Reviewers' Corps Membership and Product Review Guidelines

  1. Reviewers' Corps:  To join and maintain your membership in the Reviewers' Corps, you must be a current IPMS/USA member in good standing.  Email me (Dave Morrissette) if you are interested in signing up.  Unsolicited reviews are also welcome from IPMS/USA members - again, contact me (DM).
  2. Deadlines:  In order to ensure timely posting of reviews, particularly on new or exclusive products, the following deadlines should be followed.  If you decide to bid for a review opportunity, please be sure you can turn the review in the requested timeframe:
    • Books and other publications - 3 weeks.
    • Decals - 3 weeks if it's an "on the sheet review" - but we strongly prefer shots of the decals in place on a kit if at all possible.
    • New releases - 2 months. For special cases, we will do a multipart review (on line real time) but this must be agreed upon ahead of time between the 1st Vice President and the reviewer.  After agreement, a "First Look" review within 2 weeks is requested.  This can be a shot of the kit contents with some initial comments and the promise of a full build review to follow, within the 2 month timeframe.
    • "Re-pops" and repackaged releases of older kits - 3 months maximum.  Again, a buildup is preferred, but we can accept occasional in-box reviews if we work that out in advance.
  3. Qualifications:  You do not have to be an expert modeler.  A variety of experience levels and viewpoints, from beginner to veteran, are valuable.  In fact, some of our best reviews have featured a parent/child joint review of, for example, a snap-together kit.
  4. Content:  The review does not have to be an advertising plug for the manufacturer, nor should it be a "slam job".  The review should objectively highlight the good points and offer constructive criticism of the problem areas.  Please limit any historical introduction to a few sentences; a reader can do research in more detail after acquiring the product.  Also, model reviews should not rehash the instruction sheet with a step-by-step assembly of the model unless any specific step caused a significant problem in the assembly and is therefore worthy of mention in the review.
    • If you are reviewing aftermarket resin or photo-etch items, it is highly encouraged that they be used in a kit.  If it is not possible, you should at least compare the replacement parts to the kit parts to demonstrate whether or not they are an improvement.
    • Please include pricing and availability/ordering information in your review.  It doesn't help much to tell our members about a great new product, but not how to find it.  If you don't have company info let me know and we will assist you in adding it to the review.  Remember to include your name and IPMS number!
    • Including a few words thanking the supplier for the opportunity to review the product goes a long way towards getting us future items to review.
    • We reserve the right to edit your review for punctuation and grammar and may make small edits to provide clarity.  We will not change the gist or intent of your review.
  5. Submitting Your Review:  Completed reviews should be sent to me.  When you email me your review, it is most helpful if you include the title of the review in the subject line of your email ("Review of 1/72 Hasegawa F-18 Hornet").  Your review should be in an attached MS Word document or text file, and not be written in the body the email itself.  
    • To facilitate the process, please:
      • ensure your article is in sentence case or normal capitalization - do not use all caps in headings, emulate ee cummings, etc ...
      • use the color black for your article text; only use other colors to highlight instructions, such as picture placement, and then use only blue or red ...
      • do not use tables, forms, or publishing-specific formats.
    • Our web site uses a standard font and style for consistency among all reviews and the rest of the IPMS site - the font conversion and style are pretty much automatic, so you don't need to worry about what font you use, etc.  You may format your review for clarity and emphasis and I will use that as an indication of intent - although what you will usually get is black text in either normal or bold emphasis.
    • The completed reviews for IPMS are to stay on the IPMS site only and cannot go to other public venues such as Hyperscale, Cybermodeler, etc. It is acceptable to post a few pictures and refer to the IPMS/USA web site for review. They can go in IPMS newsletters. Anything beyond this, contact Steve Collins for direction.
  6. Images:  All model, detail, and product reviews should have a picture of the box/container and as many others as you feel necessary to illustrate your article.  Sending extra and allowing editorial choice is acceptable - just don't overdo it.
    • Book reviews need a picture of the cover and may include one or two images from inside the book if you feel that is helpful to the reader.
    • Decal reviews need a picture of the package and should include an image of the sheet(s).
    • Any picture that you submit to IPMS/USA is still your property and IPMS/USA is only granted a license to use it.  Please don't submit copyrighted pictures to be used with your articles unless you have secured the right to use them.
    • We reserve the option to edit and arrange illustrations to best support the review text and to best use web page space.
    • Your photographs need to be of the best possible quality.  That means sharp, crisp focus, nice, even lighting with no harsh shadows, an uncluttered background or studio backdrop, and a good depth of field so all areas are in focus.  Late morning or early afternoon sun is often a good substitute for expensive lighting equipment!  Digital images are required.
    • Pictures should be attached as separate files (jpg preferred, bmp or gif are OK) and not embedded in either the review text or the transmitting email.  Inclusion of all attachments in a zip file is fine, but not necessary.  If a review and pictures gets over five megabytes, it is best to send it in pieces, clearly labeling the pieces by number.
    • Reviews have migrated to a new server with more space and the maximum image size will be 800x600 pixels.  The quality of the image and the relevant content will be the determining factor in sizing.
    • If you are a skilled photographer with good equipment and are handy at editing pictures, have at it - but this is not necessary, other than to reduce the size of transmitted images.
    • It is not necessary that you change your image file names from what came out of your camera, but if you do, then please make them all short, simple, and all lower case.  Do not, repeat not, embed spaces or other special characters in your picture file names - use the underscore or dash as a separator - but never a space!!!
    • To allow the most flexibility in our process, please:
      • do not crop pictures below 800 pixels wide or 600 pixels high - 1600x1600 is great to reduce size but still leave room for editing.
      • if you crop, try to retain a 4x3 (landscape) or 2x3 (portrait) aspect ratio.
      • scan large A4 or odd-shape pictures/covers, using the "fit to page" option, if available.
      • make every effort to take a good rectangular picture of kit boxes and book covers.
      • fill the picture with the subject and not background
  7. Aftermarket Items:  Several folks have asked if it's acceptable to incorporate aftermarket parts in a kit review.  Please contact me  ahead of time with your build plan - in most cases this won't be a problem and in fact we've been doing a lot of multi-manufacturer reviews on new kit builds.  I’d much rather see the aftermarket “stuff” in use on a model than in the box, so please feel free to incorporate these products in your review as long as you note where you’re departing from "box stock" condition.
    • An example:  “While building the HaseTrumpDragell Farley Fruitfly, I noticed that the stock ejection seat was very basic, and decided to replace it with a Noack Models resin seat.  See the photo I’ve included of both seats side by side for a comparison of the kit seat with the aftermarket product”…
  8. And, most importantly, have fun - it's a hobby!

Dave Morrissette (DM)
December 2013

Contact information: (please note the changes below)

Submitting reviews, supplier/manufacturer contact, and new product release info:

Dave Morrissette
Primary Email


All product shipments should be made to:

Dave Morrissette
Primary Email