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#1 HOLMES55

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 08:32 AM

I found this thread on th H.A.M.B. about Model box art

http://www.jalopyjou...ad.php?t=238665

There is an 7 or 8 page article also in Elapsed Times magazine
about old box art. It seems that when Jimmy carter was president
there was a truth in packaging law that stated that there be an
actual photo of the contents and put an end to Box art.

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#2 Colin Russell

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:45 AM

Bless the old peanut farmer as it was a great idea :D
I can think of a few kits nowadays that should have pics of the contents,as some of the heavily airbrushed images hide a multitude of sins.. :P

#3 moparmagiclives

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 11:29 AM

I like round 2's usage of a shadow of the part tree on the box bottom.
Don't know who's idea it was, but its neat.

#4 rhs856

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 03:43 PM

I like round 2's usage of a shadow of the part tree on the box bottom.
Don't know who's idea it was, but its neat.


Agreed, although their tree outlines don't show the same amount of flash as some of the reissues have. :lol:

Edited by rhs856, 27 September 2012 - 03:43 PM.


#5 sjordan2

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 08:44 AM

I found this thread on th H.A.M.B. about Model box art

http://www.jalopyjou...ad.php?t=238665

There is an 7 or 8 page article also in Elapsed Times magazine
about old box art. It seems that when Jimmy carter was president
there was a truth in packaging law that stated that there be an
actual photo of the contents and put an end to Box art.


That doesn't seem to have affected foreign kit makers like Revell of Germany and the Japanese, who continue to issue painted (and beautiful) box art. For the kits I build, the most misleading were Revell kits including the 1/12 Ferrari 275 GTB and 1/16 Rolls Phantom II Continental from the 70s, which had photos of the 1:1 cars on the box tops and were nothing like what was contained in the box.

#6 Harry P.

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 08:53 AM

I think there ought to be a law... a "truth in advertising" type of thing, where if the manufacturer wants to use an illustration or some sort of "representation" of what's in the box, then they also must show a photo (or photos) of what is actually in the box... either the completed model (no airbrushing out the kit's flaws!) or the parts trees (or both), on the side panel of the box. Cool box art might sell kits, but the manufacturers owe the customer an honest example of what the customer is buying before the customer gets the kit home and finds out that the stuff inside the box is far from the image promised on the box top.

#7 sjordan2

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 09:27 AM

Here's a reverse example of painting vs: photo.

The Revell 1/12 Ferrari 275 GTB kit shows a 1:1 car on the box top, with beautiful Borrani wire wheels and the famous body style. The box sides show photos of a built model, but they are so carefully framed that it looks good.

Posted Image

Here's the original kit created by Renwal. Terrible art? NO, it is almost identical to what's in the box, showing a droopy nose with a lousy grille, incorrect top shape, some kind of square thing on the hood, a tail that's too long (without a Kamm spoiler), wrong wheel well radius and funky Campagnolo mag wheels. But at least it's accurate.

Posted Image

Edited by sjordan2, 28 September 2012 - 09:47 AM.


#8 MAGNUM4342

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 10:39 AM

I like round 2's usage of a shadow of the part tree on the box bottom.
Don't know who's idea it was, but its neat.

You can thank Doug Ridge and Jamie Hood for the bulk of the innovations from Round2. As for flash, believe me they lament the amounts of flash as well. The thinking is thus- mild mold reconditioning costs less than a complete recondition or retool. This is money that is better placed going towards new tools and licensing as well as printing tree shadows on box bottoms. Consider this- Round2 is about to release a three foot long 1/350th scale Enterprise (Star Trek) model. Combine the licensing of such a kit with the cost of those molds? I don't mind cleaning up a little flash to see such things being released. Want more big scale car kits? Lettem do thier thing. ;)

#9 MAGNUM4342

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 10:42 AM

I think there ought to be a law... a "truth in advertising" type of thing, where if the manufacturer wants to use an illustration or some sort of "representation" of what's in the box, then they also must show a photo (or photos) of what is actually in the box... either the completed model (no airbrushing out the kit's flaws!) or the parts trees (or both), on the side panel of the box. Cool box art might sell kits, but the manufacturers owe the customer an honest example of what the customer is buying before the customer gets the kit home and finds out that the stuff inside the box is far from the image promised on the box top.

Round2 feels the same way Harry. :) Just look at the recent Batmobile kit my buddy Jacen helped with. There's a beautifull illustration on the box top with photos of the actual kit around the sides. This is the way they all should be done! I'm with you. ;)

By the way, I don't mean to turn this thread into a Round2 advertisement. I'm also sorry I don't know how to use the multi quote.

