Why can't KITT replicas be more realistic?

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Why can't KITT replicas be more realistic?

Post by KFCreator » Mon Jul 21, 2003 12:36 am

Ok, this is something that has been bothering me for a while whenever i browse through KITT replica sites, especially Mark's Custom Kits. I actualy browsed over his site today and saw that he's now offering a season 1 style voice box, but just from looking at it, I can tell it's way off from what the original looked like. For a guy who claims to want as much accuracy as possible, why is it SO hard to recreate the original, especially when he owns a Season 2 original?? I've noticed that a lot of his electronics and even his KITT "noses" are off in shapes, colors, and even designs at times. It's not just his site and products too, but also other replica sites. I think if you're going to make replica parts, figure out how they designed and produced them for the show and then recreate those and modify from there if demand warrants. I've always used the pics. I have from KITT at Universal to do my drawings and designs so I guess maybe I'm just too picky but for once I'd like to see a dashboard or scanner or custom nose that is EXACTLY like the original or at least 99% close to it. Is it possible to make replica parts that resemble the originals so much that even the die-hard fans can't tell the difference like we all can? I have yet to find them all.
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Post by Tony » Mon Jul 21, 2003 1:11 am

Well maybe people in the conversion companies are not as picky
as you and I would be.. I am very picky..
To be honest, I think my car looks like crap.. Thats why I am upgrading
it the way I want it.
BKauto.net has some very authentic 3/4th season dash products..

I will soon have my own conversion company here in Canada.
I will "only" be offering BKauto replica parts.. I think BKauto's
stuff looks great. I have spent countless hours on researching
the best Knight Rider replica parts. Every company has their advanteges, and some have their disadvanteges. For instance Marks stuff is great
and very functional, BUT it is a pain in the butt to assemble, and they
are not very accurate. ( to the show that is)
Don Colie makes an awesome 1/2 season dash. But the cost is outragous .
Knights of England is great if live in the UK.
Wild Copper needs more info..
Bills custom conversions is not a very good conversion company.
Diamond back is crap too.

If you wanna know more about BKauto please feel free to ask me..
You can e-mail me or call me at

Tony

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Post by Newcastle knight » Mon Jul 21, 2003 10:36 am

yeah thats my problem aswell, im obsessed with getting this car spot on ! im gonna be buying an original moulded nose so the outside of car will look the part.

when the time comes to buy a dashboard i would probably go with Don Colies, ive seen his dash in action on a TV programme here in the UK and it looks excellent ! the 1/2 season style that is

im waiting to see how the Knight Passions electronics come out however, the dashboard is moulded from an original and looks great.

I dont think id get any electronics from Mark, they dont look right at all, even the RPM counter isnt shaped right and the electronics themselves just look off, probably to the average person it would like wow its KITT, but to me it wouldnt be.

Scott

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Post by K.I.T.T » Mon Jul 21, 2003 11:18 am

Ok KFCreator, if you looked at it, it says it’s for ANY car, ruck, van etc. So its not going to be a 100% perfect box as it’s not been specially made for a Trans Am. But I also agree with the case of pickyness. I think it’s a good mould myself as it’s for any car.

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Re: Why can't KITT replicas be more realistic?

Post by Dumbledore » Mon Jul 21, 2003 2:56 pm

KFCreator wrote:Ok, this is something that has been bothering me for a while whenever i browse through KITT replica sites, especially Mark's Custom Kits. I actualy browsed over his site today and saw that he's now offering a season 1 style voice box, but just from looking at it, I can tell it's way off from what the original looked like. For a guy who claims to want as much accuracy as possible, why is it SO hard to recreate the original, especially when he owns a Season 2 original?? I've noticed that a lot of his electronics and even his KITT "noses" are off in shapes, colors, and even designs at times. It's not just his site and products too, but also other replica sites. I think if you're going to make replica parts, figure out how they designed and produced them for the show and then recreate those and modify from there if demand warrants. I've always used the pics. I have from KITT at Universal to do my drawings and designs so I guess maybe I'm just too picky but for once I'd like to see a dashboard or scanner or custom nose that is EXACTLY like the original or at least 99% close to it. Is it possible to make replica parts that resemble the originals so much that even the die-hard fans can't tell the difference like we all can? I have yet to find them all.


