Are reviews redundant?April 20 2017 at 1:13 PM
Spencer Pollard (Login spencer2)
from IP address 22.214.171.124
Hi everyone! I hope that you are all well!
After a while away, here's this week's first full-blown Blog entry, a 'think-piece' on the creation of kit reviews and build features. I hope that you enjoy it...
|April 20 2017, 1:25 PM |
Reviews and build reviews are essential. I just get them on line now. I don't buy modeling magazines a lot. They get me interested in a kit or subject or they tell me fundaments that I can't unless I go hands on. Sometimes they tell me what a problem areas are or they help me make a build better.
+1 on comments. Hope that reviews continue to be made/shown. 👍 n/t
|April 20 2017, 4:13 PM |
Reviews Are Very Useful to Me !! and
|April 20 2017, 1:36 PM |
I have researched many kits and AM products on-line. some reviewers ideas are more useful than others, be the reviewer negative or positive. Photos of items are always a good thing to compare.
Thanks and happy Modeling, Geroge
|Rex, Accidental CAG|
I don't think they are redundant
|April 20 2017, 2:56 PM |
The best ones would include something for both camps that you mention in your blog post, though.
If they talked about the accuracy, and also talked about the ease of assembly, then one review of a kit would work for both camps.
Now, as an "accuracy nut", I am just like all the rest,,,we would be thrilled to find kits that are accurate and also allow us to be "just an assembler" of a well engineered model kit. That is everyone's secret when they point out the inaccuracies in a well engineered model kit. They are secretly hoping to "just assemble and paint" a model, and get an accurate OOB build from it. It is the only possible reason for why they talk about the "errors" in a modern kit. Myself included.
I don't intend to "slam" any of the fine OOB builds of kits with the fine paint jobs that I have seen, that didn't address the "unseen mm" errors. Those are, as you say, a very large part of this hobby, and very important to it.
As with so much else, it depends
|April 20 2017, 7:56 PM |
What aspect of the kit is being considered? A survey of the box and its contents? How that compares with the competition? The perceived quality of the components? Evaluation based on the reviewer's experience, skills, agenda and perceptions? Assessments of engineering as that relates to construction? A long and often dull recounting of each assembly, painting and decaling step including issues, inherent or builder related?
Dissertations, perhaps on the level of accuracy as compared to someone's drawings, photos or personal recollections? Complaints that such-and-such part, feature or detail's faithfulness to the prototype isn't up to the reviewer's expectations?
Insert here the standard disclaimer that modeling is fun and personal and none of this review stuff actually matters after all it is just a hobby.
Personally, I enjoy brief descriptions of the parts and markings and any construction issues that I might want to address along with good photos showing what I can expect for my money. I don't care about minor "inaccuracies" (blatant and alarming errors excepted) but more about the subject matter the kit represents and, for modern kits, a high degree of fit and low amount of potential frustration in the build. Otherwise, I see most reviews as like having someone tell me the story before I read the book. No thanks.
And, lastly, as someone who should know once told me about Plane Talking, consider it as entertainment. Like many reviews.
Reviews are essential...
|April 20 2017, 11:55 PM |
not just when it comes to deciding what kits to buy, but also when trying to decide whether other products are worth our hard earned money.
A review gives us the opportunity to evaluate the product without having to buy it, it allows us to compare it to similar products in the same category and pick the best according to our personal preferences.
I agree on the point that some modelers may care more about accuracy than others, and that the majority doesn't seem to care much about it. I certainly belong to the group that you describe, because I'm not a member of any club and I don't take part in competitions. But I can tell you that even if I hardly finish anything, I never buy without reading as many reviews as possible. This is something that has helped me avoid many dissapointments, and even though my skills can't compare with those of the world's best, I see their work as an inspiration, as an ideal that I hope to attain someday.
It is also important to mention that what many see as an "obsession with accuracy" has been tremendously beneficial for the hobby. Never before have we had so many high-quality, highly detailed kits to choose from. And this is something that we have because we, as customers, demand quality, and the industry is forced to supply what the market demands. If this where not the case, manufacturers would still be offering kits with raised panel lines, thick transparencies, questionable accuracy and less than 100 parts.
IMO reviews are a very important part of the process in deciding to buy a kit... With the
|April 21 2017, 12:56 AM |
investment of time and money to get an acceptable model, I review several sites to gather the following information, in more or less descending order
1) Is this a NEW release with modern molds or a repop of a '70s dog? (Nothing like spending $100 to find the model was originally sold thirty years ago - sometimes the old kit may be the only game in town, but still useful for decision making and setting expectations for completion.)
2) Are the mold quality and fit acceptable for the price/age?
3) Are there any parts fit issues? (like a cockpit tub that is far too small, or a wing that is too heavy to attach without additional spars, or a "BE SURE TO DO THIS FIRST" note)
4) Do aftermarket bits and decals exist if I want to upgrade the model? If so, how well do they fit/look?
5) What recommendations do reviewers have to improve the probability of success?
Since I will likely spend a chunk of change and lot of time on a model, I prefer it to be a known quantity to the extent possible.
After decades of study, it has become obvious that Murphy was an optimist...
No, can be sound advice from one modeller to another, but
|April 21 2017, 8:21 AM |
why the link to your blog?
Why not share your mind directly in a post here on HS?
It's the other way around...
|April 21 2017, 11:39 AM |
Spencer's blog is where his opinions, works, musings and excellent modeling video conversations live. You should visit often. This place can often be a special interest social media echo chamber. Entertaining, frustrating and occasionally instructive.
No, it's not. He can make his own space allright, but
|April 21 2017, 4:38 PM |
this is HS, not his advertising billboard.
just my 5c
And you are the Hyperscale police?
|April 21 2017, 6:12 PM |
No, just having my say.
|April 22 2017, 6:53 AM |
My time for visiting modelling forums is very limited and is taken from my modelling time.
The reason why I prefer or preferred HS was that I got the opportunity to skim message titles to determine possible relevance.
This is much more difficult when everybody and his dog makes their own sites and links to them. As an aside, this practice is discouraged on Britmodeller.
I might visit your site if someone (not yourself) recommends it.
80-90% of the time, before I spend my hard earned, I look for kit ....
|April 21 2017, 8:30 AM |
reviews (build reports are even better) at my fav review/build sites and a few chat rooms. HS, PMMS, Cyber, Mod Mad, Missing Lynxs, ARC, etc. Brand new releases or eBay older kit buys. Saves me money.
Case in point, the AZ 48th Lily released 18 months or so ago. I was just about to place an order when here on HS the word came thru that the nose was quite flawed and a fix would be some work. Wanted the kit but looking at the sprue shots and red lines, passed. He who waits, and just recently AZ re-released the kit, two actually, w/ a fix. Bought both, and too I'm not 'stuck' w/ the older flawed 50+ buck 48th Lily kit. I guess those w/ the older kits can buy/rec for free the new parts to fix the error.
I use them..
|April 21 2017, 9:14 AM |
as a gauge all the time. However, just looking at sprue shots and builds in the review help more than anything. I even disagree with some reviews that may give a kit a not so favorable report from time to time.
Maybe no longer necessary, but not redundant...
|April 21 2017, 12:24 PM |
...unless there is already a mechanism for providing analysis of a kit's contents and features to the consumer.
The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.