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March 26, 2004


Okay, okay! I know it's been two years now since I've written up a SPRUE, but as Merriman loves to put it, I pretty much shot my load in the past and said about everything I had to say! The fact that the same problems keep hounding this hobby time after time just goes to prove that things don't change. The only thing different in recent years are new folks coming into the fold and revisiting what we've all gone through (...and through, and through, and....)

But here's a few things bugging me and I thought I'd write um' up here vice on one of the numerous boards abounding in our hobby these days.

Now I know the second I type this that I'm gonna regret it, because we all know Pepperoni Boy is gonna get a big head and never let me live it down. But back about two and a half years ago when Polar Lights was hot and heavy recasting all the old Aurora line and the discussion about good and bad recasting was hot on everyone's lips, ol' Robb Rotondi stated that if you accepted this form of recasting, i.e. - old products from out of business manufacturers were okay to reboot, that it would come back to haunt us down the road.

Well, I think the sign post just zipped us by, because now I'm starting to see more and more Horizon kits being recasted up, and some shops/companies are getting slammed for it.

So my question is... is recasting Horizon kits a good or bad thing? If you accept the Aurora knock offs, whether they be from Python Kits, Polar Lights, Retro-Resin or some other outfit, then is this any different? And if you accept one but not the other, how are you rationalizing it?

If you think both are okay, then where is the line drawn? Is there a time period that has to elapse before rebooting a companies product is green lighted? Hypothetically, if Al Matrone hadn't taken over George Stephenson's GEOmetric line, would they have fallen into this category?

It's scary knowing that that short little sausage forecasted events way back then!! I didn't know he was that freaking profound!!

Personally I had no problem with the recasting of old Aurora kits and bought each and everyone of them up (in some cases, multiple purchases!). As for the Horizon line, I'm leaning towards acceptance as well, although a LOT of their kits are still easily available to get ahold of today and I think recasting some of them would be stupid at this point in time (i.e. - many of the superhero & dinosaur kits). But, for example, I see Monsters In Motion has the 'ABC Robot' available in resin. I love that robot and missed out on it when it first appeared. Although I haven't purchased one, I wouldn't be adverse to doing so if I saw one on a table.

Which brings me to my second irritation...

Folks, many of whom haven't been in this hobby long enough to speak with any authority, telling other newbies what places are in limits and which aren't!

A lot of newbies are finding the garage kit hobby to be a no man's land rife with land mines and are getting slightly pissed off when they learn that the great kit they just got off eBay was purchased from a slimeball, in some people's opinion, or they just bought a dreaded recast!

Examples include the above mentioned Monsters In Motion (or MIM, for short), Mojo Resin, Frontier Models, Gremlynz, Village Comics, Amok Time, Sassy's Satelite, Doll & Hobby, etc, etc, etc!

If the indicators are 'recast kits' then we have a problem here, because in the period of time many of the shops in our hobby have been in existence, there have been a recast kit or two in their inventories! And although a few of the shops have cleaned up their act over the years, they are still being slammed from folks who don't have a clue what they're talking about and confusing the smeg outta a lot of newcomers!

So if I may give a word of advice to those new to our simple hobby...

  • read my past Sprues!!
  • it's okay to be against recasted product!
  • it's okay to ask for opinions on the many boards if a kit you'd like is legit
  • and if it is, buy the damn thing and have fun building and painting it, regardless of whose selling it!

I get a lot of flak over some of the kits I've included on my 'New Release' page. Some are valid, but most are either opinions or full of shit. I'll never knowingly post a kit up there that's a knock off of a kit presenlty in production, and if I learn a shop/producer/person has ripped off someone else in this hobby, I investigate the allegation and if warranted, I'll remove said culpret. If there's a name up there without a link to either their site or email address, it's either 1) because I want buyers to ask me about them and if there's been a problem in the past, it gives me the opportunity to give said buyer a word of caution (i.e. - they fulfill orders slowly, or they had business problems in the past but are trying to start over again, or whatever). or 2) some producers are afraid of C&D's and want me to semi-screen for them.

Remember... This is a HOBBY! We're talking scale models here. A lot of folks around here need to get a grip and come off their high horses. Unless the Almighty turns to you at the pearly gates and says, "You bought this?", holding up a vision of Sugita's Vampirella kit with that disapproving look in His eye, then don't sweat it! Really! You don't need anyones approval on what you do in your basement! (...well, unless it contains a pit, a poodle, and a sewing machine, that is!)

Til next time...

Happy Modeling - Buc       Email   Archives