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Well, Why Hasnít There Ever Been a Book?
Trisaw
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Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2019 - 11:55 AM UTC
I see news postings of new books and magazines on vehicle references, How-Tos, model builds, weathering products, catalogs, Walk-Arounds, battles, contests, and history.

Some books have come and gone, such as Concord Publications.

But why hasnít there ever been a FAQ book with interviews of the companies, the sculptors, the owners, and the decision making processes? Why havenít anyone ever investigated as to What, When, Where, Why, How, and Who?

For example, some of modeling lifeís lingering mysteries and questions without answers are:

* Why didnít Dragon and HobbyBoss ever produce the 1/35 Chenowth SEAL DPV?

* Why did MENG stop their 1/35 pickup and 1/24 fire truck series?

* Is Warriors, Verlinden, and long retired sculptors going to return to their business for those who bought the molds? They posted saying that they would and still no reissues or new releases. What is their holdup?

* Who and which owners still live, died, went out of business, quit, got robbed, got sued for Cease and Desist, cut funding, expanded, succeeded or failed in Kickstarter, went into video games or wargaming, converted, retired, or came back into the hobby?

* What ever happened to Dragonís Star Wars license? Dragon never produced anything with it.

* Why is resin mostly cast in China, and now original resin casts from China are delayed? Is it because most everyone uses one company?

* Are the hobby kit makers alive or dead in North and South America, or do most kits come from Asia, Europe, China, and Russia?

* Is there a secret underground model industry that we donít know about, such as those professional model makers that build for government, corporations, car industry, film, videogames, etc.? Can we buy those kits also?

* Why did Tamiya slow down or stop making AFV, softskin, and figure kits?

* Can traditional sculptors survive in a world of 3D rendering? Why are some model maker 3D printers way better than Shapeways quality and what would it take to get Shapeways to obtain better 3D printers?

* Why do wargame modelers, Cosplay modelers, Shapeways, prop makers, etc. make their own products and not cross-make something else, like prop maker makes wargame mini or diorama bushes?

* Has anyone gotten rich in this hobby business? Has anyone gotten broke? Did the ownerís kids or grandkids inherited the business?

* Why is model building not seen as a museum art (and sellable) and yet some splotches on canvas can sell for $50 million? Is it because models are too fragile and break?

* How is the 1/6 doll and prepainted statue business now? Is it still popular or has it passed as a phase?

* Why are the railroad and R/C industry also affected with the demise of the model kit building interest?

* What replaced the hobby? Is it smartphone, tablets, TV, videogames, or reading? Or were kids priced out of the hobby, or too many toy and hobby shops closed?

* Why is it that recasters can get the original kits and we canít? Does this have to do with advertising, or are people just being cheap, or donít know any better?

* Why havenít females embraced this hobby more if there are female engineers, car designers, architects, interior and furniture designers, etc.?

* Why is there always a stigma towards model kit builders? Is it because of the Anime, girly, and nudity? Or is it because itís a painting skill that anyone can do? Or is it because the kits break and end up in the trash after we pass away? Or is it because we spend on the hobby instead of on people and more useful things? Or is it because itís seen as Anti-Social and a solo hobby? Or is it all of the above?

These are some of the questions Iíd like hobby books and magazine writers and publishers to ask and answer. Itís been decades for some of these mysteries that only seem to be answered in daily newspapers.

What are your burning questions about the hobby and its health that you would like to see publishers answer in print one day?
Kevlar06
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Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2019 - 12:43 PM UTC
You're kidding right? The answers are as varied as the questions. But I'll take a shot on a few:
1) Sprue Brothers just received a Verlinden shipment-- so are they really dead?
2) Tamiya has never ceased production of AFV and soft skins-- the latest releases (within the last 2-3 years proves that). There are many others that produce soft skins-- ICM, IBG come to mind.
3) Most Resin kits are from Eastern Europe, the US, or Taiwan (Eduard, CMK, Hobby Fan etc.) not China.
4) Yes, owners have made money (Tamiya, Hasegawa, Original Revell) but most manufacturers today are owned by conglomerates or more than one individual. And yes, there are many who have lost money.
5) Modeling can be seen as Art, in a narrow view, Especially figure painting-- I've personally taken part in an Art exhibition in Newport RI, where I was surprised to find another artist entering figures. Brown University has one of the largest collections of Military miniatures in the world. I belong to a group that regularly exhibits work in our local museum of flight. You can argue that displays in historical museums count as Art. But it probably won't ever qualify as fine art, since it's not dependent on the imagination of a single artist. So yes it can be viewed as an art under certain conditions.

