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What is the modeling hobby like where you live?

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  • Member since
    November 2005
What is the modeling hobby like where you live?
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, February 5, 2003 8:45 AM
I have a great idea for a topic. I'm just not sure how to start this. So please bear with me and my incoherent rambling. Blush [:I]

Basically, I am familiar with what it's like being in the United States and what's available to us here in regards to kits, accessories, supplies, etc.

What I am not familiar with (and I'm curious about) is how does this compare to other parts of the world? What's available and what's not? Are things harder to come by? Are there some unique things which are accessible to you that aren't in other locations?

In regards to kits, are there kits that are available only in certain locations and not in others (maybe due to lack of a distributor)? What about paints and other modeling supplies?

For example, one item which keeps coming up is Future. I think many people in the United States take it for granted.

Another advantage may be historical references. An example of this might be in the case of a modeler living in Germany. I would think it would be easier to find more authentic (real) German WWII equipment than in the US. I doubt Panzers were shipped back to the United States in great quantities (besides to collectors and the military). Wink [;)]

To add another interesting dimension to this topic. With the Internet, modelers have greater access to kits and supplies than they may have in the past, even in the United States. If the Internet wasn't available, how would this affect you? Is there anyone here who wouldn't be in the hobby if it wasn't for the Internet or would face hardships in locating kits and supplies?

To summarize, my goal/intention here is to help develop a greater appreciation and understanding of each other's background, in regards to location, and how it affects the hobby.

Okay - I think I'm done (as everyone breathes a sigh of relief).
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: United Kingdom / Belgium
Posted by djmodels1999 on Wednesday, February 5, 2003 9:22 AM
Hey, I think it's a very interesting thing to discuss and maybe something we need to take into consideration when we are planning our CBPs...

I for one would really love to see what's really available from Hasegawa, Tamiya, Fujimi in Japan, I mean the items that are only released for the Japanese market...

Price differences are always interesting to consider too. I know from experience that Italeri kits are dirt cheap here in Europe while quite expensive in the US...

All that sort of stuff could contribute towards some exchanges between us, and some good friendships too. Sign me in!
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, February 6, 2003 6:25 AM
I can't answer many things in the original post by Bayonet Recon, but with respect to the internet and modeling....

I wouldn't be able to enoy modeling without it. I live about as far northeast in the US as you can get (I can be in Canada in about 15 minutes from my front door, while the closest state border, with NH, is about 7 hours away). There was a hobby shop locally when Ifirst moved out here, but I was between jobs and money was tight...and they were going out of business.

All I have for a hobby shop locally is Wal-Mart...nuff said there regarding selection, accessories, and so forth.

While I could sing the praises of various on-line retailers who have helped filled in the void, I won't...there's too many to mention and I need to get to work pretty quick.
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Brisbane, Australia
Posted by ILuv3ggs on Thursday, February 6, 2003 10:00 PM
The internet is a major help for me. it allows me to find kits from online hobby stores and do research on a subject i hope to model. Without the internet, it would be very difficult for me to find a kit, or research a subject.

as for Future Floor Polish - i am about 90 % certain its not available down here - OR my local hardware store doesn't supply it.

you lucky in america, as i have heard many stories of people visintg Museums of massive proportions for armour or aircraft. i have been to many Aircraft museums, the biggest one only having around 10 - 12 aircraft (most of which were post war). the best one i have been to had only 8 aircraft - all but 3 were ww2 (2 ww1 aircraft, one CAC Sabre). The museum had a Avenger, Zero (from tora tora tora) Yak 9, Sea Fury, Tiger moth - ...thats all i can remember, it was a while ago. altho i did visit one museum , it had a Lancaster Bomber, along with many fighters all under one roof.

As far as i know, there aren't many tank museums either, (except teh National War Museum, but even then i don'tt hink it has many). The onyl piece of historical armour i have seen is the German WW1 Tank ... (found a picture of it, no name tho)

its apprently the only one left in the world. its stored at a museum in Brisbane.

there are many kits that get mentioned in FSM that aren't avalable to me, such as the Styre (the desert on with the AA gun in it) my local hobby store doesn't stock the jeep, nor the Half track with the gun)

one other thing, is that the major countries get thier aircraft, armour etc modeled !

