Hobby Boss: a name you CAN'T trust?

Hosted by Al Bowie and Brett Green, the General AFV Modelling discussion group covers any general military modelling topic including industry news and announcements.

Hobby Boss: a name you CAN'T trust?

Joined: February 13th, 2006, 2:05 am

January 6th, 2013, 6:45 am #1

So what's the deal with this label. I had thought they consistently offered high quality kits. But Erik Christ has indicated that the Sdkfz 222 is dimensionally flawed. And pics reveal that the 1/16 Tiger release is, as the Scots would say, SHITE.
Are these anomalies, or should Hobby-Boss be viewed as one of those brands (like Italeri or Zveda) with a presumption of poor quality unless otherwise vetted?
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: November 28th, 2005, 7:50 am

January 6th, 2013, 6:56 am #2

So, two kits aren't great, I can name the same amount by any other manufacturer you care to mention that have flaws.
No manufacturer is perfect, and Hobby Boss have released some good kits, I would say the majority of their kits are well recieved.
That said, thier parent company (Trumpeter as I understand it) are notorious for getting things wrong.
I think you are being a bit hasty with that comment is all.
Tamiya, Dragon, Trumpeter, Bronco, AFV Club, Academy, Italeri and Zvezda have all made errors.
Also, maybe look at the target market. From what I have read, the Hobby Boss Tiger is real cheap, for a 1:16th kit, as such, you obviously aren't going to get much for your money. My guess, and some one else said it, it is a toy. As such, it will never match up to what we as modellers want.
As for the 222, I bet most modellers, and reviewers would never have known the shortcomings. Anyone who has a passion for a given subject will know all the faults, and will be able to list corrections. Based on that information, a lot of kits don't measure up. But to the majority of us, the kit is fine.
End of the day, either build it, or not. Rubbishing a company over two kits is a bit harsh.

Just my opinion of course,
Shane

Just enough knowledge to be dangerous, but not enough to help anyone.
Last edited by ShaneGowan on January 6th, 2013, 7:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: January 30th, 2007, 1:39 pm

January 6th, 2013, 10:08 am #3

I'm not that familiar with Hobby-Boss but I can give my opinion about their Leopard 2 kits.

They all have problems, every single one of them. They started the range with Danish and Swedish versions which both has fairly major flaws. The Spanish one is based on the 2A6EX without any of the Spanish mods. At least by the time they got to the 2A4, they had learnt from some of their mistakes, but there are still a lot of problems with that.

They have destroyed the market for any further accurate Leo 2s though Revell are doing their (less than) best with their latest 2A6 and a pending 2A4.

Cheers
Mike Shackleton
Leopard 1 Trilogy author (and Leo 2 enthusiast)
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: April 25th, 2004, 5:10 pm

January 6th, 2013, 1:09 pm #4

So what's the deal with this label. I had thought they consistently offered high quality kits. But Erik Christ has indicated that the Sdkfz 222 is dimensionally flawed. And pics reveal that the 1/16 Tiger release is, as the Scots would say, SHITE.
Are these anomalies, or should Hobby-Boss be viewed as one of those brands (like Italeri or Zveda) with a presumption of poor quality unless otherwise vetted?
Aside from the fact both these companies seem to be the only ones interested in putting out releases of modern kits (Bronco and AFV Club deserve credit as well) I think they are doing a huge service to the hobby in terms of the affordability of their kits. For any young modeller starting out in the hobby they are being priced out by most of the manufacturers. However both HB and Trumpeter (and now Airfix) are putting out incredibly affordable and interesting kits which I hope are drawing in new and younger modellers who don't have the cash to drop on other kits. A beginner could pick up the latest HB Merkava IIID and build an awesome looking tank, complete an extensive array of PE and it only costs roughly £30.

So before we slag these guys off for apparent kit mistakes (which the majority of modellers wouldn't care a damn about) I think the hobby would be a lesser place without them.

Rob
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: January 5th, 2006, 10:24 pm

January 6th, 2013, 1:22 pm #5

I think Hobbyboss makes an excellent model. I built the M-4 High-speed tractor and it was an outstanding kit!
Can not wait to get the M-3 Scout Car.

