Spark/Bizarre Miscues

Find a model with an issue? Post your findings here.
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Stig
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Re: Spark/Bizarre Miscues

Post by Stig » Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:19 pm

Jager wrote:Spark are usually pretty good, but it appears they have a production fault and QC issue with the 1962 #32 Sunbeam Alpine that's been recently released. Mine arrived with cracks in the wheel rims of the two left side wheels and when I checked with the supplier he found that the 3 remaining models he had in stock had similar cracks (albeit not as severe).

Funnily enough the problem doesn't appear to have affected the sister #33 car from 1962, while I'm still waiting for my 1963 version to arrive to see if that has a similar problem.

Hopefully the matter can be resolved with a replacement set of wheels. However, if you're buying one of the Spark Sunbeam Alpines se I'd advise you to check it carefully.
Apart from this, wire wheels are one of Spark's biggest pending subjects. I miss a more fine wheels in these models.

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Re: Spark/Bizarre Miscues

Post by Jager » Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:40 am

Further to the problem above, Spark were very responsive and are sending a set of replacement wheels.
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Re: Spark/Bizarre Miscues

Post by protzenegger » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:04 pm

Just got a Triumph Spitfire yesterday, and it's got a strange black wash on the seats. Apologies for the picture quality, the lighting in my apartment is rubbish and the iPhone flash would reflect off the shiny bits something fierce.

Image

Not sure if it's intentional and they're trying to mimic the imperfections of leather or what, but that doesn't look so good and Google search turns up others with the same issue. The door card is protruding from under the black strip above it, due to an overly large bump on that edge, which I guess was preventing that door card from being installed flush (as it is on the unseen left side).

I even got this specifically because I found the tobacco interior (and hood badging) to be more interesting than the black one on the green version of this model, so it's kind of a bummer that these imperfections are so visible.

For a model that was $66 shipped, I suppose it's not a dealbreaker, but definitely not Spark's best effort. Not by a mile.

Anybody have one of these who can shed light on the seats?
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protzenegger
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Re: Spark/Bizarre Miscues

Post by protzenegger » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:19 pm

This will fit the theme of this topic better than my previous post, but I'm quite let down by the Spark 964 Carrera RS - and will wait for a more accurate model to come along. I'm usually a fan of Spark's Porsches (have a few myself), but I feel they missed the mark on this one.

Here's the 1:1
Image

And here's the Spark
Image

If you open each image in its own tab, they're almost completely aligned and you can really see the differences, which lie chiefly in the lower half of the car.

The 1:1 sits low on its wheels and has a flattened rear wheel arch, which follows the curvature of its rear shoulder. The top of the front fenders mirrors that effect by curving gently downward starting at the fuel cap, which together gives the whole thing a kind of graceful tension.

The Spark, by contrast, rides higher, and the wheels themselves have exceedingly chunky spokes and inner rims. Bizarrely, the inner lip of the front wheel is wider than the rear, making the wheel look smaller and rather toyish (a problem also present on their 928 GTS). I don't get why they even have 2 different sets of this wheel.

The rear wheel arch is so round that the top is almost level with the shoulder, and the front profile is ruler-straight, resulting in a taller-looking nose. As a result the whole thing looks really stubby. And I know Spark can do nice flattened arches because the exterior of the Triumph Spitfire I critiqued above is awesome:

Image

The front corner light on the Spark RS should also be squared off, but compared to the funky proportions, that's a pretty minor error one could live with if not for the rest.
Last edited by protzenegger on Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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SPR Models
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Re: Spark/Bizarre Miscues

Post by SPR Models » Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:58 pm

protzenegger wrote:Just got a Triumph Spitfire yesterday, and it's got a strange black wash on the seats. Apologies for the picture quality, the lighting in my apartment is rubbish and the iPhone flash would reflect off the shiny bits something fierce.

Not sure if it's intentional and they're trying to mimic the imperfections of leather or what, but that doesn't look so good and Google search turns up others with the same issue. The door card is protruding from under the black strip above it, due to an overly large bump on that edge, which I guess was preventing that door card from being installed flush (as it is on the unseen left side).

I even got this specifically because I found the tobacco interior (and hood badging) to be more interesting than the black one on the green version of this model, so it's kind of a bummer that these imperfections are so visible.

For a model that was $66 shipped, I suppose it's not a dealbreaker, but definitely not Spark's best effort. Not by a mile.

Anybody have one of these who can shed light on the seats?
Hi protzenegger.
We only have one of Spark's S1409 (Triumph Spitfire MK4 1971 - white - RHD) left in stock, so unfortunately I don't have multiple models to compare. However, I've checked the one model we do have, and it definitely has 'weathered' seats. But the weathering pattern on our example is not the same as your model. On our model the seats have an evenly-applied, subtle black wash, that has been mostly wiped off, leaving the black colour mainly just in the 'pleat lines' of the seat. It looks rather good, and accentuates the lines in the upholstery.

I'm guessing that the weathering effect on the seats has been done by hand, by different people, and because of this the seats look a little different in each model. If this issue really bugs you, then maybe a weak cleaning product, sparingly applied with a cotton wool bud, may take off the unwanted black marks.

