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Old 10-19-2017, 04:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hobbmaster HA1104 - The Good old Days

From out of nowhere the other day on ebay there was a buy it now HA1104 - Vraciu's Hellcat. I had one already, but couldn't resist - i quickly bought another. It arrived today.

What an absolute beauty and a reminder of what HM used to be:

Some positives:
- Fully detailed prop.
- Subtle and correct paint shades - no crayola colors
- Subtle smaller paint details like the green on the chin intake
- No current lazy painting where you can see the underlying color at seams - full, detailed, nice coverage.
- Superb underside - beautiful wash over a subtle semi-gloss or matt underside - no diped in white paint stuff.
- Wingtip lights that fit the little boxes correctly
- Wheels that are actually round without extra crap flying off or on the hub or whatever - nearly all current HM models have wheel out-of-round issues.
- Extra pieces open and closed canopy option
- superb standing pilot well painted - vraciu flashing 6 kills - better detailed than hm's 1/48 pilots
- Tiny details like the little white (antennas?) on the spine
- Little tampo like the ac ident on the vert stabilizer.
- Belly fuel tank has no visible seams
- exhaust staining
- a collector card

the above are all things that this single humble hellcat model - which used to retail for about 15 pounds has that current hm models do not.

on the slightly negative side, this hellcat has no instrument panel markings, which is odd. i never noticed that before. i will try to fit a yahu one if they have a hellcat (havent checked yet).

by coincidence i happen to have this hellcat out next to a dragon zero which is on my workbench needing a bit of a fix. between the two of em that's pretty much as good as it gets in ww2 single engine (maybe add the legendary gemini aces plagis spitfire in that picture too)




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Old 10-19-2017, 10:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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So... what years span "the good old days"? Is there a "last year of greatness"? I don't exactly understand when Hobby Master became so bad... Being a relative newbie and having started collecting only last year, I thought HM was still the maker to beat in most cases, with only a few makers and a few specific models (i.e. Corgi bombers, Dragon Mustangs, AC Phantoms) besting them. For a Hellcat or a Dauntless for example, I thought HM still makes pretty dang good models today--or recently--and are the best ones to get. Not to mention they clearly have the best selection at 1:72. Yes? No? I'm confused.

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Old 10-20-2017, 01:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hobbmaster HA1104 - The Good old Days

It is in my opinion and experience not that HM became bad, just that they now sometimes make worse models than when they were new to the market, which is a shame and makes no sense
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Old 10-20-2017, 07:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hobbmaster HA1104 - The Good old Days

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Originally Posted by American Werewolf View Post
So... what years span "the good old days"? Is there a "last year of greatness"? I don't exactly understand when Hobby Master became so bad... Being a relative newbie and having started collecting only last year, I thought HM was still the maker to beat in most cases, with only a few makers and a few specific models (i.e. Corgi bombers, Dragon Mustangs, AC Phantoms) besting them. For a Hellcat or a Dauntless for example, I thought HM still makes pretty dang good models today--or recently--and are the best ones to get. Not to mention they clearly have the best selection at 1:72. Yes? No? I'm confused.
So, these are all good questions and ideas. Let me give you my view. I dont claim to be expert, but i have as many diecast aircraft as anybody here, more or less.

First of all, you are absolutely right - HM is still by far the pre-eminent maker of diecast military aircraft. They produce more than all of their other competitors combined (if you don't include certain 'magazine grade' producers who aim mostly at an entirely different market). They continue to surprise and delight us with new models and new moulds. It's hard to even guess who is in second place behind them - it's probably corgi - and corgi is a shadow of its former self and has contented itself in recent times mostly with re-releases of old moulds. Many retailers barely carry corgi any more.

The problem is that HM's quality has slipped from what it was. In most fields of human endeavour, we expect quality to improve over time. In the specific case of HM, it has gotten worse while prices have gone up. Dramatically up, far in excess of both inflation and even the price of labour and materials in china. I have described many ways in which quality has gone down in my hellcat listing above - these are all areas where HM used to have superior attention to detail and where somebody at HM had sat down and said "how can i make this model better?" Now, the question most likely asked is "how can i reduce the number of manufacturing steps in this model?" One guesses that a motivator now is more of a client/vendor relationship between HM and their factory.

