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RKic

The future of group builds?

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Posted (edited)

I've been away from ARC for probably over a year, and I was surprised and a bit saddened to see that no Group Builds are happening, nor are any planned. 

I can see that a lot of the forum has migrated to FB, and the last few years' GBs didn't always have much of a group feel to them, but has all interest died down? 

I wonder if we can increase the social aspect of group builds by maybe featuring a weekly video-conference build-and-bs session?

Can this be done via Skype or what-have-you? I think it has potential to be fun. Can it be done? Can we rebuild the GB concept?

Edited by RKic

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Seems the in terest has died down HUGE. Most of the recent GBs have lots of people SAY they are going to play, then don't.  Lots who start...the cockpit, then that's  it. Moderators who say they will run it then don't  show up for a couple months. Had a couple recent that did good, but they seem to be few and far between. It's  too bad as I  really enjoy building to a theme.

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Maybe we can lower the votes needed to qualify for a GB? I had one that stalled at 22 votes. 😖

 

We do have the Top Gun GB coming up in September. But it is weird to not have any running. 

 

I do like the idea Rkic suggests.  Coordinating the time for such a session might be tricky,  but it might be fun to have a conference where we can show the in progress model on camera, discuss what we are doing, and ask questions. 

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I'm telling you: reduce the wait time. Let the gb happen when people are still excited by it!

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53 minutes ago, Kurt H. said:

 

I do like the idea Rkic suggests.  Coordinating the time for such a session might be tricky,  but it might be fun to have a conference where we can show the in progress model on camera, discuss what we are doing, and ask questions. 

 

Exactly what I have in mind!

 

Being a worldwide forum, it would be impossible to schedule one session for everyone., But maybe if even there was a chat room or I don't know, separate sessions for different parts of the world??

 

I'm not sure, but Im going to keep watering this seed of an idea.

 

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1 hour ago, RKic said:

I'm telling you: reduce the wait time. Let the gb happen when people are still excited by it!

 

At this point  we might need to re-think some things, such as the start dates.  With fewer people participating in this forum, I think we can be more agile scheduling GBs. We do have to balance the desire to start the GB sooner with allowing participants enough time to gather kits, decals, paint, whatever. 

 

1 hour ago, RKic said:

Being a worldwide forum, it would be impossible to schedule one session for everyone., But maybe if even there was a chat room or I don't know, separate sessions for different parts of the world??

 

I'm not sure, but Im going to keep watering this seed of an idea.

 

 

We can have sessions to accommodate different regions.   It just depends on what time zone participants are in.   Maybe we can also have quick video updates on youtube in addition to the build threads, or each GB gets a private FB group, all kinds of things we can try to re-invigorate group builds.

 

 

 

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I like the idea of quicker starts. While the interest is there. But the biggest thing we have noticed is some moderators simply not showing up. If you say your running something RUN IT.

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1 hour ago, phantom said:

I like the idea of quicker starts. While the interest is there. But the biggest thing we have noticed is some moderators simply not showing up. If you say your running something RUN IT.

Agreed. With quicker starts you're most likely to get the people who suggested the gb and who agreed to mod, to maintian interest before they get distracted by other kits or real life in the long interrim between the suggestion of a GB and it's actual start.

 

I hosted an IDF GB about 10 years ago. I was very excited for it when I first got the idea, but 6 months later I was sort of over it. I tried to maintain interest enough to encourage the participants, but I had moved on.

 

More recently I've seen this with other mods. Their heart isn't in it.

 

The three most memorable ARC group builds for me were the first Matchbox GB hosted by Johno and Thommo, many years ago, the Pacific War GB from maybe a decade back, and the Gulf War GB hosted by Pete, Benner, and that whole lot.

 

Each of those was great because the builders we're actually interacting with one another, and not just posting a fee obligatory build shots and moving on. AND the mods were enthusiastic, engaged and encouraging.

 

 

I fear that's all long in the past now. ARC was a different place back then.

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A couple of quick comments about the group builds:

 

One, they should be higher on the page.  Often times I don't even scroll down that far.  For me, my interest for the most part, stops at the aviation section.  Maybe the aviation group builds should be in with the aviation section.

