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.