Opinions about kits

Discussion in 'Kit Reviews' started by Larry Marshall, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. I've been associated with various aspects of the hobby world for a long time and one thing is consistent. Those 'cottage industry' designers, who decide to try to make money with their designs, aren't automatically blessed with an understanding of product development and marketing saavy. Rather, they are genius designer types who have those things thrust upon them. Those who are successful spend more time than they'd like learning those things. Those who fail generally never see it as their responsibility to do so and rarely come to understand that this is why their businesses are failing. I haven't seen your kit, yet, Will, not because I haven't paid for it but because of marketing/merchandising problems.

    That said, I didn't start this thread to make anyone feel bad or to point fingers at anyone. Rather, my goal was to get discussion going about how kits are produced, what concerns are or are not being addressed by their designers/manufacturers and to personally learn about differences between kits on the market. Frankly, I'd rather hear about the good than the bad as there are so many kits available that I couldn't possibly buy all the good ones anyway.

    Cheers --- Larry
  2. cdcoyle

    cdcoyle Member

    Thanks, Carl, for sharing your thoughts. The vast assortment of card models now available can be very daunting for a beginner, and for me, at least, any sort of heads-up is appreciated. I think the term 'heads-up' is appropriate in this case, as it suggests (as does your post), that just because a model or publisher doesn't rate five stars for fit, finish, instructions, materials, or whatever, it doesn't mean that the kit shouldn't be purchased -- only that the buyer should know what he/she is getting into. We have the same issues in the world of wooden ship models, where it is generally agreed that the skills of the modeler are the final determining factor, e.g. an experienced modeler can make a good model from a bad kit, and an inexperienced modeler can make a good model from a good kit, but an inexperienced modeler most likely can't make a good model from a bad kit...and may leave the hobby altogether if the building experience was a bad one. Wherefore, such lists as yours are useful for steering us newbies toward kits that are more likely to be successfully built.

    BTW, I have the Modelik Albatross D.V kit, and I will be interested to see if it has any of the problems you mentioned...although I think it will be a very long time before I get around to building it.

  3. Carl recommended these two Halinski kits and I ordered them. From Hobby Factory they do come with English instructions and his advice is 'right on' in my opinion. Both of these models are 1) gorgeous and 2) not overly complex. The Halinski diagram support is wonderful and I think anyone who has some experience using an Xacto knife and glue could create a model from them and learn a lot.

    Could you elaborate a bit on how/why you feel you can say the same thing about these two model brands? The reason I ask is that I have one example of each. My ModelArt kit is the OV10a and it's an incredible kit, with a total of 27 pages of PDF instructions and parts. While I haven't built it yet, it is every bit as detailed as Halinski kits and more detailed than Halinski Wildcat and Hellcat kits. By contrast I just received an Answer Spitfire (2005 model) and it's a mere two pages of parts and minimal instructions. It looks nice but not in the same league as my ModelArt example. Is this a reflection of a high degree of variation in these lines of kits or something else?

    Is there a North American source these kits (CardPlane, right)? I like their free downloads and would like to buy one of their Lublin kits.

    Cheers --- Larry
  4. rmks2000

    rmks2000 Member


    Kancho makes a nice Me410 in 1/48 scale. It's in electronic fromat and available at Hobby Factory. You can always rescale it to 1:33.
  5. shoki2000

    shoki2000 Active Member

    I do not know what kind of agreement there is between Answer and ModelArt but the name Answer/ModelArt appeared with the publication of the Mig-3 designed by Emil Zarkov. The only other model designed by Mr. Zarkov published by Answer that I know of is the Whirlwind.
    It seems that they are using this name (A/M) for the higher end series of models but this in no way means that Mr. Zarkov was involved in design of all of those kits.

    Here you go

    Good prices and excellent service.
  6. Ah...so Answer/ModelArt is different from ModelArt and, I surmise, different from Answer (my Spitfire kit is Answer with no ModelArt in the name). Life is confusing sometimes :)

    I know about these guys as a source for the Lublin but Carl's '2-month delivery' msg sort of made me shudder. I was hoping for a place with a bit quicker response time :)

    Cheers -- Larry
  7. Darwin

    Darwin Member

    My own experience with papermodelstore has been quite positive. On two orders, delivery has been within a week....and prices were very reasonable (including, perhaps especially, handling/shipping). And each order has been accompanied by a nice bonus kit. Granted the bonuses have been Maly Modelarz kits, but they were recent (within the last few years) publishes, including the new Essex kit. If you doubt the ability to make a museaum quality build from a Maly kit, check out the recent build post for the kit.

    Regarding Maly kits....the paper and print quality of the old kits is indeed Krapskiy; however, I have yet to build one that has built with minimal difficulties. They are simplistic, but even Scorpio seems to kick back once in a while and do something simple as a change of pace. The older Maly kits are great starting points for anyone interested in redrawing/recoloring and can always be kitbashed tor additional detail. The comments regarding paper quality of the recent Maly kits appear to be highly subjective. If your preference is for slick, clay-finished paper, you won't be happy with Maly. However, if you prefer "traditional" cardstock, the cardstock in the recent kits is every bit as good as the Bristol cardstock available from OfficeMax, etc. In my opinion, the recent Maly Bismark kit is the greatest bang for buck currently available on the market. The level of detail of the kit and construction diagrams will prove satisfactory for at least 90% of the membership. As far as Halinski vs Maly, Halinski is definitely the Beamer of the card market, and Maly is the Ford. Some people are only going to be happy driving a Beamer, and all other rides will be crap to them. However, 90% of us drive the Ford (or equivalent), and for the most part, get along with them just fine.
  8. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

  9. thewoodengraver

    thewoodengraver Active Member

    I have thousands of cardmodels. Many were free many were not. Forget completely about monetary value and I will say that all of them are priceless.
    I don't care if it is as simple as the SS Minnow or as complicated as the USS Constitution.

