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How would you promote the hobby?

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I collect 1/24 die cast NASCAR'S only because NASCAR kits and decals are a rare thing because of all the licensing agreements and such. Also its tough to get current car body styles and even some of the older makes and models are tough to get a hold of (and can get pretty pricey). As detailed and well done as they are though there is nothing that can beat having built and painted something yourself IMHO.

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I always considered building models an art form. It's challenging, Tedious and gratifying. it's a learning experience, and artsy, all at the same time.

We work with color, shading and color matching. We use highly specialized tools like an airbrush, and different types of regular brushes.

Chemicals like Thinners, different types of paint, Adhesives and Materials. And we have to know how they react with each other.

We do Research, check photos, history, etc.

It's all part of this hobby, and it's all art.

It's as much an art as Painting, sculpting, carving, molding, designing, graphic art, etc.

Perhaps on of the problems how complex our hobby is, it's not just one thing. It's all of them.

Kit Selection, Brand Knowledge, subject matter, all still part of it.

You need to be someone who likes to be involved deeply in an art form, more of a do-er than a watcher.

My kids are grown and gone, except for one, and they are all about Video games, which I'm not saying is a bad thing.

Some of them are very good, they have story, some of the graphics are quite beautiful, and the social interaction they get is something we modelers don't get as much from our hobby,

Unless we are part of a Forum, like this one, or are a member of a club

But you don't really build models together, you discuss them, and check them out. which is still cool.

But modeling tends to be solitary.

I agree that if it was promoted as less of a toy thing, and more of an art thing more people would be interested.

But back to the point.

I used to play Video games.

I still do, but very little.

There was something missing. I wasn't creating anything. I got nothing but a time sucker for my 15 bucks a month.

So I'll say this.

Aim at the guy with some time on his hands, and a little extra cash to spend. I think a lot of the problem is the absence of the old Brick and Mortar hobby shop, that actually carried an assortment of plastic models.

if you can find a hobby shop, I'll bet their focus is on RC. Very little Plastic model stuff. I used to be able to buy models in the drug store or Dime Store. Did it a lot in fact.

Back in the 60's and 70's all the kids on my block built models. We used to go over to each others houses and check out the latest build. Model Rockets were big then too, but then so was the space program.

So did the current generation lose their desire to create? To lend some originality to something that they create?

The desire to be aware, and be part of the world around them buy doing research, looking at photos, or just reading the blurb from the kit instructions?

Sometimes it seems that way.

I cannot count the amazing things I have learned, the amazingly knowledgeable, and talented people I have met, both in person or on the internet, or the countless discussions I have had with like minded individuals.

I have never understood why this hobby isn't the most popular thing around, or why it waned the way that it did.

Maybe Promote:

It's an Art Form.

You get to use Knives. Really, Really sharp ones.

You can do whatever you want. The kit is just a starting point. You want a Pink Messerschmitt? Go right ahead.

Yellow Batmobile? Sure, I'll even help you.

You can learn stuff without studying.

You can learn to use an Airbrush.

You get to meet some really wonderful and some really strange people that will help you just because they can.

You create something. You can hold it in your hand. And if you don't like it, blow it up. Nothing Like real battle damage!

The subject matter is limited, but I bet we can find something for everyone. Gundams to Gunships. Superheros to Supermarine Spitfires. Cars, Rockets, Tanks, Trains, Jets, Planes, Trucks, Figures, Movie Monsters. What-ev' dood....

It teaches Patience, no giving up, and even anger management. I bet we would have fewer kids on Adderal, and Ritialin.

it also teaches you how to fix things around the house. How many times have you fixed something using your modeling stuff?

Girls like guys that can fix things.


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I have a slightly different take on things. The entry point to this hobby is now much higher for the beginner and that sucks the fun out of it. I am not talking about the price point but the ability to draw satisfaction from what you do. The internet contributes to this immensely.

