And maybe next time that you see a commentator use one of these drawings to criticise a manufacturer for perceived errors, you’ll take a step back and think that maybe, just maybe, that’s not how the kit will look once it hits your workbench…
Compare and contrast: early computer renders and actual kit parts…
These days it is not uncommon for a kit manufacturer to release early computer renders of a new kit, to show modellers what they can expect when the kit arrives on the model shop shelves. Often, these drawings are described — spuriously — as CAD renders, and so the detail, shape and other features are taken as gospel. The drawings are there to examine, so that’s what the kit will be like, right? Wrong.
These drawings are often released very early on in the development of a kit, 3D images that only ever include the basic features; odd panel lines, blocked out internals and often missing details are the norm and yet they are seen as the last word by the world’s modelling intelligence, who then pick apart the missing nuances. Add to the party an expert on the subject and you have the basis of a firestorm that often rumbles on to the kit’s eventual release – irrespective of whether, as is often the case, the plastic is almost completely different.
This is currently happening with the soon-to-be-released Airfix 1:48 P-40B. Initial drawings were released, test shots dropped, changes made and then the drawings released once more in unmodified form, to discuss — via the Airfix Blog — the kit’s colour schemes and options.
And then the carping began, anew.
Details that were missing from the drawings, are now assumed to be missing from the kit. Those corrections that the rest of us seem to be aware of, have been glossed over and so so this new kit is being carpeted before it’s even boxed up. Why the hell do modellers do this?! It’s almost as if there are certain individuals who really want this kit to fail and will do anything to ensure that it does. Fiction becomes fact; opinion becomes set in stone; dissenters are accused of being no more than fanboy apologists happy to accept any old crap, just because it’s Airfix.
It’s all nonsense. Of course it is.
So to help balance out this argument, here is a comparison showing the early drawing and thanks to Brett Green, the actual plastic. Not really the same are they? No, or course they are not – but then anyone who has even the most basic knowledge of how this marketing trick works, would know that they were never going to be! Only the most wilfully obtuse would try and pass off the drawing on the left as a finished, accurate depiction of a completed model, months before the actual CAD files had been completed.
So take a look at the image and decide for yourself. And maybe next time that you see a commentator use one of these drawings to criticise a manufacturer for perceived errors, you’ll take a step back and think that maybe, just maybe, that’s not how the kit will look once it hits your workbench…