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Why I Write Reviews For This Site
d111298pw
#456
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Delhi, India / भारत
Member Since: September 22, 2016
entire network: 311 Posts
KitMaker Network: 2 Posts
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2018 - 06:04 PM GMT+7
Recently, Iíve posted some reviews of older kits. In both cases, a few comments were posted that itís a waste of time to review older kits. So, I thought I would just provide a few comments about why, and how, I choose to post reviews.

A few years ago, I stumbled across this forum when looking for a kit review. I had never built armor kits, at that time, so reviews were needed. After spending time in the forum, I eventually liked what was available and became a paying member.

Seeing all the resources available on this site, I decided that I would like to contribute something as a way of saying ďthank-youĒ to everyone for all the help I had been, and continue to be, given. Even though I had never done so before, I thought that I would contribute some in-box kit reviews.

My first step was what kit(s) to review? I made a list of the kits I had accumulated in my stash. After all, you canít review a kit if you donít have it. I compared that list with all the reviews available on Armorama. That gave me an initial starting list to work from. I update this list every time I add a new kit.

My belief is that I should not have to go to any other site to get a kit review. I should be able to find everything I need on this site.

Now, what kit to write a review on? I have an easy way to choose. If the kit Iím planning to start, usually related to a Campaign Build, doesnít have a review posted on the site, then Iíll put one together. I always check on Scalemates to see how many reviews are available. How many are in English. How many are video reviews. So, yes, I know what is out there. But, bottom line, if there is no review on Armorama, then I put one together.

Based on these criteria, the age of the kit doesnít matter. It only matters if there is, or is not, a review on the site.

Iím not a big fan of video reviews. I do watch them. But, they donít give me the information I want in a review. So, I decided to write my reviews in the format I would like to be reading. So, therefore, I take the instructions and write a short summary for each step and add information to give background on the different options that are available.

Therefore, even if there is a video review of the kit on the site, Iíll still add my written review to the database. That way the user can choose the format they prefer.

So, when someone complains why I reviewed a 20 year old kit, here is your answer. I didnít write it for you. I wrote it for the person looking for a review of the kit that will bring them to this site, and hopefully, they will then join (if not a member) after having a chance to see what we have to offer.

Everything in my stash, about 25 kits as of now, was purchased in the last two years. So, even these older kits are readily available.

I donít get paid to write reviews. No one gives me these kits. I do this on my own time, with kits I purchase, as a way to give back to my fellow members, and just maybe get someone new to join. To date, Iíve had 10 reviews posted, with number 11in the next few days.

Sorry this was so long.
pod3105
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Waterford, Ireland
Member Since: August 08, 2010
entire network: 231 Posts
KitMaker Network: 7 Posts
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2018 - 06:59 PM GMT+7
Thank you Mark.
Like yourself I have some rather elderly kits in my stash and reviews seem to be rearer than hens teeth for most or long lost on some DOS based message board from ancient history. whilst 27 reviews of the latest "Whatever" are useful(ish) they don't really do it for me. I get as much enjoyment out of sorting out some older, low parts count fictitously detailed "dog", as I do from the superbly rendered newer offerings.

You've got an appreciative reader here, so please keep them coming.
P
RobinNilsson
Staff MemberDirector of Member Services
KITMAKER NETWORK
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Stockholm, Sweden
Member Since: November 29, 2006
entire network: 3,366 Posts
KitMaker Network: 371 Posts
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2018 - 07:10 PM GMT+7
Please continue providing those "missing" reviews.
They are useful when that old kit gets pulled out of the stash with the intention of finally getting it built
/ Robin
Bodeen
#026
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Pennsylvania, United States
Member Since: June 08, 2002
entire network: 1,560 Posts
KitMaker Network: 273 Posts
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2018 - 07:13 PM GMT+7
I really like the reviews of older kits. I have older Dragon, Shanghai Dragon, and Tamiya ( just to name a few) kits. I have a couple of hundred kits in my stash and more than a few are 20+ years old. Keep writing those reviews. If you write it...they will read.😁
drabslab
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European Union
Member Since: September 28, 2004
entire network: 2,078 Posts
KitMaker Network: 215 Posts
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2018 - 07:57 PM GMT+7
Hoi Mark,

I largely agree with your comments.

I used to write reviews and features for exactly the same motivation as you describe above based upon my own stash and own modelling activity.

Then I noticed that the site had troubles finding people who wanted to review new kits that were sent to Kitmaker by the manufacturers and offered to make some reviews of kits that were in my sphere of interest (1/48 airplanes).