if you dont like it, then make your own replica company

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Post by KFCreator » Tue Jul 22, 2003 12:48 am

I'm not saying that I think all the replica companies out there are doing such a bad job that I want to create my own company, but attention to accuracy is, to me, critical. I LOVE the work Mark's Custom Kits does most of the time and am very impressed by his/their work but I think it's true that they are not always concerned with making their replica parts completely accurate as they are about jacking up the prices when other companies offer better parts for hundreds less. My point is that if I'm going to spend over $20,00 in conversion parts alone (not including restoration to the car itself), I want dead-on accuracy such as a front nose that's not extended and includes the signal covers so that it's street legal. I also want to see a completely accurate scanner light (all the ones I've seen are too bright, dim or too pink in color for some reason), and accurate colored lights, text and layouts for the dashboards mainly. Not to mention, has anyone produced an accurate gullwing steering wheel that has the twin green lights on the grips? Yes, I'm extremely picky over this stuff, and I think for the kind of money companies want me to dish out for a conversion, I deserve true accuracy.
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Post by chadwick626 » Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:55 am

the prices on this stuff is ridiculous.. a whole body kit for a import can be liek 700$.. and thats less than jsut the nose for kitt..it costs them like a dollar to make it.. if anyone has a used nose i need one cuz im poor n not spending a million dollars on my firebird exterior.. would rather concentrate on import..

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Post by Knight2000 » Tue Jul 22, 2003 4:33 am

Dude, I agree with you.

I've been looking at the replica companies for some time, and the first thing I've noticed on the dashes are that the colour of the lights are wrong. Red seems like pink, and it seems too bright? Maybe it needs like a slightly-smoked panel or something to darken the colours.

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Post by Knight Industries 3000 » Tue Jul 22, 2003 7:48 am

It's important to consider the possibility that the "pink" tone of red LEDs in the photos that you've seen might be due to the lighting used in the photograph. Things have a way of looking different under different lighting conditions, and it's fairly difficult to photograph lit LEDs.

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Post by knightdriver » Tue Jul 22, 2003 11:36 am

Well, I can ad to the arguements here.

First off. The led's are correct in colors. They are very hard to photograph and look correct in a photo. That and LED's don't come in pink and what not. It's just the photo and they way they came out. Not saying the companies dont have the correct color led in the right place, I know those are always off.

That and I can honestly say that it doesn't just cost a dollar to make parts. You have got to be a complete moron if you think this is so. (Dont raise you hands so quicly either) LOL.

I am the one who created and sometimes makes BK Automotives 3/4th season products. It costs hundreds of dollars just to create a single mold for a nose or dash. Not adding in the time and labor of making the original piece in the first place. The parts themselves can run around $100.00 just in materials and products needed to make the part and again, this doesn't include the hours of hand laying up every part either. Some import companies can afford to sell at discounted rates do to mass production and they most likely have spraying equipment at their disposal. Spraying fiberglass takes only minutes, not hours and uses alot less material that the hand laying technique. Hence the cheaper and faster production rates. I don't think a conversion company would spend the tens of thoousands of dollars on a spraying system unless they made more than just Knight Rider parts. Not worth the money to them.

I wont argue that some people sell these parts at an outragous mark up. But when all these people purchase things from them, they obviously aren't high enough then. It has been said on the other boards and here as well on occasion. If you can't afford to buy the parts sold by the replica companies, you shouldn't even bother trying to build one or you should try and make the stuff yourself. I am sure anyone who attempts their own parts will change their tune pretty quick.

