Looks Good In The Box!

Ah the ‘Open Box Review’ or as I like to call them: “Looks Good in the Box!”

I’m sorry, and with all due respect to all of those internet-scale model titans and those who have come before me with these things. But, come on now. Is there anything less useful than an open-box review? Consider what is always said or written after the big ‘reveal’. “Should build up nicely” “The parts are crisply molded” or my favorite: “Looks good in the box!

Really? Doesn’t every kit look good in the box? Come to think of it, I can’t remember reading or hearing any reviewer say: “Oh GOD! This kit looks absolutely horrible in the box… HORRIBLE! I burned it and I suggest you do the same before it infects your entire stash!

This kit looks like crap in the box

Now, I know there is a healthy segment within this thing of ours that is very concerned about the placement of rivets, the measurement of panel lines, and the length and width of parts and structures. And I will concede that there is an argument to be made for pulling out a fuselage half, placing it on top of a commonly accepted schematic-ey drawing, and digitally tracing red lines all over it. After all, these sticklers will appreciate knowing if the kit is anything but accurate.

But let’s pretend the kit is the most accurate model ever created in the known universe and the dimensions are so razor precise that the model simply laughs at your schematics. Wouldn’t you want to know if the build will fight you every step of the way and end up a castoff on the shelf of misfit models?

Or better yet, wouldn’t you prefer a review that warns you of issues, arms you with some strategies and shows you that a good result is achievable? Wouldn’t that be nice to know? Assuming, of course, you are a model builder and not simply a stockpiler of hyper-accurate model kits.

My good friend Evan, the 36th Panzer Meister, thinks so. See, he has an excellent way to review tank models. You can see some examples here, here, here, and yes, here.

Notice something?



And before he does his magic with all his fancy paints and weathering techniques, he reviews the build. Evan reviews the contents of the box, the detail of the parts, the quality of the instruction sheet and he will give you an honest assessment of the build. All this to say: when Evan does a review, you get a true model builder review that is actually useful. Plus, he’s one of those salt-of-the-earth-awesomesauce-lends-you-his-car-with-absolutely-no-questions-asked armor builders you keep hearing about. Evan is a prince.

So, to those who feel compelled to upload an unboxing of a brand-new release before everyone else does, I say this: Forget the clicks and go beyond the open box review.

Because we already know what you are going to say.

Instead, build the thing and then give us the goods.

Be Evan.

12 thoughts on “Looks Good In The Box!

Add yours

  1. I heartily concur. That’s why I have “after action” reports on my website where I sum up my build experience. I’ve even taken a shot at one manufacturer in specific with a post just on them (it’s P-38 related). I ain’t Evan (and ain’t HE lucky!), but no smoke up kilts from me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. On the other hand, as a reviewer for Model Military Int’l magazine I get quite a few kits in one go for review. As I work full time plus have other stuff on the go, there are simply not enough hours in the day to devote to full build reviews so in-box reviews are the best I can do.
    Just my humble opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Andy. I appreciate your comment with the context. My preference will always be a build review but I understand the difficulty for magazines to keep up with product reviews and publication schedules in this age of endless new releases. Thanks for reaching out.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I would like to see Canadair F-86 done properly. Eduard made different parts/fuselages/wings for the various variants of the 109, spitfires etc etc. Something along those lines for the F-86, to account for the differences between North American built and Canadair build Sabres would be nice. I’d get several 1/72, and 1 or 2 1/48.


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