General opinion about our beloved hobby?

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General opinion about our beloved hobby?

Joined: March 31st, 2004, 1:15 pm

September 26th, 2011, 3:58 pm #1

I posted this on hyperscale too for I want to hear a lot of opinions:)
Thank you for your opinion.

Hello! fellow modellers,

I'd like to ask for some of your opinion about our hobby. I mean plastic modelling of course.

What are the things you think is the "value"? and What do you think is the unnecessary aspect? What would this hobby become in the future?

My main interest is the technology called additive manufacturing, aka 3-D printing. I think we have seen it coming a lot more often lately. Some people are printing out their own parts, even entire piece of model. There are even company who offer to print out your own design. Plastic modelling is just another application this technology makes possible.

What if there would be less mass-produced injection kits in the near future, and more locally produced kits? Now no matter how rare the subject is, nor how low the demand of a certain subject, it still can be produced. Not to mention all the specific modification you would imagine, a Tiger I from a certain production lot plus a certain field modification, even one of its kind.

Something would certainly disappear. No more part clean up ( when technology is up to that level), no more sprues. No more part splitting due to molding limitation. There would be less assembly. All the scratch-building, modification and customization can be done in CAD program (you do it yourself or send information for the design/printing company to do it). All you need to do now is painting, weathering and finishing you kit.

I remember gluing plastic pieces and seeing a plane taking shape was a sweet memory from my childhood. Now I am enjoying more and more painting and finishing my kits. With the products and technique we have now, I feel removing parts from sprues, sanding, filling and assembly are unnecessary tasks put on us by the limitation of injection molding. We all enjoy the cleanliness and ease of assembly manufacturer like Tamiya offers, don't we? That is my own opinion though. Would you please discuss yours?
I know a lot consideration will need to be added. So, bring it up!

Nanond Nopparat

P.S. as my name might suggest, I am not native English speaker. So I hope my text deliver my message clear enough:)
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Joined: September 20th, 2003, 3:28 pm

September 26th, 2011, 5:02 pm #2

it can be soul saving, rewarding, frustrating, VERY frustrating, too competitive and on and on, basically just like any other endeavor. I know for sure that I've enjoyed it for 47-ish of my 55 years. Gets a bit tougher as we get older but we figure out ways to compensate for skills that are not what they were...eyesight, hand eye coor,. feeling and strength in our hands and fingers, bottom line I'm still enjoying the hell out of building. Therapy better than drugs and alcohol could ever be...
My2CbobC
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Joined: January 31st, 2009, 1:06 am

September 26th, 2011, 5:43 pm #3

I posted this on hyperscale too for I want to hear a lot of opinions:)
Thank you for your opinion.

Hello! fellow modellers,

I'd like to ask for some of your opinion about our hobby. I mean plastic modelling of course.

What are the things you think is the "value"? and What do you think is the unnecessary aspect? What would this hobby become in the future?

My main interest is the technology called additive manufacturing, aka 3-D printing. I think we have seen it coming a lot more often lately. Some people are printing out their own parts, even entire piece of model. There are even company who offer to print out your own design. Plastic modelling is just another application this technology makes possible.

What if there would be less mass-produced injection kits in the near future, and more locally produced kits? Now no matter how rare the subject is, nor how low the demand of a certain subject, it still can be produced. Not to mention all the specific modification you would imagine, a Tiger I from a certain production lot plus a certain field modification, even one of its kind.

Something would certainly disappear. No more part clean up ( when technology is up to that level), no more sprues. No more part splitting due to molding limitation. There would be less assembly. All the scratch-building, modification and customization can be done in CAD program (you do it yourself or send information for the design/printing company to do it). All you need to do now is painting, weathering and finishing you kit.

I remember gluing plastic pieces and seeing a plane taking shape was a sweet memory from my childhood. Now I am enjoying more and more painting and finishing my kits. With the products and technique we have now, I feel removing parts from sprues, sanding, filling and assembly are unnecessary tasks put on us by the limitation of injection molding. We all enjoy the cleanliness and ease of assembly manufacturer like Tamiya offers, don't we? That is my own opinion though. Would you please discuss yours?
I know a lot consideration will need to be added. So, bring it up!

