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Future of the hobby


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15 hours ago, mikemodeler said:

Yup, even though I fall into the "old guy" category, there are a bunch of young modelers out there who don't necessarily show up here or at model shows, for reasons of their own. I suspect it's because they might think they won't fit in with us old farts and we will be critical of their builds because the plug wires aren't in the correct firing order or they painted their carbs the wrong color. Whatever the reason, all one has to do is take their blinders off and look around, the youngins are out there building!

You mean they're "closet builders" like we were back in the early 60's and 70's?

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9 hours ago, Filthysanches said:

 With that said everytime I'm in hobby town or Michaels I never see guys above 40 looking for models next to me, and I live in silicon Valley which traditionally doesn't promote hobbies like this to the youth. So someone is doing something right. 

It's a fact that we folks who are active in the organized hobby... post on boards, belong to clubs, attend shows...  are only 1 to 10% (depending on who you ask) of the model car market.   I also read that the average stay in the hobby is 18 months.  The kit manufacturers target market is this group, not us.  When they reissue the same kit every two - three years, they are reaching a new market that has never seen the kit before.  I don't know a single person in my town who builds models, but kits disappear at the local Hobby Lobby.

These are the guys you bump into at Michaels or Hobby Lobby.  And they are hard to engage in a conversation.  They act like we're in the naughty movie aisle and they're embarrassed to be there!

Edited by Tom Geiger
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Sorry...my opinion, there isn't a future for this hobby. Too much corporate garbage going on to line their pockets, they don't care about hobbies...they don't have any...geez, I'm gonna shut up coz I don't wanna be booted outta here

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The hobby hit a bad spot after the slot car crash in the 60's and again in the late 70's I'm old enough to remember that and it always seemed to bounce back to one degree or another. It may not come back the way we'd like to see it but it will given time. I'm one of those guys who's been in it for a long time and have amassed a almost ridiculous collection, so fine... if there's never another kit produced I'll be ok. That said I'm not going to be negative about it. We're in a spot of uncertainty right now, given time we'll see what happens and go from there. No reason to get negative, doom and gloomy about it.

As it's been pointed out here, we're (US)  not the only market and the hobby seems to be fairly strong in other parts of the world. It's certainly not as though every model company is standing on its last legs. The Revell fiasco was unfortunate but was due to corporate issues from their parent company and not Revell itself. 

If you have kids or know someone who does try to get them involved. That's one way to do something to make a difference in the future.

Be patient, enjoy and build what you have and see what happens down the road.

 

Edited by Phirewriter
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1 hour ago, Phirewriter said:

...If you have kids or know someone who does try to get them involved. That's only way to do something to make a difference in the future.

   Be patient, enjoy and build what you have and see what happens down the road.

 

This really says everything necessary there is to say.

Idle speculation, complaining, "other" group bashing, and even acknowledging (repeatedly) what the problems are facing the hobby really accomplish little, if anything, constructive.

But let's say you want to change the way things are? Really? Then build something cool that has a "wow" factor. Get people's attention. MAKE a difference IF the "future of the hobby" is REALLY important to you.

And LEARN some new skills. Download that FREE Google SketchUp program and get started on the road to designing YOUR OWN 3D parts. Or learn how to do photo-etch. It's not hard, and the market is crying out for LOTS of things...like dragster and vintage car wire wheels. Or learn to do silicone molds and resin parts. It's not looking like anyone is stepping up to fill the voids left by some of the well-known casters, so BECOME one.

Several other fields of modeling are doing well, apparently. There are HO scale locomotives bouncing off the $1000 mark, and people are buying them. There are 3 HUGE Gundam stores in Japan, Taiwan and Korea. People are building almost unbelievable flying model aircraft. 

The point is, "building things" hobbies are far from dead worldwide, and there are infinite opportunities for those who'd rather DO SOMETHING than whine incessantly.

 

Edited by Ace-Garageguy
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Thanks Bill, the negative speculation, constant criticism is becoming somewhat tedious lately. There's so many factors that effect this and many other hobbies that we have no control over. The Hobbico situation has hit quite a few R/C guys I know and I don't see the same amount of doom and gloom from them. They're just adjusting and keeping on keeping on. I sometimes wonder if people new to the hobby come here and wonder what the heck are they're getting into.

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16 hours ago, Bugatti Fan said:

Darwin wrote the Theory of Evolution. This hobby is no different to anything else. It will simply evolve to suit the circumstances at any given time.

Back in last dark days of the hobby, the crayon factory had Revell / Monogram on the market and Racing Champs wanted out of AMT etal.  Everyone was worried that it was the end of the hobby and all the tooling would be scrapped for metal value.

I wrote an article.. wish I could find it now, that all this hobby needed was a smaller, leaner entity that could work to the reality of the size of the potential market. A company that understood the value in the vast vault of old kit tooling and knew how to pull the value out of it.   Bam! Out of nowhere came Round 2, who was exactly that.  RM got bought by Hobbyco, and there was a lot of worry that they'd limit distribution, and other hand wringing that never took place.  They understood the market and invested in new tooling.   

New players emerged. Who would've thunk that a Moebius would pop up and produce a line of 1950s Hudsons.   And there's more that has hit the market since.  

So I will go back to my point on that original article some 20 years ago.  As long as there is a viable market of consumers, there will always be a company that will know how, and will want to fill that need.    It's worked so far.  No need to think it won't in the future. 

Edited by Tom Geiger
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The thing about our hobby is that this is an enthusiasts niche market. You don’t buy a model kit because it’s a fad thing to do. It’s because you like constructing.  It’s the legos of cars. Otherwise you could just buy a prebuilt diecast and be happy with it. But to me that’s cheating and is something I won’t do.

Model making is an investment of time and skill. I treat my models the same an artist would treat a realism painting. I want to treat the kit as a work of art through painting skills.

I don’t think it’s something that will ever be very popular. But the great thing about today is that amount of aftermarket parts and detail accessories available  is just incredible and it’s getting better. Hell i have a few kits sitting in the box because im waiting for the precut carbon decal release.

One thing that might help is the continued development of paints and non toxic paints to be exact. If a company can produce non toxic spray cans that can produce lacquer results than a lot of people and parents will feel much safer about starting the hobby. I myself still think about toxicity risks in the back of my mind. I know it is miniscule but you can pay a price if you aren’t careful with certain prodcuts.

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James, regarding diecast models, generally they are aimed at collectors rather than model makers. However, they can have their uses to the Model maker. Just recently I have grafted a load of resin and white metal kit bits from a very crude M G Metro 6R4 Rally Car kit onto a Burago diecast Metro, carving the more accurately shaped diecast body about a bit to fit the bits and get a more realistic model.

 

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