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What's current state of plastic modeling hobby?

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  • Member since
    April 2012
What's current state of plastic modeling hobby?
Posted by Old Yeller on Sunday, April 1, 2012 1:17 PM

As a kid, I built many plastic models and blew most of my allowance on kits.  Many friends built models also, and I remember modeling was a common hobby for kids.  About 15 years ago, I got back into modeling for awhile for to attempt to get my daughters and nephews interested.  We made a few kits, but the girls weren't that interested in cars and warplanes and I wasn't able to spend enough time with my nephews.  I learned a lot from modeling, and therefore still consider it a great hobby for kids.

When I last visited my LHS 15yr ago, there were 3 long aisles packed with kits.  A few days ago, I came across my modeling toolbox in the cellar and decided to fix a damaged F-16 model that had been in a closet for several years.  That led me to visit the LHS again, where I now found 2 aisles empty of customers on a Sat afternoon, and maybe 1/3 of the previous inventory.  All the customers were in back racing RC cars.  I assumed most sales are now online, which led me here.

I have two Q's:

It appears there aren't many young people involved now, therefore what's the consensus on the future for modeling?  Am I wrong and there are actually still many young modelers?  Is it less interest, less patience to complete a kit, less interest in cars, high cost, less time for parents to share the hobby, or a combination of things?  Are there websites/forums etc that promote modeling for young people?

To buy online, what are the best websites for selection, price and service?

I'm approaching retirement and my first grandkid is on the way, so considering getting involved in modeling again as a retiree and also to share the hobby with grandchildren.

Thanks for your time-

  • Member since
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  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Sunday, April 1, 2012 2:06 PM

I started building at an early age, around 5-6 yrs old over 40 something years ago. I've raised six children who are now between the ages of 26 and 7 (26, 23, 22, 18, 15, 7). Only my two daughters, now 23 and 18 had any patience for it, although all of them have given it a try.

My 7 yr old is hot into Star Wars the Clone Wars and we build those kits together, but he plays rather rough with them and usually they suffer catastrophic damage. To be honest, he want to play with them not really build them and he loves Legos, so we end up getting him virtually indestructable Lego versions of the Star Wars ships.

Since I have a lot of kids, I come into contact with a lot of their friends, none of them build. I have given Italeri HMMWV kits and an Academy M1A1 Abrams to next door neighbors and an AMTRAC to my nephew who wanted to join the Marines. He did join and got out (or kicked out), but I don't know if he ever built the kit or what.

Bottom line, my older kids have their faces buried in their smart phones texting away. My younger boys are on the DS, DSi, 3DS, PS3 or Wii and not interested.

Only my 18 yr old daughter used to go to club meetings and shows with me when she was 11. She won several awards and was pretty good, but then she got into cheer leading and boyfriends and never looked back.

It's also a matter of cost; a $30 game lasts all my game playing kids ages, a $30 kit ends up partially built in the stash. I remember when kits cost pocket change at the five and dime. Even old kits from when I was a kid reboxed and sold in stores today are pushing $20.

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  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, April 1, 2012 2:24 PM

My expereinces are very much similar to Rob's. Building roughly the same amount of years and having four kids of my own. I have built models with all four, and of my kids only my two youngest still show any real interest. But now my youngest daughter has hit her teen years and no longer going to IPMS meetings or building kits with me. My 16 year old son still dabbles in the ocasional Gundam, but has no other model building interests. Between all his other activities, school, track, Boy Scouts, he would rather spend his free time in areas that pique his interest more such as his games, anime, and manga. Since the Gundams overlap with those areas, model building still has some appeal. My two adult daughters, who I built some kits with when they were little, have not touched a kit in many many years and neither show any interest in the hobby. But the younger of the two does like my tools for some of her art projects, or glues to use there too. Since I moved into a new home last year and all my model stuff is in the garage now a few neighborhood boys have stopped by to watch my work or look at the collection. I have given some kits from the stash that I know I will never get around to building.

As far as websites go, I still have some great Hobby Shops around here where I get my supplies and prefer to buy my kits from, even if I have to pay a bit more. I beleive in supporting the local businesses as best I can.

 

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  • Member since
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  • From: Long Island, New York
Posted by Chris2504 on Sunday, April 1, 2012 3:12 PM

To take the first question second, for online shopping Sprue Brothers is hard to beat, although I do prefer Scale Hobbyist's website for browsing, and they often have slightly lower prices, albeit with a (I believe) smaller selection (minimal aftermarket, notably). Go with whatever suits you, I've never been disappointed with either.