Nanond Nopparat

P.S. as my name might suggest, I am not native English speaker. So I hope my text deliver my message clear enough:)
... the research and building challenges. I actually like the difficulty in modeling and finishing as opposed to simply assembling and painting.

As the discussion about Eiro Militaire below seems to suggest, the future advances in modeling at the work bench will probably be in the "art of finishing" rather than building. Kits and AM accessories get better and better, so careful selection, shopping and money can provide the material resources to assemble a highly detailed model with little need to scratch-build or research.

As for myself, I spend a lot more money on reference books than I do on kits, and my builds generally take a very long time when compared to other model-builders that I know. I like finding and adding the missing details and small variations in subjects that the manufacturers have missed. I also like the challenges in certain building areas, like PE assemblies and figure painting.

3D printing is developing as a technology, but I'm not sure that it will ever be an economically viable business model for custom designed or "on-demand" production for the average hobbiest. Right now, Live Resin does some of the most "advanced" work using this technique and still they have to market the results as cast resin (requiring clean-up, etc). So maybe for the foreseeable future, this technology will be restricted to the mastering of the patterns used for production kits and accessories.

The balancing point is the amount of labor required to produce the kits economically. If 3D was at that point, then Live Resin would 3D print each item sold instead of production casting them in resin. This is why injection molding is still used instead of producing all kits using resin casting. Resin casting can produce better detail and ease of assembly, but as a production method its too expensive, really, for general marketing. Injection modling on the other hand, while not as true to scale and detail, is much faster and less expensive method of per-kit manufacturing.

On the other hand, I do think that advances in production technologies will continue and we model-builders will see increasing degres of fidelity to detail and scale. However, the best technology in the world cannot produce accuracy if the pattern makers are working off of bad, incomplete or inaccurate information.

Another side to the increased fidelity to detail is that parts counts are much higher for many new kits which increases the difficulty and amount of work and skill required to build the kit out of the box.

So, in the end, no matter the technology employed to produce the kits, I think that skill and craftsmanship will always be required for building and finishing. And in fact, I believe that these requirements are actually increasing rather than decreasing as the hobby matures.

Mike

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Joined: March 31st, 2004, 1:15 pm

September 26th, 2011, 6:03 pm #4

it can be soul saving, rewarding, frustrating, VERY frustrating, too competitive and on and on, basically just like any other endeavor. I know for sure that I've enjoyed it for 47-ish of my 55 years. Gets a bit tougher as we get older but we figure out ways to compensate for skills that are not what they were...eyesight, hand eye coor,. feeling and strength in our hands and fingers, bottom line I'm still enjoying the hell out of building. Therapy better than drugs and alcohol could ever be...
My2CbobC
your passion in this hobby too, Bob. Although I have enjoyed it for a bit less than half of yours, I still fill, sand and glue them almost everyday.

Drugs and alcohol are nowhere as awesome ans our hobby!

Cheers!
Nanond
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Joined: March 31st, 2004, 1:15 pm

September 26th, 2011, 6:23 pm #5

... the research and building challenges. I actually like the difficulty in modeling and finishing as opposed to simply assembling and painting.

As the discussion about Eiro Militaire below seems to suggest, the future advances in modeling at the work bench will probably be in the "art of finishing" rather than building. Kits and AM accessories get better and better, so careful selection, shopping and money can provide the material resources to assemble a highly detailed model with little need to scratch-build or research.

As for myself, I spend a lot more money on reference books than I do on kits, and my builds generally take a very long time when compared to other model-builders that I know. I like finding and adding the missing details and small variations in subjects that the manufacturers have missed. I also like the challenges in certain building areas, like PE assemblies and figure painting.

3D printing is developing as a technology, but I'm not sure that it will ever be an economically viable business model for custom designed or "on-demand" production for the average hobbiest. Right now, Live Resin does some of the most "advanced" work using this technique and still they have to market the results as cast resin (requiring clean-up, etc). So maybe for the foreseeable future, this technology will be restricted to the mastering of the patterns used for production kits and accessories.

