Scale Modelings Greatest Disappointment: Hobby Boss’ 1/32 B-24

What a time to be alive as a scale modeler; at least that’s the perception. This is especially true if you like to build in the manscale and have an affinity for heavy bombers it seems. We all knew HK’s Lancaster kit was going to drop (after they already kicked off the market demand with their B-17s). But it was a real shock when Wingnut Wings came out of left field and announced their own Lancaster kit which looks to be destined to take the mantle of greatest injection molded kit ever.

The Hobby Boss B-24 hasn’t been as much of a surprise. The TrumpyBoss tag team has kind of been teasing this one for years (along with some other high demand 32nd projects). It has actually become kind of an inside joke in the industry – much like AMK’s failure to release their F-14 – but not nearly as fervent simple because TrumpyBoss doesn’t toot their own horn like AMK has.

A new hope

The recent show in Japan (where WNW stole the spotlight with their Lancaster announcement) featured some shots of a test build of the soon to be release Hobby Boss B-24.

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From this lone image (and a couple others from slightly different angles) the kit looks acceptable. The village idiots over at the Monogram group on Facebook decided to call it a clone of the old Monogram kit. Apparently their evidence was both kits look like B-24s. Shocking I know. However, it was exciting to see this. It meant the kit is finally actually coming.

The wind from my sails

But now some test shots have hit the internet. A website by the name of “Fil Scale Models”  has posted some better photos of test shot sprues. The sad reality is it looks like this kit is going to be a major disappointment.

I am not going to lift all the photos from the original site, but I will post a few below to discuss some of the disappointing aspects of this kit.

Shitty interior detail is the first real bummer. You’re talking a bomber with a lot of glass and open views into the airframe. I know a lot of people get lazy in these areas with the “it won’t be seen” nonsense, but in this scale you need more detail. But the interior isn’t the only place it’s lacking.

tslibby03

 

tslibby04
Photo copyright http://filscalemodels.ph/

Surface texture blows. Look, I don’t expect stressed skin on this. The presence of that effect on WNW’s Lancaster does not mean that every kit released/announced around the same time needs to also have it to be considered a worthy kit. Some people are actually trying to argue this, which is stupid. WNW is way ahead of the curve, and like Doogs’ Models, I think we are headed in the direction where it will be more and more common, but we aren’t there yet.

That said, there is some irony in this kit featuring no riveting detail beyond the perimeter of the panel lines. I am going to complain profusely about this, but I can because I’ve never jumped on TrumpyBoss’ ass about their “mad riveter.” However, it’s interesting to note a lot of the people that have complained about “over-riveting” on other kits are now complaining about none here.

I have two HK B-17 kits sitting in my stash. They are adorned with beautifully recessed rivets; a detail that brings 32nd scale kits to life. There is no reason this one shouldn’t have it.

tslibby08
Photo copyright http://filscalemodels.ph/

Don’t worry. There are bigger disappointments to come. This is the fucking engine people. This is not a joke.

What is the most lovely and prominent part of any radial engined aircraft? The fucking engines. That’s what. Not only are they highly visible, they are some of the most detailed parts of a good radial driven aircraft kit. This absolutely boggles my mind. Trumpeter has done a great job with other radials. I can attest to the engine of their 32nd P-47 kit being damn solid. It doesn’t live up to Tamiya’s Corsair engine, but it’s solid. Also, the engines in their Black Widow kit are damn nice from what I’ve seen. These look like something that you’d find in the old Minicraft Liberator kits in 1/72 scale! This is just unacceptable.

tslibby50
Photo copyright http://filscalemodels.ph/

Another epic fail are the clear pieces. Look how these turrets are split down the middle. This just does not bode well for clean assembly, and these pieces are prominent on the airplane; they will draw plenty of attention. The better route would certainly have been to mold the frames in normal plastic and provide inserts.

tslibbycanopy03
Photo copyright http://filscalemodels.ph/

Yeah I’m mad

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This gorgeous Widow was built by Bodo Cordes

Let’s go back to the Hobby Boss P-61 for a minute. This kit has been built masterfully by a number of people, including the one above. However, it’s also gotten a lot of praise for it’s quality. In fact, a friend is building one currently. As he shares photos with me I am seeing just how detailed and well engineered the kit is.

