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Buying Used Kits.


genocon

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I have purchased several 'used' models in the past. I just wanted to post some observations about the practice, and ask if anyone has had similar experience. Most of these are either just opened by someone and rustled through, or they started building it, then quit, probably a kid who didn't realize how much work was involved. They work out to be much cheaper, in some instances, and if all the parts are still present, can end up just as nice as a brand new model. And, really, most parts you can fab up if you need to.

 

A recent purchase was maybe twenty or thirty dollars cheaper than market price, and was missing the instructions. No problem. Not on this forum. I was able to get a digital file of the instructions, a parts list, and even the six plan sheets, which were also missing. 

 

Another one was chopped up pretty bad and had a bunch of pieces already cut out of the parts  boards. The description of the sale said it had been started. Did not mention the chopped up part. I almost complained, but then I remembered I paid $8.88 for it. It's a Scientific model, usually going for around $30. I managed to fix up the butchery, but the stern is considerably more trim than the original Bounty. Finished product came out alright for the money.

 

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So, that's all. I wonder if anyone else has had good or bad luck buying used.  

 

-geno

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eBay used to be a much better place to shop many years ago, but these days everyone seems to think that whatever they are selling is a gold mine. They don't bother to do the research that's needed to set a reasonable asking price. That said, I have purchased a few kits off that site and never had any issues, neither with the kit nor the transaction.

Chris Coyle
Greer, South Carolina

When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
- Tuco

Current builds: Brigantine Phoenix

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8 hours ago, genocon said:

And, really, most parts you can fab up if you need to.

A progression from here is to forego all of the pre-made parts and scratch build.  Your possibilities increase by a couple or three magnitudes.  The limits here are the available plans.  And if your devotion to historical accuracy has flexible limits, it will be limited by your skill either at a drawing board or a CAD program.  And with a lot of the legacy plans for notorious vessels, the origins and specifics only wink the reality of what they purport to represent.  But, to be fair,  at the time most were produced,  there was not much else available.  Of course,  more than a few kits share this same tenuous attachment to reality.

NRG member 45 years

 

Current:  

HMS Centurion 1732 - 60-gun 4th rate - Navall Timber framing

HMS Beagle 1831 refiit  10-gun brig with a small mizzen - Navall (ish) Timber framing

The U.S. Ex. Ex. 1838-1842
Flying Fish 1838  pilot schooner -  framed - ready for stern timbers
Porpose II  1836  brigantine/brig - framed - ready for hawse and stern timbers
Vincennes  1825  Sloop-of-War  -  timbers assembled, need shaping
Peacock  1828  Sloop-of -War  -  timbers ready for assembly
Sea Gull  1838  pilot schooner -  timbers ready for assembly
Relief  1835  ship - timbers ready for assembly

Other

Portsmouth  1843  Sloop-of-War  -  timbers ready for assembly
Le Commerce de Marseilles  1788   118 cannons - framed

La Renommee 1744 Frigate - framed - ready for hawse and stern timbers

 

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3 hours ago, ccoyle said:

They don't bother to do the research that's needed to set a reasonable asking price.

Some sellers I think, try to re-coop there eBay and PayPal fees. But there are deals to be had if you are willing to wait. 

I just bought a new Panart Lancia Armata 1803  Armored Launch 1/16 scale for a third of retail. I looked for a long time but wasn't going to pay full retail plus shipping. And about 18 months ago I bought a new Model Shipways Armed Virginia Sloop for a fraction of retail. But you have to be careful and read the description and look at all the photos very close you could get skinned.

The problem for me is I will end up with more models than I could ever build. 

I hate ModelExp  😊, they run those 40% off sales.         

RussR

"Peace is not something you wish for; It's something you make, Something you do, Something you are, And something you give away" by Robert Fulghum

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12 hours ago, Jaager said:

A progression from here is to forego all of the pre-made parts and scratch build.  

Oh yeah, that's what I need. I'm sure my wife will be fine with the sparkling new CNC Laser in the garage.  And the brass foundry will probably need a permit. I think I'll stick to models for now. 

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12 hours ago, RussR said:

Some sellers I think, try to re-coop there eBay and PayPal fees. But there are deals to be had if you are willing to wait. 