For the second question, as a younger modeler (a few days short of 18), it's hard to say about the future of the hobby. I got into modeling seriously in 9th grade, through my school's Plastic Modeling Club, of which I have been president for 2 years. (I don't mean to misrepresent, because the very existence of such a club is a rarity, and its continued existence is in question next year) The club was founded in 1982 with around 50 members, and now we have around 5-6 regular attendees, so if you want to see modeling in decline you only have to check the yearbooks.

I have become involved with my local club, which I am told is blessed with being one of the only clubs in the region who's annual show is successful.  Modeling is definitely on the whole an old man's game now.  This is not necessarily bad, except it is impossible to tell if today's young'ins will become modelers with age. Most of the older members of the community started when they were young, a tradition that kids today don't have. For myself, I know that my modeling was blessed with an apathetic social life and a lack of interest in video games (although I do find it cheaper to start modeling that start gaming, a starter model will set you back $30 if you go nuts, an Xbox game will run you $60, not counting the console itself! A beginner's paint and tools still won't run up that big a total, at least not at first.) It's certainly harder now to buy supplies when I want to take my girlfriend out!

I really don't know how one would get my peers interested in the hobby.  Most teenagers I know think it's cool, but admiring a well built armor piece is much different from sitting down and painting road wheels! Building a model is a study in delayed rewards, and the rising cost of kits means that covering one with glue and strapping it to a firework isn't the best use of an allowance.

In Progress:

Revell F-15I

Accurate Miniatures A-36

 

 

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  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Monday, April 2, 2012 8:55 AM

I'm not too worried about modeling today not appealing as much to youth.  Two stalwarts of the hobby have always been primarily adult genres- ships and model railroad.  These are expensive genres (especially MR) and yet have maintained their health for a long time.  So modeling will continue even if youth participation drops further.  Yeah, the youth buyers are more numerous as they explore possible hobbies, but the adults are the ones that buy the more expensive kits, and buy most of the aftermarket stuff that helps define the state of the hobby.

I got started as a kid, but never dropped out, and even as a young adult the aftermarket was glue and paint!  It was so nice to see folks begin offering resin detailing sets and the advent of photo-etch.  Then, this drove kit mfgs to offer resin and PE in the kits themselves!  When I began plastic modeling the planes didn't even have any cockpit detail, they mounted a pilot figure to a bulkhead to help obscure there were no cockpit details.  So every time I think modeling is in a golden age, things keep appearing to make it even better.

We are sure paying for it, though.  The price of kits this year is going up far faster than general inflation rate!

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

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  • From: Bent River, IA
Posted by Reasoned on Monday, April 2, 2012 2:29 PM

Old Yeller

I have two Q's:

It appears there aren't many young people involved now, therefore what's the consensus on the future for modeling?  Am I wrong and there are actually still many young modelers?  Is it less interest, less patience to complete a kit, less interest in cars, high cost, less time for parents to share the hobby, or a combination of things?  Are there websites/forums etc that promote modeling for young people?

To buy online, what are the best websites for selection, price and service?

That's more like 5 questions.Stick out tongue

At any rate, I agree with Bob and Stik (and also have a similar story) returning to the hobby after a 35year hiatus (yeah, it's a midlife crisis thing).  Future? who knows there is something about making things with your hands but I must say many of us RETURNED to modeling, whereas our kids may have never been into it to begin with (of course we never had the amazing games systems to get hooked on either).  Not sure about promoting the hobby aside from the parent.  As far as buying online, wow that is almost limitless, SprueBros, Ebay, Bonanza etc.

Science is the pursiut of knowledge, faith is the pursuit of wisdom.  Peace be with you.

On the Tarmac: 1/48 Revell P-38

In the Hanger: A bunch of kits

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  • From: hamburg michigan
Posted by fermis on Monday, April 2, 2012 10:19 PM

I think availability plays a part too. As a kid, I bought kits at the local pharmacy, hardware store, Toys-r-Us, PX, Shopette, K-mart, Kaybee toys and even dedicated hobby shops. Now, it pretty much has to be a Hobby Shop (aside from Hobby Lobby and Michaels awesome selections!!!), and since all the LHS' seem to be going the way of the Dodo......there's no real presence like there was 20+ years ago. So, model companies are marketing more toward those kids that grew up.....same thing with comic books, geared more towards adults. When was the last time you saw a baseball card shop???