Edited by MAGNUM4342, 28 September 2012 - 10:44 AM.


#10 Art Anderson

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 08:03 PM

I think there ought to be a law... a "truth in advertising" type of thing, where if the manufacturer wants to use an illustration or some sort of "representation" of what's in the box, then they also must show a photo (or photos) of what is actually in the box... either the completed model (no airbrushing out the kit's flaws!) or the parts trees (or both), on the side panel of the box. Cool box art might sell kits, but the manufacturers owe the customer an honest example of what the customer is buying before the customer gets the kit home and finds out that the stuff inside the box is far from the image promised on the box top.


Frankly Harry, in your scenario, the only form of box art that box art photographs could show and be completely truthful would be photos of the raw parts trees, instruction sheet and decal sheet (if any). Simply because that's what the customer will find inside the box when opening it. In today's litigious climate, it could even be hazardous to use a photo or painting of the real car, because no matter what disclaimers are printed, SOMEBODY someplace is going to allege having been mislead (and you gotta know that places such as LA and San Francisco have lots of lawyers willing to go after even a model kit company.

No matter what restrictive instructions are given the builder of a box art model, there will be someone out there to claim that he or she (or their child) tried to build the thing, and it didn't come out to look anything like the builtup pictured on the boxtop, plain and simple.

Art

#11 Art Anderson

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 08:36 PM

I found this thread on th H.A.M.B. about Model box art

http://www.jalopyjou...ad.php?t=238665

There is an 7 or 8 page article also in Elapsed Times magazine
about old box art. It seems that when Jimmy carter was president
there was a truth in packaging law that stated that there be an
actual photo of the contents and put an end to Box art.


Interesting, but I believe "urban legend". I built a lot of box art models for AMT Corporation (later Lesney/AMT) in the years 1975-81, and NEVER experienced such a law, nor any type of regulations of that sort. AMT decided, in late 1975 to start using photographic box art showing model kits built exactly to the instructions, straight out of the box, which was more than a year before James Earl Carter became president. This was due to the rise of "Nader's Raiders", groups of law students who went looking for anything that could be convincing to a jury in a lawsuit regarding any allegations of consumer fraud, unsafe products, that sort of thing (BTW, Ralph Nader got a cut of every settlement, made far more money that way than from royaties on his book (reported in the press in the late 1970's).

My instructions from AMT's art department were very rigid: Model cars were to be built exactly as found in the box (they did ask that mold parting lines be smoothed out however), body colors were specified from readily available Testors and/or Pactra hobby paints, and a specific pattern of painting chassis and suspension details had to be followed to the letter. No Bare Metal Foil could be used, all chrome trim on bodies had to be hand painted with Testors 1146 Silver. The only variance from the kit was that window glass was not to be installed, they decided to to some airbrush retouching to give the hint of glass, so that interiors could be seen readily through the windshield.

Monogram took things a bit farther: They engaged famed IPMS diorama and figure painter, Shepard Paine to build up their box art models, and almost always, those were shown in a diorama, but with no added detailing whatsoever. MPC was quite similar to the standard at AMT, as were Revell and Testors. It was quite interesting at the time that not a single European nor Japanese kit mfr did anything of this sort, except for some of the rather odd subjects (things like plastic kits of electric fans, that sort of thing which had some popularity in Japan but seldom seen in US hobby shops outside of some of the largest cities). Entex went the photographic box art from the get-go--but Glencoe Models did only sporadically. Williams Brothers, who started producing plastic kits of famous racing planes from the 20's and 30's didn't, however.

To the best of my knowledge, no law was ever passed requiring such box art--all of this was driven by a fear of lawsuits, and certainly no fear of such seemed to move Model Rectifier Corporation to insist on such photographic boxtops from Tamiya, nor did the importers of Hasegawa, Fujimi, Aoshima, Heller, Italeri, or Airfix. Union Model Company did use photo's of built models on their kit boxes when they entered the scene in the mid-1980's though.

Art

#12 midnightprowler

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 12:46 AM

Art, you never cease to amaze me with your little history lessons! Kudos! Your info is always fascinating.

#13 1930fordpickup

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 12:53 AM

I myself like a picture of the built Model .

#14 Erik Smith

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 03:31 AM

I like artwork on the box. I also like R2's idea of sprue outlines on the bottom.

