I'm known to occasionally moan and cry about how much kits cost these days, but I don't really do it with much verve. I sometimes wince and grumble when I have to fork over $60 for some Tamiya or Academy armor kit, mostly because I remember when I was a kid that armor kits rarely cost more than $20. But then again, I have a lot more money today than back then, and a $50 kit is much easier to afford now than a $20 one back then.
The truth is that price alone rarely deters me from buying a kit. If I'm really interested in a kit, I'll buy it whether it costs ten dollars, twenty, or fifty. The Academy Ontos is a case in point: I knew I would have one no matter how much it cost, so I didn't even look at the price tag. Cost only really becomes a factor when the price tag approaches one hundred dollars, which is my cutoff. Below a hundred, it's a casual purchase. Above a hundred, it's getting to the point that it must be planned and may be so expensive it just isn't worth it. I've always wanted to have a nice 1/32nd scale F-15C Eagle, which to my mind is what an air superiority fighter should look like. But the last time I looked, the Tamiya kit was going for $135. Ouch. That's getting hard to justify.
I'm more prone to grouse about the number of parts in modern kits, especially armor kits. I was reading a review of some Chinese MBT in Model Military International that claimed that included 22 sprues of parts. Wow! I've built entire kits in the past that didn't have 22 parts, let alone 22 sprues of parts! Does an M4A1 Sherman really need 400+ parts? An M1117 Guardian with 300+ parts? A Flakpanzer-IV with over 900 parts??? Holy cow. I don't really want to sound like I'm complaining, because when it comes to models, more detail is better than less. But a 400-part Sherman, that's starting to sound like serious work! And the Flakpanzer? Never going to appear on MY workbench, I can tell you that.
Fiesler Fi 103 Reichenberg Re-4a
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