|So, what are the
things that make a good
model, in your opinion?
Every time we open a box of a new model,
we automatically look for several things: such as overall
level of detail, complexity of the kit, clean moldings,
accuracy etc. But what about specifics? If a model
manufacturer asked you for specific examples of model
making techniques, or certain features of a
"good" model, what would you answer? Here,
then, are some of the things that in my opinion (and
others), should be seen on all good models.
Of course, many of these
suggestions only apply to plastic kits, but to whatever
extent they can be applied to metal or resin kits would
also be beneficial. Also, these are features of an ideal
kit, and I am not implying that kits without these
features are poor models.
Anybody with additional
suggestions, please send them in, and I'll add them to the list.
- Hard plastic, link
and length tracks. Vinyl or soft plastic tracks
are at best undetailed and unrealistic, or at
worst, not even useable.
- Open hatches. All
of them, including the engine access hatches.
- At least some
interior detail, beneath the open hatches, and
also engines. Extensive interior detail for
open-topped vehicles such as halftracks.
- Crew figures in
- Scale Accuracy. If
the kits says "1/72nd Scale" it should
be 1/72nd scale.
- Sensible placement
of ejection pin marks. Most newer models seem to
be better at this, but I've seen some older ESCI
kits in particular, that have pin marks in the
most awful places.
- Pioneer tools as
separate parts, not molded directly onto the
hull. This isn't as bad on resin kits, because of
the better undercut to the detail that is
possible with resin, but the option of whether or
not to even attach the tools would be good.
- Decals that are
printed in register!
- Several decal
options. After-market decals for small scale
armor are very hard to come by, so why not spend
another penny, and add marking options for at least
four different vehicles?
- Optional parts to
make vehicle variants. I'm not referring to
something like the Sd.Kfz. 251, and including
parts for all possible variants of this vehicle,
but rather for vehicles which would need only a
small number of optional parts. Such as the
Revell Panzer III. They could have easily
included a few extra parts to make several
versions, instead of only the Ausf. M. There are
many similar examples. If a company has budgeted
for only a certain number of new kits, it would
benefit them to encourage modelers to buy more
than one of each kit, and the way to do that, is
to allow for several versions in a single box
(unless, of course, they are marketing all the
versions separately, such as PST's KV's).
- Overall accuracy.
Nothing is worse than buying a new kit with the
expectation that it accurately represents the
vehicle depicted on the box, only to find that it
is so inaccurate as to be almost worthless. If
you're going to make a model, do it right.
plans/instructions that enable you to accurately
construct the kit without having to refer to
other sources. - John Elwen