Dr. Hobbyboss, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Inaccuracy

I’ve built a lot of Hobbyboss kits. And every single one of them has had some sort of accuracy issue. Some are small. Some are big. Some make you stand back, scratch your head, and ask “Did they do any research at all?”

A few that come to mind:

  • The cockpit opening of the F6F-3/5 Hellcat is seriously too wide. If the Navy had requested a “plus size” Hellcat, this would have been it.
  • The banana shaped nose of their P-40M. It’s so bad, it’s comical.
  • The P-47D isn’t so bad, I guess, but the cockpit opening is fiction.
  • The F3H Demon series has so many little errors that it’s sad. And to top it off- the boxes are labeled wrong, and the decals included in the box are for the wrong versions.
  • The F8F Bearcat… oh, that cowling.

Of course, there’s more. You’ve probably encountered a few errors yourself. The point is, they generally miss some point of detail on every kit. Big or small- if you look, they’re there.

To compound the frustration, their kits are actually well engineered. The fit is generally good. Their clear parts are some of the best in the industry. Surface detail is almost always good. In fact, apart from accuracy issues, they’re really good kits for the most part.

If Hobbyboss (and their sister company Trumpeter) would just do a little bit more work in the R&D area, they’d just about be in position to own the industry, because no company seems to be able to keep up with their pace of new kit releases. And they do release some interesting stuff.

For a while, I’d decided to take a hard line approach- no more Hobbyboss kits. My reasoning was that if I rewarded them with my money, they’d only be encouraged to keep putting out inaccurate stuff. 

However, it seems they didn’t get the memo.

Because they’re still releasing kits at a breathtaking pace. And those kits still have little (and sometimes big) gaffes in terms of accuracy and detail.

But I must admit, my attitude changed a bit when I built their 1/48 AMX A-11A Ghibli kit. While it did have a few detail issues, it was a very, very good kit. It assembled well, looked good, and- I hate to admit it- I had fun building a Hobbyboss kit.

There. I said it.

I had fun building a Hobbyboss kit.

A lot of fun, dang it.

In fact, if I set aside my heartburn with accuracy that I’ve had on previous builds of their kits, I enjoyed every one of I’ve tackled. And as I look back over my built model spreadsheet, it’s without exception.

And despite all of the insults directed at them (like “Hobby-Booboo”), they seem quite happy to squirt out well engineered but slightly inaccurate plastic all day long.

So I’m going to just live with it. And enjoy building their kits.

It’s not that I don’t care about accuracy. I really do. But I will just have to accept that this is Hobbyboss.

And they don’t. Not really.

I’ll just build their kits, ignore the warts, and remind myself that I’m a middle-aged man playing with plastic toys. And that there are plenty of things to get worked up over besides something that is so obviously a “first world problem”.

And I won’t spend my time dwelling on the accuracy issues. I’ll mention them to be helpful to others, and then move along.

Now- where is that 1/48 F3H-2 Demon kit? I need it…. to build and F3H-2M. 

Because Hobbyboss didn’t research their versions.

But I’m OK with that. 

One comment

  1. lol – very funny. I have to say I’ve only built one Hobbyboss kit before, and that was the 1/72 mig-15 ‘easybuild’. I have to say I seriously enjoyed it, it was a great build – I’ve no idea of course if it was accurate or not.
    And that’s the point I guess – I think it’s safe to say that 90% of the worlds modellers are just casual (you know – the ones that don’t read modelling blogs and hang out on forums), and enjoy building their kits because of the good engineering. It’s only us nutcases that get worked up over this stuff 🙂

    Man I want to build a Hobbyboss kit now!

    Cheers

    Stuart

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