It was what I know about the quality of the Widow that led to some great expectations for the B-24 kit. That apparently has not translated. Now, I will admit that there have been some rublings about accuracy issues with the P-61. This is always the case with TrumpyBoss kits, however. I am sure they are there, the rivet counters are usually right in their obsessiveness. As I’ve said many times, detail and engineering is more important to me that small accuracy niggles.

I have not gone into any accuracy problems with the B-24 kit here because I’m not a subject matter expert, but many of your typical rivet counting knuckleheads have called out several issues. This is not at all what ruins the kit for me personally, but it may very well fuel your own disenchantment.

I’d implore you to check out Fil’s website closer. As I said, I don’t want to repost every photo here, but I feel like if you have a close look at all the test shot photos posted there you will see just how underwhelming this kit is. It just does not look at all worthy of a 32nd scale bomber kit.

B team is embarrased

It’s often joked that Trumpyboss has an A team and B team. This is certainly funny, and it’s borne out in the wide ranging quality of their kits. Kit’s like their Intruders are certainly A team. Other kits don’t live up to the same standards and these are labeled B team builds. If this B-24 kit were a 1/48 offering I’d be hard pressed to put them even in the B team; certainly not the A team. This kit – as represented in these test shots – feels like it was pawned off to the benchwarmers in the last minute of the 4th quarter after the team found itself in a 35 point hole. This level of work is embarrassing. It’s bush league.

Some folks are arguing that it’s low price and simplicity will make it a “great canvas” for aftermarket and scratchbuilding. Sure, maybe? Scroll back up and look at that terrible engine and tell me how you figure someone like Eduard is going to make a Brassin replacement that’s going to not require significant surgery to make work with the way the kit is designed.

Sure, there’ll be plenty of shitty photoetch to throw at things that are not best represented by flat pieces of metal. You may consider that an upgrade. I’m sure there will be resin. This is why I don’t sweat the vinyl tires. No one with sense uses kit wheels.

However, I just don’t see it as an excuse for a very basic kit of a subject this size. This isn’t a model that should be targeted to people as a basis for more spending. If they put the kind of effort into it that HK put into their Forts (however flawed) and B-25s (which are magnificent) then I’d gladly pay 2x as much for the kit. I’m not keen to buy it and live the shoehorning aftermarket into places I shouldn’t need to nightmare.

mas

This kit should be so much better; it deserves to be. And as much as I’ve looked forward to it, it’s turned out to be the most disappointing model kit of my lifetime.

 

P.S. If you’re an SMCG member who follows the blog please share to the group. Day 2 of a 3 day FB jail sentence is taking it’s toll. 

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39 thoughts on “Scale Modelings Greatest Disappointment: Hobby Boss’ 1/32 B-24

      1. $20 modellers club.

        Well Jim maybe if you didn’t behave like a wanker on the internet you wouldn’t get banned. Just saying…

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      2. I didn’t get banned. I got a time out for calling a shithead who mocked my friends disability a name. And I did it specifically to make a point about FBs hypocrisy. And for what it’s worth that pales in comparison to what I’d say to you $20 jizz stains if you weren’t all cowards.

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      3. $20 modellers club.

        A hypocrite bemoans the injustice of hypocrisy when it affects him. Oh the delicious irony… My heart pumps piss for you. Perhaps sniffing glue might alleviate the symptoms of your friend’s mental illness.

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      4. Will Pattison

        lulz. i bet this is the dipshit who’s convinced i’m like 37 different people on facebook. but i’m the one who’s mentally ill….

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  1. ST

    Although I’m very unlikely to buy this kit myself, I’m not surprised at your feelings Jim – Those engines are bloody awful! I’ve seen better from an old FROG kit.