In this day and age, it is very easy to do a quick search and see what a kit is all about. Back in the seventies it was near impossible unless you knew somebody who already built the kit.

#15 Harry P.

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 03:44 AM

Frankly Harry, in your scenario, the only form of box art that box art photographs could show and be completely truthful would be photos of the raw parts trees, instruction sheet and decal sheet (if any).


Yes... that's exactly what I said.

If the box art is an illustration or representation of the kit in the box, then also include either a photo of the built model or pictures of what's in the box (parts trees). You don't need to show the instruction sheet, it's assumed that every model has assembly instructions included. But showing the actual parts that are in the box (along with whatever fanciful "interpretation" of the actual model is on the box top) would tell the consumer exactly what he/she will find inside. And that would help many people to decide if the kit they're looking at is one that they want to buy or not. They wouldn't have to go on blind faith and buy the kit, hoping that what's inside the box is what they thought was inside the box!

#16 Mercman

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 03:50 AM

I remember the old AMT kits had a picture on the side of the box showing parts that were in it.

#17 sjordan2

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 04:40 AM

Yes... that's exactly what I said.

If the box art is an illustration or representation of the kit in the box, then also include either a photo of the built model or pictures of what's in the box (parts trees). You don't need to show the instruction sheet, it's assumed that every model has assembly instructions included. But showing the actual parts that are in the box (along with whatever fanciful "interpretation" of the actual model is on the box top) would tell the consumer exactly what he/she will find inside. And that would help many people to decide if the kit they're looking at is one that they want to buy or not. They wouldn't have to go on blind faith and buy the kit, hoping that what's inside the box is what they thought was inside the box!


I think a couple of manufacturers do this, but all should: Put all that online, including instructions, without having to search for third-party information.

Edited by sjordan2, 29 September 2012 - 04:44 AM.


#18 tim boyd

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 07:02 AM

Interesting, but I believe "urban legend". I built a lot of box art models for AMT Corporation (later Lesney/AMT) in the years 1975-81, and NEVER experienced such a law, nor any type of regulations of that sort. AMT decided, in late 1975 to start using photographic box art showing model kits built exactly to the instructions, straight out of the box, which was more than a year before James Earl Carter became president. This was due to the rise of "Nader's Raiders", groups of law students who went looking for anything that could be convincing to a jury in a lawsuit regarding any allegations of consumer fraud, unsafe products, that sort of thing (BTW, Ralph Nader got a cut of every settlement, made far more money that way than from royaties on his book (reported in the press in the late 1970's).

My instructions from AMT's art department were very rigid: Model cars were to be built exactly as found in the box (they did ask that mold parting lines be smoothed out however), body colors were specified from readily available Testors and/or Pactra hobby paints, and a specific pattern of painting chassis and suspension details had to be followed to the letter. No Bare Metal Foil could be used, all chrome trim on bodies had to be hand painted with Testors 1146 Silver. The only variance from the kit was that window glass was not to be installed, they decided to to some airbrush retouching to give the hint of glass, so that interiors could be seen readily through the windshield.

Monogram took things a bit farther: They engaged famed IPMS diorama and figure painter, Shepard Paine to build up their box art models, and almost always, those were shown in a diorama, but with no added detailing whatsoever. MPC was quite similar to the standard at AMT, as were Revell and Testors. It was quite interesting at the time that not a single European nor Japanese kit mfr did anything of this sort, except for some of the rather odd subjects (things like plastic kits of electric fans, that sort of thing which had some popularity in Japan but seldom seen in US hobby shops outside of some of the largest cities). Entex went the photographic box art from the get-go--but Glencoe Models did only sporadically. Williams Brothers, who started producing plastic kits of famous racing planes from the 20's and 30's didn't, however.

To the best of my knowledge, no law was ever passed requiring such box art--all of this was driven by a fear of lawsuits, and certainly no fear of such seemed to move Model Rectifier Corporation to insist on such photographic boxtops from Tamiya, nor did the importers of Hasegawa, Fujimi, Aoshima, Heller, Italeri, or Airfix. Union Model Company did use photo's of built models on their kit boxes when they entered the scene in the mid-1980's though.

Art



*************************************************************

I'm with Art on this one. Urban legend, and one of several inaccuracies in the Elapsed Time article (still, overall a good article and eight pages of model in a mainstream car mag is great!)

