login   |    register
Site Talk
Site announcements, comments, or feedback about the site.
Why I Write Reviews For This Site
barkingdigger
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
ARMORAMA
#013
Visit this Community
England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: June 20, 2008
KitMaker: 3,261 posts
Armorama: 2,783 posts
Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2018 - 10:26 PM UTC
Mark, you're a man after my own heart! I have added more than a few reviews of old Italeri kits here precisely because I could not find any on-line reviews and felt I should at least share the fruits of my own painstakingly-gathered research to help other modellers. I don't care if anyone says "why bother with that old dog?" because I know there will be others out there who have the kit and find my review via their browser, and even if they don't leave a comment I've helped brighten their day!

As for comparison reviews, I can see the danger that Mfgr X may take umbrage when their shiny new kit comes out bottom. But if I am reviewing "older kit from Mfgr Y" and notice a detail that is better than that on "new kit from Mfgr X" I will say so. (Only if I have proof to back it up, of course! But after several decades in the hobby the depths of my stash are truly scary...) Likewise I will say when the older kit has lumpy detail that was done better in a newer kit. It's all about giving readers the facts so they can decide what to build.
babaoriley
Visit this Community
California, United States
Joined: June 23, 2017
KitMaker: 143 posts
Armorama: 131 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 10:16 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Oh, I had that happen on another forum. When I asked this guy what exactly he wasn't understanding in order to possibly offer some advice because I had not had a problem with the part of the kit in question, he triggered and started accusing me of being some condescending rivet-counter (huh?) who did nothing but criticize the work of others simply to be mean. That was a good indication he probably wasn't ready to start reviewing kits.



Indeed, helpful advice shouldn't trigger a reaction like that. In the case I referred to it wasn't a matter of obsessing over the right number of rivets, it was not realizing that the part in question had a specific job on the real vehicle and gluing it sideways and in the wrong location showed a surprising lack of interest in how the real vehicle worked. All I did was look for photos of real vehicles and the correct position was instantly obvious--it seemed a logical approach given that the instructions were lacking.
babaoriley
Visit this Community
California, United States
Joined: June 23, 2017
KitMaker: 143 posts
Armorama: 131 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 10:09 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I would wager that most modelers aren't interested in portraying Baron von Glockenspeil's Panzer9 on 14Mar43. They just want a cool looking model.
I feel that most are concerned more with fit issues, part counts, ease of assembly, etc.

Rock on Mark.

I have that PzIII kit in the stash.



Exactly, well said. Fit, degree of difficulty, significant errors--those are the things I want to know about. Representing an individual vehicle is going to be something the modeler will attempt based on photographic evidence, and that's an art form all its own. As for accuracy, IMO the overall artistic impact of a build (e.g. a model that tells a story) counts for more than microscopic adherence to the original blueprints. But the next guy can't live with a model where the toolbox is a millimeter too short, this hobby accommodates many different approaches.
babaoriley
Visit this Community
California, United States
Joined: June 23, 2017
KitMaker: 143 posts
Armorama: 131 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 09:40 AM UTC

Quoted Text

It needs to be understood that Armorama does not run comparison reviews on the network. We have no issues with information as regards alternate kits being available, but direct comparison is fround upon.



I wasn't aware of that policy, but house rules are house rules so it's no problem. The reason such an approach would be useful to me is having recently returned to modeling after decades living in a 1:1 scale world, it would be handy to know that Brand A's kit of a certain vehicle is very dated and far less accurate and detailed than the much newer kit from Brand B. However those who have been buying and building kits all that time probably don't need such info as they have direct experience of the brands over the years if not the specific kits.

Thanks for the clarification.
PzDave
Visit this Community
United States
Joined: November 28, 2012
KitMaker: 262 posts
Armorama: 240 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 07:43 AM UTC
Ditto
PzDave
Visit this Community
United States
Joined: November 28, 2012
KitMaker: 262 posts
Armorama: 240 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 07:42 AM UTC

Quoted Text

G'day Mark

Don't worry about the people who complain about your reviews - they're probably those who never contribute anything. I fully support your approach - keep up the good work.

Regards

Rob

JPTRR
Staff MemberManaging Editor
RAILROAD MODELING
#051
Visit this Community
Tennessee, United States
Joined: December 21, 2002
KitMaker: 7,189 posts
Armorama: 2,199 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 07:36 AM UTC
Mark,

Keep reviewing every kit that you want to, latest-greatest or some old slag of plastic from the 1960s. I appreciate all of your reasons and the posts of the many supporters. You will also find that models from out-of-business companies can be useful and popular, too.

