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The High Cost of the Hobby


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I have bought a couple kits at my local Goodwill store. Always go hunting there for them . Also 1 at a thrift store . Michael's always has 40 percent off coupons. If you go there kits are 17 at the cheapest to like 30 . I try to model on the cheap. Got a bunch of krylon spray paint at Walmart when it was on clearance for 3 bucks each. I model on the cheap for the fun of it 

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6 hours ago, moparfarmer said:

Gregn notice you live in Winnipeg..How about coming to our meeting this Sunday at St.Alphonsos Church bingo hall..Its on Monroe off Henderson Highway..11:00 till 1:00  See me at the front table..I look like my avatar..Hope to see you..We have some good buys at the meeting too..

I am a member Wayne. Unfortunately I can’t make this meeting. Hopefully the next one!

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There are at least 3 different facets to this hobby. Building is the one I enjoy the most. Collecting is one I don’t  indulge in. If I don’t intend to build it I don’t buy it. Then there is the fun of being part of the community here and in local clubs. Which is also a big part of it for me. As long as you’re having fun, it’s al good! All dollars well spent.

Edited by NOBLNG
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1 hour ago, NOBLNG said:

There are at least 3 different facets to this hobby. Building is the one I enjoy the most. Collecting is one I don’t  indulge in. If I don’t intend to build it I don’t buy it. Then there is the fun of being part of the community here and in local clubs. Which is also a big part of it for me. As long as you’re having fun, it’s al good! All dollars well spent.

My thoughts exactly. No local clubs here, so the forum fills in for it and then some. Learning too, even as I near 70.

Edited by landman
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2 hours ago, landman said:

I do have another hobby. Here as well, it can get expensive but most of the time I use recycled woods. It is the hardware that kills me.

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WORTH IT! That is some beautiful work!!! 

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3 hours ago, Ctmodeler said:

I have bought a couple kits at my local Goodwill store...

Bad news at one of my local thrift stores! Somebody is doing their research.  I went in last week and saw a Banthrico '53 Chevy. It was in pretty good condition, with some paint flaking off.  The card on it said "PROMO/BANK" and the asking price was $50.

For some context on prices back in the good old days, here's the window sticker for a '64 Corvette roadster.  Total price out the door: $4893.00. 

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It’s all relative. $120 to me doesn’t sound like much if you consider what it will get you. How much time will be spent working on that $120? Compared to some of my other interests, modeling is, or can be, done very cheap. $120? That’s not even two ski passes at the cheapest hill...$120? I could fly one way to Seattle for that, maybe...

I could buy quite a few books for $120 though. 

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It can be expensive at times. For me what I do at this time is collect the expensive kits I want to build when I have a nicer set up. So the vertical Ferraris(F40-F60), Carrera GT, Aoshima stuff.  I buy those when I can find them for around $35.  I have a couple kits that Im trying to build to near perfection so I collect cheap used kits on ebay to have a parts surplus. That's pretty cheap most of the time.  The cost of paints is usually what gets me. And I wish there was a good quality airbrush for $50 that I could just spray acrylics all day.

One thing that is saving me money right now is simply investing in high quality aerosal paints. Vallejo spray cans are awesome and versatile. It's expensive, but with weathering you can simulate all kinds of different surfaces, from engines to interiors. You end up saving a ton of time by not having to use and clean an airbrush and finding the exact bottles you want to use that eventually nickel and dime you.

Edited by DiscoRover007
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22 hours ago, Impalow said:

I actually had this discussion with someone at a show over the weekend....  I tend to build one complex model a year, even at an 180.00 total investment... that is 15.00 a month... less than most spend on coffee, and other means of entertainment.  

Ill get what I need to make it as perfect as I can to my vision..  and worry about the price later... Regardless its a whole lot cheaper than 1:1 building.

Now if you are building multiple custom/aftermarket and resin builds a month.. yeah it would get quite pricey... but most of us are unable to pull that off, and those that are have been stock piling supplies for years.

As for the young guys..  bring them to a show with vendors... I rarely pay more than 20.00 for kits...  most 7.00-10.00-15.00

That all said... I do think 28-32.00 for a kit is quite steep...and rarely will stretch that far for one.... but I also tend to not use much of them.. ?

"... that is 15.00 a month..."  I agree. Nobody wants to hear it, but this is right in line with my fool proof real world way to reduce the cost of the hobby:

If you want spend half as much then take twice as long for each build. To spend a third as much then take three times as long.

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4 hours ago, NOBLNG said:

Collecting is one I don’t  indulge in. If I don’t intend to build it I don’t buy it. 

That is exactly how I started.  I have planned to build each and every one of the over 300 kits in my stash when I bought them.  They all just got delayed. ?

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A  $100+  tab by the end of the project is about par for any hobby. Cosplay, prop making, sewing, railroad, shop working, sci-fi, beading, oil painting, etc. The craft and hardware stores are full of ways to spend $100+ on your leisure fun. And these projects are never one and done.