When was the last time you saw a new release of the Commonwealth Boomerang, or the Wirraway, or HMAS Australia, or the Sentinal (australian made ww2 tank, first tank to be able to use two guns effectivly (apprently), never saw service)

i could make a mssive list of aircraft and navy ships that i would love to get my hands on...but proberly won' get get made into a plastic kit.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: United Kingdom / Belgium
Posted by djmodels1999 on Friday, February 7, 2003 1:33 AM
There's a product called Shine Magic or Super Shine that's apparently available in Oz' supermarkets... Check the message aboutAustralian Future in the Techniques Forum, and there's a link telling about this product.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, February 7, 2003 11:48 AM
I'm from India. So that's a change for all you guys out there, including Iluv3eggs from down under.
Started off with kits me dad got from England, mostly Airfix, when I was a kid.

Got back in in 94, when some firm in India started importing Italeri and Academy kits. Built around 30, bought and hoarded another 30!

Guess there are very few guys like me here. Business must have been pretty bad. Don't see that many kits anymore on the shelves.

As for accessories, lemme tell you guys, I will never attempt an all-metal finish. Ever.

I make do with brushes, though I plan to buy an air brush and compressor next month.

As for paints, used to get Humbrol stuff, but now it's back to acrylic colours mixed with water, and the stuff that one gets to buy on trips abroad.

Don't laugh guys, it hurts! Guess the only way out is find my own way of getting stuff.

Getting stuff is one thing, and sitting across the table and swapping techniques with a fellow modeller is another.

Too much griping! Will try and convert a few friends!

See ya guys.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: USA
Posted by jcarlberg on Friday, February 7, 2003 3:09 PM
I am kind of surprised with the tradition of fine craftsmanship in India that there are not more modelers, but I suppose the economy and difficulty of importing and distributing get in the way. It would be nice if an Indian company would get into the model production business, since many subjects are unique to India.
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Canada / Czech Republic
Posted by upnorth on Friday, February 7, 2003 5:06 PM
I wish I could get better access to a wider range of European kits where I am.

Italeri is easy to come by, but German Revell is a pain to find around here. I'd love to see more of the German Revell catalog items in my neck of the woods, but many are geared specifically to the European markets. Several years ago I picked up a Dornier 228 turboprop made by Revell Germany. It was basic and needed some additional work to make it come out right, but it was certainly different enough from what I'm used to seeing that it got my attention (and a small bit of my wallet) immediately

As for supplies, after September 11, certain things from America became hard to find due to much stricter (and slower) customs requirements. Sanding film and flex-i-files were not terribly difficult to find before, but since they've been nearly impossible to get without special ordering.

As for Canadian products in the hobby, I'd say we're making our contributions. Hobbycraft kits have been around for years and I'd say they are improving all the time. Belcher bits and Leading Edge make very good aftermarket resin and decals. Arrow Graphics is also great for aftermarket decals of uniquely Canadian subject matter, I've used their decals a few times and wouldn't say a word against them.

As for the internet, I'm still VERY leary about bringing my finances and the internet together for any reason. I'll exhaust all avenues of special ordering, including calling overseas before I try purchasing any thing online.
  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by reluctant_wanderer on Sunday, February 9, 2003 2:40 AM
Hi Everybody!
Yes, I am from the U.S., however, I am from Alaska, so that makes a big difference. We have great availability...if you can get to a hoby shop. Like glubokii_boi, I had a hobby shop near by, but it closed, so the nearest one is an hour away. So, needless to say, I don't get to one very often. The internet is the only other option, and it great. However, shipping is usually higher, anywhere from 25%-100%. Things usually can only be shipped by the US Post office. Rarely do I get the option to have it shipped at the same rate as the "Lower 48", and even more rarely do I get UPS. Shipping restrictions apply. No flammables, so I am thankful that I learned long ago to use acrylics. Extra large packages(like the bigger 1/48 kits) have a higher rate. Due to this, it can be very expensive to get a kit up here. I usually try to oder multiple items so get a better deal on shipping charges.
I am lucky; I live in the more urban part of AK. The bush region pay an outlandish amount for the hobby. So up here it is more expensive to do my hobby.
Life is a Trainer , and God is the back seat instructor. He's their to let your spirit soar, and keep you flying straight. After you've passed, you earn earn your wings.
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: United Kingdom / Belgium
Posted by djmodels1999 on Sunday, February 9, 2003 5:34 AM
Hey ILuv3ggs, that's the A7V tank! Emhar just released their 1/72 kit of that monster and I had been thinking about it. Did not know there was one left in Australia! I'll have to check that on the web...