Keep up the good work.
brekinapez
Visit this Community
Georgia, United States
Joined: July 26, 2013
KitMaker: 1,474 posts
Armorama: 1,307 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 06:29 AM UTC
Possibly comparison reviews might upset some of the vendors who do business with Jim if they feel people are unfairly trashing their products or a brand favoritism seems to be implied.

brekinapez
Visit this Community
Georgia, United States
Joined: July 26, 2013
KitMaker: 1,474 posts
Armorama: 1,307 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 06:24 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text


Now this is really interesting!!!!

It would be quite nice if you could explain how you identify the reviews made by people who were sent a kit of a subject of which they have no knowledge

It would spare me a lot of reading



I can recall a review in which the builder said the instructions were vague and he had to guess where a particular piece went. With two minutes research I could see that he had guessed wrong and had glued the piece in the wrong location, and that made me skeptical of the overall quality of his review. Given that modelers tend to be as picky about accuracy as they are about assembly, painting, weathering etc., a reviewer whose research is sloppy (or completely absent) is probably not doing a good job. I assume that's the sort of thing that might cause someone to think a reviewer isn't qualified.



Oh, I had that happen on another forum. When I asked this guy what exactly he wasn't understanding in order to possibly offer some advice because I had not had a problem with the part of the kit in question, he triggered and started accusing me of being some condescending rivet-counter (huh?) who did nothing but criticize the work of others simply to be mean. That was a good indication he probably wasn't ready to start reviewing kits.
babaoriley
Visit this Community
California, United States
Joined: June 23, 2017
KitMaker: 143 posts
Armorama: 131 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 06:07 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Now this is really interesting!!!!

It would be quite nice if you could explain how you identify the reviews made by people who were sent a kit of a subject of which they have no knowledge

It would spare me a lot of reading



I can recall a review in which the builder said the instructions were vague and he had to guess where a particular piece went. With two minutes research I could see that he had guessed wrong and had glued the piece in the wrong location, and that made me skeptical of the overall quality of his review. Given that modelers tend to be as picky about accuracy as they are about assembly, painting, weathering etc., a reviewer whose research is sloppy (or completely absent) is probably not doing a good job. I assume that's the sort of thing that might cause someone to think a reviewer isn't qualified.
joepanzer
Visit this Community
North Carolina, United States
Joined: January 21, 2004
KitMaker: 628 posts
Armorama: 584 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 05:13 AM UTC
I would wager that most modelers aren't interested in portraying Baron von Glockenspeil's Panzer9 on 14Mar43. They just want a cool looking model.
I feel that most are concerned more with fit issues, part counts, ease of assembly, etc.

Rock on Mark.

I have that PzIII kit in the stash.
RLlockie
Visit this Community
United Kingdom
Joined: September 06, 2013
KitMaker: 833 posts
Armorama: 692 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 02:11 AM UTC
Well the big clue is usually when they state that in the review. Otherwise I have to go by whether what they write contradicts what I know to be matters of fact but that is obviously only possible if I know anything about the subject myself.

I am not criticising them for lack of knowledge of the subject - as I said, I have been asked to review things of which I have no knowledge - merely pointing out the utility that they have to me.
CMOT
Staff MemberEditor-in-Chief
ARMORAMA
#406
Visit this Community
England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: May 14, 2006
KitMaker: 10,314 posts
Armorama: 8,160 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 01:34 AM UTC
Sorry but this was an instruction I never questioned.
alanmac
Visit this Community
United Kingdom
Joined: February 25, 2007
KitMaker: 2,782 posts
Armorama: 2,704 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 01:13 AM UTC

Quoted Text

You will have to take that up with Jim as he sets the rules.



Well the questions there for Jim, but if you are repeating the decision one would assume you are party to the reasoning it's in place.
CMOT
Staff MemberEditor-in-Chief
ARMORAMA
#406
Visit this Community
England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: May 14, 2006
KitMaker: 10,314 posts
Armorama: 8,160 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 12:49 AM UTC
You will have to take that up with Jim as he sets the rules.
alanmac
Visit this Community
United Kingdom
Joined: February 25, 2007
KitMaker: 2,782 posts
Armorama: 2,704 posts
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 11:29 PM UTC

Quoted Text

It needs to be understood that Armorama does not run comparison reviews on the network. We have no issues with information as regards alternate kits being available, but direct comparison is fround upon.



