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Changing model car hobby.

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  • Member since
    March 2017
  • From: Oregon: Beautiful tree country.
Changing model car hobby.
Posted by treehuggerdave on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 10:42 AM

I've been in this hobby long enough, like many of you, to see the hobby change over the years.

Besides magazines disappearing and the hobby slowing down a bit, there are some things to stay really positive about.

I like all the new resin kits and pieces, and all the computer-generated 3-d printed kits and pieces coming out on Ebay.

Modelhaus may be gone, but we have a whole new industry coming alive to add a new dimension to our modeling enjoyment or collecting enjoyment.

Resin and 3-d kits are a bit expensive, but there doesn't seem to be a shortage of people willing to spend what it takes to get them.

For me, after all these years of building, it's fun to see these new changes taking place and all the new technology that's needed to make it happen.

I have enough kits to keep me busy the rest of my life, like a lot of you, but I may jump back in for 1 or 2 of the 3-d printed kits later down the road, just to see how well they are done.

Phil. 4:6-7   Jer. 29:11-14  John 3:13

On the bench - Hand made '50 Lincoln "Tail dragger"  1956 DeSoto 'vert., Resin '60 Chrysler 300 , Modelhaus resin '58 Pontiac hardtop kit.

Been a "Plastholic" all my life. Love this stuff.

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 10:52 AM

I'm with you.  And I'll add to that, the guys like round2 doing nice re-pop of old kits.  Not sure how they clean up the molds but I appreciate some of these old hard to find kits coming back on the market.

And then new revell kits I've built, e.g. the Bronco and working on the landrover, are really really nice for very good prices - a trend I welcome.

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 11:04 AM

Yes, a lot of changes. To me the biggest one is the internet. That has been around for a while now, but the growth of modeling hobby on it has been more recent.

While I don't build model cars and frankly suck at it, the occasional one I take on reminds me that we all have our orbits of modeling resources that overlap but are also separate.

When gearing up to build a Fujima 917K, I found all kinds of things I never knew about, like paint sources that really have the right Gulf blue and orange.

Or if you all ever wanted to build a WW2 USN destroyer, I could steer you to databases that have all of the color information you'd ever need, by ship, by pattern and by color.

Point being, the net really is a good asset.

 

Bill

 

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    March 2017
  • From: Oregon: Beautiful tree country.
Posted by treehuggerdave on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 11:51 AM

GMorrison

Yes, a lot of changes. To me the biggest one is the internet. That has been around for a while now, but the growth of modeling hobby on it has been more recent.

While I don't build model cars and frankly suck at it, the occasional one I take on reminds me that we all have our orbits of modeling resources that overlap but are also separate.

When gearing up to build a Fujima 917K, I found all kinds of things I never knew about, like paint sources that really have the right Gulf blue and orange.

Or if you all ever wanted to build a WW2 USN destroyer, I could steer you to databases that have all of the color information you'd ever need, by ship, by pattern and by color.

Point being, the net really is a good asset.

 

Bill

 

 

 

I totally agree about the impact the internet has had on the hobby.

I doubt the hobby would be anything close to being the hobby it is now, and I'd have just a fraction of the kits and styles of kits I've been able to enjoy.

 

 

 

Phil. 4:6-7   Jer. 29:11-14  John 3:13

On the bench - Hand made '50 Lincoln "Tail dragger"  1956 DeSoto 'vert., Resin '60 Chrysler 300 , Modelhaus resin '58 Pontiac hardtop kit.

Been a "Plastholic" all my life. Love this stuff.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 1:20 PM

The biggest change I see is a reduction in racing car kits.  Still kits for F1 and racing sports cars, but indy car kits dropped off decades ago, and major kit mfgs are not kitting NASCAR (I guess licensing rights are horribly expensive).  I also miss classic car kits.  Those used to be big sellers, but the interest in those seems to have waned.  I still find old kits at swap meets, but few new ones come out, and there were great classic cars that were never printed.  Those old Monogram Duesenbergs and Packards go for big bucks now at swap meets.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    January 2020
  • From: Maryland
Posted by wpwar11 on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 4:04 PM

[quote user="Don Stauffer"]

The biggest change I see is a reduction in racing car kits.  Still kits for F1 and racing sports cars, but indy car kits dropped off decades ago, and major kit mfgs are not kitting NASCAR (I guess licensing rights are horribly expensive).  I also miss classic car kits.  Those used to be big sellers, but the interest in those seems to have waned.  I still find old kits at swap meets, but few new ones come out, and there were great classic cars that were never printed.  Those old Monogram Duesenbergs and Packards go for big bucks now at swap meets.