There's just way too many options out there to occupy kids time, that don't involve any amount of work and minimal thinking......and they're all on dope!

  • Member since
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Posted by mitsdude on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 2:30 AM

I believe kids today have so many other activities to choose from that provide more instant gratification than building a model that takes extended time to build and even more time (and skill) to make it look really cool.

Console/computer gaming can eat up a huge chunk of a kids time and money. This includes playing the game itself as well as web sites  and chat rooms related to the gaming. It can be very exciting to play a game on the Internet with people from all over the world. With model building you are pretty much in your room all alone.

Organized sports is also a big time and money eater. Back in my day the only organized sports outside of school was baseball and football. Now most communities also have soccer, basketball, tennis, volleyball, swimming, golf, ice hockey etc. I realize these sports were always out there but they were mainly in larger cities that had a related pro sport team. Others, like ice hockey were pretty much regional. In addition when I was a kid you pretty much headed for home when the sun went down. Now we have indoor facilities that can be used at any time of day.

Another thought is that todays "toys" can look pretty darn good to the kid wanting a figure or a vehicle representing their favorite character. Look at some of the figures put out by Todd MacFarland's company, totally awesome. Just look at any of the stuff put out when a new movie is released. True a model looks better but they are close enough.

If I were a kid today I seriously doubt I would put out the time and effort of building a model.

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  • From: AZ,USA
Posted by GreySnake on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 11:10 AM

 

I’ll chime in with my two cents on the health of the hobby. I’m twenty three years old right now and I’ve been modeling since I was five. But I’ve stopped because of the cost and not enough time. The cost for the hobby is in all honesty ludicrous. Recently I considered building 1/35 armor again the new Tamiya T-55 Enigma caught my eye till I looked at the cost $70+ with shipping add on the paint I needed and glue and I was already looking at spending over a hundred dollars.

 I remember when I was nine years old with a small allowance and was able to buy three or four tanks a month for forty dollars or so. Try doing that today good luck! Heck just a few years ago the new Dragon 1/35 armor kits were running $30 a pop which was a good value for all you got. Now looking through the latest Squadron flyer the latest Dragon kits are pushing $60. I would really love to start modeling again but when one model can buy me two weeks of food I have a hard time justifying the cost.

 Maybe I’ve just grown out of the hobby but it seems like model companies are pricing their selves out of the business. And I can't see how kids can afford the price of models. But they do manage to buy video games somehow. I’ll just go back to playing my guitar now. 

 

 
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  • From: Bent River, IA
Posted by Reasoned on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 11:33 AM

GreySnake

 Maybe I’ve just grown out of the hobby but it seems like model companies are pricing their selves out of the business. And I can't see how kids can afford the price of models. But they do manage to buy video games somehow. 

I must confess you bring up a point about the cost of certain models.  35-40 years ago when I was young and building, the cost wasn't a big issue for me.  But I don't remember kits being that expensive or having such a huge selection of "super" detailed kits (and thats certainly added to the cost).  At that time just getting it put together with some paint on it and having it resemble a Mustang was good enough for me (I.e., my buddies and I weren't exactly R/C's in those daysWink).  And yes, no question kids will spend money on what they consider important, I suspect many won't on a $50 model.  There are many reasonably priced kits out there to be had which can be built into good little models and it can take up a fair amount of quality time.

Science is the pursiut of knowledge, faith is the pursuit of wisdom.  Peace be with you.

On the Tarmac: 1/48 Revell P-38

In the Hanger: A bunch of kits

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  • From: Washington, DC
Posted by TomZ2 on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 7:09 PM

The good news: The home of the future has arrived.

The bad news: It’s a flat-pack.

Occasional factual, grammatical, or spelling variations are inherent to this thesis and should not be considered as defects, as they enhance the individuality and character of this document.

  • Member since
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Posted by Old Yeller on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 9:37 PM

Thanks for your responses.  Around 1970, when I was building lots of models, I think kits were approx $2-3, a small jar of Testors paint 15 cents, and I could afford a model every 2wks on my allowance.  I remember lots of "3 in 1" cars that provided fun build options, and resulted in lots of spare engines, tires and other parts lined up in boxes in my Lab.  As time went by and my skill improved, I started pulling early efforts off the shelf and back to the Lab for reincarnation with lots of mods and customization using the spare parts.  That was lots of fun and saved some allowance!

