I was reading the March 2010 issue of Scale Military Modeller International today and came across a remark so annoying I'm strongly tempted to stop buying the magazine entirely. Actually, the issue has a number of problems, which I may or may not expand upon later, but for now, I'm simply going to talk about Gary Hatcher's review of the Swash Designs photoetched set for some 1/35th scale motorcycles. The set isn't cheap - about $21 according to the review - but here's what Gary has to say about it:
The choice is yours - but if you want to settle for less than the best then maybe you might like to paint the thing with pink polka dots as well.
What the hell is this? All of a sudden if we don't buy every possible detail set for a model we aren't serious and we're infantile losers who daub pink polka dots on our armor models? Oh calm down, you say, Gary was just joking. Was he? I think any regular reader of his "Panzerschreck" column would have grounds to argue otherwise. This is the sort of anal bullshit that puts me off most model contests too, by the way - I simply don't accept the notion that I'm a loser because I don't buy detail sets.
Tell you what, Gary - you build your models the way you like, and I'll build mine the way I like, and I'll thank you to keep your holier-than-thou remarks to yourself. What really torques me about it is that in an indirect way I'm actually paying you to insult me. Well, I can fix that readily enough.
I'm also strongly tempted to stop buying Scale Aviation Modeller International because of a comment I read in Volume 16 Issue 2, to wit:
We do not issue bad reviews, and we shy away from negative comment. If a product has issues so great that we cannot justify published a review we prefer to contact the manufacturer and explain why we cannot cover their product.
Meantime, while these guys are busy protecting the reputations and egos of the manufacturers, the modelers (the people who pay the goddamned bills) are buying a crappy product even though SAMI knew it was a crappy product. Doesn't that make SAMI complicit in a cover-up? What's the point of pretending to review anything if you as a matter of editorial policy refuse to make negative comments? Why not just change your name to Scale Aviation Manufacturer International, since it is clearly the manufacturers you are pandering to, not the buying public who keep all of you in jobs in the first place? I rarely make buying decisions on the basis of what SAMI (or any other magazine) thinks of a given kit - I'm much more likely to buy on the basis of subject. But if someone knows that a kit has some serious problem with engineering or accuracy, I think I'd be interested in knowing that. I'll probably still buy the kit anyway - I paint pink polka dots on my models, after all - but I'd still be interested.
There's apparently no pleasing me, infantile loser that I am. I'd list some of the other things in the latest issue of SMMI that really cheese me (I mean really cheese me) but it occurs to me that I'm almost out of pink paint and I have to run to the hobby shop before it closes.
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