Rise or Decline?

I am curious is there are rise or decline in the world of scale modeling? I mean is the hobby growing, shrinking or staying the same? What about scale trains?

I mentioned, earlier, that I was interested (and currently only interested) in making my own kits. Is there a book or something on how to cast your own resin or make plastic parts? Where does one get resin for casting parts?

If I try to make anything for people other than myself I would most likely try for things that are not copy writed in some way.


Reply to
Loading thread data ...


I would agree with Tom as well. An associate of mine, whose father ran a hobby shop, started selling trains in 1985. He also took on a small inventory of plastic models as sort of a 'side show'. By 1995, the plastic models occupied almost

50% of the store and out sold the trains by 5 to 1.Unfortunately the store is no longer around as bad health and several financial crises forced the owner to sell. Last I heard its a liquor store now. Mike IPMS
Reply to
Mike Keown

One large scale Trumpeter kit costs about as much as a night on the razzle in any of the world's major cities.

We never had it so good.

Scott G. Welch

Reply to

I have to agree with Scott. The good folk at Trumpeter are certainly bringing fourth everything I want these days...I'd almost think they've been reading my mind. Or at least my posts...

So to that effect - how about 1/32 P-61, Mig-23, and Su-22 kits?..please?!?

Reply to

so how many kits can you buy at a c-note each?and how many 1/24 planes will you have room for? those of us with limited storage space,smaller budgets and limited time(I'd rather finish a kit in this lifetime,thank you)are being slowly pushed out so no,it's not all good :-P

Reply to

in article snipped-for-privacy@mb-m07.aol.com, Eyeball2002308 at snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote on 9/7/03 2:09 PM:

While there are some interesting subjects being released in the bigger scales, there are still plenty of new kits for us who rarely build anything larger than 1/48. And some golden oldies as well. I'm not feeling any pressure at all to buy/build the big ones.


Reply to
Milton Bell

Great question!

My take is to answer "yes" to both.

As to those who are currently into model building, there is no doubt that the hobby is better than ever before. The incredible selection and availability of almost every subject imaginable is limited only by one's financial ability. However, aside from current modelers such as we who participate in RMS, I do not harbor great hope that the hobby as we have known it since our collective childhoods will survive to the next generation. There are too many economic and social factors keeping young kids and teens from starting or continuing to build models which seem to be tolling the death knell of our hobby.

Several of us in IPMS/USA began a reasoned but passionate discussion on how to introduce and foster younger modelers into the hobby. While there are certainly instances to the contrary, the lure of video games, the internet and other more immediately gratifying diversions seem to be keeping the vast majority of children, teens and adults from entering or continuing in our hobby. Gross sales attributable to our hobby are not even a blip on the radar screen of mainstream retailers. Ideas to reverse this trend seem to be far and few between and largely unsuccessful(e.g. "make and takes", scouting, "modern" or non-traditional subjects and marketing, etc.). Until this phenomenom is effectively addressed, our hobby will die with us.

I'd be interested in hearing and using the collective knowledge and ideas of this group by your comments and suggestions on reversing this trend and bringing modeling permanently to future generations.

Kaliste Saloom IPMS #30703 IPMS/Acadiana Plastic Modelers Society Lafayette, LA

Reply to
Kaliste Saloom

Precisely why I build the larger scales. We've had at least three guys die and leave huge collections of unbuilt kits to our local museum in the past few years - the latest one being sorted through comprises 4950 kits so far; and they're still counting.

I personally want to live to build every kit I buy, and I want to build the best examples I can with the greatest detail my skill can muster at the time. Therefore I must by definition limit the sheer numbers of kits I purchase.

My basic philosophy is to do WWII subjects in 1/48 and jets in 1/32 but the number of great new 1/32 WWII subjects out there has me slipping back into 1/32 exclusively...but my collection is still going to be limited by the market - and I'm counting on that.

Reply to

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I can only address 1/72 scale.

There is one area in all scales, however, that is almost extict.

American made scale models.

What's left? Revellogram hasn't been an American form for years. All of the others are gone, except the rebirth of AMT as Amtech.

Is Twelve-Squared still around?


Reply to

I see it as much more basic than your premise:

Plastic modeling began as a kid thing for pretty much the reason you describe--the frustration that most kids had with "stick n tissue", or even solid wood models. After all, what child (even a teenager) then, or now, is anywhere near as long as that of an adult.

