Save Our Plastic Model Kit Hobby

Hello All,
I found this web site on another scale modeling discussion group. It is basically a petition to inform the model companies to keep producing "Plastic"
model kits. Diecast has become very popular in the last several years and many feel that it may bring plastic kit model building to a halt.
This is the link....simply copy and paste
http://www.petitiononline.com/model1 /
Mangry
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Waste of keystrokes. The model companies don't read petitions, they read the bottom line. If you want them to make plastic model kits, buy plastic model kits. They aren't doing this as a favor to us. Kim M
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When it comes to military kits (aircraft, armor, etc.) it's a done deal in the U.S. All gone as far as manufacturing kits here.
Tom
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WOW Folks.......talk about shooting the messager.
. I thought people might be interested in the fact that there "is" a petition out on the interenet. I did "Not" come up with the idea....but I did find it interesting that someone else feels that the plastic model kit hobby is in danger. I am sure whoever typed up this petition will send a hard-copy to the various companies....but again...it is not my petition and whatever this person decides to do is there business. Just to let you know....there is a petition online in reference to an issue regarding the Star Wars movies.....and there is over 100 thousand signitures and counting on it....I guess what I am saying is a petition is a good way to "rally the troops" from around the world who feel the same way.
Craig (AKA Mangry)
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Craig
The somewhat testy replies may be due to the feeling that a good many modelers have that the scale model companies care not one bit about their customers.
Between absurdly high prices for Japanese kits and the flight from the U.S. of the remaining big companies there is a good deal of hard feelings.
There were a few years of joy when the Eastern European limited run stuff began hitting the market at great prices. They figured out the market pretty quickly, though.
Tom
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.Since I made the first testy reply, let me comment on Tom's statements. We are both in our 50s and have seen a lot of changes. I have seen models come out that I though I would never see in my life. However, the days of the pocket change kit are over. Also, die cast is an increasingly important part of the market. Times and tastes change. For various and sundry economic and cultural reasons, the modeling fraternity is somewhat older now, with deeper pockets than we had as kids, and much more discriminating taste. Personally, this is the golden age of modeling to me. Kim M
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You have that right, Mim.
When we published the original EMM 72 book in 1985 we listed over 9,500 kits and models produced in the first fifty years of scale modeling.
Now, only nineteen years later, our data base for ESM 72 has over 12,680 listings. Contrary to the doom sayers a couple of years ago, this most certainly the golden age of scale modeling.
Tom
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I can accept (barely) that prices must rise with inflation and all that. I'm not as sure about labor and shipping costs, etc. The internet gives merchants choices about many of the overhead costs now. And, shipping costs have been going down for years (except when gas prices go up).
There is no duty on model imports, and intl. shipping rates have been falling for more years, so I have no understanding of the crazy high prices of many non-US kits (if Hasegawa can afford to run some kits for $7, why should others, of similar subjects, be $18?).
I can see a higher opening price until enough units sell to pay for production. But when you are seeing 1/72 injection P-26 kits for $20, something is out of kilter somehow.
I am also baffled by companies retiring molds. I mean, I can see taking a year or two off, maybe even three for stocks to decline etc. But, once the mold is made, why would it retire for many years? Don't the companies pay any attention at all to Ebay? When you see 1/72 Revell Aztecs sell for $10+ (before shipping), you know there is a demand. The molds exist, why not cash in, costs should be less now than the first run.
Grumble, I finally find myself in a position to spend some money to relive a misspent youth and find all the stuff I want is "OOP" and thus more expensive than new. <little... no... lots of self pity and Ebay irritation here>
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Re the Star Wars petition - they *are* trying to prevent the last one from being show to the public, aren't they... please...
RobG

count,
petition
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there is

saying is

feel
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I'm sorry, but their numbers are essentially negated but the fact that half of the signatories would gladly sit outside a movie theater for seven days waiting to buy tickets while wearing a Darth Vader costume and the other half would bring an AK-47 into work upon learning that their boss thought Jar-Jar Binks was "funny".
One might think that at least the movie studio would care (and they might even pay lip service to the petition), but at this point they realize that they could put an "Itchy & Scratchy" cartoon up on the screen on an endless loop for two hours and people would STILL go back and see it 24 times.
KL
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On 29 Feb 2004 22:54:56 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Mangry) wrote:
Craig,

Sorry Craig, I didn't know you were not the originator of the petition.
I guess I'm getting cranky as I get older, but I've seen so many
" Support X at PetitionOnline"
postings over the years, mostly for inane causes, that I'm rather jaded towards the whole thing.

Oh God, another Star Wars petition?
This is why I'm jaded.............
Ken ---------------- Ken Lilly snipped-for-privacy@technologist.NOSPAM.com *remove NOSPAM to reply* When diplomacy fails, send in the B-52's
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Paper models are the coming thing, and much of it for free, downloadable over the Internet. Quality is improved (thanks to computer technology available in every home) to where the models challenge plastic, but in a different way. The artwork is what has plastic beat hands down.
There is something basic and pure in a hobby (paper models) that does not cost a fortune. And when the results are impressive, satisfaction is attained. "I did this with paper, bits a wire, clear transparency sheets for cockpit glass, toothpicks, scissors and white glue."
Much of the decals, photo-etch and resin aftermarket goodies can be marveled, but it is all kind of artificial. The models look the same in pictures on the Internet. Me-109s, P-51s, F-16s. Yawn.
And has anyone noticed that decals are repeating their themes over and over? Once in a while a decal comes out that is exceptionally fresh, like the Liveries Unlimited Stratocruisers and C-97s. And the LU B-58 Hustler decal sounded to be exceptional, but it never made it to the store shelves. I am still a sucker for the Edwards Air Force Base chase plane markings.
I want to see Fruitbats, and with Photoshop and AutoCAD, I can design my own. Just to repeat, it is your home PC that is making paper models into something extraordinary.
For example, Fiddlers Green has just released very inexpensive models ($5) of all the Pogo vertical take-off planes from the 1950s. What great subjects. The models are downloaded directly from the publisher/artist/author, with no middleman markups at all. For the record, Fiddlers is "made in the USA."
Do a www.google.com search on "Fiddler's Green."
So if Monogram, Revell and Airfix stop designing models, little will be lost in the pleasure of the model airplane hobby.
And yes, if all I want is a nice display model for my bookshelf, die-cast is the way to go with the kind of quality that is coming out of China we are seeing today.
..../V

