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Why accuracy problems with allied subjects? A rant...
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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geoffsteer
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 6:04 pm
Post subject: Why accuracy problems with allied subjects? A rant...

Hi Guys-
With the news that the Academy Lee's bogies are 2mm to high, I began to wonder why it is that just about all the releases of Allied subjects have so many accuracy problems? The M18 Hellcats from AFV Club and Academy have numerous problems although, strangely, they do not have the same problems. Reviewers actually recommended buying both kits and swapping the accurate parts between them! AFV Club's and Academy's M10 kits share the same problem as their respective M18s. Academy's Stuarts were not much of an improvement over the now thirty years old Tamiya offerings! The Tamiya Stuart's wheels and bogies were actually, according to reviewers, better! The list could go on but you get the idea by now. One thought that does occur is this; If every German subject had the same amount of problems as those of allied subjects the hounds of hell would be set loose! Also, it must surely be the case that allied armour would be easier to research than German armour as so much more allied stuff survived the war and continued on into post war use.
Please note that I said "just about all" as Dragon's recent Sherman releases seem to be the exception to the above. Above all, please be aware that this is NOT an anti german armour kit crusade!!!!
Thanks for listening-
Geoff Steer [;-{/) Mad
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Roy_A_Lingle
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 7:00 pm
Post subject: Re: Why accuracy problems with allied subjects? A rant...

Hi Geoff! Hi Folks!

I wonder if the availabley of old Allied vehicles could be part of the problem. Just a guess on my part, but could it be that do to the lack of Axis vehicles, the model companies use blue prints to develope their Axis kits. While they go out and take photos and measurements of Allied equipment. Equipment that is worn from use and exposure.

How many photo have we all seen posted here of vehicles that set lower than they should do to the weaking of the suspension items?

Then again, there is Trumpeter's Strv 103 kit where the length of the hull was short changed somehow. Evil or Very Mad

It would be great if the model companies would have someone hang out here and runs their new kits passed all of Us folks as they develope them.

Sgt, Scouts Out! Smile

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JeffStringer
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 10:28 pm
Post subject: Re: Why accuracy problems with allied subjects? A rant...

Not to 'diss' anyone, but I only look forward to a model that fits good with minimum areas to fix or fill and just enjoy the build as is and know that it's only a model, not the real thing.

I've built (and still do) armor from 1/72, 1/48, 1/35 and the R/C 1/16 & 1/15th scale. I only want the kit to have the correct features for that year/model and not worry about measurements.

I guess I'm just easy to please and just enjoy a fun build!

My 2 cents! Laughing


Jeff
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T26E4
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2006 1:24 am
Post subject: Re: Why accuracy problems with allied subjects? A rant...

Hi Roy: It's really that some of the companies making the Allied kits are the ones who full fidelity of the kit isn't so important. Regarding the M3 Lee, I know for certain that Academy had Ordnance Dept drawings yet they still shortcutted the bogies. I know the person who gave the drawings to Academy.

If a maker like Cromwell models or Accurate Armour can go out and measure a real subject and come out with a stunner, the only reason why we still get delivered some basic mistakes is that some companies just don't care enough. Will I get an Academy M3 Lee? Yes. But I'm sure tempted to reward Sid Arnold for his immaculate resin Lee and Grant. One is a craftsman, the other a toy company.
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Sabot
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2006 12:56 pm
Post subject: Re: Why accuracy problems with allied subjects? A rant...

I agree. For years, 1/72 scale modelers have wished for an updated Sherman tank line. For the majority of the time all we had was the old Esci M4A1(75), a decent kit but a rare variant. Then came the Revell M4A1(76). It was not a good kit but again, it was all we had.

Then Eduard/ExtraTech came out with an expensive line of M4A3, M4 and M4A3(105). They were universally panned by the review experts.

Now Dragon has a line coming out and the experts are picking at it too.

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Russ_Buchan
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 4:18 am
Post subject: Re: Why accuracy problems with allied subjects? A rant...

