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REVIEW
Archer's 50th Infantry Div. Decals
bill_c
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Posted: Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - 10:46 AM UTC
Patrick Selitrenny reviews Archer's new sheet of uniform decals for the 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division.



Link to Item

If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
exer
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Posted: Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - 11:54 AM UTC
Hi Bill, Have I got this right?- Patrick who wrote the review is the co author of the product?

This has to be a first for Armorama.

NB: I don't doubt one word of the review I just find it strange that someone so closely involved in the making of the product would be allowed to author a review of the same product.
MartynSmith
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Posted: Thursday, November 04, 2010 - 11:07 PM UTC
Hi Pat

Patrick Selitrenny did the research for Archers, Archers produced it.

I've also done a review on this set and it'll be posted on Track-Link soon...its a great set and pretty much spot on.

Archers work like that...if you have a specific request and theres a market, if you do the research they'll do the artwork and production...the researchers reward is I think the product/samples.

Martyn
exer
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Posted: Friday, November 05, 2010 - 04:30 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Pat

Patrick Selitrenny did the research for Archers, Archers produced it.




Hi Martyn
I understand that but I still think it odd that someone so closely involved in the research of the product would be allowed publish a review of it on Armorama. In effect he's reviewing his own research.

NB. I reiterate that I'm not questioning the content of the review itself.
Tarok
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Posted: Friday, November 05, 2010 - 07:59 AM UTC
I agree with Pat: I don't believe that someone so closely related to the project/product can be truly objective in the reviewing thereof - nothing personal to the writer, it's a general comment meant for all reviewers.

On the review though, for a "First Look" review I find there to be way too much text and not enough photos of the actual product. Between the historical background and the long "how to apply decals", I struggled to find those sections relevant to the actual product. The balance of just enough text can be a difficult median to find. A first look review should typically be more photo heavy, but photos of the actual product is what this review desperately needs, and is the strength of any online review (picture - 1000 words and all that).

I might also suggest that one quotes their references regarding the historical sections, and notes the source of the reference photos (e.g. author's own). Presumably one has permission to "reprint" the reference photos if not the author's own?

I do realise I'm coming across as over-critical of the review, however it's not meant personally, but is hopefully constructive criticism.

Rudi
bill_c
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Posted: Monday, November 08, 2010 - 08:55 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Bill, Have I got this right?- Patrick who wrote the review is the co author of the product? This has to be a first for Armorama.

I just find it strange that someone so closely involved in the making of the product would be allowed to author a review of the same product.


First of all, Pat, anyone can submit a review on Armorama, and in fact we encourage a multitude of "takes" on any item. To my knowledge, there are no rules that say otherwise.

Second, Patrick supplied the set for the review from ones sent to him by Archer (his only payment as far as I know). We didn't solicit the review, but I only mention that as background.

Third, it's a small world in the hobby, and this is hardly the first time that someone who has been involved in the development of an item writes about it. Rowan Baylis, for example, is an editor at our sister site Aeroscale (which I invite you to visit, it's a very good site indeed). He worked with DML on their new BF100 D/E nightfighter, and mentions that fact in his review.

I helped DOA paints develop their recent Reichswehr/pre-war German camo, and reviewed same. It was very small help indeed, and I received nothing in return from DOA other than a set of the paints. Does that mean my review is unbiased? I will let the review speak for itself.

The key to this is to identify any potential conflict clearly in the body of the review, which Patrick does.

Does that make him in any way unqualified to review the decals? I don't think so. The purpose of Armorama reviews (at least the ones I edit) is to inform the hobbyist about the product, describe its features, mention any limitations, and come to a conclusion that lets the consumer make an intelligent buying decision. Very few of our reviewers are qualified to make an expert's evaluation of a product, but this isn't a super-technical or historical site. It's a hobby site.

I presume that Archer was satisfied with the level of scholarship Patrick brought to the project or they wouldn't have put out the set. I know they've used other individuals to do the research on some past projects. The results aren't always great, but that's the nature of commercial enterprises done on a small scale: we should be thankful that Archer exists at all, LOL!

As to the review, I worked with Patrick on it and consider him one of my better reviewers. Any mistakes or shortcomings should be ascribed to me as the editor.

I don't mean this as a challenge, but as a request: if someone feels they can do a better review or write it less-biased, then by all means feel free to step forward. It's pretty easy to get reviewers to write about free kits (though occasionally we give out a kit and never get a review back). It's much harder to find folks who are qualified to write about something as esoteric as badges and patches for the 50th Division. I am satisfied that Patrick has sufficient knowledge to tell us about the set, including its limitations due to the need to keep the number of colors manageable. That a company would put out a sheet of decals for a single British division is a cause for celebration in my opinion. It defies commercial logic, so in that respect, we're lucky to have these at all.

As to your question, Rudi, about the supporting photos, my understanding from Patrick is that they belong to him and were used in the development of the decals. As a matter of site policy, we never knowingly use photos the author or Armorama doesn't have permission for using. If that turns out not to be the case, please PM and I'll remove them.
AlanL
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Posted: Monday, November 08, 2010 - 09:51 AM UTC
Glad to see another set of British Uniform badges on the market.

I like Archers dry transfers, but I have never mastered or got to work the wet method they outline, despite several failed attempts.

Al
Tarok
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Posted: Monday, November 08, 2010 - 09:56 AM UTC

Quoted Text

As to your question, Rudi, about the supporting photos, my understanding from Patrick is that they belong to him and were used in the development of the decals.



Bill,

Thanks for clarifying that point. Perhaps a watermark on the photos or note in the text in future will prevent such questions? Just a suggestion for future reviews.

Rudi
bill_c
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Posted: Monday, November 08, 2010 - 10:09 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Perhaps a watermark on the photos or note in the text in future will prevent such questions? Just a suggestion for future reviews.


Normally we watermark photos provided to us by book publishers, for example, but in the case of Patricks' review of the Bronco 17-pounder, the photos of real guns do not belong to Armorama nor Patrick. He did, however, secure permission to republish them, so applying a watermark would seem to me to risk annoying the photos' owners. I will check with management and see if they agree or disagree.
Tarok
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Posted: Monday, November 08, 2010 - 10:59 AM UTC
Hi Bill,

Firstly thanks for considering the suggestion and taking it to management. To clarify the watermark comment: I don't mean a Kitmaker watermark, but rather a "Author's Own", or publishers name watermark.

Rudi
bill_c
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Posted: Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - 04:47 AM UTC
Thanks for clarifying that.

I think you can count on the fact that Armorama will not knowingly publish pictures we don't have permission to use. James Bella, my direct boss, is very scrupulous about that sort of thing.
MartynSmith
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Posted: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - 02:19 AM UTC
Hi fellas

My review of this set is now on Track-Link http://www.track-link.net/forum/site_reviews/2580 I welcome your comments as always.

I have corresponded with Patrick on other subjects I’m sure the intention was just to inform fellow modellers. The researchers who help Archers produce these products get samples only I think, so he doesn’t benefit from ‘advertising’ them. I think it only becomes less objective if any interest isn’t announced…which it was.

IMO just a review; pure and simple. That’s all.

As to photos; well my opinion is the more the better of the product. But this is a small set of transfers…there’s only so much you can do. Probably three-four of the product maximum?

Ref competency; the amount of work put into researching this subject is enormous and a real minefield and to quote from my review (which was written and uploaded to TL before Patricks was posted here) ‘The research by Patrick Selitrenny is spot on and production is excellent’.

Just my thoughts. It’s a great product made possible by the researchers work for a few quid’s worth of transfers? Thanks Patrick.

Martyn