 

 

Funny you bring up indy car kits.  I'm currently building a March indy car from the 1988 season.  I found the AMT kit on Ebay.  I would like to see Tamiya, Fujimi, or Hasegawa tackle an indy car.  Tamiya does have two snap tight kits from the early 90 season but that's all I could find.  I think those two snap tight offerings, Monogram, and AMT/Ertl are the only ones with indy cars.  They are all dinosaurs.

  • Member since
    September 2020
Posted by VintageRPM on Thursday, February 25, 2021 7:59 AM

Don Stauffer

The biggest change I see is a reduction in racing car kits.  Still kits for F1 and racing sports cars, but indy car kits dropped off decades ago, and major kit mfgs are not kitting NASCAR (I guess licensing rights are horribly expensive).  I also miss classic car kits.  Those used to be big sellers, but the interest in those seems to have waned.  I still find old kits at swap meets, but few new ones come out, and there were great classic cars that were never printed.  Those old Monogram Duesenbergs and Packards go for big bucks now at swap meets.

I don't know. Kind of how you look at it. To me, there are way more race car kits than in the '70s, when I was in my youth. Yes, there are no new Indy car kits, but there are are more sports car kits. Of course, if you include resin kits, there are probably hundreds of race cars (including Indy cars) available in recent years.

In fact, maybe that's the big change. Resin kits. They make almost any vehicle available because they are limited run to begin with.

 

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Thursday, February 25, 2021 8:08 AM

Talk about Racing;

    How many of you have ever seen the Hydro Racing at Lake Washington, Outside Seattle? This is where the Miss Bardahl and Miss Budweiser would wow crowds. 707 Test air craft flew overhead one time and did a Barrel-Roll right over the crowd. For those who love racing in any form, we have been completely ignored in Boats of any kind. Why they dropped the Hydros and didn't just change decals is beyond me.

    I have always liked the Midgets and Offy Powered Indy cars. There were way more than what was offered. My interest in Formula Racing only extends to the Clark era Lotus racers. I liked the brute looking simplicity of those cars. I can't tell one of the Modern " Flying Doorstops " from one another so I drew the line at the ones I have mentioned. I have a few modified "Reno, Air Race Planes" too.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Thursday, February 25, 2021 12:31 PM

Didn't the whole licensing thing hit the car model industry hardest? Previously, model companies released 1977, 1978, 1979, etc. versions of the new cars as soon as the new model year cars hit the showroom.

Then the licensing thing hit in the 80s and 90s. "Greed is good" from the movie Wall Street.

Let's make the model companies pay us (car makers) to make models so we get a percentage of model sales. That basically hit the emergency brake on the different new model kits that used to come out.

Unless it's a sports car, race car of some type, or SUV, average automobiles that you'd see on the road have vanished from model kit form.

  • Member since
    July 2011
  • From: Armpit of NY
Posted by MJames70 on Thursday, February 25, 2021 3:26 PM

I think licensing certainly didn't help more niche areas of car modeling. Let's consider Indycars. The sport itself went into a devastating schism between CART and the IRL, which it probably still hasn't really recovered from to this day. This was one of the factors that lead to the significant rise of NASCAR. 

So, you had a sport in decline, that was not even the most popular motorsport in the US any longer. So is it any surprise there were not a lot of models? Modeling was already a niche hobby then, and car modelers who wanted to build Indycar models are a niche of a niche. Combine that with licensing, and it's not hard to see why there aren't many models. Eventually, it even caught up with NASCAR - the cost of designing and cutting the mold plus the licensing wasn't justified any more with the small number of modelers interested. That's why you saw things move more to low investment, short run kits in things like resin, for what there was available. 

The 2 Tamiya 'Snap Loc' Indycars were good kits, one road course, and the other speedway configured. AMT's Indy kits weren't awful. But they disappeared for a variety of reasons, and the biggest was simple - the demand was not there for what is a high up front cost product to produce.

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Nashotah, WI
Posted by Glamdring on Thursday, February 25, 2021 8:23 PM

Don Stauffer

The biggest change I see is a reduction in racing car kits.  Still kits for F1 and racing sports cars, but indy car kits dropped off decades ago, and major kit mfgs are not kitting NASCAR (I guess licensing rights are horribly expensive).  I also miss classic car kits.  Those used to be big sellers, but the interest in those seems to have waned.  I still find old kits at swap meets, but few new ones come out, and there were great classic cars that were never printed.  Those old Monogram Duesenbergs and Packards go for big bucks now at swap meets.

 

 

 

It's funny you bring that up, I started listing some kits on Ebay last week to thin the stash and one was a Dale Earnhardt kit.   It sold within 36 hours.  