Good luck,
John

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protzenegger
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Re: Spark/Bizarre Miscues

Post by protzenegger » Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:03 am

Thanks John for shedding light on the issue. The passenger seat on my model actually looks similar to what you described (which of course isn't so visible from my photo), with only a couple of drip marks, so I suspected that's what they were going for.

Just feels like a different person did the driver's seat - looked at it & said "that'll do!" Not as noticeable from a distance, but up close has a strong vibe of a 1:1 that's seen some things :lol: I guess the one you have was finished with greater care/skill since both sides are consistent.

Oh well! I'll try a Q-tip with warm soapy water at some point.
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Re: Spark/Bizarre Miscues

Post by SPR Models » Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:38 am

protzenegger wrote:Thanks John for shedding light on the issue. The passenger seat on my model actually looks similar to what you described (which of course isn't so visible from my photo), with only a couple of drip marks, so I suspected that's what they were going for.

Just feels like a different person did the driver's seat - looked at it & said "that'll do!" Not as noticeable from a distance, but up close has a strong vibe of a 1:1 that's seen some things :lol: I guess the one you have was finished with greater care/skill since both sides are consistent.

Oh well! I'll try a Q-tip with warm soapy water at some point.
I guess that's what we get from 'hand-finished' models. Machines may be able to replicate the exact same action thousands of times in a row, but unfortunately humans will always deviate and do things slightly differently. That's why tampo printing is superior to hand-applied decals.

BTW, I had to Google what Q-tip was. First thing I found was a New York Rapper, but guessed that wasn't what you were referring to. Then I found it - it's a brand of cotton bud. Funny isn't it - even in this era of mutually-understood communication, there are still words that confuse us.

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Re: Spark/Bizarre Miscues

Post by protzenegger » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:17 am

SPR Models wrote:I guess that's what we get from 'hand-finished' models. Machines may be able to replicate the exact same action thousands of times in a row, but unfortunately humans will always deviate and do things slightly differently. That's why tampo printing is superior to hand-applied decals.
Haven't been a fan of decals since trying my hand at a Monogram NASCAR kit as a teen. Not that I had much in the way of experience or skill, but I welcome our machine overlords all the same :geek:
SPR Models wrote:BTW, I had to Google what Q-tip was. First thing I found was a New York Rapper, but guessed that wasn't what you were referring to. Then I found it - it's a brand of cotton bud. Funny isn't it - even in this era of mutually-understood communication, there are still words that confuse us.
Funny also that a brand which in these parts has become a generic trademark for any cotton swab (there's another regional term for ya!) is not well known around the globe like Coca-Cola for example. Might have never been exported outside of North America, I suppose.

It's also curious what would compel someone to use "Q-tip" as a stage name, considering what they're most commonly used for :?
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Re: Spark/Bizarre Miscues

Post by Tom » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:23 am

He does get in your ears... :D

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Re: Spark/Bizarre Miscues

Post by SPR Models » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:42 pm

Tom wrote:He does get in your ears... :D
Oh, very good Tom! When I hear the word Q-tip, I immediately think of the tip of a billiard or snooker cue.

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Re: Spark/Bizarre Miscues

Post by protzenegger » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:22 pm

Tom wrote:He does get in your ears... :D
:o I did not think of that at all!

Image


So I guess I'll be spending a lot of time in the "Miscues" forum, since I'm more finicky than ever with my collecting and try to do obsessive research before I buy anything. Next up is the Spark Lotus Elise GT1, a model I very much wanted because of its classic Need For Speed heritage, until had a closer look.

Here's the 1:1 for reference:
Image

And here's the Spark:
Image
Image

First thing that jumps out is that the color is completely off. Spark seems to be trying to model this after that specific GT1 because of the windows and the P498 PPW license plate from the original car - so why is this thing gloss black and not metallic grey? The finer curves of the side intakes get lost in darkness as a result. Who knows, maybe Spark didn't get a sample from Lotus, but they could have at least tried to match it themselves. I'll forgive the absence of a windshield decal (hard to tell from the 1:1 image, but there is one).

Secondly, while I appreciate the detail on the side windows, that is one MASSIVE molding around the perimeter. And since the whole car is black, the windows look about 20% smaller than they really are, even in spite of the omitted molding on the rear edge of the window. The mirrors are also in the wrong place - should be on the door, rather than the front fenders.

Last, but definitely not least, are the wheels. Not only are they actually too small, but the form of the spokes is quite soft, lacking any trace of the machined edge they have on the 1:1. On top of this, the rear wheel on the original car is a deep-dish design, with a completely flat version of the spokes from the front. Spark, meanwhile, seem to have simply duplicated the convex front wheel and shod it in a meaty, bulbous tire. Looks completely wrong. You know how wheels can make or break an entire car? This is an example of the latter.