Frank Blanton

"Fantasy Football,
Dungeons and Dragons for Jocks"
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: August 12th, 2004, 3:14 pm

January 6th, 2013, 1:28 pm #6

So what's the deal with this label. I had thought they consistently offered high quality kits. But Erik Christ has indicated that the Sdkfz 222 is dimensionally flawed. And pics reveal that the 1/16 Tiger release is, as the Scots would say, SHITE.
Are these anomalies, or should Hobby-Boss be viewed as one of those brands (like Italeri or Zveda) with a presumption of poor quality unless otherwise vetted?
Bronco's Hotchkiss is pretty craptacular

Tamiya still sells their old, ex-motorized Panther A, Panzer II, Sheridan, etc.

AFv Clubs early efforts are not very good compared to their new stuff either.

Trumpeter can be hit or miss.

DAVID NICKELS
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: August 19th, 2001, 6:41 pm

January 6th, 2013, 1:44 pm #7

So what's the deal with this label. I had thought they consistently offered high quality kits. But Erik Christ has indicated that the Sdkfz 222 is dimensionally flawed. And pics reveal that the 1/16 Tiger release is, as the Scots would say, SHITE.
Are these anomalies, or should Hobby-Boss be viewed as one of those brands (like Italeri or Zveda) with a presumption of poor quality unless otherwise vetted?
While I agree that all manfacturers have made errors I feel that I must support Hobby Boss & Trumpeter. Over time their releases have improved and yes the Hobby Boss Land Rovers have errors but they are the only companies producing affordable kits. Over the years we have all seen a never ending series of price rises with Dragon and Tamyia (especially in the UK). But Hobby Boss and Trumpeter (and to a degree Airfix) are selling kits at a reasonable price.

The aftermarket companies need models with errors to support their businesses and we as modellers will always moan about something on a release. AFV Club kits are stunning and exceptionally detailed, Bronco have a wow factor, apart from the Bailey Bridge kits, Dragon have those uber kits with PE, indi link tracks or DS tracks and poor instructions. Tamiya release some cracking kits and are still the best for the novice, although have a tendancy to re-release old kits at inflated prices. Accurate Armour produce stunning examples although the instructions can be a bit vague.

I enjoy building and painting models, I enjoy adding details and replacing over scale parts. I will build a model and then try out a new method of painting or weathering to see if it works, why use a scrap kit when I can relax and have fun. Afterall it is a hobby, but no new modeller is going to buy an expensive kit as their first build. They could well be tempted with a cheaper alternative. We must remember that when we started out that we did not know any better and built a model because it looked cool. As the experience grows we start researching and reading a bit more and making informed decisions about what to buy.

Hobby Boss and Trumpeter are based in China, and as such will not never access to certain vehicles, requiring them to guess dimensions or look in books. That is why The Hobby Boss Land Rover WMIK has an incorrectly sized roll cage and why the gunners seat is on the wrong side - I found the picture they based the measurements on. Sure I'm not happy with some of the errors, but seriously it's nothing I can't fix. A new modeller who really wants a WMIK......he won't care about the roll cage etc... its a WMIK like the ones on television.

Over time we will see better releases from all companies and I am sure that they will all still drop the ball. However when I'm stood in a shop looking to buy a kit I am likely to look at the price first.

First In Last Out - Follow the Sapper!

"We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: May 26th, 2004, 5:32 pm

January 6th, 2013, 2:20 pm #8

>> The aftermarket companies need models with errors to support their businesses

Yes! So why not take it further? They could sell us empty boxes, and then the aftermarket companies would provide ALL the parts, which would really support their businesses.
In fact, why don't the original model companies sell us nothing at all? We could just send them money.
Last edited by DavidByrden on January 6th, 2013, 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: February 13th, 2006, 2:05 am

January 6th, 2013, 2:52 pm #9

So, two kits aren't great, I can name the same amount by any other manufacturer you care to mention that have flaws.
No manufacturer is perfect, and Hobby Boss have released some good kits, I would say the majority of their kits are well recieved.
That said, thier parent company (Trumpeter as I understand it) are notorious for getting things wrong.
I think you are being a bit hasty with that comment is all.
Tamiya, Dragon, Trumpeter, Bronco, AFV Club, Academy, Italeri and Zvezda have all made errors.
Also, maybe look at the target market. From what I have read, the Hobby Boss Tiger is real cheap, for a 1:16th kit, as such, you obviously aren't going to get much for your money. My guess, and some one else said it, it is a toy. As such, it will never match up to what we as modellers want.
As for the 222, I bet most modellers, and reviewers would never have known the shortcomings. Anyone who has a passion for a given subject will know all the faults, and will be able to list corrections. Based on that information, a lot of kits don't measure up. But to the majority of us, the kit is fine.
End of the day, either build it, or not. Rubbishing a company over two kits is a bit harsh.

