This has been a rather forgettable few days for me in the hobby. Several more precious hours vanished with not much to show. Well, I do have something to show but it’s just transactions out of my bank account and into the pockets of various ebay merchants and Spruebrothers.com.
Italeri, I’m giving you the stank eye.
This is the second kit in a row that has come with malformed and broken parts. For those of you with statistics backgrounds, I believe that means 100% of the Italeri kits that I own have parts issues. The first is Italeri’s 1/72nd C-130 that I am building for a friend. One of the fuselage halves was cracked almost all of the way through. The Stuka has
a short shot canopy, and a broken bomb trapeze. The C-130 issue is in the process of being resolved, but Italeri couldn’t ship the part to me directly. I had to go through a U.S. distributer and was told that it would take roughly 12 weeks for the parts to arrive. That was about 6 weeks ago. This time Italeri would deal with me directly, but that’s probably because they just told me that they didn’t have the bomb trapeze (Sprue B) but would be happy to sell me the clear sprue. I ordered a vacu-formed canopy, but it is for the Airfix Stuka. I will probably bite the bullet and simply order the correct parts from Italeri. At this point, why not?
On a positive note, the delivery bearing the canopy masks I ordered from the Czech Republic arrived. Apparently they were rerouted to orbit Saturn before they found their way to my doorstep. At this point, the Stuka is mostly masked and almost ready for priming. I simply have to find a way to make the broken trapeze regenerate it’s missing section. We will see how that works out.
To be clear, these part problems aren’t fatal to the build singularly, they are just disappointing. I had wanted to do an out of the box build for a local competition and scratch building parts would disqualify the build. Taken as a whole, it is apparent that Italeri’s quality control is flawed, as is their customer service. There are better kits on the market at these price points, with both better quality and more responsive service. As such, Italeri just isn’t competitive in my eyes and these will be the last Italeri kits I build if other options are available.
Trumpeter, you get the stank eye too.
This is truly a pretty nice kit. The problem is that I dropped and lost the clear landing light cover that goes in the wing after I scratched a little landing light detail. I tried to contact Trumpeter directly, but my Chinese is rusty and so are Trumpeter’s web design skills. After some Googling I found a U.S. distributer of Trumpeter kits. I contacted them and asked if I could purchase a replacement clear sprue. They kindly declined stating that unless I could prove I purchased the kit from them indirectly, they wouldn’t help me. I bought the kit through an unnamed auction site, so I have neither a receipt or proof that I bought it from a retailer that purchased it from them. Ugh.
I bought another kit for donor parts. Yes, I probably could have made the landing light from acrylic or otherwise, but that could create a bigger time issue than simply ordering the parts. Time I don’t have, a little pocket change for an extra kit, I do.
The next burp is completely my fault. I bought Eduard’s beautiful landing flap detail set, and it arrived. I dove in to the metal oragami only to find that as I had not modified portions of the wing prior to this point in construction that the flaps just didn’t fit. I cut, trimmed, modified and filed the parts until I had nothing discernable left. This is certainly par for the course, as I’ve recently developed a pretty terrible case of the modeling shanks.The end result is that I simply glued the kit flaps in the up position, spread around a little Perfect Plastic Putty, and called it a day.
I actually really like this kit, and would build it again (good thing as I will have a duplicate kit to build). As it stands now, once I get the donor kit, drop in the landing light lens, I can begin priming.
It looks like the next update will have both the Stuka and the Mig in the paint booth getting a good coat of primer. In the meantime, I am off for a weekend out of town with old friends, and some football.