Even IXO, whose model of the GT1 has way bigger problems than Spark's, got the wheels right:
Image
Last edited by protzenegger on Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Spark/Bizarre Miscues

Post by Jager » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:35 pm

That's a disappointing fail from Spark. While is far from perfect, if you can live with the colour of the Spark and its just the wheels that really bug you, maybe you could do a wheel swap with the IXO. I think they even did this one as a part works model (road and race), so you may be able to find one very cheaply.
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Re: Spark/Bizarre Miscues

Post by LUW » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:41 pm

Sorry, but what's wrong with the wheels?
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Re: Spark/Bizarre Miscues

Post by Galaxy Gaz » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:53 pm

I recently bought this Spark GT1 to add to my Lotus collection and it is a nice model , despite its faults.
I also cant understand why it is Black instead of Grey , after all , there was only one roadcar ever made so they must have known about it .
The replica Speedline alloys were an issue I brought up when mine was posted in my new arrivals thread. They are definately too small .

I think they have produced the GT1 race versions first and then decided to produce the roadcar using the race car as its basis. I have a feeling Spark have never been up close to the roadcar and have only seen pictures of it and in some pictures it does look as if it is Black.
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Re: Spark/Bizarre Miscues

Post by Tom » Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:05 am

LUW wrote:Sorry, but what's wrong with the wheels?
Real car has different wheels front and rear, with a pronounced lip at the rear and the overall shape is straighter and flatter than Spark's wheels.

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Re: Spark/Bizarre Miscues

Post by LUW » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:24 am

Ah, now I see it. Don't think I remember another car with mismatching wheels like that.
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Re: Spark/Bizarre Miscues

Post by Tom » Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:32 am

Porsche 930 turbo?

Image

In fact more high-performance RWD cars have wider rear wheels than the fronts. Doesn't even have to be high-performance come to think of it, look at a smart city coupe...

Image

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Re: Spark/Bizarre Miscues

Post by LUW » Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:06 am

Tom wrote:In fact more high-performance RWD cars have wider rear wheels than the fronts.
Of course. Coming to think of it, maybe it's the norm?
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Re: Spark/Bizarre Miscues

Post by Tom » Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:58 am

Yes, I think so.

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Re: Spark/Bizarre Miscues

Post by protzenegger » Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:11 pm

Jager wrote: if you can live with the colour of the Spark and its just the wheels that really bug you, maybe you could do a wheel swap with the IXO.
It's not just the wheels so I'll most likely pass on this model, but if I ever like something enough for wheels to be the only issue, how easy/hard is it to do a swap? I know some of the really high-end ones like BBR and Make Up have them glued on, but with very few exceptions they tend to get their wheels right in the first place.

I've seen folks on S143 swap wheels on lower-tier stuff with nice results when doing a wire-axle type assembly such as on Norev models. Also what's a good tool to use? I feel like even gently trying to twist off with metal pincers could damage the tubing where the wheel slips onto the axle, no?
Galaxy Gaz wrote:I think they have produced the GT1 race versions first and then decided to produce the roadcar using the race car as its basis. I have a feeling Spark have never been up close to the roadcar and have only seen pictures of it and in some pictures it does look as if it is Black.
Still disappointing, considering the number of pictures where it's clearly not black. The mirror issue bugs me as well - for instance, they took the time to put correct mirrors on their model of the McLaren M12 despite the overall car being crazy similar to the M6GT, which also got the Spark treatment. Would be reasonable to expect the same diligence here, rather than simply repainting the race car. Because to me this ends up being as much a fantasy edition as Minichamps' "Homologation in BLACK" models.

Image

I kinda feel bad for laying into Spark so much on here, since I have a bunch of their models and tend to be very happy with the quality and VFM. But maybe that's precisely why I'm so let down when they make mistakes like that. They can clearly do so much better.
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Re: Spark/Bizarre Miscues

Post by GBOAC002 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:34 am

I have nearly all the Minichamps Miuras including a number of co-editions but I 'point blank' refused to fall for the most cynical 'fantasy' version I've ever encountered in 35 years of collecting 1:43 - the Japan Only Matt Black Homologation Special pictured in the post above.

For another Japan only set they also did all gloss black with what in reality would have been a huge Lamborghini logo draped around the bodywork. Miura, LM002 and Murcielago got that treatment.

Someone's imagination working overtime in both those instances!

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Re: Spark/Bizarre Miscues

Post by Jager » Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:04 am

I think you have to keep in mind that Minichamps have been doing 'matte black' specials for the Japanese market for many years......Lamborghini's, Porsches, Mercedes, BMWs, Alfa Romoes and even the humble Ford Focus.

I could imagine a set of matte black special would look quite good in the right well-lit display.
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Re: Spark/Bizarre Miscues

Post by GBOAC002 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:47 am

I can believe a 1990s long tail Mac in matt black but a Miura in 1966 - no way!

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Re: Spark/Bizarre Miscues

Post by Galaxy Gaz » Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:23 am

Jager wrote:I think you have to keep in mind that Minichamps have been doing 'matte black' specials for the Japanese market for many years......Lamborghini's, Porsches, Mercedes, BMWs, Alfa Romoes and even the humble Ford Focus.

I could imagine a set of matte black special would look quite good in the right well-lit display.
Ian ,unlike the others you listed , the Ford Focus was not one of those `matte black` specials .
It was a model of the Ford Focus RS500 which was a standard production car that was available to buy in Europe.
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