JOE’S CORNER: Simple vs Complex Kits

I have been quietly watching the comment on the many modeling sites I frequent for the past year or two, and I’ve found several themes that have started to really bother me.  I know they shouldn’t, but they do.  So, for my own personal sanity, I think I am going to voice my opinion about one of the issue that has been bothering me the most — probably because it is one of those that hits close to home.  But I am going to keep it here, on my blog page.  And I am not going to mention a single name, or even give any hints.  I am just going to vent in the most general of terms and let the chips fall where they may.

As I read the comments on the many modeling pages out there, I find a growing number of modelers who are starting to make me wonder how they ever find any happiness in this hobby.  I say this because I see the same guys posting over an over again, and they all seem to be caught between two sides of an issue.  On one hand, they want detail and accuracy, and will tear a new kit apart if they do not think it is detailed or accurate enough.  But then they will turn around and tear a new kit apart if they think it has too many parts and takes to much time and effort to build.  I mean, seriously, how do these guys ever find a kit they can be happy with?  Or, better yet, why worry about it?  Either buy a kit or don’t, but why attack a kit over something that is actually just a matter of personal taste?

But this isn’t the worse part, at least not for me.  These exact same guys will sometimes praise a kit to the highest mountain top, and the majority of us know bloody darn well the kit in question is not worthy of such high accolades.  I mean, where does this come from?  Hoe do they arrive at that point?  Kit A is supper easy to build, but it sucks because it is inaccurate and lacks detail.  But kit B is as accurate and detailed as it can be, but it sucks because it has too many parts and takes too long and is too hard to build.  But hey!  Kit C is inaccurate, has so-so detail and is hard to build, but it is perfect.  I mean, are these guys only happy with kits that actually are mediocre , at best?  Or do they just like to complain?  Because, honestly, I think this has actually become their hobby: not modeling, but complaining.

I mean, seriously: we live in the golden age of scale modeling.  If you think one kit is too difficult, the chances are there is another model of the same thing that is easier to build.  Just buy that one.  In some cases, there may be three or four or more kits of that subject.  heck, build them all.  Who cares?  But why get so worked up or spend so much energy complaining about something that — in the end — is often just a matter of personal taste?  I mean, for me, a kit can have 5,000 parts and be considered the hardest kit to assemble ever produced and i will love it!  Especially if I can buy it for less than the cost of two other kits.  the way I see it, I just got two to three times the building fun for half the cost.  What’s not to love?  But for some reason, the state of our hobby seems to be causing a lot of guys more anguish than joy.  I honestly don’t get it.

But then I stepped back and thought about it and I started to wonder how this is any different from anything else in our society.  When I really thought about this, I realized I was doing the same thing.  Why should I care about what these guys say in their comments.  It doesn’t pick my pocket nor break my leg, so it should be irrelevant in my daily life.  Yet, for some reason, it bothers me.  Just like the kits bother them, and everyone else in our society has something similar that bothers them.  We have all become addicted to being bothered by stuff.  It’s no wonder we all want to kill each other.  No one is ever happy with anything anymore.

But you know what the saddest and most frustrating part of this whole thing is for me?  Modeling is — or at least it was — supposed to be the thing we all did to get away from that sort of stress.  So, seriously, folks, how did we get here in a hobby that is supposed to be relaxing, and how do we can back — or can we?




4 thoughts on “JOE’S CORNER: Simple vs Complex Kits

  1. i used to concern myself with contests and one day realized modeling stopped being fun. I build for my pleasure now and I build for the therapy repairing an injured brain . Some kits do stink but the modern modeler has an embarrassment of riches .Rare is the kit that is unbuildable . TMD offers upgrades and add ons that enhance my enjoyment. Others find the products take a good kit into a champion work. It’s all a part of it.
    I find the boobirds damage themselves and I also think they indirectly damage the hobby . Imagine being a company delivering what modelers clamor for only to see it trashed , having spent money of research, tooling, marketing , production then seeing their product trashed ,many of them quite nice . Aftermarket companies operate on an even thinner margin and undeserved trashing can be damaging if not fatal .

    At any rate, Joe, you’re not the only one who has noticed this . If our hobby is to survive ,boobirdism is not the way to enhance that

  2. Joe … Ahhhh you’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t .. Some people will never be happy. I love the fact that most kits are produced by different companies and it gives everyone a choice of quality and challenge to build .. I think in my case it all depends on how much interest I have in a subject.. One example I can think of is the 35t kits out there . For me I want a 35t in my collection ,but my interest in the subject is lacking . I don’t want to spend 6 months on a 35t but I wouldn’t mind a month or two . So my choice was to buy the Academy kit .. I know and acknowledge the Bronco kit is much better , just thinking of the time and energy of building up their suspension would make me leave it on the shelf instead of building it . In other cases I am willing to buy and built the toughest kits out there if in the end I will have the “perfect kit” ..
    Why people bash kits or claim they are gods gift to modellers on sites I haven’t got a clue (other than some have been bought ) but I really don’t care.. If the subject interests me I’ll buy it and work around the pitfalls. I’m just happy we have so much choice out there .. I was around when we could expect 1 or 2 new kits a year ,not good !
    Let’s all just be grateful for what we have and thanks to people like you, we can take our kits to another level.

    1. Exactly! You are a man after my own heart. What’s more, I envy you. I wish I could build in multiple scales but, for some reason, I have something like an OCD fix when it comes to scales. 1/48 for aircraft, 1/35 for armor, 1/350 for ships and no other scales seem to exist. I am a sad, sad man 🙁 (LOL)

  3. You know, Joe, I get your point and agree. I’ve had after market kits on my shelf to build beautiful models that require research, which I love. It makes the building more fun to me, to take an older Tamiya kit or even a nice Dragon kit and put in more detail that is not there, and I have also bought some of the Ultra detailed Takom kits will full interiors to see what I can make of those. As far as your place in the hobby, as well as another maker, K59, your resin parts are so much cleaner than plastic will ever be, so you and Peter will always be my go-to men to put clean parts on plastic, to make them shine! And shoot, where I live there is no club to mention, apparently, from the local hobby shops, radio control and paint ball are the only hobbies going on In my area. Even if we had models galore here, as the same chains have in and around the Dallas Fort Worth area where some family live, they mark up kits as to make them unaffordable compared to the web. And I’ve yet to see any of your magic in their shops.

    I’m starting to work on the AFV kits that I’ve mentioned to you in the past, of the Churchill, and I am sad that there are none of your kits for me to add on, to replace some of the no to low details on the kits which are excellent by a lot of standards. But I will make it, missing your parts that don’t exist! Probably not that great of a market for them anyway, I can only find Resicast parts, which you and I know are excellent too, but a bit over priced for my financial situation right now. Good thing I stocked up years ago…

    My interest in the hobby goes like this: First I read history, then I want to build something that I have read about in order to have the historical piece represented, then I pick the kit and then aftermarket parts to make it more believable. In that order. You always have a place in my hobby! And don’t worry bout those other guys who complain. If you do, you won’t change their minds but the worry will affect you… My pet peeve is when someone takes my statements on a modeling web board and mocks them for being uniformed. That is why I write in to the sites, to learn, and the mockers do get my goat if I let them. So I have to take my own advice and wish that moderators, especially on ML, would read and delete mockers while keep the good comments that come from good people.

    Rant over!

Leave a Reply