I haven't read a response that changed my impression that, unfortunately, modeling is on a steep decline caused by rising cost of the hobby and by a change in culture.  A perspective was offered that adult modelers will continue in strong enough numbers to sustain the hobby.  I suspect that for nearly all adult modelers, the "seed" was planted in their youth and they are continuing or returning to the modeling hobby as a result of that.  Today's youth don't build models, and therefore won't as adults either IMHO. 

Every generation generally considers their "good old days" as superior to "improved" modern times, and I suppose that for me this topic is another example.  The argument can be made that the gaming and computer technology-driven hobbies of today's youth make them quick-thinking tremendous multitaskers. I can only speak from my own experience.  The valuable skills and traits that I acquired building models helped define who I became as an adult.  As we know, models never lie.  If you did a rushed, slipshod job then your final product clearly reflected that.  If you worked carefully, with proper planning and attention to detail, the result was a model you were very proud of and landed in the Place Of Honor on your display shelf.

I assume many of you also see this correlation between modeling and a successful career and adult life?  Modeling taught me to be a meticulous planner, and that skill has served me very well in my career and making big life decisions.  Modeling taught me the joy of using your imagination to visualize a final product, and the excitement of working toward that goal.  Modeling taught me the importance of attention to detail, which has also defined me at work and minimized mistakes in general.  Modeling taught me problem-solving.  The many challenges provided by modeling, as well as the many ways a model can be botched by both a novice and a veteran, provided many opportunities to learn the value of maintaining calm and thinking outside the box to find a way to accomplish a goal.  Modeling taught me that if you take pride in your work and put in time and effort, the result will give you pride and satisfaction.  Modeling taught me to work with my hands.  Modeling  gave me perspective and patience.  I remember receiving about 5 models for my birthday once.  Instead of taking the time to build each one properly, in my rush of excitement I attacked them and some beautiful kits ended up sloppy junk that I was ashamed of.  Never happened again.

Maybe some new hobbies provide a lot of these lessons, but I'd have to be convinced.  I've done a lot of successful large renovations to my home with little previous experience, and restored a vintage snowmobile with no previous experience.  Much of the ability to study, learn, plan, and accomplish these things was acquired from modeling.  It seems that far fewer youth interested in working with their hands and therefore unable to accomplish stuff like this and enjoy the satisfaction of doing so.  The focus now is more instant gratification than long-term projects.  I'm not bashing on today's youth, and I know there remain brilliant young minds out there. It just seems unfortunate to me that a unique tool like modeling, which develops those minds and shows them what they are capable of, is apparently being lost. 

Regarding today's youth:  Attention Deficit Disorder is often discussed.  Most youth now spend countless hours on video games, computers, iPhones, etc, and become accustomed to the rapid pace turn on/turn off control of their world.  This does not appear to create students who can focus and absorb material presented by a teacher over a 40" class period.  A young person involved in modeling is more likely to develop the ability to stay focused and therefore more likely to be productive in the classroom.

I'm not by any means brilliant or a huge success story, but do know that modeling played a large role providing the foundation for many positive things I've accomplished in my career and life.

I hope that companies depending on the modeling hobby find a way to salvage or renew interest by youth.  As discussed in many of the replies, the first hurdle is to make modeling affordable for a parent who wants to share modeling by introducing the hobby to their child.  If the modeling manufacturers and retailers recognize that their future possibly depends on meeting this challenge, they need to address this now before the next generation of parents are not interested.

Sorry for the long post, but I guess that covers my perspective.

 

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  • From: Biding my time, watching your lines.
Posted by PaintsWithBrush on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 5:32 PM

This question rolls around periodically. My answer is the same: It is in a state of decline.

A 100% rider on a 70% bike will always defeat a 70% rider on a 100% bike. (Kenny Roberts)

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Posted by fermis on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 8:35 PM

I don't really think it's in decline.....it's better than ever! More companies, more variety, better engineering.....pretty much...if you want it, you can get it (if money is no object!Wink  

As we start dying off, I'm sure all the model companies will follow......but who cares????? We'll be dead and not know about it anyway!

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Posted by mitsdude on Thursday, April 5, 2012 1:19 AM

One could also look at modeling as a "fad" that has come and gone.

i.e. slot cars, playing cowboys and Indians, yoyo's, hula hoops, kites, paint by number, Estes rockets, Beanie Babies.

Kinda related to modeling was the "ceramic arts" that was real popular among women in the mid 70's to early 80's. Seems like there was a new ceramic shop opening every week, groups buying their own Kiln's and molds!   Now ..........nothing!!!