Initially, only those of us with a keener eye and more experience with HM models pointed out this "value/quality' drop and some of us were pilloried for it. Now, it's widely considered to be an accepted truth.

That said, the news isn't all bad. In some areas, HM has improved over time. But the places it has improved tend to be areas that dont actually affect the cost of the model. For example, in many cases they are a little smarter with how to make moulds a little better, including better design of how the landing gear attaches to the aircraft and how certain plastic metal joins are done (for example, the hellcat that i love so much has a bit of an awkward seam behind the canopy). But that mostly just means that their mould guys have gotten smarter - and even then, they still make huge concessions in the name of cheapness from time to time.

However, overall the result is models that look more toylike and with less detail. It's not terrible, but the example of for example air commander, with their superior detailing and attention to detail shows us what could have been.

To which, for my money, the answer is that HM should have a "pro series" line of models - or at least experiment with one. Release the upcoming freelancers phantom at GBP 100 instead of GBP 60 street price and see if people will be willing to pay for it. I know I sure would. Air commander highly detailed phantoms regularly sell out at more than GBP 100. I think the market is there. HM should go for it and then it can increase the number of "pro series" models as the market demands.
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Old 10-20-2017, 09:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hobbmaster HA1104 - The Good old Days

I'll remenber the first Mig21 with 2 tones of metal! Great.....a shame that this method to do the bare metal disappear from the new models....Hopefully I'll could buy a Mig21 from Corgi(licenced HM)which have the 2 tones of metal (Vietnam model).But I'll would like to see HM come back to the old fashion.
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Old 10-20-2017, 09:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm afraid there's no chance of returning to "the good old days" untill HM's factory can both retain their trained work force and provide continued skill training over their careers. Maybe if the new factory is fully bedded in next year, and we loose the disappearing Chinese workers problem, it will start to get better.

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Old 10-20-2017, 10:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'll hope.
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Old 10-20-2017, 10:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hobbmaster HA1104 - The Good old Days

So, as a collector of only one livery per type of aircraft who wanted to the best technically made A-10, let's say, I should choose from the first or maybe second HM release on EBay?

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Old 10-20-2017, 12:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hobbmaster HA1104 - The Good old Days

I've got the same and I'll never part with mine.

It took me almost 2 years to find it, they are putting this one in the ground with me.
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Old 10-20-2017, 12:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hobbmaster HA1104 - The Good old Days

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So, as a collector of only one livery per type of aircraft who wanted to the best technically made A-10, let's say, I should choose from the first or maybe second HM release on EBay?
No, because sometimes mistakes were made on early examples that were fixed on later examples; also, in some cases general improvements were made later on e.g. better landing gear on F-4s since about a year or so ago. Also you might find mistakes made on particular examples that have nothing to do with when they were released relative to other examples e.g a typo on the USS Independence Vigilante

So IMO there aren't any short cuts if you want to get the best options for your collection; the best thing to do is research each aircraft type/line separately to get an idea of how it has progressed through the examples, narrow it down to ones you like the look, theme and backstory of, and then do research on those individual examples to identify any possible errors/issues.
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Old 10-20-2017, 12:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hobbmaster HA1104 - The Good old Days

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So, as a collector of only one livery per type of aircraft who wanted to the best technically made A-10, let's say, I should choose from the first or maybe second HM release on EBay?
PS we all start with the intention of collecting just one livery per type of aircraft; all I can say is good luck with that
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Old 10-20-2017, 02:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
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No, because sometimes mistakes were made on early examples that were fixed on later examples; also, in some cases general improvements were made later on e.g. better landing gear on F-4s since about a year or so ago. Also you might find mistakes made on particular examples that have nothing to do with when they were released relative to other examples e.g a typo on the USS Independence Vigilante

