The purpose/ goal of a First Look Review is to provide the reader with information about what comes in the kit. This is not a build / fit / engineering / accuracy type of of evaluation. This should be stated at the start of the review.
This guide is a rough draft that will be modified as advice rolls in.
The following items will help make your review useful to others.
- The manufacturer, kit number, model subject, Is this a new tooled kit or an updated reissue? If so maybe include some Scalemates history on the kit. Does this kit provide parts to make multiple variants? Include the date the review was written and author writing the review.
- State whether the kit was purchased by the reviewer or was supplied by a vendor. If the reviewer paid for the kit, list the price the reviewer paid with shipping. Post the MSRP of the kit. Noting where you purchased the kit may be helpful to some readers.
- The authors level of experience in model building should be noted.
- Because this is a review of what comes in the box, comments on scale or accuracy are not required. However if you have in depth knowledge and you notice an issue it should be noted. Please if possible include any reference you used to help identify an issue.
- A short history of the vehicle depicted with points of interest should be provided.
- Photo of the box art should be supplied.
- How many parts are in the kit?
- As the kit is unboxed, comments on the quality of the box and the packaging is appropriate.
Is the box jammed full or is there a lot of empty space?
Are the sprues in sealed bags or not. Are there parts that are loose in the box?
- A photo of the box with the lid off showing the still packed contents is helpful.
- How many sprues are provided and other items like photo etch, metal barrels
etc…that came in the box.
- Photos of each sprue should be provided.
- An assessment of the sharpness/ crispness of the molding is needed and if comparisons can be made to other kits with comparable moldings then do so.
- Provide sharp close up photos to illustrate the crispness of molding.
- What is the surface texture like? Make comparisons if possible.
- Provide photos that show the surface detail.
- Can you provide anything about the quality of the plastic itself?
- Provide opinion on the level of detail molded on compared to the amount of small parts and pieces to create detail. Again, provide photos.
- Is there flash, if so how much? Are there any visually warped pieces? Any shorts in the molding of the sprues? Any other problems noted? How many and where are the ejector pin marks located? Provide photos.
- Are there any forming jigs for indy track or photo etch included?
- Observe any photo etch. Is it extensive or a small set? What is the level of detail in the etchings? Is it brass, steel or copper? A photo is required.
- Are there clear parts or cable/wire that come with the kit? What about vinyl parts?
- Observe the decal sheet. How many options are provided? Is the film carrier thick or thin, gloss or flat. Who makes the decals? Do the decals appear to be truly opaque or somewhat translucent? How much clear film surrounds the decals? Sharp photos of the decal sheet are needed
- Do the instructions seem straight forward? Are they confusing? Is it easy to see where the parts are to be located? Are the diagrams overly crowded with parts? Are there parts included for different versions, if so are they readily indicated in the instructions? Does it appear that their will be many left over/ unused parts? Provide photos of the instructions.
- Provide photos of the paint schemes recommended and the paint color suggestions. Are there any unique or special decal options?
The more specific your observations are, the more helpful you will be for the readers.
High quality photos are necessary to provide visual detail to your text.