The balancing point is the amount of labor required to produce the kits economically. If 3D was at that point, then Live Resin would 3D print each item sold instead of production casting them in resin. This is why injection molding is still used instead of producing all kits using resin casting. Resin casting can produce better detail and ease of assembly, but as a production method its too expensive, really, for general marketing. Injection modling on the other hand, while not as true to scale and detail, is much faster and less expensive method of per-kit manufacturing.

On the other hand, I do think that advances in production technologies will continue and we model-builders will see increasing degres of fidelity to detail and scale. However, the best technology in the world cannot produce accuracy if the pattern makers are working off of bad, incomplete or inaccurate information.

Another side to the increased fidelity to detail is that parts counts are much higher for many new kits which increases the difficulty and amount of work and skill required to build the kit out of the box.

So, in the end, no matter the technology employed to produce the kits, I think that skill and craftsmanship will always be required for building and finishing. And in fact, I believe that these requirements are actually increasing rather than decreasing as the hobby matures.

Mike
Hi! Mike,

Yes, you brought up many interesting point. And yes, I agree that it is not really in the foreseeable future that we will have a kit "printed" out. The age we are living now is more than the golden age of plastic modelling already. I also enjoy the level of finishing and the ever-increasing detail we have today.

Live Resin is just an example of what 3D printing can do, at a reasonable price, now. The necessity of finishing the printed out product, together with the cost per unit are the main factor that make it good for molding master. The balance, as you said, is still heavy on the injection molding side. I think with time, as the cost goes down and the detail goes up, we might see it shifts. It is still in the future though.

Thanks for your input.

Cheers!
Nanond

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Joined: April 19th, 2005, 4:32 am

September 26th, 2011, 8:41 pm #6

I posted this on hyperscale too for I want to hear a lot of opinions:)
Thank you for your opinion.

Hello! fellow modellers,

I'd like to ask for some of your opinion about our hobby. I mean plastic modelling of course.

What are the things you think is the "value"? and What do you think is the unnecessary aspect? What would this hobby become in the future?

My main interest is the technology called additive manufacturing, aka 3-D printing. I think we have seen it coming a lot more often lately. Some people are printing out their own parts, even entire piece of model. There are even company who offer to print out your own design. Plastic modelling is just another application this technology makes possible.

What if there would be less mass-produced injection kits in the near future, and more locally produced kits? Now no matter how rare the subject is, nor how low the demand of a certain subject, it still can be produced. Not to mention all the specific modification you would imagine, a Tiger I from a certain production lot plus a certain field modification, even one of its kind.

Something would certainly disappear. No more part clean up ( when technology is up to that level), no more sprues. No more part splitting due to molding limitation. There would be less assembly. All the scratch-building, modification and customization can be done in CAD program (you do it yourself or send information for the design/printing company to do it). All you need to do now is painting, weathering and finishing you kit.

I remember gluing plastic pieces and seeing a plane taking shape was a sweet memory from my childhood. Now I am enjoying more and more painting and finishing my kits. With the products and technique we have now, I feel removing parts from sprues, sanding, filling and assembly are unnecessary tasks put on us by the limitation of injection molding. We all enjoy the cleanliness and ease of assembly manufacturer like Tamiya offers, don't we? That is my own opinion though. Would you please discuss yours?
I know a lot consideration will need to be added. So, bring it up!

Nanond Nopparat

P.S. as my name might suggest, I am not native English speaker. So I hope my text deliver my message clear enough:)
I guess it depends a little on what you mean by this hobby. It is different things to different people.

I have been modelling for over half a century. When I started it was with cardboard and, very occasionally, because my parents had little money, I was treated to a wooden kitset, in those days known as a 'solid model'. Then Airfix arrived with 'affordable' plastic, but even then a kit was a treat rather than a daily occurence.

Over the years I have drifted in and out of the hobby but my start with card, wood and found objects has meant that I have never embraced the aftermarket route, or much of the technology that has been applied to the hobby. I bought my first airbrush about five years ago, and still prefer brush painting for many projects. My first experience of aftermarket PE is my current Chally build and I am left wondering why anyone bothers with the stuff.

