I recently received an order from Hannants models mainly consisting of a set of vinyl tank tracks for my Dragon 1/35 Sherman Firefly as well as a few Yahu photoetch cockpit panels for a variety of RAF Spitfires and Mosquitos in both 72nd and 48th scale.
From some modelers, the idea of getting a vinyl track set instead of using individual links is a copout. Similarly, the idea of just getting photo etch for a cockpit panel instead of all the bell and whistles one can get is a wasted opportunity.
To that, I say “nonsense”. How much detail and accuracy is up to the individual modeler. You are building for your own enjoyment. If you want to enter a contest and you feel the aftermarket items are necessary then that would be a different story. You are building for you.
In the case of the tank tracks, I had been building the individual link tracks on the Sherman Firefly. It was, however, becoming very frustrating do these nature of the assembly and the small parts involved. This part was throwing up quite a road block in a build I had been enjoying up to that point.
The cockpit instrument panels were a similar thing. the most noticeable part of a cockpit after the seat is the instrument panels. Most times that is all I want to quickly and very nicely make the panel look good particularly in 48th and 72nd scale.
Once I saw that an easier solution was available that looked good enough to me, I decided to go down that route. In the end, I get to continue to enjoy this build to completion.
In the end, do what works for you, try new things but don’t force yourself into something that frustrates you. That is not what the hobby is about.