 

Second, I agree with the quick start, like most modelers I assume, I get model ADD when I build.  In 6 months something completely different has peeked my interest.  

 

Lastly, I may be way off on this one, admittedly I have only done a few, do we need moderators?  Why can't we just self moderate the builds?  Last time I checked we were all adults.  If there are no prizes or anything along those lines, then why can't we do it?  

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I agree with both Phantom and RKic. I've been in enough group builds on ARC and other forums to have a few opinions. The best group builds are the ones with really good Mods. I really believe the wait time to start the GB should be lessened. If you want to be a Mod, then take the responsibility to fulfill your agreement! Maybe there should be two Mods or an assistant Mod in each build? 

  • If a modeller rarely finishes any builds, what makes you think you will finish one in a GB? I'm not trying to be argumentive, just giving my opinion. GB's can be very enjoyable when run by the right person. :kissing2:

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Perhaps GB moderating could be incentivized? 

A mod who agrees to run a build, and then follows through with shepherding it to its conclusion, is given a free kit or product? Doesn't this site always receive products for review from manufacturers? 

 

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47 minutes ago, eraucubsfan said:

 

 

Lastly, I may be way off on this one, admittedly I have only done a few, do we need moderators?  Why can't we just self moderate the builds?  Last time I checked we were all adults.  If there are no prizes or anything along those lines, then why can't we do it?  


The moderator isn't there to babysit the build, but rather to encourage the participants to be engaged with one-another. To facilitate discussions, and to be a cheer-leader. Group builds are fun when there is emphasis on the GROUP part. A good moderator does that. 

In the last few years there have been plenty of ARC GBs without a mod, simply because the mods were absent. Nobody got into any knife fights, but the builds were no fun to participate in. 

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Agree with the quicker launching of GB's. As another ARC'er posted above, I get modelers ADD in a big way. If a GB catches my fancy then I want to build soon! Six months down the road and odds are my interests have shifted and thus the enthusiasm for the GB has dwindled.

 

-Maybe make the criteria 20 instead of 25 for it to be given a green light (heck 15 even). Better to have 15-20 enthusiastic modelers ready to build then 5-10 of 25 who really aren't overly excited and only voted to get the votes up to 25.

 

-I also like the idea of bumping the GB section(s)  to the tops of the specific ARC categories. So, put the aircraft specific GB's right at the top of the ARC aircraft section, the armor GB's at the top of the armor section, autos at the top of the auto section, ships....you get the idea. This will make them more visible in my opinion.

 

Just my two cents.

 

Regards.

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Posted (edited)

We can call it an expedited GB, 15 votes and it starts in a week.  The mods can decide to have other ways of interacting as discussed earlier. 

 

With regard to putting it to the top, it does not matter to me, I use the "unread content" button on the top when I visit the forum so I only see the new posts. Try it and see if it works for you.  

 

That being said, moving it higher  would certainly help. 

Edited by Kurt H.
typographical errors

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Great suggestions, guys. 

Does SBARC still look at the forums? What do you think, Steve? Can we give it a spin?

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Hopefully Neo and Steve see this section. They hold the controls for a mod to start a GB section. We other 2 GB uber mods do not have that power. Don't  really want it either. As for the moderator getting a prize.......Who is paying for it? Part of the reason of the 3 max on certain start dates was the huge influx of GBS we had going at once. Then not enough participation. Anyway only Neo starts these guys up and it seems he is a busy guy. Perhaps a couple other prominent ARC members might wish to step up as new uber mods.

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There is also the possibility that we gb mods make one gb every 6 months, we can set a pool for witch gb to start next and just run that single gb. It migh get the fire back into the GB in arc. 