I seldom buy a new kit, when I do it is usually an old moulding, and it is always at a discount price. Reviews of new kits have no interest for me, and the high price of new kits means that they will always be old kits by the time I get one.

Things like 3D printing are obviously going to have a huge influence on the production of kits, but I dont know if it will ever have any influence on my approach to the hobby.

I have acquired experience and skills over the years, and if I find a new way of doing something I am always willing to try. But I dont subscribe to the notion that this weeks fad is the only way to tackle a task, and wont replace a proven method with a new one unless there are real benefits.

So I guess the tide of technology will continue to wash over me largely unnoticed.

Regards Dave

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Joined: May 16th, 2009, 9:02 am

September 26th, 2011, 9:37 pm #7

I posted this on hyperscale too for I want to hear a lot of opinions:)
Thank you for your opinion.

Hello! fellow modellers,

I'd like to ask for some of your opinion about our hobby. I mean plastic modelling of course.

What are the things you think is the "value"? and What do you think is the unnecessary aspect? What would this hobby become in the future?

My main interest is the technology called additive manufacturing, aka 3-D printing. I think we have seen it coming a lot more often lately. Some people are printing out their own parts, even entire piece of model. There are even company who offer to print out your own design. Plastic modelling is just another application this technology makes possible.

What if there would be less mass-produced injection kits in the near future, and more locally produced kits? Now no matter how rare the subject is, nor how low the demand of a certain subject, it still can be produced. Not to mention all the specific modification you would imagine, a Tiger I from a certain production lot plus a certain field modification, even one of its kind.

Something would certainly disappear. No more part clean up ( when technology is up to that level), no more sprues. No more part splitting due to molding limitation. There would be less assembly. All the scratch-building, modification and customization can be done in CAD program (you do it yourself or send information for the design/printing company to do it). All you need to do now is painting, weathering and finishing you kit.

I remember gluing plastic pieces and seeing a plane taking shape was a sweet memory from my childhood. Now I am enjoying more and more painting and finishing my kits. With the products and technique we have now, I feel removing parts from sprues, sanding, filling and assembly are unnecessary tasks put on us by the limitation of injection molding. We all enjoy the cleanliness and ease of assembly manufacturer like Tamiya offers, don't we? That is my own opinion though. Would you please discuss yours?
I know a lot consideration will need to be added. So, bring it up!

Nanond Nopparat

P.S. as my name might suggest, I am not native English speaker. So I hope my text deliver my message clear enough:)
I'll be 65 in a couple of days time, and my kids will give their old man the same as they do every year... money. Because as they say, "There's no point in buying Dad a present. All he wants are kits"
I cut my teeth on kits by Merit, Frog and Lindburg before moving on to Airfix. To a 10year old they were exciting. 2 shillings bought the latest Spitfire or Bf.109 and you didn't give a hoot that the pilot looked more like a wart than a pilot or that the panel lines were raised. It was within reach of your pocket money. But how many kids today could go out and buy the new Tamiya 1/32 Spitfire or even a Tasca Sherman? I know that technology is moving fast, even in our hobby, but I will struggle to keep up with it if it moves in the directions that are being hinted at. I don't think that I really want to be able to have one offs made for me (even if I could afford them. Not even 24BR20 which I spent a lot of my military service driving). I have a stash of around thirty tanks and twenty aircraft and at my current production rate of about five models a year, if I never buy another kit, that lot will see me through to 75!
So the short reply to a long winded post is, I'd be happy for the hobby to remain as it is, with gradual improvements in the way that each new kit is produced. Instead of being able to produce one off kits, I'd prefer to have a gadget that can find small parts that have been lost in the carpet.
Happy modelling.
John.
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Joined: May 18th, 2004, 2:57 pm

September 26th, 2011, 11:34 pm #8

I posted this on hyperscale too for I want to hear a lot of opinions:)
Thank you for your opinion.

Hello! fellow modellers,

I'd like to ask for some of your opinion about our hobby. I mean plastic modelling of course.

What are the things you think is the "value"? and What do you think is the unnecessary aspect? What would this hobby become in the future?