 

  • Member since
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  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Thursday, April 5, 2012 6:21 AM

It's both in a decline and better than ever. By this I mean that the pool of model builders is graying and dying, but as the builders age, so do their tastes and their discretionary incomes get larger. Most of us started building cheap kits as kids with pocket money. Today, most current state of the art kits are $30-50 and people stull buy them til they are out of stock.

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  • From: Rain USA, Vancouver WA
Posted by tigerman on Thursday, April 5, 2012 2:52 PM

I agree that us older folks keep the hobby going and as we die out, so will the hobby for the most part. So, will modeling go the way of newspapers? That's probably not the best analogy, since newspapers will eventually go mostly online and models really can't do that, unless they develop a program of some sort that allows you to build a virtual model complete with camo and weathering with some sort of photoshop program, but how boring would that be? Or would it?

At least the hobby is better then ever at my present age and I should have no worries that the hobby will precede me in death.

   http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y269/wing_nut_5o/PANZERJAGERGB.jpg

 Eric 

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Posted by PaintsWithBrush on Thursday, April 5, 2012 5:20 PM

Even the film industry is abandoning models. CG has taken over. As we die off, our stash kits will circulate around, never to be opened because like the "action figures", only the "new in the box", never opened ones will be worth anything.

A 100% rider on a 70% bike will always defeat a 70% rider on a 100% bike. (Kenny Roberts)

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  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Friday, April 6, 2012 7:48 AM

mitsdude

Another thought is that todays "toys" can look pretty darn good to the kid wanting a figure or a vehicle representing their favorite character. Look at some of the figures put out by Todd MacFarland's company, totally awesome. Just look at any of the stuff put out when a new movie is released. True a model looks better but they are close enough.

MacFarland's figures look awesome. I have a good number of his Spawn figures as well as a number of his NFL figures. They are, however, not very durable. My older sons were into his Spawn cartoon when they were younger and bought a few action figures. It didn't take much for an arm or leg to break off. I think the only figures they released that had much ability to be played with were the ones based off of the live action movie.

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  • From: Ottawa,Ontario,Canada
Posted by modeler#1 on Friday, April 6, 2012 9:23 AM

Old Yeller your are right there aren't alot of young modelers (like me) however Modeling is my only hobby and I Have started to get more advanced. my parents gave me an airbrush for chistmas and have started using pigments. I could work on a model for years.

If you want to see my latest model and Critique my latest model please do so I am always looking for ways to inprove

/forums/p/141690/1558167.aspx#1558167

2nd post down

On the Bench: Nothing atm

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  • From: Washington, DC
Posted by TomZ2 on Friday, April 6, 2012 3:20 PM

New hobby stores!
Because it’s there. Because it’s
There. Because it’s there.

Occasional factual, grammatical, or spelling variations are inherent to this thesis and should not be considered as defects, as they enhance the individuality and character of this document.

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  • From: Denver
Posted by tankboy51 on Friday, April 6, 2012 6:54 PM

I'm more curious in how the hobby is doing in Asia. This includes China, Japan and the rest of the Pacific Rim Nations.  I've heard, and I'm not sure this is correct, is that the US and Europe are only about 15% of the plastic model market.  This seems to be where all the major manufactures are based, and has been for several decades now.

I agree with all the other posters about the aging of the modelers over here.  But, on the local Denver area, at the IPMS meetings there seem to be a fairly steady stream of modelers in their late 20's and early 30's coming back in. And they are all quite good modelers as well.  Mostly guys returning after a break  after starting families and finishing school.  And I've noticed a considerable group of younger modelers at some of the local shows as well.  Of  course, younger to me in people in their 40's.Big Smile

Doug

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  • From: Iowa
Posted by Hans von Hammer on Friday, April 6, 2012 9:41 PM

Withoout the availability of Monogram/Revell, and Lindberg/HAWK/Testor's/ kits on the net in Ebay, I'd probably be outta the hobby...  While kit selection is over the top on subject-matter, and becoming yet more and more detailed (and if not, SOMEbody has a resin/PE set for it), they've gone and priced themselves forever outta my range, especially kits released in the 21st century...

Unless I find a "new" kit over some kit-hoarder's collector's (quite literally) dead body in an estate sale in which the family has no idea of what they have, I don't buy it...