There are several books on the Hobby industry if you dig for them. Complete histories of Revell, Monogram, Aurora Lindbergh and Airfix are available. There are several trade publications as well. You just need to look for them. Here in the US, there used to be an association of hobby manufacturers (I think there still is, but can't recall the title). But trying to get info on Chinese manufacturers will be difficult. So, regarding your questions it's too broad to look for a single volume encompassing specific answers, pertaining to so large a question, but you can find answers.
VR, Russ


Headhunter506
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Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2019 - 12:49 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Well, Why Hasnít There Ever Been a Book?



Honestly, a book such as this wouldn't have a large enough sales volume to be worth the trouble. Modelers compose a minuscule percentage of the hobby universe in general. An even smaller percentage of those modelers would be willing to shell out the the big bucks that a limited quantity pressing would cost.

Just my low volume two cents.
Vicious
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Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2019 - 01:21 PM UTC

For me this is material for a magazine, not a book

RECON22
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Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2019 - 06:29 PM UTC

Quoted Text

You're kidding right? The answers are as varied as the questions. But I'll take a shot on a few:
1) Sprue Brothers just received a Verlinden shipment-- so are they really dead?
2) Tamiya has never ceased production of AFV and soft skins-- the latest releases (within the last 2-3 years proves that). There are many others that produce soft skins-- ICM, IBG come to mind.
3) Most Resin kits are from Eastern Europe, the US, or Taiwan (Eduard, CMK, Hobby Fan etc.) not China.
4) Yes, owners have made money (Tamiya, Hasegawa, Original Revell) but most manufacturers today are owned by conglomerates or more than one individual. And yes, there are many who have lost money.
5) Modeling can be seen as Art, in a narrow view, Especially figure painting-- I've personally taken part in an Art exhibition in Newport RI, where I was surprised to find another artist entering figures. Brown University has one of the largest collections of Military miniatures in the world. I belong to a group that regularly exhibits work in our local museum of flight. You can argue that displays in historical museums count as Art. But it probably won't ever qualify as fine art, since it's not dependent on the imagination of a single artist. So yes it can be viewed as an art under certain conditions.

There are several books on the Hobby industry if you dig for them. Complete histories of Revell, Monogram, Aurora Lindbergh and Airfix are available. There are several trade publications as well. You just need to look for them. Here in the US, there used to be an association of hobby manufacturers (I think there still is, but can't recall the title). But trying to get info on Chinese manufacturers will be difficult. So, regarding your questions it's too broad to look for a single volume encompassing specific answers, pertaining to so large a question, but you can find answers.
VR, Russ




Where did you see Verlinden on Sprue Brothers Russ..? Its not in their manufacturer listing and last I saw on Facebook of Mr Verlinden was him smashing his master molds and "never to be seen again"....
ctkwok
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Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2019 - 06:37 PM UTC
Sprue brothers said on their FB page someone purchased the Verlinden molds.

iguanac
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Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2019 - 06:45 PM UTC

Quoted Text


* Why is model building not seen as a museum art (and sellable) and yet some splotches on canvas can sell for $50 million? Is it because models are too fragile and break?