So IMO there aren't any short cuts if you want to get the best options for your collection; the best thing to do is research each aircraft type/line separately to get an idea of how it has progressed through the examples, narrow it down to ones you like the look, theme and backstory of, and then do research on those individual examples to identify any possible errors/issues.
feynman, there's nothing that you said that was wrong, but i think if he's looking for a "usually right" short-cut, getting the earlier models is a good guide. for example, while yes, the earlier f4 gear was not as good as the finally changed ones they have now, i'd gladly take a superior early one with bad gear over a relatively underdetailed later one.

my personal preference as the best a-10 is the early 'play time' release. recall somebody saying there's some errors with it that have been fixed, but i never got any details on that (maybe i just missed them).

for the following aircraft early models are unquestionably better, and this is not a complete list:

(with ** being "much much better")

kate**
beaufighter
bf110 maybe
skyraider
f6f**
ju87**
p39**
sbd**
helldiver
t6**
avenger
a4**
f-100**
f-111 maybe
harrier
mig-15**
mig-21 CORGI ONES but with some longer discussion there
mirage yet to be seen but probably
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Old 10-20-2017, 03:06 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hobbmaster HA1104 - The Good old Days

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for the following aircraft early models are unquestionably better, and this is not a complete list:

(with ** being "much much better")

kate**
beaufighter
bf110 maybe
skyraider
f6f**
ju87**
p39**
sbd**
helldiver
t6**
avenger
a4**
f-100**
f-111 maybe
harrier
mig-15**
mig-21 CORGI ONES but with some longer discussion there
mirage yet to be seen but probably
Now I'm not sure I agree with all that. I don't want to wade through the entire list so I'll just give some examples. First off, the very first HM releases have a wash that is not to my personal taste and I avoid most of them. Next, the first Kates have a very nasty case of drooping prop. I think A-4s have been a bit variable throughout. F-111? No no no. Wrong wings, unpainted canopy framing, mis-spelt names, blah blah blah. F-100, MiG-15, MiG-21, yes.

But overall, not so simple as older is better. Though some is down to personal taste.
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Old 10-20-2017, 05:30 PM   #14 (permalink)
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PS we all start with the intention of collecting just one livery per type of aircraft; all I can say is good luck with that
Yeah, but I'm 59 and I know that I can't take it all with me. My college son doesn't give a hoot about these models. So, the idea of a room full of these fragile little things that I cherish but nobody else wants, along with the thought of my kids calling in an estate sale company to clear everything out when I check out, really puts a damper on things. It's the ultimate practical joke that life plays on a lot of us: collect, collect, collect, hoard, hoard, hoard, and then you die. Life perspective and avid collectors often don't mix.

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Old 10-20-2017, 05:55 PM   #15 (permalink)
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FortunateSon

Just so I understand you:

When you say "Early Models" are you comparing early vs later liveries of the same aircraft, or are you comparing newer toolings vs older ones?

The only thing I notice (and again personal experience only) is that the newer models seem to fit better. For example one of my P-39s is tail heavy and easily tips over backwards, and a couple of others have accessories that wont stay on. Maybe its just me but I don't have this with the newer HM stuff, everything snaps together easily.

The only criticism I'll level at HM these days is that its gotten rather lazy in some of the schemes it chooses (for WWII, I cannot speak about other eras). They used to have some really awesome detailed schemes like the Snow JU-87, Silver Kates, and A-20 "La France Libre" and these days there are more of the plane vanilla variety. Although to be fair the new P-40s have broken this trend somewhat...