Hi, Guys:

I am a mamber of CIA in good standing, and while I exult in the hobby's new (...wait, did I say "hobby'? Sorry, I meant "lifestyle").

...and while I exult in the availability of the lifestyle's new state-of-the-art kits and accessories, especially the PE technique's gift, I stand a bit more with Geoff and Jeff on the Acceptance-as-is versus Accuracy divide.

Long before Doug Kibbey performed his endearing feat of assembling all six Ontos rifles absolutely straight, I found Revell's M-4 Sherman kit in our local shop the day it came out. It had a neat Revell Factory 'diorama' display of folded 'pop-up' cardboard, of a ruined European town, with figures. (Tank commander, Infantry kneeling and firing; advancing at Port Arms; throwing a grenade; hunching over a submachine gun). We thought we were hot, just to daub Testor's Flesh on the faces and hands, and dip the boots in the new Pactra Flat Brown.

You'd have to ask Alfred Lai for the release date of the kit, but I was in Junior High, and now I'm 64 years old. While you're doing the math, I'll tell you that in today's terms that kit was what some Maintenaqnce NCO's might describe as a 'POS'. Inaccuracies? Let me count the ways... no, skip that, we'd be here the whole night. Dude, you had to like drill out your own gun-tubes! The sprockets didn't engage the tracks! Eeeew!

And yet, it was the start, for many of us, on that treacherous road to buying more and more models, no matter how crappy they were. Dontos must wince each time he sees an old Renwal Ontos, but back in the (President Dwight D. Eisenhower) day, that was the only Ontos you were going to get, so you just shook it off and get out the Revell Type 'S'.

The idea of scratchbuilding or kit-bashing must have occurred then to hundreds of bored young Curmudgeons In Armor-in-the-making (CIA) simultaneously. Nowadays, that's called a 'meme'.

Our earliest efforts are, I'm sure, best left interred along with their sins.
I urge any collectors of late '60s and early '70s Scale Modeller Magazines to disregard my pitiful M7 B Priest, Austin K2 Ambulance, Morris Quad, Desert Chevy, Krupp six-wheeler, that horrid 'Maultier' attempt, the Raupenschlepper with the daring Vac-U-Form wheels, and that awful, awful Revell Deuce-and-a-half-tired insult based on the (Nichimo?) Japanese Emperor's limousine that I chopped and tortured into a 6x4 Hitler's Mercedes (my first and only color plate in the mag). In the early 70s I sold a collector a Stuart based on the Revell High-speed Tractor kit, using one of Mr. Bradford's wonderful drawings, but taking many liberties with proportion and detail), and I still wake up in the night thinking he's out on the porch gunning for me because he knows the mantlet is not that exact shape, and the rivet pattern is all wrong, and because I charged him so flipping much.

I certainly know that these days, with so hugely much more research material and accessory products and add-on bits out there and available, that it is quite understandable for what we used to call "Nit-picking" of a model lacking in the most minor way to be a new, more critical, form of literal "Kit-bashing".

Accuracy, schmaccuracy. Back then, who knew?. In those benighted times, if you could convince an observer to even guess its name (or nationality) on the first try, you had a winner kitbash or scratchbuilt going for you. The Judges were just as dumb as you, but they happened to have more reference books than you, and had usually started the club.

Whenever possible, I took measurements and photos of my subjects as they were either offloaded or loaded on ships in Los Angles Harbor (Daimler Dingo, Austin K2 Ambulance, M7 B Priest, Sherman, etc.), but I just wanted the end result to suggest the subject I had in mind, with all its kinks and weatherings, and not necessarily to be a museum-quality model.

Had I jad the opportunity and means, I may well have striven to have built, or have had the acumen to have recognized, the most accurate replica in my power.

I also mean no disrespect to any self-confessed 'rivet-counters' out there. You are all a necessary check and balance on the system, and without your input we would soon plummet back to those early days of "Box Scale".