Valencia, Spain, has the museum of Toy soldiers. Some figures there i saw for the first time.
https://www.museoliber.org/inicio/inicio/
varanusk
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Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2019 - 08:04 PM UTC
Probably because many of these are philosophical questions without a definitive answer

As for interviews, at least with modellers, Ak has a few:

https://ak-interactive.com/downloads/
Tank1812
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Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2019 - 08:56 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

You're kidding right? The answers are as varied as the questions. But I'll take a shot on a few:
1) Sprue Brothers just received a Verlinden shipment-- so are they really dead?
2) Tamiya has never ceased production of AFV and soft skins-- the latest releases (within the last 2-3 years proves that). There are many others that produce soft skins-- ICM, IBG come to mind.
3) Most Resin kits are from Eastern Europe, the US, or Taiwan (Eduard, CMK, Hobby Fan etc.) not China.
4) Yes, owners have made money (Tamiya, Hasegawa, Original Revell) but most manufacturers today are owned by conglomerates or more than one individual. And yes, there are many who have lost money.
5) Modeling can be seen as Art, in a narrow view, Especially figure painting-- I've personally taken part in an Art exhibition in Newport RI, where I was surprised to find another artist entering figures. Brown University has one of the largest collections of Military miniatures in the world. I belong to a group that regularly exhibits work in our local museum of flight. You can argue that displays in historical museums count as Art. But it probably won't ever qualify as fine art, since it's not dependent on the imagination of a single artist. So yes it can be viewed as an art under certain conditions.

There are several books on the Hobby industry if you dig for them. Complete histories of Revell, Monogram, Aurora Lindbergh and Airfix are available. There are several trade publications as well. You just need to look for them. Here in the US, there used to be an association of hobby manufacturers (I think there still is, but can't recall the title). But trying to get info on Chinese manufacturers will be difficult. So, regarding your questions it's too broad to look for a single volume encompassing specific answers, pertaining to so large a question, but you can find answers.
VR, Russ




Where did you see Verlinden on Sprue Brothers Russ..? Its not in their manufacturer listing and last I saw on Facebook of Mr Verlinden was him smashing his master molds and "never to be seen again"....



Itís in the list.
http://store.spruebrothers.com/category_s/2295.htm
SB has updates on Aug 22/23/24 of Verlinden, mostly figures.
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2019 - 09:48 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Well, Why Hasnít There Ever Been a Book?



Honestly, a book such as this wouldn't have a large enough sales volume to be worth the trouble. Modelers compose a minuscule percentage of the hobby universe in general. An even smaller percentage of those modelers would be willing to shell out the the big bucks that a limited quantity pressing would cost.

Just my low volume two cents.



Amen to that. Adding my two cents ....
matt
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Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2019 - 10:21 PM UTC
[/quote]
Where did you see Verlinden on Sprue Brothers Russ..? Its not in their manufacturer listing and last I saw on Facebook of Mr Verlinden was him smashing his master molds and "never to be seen again".... [/quote]

This has been beat to death.... it was the Production Molds, not the Master Molds.

I believe it was Lots-Of-Models who bought all or at least most of the Masters/Master Molds.
Kelley
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Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2019 - 10:47 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Well, Why Hasnít There Ever Been a Book?



Honestly, a book such as this wouldn't have a large enough sales volume to be worth the trouble. Modelers compose a minuscule percentage of the hobby universe in general. An even smaller percentage of those modelers would be willing to shell out the the big bucks that a limited quantity pressing would cost.


Just my low volume two cents.



Amen to that. Adding my two cents ....



Ditto the above, and the "Are you kidding" remark.


Headhunter506
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Posted: Wednesday, September 04, 2019 - 11:25 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Sprue brothers said on their FB page someone purchased the Verlinden molds.




Molds are good for only so many pulls before degrading to the point of needing to be replaced. Unless the buyer has the master patterns to cast new molds, it's a waste of money.
white4doc
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Posted: Thursday, September 05, 2019 - 01:49 AM UTC
[/quote]
Where did you see Verlinden on Sprue Brothers Russ..? Its not in their manufacturer listing and last I saw on Facebook of Mr Verlinden was him smashing his master molds and "never to be seen again".... [/quote]

Where did you see that bit of misinformation? The molds were tossed, the masters were saved and are in good hands and Sprue Brothers did indeed receive new stock very recently. Plenty of people know who has the masters from Verlinden and Warriors, and as far as I know he is still a member here.
ctkwok
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Posted: Thursday, September 05, 2019 - 02:20 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Sprue brothers said on their FB page someone purchased the Verlinden molds.