My daughter inherited my love for model-building, my sons didn't...  My grandkids tried it, liked it, but not enough to keep at it, not when there's no boundry anywhere on what they can do electronically, vs using the imagination and playing with their most recent build, running around in the yard making "airplane and machinegun sounds", up until it breaks, at which point it becomes a firework or pellet-rifle target...  And many kids today have no idea of what (or when)  "World War II was...  

Example, one of the crewmen on the "Enola Gay" (Navigator Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk, the sole surving member of her crew) said that he was even once introduced at a school where was giving a talk about the mission, as a "Veteran of Wolrd War Eleven"...

Even my 12-year old grand-daughter once asked me about my time in the 82nd (the unit patches, badges, rank, ribbons, and medals I wore during my Army career are in a shadow-box, so all three have seen them) while playing "Call of Duty-Vanguard", "Grandpa, did you land at Normandy too?" Indifferent ... Bless her heart, I ain't lyin'! Time

'Course, she doesn't know much about 11 SEP 01 either, other than "those planes crashed into those buildings)..  They aren't teaching much about it...  However, I digress...

Modeling fo me, as a youngster, was a solitary hobby... I didn't live on base or in town, we lived way out in the sticks, and only me and my little brother built models, but he turned into a gear-head, while I still built military stuff, and my sister, who was ten years older that me, didn't have time for either of us, and would have preferred to be an only child...

But after a model was built, I would strafe his cars, dive-bomb from the Monogram 1/48 SBD and SB2C, and 1/32  F-51D (yeah, they worked!)... 

Kids today are not cut off from the outside world, in fact, they play with other kids from all over the world, in on-line games and sims, anf unless they're being punished and not allowed to use their computer (They have their OWN computers! I couldn't even have a phone-extenion in my room!)

With all that to do, why would kids wanna spend time alone in their rooms, gluing plastic together when they can roam the World of Warcraft and become a character that slays everyone and everything with a sword's-length and then hit it with a platinum blonde in a steel bikini (who's probably a fat, bald, 32-year-old basement-dweller who's bench is surrounded by empty pizza boxes, Dorito-bags, and Mountain Dew ot Red Bull cans) ...

Had to buy "Conan" and "Red Sonya" for that steel-bikini kinda stuff. but I prefered aircraft to swords anyway, so it was "SGT Rock", "Jeb Stewart", "The Unkown Soldier',  and "Enemy Ace-Hans von Hammer" for me....

But I digress again..

Suffice to say that the only kids that're gonna get "into" modeling in any kind of real numbers are the ones that re's getting doped up by their teachers/parents and forced to sit still for hours at a time, because there's something "wrong" with them if they choose to lead the solitary life-stlye scale-modeling often-times requires in the age-6 (when I started) to age 13... 

By that age, I was living "in town", where I found three others my age that built models!  We did MANY joint-projects, as well as the individul stuff, and succeeded in forming a "club" in which we put together the "largest diorama in the world" (at least we thought it was, at 16 x 8 feet and complete with aircraft, hangars, quarters, tower, machine and repair shops, aircraft ramp and taxiway,  O-club, and the edge of the "jungle bordering it,  in my parent's basement (which doubled as our "Clubhouse' and our Work-Bench was a fifteen-foot long monster that all four of us could work at, sharing ideas, scrap parts, paints, etc...

The only rule on consumables was paint and that was, "if you empy it, you replace it".. Testor's was still around at 19 cents a bottle (as was Practa 'Namel), and we got our kits at the grocery store, drug store, and hardware store...

Fine days indeed...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
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  • From: Southern New Jersey
Posted by troublemaker66 on Friday, April 6, 2012 11:50 PM

fermis

I don't really think it's in decline.....it's better than ever! More companies, more variety, better engineering.....pretty much...if you want it, you can get it (if money is no object!Wink  

As we start dying off, I'm sure all the model companies will follow......but who cares????? We'll be dead and not know about it anyway!

HA HA!  Well said! As long as the hobby lasts as long as I do....Dead

On the price of starter kits for beginners....you don`t need to buy a $70 kit for that, Revell has tons of reasonably priced kits out there for a youngster to give the hobby a shot. And yes, there are a few Revell kit`s that aren`t "shake and bakes" but good kits all the same, good skill builders!