Plastic model kits first hit at a time when most kid's lives were largely unplanned on a daily basis (a parent almost always at home 24/7, no organized football--other than at school--a relatively short little league baseball season in summer, no soccer clubs, swim clubs, I could go on and on and on). Also, we 1950's and 1960's kids could, much of the time, and perhaps in most cities, hop on our bikes, or the city bus, and go downtown to a hobby shop, all on our own. This meant no mom or dad to help us decided what to buy with our allowances (read that "dissuade"). Fast forward to the 21st Century:

Look at home life today. Both parents working in most cases, kids left to sitters, afterschool activities, organized sports etc. Far more competing interests (we all typed in our messages on RMS on one of modelbuilding's competitors for kids' time, even their money). For a 12 year old kid to get to a hobby shop, being driven to the strip shopping center or the mall is a must, if he tries riding his bike there, he's gonna be somebody's hood ornament before he gets two blocks down the street! And in order to get transported to said hobby shop, he has to run a minefield of parental disapprovals. Just not the same thing as when we were kids.

On the other hand, our hobby is fairly stable, absent serious swings in the economy. When times are booming, adult modelers have a tendency toward more expensive entertainment, when times are slow, hobbies such as ours tend to grow. I have seen too many recessions and too many growth periods while in the hobby industry at some level to see it any other way.

People do enter our hobby all the time, they are just some years older nowadays when they do, probably out into their 20's now.

Art Anderson

Reply to

Like some have already pointed out current modellers never had it so good. No doubt about it. But as it has also been pointed out new growth is problematic.

Railroading is a hobby unto itself. As far as I know, the RR folks like for their stuff to chugg-a-chugg around a track with little need for static cars or locomotives. Builds for the diorama displays might be an idea though. Not sure. I do know they have their own newsgroup though. Give 'em a look.

Fan sites on the web offer help and suggestions. The approach is not difficult to understand, it's the execution (required skill) that can drive you nuts.


formatting link

Good luck,


Reply to

I think modelling requires a fairly specific set of skills, but one that doesn't align neatly with the likely candidates.

I have never been much of a tinkerer, I don't have any great artistic skills to speak of, I don't have any nostalgic attachment to the subjects I build (I was never in the military or involved with auto racing or anything like that), I'm terrible at fixing things, and I'm no prodigy when it comes to manual dexterity.

Yet I absolutely *love* building models, and, if you'll pardon the immodesty, I'm pretty damn good at it too.

So from whence does this little obsession arise? For me, I think it comes down to an inherent love of patterns and orderly systems, a knack for detail, lots of patience, and a good eye for color, texture, and depth.

Funny, I think I just described the personality profile of a video game afficinado or a computer programmer (which makes sense -- I am both).

When this issue comes up, people invariably describe video game playing and internet hacking as activities which provide more "immediate gratification," but that's not entirely true. Video games, for example, require an enormous amount of tenacity and ingenuity. We're a long way from Space Invaders nowadays, and the better games require a lot of patience and a pretty substantial commitment of time and energy.

Where am I going with all of this . . .

I always feel like we just need younger folks to just *try* it. Yeah, they think it's old school and sort of primitive, but they don't realize that the real thrill is taking something something that *is* fairly primitive (an unassuming set of plastic parts) and turning it into what amounts to a powerful visual illusion. I just know there are kids out there who have spent weeks trying to beat Quake with a single pistol -- studying the patterns, learning the motor skills, planning their attack

-- who would make outstanding modellers. More than that, they'd absolutely love it.

I realize I'm begging the question (instead of proferring a solution), but it's possible that our occasional sneers at "kids these days" are part of the problem. Kids these days aren't all that different from kids back in our day. They just don't know how much fun we're having.


Reply to
Stephen Ramsay


Last year at the US IPMS Nationals in Virginia Beach, Paul Boyer of Fine Scale Modeler chaired a panel on the future of the hobby. He made the observation that most of us older guys built models as kids, gave it up when we got distracted by hormones and other more 'adult' stuff, and then started again once we became young adults and started to settle down. The presumption has been that the introduction to modeling as a kid was essential.

I'm not so sure of that.

I've been involved in quite a few make and takes. It's fun to sit with young kids and see them build a model, often with their mom's rather than their dads, but I haven't seen very many continue after the first experience. I do however see quite a few young adults in the model sections of stores, and some of them show up at model club meetings.

