Crown Publishing SPAD XIII and SPAD VII

Discussion in 'First Impressions Kit Reviews' started by Ron, Jul 24, 2004.

  1. Ron

    Ron Member

    Jan 12, 2004
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    1. Model Subject: SPAD XIII and SPAD VII
    2. Scale: Not stated but I think it's 1/32 or 1/33
    3. Publisher: Crown Publishing (1982 copyright)
    4. Designer: Peter A. Zorn, Jr.
    5. Distributor: Out of print, I found it on an auction site
    6. Format: Hard copy

    I'm not sure this is fair game for the 'first impressions' forum, but it's a first impression for me!

    I picked up an older printed booklet containing two models from an on-line auction site for $4 plus shipping. One plane purports to be that flown by Eddie Rickenbacker, the other one flown by the LaFayette Escadrille. The booklet is 9 1/8" by 12 1/8" which makes it a bit difficult for me to follow through with my original intention of scanning it and building the scan. The models are printed on 4 sheets for each plane, 94 parts each, of what appears to be 67# stock. There are 11 pages of illustrated instructions and a nice 4 page history of the planes.

    This model is not up to modern standards. Not surprising since it is 24 years old! The artwork in particular suffers as it is a simple 4 color print job. No fancy shading here! In fact, the builder is left to his own devices to added the appropriate color to the wing struts and propellor as well as the interior details of the cockpit. The print colors are a bit too dark, particularly the green which is very dark--almost black. Print registration is pretty decent. The most unfortunate feature is that some shading was accomplished by using a pattern of black dots over the printed color. Again, this is more a sign of how far printing technology has advanced in the past two decades rather than a fault of the design.

    The design, seems well thought out. The draftsmanship is OK, but it too suffers from a heavy handed print job.

    Overall, I'm happy with it. Though many might be disappointed by it's anachronisms, I think if I follow through with my original plan most of the 'primitive' printing features can be rectified. I would love to hear other's views on older models such as this. I notice that my copy is a first edition. Are there people out there who collect models like this rather than build them?

    Instructions: B
    Paper quality: C+
    Level of detail: B
    Printing quality: C-
    Artwork: C-
    Value for money: Well, now I suppose that depends on how much you pay for it!
    Skill level: Intermediate(?)
  2. Darwin

    Darwin Member

    Sep 26, 2005
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    First impressions of out-of-print models are definitely fair game. As often as they come up on Ebay (and considering some of the insane prices some go for), it is nice to get someone else's opinion when trying to decide how much to bid. As you indicate, it is really not appropriate to attempt assigning a value-for-money grading to models not currently available through at least one retailer. Thanks for the contribution, and please consider officially becoming a part of our merry little band.
  3. Kugelfang

    Kugelfang Member

    May 16, 2004
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    Actually, I am part of the 'merry little band'. Not quite sure why I showed up as 'Guest'. I think there's a quirkly little php thingy that doesn't like my Firefox browser. As a matter of fact I often find that I have to log in twice to phpBB powered forums. Hmmm....