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Armor/AFV: Allied - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Allied forces during World War II.
Hosted by Darren Baker
Mirror Models' Diamond T Wrecker
viper29_ca
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New Brunswick, Canada
Joined: October 18, 2002
KitMaker: 2,247 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, January 07, 2014 - 07:12 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Iíll be putting my kit up for sale on ebay at a cheap price and wait for Hobby Bossís Diamond T. Though not announced, Iím sure it will follow after they release their M19 tank transporter.



Where have you been, HB isn't releasing this kit anymore, it has been given to Merit International as part of their new kit line, which is out and available now.
KurtLaughlin
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Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: January 18, 2003
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Posted: Sunday, January 05, 2014 - 04:52 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

???



I guess Rod is talking about the cargo bed tarp....

H.P.



But Tamiya didn't show that on their box art and never released it separately.

???

KL
SdAufKla
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South Carolina, United States
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Posted: Saturday, January 04, 2014 - 05:17 PM UTC

Quoted Text

...

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Just a little effort researching their products should be all anyone else needs to make a decision to buy or not to buy. They should anticipate that they'll probably have to seek out the LZ up-grades at additional expense if they hope to get all that they expect.



Anticipate that I'd have to buy and upgrade set for basic components? Who would have thought that I'd have to research a product to find out whether or not it included the same basic parts that most every other kit manufacturer includes? Things like a canvas top and dial decals for the dash.
...



All I can say is, now you know what to expect from Mirror. I'm sorry that you had to learn the hard way.

Just about every kit they've sold since their C15TA has generated this same kind of discussion.

As an example of what's been said in the past about Mirror Models and LZ, here's a discussion from just a few months ago where their marketing strategy was debated:

Armorama::News LZ Covered Wagon and Indian Detail

As to whether or not you think you should have to do any research before you buy, only you can answer that. As for myself, though, I've always found it was time well spent.
Removed by original poster on 01/05/14 - 01:03:38 (GMT).
FirstMass
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Massachusetts, United States
Joined: August 15, 2004
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Posted: Saturday, January 04, 2014 - 12:57 PM UTC

Quoted Text

This kit is cheaper or in the same price range as normal Dragon, Bronco, Trumpeter, etc kits.



First, I refuse to believe that $90 is not an outrageous price for a kit. I recently bought Dragon's Maultier Ambulance kit for around $60 (2/3 the price of the Diamond T) and it's a far better kit. Second, I choose to purchase all but the impossible to get kits from local brick and mortar retailers because I believe in supporting them. And for reasons I won't explain, I prefer not to make credit card purchases on the internet. Yes it ends up costing me more, but I don't mind paying more when I get what I paid for.


Quoted Text

Just a little effort researching their products should be all anyone else needs to make a decision to buy or not to buy. They should anticipate that they'll probably have to seek out the LZ up-grades at additional expense if they hope to get all that they expect.



Anticipate that I'd have to buy and upgrade set for basic components? Who would have thought that I'd have to research a product to find out whether or not it included the same basic parts that most every other kit manufacturer includes? Things like a canvas top and dial decals for the dash.


Quoted Text

But, maybe, one of the critical modellers could show us by photograph the issues mentioned in order to give clear picture.



As one of the "critical modelers" here's a couple of photos of my kit. Please excuse the quality of the photos -- they were taken with my iphone. I was going to buy a new camera but bought Mirror Models Diamond T wrecker instead.

In the photo of the re deck you can clearly see the sink holes forming a 5 line grid across the surface. And where the lines intersect you can see larger depressions. This is especially obvious on the left side on the two thin plates running horizontally. Those two holes are sink marks, not attachment holes!

In the other two sprue photos (next to the wheel with no locator pins) you can see two round plates with bolts around the outside. On one side the gate is practically at the same level as the part;on the other side it's at the exact same level.

I've also included two photos of the directions. Not sure what's going on in either of them.

I would have included a photo of the canvas top -- but there isn't a canvas top.









Frenchy
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Rhone, France
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Posted: Saturday, January 04, 2014 - 07:11 AM UTC

Quoted Text

???



I guess Rod is talking about the cargo bed tarp....

H.P.
KurtLaughlin
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Pennsylvania, United States
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Posted: Saturday, January 04, 2014 - 06:36 AM UTC

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I don't like having to get the soft top from the manufacturer as an additional cost. Hated when Tamiya did that with their 2 1/2 ton truck as well.



???

This was included in their 1/35 release:

Lower left
http://www.1999.co.jp/itbig00/10000284n.jpg

KL
SdAufKla
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South Carolina, United States
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Posted: Saturday, January 04, 2014 - 05:04 AM UTC
Price aside, Mirror Models and LZ have established this scheme - base Mirror kit with LZ additions - as their standard marketing practice.