All those who complain about wanting their cars to be 100% accurate are the ones that wont do anything about it except whine to (or about) those who do this stuff. If you want a more realistic voicebox, start making one yourself. If you think it is so easy, go for it. NO? Then don't complain that Marks is off. You forget that this was a TV show. It wasn't a real car, it wasn't a real dash. It was a stage mock up. It didnt work. It's called special effects. You should be happy that these guys even figured out how to make the features these replica cars have work the way they do now. There is always someone trying to make it work better, look better. It just takes time and money. Which most people dont have much of either.

this concludes the longest post I have ever made here. LOL.....
Brian - Knightdriver.com

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Post by Dumbledore » Tue Jul 22, 2003 1:39 pm

it would only cost like $25,000 to make a COMPLETE replica from marks custom kits

$10,000 for the interior dash and electronics
$5,000 for the interior carpets/seats/body plastic/door panals/ exc..
$2,000 for the front nose/scanner/taillight blackout
about $7,000 to get a car, restore the car, and get a paintjob

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Post by K.I.T.T » Tue Jul 22, 2003 2:17 pm

Dumbledore wrote:about $7,000 to get a car, restore the car, and get a paintjob


And the rest!!!

K.I.T.T

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Post by KFCreator » Tue Jul 22, 2003 4:24 pm

Ok, I would gladly be up to the task of making my own parts if I had the technical know-how. Unfortunately, I don't have time in my busy college schedule to go take a few dozen electronics courses and automotive courses. And I think that since I would be a paying customer for a, what did we say, $25,000, replica converson that I should have the right to complain. I understand that photographing the electronics can be tricky as I do a lot of photography myself but I more or less have a problem with the design and layout of the dashboards and designs of the noses more than anything else. And I know that a lot of shots of the original KITT dahboard were done on a mock-up on a soundstage, but I've seen that the dashboard inside the KITT cars at Universal in Hollywood were damned authentic! So much so that I couldn't tell that it wasn't an original car. Mainly I have problems with the voicebox designs and the lack of using the proper electronics and smoked plastic covers where needed. In general, I think most of the parts design-wise are pretty much dead on. It's just that some parts can look way off and for the price that most replica companies charge, I'd expect better. If the compnaies need better reference photos, ask me, I have close-ups in another post here of one of the KITT dashboards at Universal. And no, I don't have the money to build my own replica YET, but one day I will and when I do, it's gonna look great!

To knightdriver--I have to say that I'm most impressed with the work you and BK Automotive have done and out of all the companies, some of your stuff definitely looks best and I congratulate you on your accomplishments. Be assured that when i buy my parts, you WILL be getting my business. :-)
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Post by knightdriver » Tue Jul 22, 2003 5:34 pm

Thanks Adam,

I hope you didn't take what I posted in a wrong way. It was a basic generalization of comments posted over a long period of time summed up in a short post. Your are correct in your views of the electronics not really being up to the look of what the show used. But you have to stop and think of this:

Being sound stage props, Many of the indicators (especailly in seasons 1/2) were not even Led's. They were larger bulbs and plain backlit displays used to represent functional guages. I have even heard, in my talks with people who knew people involved in the show, that some of the sound stage dashes shot were very large and not to scale with the size of the dash in a replica. Some electronic displays were way oversized as they were just used in close ups. Achieving the functional look that most conversion companies are lacking. Granted Technology has come a long way since the show aired.

I am, with out a doubt, 100% sure that the look you, and many others (including myself) are aiming to achieve can be done. I believe the thing with the replica companies currently marketing parts and electronics is that once they achieve a functional look for thier products, they do not bother with the next step to which you would make things look more authentic. They figure, once you have a product close enough, it's all about the money from there.

My rough estimate would conclude that one could build a very decent car (not perfect) for around $16000.00 Give or take depending on doing any type of work yourself and the cars condition. Now subtract that $16000.00 or so from the $40000.00 to 50000.00 that these companies ask for full cars and calculate the profit that goes into ones pocket. Your talking 23000.00 to 33000.00. Thats alot of $$$$. The price of a second car easy. But people are paying those high prices which in turn makes them go up even more knowing that they can get it. Crazy huh.

