We Need More Kit Reviews!

Discussion in 'Kit Reviews' started by sakrison, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. sakrison

    sakrison Member

    We're seeing a lot of newbies come into this hobby, and that's great news.
    Short, to-the-point Kit Reviews mean a lot to a newbie. (I speak from experience.) Reading through build threads can be a great way to learn, or to get inspired. But if you're a newbie or even a veteran, and you're trying to decide which kit to build next, or whether a kit is over your head, trying to wade through a dozen build threads can be very frustrating.

    So, I'll stick my neck out and suggest to anyone who has already posted a build thread on this forum:
    Go back and write short kit review that hits the high points of your build thread, and post it under Kit Reviews. A few paragraphs should do it--more is good if you want to write them.

    There's a template for First Impressions and Kit Reviews at: http://forum.zealot.com/t136101/
    For more ideas, read some of the reviews already there.

    To those of you who have already posted First Impressions and Kit Reviews, Thank You!!

    To those of you posting build threads, keep it up--I love 'em!
    And when your kit and thread are complete, post a short Kit Review.
    You'll get twice the kudos for not much more effort.

    No worries,
  2. Fishcarver

    Fishcarver Active Member

    David: I'll help out with this. I have several unbuilt kits to review, and have actually bougt a couple of negatively-reviewed ones !

  3. josve

    josve Active Member

    I just got the T72 from FlyModel :)
    Going to write a small first impression on that very soon.
  4. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    Sweet! I think I need to come up with some kind of incentive for reviews :)
  5. cdavenport

    cdavenport Member

    The incentive is a free kit; read on.

    Here's an idea that we use to great effect in IPMS/USA: a Reviewer Corps. If we take ourselves seriously, at least to the extent that we agree that we are professionals to some degree who like to express our creative sides by constructing models, then the manufacturers should take us seriously, too.

    With that in mind, let us use our strength to contact manufacturers for review samples of the latest products. Models are sent to prospective reviewers who agree to post reviews within a certain time limit (to be determined by....?) Since someone from the forum must act as industry liaison, it is not unreasonable to ask the prospective reviewer to pay postage for a preprinted kit. This can get to be an expensive proposition with the price of postage these days.

    The basic format of the review is already created for us to use. The only real caveat is that there can be no negative comments about the manufacturer, designer and the like. Coordinating the product and reviews as I did for IPMS for about 6 years, my guidelines were very strict: stick to what the product has to offer; describe construction problems if there are any; describe any fixes you had for whatever problems you encountered.

    For our community, keep personal likes and dislikes out of the review. For instance, I personally do not like the cartoon-like coloring of some product lines. Were I to review a kit from one of these companies (and I have a few kits fitting that description) I would definitely NOT include a comment like that in my review.

    Finally, I should think manufacturers would leap at the chance to have their products reviewed as it is free advertising. I do not know about Europe or Asia, but there really is no popular magazine devoted to this aspect of the hobby in which products can receive some exposure. There are a few online forums and that seems to be about it.
  6. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    --So is that a cunning plan to obtain free kits from publishers? :D
  7. col. kurtz

    col. kurtz Member

    im up for this maybe one of the moderators can contact the manufacturers like orlik,with the idea.im about to write a article that im gonna be sending to a couple of the u.k. model magazines about the paper world:thumb:
  8. Dragos

    Dragos Active Member

    He, he , he , free commercial models ?!?! :rofl::rofl::rofl:
  9. Dragos

    Dragos Active Member

    I have some Modelik and Orlik's kits , I guess I could help a little. :mrgreen:
  10. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    I will see what I can do about getting in touch with some of the publishers. Wish me luck! If anyone has any experience with this kind of thing I would be much obliged ;)
  11. cdavenport

    cdavenport Member


    It sounds like a cunning plan to obtain free product. What it is is quite a bit of work.

    1. You MUST be committed to ensuring the manufacturer sees a return for his/her investment, a few Euros/dollars perhaps, but an investment nonetheless. The real investment is trust.

    2. You must have builders you can rely on to deliver the finished product.

    3. You need photo guidelines.

    4. You need an editor who will proof the reviews and make sure that they meet everyone's needs.

    For the last two, I will step up to bat. However, my background is largely unknown to forum members and its moderators. If you are interested in my participation, I can provide a resume and bonafides.

    For the coordinator of all this who intends to liase with the manufacturers, you need a resume and bonafides just as I have offered to give you.

    It helps if you have an "in." By that I mean, the cardmodeling community is rather small if you consider all types of modeling. However, if Chip Fyn, as an example of someone we all know, were to talk to the folks at Halinski, he could open a door for communication. The forum knows Thomas Pleiner, as another example, who might have collegial contacts with the European publishing houses. He might be willing to act as an intermediary for this purpose.

    Finally, there are publishers who would like experienced modelers to help with Beta builds. Those Beta builds, once they turn into a finished product, can be the basis of a review and further cement the relationship between publisher and modeler. I have guidelines for this activity, too.

    Too long of a post; but if "we" want to do this, and it is beneficial to all if we do, then "we" have to acknowledge the responsibility we are accepting.
  12. Dragos

    Dragos Active Member

    I'm not sure about that because I believe before it is relesed a model it is some sort of a commercial secret, the editors have their own test builders.
    I guess if we the members will make a small effort to review the kits we have purchased we will have many topics with kit reviews
  13. sakrison

    sakrison Member

    Maj. Davenport, you make some excellent points and I agree. Thank you.:thumb:

    When I started this thread, I wasn't thinking of anything other than reviewing whatever kit I happen to have completed most recently. Asking publishers to provide kits for review opens a whole new set of opportunities AND responsibilities. If people want to pursue that, I will help however I can, perhaps by assisting cdavenport in editing or moderating the reviews, if he so chooses.

    Few publishers will hand out review kits or beta tests to just anyone who asks. If you want to approach a publisher for review kits or beta kits, you should start by posting a half-dozen well-written reviews for this forum, to demonstrate your ability to do the job, both as a builder and as a writer. It might help to focus on a single publisher or subject area (aircraft, armor, ships, etc.) If you want writing advice beyond the template I've posted, I'll try to help as time allows. (I write for a living.)

    Think it through very carefully. A lot of the people who try to turn a hobby into a business arrangement end up enjoying neither one.

    As for me, I'll stick with reviewing what I have on hand or choose to purchase--or download. My building time is limited enough; I don't want to be tied to building and finishing a kit because someone gave it to me for review.

    Frankly, for me, feeling obligated to finish any kit for review, or any written review for unpaid publication, would take some of the fun out of both.

    No worries,
  14. cdavenport

    cdavenport Member

    Sakrisson, you got right to the point. I suppose it's a question of which way does one wish to go.
  15. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    If anyone is seriously interested in participating in reviewing models from a manufacturer please email me off site at cgutzmer at gmail period com. This would work in with very well with something we have been kicking around as an idea. If there are only a few of us we will keep it offline to email. If there are many I will setup a private area for us to discuss. I would like to hear from anyone that would like to participate at any level. Frequent or occasionally. Goes for you too David as I am sure manufacturers would like well written reviews on any of their models.
    Thanks all!

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