I hit my local purveyor of plastic today and got a surprise. The new
1/32 scale Tamiya A6M2 was there, $100. But Boy! What a kit! This appears to raise the bar on kit design and molding quality. This will be a marvelous model if the fit is up to Tamiya's usual standard. However, this is also a good example of the subject of kit costs getting steadily higher and less and less kids coming into the hobby. We have kicked that subject around many times on here. I suspect someone was listening. Also on the shelves were a couple of Eduard kits in a new format called "Weekend Kits". The price was $10 (actually less with the shops discount). A nifty little rendition of Eduard's Nieuport 17 caught my eye. Also what looked like a version of the YAK 3 and another kit I didn't look at close as I was drooling over the Zero. If Eduard is looking at the high end modeller and collector with their "Blue Max" Fokker D.7, it appears they are also testing the waters at the low $$ end of the hobby too. I wish them good luck! This will bear watching to see if it sells, and if other companies follow suite. Someone in Eduard's marketing department is very active and not afraid to try something new.
that's why i like the matchbox and lindbeg's. kids can afford them, you can make a decent looking airplane and you can even bash them for practice. i would cite my making every possible variant of the do 335. you can argue the engines weren't perfect and the fuselage a little wide for the trolley versions, but i got scratching skills out of the at less than 4 bucks each. i like the super-dooper tamiya kits, too. i just can't build as many of them.
Al Superczynski wrote in news: email@example.com:
I think I ahve to agree with that. If you stuck to 1/72 aircraft certainly between say Revell and Academy there are a lot of fairly nice and modern tooling aircraft out there at under $10 a pop. You could build your own LuftFlotte for that kind of money.
and the new thing from Eduard are the 'weekend edition' kits... same kits that were sold a few years ago in the $28 range are getting blown out at $11 retail.... Albatros D.III in 1/48 and Yak3 in 1/48.... then their double kits.... very interesting.
But regarding the 'weekend edition' kits, they are fairy basic... one set of decals, no extra goochies (PE, resin, etc... nothing) so you can just build them up and detail them how ever you want. Kit decals are good, but only one choice... like we don't have enough decals to spare anyhow.
Well, Eduard is dropping their prices, which is a good sign.
I did a study awhile ago on kit prices and inflation. What I found is that there is a wider RANGE of prices, but still ones available that are in line with inflation. What has happened is that there are kits now that are truly deluxe, with LOTS of parts, very fine detail, etc. THOSE are above the price of the average kit in days gone by, but then there were no comparable kits in the old days to compare them to.
I remember my early plastic kits. No cockpit detail- maybe a pilot figure to fill up the space. No engine, or on radials a representation of the front of the engine only.
The same kits I started with, the Hawk kits, now sold by Testors, are very much in line with inflation since the fifties, when I started building plastic models.
I see kids spending LOTS of money these days. They have lots of cash, but they spend it on video game cartridges and the like. It is not so much MODELS that they are not interested in, it is planes and even cars that they do not find as fascinating as we did as kids. But I am not worried about the health of the hobby, because some of the genre (model railroading, sailing ships) were ALWAYS adult genre, and these are still healthy.
I think that one factor that affects kit sales to the young is that despite the current war the military is not as evident on TV shows (except for the news) as they were during the early Vietnam era. I can remember when 12 O'Clock High, Combat, Rat Patrol, and even Hogan's Heroes were on primetime, all WW2-related shows. Across all entertainment there is less focus on military things. The luster of all things military (also a result of WW2) wore off during the Vietnam War and subsequent low visibility means no commercial tie-ins. The market follows the population. And don't blame it on the TV networks - the public is not much interested in the military. For a 15-year old, even Vietnam is ancient history, and WW2 is almost pre-historic.
As for the kids, anything that moves is more interesting than a static kit. A video game or a sim inherently has more interest. You get immediate feedback and it engages brain and body. Today there are many more avenues of entertainment for children, and many more competing interests. My two kids have little or no interest in models that don't tie in to their interests, which are dominated by Star Wars films, Japanese-influenced cartoons/comics, game cards, and video games. They would much rather play a video game then spend hours gluing something together. The times have changed.
The demographic I see at model shows are mostly middle-aged men with money to spend, a large proportion of them military veterans who are also largely the children of military veterans. With the baby-boomer generation advancing in age and the proportion of younger people getting smaller, I bet we will see a continuing drop of interest in modeling amongst the younger set, and rise in interest modeling in the geriatric set.
and note that there is the die cast and 1/18 scale aircraft business that is really taking off. You can get any car you want in a fairly large scale in die cast. and I have a garage ceiling full of 1/18 aircraft....and now I don't have to buy models of those planes. What we used to build now can be bought ready made, out the door, ready for display.
kirjoitti viestissä: firstname.lastname@example.org...
If something like this
would have been available for whatever 15 dollars was worth back then how many of us, as novices, would have bothered to build and paint, ending up (initially at least) with far worse representation of the subject?
Wonder if this is the future for mass market and do-it-yourself kits will be evermore pricey to compensate for dwindling customer base.
I think that is the crux of the matter? People of my age (52) had fathers in the military whether by choice or by government decree. Our friends had fathers in the military (often a completely different branch) so it was a point of common interest. We grew up with tales of what they had done and wanted to know as much about the subject as possible which often included building models. My dad was no great model builder himself but he encuraged my efforts as much as possible.