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  2. Mark Krumrey

    I can fully appreciate Jim’s disappintment in this model. After reading Jim’s article and reviewing the photographs of the test shot, I am at a loss as it is truly not worth the $250.00 pre-order price of the model. As much as I was looking forward to this release, I am highly disappointed in the “business as usual” approach that HB has taken with this model, I am looking forward to the Wingnut Wings release of the Lancaster and this B-24, one of my favorites would have made a great companion model, I may still get it knowing what lies ahead but not with the enthusiasm that I had prior to this article.
    I am not a prude, being a reitred Marine, and I fully appreciate the reviewers disappointment in the kit, but I find the use of profanity in the review unnecessary as I find it off putting to an otherwise very erudite observation and comment about the model.

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    1. I’m not one for shit canning manufacturers but in this case Hobby Boss /Trumpeter (HB/TR) are behind the game. Quantity not quality seems to be their aim. The F111 comes to mind. The Academy kit for it’s toy like first issues was in fact fixed a little with the F111C upgrade. The HB F111 is so wrong around the cockpit shape and the over riveting is bad as is the escape capsule fit and demarcation join.
      I have built over 15 F111’s and all are Academy and one half finished HB. I live in Australia and spent years around F111’s when I was in the Army. I have over 1000 walk around photos and can say with accuracy the HB kit is a poor representation. Back to the B24. I was looking at getting one, but Jims write up has given me a moment of pause. I like the honest point of view with the bark on. If I’m going to spend $300 or so on a kit I need to know it’s pro’s and con’s. One point, I like good old debates on products so if one uses their write to comment then that’s fine, that’s your the democratic right. I have been a scale modellers since I was 5 or 6 when the first B52 kit came out, which my dad gave me. I’m 66 now. Jim your write up is spot on, on most points but I agree with Marks comments and I spent 41 years in the Australian Army. For other commentators I don’t use false hidden names or IP address. If you name doesn’t fit then don’t send it.

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  3. Philip Marchese

    You know it is rivet counting to say the kit isn’t a representation of any B-24 variant when buit out of the box, you knucklehead!

    And externally, since it does not represent any B-24, it is reasonable to ask what it does represent. The closest answer if the 1/48 Monogram design dating back to the FROG era. You wonder why the level of detain resembles that timeframe?

    And the turret design, yes it flawed, but again, the same flaw is in the 1/48 kit and some 1/72 kits ( which, by the way also represent no actual B-24).

    Now your view of rivets seems contradictory at best when you use rivet counter perjoratively while admitting no expertise!

    I don t know what you expect from a model, but my expectation is that it atleast represent a real variant of the subject. This one does not!

    Nice f…king review, numbskull!

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  4. Philip Marchese

    Oh boy, and you pride yourself in learning and right brain thinking. Well thing again Jimmy.

    I have a masters concentration in education, an associates in art, read Betty Edwards in the 70s, and have a livetime of live drawing. I am also a very strong Myers Briggs NT ( intuitive thinker). So my whole brain development is likely in the 96+ percentile. So when you dismiss me, you don t offend me, but rather you make a farse of your self-proclaimed ability to learn and to teach.

    As applied to your review, you can t see the whole through the parts. As to your assessment of my comments, i can only question how much your ego interfers with your reading comprehension. It seems you have block the receptive path with the anxious need to respond before absorbing. …a major communication flaw. Your tendance to vocabularize in the vulgar supports the disconnect between your thinking and your verbalization.

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    1. Oh man. Where to start? First, anyone who needs to brag about their intellect probably isn’t that intellectual. Of course, when you can’t convey your intellectualism in written word there aren’t many other options than to just trying to convince people you are through directly stating it I suppose. Your writing certainly doesn’t convey that message. You write at about an eighth grade level when it comes to syntax; you’re spelling isn’t much better.

      Second, Myers Briggs has nothing to do with cognitive development; it’s a culturally biased personality test that was used (it’s largely being phased out due to its weaknesses) in education to needlessly classify individuals into typesets. You, nor any psychologist or educator, could make any claims about your cognitive development from that test. Furthermore, cognitive development isn’t measured quantitatively unless you’re using Binet style I.Q. tests, and again those are flawed. I.Q. tests are culturally, racially and geographically biased. They also only measure one’s ability to take a test, and at best measure logical reasoning which is only one of the eight domains of Gardner’s multiple intelligences; which is now the standard for assessing intelligence in academia. It is highly unlikely, based on your level (or lack thereof) of communicative ability, that you are anywhere near the 98th percentile in anything, genius.