Molds are good for only so many pulls before degrading to the point of needing to be replaced. Unless the buyer has the master patterns to cast new molds, it's a waste of money.



Looks like I misunderstood what was said. Should've just posted the thread.
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156944233238952&id=80890673951&anchor_composer=false
Kevlar06
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Posted: Thursday, September 05, 2019 - 03:11 AM UTC
For Verlinden at Sprue Brothers, go to the manufacturers listing (it's sort of in alphabetical order--center column). Here's the first page of the listing:

http://store.spruebrothers.com/category_s/2295.htm

A couple of days ago they posted a brand new shipment under their "new arrivals" by-line. Some of the confusion about Verlinden was the disposal of the molds-- you know--those breakdown boxes made from cardboard and mold material that were thrown away in a truckload and the "outrage" of that was posted on the internet. A mold is disposable, being only a rubber or vinyl cast from a master. In Resin manufacturing, molds are "thrown away" as they deteriorate over time anyway. It's the masters that are important and those were sold. So, in answer to the Verlinden question, Sprue Brothers lists 11 pages of Verlinden items at 60 items per page--of course some may be out of stock. By the way, there's a "latest arrivals" listing for the "Warriors" line too.

I didn't mean to be flippant in my initial response-- I was just floored by the number of questions Peter came up with. There are answers, but they will be as varied as there are manufacturers, so it will be hard to come up with anything "definitive" for most of those questions. A good place to start might be with the "Hobby Manufcturers Association" but you'd have to join to get the full newsletters-- here's the site:

https://www.hmahobby.org

And one of their opening stories is assessing the effect of the new round of tariffs that went into effect on September 1st. Now that's a question that needs an answer. Personally, The only question I have is why Hasegawa has never tried to compete in the 1/35 AFV market? That's a mystery to me.

VR, Russ
18Bravo
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Posted: Thursday, September 05, 2019 - 04:05 AM UTC
You have asked me at least two of these questions in PM's, among many others as well. The answer remains the same: I don't know or care.


Quoted Text


* Is there a secret underground model industry that we donít know about, such as those professional model makers that build for government, corporations, car industry, film, videogames, etc.? Can we buy those kits also?



No. It's no secret. There are MANY companies that do just that. You can do a search and find them.
Since I live in close proximity to Lockheed Martin Missile,
I did several cutaway models of ATACMS I and ATACMS II in their pods in 1/24 scale. I have posted photos here in the past. A search will turn up the post, if not the photos themselves.

I also did beefed up MLRS desk models to be given away to dignitaries and at trade shows. This was done for a third party based in Fort Worth who paid quite well.

This, in conjunction with making a few contacts in Shizuoka City in 1996, led me to building custom kits for a couple of folks who pay extremely well for one offs, and fortunately for me not novelty paint jobs, which I don't do. (I posted a few photos of my scratchbuilt M1 240mm howitzer for instance)

So yeah, you can make money off of this, as some of those were easily worth more than a house payment, but there are far easier ways to make money. (ahem, custom motorcycle parts, or working the night shift at the local Stop -n- Rob)

As for Verlinden, In the early 90's they were the way to go if you didn't want to scratchbuild a lot of things yourself. Now in modern times, IMHO, there's no place for their stilted figures or poorly scaled conversions.

By the way, the secret kabal did give up making deliveries in black helicopters, as it brought more attention to our activities than we wanted...
Kevlar06
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Posted: Thursday, September 05, 2019 - 04:30 AM UTC

Quoted Text

You have asked me at least two of these questions in PM's, among many others as well. The answer remains the same: I don't know or care.