My main interest is the technology called additive manufacturing, aka 3-D printing. I think we have seen it coming a lot more often lately. Some people are printing out their own parts, even entire piece of model. There are even company who offer to print out your own design. Plastic modelling is just another application this technology makes possible.

What if there would be less mass-produced injection kits in the near future, and more locally produced kits? Now no matter how rare the subject is, nor how low the demand of a certain subject, it still can be produced. Not to mention all the specific modification you would imagine, a Tiger I from a certain production lot plus a certain field modification, even one of its kind.

Something would certainly disappear. No more part clean up ( when technology is up to that level), no more sprues. No more part splitting due to molding limitation. There would be less assembly. All the scratch-building, modification and customization can be done in CAD program (you do it yourself or send information for the design/printing company to do it). All you need to do now is painting, weathering and finishing you kit.

I remember gluing plastic pieces and seeing a plane taking shape was a sweet memory from my childhood. Now I am enjoying more and more painting and finishing my kits. With the products and technique we have now, I feel removing parts from sprues, sanding, filling and assembly are unnecessary tasks put on us by the limitation of injection molding. We all enjoy the cleanliness and ease of assembly manufacturer like Tamiya offers, don't we? That is my own opinion though. Would you please discuss yours?
I know a lot consideration will need to be added. So, bring it up!

Nanond Nopparat

P.S. as my name might suggest, I am not native English speaker. So I hope my text deliver my message clear enough:)
I like to build kits that are well engineered; that is to say, they fit together well and are accurate in detail and dimensions.

My tolerance for accurate detail and dimensions vary though. On a subject I am familiar with, like an Abrams tank, M113A2/A3, M60A3 tank, or a HMMWV, I demand higher accuracy than a subject that I have just a passing fancy to build, like a Tiger or Jagdpanzer.

I've been modeling since I was around 6 years old, building model kits for the past 40 years. I would guess that my first model kit was built in 1970.

Lately, I have not been concerned with accuracy and the use of aftermarket accessories to further detail my kits. I notice I have been grabbing a model from my well stocked inventory and just building it. If I happen to have a barrel, tracks or photo etch for the kit, I may or may not use it depending on how good or bad the kit part looks to me.

Unlike you, I do not enjoy painting, weathering and finishing my kit. I often have multiple kits that are near completion just waiting for me to paint them.

My enjoyment comes from the assembly process, not the finishing process.

RobG
RobG
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Joined: December 5th, 2006, 11:49 pm

September 27th, 2011, 12:28 am #9

I was like a lot of us and started building as a kid. I had not built a model for a lot of years, then I picked up a copy of MMIR in 2003. That started me back into the hobby. I was so amazed at how far it had progressed. The resin and pe were great. The kits had come so far in deatails. In 2005 I met Mike Mummey at Tamiya Con and learned what should be done to make a good kit. Two years later I joined AMPS,attended the 2007 IPMS Nats and the rest is what it is. I have invested in kits but also research. Once a month I go to the So Cal AMPS chapter meeting and not only have a great time but learn more about this hobby. Yes this hobby has become more than just putting a kit together. It is an art form. I look what i use to make one model and I am amazed. One kit+ pe +resin + a/m tracks, some scartch building( if needed) and maybe a new barrel. Then add paint, fiter/pin washes,markings and weathering. In the end you have a gem of your own creation. So I look at this hooby as an ever growing enity. The amount of new and different releases is amazing. I see a great future for this hobby. But I also think it is the responsability of us modelers to encouragenew modelers and one's already in the hobby. So in parting i just want to say thanks to everyone that has pushed me into a higher level of building and detailing (Mummey,Charvat, Buriks,Zaloga to name a few) . It still cheaper than a shrink!
Joe Bevans
AMPS 2nd VP West region
AMPS So Cal
Honorary Chicagoland AMPS member and somethings unprintable.
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Joined: February 27th, 2005, 1:37 pm

September 27th, 2011, 9:52 am #10

I posted this on hyperscale too for I want to hear a lot of opinions:)
Thank you for your opinion.

Hello! fellow modellers,

I'd like to ask for some of your opinion about our hobby. I mean plastic modelling of course.