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Old 10-20-2017, 05:56 PM   #16 (permalink)
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PS we all start with the intention of collecting just one livery per type of aircraft; all I can say is good luck with that
heh, I knew 1 was never going to cut it so my rule was 4 and even that I have to break on occasion.
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Old 10-20-2017, 06:06 PM   #17 (permalink)
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feynman, there's nothing that you said that was wrong, but i think if he's looking for a "usually right" short-cut, getting the earlier models is a good guide. for example, while yes, the earlier f4 gear was not as good as the finally changed ones they have now, i'd gladly take a superior early one with bad gear over a relatively underdetailed later one.
And you've not said anything wrong, either, but of course there will always be varying opinions on such things (I personally would no longer touch F-4s with the old LG, for example) and, at the end of the day, that's all we are sharing. The only thing someone can do when starting out collecting is load themselves up with the facts, read as many opinions as they have the time and/or patience to do, and then form their own opinions on what is important to them.

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Yeah, but I'm 59 and I know that I can't take it all with me. My college son doesn't give a hoot about these models. So, the idea of a room full of these fragile little things that I cherish but nobody else wants, along with the thought of my kids calling in an estate sale company to clear everything out when I check out, really puts a damper on things. It's the ultimate practical joke that life plays on a lot of us: collect, collect, collect, hoard, hoard, hoard, and then you die. Life perspective and avid collectors often don't mix.
I get you. I'm 15 years your junior but I still think about how worthless my collection and other things will be to those I leave behind and, yes, it is sad, but not as sad as I feel when I think about how I will never completely understand how important this or that thing was to those who've already left me behind. I think it's the latter that fuels the former more than anything else. And yes there is no point in senseless hoarding - I agree - but if you get joy out of collecting then that can't be a bad thing. I know my collection won't mean **** to anyone when I am gone, but if I enjoy it and enjoying it doesn't negatively affect those around me, then I'm good. Whatever your feelings about it, just don't be surprised if your collection ends up being a little larger than you had first planned!
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Old 10-21-2017, 06:05 AM   #18 (permalink)
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FortunateSon
The only thing I notice (and again personal experience only) is that the newer models seem to fit better. For example one of my P-39s is tail heavy and easily tips over backwards, and a couple of others have accessories that wont stay on. Maybe its just me but I don't have this with the newer HM stuff, everything snaps together easily.
So, if we're talking about moulds and fit, then, yes, in general i agree with you - HM has learned to make better fitting moulds and pieces in general (though a lot still fits poorly - such as F-16/F-2 and other landing gear).

Today's belly tanks fit better, but they look much worse - today's often have a visible seam that simplifies construction at the factory but make them look worse.

But I wasnt really talkinga bout moulds and fit - i was talking about finish and detail. And in those cases, taken as a whole, early HM models are far better in my view than the current stuff. A lot of this comes down to color and quality of paint finishes, attention to detail, extras, and amount of tampo. This also has an effect on the sort of liveries they attempt - I don't think anybody even dreams of seeing HM attempting something like this ever again:




This is what things would be in my opinion if HM cared more about finishes:

- landing gear wouldnt appear to just look like it was dipped in white tipp-ex/white out
- "metal" pieces wouldnt all be uniformly painted with the crayola silver
- thought would be given to how to make use of "scale effects" for example how they did when they did the corgi metal mig-21s.
- we'd have far fewer full-gloss tomcats and our tactical grey ones wouldnt look 'factory fresh.'
- while not universally popular, i think that washes would return
- look at the new a-26k - look at the front of the cowls how you can see the beige coming through since they were lazily painted. that would be gone.
- overall paint application would be thinner.

that also said, if they cared more about detail, the bomb bay of the f-117 would look something closer to this:



go to the HMC website to see the HM F-117 bomb bay. it will make you cry. but that's just slightly worse than the really generic undetailed gear again dipped in thick paint and the fact that the surface of the f117 hasnt been put through any sort of intelligent scale effects to make it look right.

i remember back in the "we didn't know how good we got it" days I actually complained that the F-100 was a good model but not a great one since the speed brakes on the bottom were moulded permanently closed when they should have given us the option of open or closed. to talk about that today is like talking about a different universe when HM has cut back so much on just the basics of the models and their finishes.