Robert

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." 

  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Thursday, February 25, 2021 8:35 PM

Mention of NASCAR, have an Allison Havoline car and a Bill Elliott Coors thunderbird in the stash.  Would imagine the decals are toast by now.

You see a few rally cars now and then.

  • Member since
    January 2020
  • From: Maryland
Posted by wpwar11 on Thursday, February 25, 2021 9:09 PM

MJames70

I think licensing certainly didn't help more niche areas of car modeling. Let's consider Indycars. The sport itself went into a devastating schism between CART and the IRL, which it probably still hasn't really recovered from to this day. This was one of the factors that lead to the significant rise of NASCAR. 

So, you had a sport in decline, that was not even the most popular motorsport in the US any longer. So is it any surprise there were not a lot of models? Modeling was already a niche hobby then, and car modelers who wanted to build Indycar models are a niche of a niche. Combine that with licensing, and it's not hard to see why there aren't many models. Eventually, it even caught up with NASCAR - the cost of designing and cutting the mold plus the licensing wasn't justified any more with the small number of modelers interested. That's why you saw things move more to low investment, short run kits in things like resin, for what there was available. 

The 2 Tamiya 'Snap Loc' Indycars were good kits, one road course, and the other speedway configured. AMT's Indy kits weren't awful. But they disappeared for a variety of reasons, and the biggest was simple - the demand was not there for what is a high up front cost product to produce.

 

No question the indy car series is declining in popularity.  I still watch the series but it's nothing like before the CART/IRL fiasco.  From the mid 80's to the early 90's we went to dozens of races and the stands were always packed.  A few years ago I went back to the Pocono 500 and nobody was there.  I watch on tv and nobody goes to these events.  It's a shame.  The racing is often pretty good.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Friday, February 26, 2021 11:26 AM

By licensing, I mean the average showroom car that you'd see in people's driveways.

We used to see VW Rabbits, Chevy Chevettes, Ford Taurus, Escorts, Beetles, and other "regular" cars that were commonplace on US roadways.

I can remember certain models being released in 1976, 1977, 1978 body styles (virtually the same kits with updated grill work). I had a model kit of my mom's "First Chevy of the 80s", the Citation.

Towards the end of the 1980s and into the 1990s, many of the average American automobiles vanished as model kits due to licensing costs from the American automakers.

  • Member since
    March 2017
  • From: Oregon: Beautiful tree country.
Posted by treehuggerdave on Friday, February 26, 2021 11:34 AM

The car industry as a whole is changing as people's needs and interests change.

The new generations aren't even into cars like in the past.

Lift and Uber are the new things as the younger generation opts out of even owning a car in favor of concern for the environment grows.

I think in the future you'll see a lot of parking lots being turned into green spaces such as parks and play areas for kids as the automobile begins to disappear.

Probably be several decades, but peoples mindsets are changing slowly and are re-evaluating their lifestyle.

Phil. 4:6-7   Jer. 29:11-14  John 3:13

On the bench - Hand made '50 Lincoln "Tail dragger"  1956 DeSoto 'vert., Resin '60 Chrysler 300 , Modelhaus resin '58 Pontiac hardtop kit.

Been a "Plastholic" all my life. Love this stuff.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Friday, February 26, 2021 12:09 PM

Yeah, I have a 23 year old (soon to be 24 this weekend). He got his permit at 16, but since then has been uninterested in driving. I bought his grandmother's old Honda Fit for him prior to his senior year in high school, but it sits in the driveway as just a spare car.

His 16 year old brother has taken over ownership of the car and plans to have his license prior to the start of his senior year in high school. So my 16 yr old will most likely have a driver's license before his 24 yr old brother.

The older son lives in Louisville where mass transit was free to Univeristy of Louisville (and perhaps other local universities) students. He worked on campus for the dorms and never needed to drive.

At work, I have several workers in their early 20s. They use uber or someone who lives in their local area to get them to and from work. One young lady says it costs her $60/week to pay another woman who works in another section to get back and forth from work.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, February 27, 2021 6:46 AM

treehuggerdave

The car industry as a whole is changing as people's needs and interests change.

The new generations aren't even into cars like in the past.

 

And the older generation is into SUVs rather than cars!

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    June 2010
  • From: Australia
Posted by OctaneOrange on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 4:09 AM

For those not sure about getting a resin printer for their modeling needs, this is what my rims look like resin printed. The left is FDM printed (long line of PLA filament, sort of like printing with hot glue) the right is printed in resin. The tire is a kit part.

 DSCF9073a by aus_mus, on Flickr

  • Member since
    June 2018
  • From: Ohio (USA)
Posted by DRUMS01 on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 3:11 PM

New Kits of current race cars, classics or muscle cars?