Just about every new Mirror Models release generates the same discussion - Customers who are not satisfied or happy complaining abut having to make the additional purchases from LZ to get the parts and details that they are expecting in the base Mirror kit.

If this were simply a matter of a PE sheet for some extra detail, it might be reasonable (IMO), but Mirror also has the habit of not including many details that most of us expect as part of the "complete" package.

For example:

Mirror's C15TA armored truck DOES NOT have any of the pioneer tools or mounts that were standard factory fixtures. To get these parts (among others, like the crew seats), the modeler must buy LZ's "up grade" sets.

Another example:

Mirror's Otter armored car DOES NOT have any weapons - no Bren gun or Boy's .50 for the turret. To get the necessary parts, the modeler must buy LZ's "up grade" sets.

And, by the way, many of the PE parts that LZ sells do not have plastic alternates included in the base kit, but rather they provide fundamental and expected details.

However, all of this is well-plowed ground. Libor has made his explanations of why he does this, and there are those who endorse his marketing scheme. Agree or disagree, but this is the way it is.

To be clear, I come down on the side of the "disappointed" customers, but this is how Mirror and LZ do business. By now it should be no secret to anyone. I know and expect that if I buy a Mirror Models kit that I will want to seek out and buy the additional LZ upgrades. I factor this into my own buying decisions.

Just a little effort researching their products should be all anyone else needs to make a decision to buy or not to buy. They should anticipate that they'll probably have to seek out the LZ up-grades at additional expense if they hope to get all that they expect.

Unfortunately, I think that too many guys get "buck fever" over the Mirror Models subjects (very unique and desirable) and let their visions get the better of their judgment.

Also, too few reviewers make mention or emphasize that the Mirror model in the box is just the "base package," and that most builders will want the LZ add-ons which will also add-on to the final price.

In regards to the other construction issues, Mirror Models have always been "craftsman" or "artisan" type kits. Don't expect these kits to be engineered and manufactured like a mainstream injection molded products. Mirror kits fall somewhere between resin and injection molded, and the mastering is more like traditional resin than modern CAD/CAM designs. The prices reflect this personal effort rather than the costs associated with major manufacturing.

For this, I can't find any fault with Mirror or LZ. Their kits are not easy to build, but the subjects are unique, they are very nicely detailed (with the LZ upgrades), and, IMO, worth the effort if the builder has the skills to match. Again, though, this quality is also pretty well known to anyone who bothers to look.

Caveat emptor...
grunt26
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Michigan, United States
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Posted: Saturday, January 04, 2014 - 04:47 AM UTC
What this boils down to is this:
I was rather pissed off at the lack of the soft top.
Given the price, regardless of if you paid list price or got the kits for $40, there are some rather bad issues with it.
I, and it seems I'm not alone here, have pointed out that for the money being charged, these things shouldn't be present in the kit.
Not once did I attack anyone personally or tell anyone NOT to buy it. I said be advised that this isn't a shake & bake Tamiya kit.
Not once has anyone looked at the positives I've pointed out, like the tires are gorgeous, the engine and transmission are incredible, or the fact that the way its been molded there are remarkable scale thickness parts and NO ejector pin marks. I simply wish that the fit problems didn't exist, because I like many others, wanted this kit. As far as the PE set, whatever you like. I don't like having to get the soft top from the manufacturer as an additional cost. Hated when Tamiya did that with their 2 1/2 ton truck as well.
Oh, this is MY opinion, yours will vary. I'm still building mine, and if I ever get it done, I will post pictures of it so all the rest of the cool kids can tear it apart. Deal?
Plasticbattle
#003
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Donegal, Ireland
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Posted: Saturday, January 04, 2014 - 04:02 AM UTC
Theres a lot of talk about kit price ... but some other things should be remembered.
This kit is cheaper or in the same price range as normal Dragon, Bronco, Trumpeter, etc kits in Europe. As its a European product, and the currently weak dollar, as well as shipping, taxes and customs ... the price may appear steeper. As always with an interesting release, some shops expolit the interest and go over the normal selling price for kits like these. Shope around.
Mirror Models is a small independent company, that makes articles for a niche crowd in the modelling world. They are aimed at modellers with some modelling experience. They probably do not produce models in the same quantity as the major companies, but still have the same costs regarding tooling, development, etc. This has to be included in the cost of a smaller quantity of kits.
Compare he level of detail in this kit to the recent Gama goat from Tamiya. Thres a lot more for the price ... which both are in the same price range here.
Please also give some consideration to Libor who has done an immense job to bring you a product at an affordable price. Like everything else, this is a learning experience. There will always be issues with early kits from producers.
Would you be prepared to pay for a tailor-made kit to suit your every whim?
wanagun
#145
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Indiana, United States
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Posted: Saturday, January 04, 2014 - 03:47 AM UTC
I don't understand where people are coming up with this $90 price tag they keep throwing out. Libor has them on his site for $75 and I am selling them for $62.95. I have sold out right now but I will be getting more in. Shop around on price. Sometimes us little guys can do better on price. http://shop.wanamakerguns.com/
Paulinsibculo
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Overijssel, Netherlands
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Posted: Saturday, January 04, 2014 - 03:34 AM UTC
Quite a discussion about a complex model!
But............... just some thoughts:

Why is a price of 90 USD mentioned if Hobbyeasy sells it for 420 HKD, eq. to approx 55 USD?

Furthermore, I can agree upon the fact that for that price one may expect that the box art is a complete representation of the contents of the box. Acc. to European law, this could eventually lead to a real court case, by the way!

And an additional etch set is rather normal for other rel. high priced models as well. I can recall the Trumpeter FAUN SLT, which needs even 3 Eduard etch sets to super detail it.

The only thing that bothers me now is the fact that I do not know how long to wait before the dust gets all down and a final, realistic verdict has been made.
But, maybe, one of the critical modellers could show us by photograph the issues mentioned in order to give clear picture.
grunt26
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Michigan, United States
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Posted: Saturday, January 04, 2014 - 02:44 AM UTC
Yes, true, Tamiya didn't include the soft top on the Goats,....but they also didn't show it on the box art either!

Quite honsetly, I wanted the canvas top and doors even...what would it have cost to add the vacuformed top into the kit? I will give you the PE set as a seperate item, but not the top.
Have a good one.
Rod
grunt26
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Michigan, United States
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Posted: Saturday, January 04, 2014 - 02:42 AM UTC
True.
KurtLaughlin
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Pennsylvania, United States
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Posted: Friday, January 03, 2014 - 05:07 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Not to mention, LZ Models is now hocking a 100 plus PE fret for the same kit....$90 list for the kit, and now another $20-25 bucks for the PE set.



From the PMMS blurb I was under the impression that everything on the PE set was already there in plastic. If true, this "PE as an alternate, not requirement" scheme is exactly what a number of people have been calling for, as a result of the complexity of some of the newer kits.

KL
KurtLaughlin
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Pennsylvania, United States
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Posted: Friday, January 03, 2014 - 05:00 PM UTC

Quoted Text


8) As mentioned above, this kit is of the soft top version, not the hardtop. However, for some inexplicable reason Mirror Models chose not to include an actual soft top.



FWIW, Tamiya's new Gama Goat doesn't have a top either.

KL
jvazquez
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New Jersey, United States
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Posted: Friday, January 03, 2014 - 01:29 PM UTC
I just got mine yesterday. Honestly the only gripe I have is the price, but that was expected since this is almost a cottage industry kit anyway, only now in injected molded plastic as opposed to resin.

After that I can't say I have any other gripes at all. Yes there is a significant flash, but the detail looks outstanding. And I understand the over engineered aspect, but we knew going in this was never going to be a snap tite tamiya kit.

I commend Mirror for doing this and I can't wait to get it started, as well as getting the LZ model detail set that has been released for it!
grunt26
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Michigan, United States
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Posted: Friday, January 03, 2014 - 12:19 PM UTC
You're certainly in the right frame of mind concerning this kit. I see the post I made over on ML has made its way over here. First, on my sample, the detail is amazing.The engineering of the kit has resulted in ZERO ejector pin marks. The LARGE sprue gates I have found are rather easy to clean up, but there is a ridiculous amount of over-the-top thinking in terms of the parts count. Some of the parts are 4-8 pieces, with something that could have been done just as well in two parts. The alignment pins/holes on parts are an absolute joke...best removed and align things the old fashioned way. The lack of the soft top tarpaulin was a HUGE piss off for me. Not to mention, LZ Models is now hocking a 100 plus PE fret for the same kit....$90 list for the kit, and now another $20-25 bucks for the PE set. The lack of gauge faces in decal form is also a piss off. Easily remedied as opposed to the missing canvas top. Overall, having benn building for the past 36 years, I have build full plastic, full resin kit, plastic, resin & PE conversions, etc.,....this kit is rather a mixed bag. Irritating, frustrating, and yet, IF you can make it work, oddly satisfying. I'm still trying to power through the build on mine, but after close to 100 hours of work, I have a frame, some gorgeous tires, and a radiator. Also an engine block, and a very poor attitude. As stated, no one put a gun to my head and said "BUY IT", but I wanted a plastic Diamond T...I'm glad I got mine for 25% off list, otherwise I would be even more upset and frustrated. I'm not saying its un-buildable, but for a $90 MSRP, I expected....no, DEMANDED more for my money. Some of the scratchbuilding and re-engineering I'm having to do should warrant a salary or a percentage from the company. Be prepared, and be advised.If I ever manage to finish it, I'm sure I could restore a few full sized real vehicles after this kit.
AlanL
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
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Posted: Friday, January 03, 2014 - 11:11 AM UTC
Hi Brian,

