lol, nice timing, Casey.
Having seen some of the Trumpeter masters (a couple of them still reside in the very building I work in) in the flesh, I have to say that it wasn't the pattern makers that let those designs down, it was definetly in the tooling.
And still, I've asked, and nobody has ever responded - what are the acceptible innacuracies and what are the unacceptible innacuracies? Since perfection is obviously an unobtainable goal (and save the pre-written "nobody is asking for perfection" schtick...) it seems like roof lines and wheel openings/fender flares seem to garner the most "outrage". Because it's a little hard to follow the logic of "we can live with this" for one subject with flaws and "this is unacceptible rubbish" for another subject with flaws. And everything has its flaws - they always have - and they always will.
As I see it, if they release this kit as it stands, it's still going to be number one with a bullet, and if they "fix" it, I doubt it will do substantially better, we're definitely into the 99.9th percentile - and you'll drive yourself crazy chasing down that .1% that will never be satisfied - but let's face it, that .1% are the folks that tend to populate message boards like this one.
Oh, the "nobody's asking for perfection" bit ain't the only "schtick" I have prewritten (and the invitation remains open at the blog for anyone who, y'know, wants to actually challenge the logic of it). I also started answering your question sight unseen back in post #290, the very one you quoted - sorry I missed it, or I would have addressed it much sooner 'cause the answer is not nearly so tricky or vague as the question frames it: NOT ALL FLAWS ARE CREATED EQUALLY. Some shout; some sit there quietly until you mine them out after hours of comparison to the 1:1. There's no use pretending that all flaws are subject to .1%-scale analysis. The ones which truly are within that .1% tolerance create less margin for controversy because they are generally closer to the subject, so sorry, that old "pleasing all people all of the time" saw is not of much use in our particular context.
I can tell you where I'm personally coming from on this: where I can instantly tell, from comparing a master with my memory of a given subject, where that master goes off course, then reinforce those impressions with a bit of research, I'm gonna call it out. And I'm not the only one who thinks like this.
My recollection of a '57 Ford Custom was pretty fair, and the model gave me a strong initial impression. I ultimately found the side window perimeter framing not quite thick enough maybe, but that was only by poring and poring and poring over several different 1:1 profile shots. As for that extra material webbing the area between the deck lid and the tops of the rear fins, you can file it away with not much more effort than it takes to remove parting lines if it even bothers you in the first place. Front bumper pan is covered, so bingo. Far as I'm concerned, best and closest in a long time from Revell, and where it's off, it's really marginal and fairly easily fixed. And oh, don'cha know - the '57 Ford thread here is relatively unburdened by dissection, error highlights, and Photoshop or GIMP corrections. How about that.
THE VERY FIRST SIGHT of that 'Cuda master was a wtf moment, and - this is the important part - not just for me. It seems someone is resolutely determined to flatten wheel arches at Revell, so I was actually grateful to see the crease into the fender a little rounder than the lip below; a little filing should do ya right nice about there. Is the upper drip molding just a little too sharp and flat in the transition from the A-pillar? I personally could slide that one 'cause it won't be near the adjustment I made to the '95 kit. It was that upper fender/door/quarter surface that sucked my eyes right to it, that has drawn the most commentary, and there's another rub for ya: this ain't no filled fin that might escape your first glance, it is a proportioning deviation gross enough for MANY, apparently, to catch it immediately, 1:1 unseen for comparison. And fixing it looks bitchy.
You're approaching this as if there's some arcane sliding line impossible to place for a given group of modelers, but there are at least some firm general guidelines. The closer the model is to the 1:1, the less controversy there will be. If a lone quibbler picks on the number of bolts you have molded to the starter solenoid bracket, that's one thing. If you have pages of internet discussion where people are showing things pretty drastically off with grid lines and 1:1 comparisons, or making dramatic improvements with a bit of photo manipulation, that's quite another.
And sure, there's plenty of gray area between. Revell can probably dwell there and shift plenty of units, 'cause honestly, we car modelers are a pretty low-standard bunch - and nothing demonstrates that like the fervor with which a fair number of us rationalize "good enough".