One major area of concern regarding our automotive culture in America is the way we view, or in some cases not view racing. When is the last time they have shown ralley events, high speed motorcycle racing, F1 viewing availability, etc.? Several years ago, NASCAR was in its heyday, now they are basically the same chassis and bodies with stickers and wraps to make them appear different. The high ticket prices, corporate "good guy" drivers in like cars and rule changes have diluted the interest in NASCAR for many people. NHRA has also seen a decline in spectators, and the cost to participate in the headline classes has the standard corporate names and sponsors using "big money" to rule the sport. I might as well go on with Indy car who is still recovering from the split with CART from years ago. Now they have basically one or two car manufacturers with three engines choices and the marketing of the sport is poor and TV times sketchy. What I'm trying to say is that interest in automotive racing in the USA is still on a low except to a minority of dedicated fans and modelers like us.

In contrast, the cost of model production has really gone up when compared to decades past. The royalities for auto manufacturers, the licencing agreements with sponsors, the cost of tooling / labor / packing / shipping make it difficult for model making companies to justify the manufacturing and sales of sufficient quantities of niche race cars to make most new model kits profitable. That means they will be highly selective on which race car kits are produced. It is cheaper for the model manufacturer to tool a mold overseas when compared to the costs in the USA. These overseas companies will not have the same vision of model making as I do sitting in mid-west USA. They look more at a global market. They look at modeling something that will appeal to the modelers around the world, not just with me. 

So now we have numeroous small resin model companies creating limited quantities of either 3D printed or hand poured resin kits of these niche race vehicles. From what I hear, there are four main issues with resin kits for many people. First, the limited production run due to mold technology or demand make them hard to obtain. Second, while the detail of some parts are good most resin kits are simple curbside models. Third is the cost. Those multi-media kits with great detail are very expensive. Fourth, many model builders do not like working with resin for numerous reasons.

It all comes down to money, more specifically, can a model maker create a model in one of these subjects and still make it a profitable decision for them? I still believe we will se a few new releases of older reworked molds for some extremely popular automotive classics. However the bountiful array of muscle, race cars, and classics by main line model manufacturers will never return to the times of decades ago.

So thats my 10 cents regarding the new model production of current race, classic, and muscle cars. From one race car modeler to another lets all hope I am wrong.....   

 

I am a Veteran; to all other Veterans thank you for your service. Retired now and living well

PROJECTS:

- 1/48 RAH-66 Comanche - WIP

- 1/350 USS Alabama (GB) - DONE

- 1/16 1910 Thomas Flyer - DONE

- 1/78 AC-119 Stinger Gunship (GB) - DONE

 

 

 

fox
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 5:54 PM

Ditto on the younger generation. My oldest grandson is a sophmore in college and only uses his car when he has actual classes at college, nothing else. The younger one is a senior in high school. Has his license but refuses to drive. My son pays all the bills for 4 cars and 2 of them just sit in the driveway. So, I guess the old saying "What's this world coming to" or something like that still stands.

I remember getting my license and you couldn't keep me home.

Jim Captain

Stay Safe.

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench:  Revell 1/96 USS Kearsarge - 70% 

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 12:33 PM

fox

I remember getting my license and you couldn't keep me home.

Jim Captain

Stay Safe.

Same here (permit at 15 in 1979, license at 16 in 1980). But we didn't have all the amenities at home, just one phone, malls were fairly new and not close.

My son plays video games with his friends online during Covid. They are having a blast, even their in person school is only meeting 2 or 3 days a week (every other Wednesday). First half of the alphabet goes Mon & Thurs, second half goes Tues & Fri and they each go alternating Wednesdays.

They do hang out on some weekends and still do traditional things.

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 1:11 PM

Licensing is at fault:

      I can remember a time when Chevy and Ford model cars dominated the model and toy market. Product placement helped sell a lot of them. Well, in model cars it was already beginning. The companies like A.M.T. and Monogram were having to pay a small fee to produce certain models.

     Then the world went Bonkers. Licensing was demanded for things in model form that had been public Domain for years. Planes were hit hard, Ships weeell. Now, Cars, Oh Boy! They got nailed with exorbitant fees for Movie and T.V cars! Next thing you know the fees for a model of a certain race car( No matter the type) got so high It was cheaper to do something else.

     Licensing is not illegal, But to me in some cases it should be. I mean it seems to be rather unfair to demand fees for say model ships and planes that our Taxpayer dollars have already paid for! I don't believe Bell aircraft for instance should be able to collect licensing for say the Early Choppers from the Korean war period. They were around in model form for years already. Enough !!

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