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With rolling blackouts across the US currently, I spent yesterday morning reading the latest FSM. The build article on the Kittyhawk 1/32 F-5 Tiger II caught my attention. 

Reading through it, the author/builder points out many glaring issue with the kit. In detail, fit and instructional guidance. Granted, most anything is buildable with enough work and determination. 

 

That aside, my question is why a kit makes it into production with such errors. Is QA that random between companies? It's not like the subject isn't easily available to look over to ensure correctness. And for the price (yeah, that subject again), I don't want to jump through hoops to fill erroneous panels and rescribe most of the kit or add a resin pit due to a distinct lack of detail in the most visible part of the model. 

 

Thoughts?

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6 minutes ago, thegoodsgt said:

Five reasons, IMHO.

  • Inaccurate plans
  • Inaccurate prototypes
  • Lack of subject matter expertise
  • No quality assurance
  • The Dunning-Kruger effect

More on the above.  LINK

 

Good article.

Now ...

Imagine modeling US steam locomotives of the 1910s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, where they were shopped at regular and irregular intervals and that tangle of external hardware and plumbing could be, and did get, changed, or not changed, with minimal surviving documentation, if any, and was almost guaranteed to be different, often subtly but sometimes glaringly, on different locomotives of the same original design and class but done at different shops.

 

That is why I mostly freelance and have never bothered to enter a model train contest, and especially not ever enter a steam engine!

 

Sure as the world, one of the contest judges would be, "Yeah, my grandfather worked at that shop and he gave me his photos and he worked on that one and that's not the way they did that one, yeah, the others were done that way but the maintenance management wanted to see if things could be made more efficient by doing ..."

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A product quality is directly proportional to the effort that those that develop it put in it.

 

And Kitty Hawk is not known to be putting effort in their kits.

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6 hours ago, Berkut said:

A product quality is directly proportional to the effort that those that develop it put in it.

 

And Kitty Hawk is not known to be putting effort in their kits.

 

Ditto, though most companies generally learn and improve from their mistakes. I can understand the things in this article happening within a relatively new company. But making silly mistakes over and over wether its accuracy problems that can easily be addressed by a quick google search or lazy engineering is pretty inexcusable. 

Edited by joeltc
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14 hours ago, Berkut said:

And Kitty Hawk is not known to be putting effort in their kits.

That's what I'm taking notice of. And it's a shame, as their subject choices are appealing. 

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One thing I believe is absolutely true with regards to the Chinese kit manufacturers. Their internet firewall can probably limit their access to quality information to accurately model a particular subject. Their designers are unable to travel to examine the real articles so they must rely on either the available net or publications that are allowed into the country. The designers may not understand which publications are more accurate than others.

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30 minutes ago, jpk said:

One thing I believe is absolutely true with regards to the Chinese kit manufacturers. Their internet firewall can probably limit their access to quality information to accurately model a particular subject. Their designers are unable to travel to examine the real articles so they must rely on either the available net or publications that are allowed into the country. The designers may not understand which publications are more accurate than others.

 

This may be true, but scale accuracy/fidelity and parts fit are two different issues.  They don't need firewalled information to make parts fit without gaps etc.

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On 2/16/2021 at 1:41 PM, ST0RM said:

With rolling blackouts across the US currently, I spent yesterday morning reading the latest FSM. The build article on the Kittyhawk 1/32 F-5 Tiger II caught my attention. 

Reading through it, the author/builder points out many glaring issue with the kit. In detail, fit and instructional guidance. Granted, most anything is buildable with enough work and determination. 

 

That aside, my question is why a kit makes it into production with such errors. Is QA that random between companies? It's not like the subject isn't easily available to look over to ensure correctness. And for the price (yeah, that subject again), I don't want to jump through hoops to fill erroneous panels and rescribe most of the kit or add a resin pit due to a distinct lack of detail in the most visible part of the model. 

 

Thoughts?

I would get use to those over there. Your wind turbines dont have anti ice and solar panels need to see sun not snow.

 

On 2/16/2021 at 1:58 PM, thegoodsgt said:

Five reasons, IMHO.

  • Inaccurate plans
  • Inaccurate prototypes
  • Lack of subject matter expertise
  • No quality assurance
  • The Dunning-Kruger effect

More on the above.  LINK

 Inaccurate prototypes...

 

Because when it goes wrong you can always blame the real thing for being wrong!

 

Should have used the 5 Whys on that one... or is that the Dunning-Kruger effect coming into play?

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Inaccurate prototypes.... I was thinking of one of the Eduard 1/48 Bf-109s, where the folks at Eduard had measured and studied a Bf-109 that hadn't been accurately restored. Or the Tamiya 1/35 T-34/76, which featured tow points that weren't on the actual vehicles; I was told Tamiya's designers studied a vehicle in the Aberdeen collection, which had tow points that had been welded onto the hull by American troops after it was captured in the war.

