30 to 50% of additional money just to compensate such basic shortcuts. I hope that Kotare will simply do that: simple and accurately shaped models but with some less clumsy features that are not really acceptable in large scale.

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Hi Jon ,    :hi:

I've always thought that the best solution would be that all kits would be

released as a simpler build (like Hasegawa, Revell, Special Hobby) and let

the aftermarket folks take it from there. Even state of the art Tamiya kits

have parts offered aftermarket which seems odd to me. The builders who

want to go nutz with super detail (and some of it 'is' super) can spend the

extra bucks and be happy and those that aren't can still be happy.

Like cars have always been, you can buy a stripped down base model

or add all the options you want and spend extra.

You wouldn't buy a Ferrari to get from point A to point B.

...OK some of us might  :whistle:

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I thought WNW were sort of going down this route, but they never really did before closing. There was the 'Standard Kit', then the stripped back 'Limited Editions', some of which didn't even have decals included. Finally, there was the often speculated about (but never to see the light of day) 'Special Editions' which were supposed to contain lots of extras.

 

If I were in the business, this is the route I'd consider:

  • A 'Basic' version with no frills, paper instructions, and one decal scheme
  • A 'Standard' version with some small extras (etched parts etc.), three decal choices, and a WNW-style instruction sheet
  • A 'High Class' version with multiple deal choices, quality instructions, extra parts (wooden props, Rexx-style exhausts etc.) and a Albatros Datafile/Warpaint type of reference book included
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19 minutes ago, Pascal said:

Sort of like Eduard does with it's Profipack and Weekend Edition kits.

And its Limited editions, such as the "Riders in the Sky " Liberators.

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