Maybe what's left of the bigger model manufacturers/hobby store chains would do well to target these young adults. It seems to me that some PR programs/advertising on some of the special interest cable channels (like the History Channel, or Discovery (Wings) might bear fruit. The RC industry does something similar in that they have a regular Radio Controlled Hobby show on the DIY network.

Reply to
Rick DeNatale

AFAIK it's American-owned and still based in Morton Grove. In fact, I think the same people now also own Revell AG.

Lindberg is still around, though moribund, and both AMT and MPC live on through RC2.

Reply to
Al Superczynski

This is very close to my own view of things. I gave up on computer games some time ago, for what I would describe as age-related factors. Yes, physical issues are a part of it; I am uninterested in relying on rapid hand movements and straining my eyes looking at an illuminated screen for a long time. There is also the mental side--while I enjoy solving puzzles, there is nothing durable about the solution in a video game, but 'solving' a model gives me a great deal of satisfaction even long after the fact, as I look at the finished product. I also see flaws, God knows, but that's a good thing too, because it spurs me to try a little harder next time. And there's also the social side. If you're sharing a video game experience, it is likely to come off as bragging or boring or both to everyone else, but showing other modelers your finished or in-progress model doesn't carry the same burden, unless you really are bragging or boring. I also found I hated the amount of time I spent playing games or watching TV, for that matter. I spend at least as much time building models now, and it doesn't bother me a whit. Tastes often change as we age.

The kids play a lot of video games, but maybe when they're 40 the things will become less interesting, and they might turn to something else--fly fishing, or woodworking, or stamp collection, or scale modeling, or something else. It depends a lot on what they are exposed to when they are kids. That's why I think make-n-takes are important, and introducing your kids to the hobby, and giving young relations kits for Christmas. I keep seeing people in their thrities and forties showing up at club meetings for the first time, connecting with the hobby in a serious way, and they invariably talk about not having built stuff since they were kids. I see very few kids at clubs, and not many competing at contests. On the other hand, I've yet to see a kid refuse a free kit.

Mark Schynert

Reply to
Mark Schynert

True, but what do they produce and where? A couple of new aircrat kits per year and lots of very old kits in new boxes manufactured in Germany seems to be pretty non-American.

I am being a bit picky, I guess, but when was the last time either of these firms produced a new kit of a military subject or aircraft of any kind?

Back to the original subject. It seems that almost every loud complainer preaching "end of the hobby", "1/72 scale is dead", etc. have connections to the American manufacturers. They have forgotten that there is a huge hobby out there, just not here.


Reply to

They produce in Morton Grove Illinois. Cars, panes, ship models, etc. Revell of Germany is owned by Revell-Monogram in Illinois. Revell of Germany products are imports that seem to fill a market all there own.

Reply to
Dave Henk

There are more 1/35, 1/48, and 1/72 models out there than you are likely to ever build in a lifetime. Very many are reasonably priced. Stop and think about it. For all the $100 kits how many can be had in the 10-20 dollar range?


Reply to
Dave Henk

Based on the customers coming into my shop I'd disagree. First off I'm selling more plastic model kits and accessories than in any other year (been around 25 years). Secondly I sell a lot of models to the younger set. With them in mind I stock many models that are relatively inexpensive. Manufacturers such as Airfix, Revell, and ARII all have low cost aircraft kits that the kids buy in the $10-$20 range. Model Cars have held steady pricewise as well. Most can be had in the $12-14 dollar range. The more advanced and older crowd is what's buying the more expensive and detailed Trumpeteeer and Tamiya kits. They don't bat an eye when it comes to laying down cash for that $100 model. Same goes with ordering detail parts from Verlinden, Eduard, etc. If anything I don't even think the industry has peaked yet.

Dave Henk Jacksonville, FL

Reply to
Dave Henk

Eyeball2002308 wrote: : so how many kits can you buy at a c-note each?and how many 1/24 planes will you : have room for? : those of us with limited storage space,smaller budgets and limited time(I'd : rather finish a kit in this lifetime,thank you)are being slowly pushed out : so no,it's not all good :-P

Huh? When it comes to planes, I build exclusively in 1/72 and there's never any shortage in either my "waiting to build" hoard nor my "waiting to buy" list...

What is it you're looking for exactly? There's never been more variety out there than there is now! :)

Reply to

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.