"Plastic"
many
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The sad truth of the matter is that the plastic model kit industry has fallen victim to a trend evident in other American consumer markets.
This trend is based on the PERCEPTION that:
Americans no longer have the time for time-consuming activities and also require instant gratification.
For example, the food industry has perceived that busy Americans no longer have time to cook. The Boston Market restaurant chain was founded on the premise that American families no longer had the time to cook a decent meal and busy parents would stop at their restaurant on the way home from work to pick up a wholesome meal. Virtually all supermarkets with in-store delis offer pre-made meals that only require reheating in a microwave or cooking in an oven. But on the bright side, you can still buy all the individual ingredients for a home-cooked meal at a supermarket, they haven't stopped selling those (yet).
We also live in an Attention Deficit Disorder society where we can't stick to anything that requires more than a few minutes of commitment and whatever it is, we need to have it NOW! Why bother to make a model of that Porsche to put on my desk at the real estate office when I can just go out and buy a die cast? And kids? Geez! Most can't concentrate for any time period longer than the interval between commercials on a Disney Channel TV program. The world that kids now live in is "time accelerated" from the age that most of us old-timer modelers grew up in. Few kids seem to have the inclination to work at something that takes more than an hour to complete. Plus, today's kids have many more options competing for their time. Between school, athletic, and leisure activities, a time-consuming hobby like scale modeling will only attract the most motivated kids.
Of course, most kids really aren't afflicted with ADD. Our problem is that most kids just haven't been introduced to the joys of scale modeling. What we modelers need to do is to take the initiative and get involved with more "make and take" type activities to introduce kids to the hobby. With all the activity options kids now have, scale modeling has become "lost in the noise". On many occasions, I have been standing in (what's left of) the Models aisle at WalMart when some kid came along with his/her parents and said "COOL! Look at this airplane/car!" only to have the parent say, "Oh, you can't have that, you have to put it together". We need to get models into the hands of kids and show them the process and pleasure of modeling. I was recently involved in a "make and take" where kids assembled and airbrushed(!) model kits for the first time. EVERY kid thought it was really cool and was excited to go out and start their next kit at home. Revell-Monogram has a "Make and Take" program (http://www.revell-monogram.com/make /) or you can come up with one of your own.
Introducing the next generation to the joys of modeling should be our real mission for the well-being of the hobby.
Martin
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Anyone who says kids don't have the patience and ability to stick with a model-like project has never seen one assemble one of the larger Lego "kits". They sell like mad, and take a while to build, all from little plastic blocks.
Modelers are out there, just not necessarily building things that meet our narrow definition of "models".
-Bill

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I agree Bill. My boys build all sorts of complicated Lego doo-hickies, be they Star Wars, Harry Potter or just using their own imagination.
The problem with beginners starting in the model building hobby is that we've set the bar too high. If your kit doesn't look like the actual thing zapped down to whatever scale, you are in danger of being constructively criticized to death.
Of course, everyone says they fully congratulate and support beginners, and they probably do. Beginners get discouraged at themselves when their kit doesn't look like the professionally built one on the box art. When we started, the box art was notional and not even a true representation of kit inside.
Rob Gronovius Modern US armor at http://www.armorama.com/motorpool
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Our county (Marin) fair has a Leggo contest every year in the crafts section. Many entries, some spectacular.
Last year it was a huge Golden Gate Bridge.
Tom
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Rob Gronovius wrote:

Has FSM ever showed a model with a seam showing?

Craig
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Rob Gronovius wrote:

I think you have a point there, Rob. I didn't see many models when I was growing up as I never got to a 'hobby shop'. All of my stuff was bought at department stores and even groceries. Except for the kids in the neighbourhood and my cousin's stuff models weren't seen much. I think I saw some well done models at the first local hobby show I got to when I was in jr. high, well after I started building. Also there was a model car contest in 8th grade and there was a '40 Ford coupe done by one of the teachers. That was my first recognition that adults -still- built models. It was at that point that I decided to put more effort into getting better results. It has to be fun first or the frustrations will kill the motivation to improve one's abilities.
Bill Banaszak, MFE
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Mangry,
About the only way mfr's will respond is to market demand, as expressed by sales! No manufacturer of anything is going to tool up, and produce anything for which they don't see a ready market, and that includes plastic models.
However, should the retailers out there (and this includes retailers of all stripes!) see that they have sales of model kits, they will be looking for more product, both existing and real, to put on the shelves to entice you, me, and all the rest.
But, a petition? Not worth the paper it will be printed on. Sales count, petitions get the "file 13 treatment".
AA
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That completely ignores the hundreds of new kits appearing as limited run kits, especially out of Eastern Europe.

Too true.
Tom
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