I think 100% of us would agree that the older skyhawk releases are better than the new ones. It's night and day. You pick up the old ones they look like objects of quality. The new ones are toylike by comparison. I paid good money for this one:



and it's utter crap compared to say



The difference is obvious to even people who have never seen diecast aircraft before.

that said, i want to be clear - it's not all doom and gloom. some HM models these days are satisfactory. maybe the paint finishes arent quite what they used to be, but tampo counts are slowly coming up in places and some models are quite nice. The P-51s continue to be really great. And i continnue to happily buy HM when nice models interest me.

And I'm under no illusions: hm must now be a quite profitable business and they're not going to change their ways any time soon because they've managed to keep us buying despite giving us less and charging more. No problem and more power to them - hence my suggestion - why not make even more by offering a pro line? Freelancers yellow phantom and tomcat would love to be the first two
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Old 10-21-2017, 10:09 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Have you ever tried applying your own washes and varnish to diecast models? I've been tempted though am always concerned about doing anything that affects possible resale in the future - I don't even like using glue on landing gear! Am tempted to buy a cheap second-hand example to have a go.
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Old 10-21-2017, 10:11 AM   #20 (permalink)
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PS I'm with you on the gloss.
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Old 10-21-2017, 07:33 PM   #21 (permalink)
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"Pro line" What a #%$&ing joke. Is $150-200 per model now not "pro" level enough #%$&ing weak excuses for accepting current pi$$ poor standards.
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Old 10-22-2017, 12:43 AM   #22 (permalink)
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"Pro line" What a #%$&ing joke. Is $150-200 per model now not "pro" level enough #%$&ing weak excuses for accepting current pi$$ poor standards.
Understanding marketing is difficult for communists.
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Old 10-22-2017, 03:32 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Understanding marketing is difficult for communists.
You might be right, I don't understand what goes on in the mind of an apologist hoarding muppet, then again these models ARE made by communists so maybe they do understand, serve up any ol' shxt and the muppets will lap it up, even promote it
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Old 10-22-2017, 12:57 PM   #24 (permalink)
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"Pro line" What a #%$&ing joke. Is $150-200 per model now not "pro" level enough #%$&ing weak excuses for accepting current pi$$ poor standards.
well unless another manufacturer gives us more bang for our bucks, we're pretty much stuck with hobbymaster. you, on the other hand, wouldn't bat an eyelid getting cheap (and crappy) models just because no one else does them... and perhaps even sing praises about how good they are for the price you paid for them
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Old 10-22-2017, 02:08 PM   #25 (permalink)
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well unless another manufacturer gives us more bang for our bucks, we're pretty much stuck with hobbymaster. you, on the other hand, wouldn't bat an eyelid getting cheap (and crappy) models just because no one else does them... and perhaps even sing praises about how good they are for the price you paid for them
Corgi?

Granted its a bit hit/miss (my last JU-88 being somewhat of a disappointment)
but when they get it right like their last HP Halifax or Operation Murcury JU-52 its rates just as good as HM.

And for the price Oxford/Warmaster too. No its not as detailed as the 60-100 Euro kits but they still do look good.
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Old 10-22-2017, 05:12 PM   #26 (permalink)
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TC are you talking about Amercoms ?? Because those are pro line Japanese deagostini's

"Pro line" what a muppet, he's only gonna wait till they dump and/or defective before he gets them as per the usual
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Old 10-22-2017, 08:43 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I think 100% of us would agree that the older skyhawk releases are better than the new ones. It's night and day. You pick up the old ones they look like objects of quality. The new ones are toylike by comparison. I paid good money for this one:



and it's utter crap compared to say



The difference is obvious to even people who have never seen diecast aircraft before.

that said, i want to be clear - it's not all doom and gloom. some HM models these days are satisfactory. maybe the paint finishes arent quite what they used to be, but tampo counts are slowly coming up in places and some models are quite nice. The P-51s continue to be really great. And i continnue to happily buy HM when nice models interest me.
I appreciate the advise! But now I feel embarrassed and dopey because in these 2 pics I honestly don't see a quality difference... What am I supossed to be noticing?
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Old 10-22-2017, 08:58 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I appreciate the advise! But now I feel embarrassed and dopey because in these 2 pics I honestly don't see a quality difference... What am I supossed to be noticing?
The only thing I see being an issue is the sloppy paint work with the missile markings. That particular new release is good, perhaps another example is needed ?
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Old 10-23-2017, 04:51 AM   #29 (permalink)
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I appreciate the advise! But now I feel embarrassed and dopey because in these 2 pics I honestly don't see a quality difference... What am I supossed to be noticing?
Sorry you're absolutely right. I should have been more clear.