Just my opinion of course,
Shane

Just enough knowledge to be dangerous, but not enough to help anyone.
"So, two kits aren't great, I can name the same amount by any other manufacturer you care to mention that have flaws.
No manufacturer is perfect, and Hobby Boss have released some good kits, I would say the majority of their kits are well recieved.
That said, thier parent company (Trumpeter as I understand it) are notorious for getting things wrong.
I think you are being a bit hasty with that comment is all."

First, my thread really was not a comment at all, but rather a question. And I think it is an exceedingly fair one. I paid a fair amount for that 222 kit, only to learn I will probably have to sell it.
I also have their Saurer kit, as well as the Leopold railgun in 1/72 scale. While I always try and find as much information as I can before I commmit to a build, I will now be even more vigilant with this brand name.

"Tamiya, Dragon, Trumpeter, Bronco, AFV Club, Academy, Italeri and Zvezda have all made errors.
Also, maybe look at the target market. From what I have read, the Hobby Boss Tiger is real cheap, for a 1:16th kit, as such, you obviously aren't going to get much for your money. My guess, and some one else said it, it is a toy. As such, it will never match up to what we as modellers want."

Uh, the errors that Tamiya and DML and AFV Club are, with few exceptions, not on the same level as the problems with the 222 kit. If you factor out the 1970s era Tamiya kits, Tamiya is invariably of acceptable quality. DML always brings it with excellent quality and exacting accuracy.--with exceptions of the dashboard on the Hanomag kits and maybe a few other releases. But these are simply errors that can be corrected--not fatal flaws.

Concerning the 1/16 Tiger, I know its a toy only because of resources like this. BUt until a few days ago I regarded Hobby Boss as one of the upper tier brands which carries a presumption of high quality. No longer.

As reflected in a great post by Erik Christ, the 222 kit does not just have errors---it is just dimensionally wrong, so much so it cannot be corrected. Rather it must be replaced or built from scratch. From what he writes, it is as off as those turrets on the Trumpeter Panzerjagerwagen kits. The turret on those two kits does not have errors--it is just wrong, as in cannot be corrected. But I knew that before I bought it, and procured a Tamiya IV H turret.

And that's the point. Some brands I know I can regard with a presumption of high quality and buy "blind.' Other brands, like Trumpeter or Italeri or Zveda and now it also appears Hobby Boss are a mixed market and require far greater scrutiny.

One last thing--the 222 kit is remarkably complex, almost on par with DML kits. It certainly does not pander to youngster or begininer modellers on a budget.


Quote
Like
Share

Joined: February 13th, 2006, 2:05 am

January 6th, 2013, 2:54 pm #10


Aside from the fact both these companies seem to be the only ones interested in putting out releases of modern kits (Bronco and AFV Club deserve credit as well) I think they are doing a huge service to the hobby in terms of the affordability of their kits. For any young modeller starting out in the hobby they are being priced out by most of the manufacturers. However both HB and Trumpeter (and now Airfix) are putting out incredibly affordable and interesting kits which I hope are drawing in new and younger modellers who don't have the cash to drop on other kits. A beginner could pick up the latest HB Merkava IIID and build an awesome looking tank, complete an extensive array of PE and it only costs roughly £30.

So before we slag these guys off for apparent kit mistakes (which the majority of modellers wouldn't care a damn about) I think the hobby would be a lesser place without them.

Rob
is neither cheap, nor does it pander to youngsters or beginners. The Saurer kit does not either (another kit I own. Reviews indicated it is fairly accurate however).
So those arguments really do not hold water in my opinion.
I am glad Hobby Boss released the Saurer, but I sorely regret buying their 222 kit.
Quote
Like
Share