    Like Barry said, it is not the publisher that makes the biggest difference, it is the designer. Many publishers has had many different designers under the same name. Just because it says " Maly Modelarz" does not mean the model was designed by the same person, for instance.

    You yourself can be the best critic. When you find a model that you like, and that went together well, find out WHO DESIGNED it, NOT who published it.

    I personally like models that were hand drawn , like Micromodels, there are sometimes fit problems but I feel like I stepped into a time machine when I build them.

    Forget about the publisher, pay attention to the designer, and if you have the chance to thank the designer, DO SO NOW!!! or risk losing them.
  10. A good example where multiple opinions about the same thing are valuable. Each transaction is different and each person's view of the transactions/products are different. Given my quest for the Lublin, I've just ordered one from PMS.

    Ordered one of these as well :)

    Goes without saying that any comments regarding quality are subjective.

    I'm too new to be critical of paper but I own one Maly kit (Fokker EV). The paper is clearly different from my Halinski kit paper and even different from the stuff I print on. This results, at least, in a less crisp print but still, I think it will produce a pleasant model. To me, one of the wonders of card modeling is the ability to build super-detailed models and also to build some simpler, call them 'artistic' models. I guess that's why I prefer watercolours on my walls rather than photographs :)

    Thanks, Darwin.

    Cheers --- Larry
  11. Ah...I confess that I confuse lots of these Paper..... and Karton....sites at this point.

    I just did :)

    Cheers --- Larry
  12. shoki2000

    shoki2000 Active Member

    I don't think Lukasz Wawozny designed anything except few vehicles.
    Macchi M.5 was designed by Stanislaw Sliwinski (see http://paper-hobby.com/shopp/product_info.php?cPath=21_22&products_id=1435)
    Lukasz Wawozny is the publisher of Answer family of kits.
  13. josve

    josve Active Member

    Hello guys!!

    I have not been doing modelling for very long, just about a year or so.
    So I have limited knowledge of all the different publishers.
    I have built 4 models from Modelik, and all four has been completed.
    I have discovered some minor errors in the fit area :) but even for a beginner like me they was easy to fix.So all in all I'm quite happy about the Modelik kits so far.All was vehicles,so there can be other issues with the ships/plane category.
    One model I had to abandon, and that was the Hummer ambulance also from Modelik.I'm not sure if it was the model that was bad or if it was me who screwed up....
    Right now I'm building a kit from GPM, and every thing are right on the tracks.No errors found so far.Exellent fit,very nice print.
  14. Thanks for the insights into Modelik. I've followed your builds and the kits and your work on them are very nice. It's good to have some comments from the "vehicle" modelers here as mostly, this thread has been about airplane models.

    Part of the commercial card world I find confusing is the ship world. Jim has been nice enough to answer several queries I've had about various kits but it would be good to hear from the ship guys.

    Cheers --- Larry
  15. josve

    josve Active Member

    Glad you like the models I have made Larry!
    But of course I forgot the best of them.....the Kübelwagen :)
    Outstanding fit! Very nice print! and not least , very good instructions and a lot of details!.The kit contains 940 parts.
  16. Darwin

    Darwin Member

    I see nothing so far in the discussion that would be subject-dependent. Armor, airplanes, ships, architecture, take your pick....the overall "ranking" of publisher quality comes out about the same, and for the same reasons. Some generalizations can be made about the publishing houses regarding sight-unseen expectations concerning kit complexity and quality; however, if you categorically exclude some publishing houses, you can miss the occasional jewel. One thing I have noticed is that some of the "poorer quality" publishing houses are the most willing to risk publishing "unusual" or "off-beat" subjects, and are considerably easier on the pocket book.
  17. barry

    barry Active Member


    I like DN and Gremir they fit well and they come on CD's I lose so many small parts it's unfunny a lot easier when you can reprint. I built Hood once it was a ***** to do but then again if it was now I would just modify the bits I did not like. The size is the most awkward thing about the Polish ships A3 is not easy to copy. I do not like the glossy print surface either, never seen a glossy warship after 1914. I bought a JSC Nelson 1/400 never built it, paper felt all wrong.

    Wilhelmshaven makes good solid models a bit dated now but they look good.

  18. I'm not a ship guy but the ships offered by these two companies are truly extraordinary. Thanks for weighing in on ship companies.

    Cheers --- Larry
  19. cardmodeler

    cardmodeler Member

    Has anyone built any models by Fly? I purchased the 1/200 Saratoga when Lighthouse was going out of business. I have been wanting to build an aircraft carrier, but I certainly don't want to spend a lot of time on a model of this complexity only to find that things aren't going together very well.:cry: My skills may not be up to this yet, anyway. If anybody has any input on this I would appreciate it
  20. Padre

    Padre Guest

    USS Porter, DD 356

    I am not an "experienced card modeler. I have built several "freebies" off of the internet, and a few wooden sailing ships. I "jumped" into card building by ordering the USS Arizona from Digital Navy. Enjoyed the heck out of it. The Arizona parts were all there, good instructions and everything fit. I then ordered the USS Porter, DD 356 from Modelik. The parts did not all fit, some too small for where they went, some too large to fit on other parts, instructions confusing, and paper on which it was printed seemed of indifferent quality. Also , it seems some parts were missing or miss numbered. The Arizona taught me a lot about card building, used the experience to understand and "make do" on the Porter. Anyone else know which card companies are best to buy from?

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