Indeed i bought the later one because in photos it looked ok, just as you say.

In practice, it is much more 'roughly' finished. The paint is 'thicker', the landing gear are less refined, the wheels less round, the stores much cruder with visible seam lines, and just put side to side in practice the quality difference is noticeable. Some models look better in person compared to the photos - some look worse. HA1425 definitely looks much worse while the "Lady Jessie" skyhawk rightly regularly sells for well over GBP 100/USD 100 on the aftermarket as it's quite a nice model (though not actually the nicest of the skyhawks - i just chose it to compare since the subject is similar to HA1425)
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Old 10-23-2017, 06:03 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Sorry you're absolutely right. I should have been more clear.

Indeed i bought the later one because in photos it looked ok, just as you say.

In practice, it is much more 'roughly' finished. The paint is 'thicker', the landing gear are less refined, the wheels less round, the stores much cruder with visible seam lines, and just put side to side in practice the quality difference is noticeable. Some models look better in person compared to the photos - some look worse. HA1425 definitely looks much worse while the "Lady Jessie" skyhawk rightly regularly sells for well over GBP 100/USD 100 on the aftermarket as it's quite a nice model (though not actually the nicest of the skyhawks - i just chose it to compare since the subject is similar to HA1425)
The wheels less round?
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Old 10-23-2017, 06:47 AM   #31 (permalink)
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The wheels less round?
yes and no. on most modern HM aircraft, the rubber tyres either have extra crap on them or they occlude onto the wheel hub. that is, they havent been cleaned up as nicely.

and "no" i mean i just took my particular skyhawk out of the box and actually the wheels were ok on this, so i was overgeneralising based on my experience with recent HM models. Guilty as charged.
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Old 10-26-2017, 12:13 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Sorry you're absolutely right. I should have been more clear.

Indeed i bought the later one because in photos it looked ok, just as you say.

In practice, it is much more 'roughly' finished. The paint is 'thicker', the landing gear are less refined, the wheels less round, the stores much cruder with visible seam lines, and just put side to side in practice the quality difference is noticeable. Some models look better in person compared to the photos - some look worse. HA1425 definitely looks much worse while the "Lady Jessie" skyhawk rightly regularly sells for well over GBP 100/USD 100 on the aftermarket as it's quite a nice model (though not actually the nicest of the skyhawks - i just chose it to compare since the subject is similar to HA1425)
So, I guess you never really know what you'll be getting until you crack open the packaging. If photos are not accurate representations it seems "research" before you buy a specific model becomes dubious at best—unless you can poll a group of people who have bought the same model that you are considering...
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Old 10-30-2017, 05:42 AM   #33 (permalink)
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And I'm under no illusions: hm must now be a quite profitable business and they're not going to change their ways any time soon because they've managed to keep us buying despite giving us less and charging more. No problem and more power to them - hence my suggestion - why not make even more by offering a pro line? Freelancers yellow phantom and tomcat would love to be the first two
I'm not sure what makes you think that HM would be doing better now than they were years ago. Costs are up in China. Workplace health and safety standards are higher, meaning it costs more to manufacture goods. Skill workers have more choice of employment etc...I don't know of HM's particular circumstances, but I wouldn't just assume that they're awash with cash...
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Old 10-30-2017, 06:09 AM   #34 (permalink)
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I think each year these manus struggle to retain skilled labour, especially after CNY
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Old 10-30-2017, 08:30 AM   #35 (permalink)
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I'm not sure what makes you think that HM would be doing better now than they were years ago. Costs are up in China. Workplace health and safety standards are higher, meaning it costs more to manufacture goods. Skill workers have more choice of employment etc...I don't know of HM's particular circumstances, but I wouldn't just assume that they're awash with cash...
HM is doing fine as evidenced by the fact that they continue to do capital-intensive things such as creating new moulds. This is only possible with cash or at least enough of a steady, legitimate income stream that you can get a loan for it.
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Old 10-30-2017, 09:11 AM   #36 (permalink)
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HM is doing fine as evidenced by the fact that they continue to do capital-intensive things such as creating new moulds. This is only possible with cash or at least enough of a steady, legitimate income stream that you can get a loan for it.
they may not have a choice if they were to remain relevant. don't forget they've done some moulds and left them to decay, pretty much (yoo hoo vigi... i'm talking about you!). they seem to have neglected some other moulds too in the interest of introducing new stuff. but their paper to product speed is pretty impressive as compared to some other manufacturer who after much hype has just released two models. hm has the depth and they're going for breadth. don't think it's a clear indication of their financial well-being though. their lasting existence does indicate that at least they're doing something right. others have resorted to decals to keep cost down and that didn't go down too well with collectors so here's hoping hm stays in the game for many many more years without dropping the ball.
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Old 10-31-2017, 12:12 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Here are some images of the low-viz VF-31 bird from HM made "detailed up" by a japanese collector. Honestly, this is how the model should look like right now coming from the HM factory.