This way I got some nice new kits ... that ended up in the stash (that I desperately try to control) because they were not in my immediate interest to build. For those kits that I did start I used the forum thread linked to the review as build log to inform about my building experience. This stopped because of the photobucket joke, because my gallery space is exhausted and because I am so damn stuborn I don't want to start with another photo site fearing another photobucket outcome.

After that I got a request from kitmaker to pay for shipment (US to EU) of any kit I wanted to review. While I understand the desire to keep the costs of the site down, I thought (and still think) that it is not appropriate for me to pay a fee for the opportunity to spend my limited free time taking pictures and writing text for the site.

It turns out that, after about 20 contributions, I (temporarily?) stopped reviewing, or writing features. Most likely, I'll start again when the site will have been upgraded technically and when the conditions for contributing are clear.

By the way, if everyone active on the site would write one review a year ... the whole catalog of models, past and present, would be covered in no time.

wedgetail53
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Queensland, Australia
Member Since: October 02, 2008
entire network: 615 Posts
KitMaker Network: 26 Posts
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2018 - 08:23 PM GMT+7
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
Kaktusas
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Vilniaus, Lithuania
Member Since: April 12, 2017
entire network: 83 Posts
KitMaker Network: 0 Posts
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2018 - 08:37 PM GMT+7
In my opinion, in depth reviews of any kit is a great value. Even if the review is already available, but it lacks "depth", it is a way to go. There are too many "shallow", emotion based reviews, so lots of room for improvements.
spongya
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Member Since: February 01, 2005
entire network: 2,122 Posts
KitMaker Network: 455 Posts
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2018 - 08:39 PM GMT+7
I don't think it's a problem if a reviewed kit is older.

If you don't like it, don't read it... it's not as if it takes up physical room, or replaces reviews of very sought-for-brand-new-models.

Not to mention it's nice to see how an older model stacks up compared to the newer offerings; it certainly gives a perspective even if there is no actual comparison in the review.
petbat
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Queensland, Australia
Member Since: August 06, 2005
entire network: 928 Posts
KitMaker Network: 19 Posts
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2018 - 08:46 PM GMT+7
There are always going to be people that disparage what you post. Just because one person feels that there is no interest in older kits, does not mean that others do not.

Years ago someone said the reason that AFV Club released the Australian Version of the Centurion first, was because there would be little interest in it and they would get the best use of the moulds??? Like really, they are going to waste money tooling up for a vehicle with little interest.... which to this day still sells well overseas anyway. It just goes to show that some people just have no clue about that which they espouse.

Your input to the Forum is valuable to a lot of people and you should not be put off by the odd negative comment. Keep writing them and I will keep reading them.
aralviar
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Philippines
Member Since: November 20, 2013
entire network: 24 Posts
KitMaker Network: 0 Posts
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2018 - 10:20 PM GMT+7
Review of older kits still helps. Lately i have been searching of kit review of old kits because those are the ones that i can afford without hurting my wallet. Most of the newer kits are priced much much higher. So i am choosing older but lower priced kit to continue enjoying my hobby.
varanusk
Staff MemberManaging Editor
ARMORAMA
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Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain / EspaŮa
Member Since: July 04, 2013
entire network: 815 Posts
KitMaker Network: 225 Posts
Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2018 - 10:34 PM GMT+7
Mark, I do appreciate the reviews of older (and new, of course) kits so please keep posting them
ryally
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New South Wales, Australia
Member Since: July 29, 2005
entire network: 1,038 Posts
KitMaker Network: 53 Posts
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2018 - 12:04 AM GMT+7
Just keep doing what you do, I am the same I do reviews of some of the older figure kits. The internet/Google searches loves favouring Pinterest mostly now when you do a search. A lot of old reviews the links don't work or you have to sign into something or the pics are missing due to Photofucket.Sometimes I get comments saying " I didn't even know this kit existed, thanks a lot I am off to find one"

I get noobs also saying do we really need this review of this kit its so old. Well that's my point, the kit is so old you cant find a review or a decent review, let alone a good one with pics. Most of these people, when you look at their contributions to the site, it adds up to just about nil.They are also often the people that don't post pics of their own work. Keep posting and be happy doing it.