This was what I said when I read the post about high prices. The sellers get beat up by all the fees. Still, I've gotten a LOT of deals on ebay. The $8.88 Bounty was from Etsy, which I had never used before. Pretty cheap. Shipping was $9.99 to add a little irony. Still cheap.

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15 hours ago, RussR said:

 

The problem for me is I will end up with more models than I could ever build. 

I hate ModelExp  😊, they run those 40% off sales.         

RussR

Those sales are a problem...… lol, 

 

Please, visit our Facebook page!

 

Respectfully

 

Per aka Dr. Per@Therapy for Shipaholics 
593661798_Keepitreal-small.jpg.f8a2526a43b30479d4c1ffcf8b37175a.jpg

Finished: T37, BB Marie Jeanne - located on a shelf in Sweden, 18th Century Longboat, Winchelsea Capstan

Current: America by Constructo, Solö Ruff, USS Syren by MS, Bluenose by MS

Viking funeral: Harley almost a Harvey

Nautical Research Guild Member - 'Taint a hobby if you gotta hurry

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10 hours ago, capnharv3 said:

Hmm. I haven't had to buy a model kit in years-people keep giving them to me!

 

Hmm, why is that I recognize that......

Do we have a common nearby, a person whose first name starts with an F?

Didn't you snag The Agamemnon kit from him?

 

Please, visit our Facebook page!

 

Respectfully

 

Per aka Dr. Per@Therapy for Shipaholics 
593661798_Keepitreal-small.jpg.f8a2526a43b30479d4c1ffcf8b37175a.jpg

Finished: T37, BB Marie Jeanne - located on a shelf in Sweden, 18th Century Longboat, Winchelsea Capstan

Current: America by Constructo, Solö Ruff, USS Syren by MS, Bluenose by MS

Viking funeral: Harley almost a Harvey

Nautical Research Guild Member - 'Taint a hobby if you gotta hurry

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On 7/1/2020 at 6:28 AM, Jaager said:

A progression from here is to forego all of the pre-made parts and scratch build.  Your possibilities increase by a couple or three magnitudes.  The limits here are the available plans.  And if your devotion to historical accuracy has flexible limits, it will be limited by your skill either at a drawing board or a CAD program.  And with a lot of the legacy plans for notorious vessels, the origins and specifics only wink the reality of what they purport to represent.  But, to be fair,  at the time most were produced,  there was not much else available.  Of course,  more than a few kits share this same tenuous attachment to reality.

So true! The fact is, it's only been in recent times that kits with a high level of historical accuracy and quality materials have been available at all. There are now some pretty darn good kits on  the market, but you have to know what you are doing to make sure you're not buying junk. The old kits some of us cut our teeth on forty or fifty years ago were really scratch builds more than anything else. You'd get a set of plans, a rough shaped hull block, some dowels and some sheet wood, a bit of wire and string, and some (often poorly) cast metal fittings. After that, you were on your own. Laser cut wood parts were unheard of.   

 

That said, if you invest the time and effort to learn how to read and draft plans, there is a near-limitless supply of ship modeling subjects all over the place. You can buy really nice plans drawn for modeling purposes, or spring for some of the Anatomy of the Ship books, or you can scale up something from Chapelle's and Chapman's books, order plans from the HAMMS collection at the Smithsonian or The Historic American Engineering Record Survey (HAERS) plans that are free online from the National Park website, the latter being some of the best historic ship plans available anywhere.

 

People buy kits because they think the kit is going to make it easier. Kits do make it easier for those who are starting out, but you really pay a price for that. Kits cost many times more than scratch-building. For what some pay for kits that often remain unfinished, they could amass a great collection of fine tools and be able to build anything, anytime, anywhere, for next to nothing... and be able to sell the tools when they were done and spend the money on a nice tombstone. The only catch is that one must do their own research and look up what they need to know to get the job done. Thanks to the internet, that task is easier today by orders of magnitude than it was before. There's a lot more to this hobby than just following instructions and assembling a model no different than hundreds or thousands of others out of parts from a box. When the day comes that you start to think about freeing yourself from the constraints of the model kit marketplace, you know you've begun to arrive at an entirely different level of interest and enjoyment.

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