My (Aurora) $.98 Cents' worth,
Russ

I had fun, and I wish all of you the same fun
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Tanklord
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 8:12 am
Post subject: Re: Why accuracy problems with allied subjects? A rant...

Tell it all Brother, tell it all!

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mike_Duplessis
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 7:15 pm
Post subject: Re: Why accuracy problems with allied subjects? A rant...

I recall being all thrilled about puchasing one of those first high-tech super-accurate (and expensive) kits awhile ago. It turned out to be one of the dullest modelling projects I've ever undertaken. Where's thrill of the adventure if its totally accurate right out of the box?
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geoffsteer
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 9:58 pm
Post subject: Re: Why accuracy problems with allied subjects? A rant...

Hi Guys-
I always enjoy Russ' posts, thanks for taking the time Russ, always a pleasure!
I just want to clarify one point, I am most definitley NOT a rivet counter! As far as I am concerned, if you cannot detect any problems using the Mk-I eyeball, look no further as nothing else truelly matters! My original post was asking nothing more than it appeared to be, why do all recent releases of allied subjects have visible problems?
Now that we have that disposed of, I will also indulge in a little trip down memory lane. I spent many a happy Saturday at the Toronto reference library going through and sometimes photocopying articles from old issues of Military Modelling. Lots of wonderfull stuff was to be found in the pre-1980 issues (I say pre-1980 as I have an almost complete post 1980 collection). One article I remember was one that announced with greate joy and fanfare Tamiya's release of their Centurion. The article talked about how great it was to, at last, have this famous tank kitted. Very conspicuous by its absence was any mention of accuracy or lack thereof, we were all, including the reviewer obviously, just very happy to have a kit available. Back in the seventies, there was so little to choose from that, if anything new was released, we were just happy to have it! I really dont remember any reviews knocking kits over their accuracy back then, if it came out, that was all that was asked for!
I hope I qualify as a member of the CIA, not least because at 49 I can claim to have been a modeller for over 40 years. I can remember the good times and bad like the late eighties when it looked like you either had to learn to cope with resin or you simply had nothing new to look forward to or work with! Yep, resin was the only way to go and I think we all owe the older resin companies a vote of thanks as I believe it was they who inspired the boom in injection kits that came later. I believe this as I think alot of injection companies saw the prices modellers were willing to pay for a resin kit and realised from that that there was still an un-tapped market out there just waiting for their releases.
Whew! I had no intention of droning on this long when I started!
Hope you all managed to stick with me 'till the end.
Bye for now-
Geoff Steer [;-{/)
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JeffStringer
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:03 am
Post subject: Re: Why accuracy problems with allied subjects? A rant...

Ooops! I never meant to imply anyone was a 'rivet counter'! Laughing Guess the old Opinion creeps out when it's not called for! Wink


Jeff
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piney
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 3:37 am
Post subject: Re: Why accuracy problems with allied subjects? A rant...

I too am a CIA ( a spritely 53) and have modelled since way back(around 1959) . Today's kits are amazing with all their bells and whistles and are truly outstanding, but I don't think they are as much "fun" to model. Buy enough aftermarkets parts and the job is done. Back when the kits were more basic it was a lot of fun trying to see what you could transform into a part for your tank. I remember using the foil from wine bottles to get a realistic looking flag to drape over a panzer IV and having a scrap parts box the size of a microwave oven. I was not even above using wingy thing kit parts to get a better looking tank. Just seemed to be more of a challenge back then. my elderly 2 cents worth Smile

Jeff Lewis
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JimWeb
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 7:12 am
Post subject: Re: Why accuracy problems with allied subjects? A rant...

- geoffsteer
I just want to clarify one point, I am most definitley NOT a rivet counter!


oh dear first sign of a rivet-counter - denial Wink

Cool

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JeffStringer
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:58 am
Post subject: Re: Why accuracy problems with allied subjects? A rant...

Laughing
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