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andrew.deboer

A Thought about part numbers on sprues...

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Looking over a sprue just now, I wondered: why put the part numbers on just one side of the tabs?
 

One company - I can’t remember which - has started molding the sprue letter on a tab that goes all the way through so it can be seen from either side. It would be handy to have the part numbers visible from both sides too.

 

Enough daydreaming - time to cut parts from that sprue!

Edited by andrew.deboer

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It'll never happen, makes too much sense :naughty:

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I agree 100%. Like you, I was truly happy with the sprue letter being visible from both sides.  I can't recall which manufacturers, either 😊

Edited by Curt B

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5 minutes ago, Curt B said:

If you're thinking about the numbering of parts, why not ask ALL the manufacturers to identify the sprues with larger letters.  I can't recall which one, but I do remember at least one manufacturer has a large tab with the sprue letter engraved such that you can see the letter from either side you happen to be looking at it.  That, combined with your idea, would make parts identification SO much easier!!!

 

Yeah, I guess I’m putting the idea out there in the hopes that the idea will filter back to the manufacturers. I did mention the sprue letter tab In my original post.

 

My original thought was inspired from working on the Airfix 1/24 Hellcat. In that kit Airfix was careful to put parts from a particular step on the same sprue. Very convenient. The more I see in that kit the more I like it.

 

I also like it when the part has extra information molded into its back side. For instance, the Tamiya F-14 has optional parts for showing the wings swept or forward, and those parts have an outline of the model molded in to the hidden side indicating which version they are for. Same with the intake trunks - they have an R or L molded in. Nice touch.

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Graphics like Tamiya 1/32 instruction books showing sprue layouts are helpful.

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A small piece of masking tape, a Sharpie fine line, and a couple minutes of your day. Or wait for manufacturers to not do it. 

 

Rick L. 

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So you want me to write the number of each part on the reverse side of every sprue in a kit that has sprues A through L?

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No, not the individual part. Just a tape tab with the sprue letter on both sides. Most instructions now have a sprue layout. Perhaps use that as a "serving suggetion" and work from there. Place your tape tab consistently in a certain corner, say upper left (for a right-handed person), so you know which side is the front and which side is up.

For finding the actual part, I think it may actually help to have the number only on one side. That way you get into a habit of turning the sprue so you only see it as displayed in the instructions. I think that may speed things up as you only have to "learn" the sprue layout from one side.

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Don't foget that every thing you see on the sprues was created on a milling machine of some sort producing the moulds. That takes time and literally time is money. The longer the machine takes to make a mould the more it will cost. Personally I am happy to have the letters on one side and I see no practical reason to have it on both sides. Many manufacturers have the sprue layout so that is helpful.

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If model kit manufacturers never made improvements to their products, we would be using tube glue to put together models molded in only black plastic and applying decals with 1/16” of carrier film around each decal, using hand-drawn black and white painting and decal-placement guides. User input is valuable. And, since molds are no longer cut by hand, it wouldn’t take long for a machine to add the numbers to the other side of each tab.

Edited by andrew.deboer

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I don't see the advantage to numbering both sides of the sprue.  It also introduces the possibility of a layout screw-up if they manage to not match the number on the two sides.

 

My thought for making things easier is in the opposite direction.  Parts should not use the numbers 6 and 9 to avoid confusion between the two.

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On 2/9/2020 at 5:01 PM, Spruemeister said:

A small piece of masking tape, a Sharpie fine line, and a couple minutes of your day. Or wait for manufacturers to not do it. 

 

Rick L. 

 

+1

Its what I do. Takes a few minutes but is worth the time.

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