Some advises before buying a resin kit

Before you buy a new resin/garage kit, what should you know?

First of all, the difference between resin and garage kit is not obvious, sometimes it makes new comer confused about it, but actually there’s no need to differentiate since they’re kinds of unbuilt and unpainted model figures which need your time and efforts to finish them. In the article the author provide a way to distinguish them by the producer of the kits, as the article mentioned:
“When I refer to ‘Resin kits’ I mean the kits produced by major manufacturers, such as Volks A-Brand and X-Brand series; Okayama Figure Engineering; and a number of others. A quick search through the Neko Magic site will reveal a number of such kits. By way of contrast, I apply the term ‘Garage kits’ to those produced by individuals or groups, without the backing of such corporations: they may be the work of amateurs or professionals, of individuals or a group, but they are produced independently, without traditional corporate support, and which are primarily sold at hobby festivals. In either case, due to the labour intensive nature of the manufacturing process, such kits are often produced in limited numbers.”

Second, a problem that always bother the original authors of the resin/garage kits will be the recasting problem which causes a heavy damage on the revenue. There’re always lots of pirate copies selling ASAP on the internet or even through the vendors or stores have a bank of customers, therefore no income or only a very little amount of it can be shared by the authors who should be the only people that earn these copyright money.
And, there’re lots more problems with the pirate copy kits here you can see in the article:
“There are a number of problems associated with bootleg kits. Firstly, there is the simple matter of creator’s rights: the artists and artisans who create the original kits are not receiving any payment for these bootlegs. If these creators are not paid, they have no incentive to create new work, and the whole hobby will grind to a painful halt. Secondly, bootleg kits often lack the finishing detailing elements. Finally, being recasts of pre-existing kits or figures, details, which were present in the original moulds and kits, may become distorted, or lost all together. Furthermore, any defects present in the source for the recast may become exaggerated, making the kit more difficult to paint and assemble satisfactorily.”

So how can we know which is the original authentic kit?
1. Those that are manufactured by major companies are typically sold in boxes, with all the necessary extras (chains, rings, etc.) for detailing included.
2. The true Garage Kits, produced by amateurs/fans/hobby groups may not have quite the same high standard of presentation, as they are typically sold through the hobby festivals. Even so, clearly printed monochrome instructions and or component lists will generally be included.

And the better way to buy the original authentic kit?
1. The most straightforward manner is to go to Japan, and purchase the kits at Wonder Festival, or one of the other hobby festivals.
2. Next best option is to go to Japan, and visit some of the retailers who specialise in such things. Areas such as Akihabara and Ikebukuro in Tokyo.
3. Japanese retail staff is universally friendly, enthusiastic, helpful and courteous. Larger shops typically have a well-marked area for the cashiers, and also often indicate on the floor areas for queuing for service.

For buying resin/garage kits on line, how to prevent buying the pirate copies?
The author of the article gives some advises also:
1. The simplest course of action is to check out reliable vendors like HobbyLink Japan and Amiami. These carry limited ranges of the resin kits issued by the major manufacturers.
2. Avoid using eBay: in part because of its inconsistent business practices, but more because it is clearly a channel for bootleg material. Given that many of the eBay vendors of supposed garage kits are not based in Japan the wise buyer should treat their offers with a high degree of scepticism.

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