 

I used to exclusively build in arc GB and i really miss it

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Maybe stretch the time a bit, some people have other projects and

just can't finish on time or personal commitments side line a build.---John

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I haven't done a GB on here for some years & when I did it ran for 6 months. great I thought but it quickly seemed like the racing rabbits got theirs done in short order & then for the more tardy among as, as we came in we found the crowd had gone home, the grandstand was packed away & it was difficult to feel that sense of achievement. Other forums I've taken part in GBs on have shorter times, from 3 weeks to 3 months. To me, 3 weeks is too short, i've done them but felt I was rushing things with a consequent compromise in how I wished I'd done things, 2 to 3 months works well enough, there is always good support. especially if mods keep on the job & there is a good community thing going. I would support smaller trigger numbers & quicker kick off times, its my impression the forum has bled quite a few mwebers after uograde hassles & maybe photobucket hassles last year. It would be good to see some Zing back in it again. heck i might even try one myself & I'm officially not doing GBs this year.

Steve.

S

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Guys...I doubt Steve is reading much right about now as he is working 14 hour days, 7 days a week! Add to that the daily updates and family life and...well you can probably see how much free time he has.  This is why I've pretty much taken over the administration of the Facebook ARC Group....the poor guy just doesn't have the time!  But I will mention this thread to him and suggest maybe he could pop in for a bit when he has a few minutes....

 

Terry Sumner, Super Moderator

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What about a "Reveal Week" for GB's? Each GB runs a specified time period and during that time participants post their in progress photos, discuss their build, its pros and cons, and get other members feedback...the way the GB's usually run around here. But, rather then participants revealing their completed builds upon completion all participants will reveal their completed build(s) during the final week or "Reveal Week".  My idea here is to come up with some way to keep folks around the GB threads until the end of the GB and maybe stave off the running exodus of participants who complete their builds early on but then don't or rarely come back to the GB threads afterwards (see "Stevehnz" post above). 

I also think shortening the GB length may be a good idea too as someone mentioned above. Shorter time constraints can often be good motivation to work on and complete the build. Less lollygagging. Perhaps institute a minimum/maximum rule that the GB moderators can choose to follow at their discretion (i.e. the GB moderators can run the GB for a minimum of 1 month to a maximum of the current 6 months. So long as the participants are aware of how much time they have to complete their builds before the GB starts and therefore enter the GB knowing they only have "X" amount of time to complete their project).

 

Again, just throwing out ideas for folks to chew on.

 

Regards.

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@DonI like your idea of the reveal week. Maybe make the last week the one during which the gallery thread opens up. I'd follow that up with a gallery group photo that gets pasted on the FB and home page, at the end. Just one picture of each completed model, and a builder credit - and it can go into the ARC gallery. Something more permanent than the GB threads. 

 

@stevehnz three months is probably as long as a GB can be before it runs out of steam. You're comment about the late-comers feeling left out is a very valid one. But not every group build can accommodate everyone, so if you don't make it into the window - you come play at the next GB. 

@john53 - being in a GB is about the building, and having fun with the group. It doesn't really matter if you finish. I'd say 75% of GB projects don't get finished in the GB window. Some of the slow guys could be given 1 year, or even 5 years and they wont finish up. Sorry, but the GBs are too long as it is. See Stevenhz's comment above. 

@Neo. You're missing the point. People want to make group builds easier to set up, less structured, less restrictive - and most of all quicker. What your proposing sounds even more rigid. Rigid schedules and long waits is what killed ARC GBs in the first place. 

 

 

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I think it always depends on the GB topic and the individual motivation. I´m currently taking part in a german modelling forum GB with the topic "Vietnam". Since January I have built only Vietnam-related models, and have already completed 6 builds. I still have at least 3 models to go and I´m happy tate this GB lasts for one year!

 

I have participated in several GBs here and always wondered how they took off with great steam (= a lot of people throwing in their ideas and models) and very soon the whole thing nearly stalls. Maybe my german genes take over here, but I only build models that I like and I´m motivated to do, and don´t stop that damn thing until it´s completed! Maybe we should think about some more ideas to keep the GB-community focused. Like stories about the GB-topic, walk-arounds, new projects from decal-manufacturers, etc...

 

 

HAJO

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24 minutes ago, Hajo L. said:

keep the GB-community focused

 

 

 

That! Right there! If it is everyone just doing their own thing, then it is really no different than any standard work-in-progress thread. That is cool and all, but the reason to have a GB is to make this hobby a bit less solitary. 

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