What are the things you think is the "value"? and What do you think is the unnecessary aspect? What would this hobby become in the future?

My main interest is the technology called additive manufacturing, aka 3-D printing. I think we have seen it coming a lot more often lately. Some people are printing out their own parts, even entire piece of model. There are even company who offer to print out your own design. Plastic modelling is just another application this technology makes possible.

What if there would be less mass-produced injection kits in the near future, and more locally produced kits? Now no matter how rare the subject is, nor how low the demand of a certain subject, it still can be produced. Not to mention all the specific modification you would imagine, a Tiger I from a certain production lot plus a certain field modification, even one of its kind.

Something would certainly disappear. No more part clean up ( when technology is up to that level), no more sprues. No more part splitting due to molding limitation. There would be less assembly. All the scratch-building, modification and customization can be done in CAD program (you do it yourself or send information for the design/printing company to do it). All you need to do now is painting, weathering and finishing you kit.

I remember gluing plastic pieces and seeing a plane taking shape was a sweet memory from my childhood. Now I am enjoying more and more painting and finishing my kits. With the products and technique we have now, I feel removing parts from sprues, sanding, filling and assembly are unnecessary tasks put on us by the limitation of injection molding. We all enjoy the cleanliness and ease of assembly manufacturer like Tamiya offers, don't we? That is my own opinion though. Would you please discuss yours?
I know a lot consideration will need to be added. So, bring it up!

Nanond Nopparat

P.S. as my name might suggest, I am not native English speaker. So I hope my text deliver my message clear enough:)
An interesting topic.
The future as always is with the younger modeller, and earlier comments puts this all in context. price and I think, subject.
I too am approaching 65, and remember "Woolies" and kits in plastic bags. In fact an uncle of mine had the Massey Ferguson tractor. My enthusism strated with a visit to IWM on a school trip, where I saw those cut-away models of the Lanc, Spitfire and Hurricane.

Life did take on a simple progression, modelling, girls, marriage/kids, lot of modelling!

When you see the yougsters of today, and what they are taught at school, (my wifes a teacher), and the general ignorance about history, and even the programme producers ignorance, there is little wonder at the lack of interest. There is also a lack of skills taught, and it maybe a good idea to re-introduce or try to introduce those skills with younger people. I did at one time get involved with the ATC, through my son, and his squadron had a very active modelling group.
My advice would be to get out there and get involved with groups like that, and encourage the youth to enable this rewarding hobby to continue.

As for the kits, as I make masters, the advent of CAD has opened up an entirely new world. Unfortunately being somewhat of a luddite, I have my eldest son involved in this. I can say with complete honesty, that I can do a layout drawing on paper in the time it would take me just to set up the computer and start the page I want to work on. I have tried it. There fore, I can do a layout, present this to my son and he can then produce a 3D CAD drawing. Nothing beats the accuracy when it comes to this process, an example is the tyre pattern on wheels. I have scrathbuilt tyres, and they do not compare with those done by 'profiling'.
The profling companies in the UK are quite expensive by the way, and the lower priced ones, well the quality is none too good, not for a master pattern anyway.
unless these costs come down, the manufactured runs using CAD will still be reatively expensve.
I enjoy the building of complicated parts, analysing the shape, then constructing the part, adding detail etc etc. But this is not for everyone.

The use of CAD is limited to (in my opinion) the manufacture of detailed items, moulds can be produced. but then in what material, if we go to plastic, they have to be robust enough for injection, resin parts would be the preferable option and not everybody likes resin anyway.

I would like to see some cost comparisons however of profiling methods, the time comparison is a no brainer, the amount of time to make a master of say an engine block compared to profiling from drawings is much much quicker.

OK, I havent solved any of the points raised in this discussion, but I wanted to throw in a few thoughts of my own.

As an aside, I live in the southwest (UK), and there is a fairly local company that produces HO scale railway kits in plastic. I gave them details of a 1/35th scale model, and this would have consisted of 4 A4 sized sprues. The quote for a 'limited' production run was just under £20,000.00. Now how many kits would I need to sell at a modest price, to cover that?? AND would there be a demand??

George.
(Rant over).
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