 

(My aging memory may not be running at 100 percent, but you get the idea I hope.)

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Yeah I know what you mean but the prototype is what it is. It cant, in this instance be inaccurate.

The use of it can be, or the depiction of it as original can be.

 

Zimmerit as applied to German tanks is a good one. People say they dont apply zimmerit perfectly because when you see them in a museum they are not perfect.... 90 years later...

 

 

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I don't for sure why companies produce inaccurate kits. What I do know is that if you're not careful, the over-attention to detail can kill. I'm looking at you Accurate Miniatures. They spent so much time trying to "fix" their Avenger, it turned into a money pit. It was delayed so long that modelers started griping. What came out was a beautiful model, but it set the course for the eventual demise of AM.

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On 2/17/2021 at 8:34 AM, jpk said:

One thing I believe is absolutely true with regards to the Chinese kit manufacturers. Their internet firewall can probably limit their access to quality information to accurately model a particular subject. Their designers are unable to travel to examine the real articles so they must rely on either the available net or publications that are allowed into the country. The designers may not understand which publications are more accurate than others.

Here's the exception to your rule.

"OHN F. KENNEDY" in the trumpyboss A-6 decals. "JOHN  F. KENNEDY" in the decal placement instructions.

The decal designer probably saw a photo from a single angle with the folded wing covering the J. And assumed that it said OHN. That single thing would explain what you say, lack of quality information.

But then the instructions has the whole profile with the correct JOHN F.  KENNEDY. What would you think? Could be the decal designer didn't give a @!#$ or request for better reference photos than the instruction design department?

One would lead to think that rather it's QA and synergy/communication between departments is lacking. Same with KH where some of the instructions show whoever designed them received some CAD images and never touched the plastic ever or no one even tried assembling it following the step by step in the instructions and found problems with them.

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Aside from the firewall the Chinese government imposes on their people, there is I would imagine, a huge cultural difference in understanding and interpreting things from the west, even if there are photos and publications.

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43 minutes ago, jpk said:

Aside from the firewall the Chinese government imposes on their people, there is I would imagine, a huge cultural difference in understanding and interpreting things from the west, even if there are photos and publications.


I can’t see how “cultural differences” would cause problems in looking at photos.  You’re looking at pictures of physical items, not scenes of life where you can interpret what’s going on.  I can’t imagine that someone looking at a photo of an aircraft exhaust for reference in making a models “interprets” it any different than someone in the west.

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Just now, Dave Williams said:


I can’t see how “cultural differences” would cause problems in looking at photos.  You’re looking at pictures of physical items, not scenes of life where you can interpret what’s going on.  I can’t imagine that someone looking at a photo of an aircraft exhaust for reference in making a models “interprets” it any different than someone in the west.

Photos can be pretty much self explanatory in and if themselves. Interpretation and translation of material other than photos can be difficult to understand correctly from the fact that there may not be an exact word or words in chinese that corresponds with ones from english. I'm sure you've seen this when other languages have tried to convert english into a native tongue. The meaning and understanding can be imprecise. 

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On 2/20/2021 at 3:29 PM, Darren Roberts said:

I don't for sure why companies produce inaccurate kits. What I do know is that if you're not careful, the over-attention to detail can kill. I'm looking at you Accurate Miniatures. They spent so much time trying to "fix" their Avenger, it turned into a money pit. It was delayed so long that modelers started griping. What came out was a beautiful model, but it set the course for the eventual demise of AM.

Look at Zoukei Mura, their Phantom is beautiful save for one mistake. They even had actual airframes to examine locally in country and still made a rather large mistake. The rest of the kit is amazing. How can you explain that? I'm sure they went over and over their plans before cutting metal. As they say, poo happens. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/16/2021 at 7:58 AM, thegoodsgt said:

Five reasons, IMHO.

  • Inaccurate plans
  • Inaccurate prototypes
  • Lack of subject matter expertise
  • No quality assurance
  • The Dunning-Kruger effect

More on the above.  LINK

 

Add "They just don't care enough".  They want a model the looks close enough and that they can get out the door in a short time so they get their return on investment plus profit. Based on the fact that most modelers are of the casual type and don't know or care enough to spot accuracy issues, Kitty Hawk's business model makes perfect sense.  Even so, difficult assembly will lose them customers at both ends of the spectrum. If a casual modeler has a real difficult time (read "not fun") assembling the kit, they aren't going to be a return customer. Experienced builders, given the choice of an more accurate (or at least as accurate) model that assembles easier, will more often chose the the one that's easier.

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