      Now let’s move to my blog post. Again, your reply to it highlights your minimal intelligence because you lack the ability to even comprehend the very basic premise. First, this is not a kit review. It is a rant where I am voicing my displeasure at the level of detail offered by the kit. I clearly said that I was making no comments about the accuracy of the kit because I don’t know the subject well enough. I said I would leave that to other people; people who have already begun to tear into the kit. There is no reason for me to get into accuracy issues when I am not qualified and when it’s being done by everyone else on the internet. You seem to think that voids everything I’ve said. I fail to see how because, again, this was not a review. So, in short, the whole thrust of your first comment was to dismiss my article because you claim the kit does not represent a B-24, yet I clearly said accuracy was not a concern…that I was talking about detail. Then you ironically go on a rant about intelligence when you couldn’t even grasp what my post was about. Are you thoroughly embarrassed yet?

      And by the way…peer reviewed research suggests with strong evidence that those who selectively use profanity have larger vocabularies and are generally more intelligent than those who do not. So, again, you failed.

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  5. Philip Marchese

    Was responding to your assessment of my intellegence in a qusntative and factuall manner. Thought that might awaken your objectivity. I failed.

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  6. Philip Marchese

    You reading comprehension is very low.

    I was contrasting my right brain and left brain skills and juxtapositions the NT score (left brain) to the Edwards experince to demontrate multiple intellegences in a Garnderesque fashion. I was not using M/B as a measure IQ. That was your biased creation.

    Bye.

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    1. John Patrick Ryan

      What a fucking tool. Your intelligence is belied by your misspellings and poor grammar. I proclaim that I am not a genius and even I can comprehend what the article was about. Simpleton.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Will Pattison

      srsly. shut the fuck up. you’re giving people who actually do see some validity in the myers-briggs system a bad name. you take yourself way too seriously for someone who can barely spell, not to mention your complete fail at getting the point of jim’s blog.

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  7. Toby

    Great article, I’ve recently added hkm 1/32 b25 and will have the b17g by the end of the month. The details in the 25 are amazing. After reading this article I’ll be sure to look very hard at kits before I buy.

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  8. Curtis Boswell

    I love rants, particularly when they come justified by photographic evidence.
    I agree, the engines are an atrocity, in a kit costing this much money. I was expecting actual 3D representations of radial engines, not 2D relief molded crap, in a mis-molded engine back wall.
    Hobby Boss seems to have gotten the shapes more or less correct, with this release… but that’s not enough, when they have demonstrated they are capable of better work, and particularly for 250 dollars.
    I rather suspect that we’ll see some nice buildups of this kit… but. Most of the interiors will be trashed, and then scratched, from “found” items, and sheet stock. Engineering on this kit was not well considered at all. Makes me wonder how many large kits the design team has actually built?
    Not many I’m wagering.
    I have no problem with colorful language. I’m an Army veteran… and I’d rather somebody were colorful and interesting with their language, than staid, boring, and sterile. Keep it up, Jim.
    As for Mr. Marchese? You can always tell a damned fool, you just can’t tell him much.
    Mr. Marchese parades himself around, as the perfect example of an over-educated idiot, with more issues than fucking TIME Magazine. Way to go, Mr. Philip Marchese… You’ve managed to single-handedly become the most reviled poster on this blog. Do learn to spell… and a few other basic communications skills, like grammatical syntax, before dazzling us again, with your stupidity.

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  9. Robert Owen

    Wow….upon close inspection of this blog I thought that our hobby was suppose to be fun…engaging and if nothing else a great release. I have personally started the model and feel that a lot of the negative response is maybe necessary and factual but I’ve never seen so much emotional outburst related to a piece of plastic. I’m having a blast building this after all isn’t that what’s it all about. So maybe I made a mistake to purchase this kit but by God at 67…I don’t plan on having it judged…but how much pleasue and fun it was to build and look at. Why don’t you all build it and lets see you make some magic happen.