Have a read of this, I assume it's the same kit.

http://www.network54.com/Forum/47208/thread/1388695785/T969a......is+this+kit+some+cosmic+joke-!-

If so then there appears to be a few issues with it. I have a couple of the MM 15cwt trucks but haven't built any yet and I don't have the Diamond T so can't comment.

Al
SgtRam
Staff MemberEditor-at-Large
AEROSCALE
#197
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Ontario, Canada
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Posted: Friday, January 03, 2014 - 10:52 AM UTC

Quoted Text



1) First, the $90 price tag. That kind of money is outrageous for almost any kit, let alone a kit with so many negatives. (I know, no one forced me to spend that kind of money)



Just a comment, sometimes pays to shop around.

http://www.hobbyeasy.com/en/data/k5kby3b9uyc6sd4kefkr.html
http://store.spruebrothers.com/product_p/mrm35801.htm

Based on some of the other releases I have seen lately, even $90 is not a lot to drop on a kit now a days. Also for smaller market manufacturers, you have to remember the cost of engineering the kits. This vehicle sort of falls into a niche kit, as you have noticed the mainstream companies are not tackling it.

When it comes to niche and smaller company kits, whether resin or plastic, there is a premium to the price. I would be more then happy to pay a premium price for a kit of something that I really wanted. And most require a little extra work, and occasionally some aftermarket to complete it satisfactory.

As I have yet to see the kit, I cannot comment on the rest.
FirstMass
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Massachusetts, United States
Joined: August 15, 2004
KitMaker: 252 posts
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Posted: Friday, January 03, 2014 - 10:38 AM UTC
Judging from the reaction I received when I previously posted my concerns about Mirror Modelsí new Diamond T wrecker kit (http://armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=214949#1806334) Iíll probably incur the wrath of many board members with this post.

I should begin by saying Iíve been modeling armor kits for more than 40 years and that I commend Mirror Models for offering us kits outside the run-of-the-mill. I was thrilled when they first announced this kit and reserved one at my local hobby store as soon as I could. But then photos of the sprues were posted on Armorama and I started to have second thoughts. But Iíve wanted an injection molded Diamond T wrecker forever and decided to plunk down my $90 just the same. I wish I hadnít.

Hereís why:

1) First, the $90 price tag. That kind of money is outrageous for almost any kit, let alone a kit with so many negatives. (I know, no one forced me to spend that kind of money)

2) The gates on the sprues are huge. In some cases they dwarf the small part theyíre attached to and youíll have a rough time when removing parts.

3) There are very few locating pins/holes and those that are there are very undefined. This could be a nuisance when assembling the tires especially.

4) My kit has way too much flash for a $90 kit made in 2013.

5) The instructions are cumbersome, confusing, and poorly designed. An engineering degree from MIT might be of some assistance here.

6) One of the comments I made in the original post had to do with the dash board. The response was I was given was that with dial decals the dash looks much better. After seeing the photo I agree, it does. And the dash is better detailed in person than I had observed in the photos. However, Mirror Models chose not to include decals for the dials in the kit. Iím not familiar with a current open-topped kit that does not include dial decals.

7) The other comment I made on the original post pertained to noticeable sink marks. A post was made in response saying that they had been ďmodified and improved for productionĒ. And yes, the ones I had commented on have been addressed. But they appear to have migrated to the floor of the rear deck, which is ruined by them.

8) As mentioned above, this kit is of the soft top version, not the hardtop. However, for some inexplicable reason Mirror Models chose not to include an actual soft top. Instead weíre told in the instructions that ďan additional detailing set to replace and upgrade plastic parts, and vacuum formed canvas will be available soon at www.LZmodels.com.Ē

Maybe Iíve just become spoiled with the great kits weíve seen over the last ten years. But I think not. The engineering in this kit is comparable to a bad 1970s era kit, or some of the kits we saw come out of Eastern Europe ten years ago. Iíll be putting my kit up for sale on ebay at a cheap price and wait for Hobby Bossís Diamond T. Though not announced, Iím sure it will follow after they release their M19 tank transporter. Besides, Iíd prefer the hard top version anyway.