this is a damned sight better than the "factory fresh" and really unsatisfying grey tomcats that come out of the box.
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Old 10-31-2017, 01:29 PM   #38 (permalink)
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I don't know what the real-life plane looks like but this looks really silver to me and with really exaggerated panel lines. I don't know what the real plane looks like but this looks more silver than grey to me. What does the 'factory fresh HM' look like? What HA # is it?

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Old 10-31-2017, 02:05 PM   #39 (permalink)
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HA5202. You might want to familiarize yourself with the hobbymastercollector website.

I have no idea what you are talking about "silver" but maybe I'm missing something here.

Incidentally, the guy who did the above customization on the vf-31 bird also did it to an HM F-35. That one looks terrible - lipstick on a pig stuff. The panel shader he used there just highlighted those terrible bumps. No redeeming that F-35.
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Old 10-31-2017, 03:31 PM   #40 (permalink)
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HA5202. You might want to familiarize yourself with the hobbymastercollector website.

I have no idea what you are talking about "silver" but maybe I'm missing something here.

Incidentally, the guy who did the above customization on the vf-31 bird also did it to an HM F-35. That one looks terrible - lipstick on a pig stuff. The panel shader he used there just highlighted those terrible bumps. No redeeming that F-35.
Well, I guess it's the lighting that makes it look silver, particularly in the bottom pic. But the panel lines to me look way too strong—but they look kind of that way in the normal version, too. So, what exactly is so wrong with the normal version, just the fact that it lacks the shading?
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Old 10-31-2017, 05:05 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Well, I guess it's the lighting that makes it look silver, particularly in the bottom pic. But the panel lines to me look way too strong—but they look kind of that way in the normal version, too. So, what exactly is so wrong with the normal version, just the fact that it lacks the shading?
the real thing (or something close to it)



hobbymaster ootb:



i think not much more needs to be said.

remember that this was supposed to be the *longest serving usn f-14*. hm's is the "factory new oldest serving f-14" version

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Old 10-31-2017, 05:24 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Yeah, hard to judge the differences because the lighting is so different in all the pics, but I get that the customized version has weathering added and looks closer to the real thing. I still wish the panel lines in both models were less pronounced.
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Old 10-31-2017, 09:28 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Yeah, hard to judge the differences because the lighting is so different in all the pics, but I get that the customized version has weathering added and looks closer to the real thing. I still wish the panel lines in both models were less pronounced.
if panel lining ain't your thing, you may consider the witty wings/jcwings tomcats. i don't think they did come out with a low-vis vf31 though.
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