Friday, March 5, 2010

Bell Curve of Quality

Generally, the most widely produced products are the most reliable. If you buy deep discount, you should expect poor quality. What most people don't understand is that at the high price point, quality once again suffers, as production methods are often one-offs or goods are produced by hand, without the high level of quality control of mass produced goods.

Buy a Honda Accord and you can expect pretty good quality, while both a Kia and an Aston Martin are likely to disappoint you with quality. Likewise, a box of plastic 40K models are likely to be flawless, while your experience with Forge World or Battlefoam might require some compromises. This is not to excuse their quality problems, just to explain that the cutting edge is called that for a reason.

As our hobby matures, we hopefully can see the same type of improvements that the auto industry has seen, in which almost any car will provide you with reliable transportation. The goal is to steepen and narrow that bell curve of quality. I think we're already seeing this with mass produced plastic models.