The notion of community-supported reviews seems to be a difficult one for some to grapple with, but what else can you expect on the internet?
Think of this FAQ as a running answer to your reasonable questions and the dubious assumptions that have been tossed around.
Click the question to be jumped down to the answer!
- Why aren’t all the other reviews out there good enough?
- What will these reviews entail?
- How often will reviews be posted?
- How do I contribute?
- How much should I contribute?
- Do I get anything for contributing?
- How do I know this isn’t some kind of scam?
- How will you ensure transparency?
- How are the review kits selected?
- I’m not contributing, but can I still see the reviews?
- “So we all buy your kits from now on? Why not just do these reviews with your existing stash and new kits YOU purchase? Seems a bit cheeky mate to be honest.” – Internet Person
- “Not prepared to put his money where his mouth is so why not use other people’s money? Just another wannabe Twat.” – Internet Person
- “It must be a piss take? Give me money so I can but all the cool new stuff and I’ll tell you about it because everyone else in the industry can’t be trusted. It’s bullshit.” – Internet Person
Why aren’t all the other reviews out there good enough?
Don’t get me wrong, there are some damn fine reviews out there. And some damn fine reviewers. But a lot of reviews are limited in scope to either inbox reviews that just paw the sprues or maybe test-fits of major components. These can be informative, but they can’t warn you about various internal pieces throwing off the fit of the fuselage halves, or misaligned gear struts, or any of another thousand or so potential issues.
Build reviews are also great to have – but be honest with yourself. How many of these spend time to linger on how a kit actually builds? Between the drawn out history of the subject and the time spent talking about paint, markings and weathering, you’re often lucky to get two or even three whole paragraphs.
Full, naked builds. Builds without paint, without putty, without anything for the plastic to hide behind…those are rare. Totally understandable, because they pretty much require sacrificing a kit for the sake of a review (good luck going back to paint that cockpit later, etc).
Those are what I propose.
What will these reviews entail?
The reviews will entail four key elements:
- High-resolution review of the sprues shot with a full-frame DSLR and a damned light table.
- Full build review, with photo and video. Builds will be “naked”. No paint, no putty, no hiding. Subjects will be given a panel line wash to make surface details more visible, but other than that, just plastic and glue.
- Decal test, on painted plastic, with multiple decal setting solutions (Microsol, Solvaset, Mr. Mark Softer, AK Decal Adapter, et al). Know what you’re getting into and be forewarned about any chemical surprises.
- Honesty as much as I can provide it. Punches will not be held, but neither will praise be withheld. If a Tamiya kit does something silly, it will be noted. If Kitty Hawk puts out a great kit, it will be noted.
How often will reviews be posted?
The goal right now is slightly less than once a month – so 9-10 reviews a year. If funding and so on permit.
How do I contribute?
Visit the funding page at FundRazr (LINK) and contribute as much as you feel comfortable contributing. Paypal and credit cards accepted.
How much should I contribute?
Your choice! Minimum amount is a dollar, but I won’t be sad if you choose to throw a bit more into the kitty!
Do I get anything for contributing?
Yes! Aside from my gratitude, you’ll get the following:
A say in which kits are selected for review. Voting will be limited to contributors (I’m sure someone will figure out a way to bitch about how this is unfair. Fuck ’em. If you’re parting with your money to support this craziness, you should have a say over and above others). Votes will be apportioned based on contribution amount – so if you contribute $10, you get ten votes, and so on for every other number.
Inclusion in an annual* raffle. The winner will receive their own copy of the kit judged best by myself and broader consensus.
*Annual is relative as things are still in a very formative stage. But something like that.
How do I know this isn’t some kind of scam?
Well, you’re going through a crowdfunding site and not sending me your credit card number directly or anything. Double up by paying with Paypal.
What else can I say? This site is 5+ years old and racks up between 50-60K views monthly. My Facebook page has 11,000+ likes. Like me or not, I think we can agree that I’m fairly established. I have many better things to do than make off with your $5.
How will you ensure transparency?
The FundRazr page will display how much money has been raised. I will post updates as review kits are purchased, including screenshots of the order invoices, if you’re the type that likes to raise a stink at the grocery store because they shorted you by fifteen cents.
How are the review kits selected?
By online polling of contributors. Kits will be selected from among new releases in primarily aircraft, but armor as well. I will not be bending the selections to my interest in any way – all eras and scales will be up for consideration. Community submissions are welcome.
What won’t be selected? 1/32 Tamiya kits. New Wingnut Wings releases. New variants of previously released kits (unless the new variant represents a massive retooling). Repops (that means no Eduard Limited Editions, too).
I’m not contributing, but can I still see the reviews?
Yes! Reviews will not be paywalled or otherwise gated.
You will, however, be a spectator. Only contributors will be permitted to vote on kit selection.
“So we all buy your kits from now on? Why not just do these reviews with your existing stash and new kits YOU purchase? Seems a bit cheeky mate to be honest.” – Internet Person
Might want to get that kneejerk checked out. Could lead to ligament damage if it goes unchecked.
No, you will certainly not buy my kits from now on. I have no problem buying my own damn kits. These would be review kits. Seeing as they would be subjected to full “naked” builds, they will essentially be sacrificed to said review.
Why not use kits from my existing stash? The same fucking reason I don’t want to use my phone to conduct shock and water-resistance tests.
Look. These reviews will be of kits chosen by popular vote. They will almost certainly include subjects, scales and manufacturers I have zero interest in. But I happen to think this kind of review would be generally welcome, and a valuable service to the modeling community. Fuck me, right?
“Not prepared to put his money where his mouth is so why not use other people’s money? Just another wannabe Twat.” – Internet Person
I pay for this blog. My money literally IS where my mouth is. With exceedingly rare exceptions, I pay for all of my own kits, aftermarket, paint and tools.
“It must be a piss take? Give me money so I can but all the cool new stuff and I’ll tell you about it because everyone else in the industry can’t be trusted. It’s bullshit.” – Internet Person
Nope. No taking of piss, but I have been dealing with plenty of shit.