UpNorth, why so reluctant to order online?
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Canada / Czech Republic
Posted by upnorth on Sunday, February 9, 2003 4:43 PM
I've known quite a few people who've gotten gouged and screwed on their credit cards and had their credit ratings totally ruined by those idiots who seem to have so much time on their hands and so much of a knot in their brains that they make a hobby out of finding ways around internet security measures intended to stop the theft of their credit information while its on line.

When you know somebody whos really responsible with their credit still take it in the teeth from one of these idiots in spite of the security, it certainly puts one ill at ease. I've never been comfortable with credit cards anyway. I keep mine for big ticket items and emergencies.

If I can't make an expenditure for my hobby either by cash or money order, I try to avoid it.

I did purchase, via the internet, a sheet of aftermarket decals from a hobby shop down in Georgia a while back, but I did it with a money order and the postal service and e-mail contact rather than credit card. I felt that was safe enough.

After paying off a student loan not so long ago, I'm still cautious about things by credit.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, February 10, 2003 2:00 AM
In little New Zealand, the supply is generally very good. We get an enormous amount from Hasagawa and especially Tamiya.
One thing I know that NZ lacks but I know the USA does have, is an extensive range of McLaren Models, from the Can Am cars, to Formuia 1, Indy and sports cars, kits and di-cast models. I have 12 McLaren cars, but they took an age to get hold of. I have a friend inthe states that has amazing access to McLAren models and I only wish we had the same....
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Brisbane, Australia
Posted by ILuv3ggs on Monday, February 10, 2003 9:32 PM
Ahhhh, thats right...Smile [:)]

Yeah its still there...

its surrounded by a big glass cube as it is situated just outside the museum. It was brought back from the war as a trophy and has resided in Brisbane for most of its life in Australia (think it was toured around the country for a bit)

you'll see the tank under the australian section. It has three pictures taken of the tank thats in the museum.

This is an awsome website for research as it has a list of every country to have built or used tanks in WW2 and WW1.

As for ordering online, my mum has done this for me a few times, so far nothing wrong has gone wrong.

Also pleased to say, that after AGES of looking i have found some kits of the Wirraway (link kindly given to me be a fellow modeler), the Kangaroo and the Sentinel 1,3,4. glad to know that we aren't forgotten.

Cya laters
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, March 9, 2003 7:03 PM
With all the new members, thought I would give this a one-time bump back to the top. Smile [:)]

BTW, that WWI tank that ILuv3ggs posted a picture of, I think I've seen that somewhere...
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, March 9, 2003 9:03 PM
Well, I will start as I wish I would have come across this site before my deployment to Europe I.E. Germany last June. But, with the way things are going I may be headed back sooner than expected anyway. (But one may never know) I am sure that we can get things going with this forum to be able to satisfy those that are looking for certain things in their life like a certain kit or supplies that have been eluding them for some time. Make a pool and help deliver to those that may have a little trouble gaining access to materials that may be readily available to others within their own borders. Sorry about the rambling but, I have always believed that people can work together and get each persons goals accomplished if they could continue to look forward instead of backwards.....
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: United Kingdom / Belgium
Posted by djmodels1999 on Wednesday, March 12, 2003 3:36 AM
One thing I'm always after is reference material, and I do purchase a fairly large number of mags and books. I'm wondering what is available 'out there'... Here in the UK, we are blessed by a number of very decent titles such as Scale Aircraft Modelling, Scale Models, Scale Aviation Modeller International, Tamiya Magazine, Military Modelling, Military Modelcraft, FSM (of course!), and a fairly large number of 'real stuff' mags such as Flight International, Air Enthusiast ... and the like.