I think it might be kind of synergistic ... i bought the C.202 you see reviewed above and it has me itching to build the 4 or 5 kits i have which have been sitting in a box on in the closet for over a year... and I even bought a rather expensive Trumpeter P-40 online.
For me the premade aircraft can provide both the "herd" of my fleet and a nice benchmark on quality to strive to surpass for my more cherished personally made "thoroughbreds".
I just need to figure out a place to put a whole bunch of models on display now.
I said it before and I'll say it aging, the younger generation is used to instant gratification with everything they do. Building a decent model takes some time, effort, and skill. Their average attention span is about 10 minutes. That does not translate well into modeling. Buying something already built and shelving it does not turn my crank but it obviously works for someone. Traditional modeling, as we know it, will continue to shrink as us old fartz die off....... (:>
Since this subject has been bandied about before, and I didn't issue forth with my 1/50 of a dollar's worth, I'll give it a shot. I agree wholeheartedly with the notion that kids today don't look at the military like we did, and therefore military modeling, at least for them, is of little interest. I had uncles and grandfathers from both sides on both sides during WWII (which made for some real tension when my father married my mother, believe me!). My father, sister, her husband and myself are all ex-Navy, so the whole military mindset is burned into our DNA. I also grew up with 12 O'Clock High, Rat Patrol, Combat, etc, etc. So, three guesses what I model. Those shows portrayed Americans as courageous heroes fighting an enemy that was trying to take over the world. We were thrilled at their exploits, and built models of their fighting machines. The mindset during Vietnam, and the years after, was that Americans are kiddie killers, and shouldn't be acknowledged in any positive light. By virtue of that, neither should the equipment they used. I didn't build modern military kits during the Vietnam war, I built WWI and II kits, and muscle cars (it was the 60's after all). We boomers still build military stuff because it's a real part of us and our childhoods. On this forum we are predominantly military modelers. I'm not so sure we're not having a myopic moment and only seeing the military modeling dwindling. To me, there seems to be quite a bit of interest in sci-fi, and resin figures. Maybe we need AM, Tamiya, Trumpeter, Dragon and the like to start popping out these items. They're obviously going to need to do something as we boomers start taking the dirt nap in greater numbers.
Interesting thread. I'm a military veteran and so was my dad, but neither of were really military types. Doing a tour was a kind of right of passage for both of us, him in the Navy, me in the Army. But were both way to independent minded to really fit into military regimen or make a career out of it. He got me into modeling though, no denying it.
I make models of all eras but prefer the World War II planes and tanks, particularly fighters.
For the Vietnam stuff, the reason I never made a lot of that stuff wasn't that I looked at the US army as baby killers. As I said I'd been in the military myself know enough about military history to have a better sense that the World War II era guys weren't all saints and the Vietnam guys weren't all bad guys by any means.
I think the reason the Vietnam era stuff wasn't as popular is that it just wasn't as cool. The battles weren't as cool and the vehicles weren't as cool. Lets face it some M48 tanks shooting into the jungle trying to protect a firebase, getting popped by B-10 rockets and RPG's, just isn't as dramatic as Kursk or Bastogne or El Alamein. Asymmetrical warfare is about attrition, not high drama (unless you are in the middle of it). Every time I think about 60's era US tanks fighting in terrain like that I can't help but think of the hopelessness of a million dollar iron beast being knocked out by a $500 rocket. Over and over and over again. Its kind of symbolic of the waste, the inefficiency of vietnam. It is not glamorous.
And in Vietnam we really din't have a fast paced multifaceted arms race going on, the equipment only kind of gradually improved and a lot of the really crappy stuff stuck around way longer than it should. I mean, a Thunderchief is just not a sexy aircraft compared to say, a Spitfire, or even a P-47 Thunderbolt. Yeah there were air battles but these were rare, and few and far between. Again, a Sam-2 shooting down a Skyhawk is damn exciting for the Skyhawk pilot and for the Sam crew too, but doesn't compare to the Battle of Britain.
In World II you had 5 nations each cranking out their own unique military hardware in hundreds of varitieties, you went from biplanes to jets in 5 years. Vietnam just wasn't "cool" in that way. There were some dogfights with MiG 17, 19, 21... but what did the top US Ace in Vietnam score, 5 or 6 kills?
On the other hand, I'm not too into modern stuff either because, at least in the wars we've been fighting against Iraq, we outclass the enemy so badly it's no contest. What chance does a T-64 have against an M-1? Thats like a Stuart against a Panther. In the desert no less. Maybe the Iranians will give us a bit more trouble and we'll have some more model-worthy battles to get excited about. Or maybe we'll really go nuts and invade Europe, we'll see how the M-1 holds up against a Leopard 2, Leclerc, etc.
With the large expense of new kits, I have started buying old Aurora and other brands from the 50's to build straight out of the box with the original decals and inaccurate color schemes. They make a distinctfully charming and historical display. And even at collector prices, these kits are still cheaper than many of the new kits of today.
You can get a lot of old kits on Ebay for considerably less than at most hobby shops, for example I got most of the old Revell 1/32 ww II fighter kits for around $10-$20, plus plenty of matchbox, hasegawa, airfix and others in the same price range if you check often enough...