Rant about Reviews

Kurt, please ignore the Gary’s silly snipe otherwise I might have to start thinking…

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…to keep the dreadful image of Gary doing what was suggested out of mind.

I and probably everyone one else assumes you personally are honest and have high integrity unless you write a glowing review of steaming heap of dog :poop: like original DML/Dragon #6001 Nashorn kit or Cyber-Hobby 1942 T-34 STZ #6388

Those are the sort of bad kits that got glowing reviews back in the day that makes us mortal modelers wonder if certain reviewers were on the take with the manufacturer or just amazingly clueless idiots. That’s the sort of review, I detest one that appears to be deliberately misleading.

I don’t recall seeing you ever write anything remotely close to those types of travesty. In fact, I’m 99.99 percent sure you’d sound the trumpet :trumpet: if a pile like DML/Dragon #6001 Nashorn kit landed on your work bench for review and warn other modelers accordingly.

So please relax, you’re among friendly fellow modelers and being excessively defensive isn’t merited.



Kurt, you may want to do as I did and put Totty on your ignored list. It improved my blood pressure…

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Ha ha! I’ve got Gary Totty on my Ignored List too! His mindless meanderings are infuriating.


I was asked to jump in here. I read most of this. Yup… people like getting free stuff. Go figure.

Of course I still thinking spending 2-5 hours working on a review (for some of them) means it’s hardly ‘free’. At least my time is worth money to me. :smiley:

Let’s keep things civil please. We don’t need the topic directed at individuals past reviews, or activity on the net to discuss the core of the OP. Thanks.


PS: And people wonder why I stuck to doing video unboxings. I still get comments though from the peanut gallery on YouTube about 10 year old videos and how DARE I make a video about X subject not having any clue about it in advance. I just chuckle.


I think many people just jump over the date the review was written and make a comment based on current standards. Tamiya’s Panther A is the dog we currently kick as being terrible. You need to judge the review on when it was made. The Tamiya Panther was the best on the market when it came out. Those reviews, if you can find one, would say it is a great kit. Some might have mentioned the missing set of road wheels or not. No one would have said a thing about open sponsons or holes in the hull floor. The reviewer would be the talk of the town today. I think you have to take the age of the review into account when looking for useful information about a kit. The manufacturing capabilities and the demand for better kits keeps increasing. The older kits are surpassed in quality and their original reviews become, outdated.


Reading this discussion has confirmed for me why I wouldn’t touch membership of a club, or consider entering any kind of competition, local or otherwise, with a barge pole. Far too many beardy self-abusers with a hugely inflated opinion of themselves and their own personal level of skill for my liking. And don’t get me started on rivet counters… this is supposed to be a hobby for goodness sake, not heart bypass surgery.

It shouldn’t be beyond the whit of man to consider all available reviews when deciding on a particular kit/project and to then make a personal decision on the outcome - but aparently it is, and that should be depressing. It seems to me that the older a person gets, and the more disposable income they have, the worse they are.

I remember the genuine pleasure I got from building my first kits, probably Airfix aircraft, literally a couple of quid with about 10 parts in a bag. It didn’t matter that it was most likely only a passing facsimile of the real thing, to me it was a wonderful thing. A reviewer (did they even have those then?) could have sold it to me as the holy grail, the fact that it wasn’t didn’t matter.

I reckon its about time some people got from up themselves on here, i really do.


Spot on Mate.


The thing is a model if we think of it philosophically is either:

A - a thing for model makers of all/almost all skill levels to enjoy assembling and painting
B - a hyper accurate miniature facsimile of the real object
C - a cheap plastic or resin cast from a mold made as cheaply and quickly as possible using the resources available to hand to ensure a profit margin can be maintained and that RoI is positive if enough of them are sold

I would contend that it is extremely difficult for any model to be all three things, and as such be all things to all men.

Another issue is that people like to bitch about things online and in clubs to make themselves look more knowledgeable and feel superior to other people. To paint in broad generalisations i reckon 98% of modelers will build the new Das Werk StuG III G and not know or care that the smoke dischargers on the front are a bit undersized for the scale or that the driver pistol port plug is missing. Of the remainder, most will just see it as part of the hobby, part of modeling etc and correct it with some plasticard or thin tubing. No biggie.

But the vocal remainder are falling over themselves to scream from the rooftops that they would never buy such a negligent abortion of a kit as this and that the errors make it utterly worthless, borderline criminal theft to charge money for it, worst kit ever to be set to styrene, absolute disgrace, if only they’d bothered to ask me… etc.

So you have a couple of guys being completely over the top and this is all you hear about. the thousands of modelers who got a really nice StuG III G for a hundred bucks and thoroughly enjoyed it don’t really say so. So anyone thinking of buying one goes online and sees the misery and hyperbole and doesn’t take the plunge. Which is a shame in my view as its a great kit and a brilliant price, a super fun build and a really interesting up close look at a very important WW2 vehicle. No it isnt 100% accurate but it is the best and most accurate 1/16 StuG and what faults there are are nothing that cannot be solved by a little cosmetic tinkering and lets be honest who really thinks a 100% accurate model is even possible?

I know about the pistol port plug and the smoke dischargers and I’m not going to spend much time correcting them on mine - its not important to me. But then my stash is mainly Meng, Tamiya and Takom etc.

I’m the quiet majority. I am the target market for this model and - truthfully - more or less anything else made by major OEMS - I am an “A” if that makes sense.

The "B"s work differently to me. They prefer dropping a hundred bucks and four months of their time on a Dragon Tiger 1 instead of even giving the RFM, Trumpeter or Tamiya Tigers the time of day. Thats not me, its not my thing.

So it stands to reason that a kit that appeals to the As wont do it for the Bs and vice-versa.