I'm also close enough to the European continent to travel there on a regular basis and I can pick up a number of other great magazine titles such as SteelMasters, WingMasters, Militaria, Minitracks, Replic, Le Fanatique de l'aviation, AirFan, and many more.

What is it like in Australia, New Zealand, India, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and in remote areas of the States (Alaska) and Canada..? I know for instance that in Brazil, there's a great mag called 'Flap', talking about civil aviation. It's a bit like our Flight International, just more exotic and ultimately, very interesting. Do you have stuff like that, very specific to your country???
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Tochigi, Japan
Posted by J-Hulk on Wednesday, March 12, 2003 7:57 PM
Here in Japan, it's a modeler's heaven. Honestly, I can't imagine a better situation. Tons of well-stocked, comprehensive hobby shops everywhere! I've been here for 10 years, 2 in Tokyo and the rest in Osaka and Shiga. The biggest and best shops are of course in the big cities, but even out in the rural areas you can find great hobby shops.
Growing up in hobby-shopless rural southeast Georgia, where most of what I got was from K-mart and Ace Hardware (they carried all the Monogram 1/32-1/35 armor!), you can imagine how I felt when I moved here. Even up in Atlanta, Georgia, there aren't that many good hobby shops.
As far as what's available kitwise, I can sum it up in one word: EVERYTHING. All makers, all genres.
The smaller shops may not carry much non-Japanese stuff, you you can usually still find a smattering of Monogram and Revell kits.
The big shops have it all. Most recently there's been a boom in Eastern European and Russian kits.
I don't think there are many Japanese releases that don't make it overseas, but Hasegawa does release many versions of its kits here with PE and resin parts, like their HS-129 series.
And if you like robots, and lots of 'em, well, come on over. Gundam, Macross, Patlabor, Sakura Taisen, MachinenKreiger...Tons of stuff.
Also tons of garage kits from Kaiyodo, Volks, Biliken, and others, resin and vinyl. Godzilla, Ultraman, Kamen Rider, almost any character you can imagine.
Most shops usually carry a good selection of PE and resin aftermarket gear.
Paints are mosty Tamiya and Gunze Sangyo, but the bigger shops have Testors and Humbrol stuff, too.
Sorry to ramble on, but they really do have EVERYTHING!
Great staff, too. They love talking about the hobby and enjoy the international interaction. My local shop often sponsors contests which are attended or judged by some of the Japanese industry's greats, like Armor Modeling's Masahiro Doi and Hobby Japan's Yamada Takuya (Takushi? He's one of the greats, but I can't remember his first name...).
The hobby shops usually have a great selection of reference material, but the normal bookstores also carry a great selection of hobby and special interest books. In addition to hobby mags Armor Modeling and Hobby Japan, there's Aviation Modeling, Model Graphic, Model Art, and Model Masters. For references, there's Achtung! Panzer, Ground Power, Koku Fan, and tons of other books on aircraft, ships, cars, and motorcycles.
The only problem? Budgeting! Time and finances. So much great stuff...hard to resist.
And no Future. I've never used it myself, but I want to give it a shot. There must be a Japanese equivalent!
To sum it all up, the hobby is thriving here in Japan (although the shop owners always say business is lousy!) with everything any modeler of any level needs. I suppose these days with the Internet you can get anything you like, but to walk into a shop and see it all right there, be able to browse through tons of stuff, and see great finished kits (most shops have a display case or two chock full of amazing works), is really an amazing thing for me.
Particulalry coming from a rural town in Georgia, I can't tell you how grateful I am for such an environment!
If anybody has any questions about Japanese stuff, I'd be glad to check it out.

Happy modeling, wherever you are!

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, March 13, 2003 11:34 AM
hi, all, here in the uk we are lucky , most weekends there is a model show about 40 at last count in the season from Jan to Nov nearly all can be traveled to in a day , We have some good shops and but mail order can be expensive , but internet is great , for deals on prices , lucky we have large amount of museums with plenty of original items , book dealers we have 4 good ones , plenty of accessories in shows and clubs to attend . we can always nip across the channel if we want to , now with new low air fares , can even make trip to models shows in europe and back in a day . overall , very lucky , cheers ian

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