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I recently fretted over spending money on kits that I lost interest in and unloaded.  I've about broke even on those.  I am not into collecting, but my buy rate (as with many of us) has far outpaced my build rate.

As already stated, armor, aircraft and naval modelers often far outspend us in completing a kit.  Just walking through an IPMS event opens the eyes to the degree of detail these modelers go to and the costs of achieving.

As regards building, I try to get by as frugally as possible in any build, but I strive for realism and the effect I an trying to achieve.  I will scratchbuild or kitbash, but rely a lot on aftermarket.  There is an amazing amount of product now available to us to achieve what we want.  

When I was working, I did not have the time to delve into some of the modeling techniques as 3D design and print, machining parts, etc.  Not only is there the cost of equipment, but the huge investment in becoming proficient.  I (as many of us) have limited time for the hobby (and it is a hobby not a profession).  So time spent is either on building, supporting one's club or learning new tools/techniques.  Many of the aftermarket vendors have made it easier for me, at least, to acquire what I need and spend the time building rather than machining or designing my own parts.  I look at it as how to best use my hobby time.

Cost is relative.  We all have our budgets and views on how/where we want to spend our money.  A good model is in the eye of the builder.  If satisfied, that is good enough.  If others appreciate it as well, so much the better.  But, we all improve our skills on every build we do.  I have seen models that are very good done in the $30 kit/paint/etc range to ones that are several hundred dollars (both exclude the time spent cost factor). 

As it is a hobby, enjoy it at the level that gives you satisfaction and strive to improve. 

 

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In the last 25 years of my working life, I did resto/custom body & paint work on 1:1 cars and trucks... for "Hobbyists".

The final invoices on some of those hobby cars would hit well over $30 K, usually not including engine or drive train rebuilds, or chrome work, or up upholstery work, or... you get the picture. THAT was an expensive hobby!

For the few hundred - if that - dollars I invest in each completed kit, I don't mind. It's all relative and as slow as my builds can sometimes go, I enjoy the heck out of them.

One of my other hobbys is photography. I spent $500 just on an entry-level Nikon... and that is just the camera and a single lens.

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Every nickel I've spent on model building is better than money spent on a therapist or medication.

My wife says she'd rather I sit at the breakfast bar building a model that sit in a bar hitting on one. That's why I will keep this wife!

G

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52 minutes ago, restoman said:

In the last 25 years of my working life, I did resto/custom body & paint work on 1:1 cars and trucks... for "Hobbyists".

The final invoices on some of those hobby cars would hit well over $30 K, usually not including engine or drive train rebuilds, or chrome work, or up upholstery work, or... you get the picture. THAT was an expensive hobby!

For the few hundred - if that - dollars I invest in each completed kit, I don't mind. It's all relative and as slow as my builds can sometimes go, I enjoy the heck out of them.

One of my other hobbys is photography. I spent $500 just on an entry-level Nikon... and that is just the camera and a single lens.

And I'm sure the guy collecting Duesenbergs wonders what you're complaining about.

It's great that people can afford expensive hobbies, but the comparisons to modeling are about as useful as Marie Antoinette's views on childhood nutrition.

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5 hours ago, landman said:

I do have another hobby. Here as well, it can get expensive but most of the time I use recycled woods. It is the hardware that kills me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That is beautiful work Pat!

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14 hours ago, Pete J. said:

I guess at 70 I have traversed into a different part of the hobby.  I don't buy so much any more.  The stash of kits I have accumulated over the years will keep my grand kids building well into the next century.  I have aquired pretty much every tool I will ever need(except an occasional specialty tool for my Sherline mill and lathe) to build models. After all who really needs 15 different scribing tools and 5 airbrushes?  I have a ton of aftermarket detail sets that I will never use.  All total I know my supply of hobby stuff costs well into the 5 digits, so I don't buy much.

  So from that perspective this hobby is super cheap.  This all happened over 30+ years of active modeling as a adult.  This means that I don't worry about the cost of my builds.  If I use a couple of hundred dollars worth of stuff to build a kit, it is irrelevant and my cost was paid a long time ago and doesn't come out of my pension or social security.  

I accumulated this stuff slowly and in a way that was pretty painless.  I just hope all of you, like me, get to the point that you can enjoy the hobby, without worrying about the cost. 

When you buy something today, look at it as an investment in your retirement happiness. ?

I'm more or less the opposite. While I've been in the hobby for years and years, and had accumulated quite a bit in the way of aircraft and armor kits in the past, my re-entry back into car modeling is only a fairly recent development. Since that re-entry,  I now find myself on a very limited budget (Social Security, thank god for FDR), and have to pick and choose wisely as to what models to purchase.

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4 hours ago, SfanGoch said:

Heck, a couple lap dances'll set you back at least two bills.

Joe... I'll just have to take your word on that. LOL

car modeling is considereably cheaper than my other hobbies.

If you consider the time/hours involved that is different.

Just another part of the equation.

 

 

Edited by STYRENE-SURFER
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