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  10. Robert Owen

    Jim….thanks for your response….I sincerely laughed out loud when you referred to the blog as “hyperbolic”. I laughed because when my wife gets mad at me she says and I quote..”why don’t you go play with your toy airplanes”…my new comeback is why don’t you go hyperbolic yourself. You would appreciate the look!!!!

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  11. This the first time that I have read your blog Jim, the direct views you posted about the kit made my wife and I laugh out loud, the detail is poor at best, we both agreed with your comments.

    May I say this, if manufactures did their research/CAD work correctly before cutting steel there would be lot of good kits out there, in reality they go onto the internet down load tons of information, some good often bad, visit a subject once, speak to no one until the test shots are done and then say “we did the research, it is accurate”

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    1. Yeah, I was severely dissapointed by the level of detail not present in this thing. For this scale its just embarrassing. What’s annoying is that Trumpeter/Hobby Boss are so erratic in quality. Some gets they do a good job, then this…

      I am glad my frustration provided you some entertainment. Lol

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  12. I’m 60% done building my B-24 and LOVING the smooth build!
    I look past the micro inaccuracies and am looking forward to hanging it next to my B-17.
    If they were to produce kits to the near perfect level these “Rivet Counters” would like, the kit would #1) Never come out #2) Price $800 and few other companies would dare to follow in their footsteps.
    ENJOY is NEW GOLDEN AGE!!!

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    1. Yeah. No. The HK B-17 is not that much more, is very nicely detailed and had full surface texture, riveting etc. It has nothing to do with “rivet counting” (and you should stop using that as an epithet…it makes you sound stupid), it is about a certain expectation for quality. I’m glad you’re enjoying the kit, but it falls well short of that expectation for me and there are plenty of kits that don’t.

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  13. Bob Groman

    I actually got quite a bit of information from this blog. Thank you for posting it. First let me say that I am a retired USAF officer who pulled alerts as a Missile Combat Crew Commander in the Minuteman III ICBM system. I Got my commission in the Air Force to fly, but was unable to complete UPT and wound up in Missiles. My Original assignment was as a Launch Officer in the 742 Strategic missile Squadron, which during WWII flew late model B-24s out of Italy. I started Building model planes when I was a kid, took about 35+ years off to raise a family and enjoy my car hobby (I collect and restore Triumph Sports Cars, have only recently returned to building models from kits.) I like Big Scale models having completed Trumpeter’s 1/200 USS Arizona, and Revell’s 1/72 Gato Class Submarine. On my shelf I have the 1/200 USS Hornet, Both of HK’s 1/32 B-17s ( worked as a volunteer on “Chuckie” while “Doc” Hospers owned her in the Early 90’s while Stationed at Carswell, AFB), and several 1/24 Aircraft kits…along with many others.
    I was looking forward to a 1/32 B-24 kit, and thought this was going to be a godsend. Your review pointed out the amount of work it would take to bring this kit up to my caliber of quality, although I do believe that the aftermarket gurus will come up with worthy and suitable parts to address all of this kits shortcomings…but at what cost? I have been eyeing up the HK Lancaster kit and the soon to be released 1/200 Trumpeter RMS Titanic, and of course my wife, (God Bless her), thinks I should finish up all the kits I already have before I buy another…
    Seeing this kit on eBay, I almost plunked down the money for it (with FREE shipping), but stopped to read some reviews.
    Aside from the unreasonable argument and self serving boastfulness of one poster, I believe that you have saved much disappointment and angst for many, and helped us to at least contemplate the idea “is this what I really want to tackle?” Of course, I will probably get it at a later date when more aftermarket pieces become available. I enjoy scratch building and the use of PE parts to detail my kits, and this plane seems as though it would be a blank canvas on which to create.
    I suppose I will spend my money on one of the other kits (A 53 INCH TITANIC!!!!), or placate my loving wife and actually build something on my shelves…
    Thank you again for this blog. You have done all of us a service…whether we wanted it or not.

    Bob

    Like

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