I did box art models, hobby show samples, and models for Sales Staff meetings for AMT over this same period (perhaps starting a little later than Art did), and as he said, I recall the decision to go with box art photographhy came from AMT's management and was administered by their Art Department. However, my experience was somewhat different with respect to Bare-Metal (I used it on all of my box art builds), and I was not given any instructions as to specific chassis/engine/suspension colors.

Years ago I contributed an article to the Thomas Voehringer web site recapping the phone call I got after turning in my build of the chopped '53 Stude that was used on the cover of the Salt Flats series kits (circa 1978). They were near apopletic (sp?) over the dechroming of the body and the molding in of the grille blanks, as I recall. My response? "Read your own instruction sheet!" I calmly copied the instruction sheet from the 1964 original release, sent it in the next day, and never heard another word. And the model appeared exactly as I had build it (except for AMT's addition of decals to the body) on the box art.

Best regards...TIM

#19 Art Anderson

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 11:39 AM

*************************************************************

I'm with Art on this one. Urban legend, and one of several inaccuracies in the Elapsed Time article (still, overall a good article and eight pages of model in a mainstream car mag is great!)

I did box art models, hobby show samples, and models for Sales Staff meetings for AMT over this same period (perhaps starting a little later than Art did), and as he said, I recall the decision to go with box art photographhy came from AMT's management and was administered by their Art Department. However, my experience was somewhat different with respect to Bare-Metal (I used it on all of my box art builds), and I was not given any instructions as to specific chassis/engine/suspension colors.

Years ago I contributed an article to the Thomas Voehringer web site recapping the phone call I got after turning in my build of the chopped '53 Stude that was used on the cover of the Salt Flats series kits (circa 1978). They were near apopletic (sp?) over the dechroming of the body and the molding in of the grille blanks, as I recall. My response? "Read your own instruction sheet!" I calmly copied the instruction sheet from the 1964 original release, sent it in the next day, and never heard another word. And the model appeared exactly as I had build it (except for AMT's addition of decals to the body) on the box art.

Best regards...TIM


Tim,

I overlooked something in my posting: I believe it was Dennis Doty, who did the '51 Chevy Bel Air Convertible box art model, who convinced AMT Corporation to allow Bare Metal Foil. Their resistance earlier stemmed from a complete lack of knowledge and understanding of the stuff (bear in mind that Eldred Mason, founder of BMF in 1970, kept trying to promote the stuff for doing natural metal finishes on scale aircraft, where it continued to find only limited acceptance from modelers, and downright prejudice from IPMS judges. However, once Tom Valmassei and crew in their art department got a good look at a model car trimmed in BMF, they saw quickly how it brought out the details of chrome trim far better than Testors silver paint. I believe the 51 Chevy convertible happened in early 1977, about the time I started doing the "Countdown To The Sixties" series of cars.

I too raised the ire of the art department, in 1980, with the reissue of the 1907 New York to Paris Thomas Flyer by Lesney/AMT. In looking over the kit, it was very apparent that the bright gold-tone plating on the radiator, headlights. taillight, hubcaps and bulb horn would have been very toy-looking in appearance on the model, which depicts the car as it finished the race (The Winnah!!) in Paris, somewhat the worse for wear after nearly 20,000 miles of driving and sea transport. I called the art director at the time (whose name escapes me now), explained the dilemma to him, and he more or less gave me carte blanche to give the model the appropriate weathering.

Having an excellent book of color pics of the cars of Harrah's Automobile Collection, with several shots of the Thomas--I built and painted the car as the pictures show--THEN weathered it lightly, but gave the brass parts a slight tarnish effect with an airbrushed "wash" of extremely thinned out Testors "Rubber", which gave the brass parts a very realistic appearance. Then, in keeping with accuracy, I omitted the left side headlight lens (the real one was broken out somewhere between Berlin and Paris, and angled that headlight slightly downward, just as it appears on the actual car to this day (the only thing I wish I could have added, but AMT didn't include) was the Parisian's bicycle which got hoisted up on the left running board so that its headlight would make the Thomas legal for the streets of Paris, and keep the Gendarmes happy, but Oh Well!.

Anyway, when the model arrived at Lesney/AMT product development in Warren MI, consternation ruled! I got a phone call, with a stern comment that I should not have modified the kit in any way. I pointed out that no modification was made, just a slight adjustment of that headlight, and of course, omitting the left headlight lens. The guy wasn't happy, but agreed to study it more thoroughly. About an hour later, the Managing Director of Lesney AMT (a British chap then commuting from suburban Windsor) called me, and assured me that the model was MORE than acceptable--he being a Matchbox Toys veteran really appreciated that attention to detail and finish. PHEW!

