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falcon20driver

The modeler's model

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As I sit in yet another hotel room, reading through the threads, a continuous theme appears. Actually two themes appear. One being the, "why haven't they built a" topic and the other being "it doesn't look right" talking point. So here is my honest question, or more correctly the musings of a bored man. Would a company be willing to manufacture the modeler's model? A model decided on by modelers, researched by modelers, critiqued by modelers (of course thats a given) and promoted as such. Now the first part would be the hard part. I know we all have our pet airplanes (Falcon 20!), but an honest discussion on airframes that would sell and fill a gap would be required. Heck, maybe if the first one worked you could create a series of kits this way. Once a decision was made on an airframe, all research comes from us modelers. Just this forum alone has a wealth of knowledge on airframes. Then once initial cad files come back any corrections brought up would be fixed. I always hear that "good research makes models expensive". Well, this is free research and correct information. So, I'm assuming (and we all know what happens if you assume) that a correct model, wanted by the modeling community could be produced for a reasonable price. Have I lost my mind completely?

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Models by and for modelers was the impetus for Accurate Miniatures in the beginning.

It was a great idea--a noble ideal--and they certainly produced some great kits of interesting subjects, but, ultimately, it wasn't a successful business model (if you'll pardon the pun).

Not that I wouldn't sink some of my own money into a similar endeavor, even knowing the odds.

cheers

Old Blind Dog

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I assure you this is nothing I would do as a business. My idea is more along the lines of an established company doing it.

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I assure you this is nothing I would do as a business. My idea is more along the lines of an established company doing it.

In that case, the question has to be - what's in it for the established company? Would the additional time and effort to create such a kit be profitable? Would a 'Certified by ARC' kit sell more than one that was not?

Vince

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.

Edited by Exhausted

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Could we then not start a private forum for or an external forum in which we could work as a comunity (without unwanted spies) to create our model, then find a company to produce the kit for us?

EDIT: We could then market the kit as an ARC Kit, by modellers for modellers.

Edited by davevw

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My post from another thread about recruiting experts to help:

On the subject of experts,,,

Yes there are some who flew or maintained a particular aircraft that would be worth their weight in gold to these companies to help with shape issues or technical details. There are others that might not be so helpful.

There are some "armchair quarterbacks", never having been near a particular subject, that have studied a particular aircraft enough to become as or more knowledgeable that the guys that built the thing.

There are some that know nothing about a subject but have an eye for shapes and details ( :rolleyes: )

I worked on SH-3 Sea Kings and Ch-53E Super Sea Stallions. I wouldn't question an average modeler armed with good SH-3 reference pictures unless they were gluing the warp nacelles on backwards.

I never flew or maintained an A-7 but had an A-7 pilot thank me and tell me he wasn't even aware of the shape problems until he had seen my set.

One of the problems with these companies recruiting the proper experts is knowing who to ask.

Most kits (like all consumer products) are usually developed in relative secrecy, mainly so the competition doesn't try to beat them to the punch and get the same product to market sooner.

How do they know who to recruit without going public?

If they don't carefully follow every post on every forum they might not even know that a qualified and willing expert is lurking out there.

Being a model company, they may see a guy that has built a couple of beautiful kits of the subject and assume that he might be an expert. But that guy might just be good at adding resin and painting.

Will the recruit work for cheap or free? If they are on a shoestring budget they likely can't recruit the guy that wrote and published "The Fruitbat Bible".

Does the recruit have the spare time to assist within the manufacturer's time-frame?

Can the recruit effectively communicate and illustrate the details to the manufacturer? Can he use Photoshop (or similar) effectively to show what he's talking about? What if the manufacturer speaks very little English?

Can the guy actually see the problems and identify exactly what needs to be changed? Or is he limited to "that just looks wrong somehow...".

I could go on and on. There are lots of 'what-ifs' and constraints involved in recruiting experts and developing products (kits).

Some companies go out of their way to do their best while others seem to just want to get a product to market to make some money.

Even the companies that try their hardest will make mistakes.

It's up to the modeler to decide if the kit is acceptable enough to buy and build and whether to correct he mistakes.

I see nothing wrong with us fellow modelers sharing and discussing the issues and pointing out the problems. This is after all, a modeling discussion forum.

:cheers:

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Something to keep in mind is that 99% of the model builders around the world don't concern themselves with the level of detail and accuracy spoken about here. If the wings are bent and it's blue, it's a Corsair and that's good enough for the extreme majority of people in the hobby.

It's only the (far less than) 1% of the modelling world that come to places like ARC and bemoan there being 40 rivets instead of 45 on the inside of the wheel well. Making a "Certified by ARC" kit would add a huge amount to the cost of production, but would likely not help sell more than half a dozen additional kits.

Edited by RiderFan

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I always hear that "good research makes models expensive".

Not sure where you heard this (probably here) but in many cases it's simply not true. Low manufacturing runs make models expensive. Typically the research is the smallest part of startup costs!

Edited by PetarB

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