This is why I have taken it upon myself to learn the craft and do it myself. Hell, I know I am not perfect, not my products, but I am not rushing it either. The more I learn, the more accurate I can make the car. Its all in the research and desire to do it right. It does cost alot (the whole parts for a dollar thing is rediculous as I stated above) but it can be done. Time, money and imaginination is the key here.
Brian - Knightdriver.com

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Post by CB2001 » Tue Jul 22, 2003 10:02 pm

KFCCreater- Its not about accuracy. It's not about "realism". If you love KITT and you work on putting a replica of him together, it's the LOVE of it. That's what makes us fans of the show, we love it. That's why replicas are the way they are. It's the best representations of the actual item that they can. If they love it, then that's all that counts.

Just my opinion, anyways.

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Post by knightimmortal » Tue Jul 22, 2003 11:15 pm

I have a statement here. CB2001's statements, sort of strike me as bizarre, but I am still probably out of line.

The whole idea of a replica is to create something that replicates the original. Replicating something is trying to get as close to the original as possible. I do think that it IS about accuracy, otherwise, you are just throwing together a car with colored buttons, and screens, and a pretty paint job. It isn't a replica. It's a customized vehicle. You can love it all you want, but if you aren't trying to get close to the original, then you are putting together a custom car, and shouldn't be calling it a replica, or a KITT conversion any more than you would be calling a purple with yellow flames street rodder with hydraulic jumpers, and chrome wheels, a KITT. *takes a deep breath*

Now, I know that it has to be tough to replicate what you see on the screen, and bring it into reality, I wouldn't even begin to knock that. I also don't knock around individual creativity. But when most people go into creating these cars, even over at the Registries, they basically want to see cars that are a replication, that are closest to a finished KITT. I can completely understand the consumer's view, that dang it, we want the car, not somebody's loose representation of it. For the money that is going out, you don't want a recreation, you want what you want, and that is a replica.

From what I know of KFCreator, he has a love of the show, and he would love the car, not somebody else's fantasy of it, but the car, as it stood from the episodes, even if things were over-enhanced, and non-functioning, then, so be it. Those who fool themselves into thinking that the car is going to talk properly, think by itself and turbo boost are living in a dream world, but if you are going for the visual replication (a word that needs to be defined and established from recreation) then you are going for as close as possible, rather than something wildly off, if that is what you are paying for, then that is what you should get. Not love what you are forced to take. I have seen the parts out there. Some have heart, some have more accuracy and more attempt for accuracy than others, and others are production line copies, sent out for the illusion of accuracy, when those with exacting eyes know differently.

So, there is another view for ya.

Chew away.

KI

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Post by knightdriver » Tue Jul 22, 2003 11:43 pm

Very well said KI. It doesn't get any clearer than that folks.

I think that is there is a big variety out there for everyone who wants to build a conversion. Accuracy, functionality, style. It can all be achieved. It just depends how and with who. The choice is up to you.
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Post by March2875 » Wed Jul 23, 2003 1:27 pm

Also on the statement that some of Mark's Custom Kit's LED colors are wrong. Yes on some of his pics the Switchpod Button LED's are off. I actually asked him once about that. He told me that you specify what colors you want for what buttons when you order. The model He took those pictures from just happened to be ordered like that.

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Post by KalEl » Wed Jul 23, 2003 6:15 pm

Also, re: Marks Custom Kits, keep in mind that he is improving his designs as he goes along. Introducing the 2 TV dash after several years of only offering a 1 tv dash proves that. Also, Mark owns an original show car so I would think that he could use that dash as a blueprint to be as accurate as possible. But again as has been mentioned here, it's real hard to make the replica exact. But trying would be half the fun. Of course I'd love to be able to afford one myself, but that's many years away yet.
And as for accuracy, does anyone know of a replica with the green LED's on the gas pedal that light up when it is pressed? That would be real cool.

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Post by mechagrover » Wed Jul 23, 2003 6:30 pm

...does anyone know of a replica with the green LED's on the gas pedal that light up when it is pressed? That would be real cool.


Image http://www.knt2000scustoms.com/ is the only place that makes it as far as I've seen.

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