On various forums, I see tons of young fellas signing up and asking for tips, materials, airbrush recommendations etc., perhaps try one or two kits, post WIP pictures, only to completely withdraw from the hobby a few months later. I have come to the conclusion that in this day and age it is unfortunate that you would build something then look around (the web) only to see that yours is the worst of all the ones that you can find. Then you realize how much work, skill and dedication it would take to be even a medicore modeler. I mean now you have these people signing up for the first time and asking what the best airbrush is. The threshold you have to cross is too high. This is probably true for many craft/hobby related stuff nowadays.

My first two builds er PM F-4 and F-100 (age ~10-11), and then an 1/72 Italeri F-14 (age ~12). I built the tomcat over a few hours. I distinctly remember the purple humbrol paint and a brush the guy had us buy (my parents were there too). Nothing I do now matches the fun I had holding the crooked 3D object in my hand and thinking that I was awesome! I would then make more models, take them to school, show it to my friends and have them comment on them. It was never about comparison (there was really nothing to compare to), learning techniques, getting feedback from experienced modelers etc.

I tend to think for someone having a desire to start this hobby, if they decide to pick this up now, it would be similar to me trying to pick up oil painting. After a few hours of research, youtube videos and forums for materials, I would quickly get overwhelmed and move on.

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Don't you ever wonder if it should be promoted at all?

Trying to "save model building for the next generation" is a bit like trying to "keep people interested in rebuilding and tuning single point auto distributors" after all. Or Rochester one bbl carbs. Or treadle sewing machine belt making. Rotary dial telephone repair.

If they are "moving on" with all the new technology, isn't it a bit counter-productive to try and get them to "step back" into the plastic gluing and painting hobby?

After all, if someone tried to interest (insert favorite computer guy), and succeeded, into concentrating on plastic models,,,,we wouldn't even be typing to each other.

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I think, all the doom-talk aside, because that's been around in every hobby since the advent of the concept of hobbies, the best way to promote it?

Don't necessarily have to go out of your way to 'recruit' new converts - simply encourage those who show an interest. Positive reinforcement goes a long way.

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Modelling will survive a *lot* longer. With all the improvements in 3D design/printing, CAD/CAM/CNC/allthatotherstuff, modelling is IMO in a better position than ever... and it's getting progressively easier for everyone to build the model that *they* want, down to details specific to a particular thing on a particular day.

Of course, I'd like that to be the case. We shall see. In 30 years I think there will be a new form of hipster trying to impress his friends with an ironic source of 'fun' derived from "building those old plastic thingies."

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Of course, I'd like that to be the case. We shall see. In 30 years I think there will be a new form of hipster trying to impress his friends with an ironic source of 'fun' derived from "building those old plastic thingies."

...and then it'll go mainstream again - just like has happened with vinyl (in North America anyways, it never really went away elsewhere). A decade ago vinyl was just a hipster thing, now everyone is releasing vinyl again. even mainstream artists...

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Lots of really interesting thoughts. My two cents is - no need to promote it because it's not really dying.

If we take a step back from what we consider our hobby is, we can get a different perspective. I like to think about my hobby as basically re-producing something in a miniature form. This has been happening for hundreds of years in one form or another, and whether you play with it, paint it or just look at it the concept still remains the same. Producing a miniature likeness of something that "exists" either physically or in your imagination. I don't know why but my guess is that won't change much.

What has changed over they years is the method we use, 100 years ago I guess that we whittled items from soft woods or moulded them in molten lead. We assume quite rightly that in 100 years time we will be struggling to make the home 3D printing machine create the same thing. Then of course we have our section of the modelling evolutionary timeline where we assemble from ever increasingly more complex plastic kits.

Like others I've tried to get my kids interested and failed, no biggie because at the end of the day my modelling hobby is about me and me time. No doubt that we will be catered for in one way or another to satisfy our modelling needs and future generations will do what they want anyway.

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