Regardless if you are new in this hobby or an old hand, it can sometimes be hard to tell from a review exactly what to expect when it comes time to complete the item. RCU understands this problem, and to help your judge the project in the review we've added the "Degree Of Difficulty" ratings to our reviews. The three items in this rating are designed to give you a good idea of what to expect if you plan on tackling the item that is being reviewed. The three items in our ratings are
  •  Skill Level - This is a representation of the minimum skill level that will be needed to successfully complete the project. Do you need many modeling skills? Did you have to do a lot of careful measuring, cutting or drilling? Did you have to tap holes? Did you have to locate, drill and figure out how to get blind nuts behind the firewall, or were the blind nuts pre-installed? These are just a few of the factors that go into this rating, but you get the idea.
  • Completion Time - The represents the total time it will take to complete the project. Did it go together in one afternoon, two days, four days, a week, or two weeks?
  • Frustration Level - Frustration - This rating is, in our opinion, the most important. This represents just how frustrated you are going to get trying to complete this project. Did it fall together easily? Were there any difficult but necessary challenges? Were there any areas that SHOULD have gone easily but took MUCH longer than they should have - Like adding parts that don't fit or align properly, or a manual that's not worth using as toilet paper?

The ratings for each of the three areas are listed below. With each item is a description of what each icon represents.


Skill Level

A child could do it with adult supervision.
There may be a little sanding or aligning involved, but it's an easy project
There may be some cutting, sanding, shaping or tapping involved, so a few building skills can come in handy
Good building skills are helpful, but nothing too difficult.
Good building skills required
Excellent building skills required


Completion Time

0-2 hours
2-5 hours
5-10 hours
10-15 hours
15-25 hours
More than 25 hours


Frustration Level

Low. There is no frustration in putting this together. Everything went exactly as the instructions direct. There were no surprises in this build. A true joy to complete.
No Problem. There may have been a couple of things that did not fit quite right, or a couple of mistakes in the instructions. However, they are minor and do not detract from completing the project as the issues are very easy to overcome.
Slightly Annoying. Maybe a few parts needed to be adapted or the manual left out some key components, or maybe a few steps took longer that you expected, but overall the assembly process went relatively well
Getting On Your Nerves.  More things than usual went wrong and/or you may have had to make several changes (Note: This does not apply if the changes you made were your decision - like using a larger or very different type of engine than recommended). Or the manual was little or no help.
Very Maddening. This is where the assembly process became a major choir. Maybe the manual was useless, or most of the parts didn't fit, or both.
Total Frustration. Throw it away and buy something else!