So the Bs reviewing A kits and vice versa is never going to go well is it?


I am finding this thread interesting for the most part and continue to follow its evolution.


Oh and on the subject of Andy Klein - he gets a bad rep from some folks but I have a lot of time for him. I like his videos, they explain things to me in simple terms and he is more or less at my level in terms of abilily/skill and so logically will make the same mistakes I do, so its handy to watch him explain things. I find him pretty honest.

He’s not going to slate a kit he has for sale, that’s understood but doesnt mean he cant be effuse in his praise of genuinely good kits. I have no issue with it. I hope he carries on doing what he is doing and keeps on helping newcomers to the scene understand more about the fundamentals. We cant all be Uncle Night Shift. :slight_smile:

I look at reviews as something from which to garner warnings about kits that would cause me to not enjoy them. There’s no way I’m going to know if ReviewerX is telling the truth about the accuracy of the kit vis a vis the 1:1 version unless it’s something egregious (“The rear of the kit turret does not clear the engine deck”). And some kits I’m going to get even if they say they’re inaccurate simply because I want the subject and it isn’t available/is too expensive from other manufacturers. I enjoy when the real grognards dive into the high-parts-count kits - if I see them soldering together miniscule bits of brass to make perfect light guards then I know that’s probably not the kit for me at the same time I’m admiring their work. Finally, I like knowing the credentials of the reviewer. I don’t care if you’ve gotten the kit for free, I really don’t. But if you served on the 1:1 vehicle (or better: wrenched on it), then you have my attention. Some veterans in here I will always listen to because they know their business. Okay, my rant is over. Back to the bench!


Well said Khouli

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Baloney. I’ve written hundreds of reviews and managed hundreds more from multiple reviewers. The issue of pleasing the vendors almost never comes up. Being fair, yeah. But this idea that there is some mass phenomenon of reviewers censoring themselves because they want free kits or want to please some manufacturer is a myth.


That’s true. A reviewer is limited to whatever knowledge they may have. We can all be wrong or ignorant.

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I have been following this thread for a while. This shouldn’t even a be a topic this hot and controversial.
Considering there are so many step, types, layers of enjoyment.

About having a model, If you only want a show piece, you can gets a pre built model, there used to be many in the pass, usually in 1/48 or 1/72, and repaint them to your liking. Minimal effort.

The traditional model builder, only care about exterior and the ease of assembly. Unlike pre built, they have more optional on what the final product would be.

The builder with interior, due to the insane amount of parts and details, they usually need more time and attention. Also to be more creative to create wreckage scenery or cleaver way to show off the interior. Funny that there are people have some deep interior kit… no one force them to buy such kit.

Less part count = faster. More part count = more options. Take the tracks for the moment, link track? multi part assembly link? moulded link? rubber band track? Band and link?

There are people that we call rivet counters. There is nothing wrong with that, they are invaluable source for information. However, they should be regarded as references, like a living book if you want. They know what, why, when and how on the subject. Not everyone wants the same level of detail as the other and they are not the people to dictate you on what to do. Nevertheless, their dedication deserves respect.

Likewise, reviews have many layer to it.
Open box review = quality of the plastic
Assembled review = review of the overall quality
Build log = review of the build quality
Then you have those who pay for the kits themselves and share the experience. They can be causal builder like most of us, or they can also be professional (making a living out of this hobby).

This is why this hobby has so many forums and place to share. This is why we have a collective experience, why we are here, why we awe, we don’t like rebox with price increase. This is this not a hobby to brag, unlike (for example) those guys on the knives/cutlery bragging about their piece of “super steel” that cost thousands of $$ to the point most of them are too afraid to use.



Accuracy is one aspect of a review, but only one. A kit may be super-accurate and still be an unbuildable nightmare. At least that reviewer was up front about what he could or couldn’t say about the model.

I think you can often learn something useful even from someone who doesn’t have a lot of subject matter expertise.

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Speaking strictly for myself, I look at in box reviews to look at quality of the molding and to check out the details, like what kind of tracks it has (link and length or individual) or the wheels (sandwich, rubber tire or half and half). My preference is for build reviews. As far as I am concerned, I want to know about the fit and the building experience more than anything. I am not a rivet counter so if it looks like it, I am happy. But I had better not have any construction problems or poor directions with it before I blow 70 something bucks on it. and if the manufacturers don’t like what is said about their kit, then maybe they should make sure it is error free before they send it out the door.


Why can’t everyone grasp the concept that we are all in this hobby for different reasons? I’ve been building kits since the 1960’s. Only 18 months tho in 1/35 scale. I love the RFM, Miniart kits that annoy the heck out of you with all their parts. Interiors? Hate them but bring them on. I love the challenge. That’s me. Others like a shake the box kit and then spend hours on a super diorama.
So what does the person who is reviewing the kit like? And how does that affect their review? We are all different and that includes the reviewer. If you don’t like a review then sit down and do one from your perspective. Having a meltdown on a forum doesn’t improve the quantity or quality of the reviews out there.

Getting a free kit and giving a positive review wasn’t a crime last time I looked.

And consider this. If we are on about bias then what about the Mig Ammo builds? Micheal Rinaldi builds? Do they not promote their own products or those of their close contacts? Where do you draw the line? Maybe the little green eyed monster is active among some?

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You may very well be an exception but I’ve seen far too many butt-kissing or vague reviews in the modeling industry, firearms and dental equipment field that are exactly what I said.

Are you claiming your own integrity eliminates the self-serving practices of all others?


So people who enjoy detailing and correcting their models are unwelcome in this hobby? It’s only open to out-of-the-box builders?

I wish someone had told me that years ago; it would’ve saved me a lot of time and money . . .