Tojo72
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North Carolina, United States
Member Since: June 06, 2006
entire network: 4,365 Posts
KitMaker Network: 588 Posts
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2018 - 12:12 AM GMT+7
I saw that comment,I say just write on,weccan always use reviews.
Bravo1102
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New Jersey, United States
Member Since: December 08, 2003
entire network: 2,056 Posts
KitMaker Network: 132 Posts
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2018 - 12:27 AM GMT+7
You're a better man than I am in deciding to do reviews and keep doing it! Tamiya kits aren't going away any time soon and are readily available and affordable.
Kevlar06
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Washington, United States
Member Since: March 15, 2009
entire network: 1,779 Posts
KitMaker Network: 274 Posts
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2018 - 05:01 AM GMT+7
I agree with those above who say to ignore the complaints and "drive on". Just because a kit is old, that doesn't mean someone isn't interested in it. In some cases, these older kits may be totally new to some modelers. I had the opportunity to work in a LHS which specialized in buying kit collections, and I was responsible for inspecting and inventory. Some older kits surpass newer kits for details and ease of assembly (believe it or not). "New" does not always equal "better" or even good in some cases. An example I'll give is the comparison between Revell's "new" 1/32 Spitfire Mk I and the Revell 1968 release. The interior of the "New" kit is very good, but the "older" kit has a more accurate engraved panel line exterior and a better shape. Or another example-- earlier, more accurate Dragon armor kits that are better than some of the "new" Orange Box or "Black Label" releases. So, keep up the good work and drive on!
VR, Russ
baldwin8
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Quebec, Canada
Member Since: January 23, 2009
entire network: 55 Posts
KitMaker Network: 2 Posts
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2018 - 05:09 AM GMT+7
Good post Mark. Agree with comments. My armor experience is limited for many kits and always searching Scalemates for reviews such as yours to help my purchasing decisions. As to the video reviews, they are my last choice when going through a list to read.

Keep them coming, I'm a thumbs up with you.
obg153
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Texas, United States
Member Since: April 07, 2009
entire network: 733 Posts
KitMaker Network: 14 Posts
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2018 - 05:24 AM GMT+7
Keep 'em coming, Mark! I'd much rather read a well written review than watch any video. And the fact that you provide reviews of older kits is a bonus for me, since I'm working on reducing my stash of old kits before I buy any new stuff. Thanks again!
27-1025
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North Carolina, United States
Member Since: September 16, 2004
entire network: 862 Posts
KitMaker Network: 7 Posts
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2018 - 05:33 AM GMT+7
Please continue to post reviews of these 'older' kits. I frequently do searches for reviews when thinking about buying one of those kits. As for the complainers, who cares what they think, they rarely have anything positive to say about anything.
drabslab
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European Union
Member Since: September 28, 2004
entire network: 2,078 Posts
KitMaker Network: 215 Posts
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2018 - 05:33 AM GMT+7
Real life makes me feel a bit cynical today, and this thread is not helping
md72
#439
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Washington, United States
Member Since: November 05, 2005
entire network: 3,947 Posts
KitMaker Network: 531 Posts
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2018 - 05:50 AM GMT+7
Mark, Thank you on a couple of points. 1) Writing the reviews on the older kits, my stash is full of them and that seems to be the type of kits I tend to buy. I look for those reviews when I finally start a kit. 2) Reminding me to check Kitmaker/Aeroscale/Armorama for reviews.

I wrote some reviews for another site, one got a few OK comments. The other one got a howl of outrage because I took a beginner's kit and tried to build it like a beginner. While the site owner defended me, I've never written another review for them and didn't update my profile when I changed mail addresses.

If there are valid criticisms about your writing style, building or photographic techniques, take them to heart and try to improve. That's the key to growth. Round file the rest.

Another organization I belong to has signs posted that say "Before you complain, have you volunteered?"
drabslab
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European Union
Member Since: September 28, 2004
entire network: 2,078 Posts
KitMaker Network: 215 Posts
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2018 - 06:04 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

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



Of course not!!!
babaoriley
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California, United States
Member Since: June 23, 2017
entire network: 115 Posts
KitMaker Network: 3 Posts
Posted: Monday, May 14, 2018 - 06:12 AM GMT+7
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....
d111298pw
#456
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Delhi, India / भारत
Member Since: September 22, 2016
entire network: 311 Posts
KitMaker Network: 2 Posts
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 05:13 PM GMT+7
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.

CMOT
Staff MemberEditor-in-Chief
ARMORAMA
#406
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Member Since: May 14, 2006
entire network: 10,209 Posts
KitMaker Network: 1,668 Posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 12:13 AM GMT+7
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
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Delhi, India / भारत
Member Since: September 22, 2016
entire network: 311 Posts
KitMaker Network: 2 Posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 02:18 AM GMT+7

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.