About to start on a kitbash project to create a Chinese Type 59-D Main Battle Tank, my favourite tank from World of Tanks online game (I use a mod to modify the vehicle visually from a standard Type 59 to the D variant). The Type 59 is a Chinese copy of the Russian T-54/55 series tank, with the 'D' version being a heavily modernised version with new main gun and extra passive and reactive armour systems.
I'll be using parts from Tamiya's Tiran 5, Trumpeters Type 59-D and Legends Type-59 multimedia conversion set, plus Trumpeters T-55 workable track set.
If you're interested stay tuned this build will start in the next few days.
If you have been keeping an eye here waiting for an update on Trumpeters T-80BV wait no more major construction complete click here for more.
First up I must say Hi to all that have stopped by and checked out my blog (and other pages) while viewing my latest update for Trumpeters T-80BV. According to the stats my host gives I have also received many (50+) visitors from modelwork.pl so Hi to all the visitors from there and thanks to whomever linked me.
Secondly while working on some more update reviews for my old builds I started pondering the question of aircraft undercarriage stability.
There has been a large growth in 1/32 and to a lesser extent 1/24 scale kits in the last 5 or 6 years and many of these have metal undercarriage for strength. I was thinking I've had more than the occasional 1/144 and few 1/72 aircraft depart due to broken undercarriage. I remember a 1/72 Hawker Typhoon by one company, its struts were so weak they had a bend in them. I don't know about you guys but this is one area I wouldn't mind paying a little bit more for the strength of metal undercarriage.
Well after a busy week in the real world including rearranging the man cave, I finally got more bench time with the T-80BV. If you're interested see here, or just use the link to the left.
on the T-80 (or any other kit for that matter) today. After 90minutes of full contact sword combat training and then 2 hours swimming at beach afterwards my feel shoulders like jelly and its almost painful just sitting here typing.
I have completed a build review however for Academy's 1/72 SB2C Helliver. Find here.
Not so much a build review on this one but just pictures of completed kit.
Just a quick note if you want to check out this kit I built for a World of Tanks model build competition from 2012 it's log in now completed.
I've been building Trumpeter model kits for a more than a few years now and I can honestly say I like them. They are (usually) accurate kits with better than average moulding detail. One thing I have noticed though is as they have become more successful they have added more parts (not a bad thing you might say). But their instructions have not evolved with them. In essence they are just adding more parts into the same step and sometimes these are becoming over crowded or just at a bad angle to see how or where to place the part.
Which brings me to the main point of todays entry. When does a kits instructions become a hindrance more than a help? Tamiya have for a long time been considered part of the top echelon of model kit makers. They almost always have excellent part fit and instructions that in no way leave you confused as to how the kit goes together but the part count in most of kits is moderate.
Dragon (or DML if you will) has long been criticised for their instructions. Most modern Dragon kits carry exceptional detail and have a high parts count but it seems in doing so they have fallen into the same trap that Trumpeter is now reaching.
So does more parts and have to mean more confusing instructions? From what I've seen of Meng's* instructions so far I'd say no. They have a well thought out flow to them with a high quality moulding and high parts count (not that high parts means accurate or high quality in and of itself)
So why are some model producers ignoring this aspect? Do they see themselves above being judged on this aspect of their workmanship as seems to be the case with Dragon? Or is it more like Trumpeter where it seems like it has been forgotten, left behind in the rush to create more kits with high parts count?
*Meng. A recent arrival in kit creator scene. They have quickly built a reputation of usually excellent accuracy and detail levels that most manufacturers take years to achieve (Their Leopard 1 release of late 2013 did give them a sizable dent to this reputation). While I have yet to build one of Meng's kits I have 3 in my stash waiting to be built and all of them have excellent moulding details and instruction guides.