Thursday, November 10, 2011

Perhaps an accident, perhaps just being lazy

I have built scale models since I was 15 years old, I have built mainly MPC, Revell and Monogram.  I have built mainly 1/72nd scale and had at one point a collection of nearly 500 plus models.

Over the summer I built a model of the Curtis P-40 Kitty hawk, a fighter made famous by the American Volunteer Group better known as the Flying Tigers, this kit is produced by HOBBYBOSS, a fairly new company as far as I know; this company has put out mostly fighter planes of world war two, in 1/72nd scale, or at least that is the scale that is on the boxes.

In all reality the scale is 1/76, this is the next smallest scale when it comes to scale models, and this means that the model is not in scale with similar kits that are actually 1/72nd.

The other problem with HOBBYBOSS is that these are what are known as snap tite kits, no glue is required.  Because they are snap tite, there is very little actual construction required.  The fuselage is already a single assembly, with what limited cockpit detail that may be included already in place.  You snap the wings to the fuselage, along with the rudder assembly and in about a day you are done, except for painting and decalling.

HOBBYBOSS at the time I built this kit, did not mark their kit as a snap tite kit, and they are still manufacturing the kits as 1/72nd scale, when the scale is off.

The company is Asian and this should have nothing to do with scale, because some of the best 1/72nd scale kits came out of Asia back in the 1970's-1990's.  The scale in the past with companies like Tamaya were always on the money, there was limited detail, but that was how models were made, you had a pilot figure, a seat a cockpit transparency and that was it.  If wanted a floor board or control stick and control panel, you made them from scrap materials.

HOBBYBOSS has a huge array of model aircraft in a variety of scales, not just 1/72nd; however because of my experience with the P-40, I am unlikely ever to buy one of their kits again.  Oh and by the way the P-40 was the second kit of theirs I had purchased.  I had bought an Fw-190D which was totally off scale too, and again was a snap tite kit.

Snap tites are fine for a beginning modeler around 5 years old, but for an experienced model builder, they offer no challenge, and if I had been able to get the academy kit of the P-40 I would have, unfortunately the hobby shop I go to carries almost exclusively HOBBYBOSS, when it comes to their 1/72nd scale aircraft kits.

So be warned, the kit is miss marked in regards to scale and is a very easy assembly, if you can look for the Academy kit, or even better the old FROG kits, they were superb, but avoid HOBBYBOSS unless you have no alternative.

A photo of the Curtis P-40 C completed from the HOBBYBOSS web page.

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