Len Pytlewski

  • Member since
    July 2007
  • From: Southern New Jersey
Posted by troublemaker66 on Saturday, April 7, 2012 12:18 AM

I agree with Hammer`s view. The worst punishment I could have as a kid was to not be allowed out. We`d all be outside 8am on weekends and Summer vacation , maybe come home for lunch, always for dinner...woof it down and back out untill the street lights came on! I kick my kids outside to punish them...you`d think they were about to die to go out and get some fresh air. Technology is a wonderous thing but too much of it , for a kid , isn`t IMO. My 3 played soccer and other sports when they were younger. Now that they`re teens they never want to leave the house and the computer. My wife and I finally had enough and restrict usage on all electronics to a couple hours a night. They get bored fast and actually go out now without being punished. No matter how hard I tried though, none of them want anything to do with modeling...prolly `cause they hear me talkin` to myself at my bench.....Big Smile

Len Pytlewski

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Saturday, April 7, 2012 10:17 AM

Things are different today. My wife and I often talk about when we were little kids (she in So. California and me in Vermont) we played with other kids in the woods, around the neighborhood, etc. I would ride my bike with my baseball glove looking for a group of kids playing a game in one of the surrounding vacant lots.

When we lived on military bases for 20 of the last 25 years, our kids enjoyed a lifestyle much like we had; roaming the neighborhood in a safe environment playing with other children on playgrounds and ballfields.

Today, there is a chance that bad stuff can happen to children left alone. Seven years ago, when my 15 yr old son was 8, he would spend all day on the playground that was shouting distance from our backdoor at Fort Knox. I can't imagine letting my 7 yr old son today roam the neighborhood we've lived in for 4 years to try to find kids his age to play with. We have one of the older kids walk him to a friend's house to play and then send one of them to get him when it's time to come home.

  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: Washington, DC
Posted by TomZ2 on Saturday, April 7, 2012 5:53 PM

Hans von Hammer

Example, one of the crewmen on the "Enola Gay" (Navigator Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk, the sole surving member of her crew) said that he was even once introduced at a school where was giving a talk about the mission, as a "Veteran of World War Eleven"...

Periods that World Wars considered by some:

    Ottoman-Habsburg Wars (1480 — 1540)
    Dutch War of Independence or Eighty Years’ War (1568-1648) including Thirteen Years War (1593 — 1606)
    King Williams War (1689-1697)
    War of the Spanish Succession or Queen Anne’s War (1701-1713)
    The Other Thirty Years War (1733-1763) including War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748)
    Seven Years’ War (1756-1763), which Winston Churchill called “the first world war” in A History of the English-Speaking Peoples
    The American Revolutionary War (1776-1783), fought between Britain and her colonies, drew in the help of many powers such as Spain and France.
    French Revolutionary Wars (1792-1802) and the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815)
    The Great War (1914 — 1918)
    The Hitler War (1939 — 1945)
    The Cold War (1946 — 1989)

I am "Veteran of World War Eleven"; I have the ribbon:

Occasional factual, grammatical, or spelling variations are inherent to this thesis and should not be considered as defects, as they enhance the individuality and character of this document.

  • Member since
    July 2011
  • From: Armpit of NY
Posted by MJames70 on Sunday, April 8, 2012 1:55 AM

I kind of find the 'it's just too expensive, that's why it's dying' to be more than a bit of a 'straw man' argument. There are values out there, as others have pointed out. And it doesn't mean buying cr*p 40 year old kits, either. The new Airfix 1/72 Spitfire Mk.1a may be the best in scale of that type/mark. It costs a whopping 7 bucks or so. I could give many other examples...

At the other end, Tamiya's 1/32 Spitfire IX that I am working on is over $100 new. But I have spent over 4 weeks and probably 30 hours already working on it, with at least another 10 or so to go. I bet you can't come up with many other forms of entertainment that will keep you amused for such a long period at only $3-$4 an hour...

And you know what? Them darned video games that are stealing all the kiddies away from the hobby? They're not cheap, either. $60 new, plus a console to play them on. But you say you can buy used video games? Well, you can get models secondhand many places, too...that Spitfire IX I'm working on? Was cruising Plane Trading on Hyperscale today, and there was a guy offering the kit, two aftermarket detail sets, and an aftermarket decal sheet...for less than just the kit itself new....

I would never suggest that modeling is a 'cheap' hobby; the initial investment can be quite stiff in things like paint and tools. Once you have that, the dollar to time gotten out of the investment ratio is very, very, favorable...

