Cybermodeler Online Author's Writing and Style Guide
Interested in sharing your project with other modelers? We’d be happy to show you what we look for in article submissions. We have several types of article formats to choose from:
- First-looks at model kits and aftermarket products in the box - see the specific guidelines below
- Photo Features of built models, dioramas and vignettes - no write-ups are required other than some basic information (see the specific guidelines below)
- Reviews of built models - see the specific guidelines below
- If you're interested in submitting an article or review that isn't covered in these guidelines, please contact Michael Benolkin for further information
- We won’t bash a bad model and don’t bash a hobby company for the inevitable stinker that gets released. What we’re here to provide is a means to share with other modelers how you overcame one or more challenges in the project
- We don’t publish bad reviews, but in the case of bad models or other hobby products, we send our findings directly back to the manufacturer
- Please orient your article toward helping other modelers learn what you’ve done to achieve a successful build
- Take lots of photos of your model or subject from different angles and include close-ups of unique details. Please ensure that all photos are in focus prior to submission – preview them on your computer. We can arrange an FTP location for you should you prefer not to email your images
- We can use just about any digital image format, but JPEG (JPG) format is the most efficient to email
- Ensure your photos are at least 1500 pixels wide
- Ensure that your images are in focus. Using the camera’s LCD to determine the quality of your focus is misleading
- Please do NOT crop or otherwise edit your images. We’ll do the cropping and editing here
2. Photo Features:
- Photo features can be of an individual finished model or of a diorama or vignette
- Submit the best 10-12 images of your subject UNEDITED PLEASE using the guidelines in (1) above
- Provide the title or subject of your photo feature (this may be the kit subject (i.e. F-4J Phantom II))
- Provide the manufacturer, scale, and kit number for each kit in your images
3. First Look Articles (Kits, Decals, Detail Sets):
- Provide a clear image of the box or package using the guidelines in (1) above
- Provide images of each of the sprue trees and/or parts in the package (it is okay to combine parts trees into the same image as long as all parts are clear, not blurred) using the guidelines in (1) above
- Provide a brief description of the subject of the package including a summary of the subject's history and/or relevance to be a kit of interest to modelers
- Provide a description of the contents and list out any special features and options provided in the package
- Provide a list of subjects that are provided in the decals (if any)
- Provide a summary of the kit including any information someone would want to know before purchasing the kit
4. Model Build Reviews:
- If possible, submit in-progress shots of your model build to illustrate features or special steps needed to complete the project using the guidelines in (1) above
- Submit the best 10-12 images from your finished model UNEDITED PLEASE using the guidelines in (1) above.
- Write up a brief introduction/history of your subject
- Write up your thoughts on the kit, how it went together, any special steps that were needed to overcome a given challenge, and any aftermarket options or modifications that you made to the basic kit
- Write up how you painted and finished the model - did you use acrylics, enamels, or lacquers (or a combination thereof)?
- If you used the kit decals, how did they perform? If you used aftermarket decals, how did they work for you?
- Write up a conclusion - how was this project for you in terms of pleasure and satisfaction? Would you do another one like this?
- Provide the manufacturer, subject, scale, kit number, kit media (plastic, photo-etch, white metal, vinyl tires/tracks, etc.), and how you rate the skill level required for this project (basic, experienced, advanced)
- Use the star rating guide below to provide star ratings for each of the categories listed
5. Star Ratings
We start our reviews with a rating of five stars in each category until we find something noteworthy that would reduce the number of starts in that category. The degree of star reduction is left at the discretion of the author but may be revised up or down by the editor prior to publicatiion. We range our ratings from one to five stars in 1/2 star increments. Areas that don't apply can be marked as N/A (not applicable).
- Packaging - if the kit comes in a sturdy tray and lid-type box that is strong enough to have several kits stacked atop the box without crushing the contents, this warrants five stars. Other types of packaging that are also strong enough to withstand stacking can be rated at five stars. Flimsy boxes or packaging can be rated downward according to the strength (or lack thereof) of the packaging
- Molding - if the kit is clear of flash, warping and there are no parts that look impossible to remove from sprue trees without damage, then five stars is warranted. The more flash, warping, or other problems seen, the lower the rating
- Engineering - if the kit goes together with little or no filler, then this is a high score. The more fit problems, the lower the score
- Accuracy - you can't be an expert in every subject, so don't worry about the number of rivets, lug nuts, panel lines, etc., but if the kit is too long, too short, or somehow has details that are just not right compared to the real subject, then mark the kit down here
- Details - if the kit has lots of good features and options in the kit, give it a good score. Don't try to apply contemporary standards to older kits, try to rate a kit released in the 1980s (for example) against the details available in other kits of that time. You can note in your write-up whether the details (like many Monogram kits) will also stand up to contemporary standards
- Instructions - if you don't have any problems with the clarity of the instructions, give it a high score here, but if you have to spend time trying to understand the instructions (such as identifying where exactly a part goes because of a lack of clarity) then mark them down
- Ease of Assembly - if the kit nearly falls together on its own, then give the kit a high score. If you're dealing with fit problems because of molding, too many details, or a lack of clarity in the instructions, mark this area down as well
- Decals - if the kit decals are used, how well do they go down and what is your assessment of their quality? If you skip the kit decals and use aftermarket decals instead, mark this section N/A
- Overall Rating - this should reflect just how strongly you feel about ever doing this project again given the ratings you rendered above
6. Data Block
Please ensure you provide the following with your submission:
- Your full name and email address
- The name of the project
- The manufacturer of the kit(s) used
- The scale of the project
- The kit number(s) used
- What was the kit’s primary media? Styrene, vacuform, resin, wood, unobtainium?
- What was media was used for the detail parts? Styrene, white metal, photo-etch, resin, whatever. List all that apply.
- What media was used for any windows/transparencies? Styrene, resin, vacuform. List all that apply.
- What was the suggested retail price of the kit? If it is out of production, simply indicate Out of Production.
- What did you like about the project?
- What didn’t you like about the project?
That’s it! Pull a write-up with the above along with your photos together and email them to email@example.com, we’ll take care of the rest. If you have access to an FTP tool, contact Michael Benolkin for instructions on where you can simply FTP your article and images.
NOTE: Submission of an article to Cybermodeler Online constitutes permission to publish the materials submitted. See our Legal Notices for further information.
NOTE: Submission of an article to Cybermodeler Online does not guarantee publication. If there are any technical or other issues that cannot be resolved with the author, we reserve the right not to publish.