Perhaps my most satisfying project was when I was commissioned to do a conversion of AMT's Kenworth Conventional tractor, to the Alaskan Hauler. Once the kit and pics arrived, a quick phone call to Troy MI netted me a dozen sets of American LaFrance Ladder Chief chrome trees, so I could do the front fenders on that rig from the diamond tread running boards. That, and scratchbuilding the heavy-duty "headache rack" were principal to making it look like what it should, for display at the 1978 HIAA Trade Show (wherever it was that year). I was told later, that the art department went ahead, used my trade show prototype for the catalog and box art pics, but I was never really able to confirm that (too bad digital cameras were 20+ years into the future, huh?).

Another project that was very intriguing, was to do a built "prototype" Gar Wood Packer Body for the AMT Ford C-600 City Delivery box van. For that, I was given the truck, along with a sell sheet from Gar Wood showing 3 views of the packer body, which was a size that really should have had a tandem rear axle. This one was done for the 1978 HIAA show as well. The body was constructed from .040" styrene sheet salvaged from the So-Fro Fabrics store here that my then-wife managed. I did the thing, delivered it in person, never heard anything about it again. In June of 1982, I was at the annual model contest put on by LaGrange Hobby Shop in LaGrange IL (an outdoor contest). Walking across the street to the store, what did I see? That prototype Ford C-600 Garbage Truck that I'd built. I inquired about buying it from them, but they weren't interested in selling. Oh Well!

A couple of times back in the 90's, at GSL, there were a number of box art builds auctioned, which had been donated by AMT/Ertl.

Art

#20 Art Anderson

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 12:08 PM

Yes... that's exactly what I said.

If the box art is an illustration or representation of the kit in the box, then also include either a photo of the built model or pictures of what's in the box (parts trees). You don't need to show the instruction sheet, it's assumed that every model has assembly instructions included. But showing the actual parts that are in the box (along with whatever fanciful "interpretation" of the actual model is on the box top) would tell the consumer exactly what he/she will find inside. And that would help many people to decide if the kit they're looking at is one that they want to buy or not. They wouldn't have to go on blind faith and buy the kit, hoping that what's inside the box is what they thought was inside the box!


Harry,

Nice sounding, but if you really think about it--modelers in general, and model car builders in particular, seem to have gotten along very well for a good 60 years without all that (of course, AMT kits of the early 1960's had illustrations of various parts, particularly the custom and hop-up parts in their car kits on the sides of the box). And over those 6+ decades, I doubt very many people complained; certainly in my almost 30 yrs of involvment in retail hobbies I cannot remember a single incident where a kid, his parents, or adult modelers complained about not being able to see what was included.

As for built model photographed VS illustration, that's an issue that can cut both ways: A beautifully built and finished model looks great on a box top, but when a neophyte modeler buys the kit, tries to make it look that way, inexperience all too often leads to disappointment--"I tried, but my (fill in the model name here) doesn't look like that!, or the model was haphazardly done (witness the early AMT/Ertl box art models, many of which were done, in the 1980's, by middle and high school age kids from the Catholic schools in Dyersville (which town has NO public school system, just parochial), which as a hobby dealer in the 1980's I saw as more often than not, detrimental to the subject matter in the box from a marketing point of view. The same thing could happen with Japanese kits and their gorgeous illustrations: I vividly remember the absolute CRAZE over Lamborghini Countach model kits in the mid-80's (1984-about 1987, when I could not get enough Countach kits of any mfr to satisfy the kids demanding them!!). More than once I heard disappointment because that iconic model car subject kit didn't come out like the illustration. So, go figure.

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the 50th Anniversary of my HS graduating class (West Lafayette Senior High School). Now I might well be considered to have been the WLHS Class of '62 Automotive Modelers, but there were 3 or 4 other guys who were consistent builders as well. Three of us spent perhaps an hour at our Meet & Greet Thursday evening, reminiscing about MODEL CARS, and this very subject came up. None of the three of us could remember ever being disappointed at what we found in a mainstream model car kit box, vis-a-vis what the boxtop showed.

It's always been this sort of quandary, I think, going all the way back to the very earliest of Revell/Gowland & Gowland Highway Pioneers kits. But of course, had the likes of Premiere, Palmer, and even Pyro been forced to show built and painted examples of their often horrid products on the boxtops, likely their products would have flopped very quickly.

Art