  • Member since
    February 2011
Posted by knox on Sunday, April 8, 2012 9:00 PM

    I wasn't planning on posting again until I could post some pictures of my modeling area and models.  I do look in quite a bit,  ran across this thread,  and wanted to respond.  There are a lot of kids and young adults building models at the local gaming store.  The models are getting more detailed and sophisticated.  So much so that you actually need instructions to assemble them.   If this is happening at all gaming stores then it represents a lot of modelers.  I don't know if they will turn to none- gaming models somewhere down the line,  but there is that possibility.

    I do feel the demise of  local modeling stores has hurt when it comes to getting new people interested.  The internet is great and brings the world of modeling home,  but it isn't enough for me.  Besides the gaming tables,  the local store has a great table, chairs and lighting for building and painting.  the store provides priming materials for free.  It has a freezer with ice-cream goodies and regular vending to purchase. There are people visiting, building, painting and playing every day of the week.

     I do miss the old hobby stores but found something even better.  I'm just lucky that I really enjoy the modeling that the gaming community provides. 

  • Member since
    June 2008
  • From: Iowa
Posted by Hans von Hammer on Monday, April 9, 2012 5:26 PM

I bet you can't come up with many other forms of entertainment that will keep you amused for such a long period at only $3-$4 an hour...

Then I'm really getting the max "bang for buck", since my predilection towards "40 year old piece of crap kits" has me being "amused" at about .05 cents per hour...  Whistling

Look, let's face it... The average age of the model kit-builder is 40-something (ar least amoung the membership here), has a disposeable income in a range far higher than any kid not named Hilton could dream to have (with a few exceptions), and is proabably been out of the hobby (even for years) a time or two, and the manufacturer's KNOW it...  They offer the 100-240.00 "Uber-kits" to that demographic, leaving the Monograms, Revells, and other old-timers to the "Grey Eagles", which mainly consists of nostalgia builders and the few "real" Gizmologists that're left....   Can't tell me that there ain't a market for the old kits either, not when i took me a year to get a 1/48 Monogram Me109 kit and I had to pay almost (with shipping) 30.00 for it..

However, they also add a few more bells & whistles to their own older kits, but not enough (IMNSHO) to justify THAT kind of price-hike..  They offer 25-page instruction sheets, with photos and drawings, and on glossy paper (Who actually needs that when there's Google Image?) five different seats (!), decals for five versions (?), magnets on cowls...

Really?

There're still a few of us left out here that do things the old school way, and even though I'f love to take a crack at the Tamiya Spit or Mustang, ya just gotta be kiddin' me... No way I can justify the cost of that, regardless of it's "supremacy", when I need a Spit or Mustamg for the "Shot down" or Boneyard diorama I wanna build.. Would any of y'all take a Dremel and a razor saw to either of those kits to add, "Battle Damage" or make it "Stripped & Vandalized and Awaiting the Scrapper"?

I rather doubt it...

So.. We still need those "POS" kits of 40 years ago, and we need 'em with low-dollar price-tags... And for you kit snobs out there that wander around the tables, find an interesting 1/32 diorama, then look over your readers and say, "Oh, it's a Revell  P-51.. How... Quaint..", I got somethin' "quaint fer ya... Wink

More manufacturers need t follow Eduard's lead, with the "Weekend-Edition" kits... I think THAT would solve a LOT of issues, in both gettin' Mom (face it, most of us got our first kit from mom while she was on a trip to the grocery store, drugstore, etc) to spring for a kit for Junior next time she's at Hobby Lobby, pickin' up some stuff for her latest decoupage project, but only if those kits are under a certain price... She's not gonna spring for a 70.00 Tamiya Betty, but she just might pick up that 1/72 Monogram F-82 or F8F...

She's not gonna spring for  a kit of ANY price from a hobby shop that doesn't cater to her interests as well, since she'd no reason to even BE in there otherwise...

Kids gotta break that "First Kit" bubble, and then they'll decide on their own if that's the way they wanna spend some of their time..  It's won't be be until years later that they can deal with on-line purchases... Kids don't have any way to 'Shop' on the internet (unless their parents have gotten them their own cards and accounts)...

It's not the age of a kid that matters... It's the kits... And after he gets a few behind him, he CAN handle a Revell/Monogram kit... Be it a 1/72 F-82 at age six/seven or maybe, around age ten, even a 1/48 B-17... I know I did...

But I hear way too many supposedly "Advanced" modeler that can't handle a 1/48 Revell/Monogram 187-part P-61but can knock out a 670-part version of a similar vein .. Well.. Give the R/M to your 12-year old..

Maybe he can help ya finish it..Geeked

 

 

 

 

 

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