Be interested to know the reasoning behind this decision.
Railspltr
Visit this Community
United States
Joined: March 19, 2010
KitMaker: 94 posts
Armorama: 62 posts
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 09:48 PM UTC
I for one thank you for your work. Most of the kits I have worked on are older ones. I have rarely been able to financially justify buying the latest available kit.
drabslab
Visit this Community
European Union
Joined: September 28, 2004
KitMaker: 2,129 posts
Armorama: 178 posts
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 09:31 PM UTC

Quoted Text



The ones that I find least useful are by people who were sent a kit of a subject of which they have almost no knowledge and therefore their qualifications to write such a review are questionable.




Now this is really interesting!!!!

It would be quite nice if you could explain how you identify the reviews made by people who were sent a kit of a subject of which they have no knowledge

It would spare me a lot of reading
j76lr
Visit this Community
New Jersey, United States
Joined: September 22, 2006
KitMaker: 1,008 posts
Armorama: 994 posts
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 09:27 PM UTC
Write whatever you want to ! Dont let ANYONE discourage you . Take it from where it comes from !
RLlockie
Visit this Community
United Kingdom
Joined: September 06, 2013
KitMaker: 833 posts
Armorama: 692 posts
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 09:14 PM UTC
As presumably you only bought kits of subjects that interested you and of which you therefore had some knowledge and reference material, Id be interested to read those reviews regardless of the age of the kit.

The ones that I find least useful are by people who were sent a kit of a subject of which they have almost no knowledge and therefore their qualifications to write such a review are questionable. Ive had review items myself that fit that description and feel ill equipped to comment intelligently without engaging in extensive research into a subject in which I have no interest, which generally destroys such enthusiasm as I may have had.

So please feel free to write reviews based on your criteria. Of course if you have paid hard currency for them, you also need feel no obligation to be non-critical as you might with items provided free of charge.

d111298pw
#456
Visit this Community
Delhi, India / भारत
Joined: September 22, 2016
KitMaker: 388 posts
Armorama: 372 posts
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 07:18 PM UTC

Quoted Text

It needs to be understood that Armorama does not run comparison reviews on the network. We have no issues with information as regards alternate kits being available, but direct comparison is fround upon.



Darren, good to know. I'll continue as I have been with my reviews.
CMOT
Staff MemberEditor-in-Chief
ARMORAMA
#406
Visit this Community
England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: May 14, 2006
KitMaker: 10,314 posts
Armorama: 8,160 posts
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 05:13 PM UTC
It needs to be understood that Armorama does not run comparison reviews on the network. We have no issues with information as regards alternate kits being available, but direct comparison is fround upon.
d111298pw
#456
Visit this Community
Delhi, India / भारत
Joined: September 22, 2016
KitMaker: 388 posts
Armorama: 372 posts
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 10:13 AM UTC
I certainly appreciate all the comments. I have no plans to stop contributing reviews. I always welcome suggestions that could improve the end product.

I like the idea of comparison reviews. My only problem is that I don't have the other kit for doing a comparison. For example, I would need a Dragon Panzer III Ausf. L kit to compare with the Tamiya kit. As a rule, I never purchase multiple copies of the same vehicle version. So, I am not able to do this type of review.

At the moment, I'm not in a position that I could be sent a kit to be reviewed. Maybe once I return to the States, I would consider this.

babaoriley
Visit this Community
California, United States
Joined: June 23, 2017
KitMaker: 143 posts
Armorama: 131 posts
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2018 - 11:12 PM UTC
Considering that so many older kits are still seen for sale (both by retailers and hobbyists clearing some room in the stash) I think reviews of such kits are useful. The one thing I would like to see in such reviews is a brief comparison to other kits of the same subject. E.g., if a superior kit is available (old or new) it would be nice to know that without having to search for and read a series of reviews.

Come to think of it, that would be an interesting feature, a comparison of all the kits of a particular subject in a particular scale, like all the 1/35th T-54/55 kits or all the M4A3E8 kits or whatever. There's a nice multi-year project for someone with too much spare time on his hands....
drabslab
Visit this Community
European Union
Joined: September 28, 2004
KitMaker: 2,129 posts
Armorama: 178 posts
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2018 - 11:04 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Another organization I belong to has signs posted that say "Before you complain, have you volunteered?"



Of course not!!!