I’ll preface this (slightly tongue in cheek piece of sarcasm) by saying i totally respect anyone who has the patience and skill to make an AFV Club kit look good and build up nicely. You are far better men and women than i’ll ever be and I can only applaud your Zen-like dedication to our shared art.
A little background on me - been doing modeling for two years, completed more than thirty kits in that time, stash of over 200 kits, am close to the level where I might be able to exhibit models at shows. Not a noob but not an expert by any means.
I have nine AFV Club kits in the stash and started a Churchill Carpet Layer a couple of weeks ago.
Honestly I hated every minute of it. Everyone raves about them as such great kits and seeing the results others were able to get from AFV Club kits online I didn’t really expect them to be as bafflingly hard as they are.
Why are the instructions so laughably vague? Why no guide pins to show where things are supposed to go? The instructions in many cases introduce you to two pieces of styrene that have not been introduced before and you are supposed to figure out how they go together without any guidance from the pictures, no guide pins etc. It is oddly reminiscent of me losing my virginity when i was 14, only with (slightly) smaller parts; but the total lack of awareness of what goes where and how is very similar. The only way to do it is to skip forward to the later steps and see how the finished part is joined together. Why? Why is it like this?
And why is the plastic so thin and brittle? Granted I have huge meathook hands and the refined touch of your average Hippo but it felt like everything I touched just snapped. It is the first model where you have the oddest feeling that if you tried to crush it in your hands you could, and all that would be left would be jagged small fragments. Or maybe I’ve been building too many Trumpeters, who knows?
And why are the sprue gates straight out the Takom playbook of “we’ll just put it here, who cares?” school of thinking?
And why are the boltheads for the outside (the really characteristic Churchilly ones) only visible under a powerful electron microscope. Is putting pins the size of bacteria into bacteria-sized holes really fun?
And who thought that putting the running gear frames together like that, then glueing them to the bottom on the sponsons whole is a good idea? Especially as they went super vague on how long the (stupidly two piece) frames are supposed to be so if youre a mil out either way the whole model is farked? Having somehow managed to cobble mine together with about half a tube of Vallejo plastic putty and all the swear words on God’s green earth, it seems obvious to me that the frames that the running gear suspension arms go into need to be glued first to the sponsons and the swing arms clipped in so they mate up with the holes on the springs. And they should tell you to check the length of the frames where you glue the two parts together so you don’t screw it up - check they fit the bottom of the sponsons, otherwise you have goosed the whole build. Why is it like this?
Is it just me?
Is this one of those rite of passage things, where all intermediate modelers do an early AFV Club kit to test how committed they are to their hobby and to weed out those easily driven to irrational bouts of savage violence against small styrene miniatures, attempting suicide-by-Bourbon and sitting in the corner rocking gently from side to side, from those of us who will one day make decent modelers?
I thought I was a decent modeler. I tested myself against an AFV Club Churchill and I now realise I am not and if this is the standard, I never will be. I have the patience of a normal person. My eyesight is unable to determine individual bacteria. My hands cannot glue and fit parts that are so tiny that they fire neutrons at them in the CERN laboratory in Geneva. I’ll never be capable of such wonders.
Anyone else struggle with them or is it just me?
I used to hate Miniarts because of the silly parts count and general tedium but i’ll take a Miniarts all day over that hateful green putty streaked, gluey mess on my bench right now.
In other news, anyone want to buy some AFV Club kits off me? I give you an EXCELLENT price. I was going to send them all to Help For Heroes, the charity they give veterans models to, but i’m not going give the poor lads more PTSD to deal with.