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Model Database
Sabot
Joined: December 18, 2001
KitMaker: 12,592 posts
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Posted: Saturday, February 02, 2002 - 10:42 PM UTC
Jim, I was thinking about the model database you wanted to build. It might be easier to start off smaller, like a listing of the best kit of a particular vehicle. That way if someone's looking for the M-1100 Super Tank from BFE, then the list would show that the best would be the Lindberg kit.
staff_Jim
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Posted: Saturday, February 02, 2002 - 11:53 PM UTC
Rob,
That does bring up an interesting point I was considering yesterday. To do what you are suggesting I would first need a database structure that would basically list out all the different vehicle types (and possibly variants). Then you could "attach" the review of the a particular kit to that tree of vehicle types. Building this tree would actually be a big job all in itself.

What I was originally envisioning was really a database that supported a single main record page. Something like this:

Kit Name:
Kit Maker:
Kit Number:
Release dates:
Available New: yes/no
Suggested Retail Price:
Kit Mold Origin:
Kit Type: plastic/resin/etc

Mode: land/air/sea/space/road/other
Group: if land then: tank/apc/supply/etc...
Family: if tank: Tiger I/Panther/M4 Sherman/etc....

Overall User Rating: (1-10)
Documentation: (1-10)
Detail: (1-10)
Accuracy: (1-10)
Assembly: (1-10)
etc...

That's just off my head right now. It would need to be well thought out. You don't want to have to go back and add fields later on.

But basically when you do a search for Tiger I's. You would get a list of all the matching records. Then when you click on a particular record the above info would display along with user feedback and comments, and the list of related kits (their overall rating) and perhaps any PE, or other mod kits that are available for that family item. That's where it would get tricky as you might have to get down to "Panther Ausf.G" to be truly accurate.

Jim

staff_Jim
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Posted: Saturday, February 02, 2002 - 11:57 PM UTC
Rob - 68 more posts till you have re-reached your real rank!!

Jim
cfbush2000
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Joined: December 01, 2001
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Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2002 - 04:47 AM UTC
Jim
The database idea is very interesting. I have been thinking about the same thing. Do you propose putting it on-line? Would you solicit info from site members? It would be a hugh undertaking, but and excellent resource.
Chuck
staff_Jim
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Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2002 - 06:00 AM UTC
Chuck,
That's what I was thinking. Perhaps if I really get the basic framework up and working, some of the other big sites (SteelNavy.com, Hyperscale, Missing Links, etc.) would want to help out, direct their users to contribute content, and use the site as a resource. If that were to happen it would be more of a mulit-sponsored site on a neutral URL.

But I am not counting on this as they don't seem to be to technically inclined as they are. What I think all the site operators should realize is that a younger, smarter crowd (twenty-somethings) will be doing this kind of thing in the next 5-10 years if someone doesn't beat them to the punch. So this is really just a way to stay competitive and make your site a better resource. All this knowledge is out there in bits-and-pieces. It would be nice to have it integrated together in an easy to navigate fashion.

Jim
drewgimpy
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Joined: January 24, 2002
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Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2002 - 12:53 PM UTC
I love this idea and the list of informations seems to be more than enough. I do not know if it would be possible, but maybe have a space below where people who have built the kit can post coments about it. Something I really hate are raised pannel lines. I don't know if any of the armor kits come with them, but if so I would like to know so maybe we could add that information if it is the case with some armor kits.
staff_Jim
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Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2002 - 01:15 PM UTC
Andrew,
Definately. Comments and even linking to full-blown reviews would be in there. I also want to maybe make the "vehicle ID" automatically link to other articles already on the site that relate to that kit/vehicle type.

Jim
HunterCottage
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Joined: December 19, 2001
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Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2002 - 11:49 PM UTC
Sound great!!

But huge was an understatement!!
ArmouredSprue
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Posted: Monday, February 04, 2002 - 08:36 AM UTC
Thatīs great! Iīll try to help if I could
powen
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Posted: Friday, February 08, 2002 - 01:28 AM UTC
What database server are you planning on using?

I can develop the schema if you like, I do this stuff professionally. There are certain things you do and certain things you don't, it would be a couple of tables at least with references. Setting these up correctly is the key and will reduce the work involved in programming.

staff_Jim
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Posted: Friday, February 08, 2002 - 03:05 AM UTC
Paul,
I would probably opt for MySQL as I have some experience with it.

I will try to come up with some basic graphical mock-ups of what I am envisioning. Then maybe you will see more of what I am thinking.

Jim
GeneralFailure
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Posted: Friday, February 15, 2002 - 11:27 PM UTC
Jim,

I would suggest to separate the database to different sections, per content (aviation, armor) and per scale. This has two advantages: 1/32 and 1/35 don't get mixed up and at the same time people who work with 1/15th (Verlinden) or 1/76 scales don't get lost in the total package

Possible content elements might be subject to interesting discussions on the forum before you put the database online. Here's some suggestions :

Part 1) General information :
Kit Name:
Kit Maker:
Kit Number:
Release dates:
Available New: yes/no
Suggested Retail Price:
Kit Mold Origin:
Kit availability in retail stores (US/Canada, Europe, Asia, ...)
Documents language(s)
Mode: land/air/sea/space/road/other
Group: if land then: tank/apc/supply/etc...
Family: if tank: Tiger I/Panther/M4 Sherman/etc....

Part 2) Kit contents : (mark all that apply)
- plastic parts
- clear plastic parts
- resin parts
- clear resin parts
- photo-etched metal parts
- rope
- mesh wire
- rubber parts
- single track links
- vinyl tracks
- crew/pilot/soldiers (specify ?)
- other equipment / accessories (specify ?)
- ???
- non-kit elements (some kits even include glue or paint, etc...)


Part 3) (not a part of the kit, but exta value your site can provide)
- links to websites that sell this kit on-line (you can negociate a kick-back !!!)
- links to articles on making this particular kit (on yours or other sites ? )
- links to tips on scratchbuilding or other techniques that might apply
- links to pictures (sites) of the "real" vehicle

Part 4) Users appreciation (all visitors with experience on this kit can vote )

Overall User Rating: (1-10)
value for money
fun to make
result

Documentation: (1-10)
easy to understand
correct
contains painting instructions / suggestions

Detail: (1-10)

Accuracy: (1-10)
is this kit a correct copy of the real vehicle ?
is the scale correct ?
how realistic do the included figures look ?

Assembly: (1-10)
is the kit easy to assemble ?
do the parts fit correctly ?

5) names of the people who gave their input on the kit (basic information and evaluation)
that puts the info in the correct perspective. It may be a good thing if the producer of the kit adds information, but it would be fair to let your users know what the source is.)

I would suggest you try to make a good structure for the database first, before you put it online. Once online, it's a pain in the neck to change content. Furthermore, it would be dissapointing to people who already gave the information before you changed the database structure.


This is a GREAT initiative, but it deserves thorough thinking before you put it online.
Putting the discussion in the open on the forum for a while might be useful. That way, everyone may have their say. Even a chat session ? Then at a certain point, you draw the line and put it online.

Good luck with it !

staff_Jim
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Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2002 - 11:34 PM UTC
Jan,
Great post. Thanks for the valuable input. We are definately on the same page in terms of what I was envisioning. Especially the linkage to outside sources of info, reviews, photos, etc.

Hopefully I will get some time to devote to this project. It may be a while though at the rate I am going. My "60 years of the Sherman" article is still languishing away.