Special Hobby kits - in general

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Ralph Haus

Tech Sergeant
Jul 24, 2016
Leander Texas
I have searched the forum for Special Hobby kits/builds and have not seen any 'critiquing' on the kits themselves. I am about to jump to this line, simply because they have a great diversity of kits. My local MS can special order with a week turn so I thought I would give it a try. However, before I dump $s. I would like opinions on the kits themselves. Flash issues? General fits? Instruction clarity and completeness? Anything positive OR negative?

My first, possible, order will be a 1/72 ME 209 V4 and a 1/72 Blohm & Voss BV BV155 V1. Will graduate to the 1/48s if the kits are any good.
The Special Hobby kits are of quite decent quality. The fitting is also quite fine. However you may find the fitting not that great you would expect. Especially for the early kits. But the general rating may be at the 8-9.

Here a couple of their kits you may see the box content.

Haven't built one my self. Got a couple in the stache but still have not got going got a 48 B-57 to start.
One review here if you can make sense of the translation. At the end the reviewer that the kit worthwhile

Yep. Kind of difficult to follow, especially after a couple of beers. But that should make it easier, right? Does seem like he was pleased with it if for nothing else its uniqueness?
I have a number of 1/48 kits and have made a start on a couple of them. They do take more care than a Tamigawa kit and some of them need some adjustment to correct mistakes in the kit design. For example, the Glost E.28/39 I started building a few years ago had some flaws in the shape of the main undercarriage doors and wheel well area. The corrections weren't hard to implement, just needed some care in assembly (and some good photographic sources to ensure the fix matched the real aircraft).

Overall, I'm a fan of SH because they've made a number of aircraft types that likely won't get touched by other manufacturers. The plastic is easy to cut, sand and shape, and the fit is generally pretty good for a modeller who's got some experience building kits that aren't of the "throw the glue into the box and give it a shake" type of assembly.
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The Special Hobby is for me a very good... I'm building the Me Bf109 in 72 and it is very precise... So precise that the Eduard use the same kit in their package.


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The Special Hobby is for me a very good... I'm building the Me Bf109 in 72 and it is very precise... So precise that the Eduard use the same kit in their package.

That's good to hear. I have the two expected in a week or so. Anxious to crack open the boxes to see the parts.
As with anything, read some reviews. I know they make a real effort to get things right (thinking of a certain pudgy fighter right now). But (a) they can only work with the info they have, and (b) their molding technology imposes some limitations.
Without meaning to wade in (after a looooong absence from the forums) - Special Hobby also rebox a lot of other manufacturers kits with varying degrees of quality. The main drawbacks I find building them is the lack of numbered parts on sprues, few locating tabs/pins and erm...sometimes strange instructions.

To illustrate my point. Below are four sets of models - all in sold as Special Hobby. Top is a 'special hobby' Viggen - fantastic fit, finish and almost Hasegawa levels of refinement. However it is actually a rebox of the Tarangus Viggen - a clue being the fact that it did have locating tabs, numbered parts on sprue gates, etc.

The Harvards are all 'Special Hobby' reboxes of Academy Harvards with some additional parts added. The Nomad and DB-8 are also Special Hobby but actually MPM kits. Products of their time but nothing too bad.

The Hornet is actually a Special Hobby original and the one I had was a bit of a pain in the proverbial to get the fit right. Possibly a friday afternoon box?

Having decided that I distinctly disliked Special Hobby I had a chance to do their new Meteor NF and that is brilliant by comparison. Certainly a huge leap over the old Matchbox Meteor NFs....

The above is a long and rambling way of saying check Scalemates to see where your Special Hobby kit began it's life!
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