Quoted Text


* Is there a secret underground model industry that we donít know about, such as those professional model makers that build for government, corporations, car industry, film, videogames, etc.? Can we buy those kits also?



No. It's no secret. There are MANY companies that do just that. You can do a search and find them.
Since I live in close proximity to Lockheed Martin Missile,
I did several cutaway models of ATACMS I and ATACMS II in their pods in 1/24 scale. I have posted photos here in the past. A search will turn up the post, if not the photos themselves.

I also did beefed up MLRS desk models to be given away to dignitaries and at trade shows. This was done for a third party based in Fort Worth who paid quite well.

This, in conjunction with making a few contacts in Shizuoka City in 1996, led me to building custom kits for a couple of folks who pay extremely well for one offs, and fortunately for me not novelty paint jobs, which I don't do. (I posted a few photos of my scratchbuilt M1 240mm howitzer for instance)

So yeah, you can make money off of this, as some of those were easily worth more than a house payment, but there are far easier ways to make money. (ahem, custom motorcycle parts, or working the night shift at the local Stop -n- Rob)...



I would add "professional model builders" (working for industry, not themselves) generally don't build from kits, they build from multi-media materials, in industry-owned model shops-- and yes, occasionally you can buy built-up models from property disposal sales or company stores (Boeing has a store open to the public). Occasionally, kits might be used for a special project. There's a famous story about Jim Schubert, a friend of mine and Boeing employee who built 35 Monogram Wright Flyers for a Boeing sales dinner. When the dinner was cancelled at the last moment, the Wright Flyers were given away or sold at the Boeing store. After retiring in 2006, I took up commission building. For the most part, I could make money, but I wouldn't get rich. It was time that was the issue-- when I was building for someone else, I wasn't building for myself. Hobby manufacturing, sales and distribution is similar, if you're all-in, you don't have time for anything else. And if you aren't all-in, you'll probably not make it.
VR, Russ
seanmcandrews
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Posted: Thursday, September 05, 2019 - 11:37 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Probably because many of these are philosophical questions without a definitive answer

As for interviews, at least with modellers, Ak has a few:

https://ak-interactive.com/downloads/



Carlos,
thanks so much for this interview link !

Sean
bill_c
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Posted: Friday, September 06, 2019 - 02:58 AM UTC
I have had some long talks with Raymond Chung of Luckymodel, and based on what he has told me, the modeling business doesn't follow the logic that we modelers try to impose on it. Without violating any confidences Raymond gave me, let me just say that the Chinese factories that crank this stuff out are not modeling companies. And the companies that put this stuff out under their brand aren't always stand-alone companies like Tamiya who focus entirely on the modeling world.

So don't expect things to work according to how they should in a classic B-school case study. It's a great deal messier, and often more opaque than you think.
Bravo1102
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Posted: Friday, September 06, 2019 - 03:13 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Personally, The only question I have is why Hasegawa has never tried to compete in the 1/35 AFV market? That's a mystery to me.

VR, Russ


It might be similar to the agreement that existed between the people behind HO scale armor producers Roco and Trident. They agreed for their lines to compliment each other, not compete.

The waterline 1/700 series was initially like that where each involved manufacturer chose subjects to compliment the others not directly compete. That's since fallen by the wayside.

And Hasegawa has released 1/35 armor from Finemolds, Gunze Sanyo and Dragon.

Why has Tamiya never done 1/72 armor?

Why does Tamiya do so few licensed kits under their own label? Hasegawa does anime kits, Tamiya almost never has except the kits they supply to Plaatz?

A lot of companies have their big decisions made by one guy and sometimes the things that one guy decides are based on whim and personality and highly individual without logic or sense to an outside observer.

RobinNilsson
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Posted: Friday, September 06, 2019 - 03:21 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I have had some long talks with Raymond Chung of Luckymodel, and based on what he has told me, the modeling business doesn't follow the logic that we modelers try to impose on it. Without violating any confidences Raymond gave me, let me just say that the Chinese factories that crank this stuff out are not modeling companies. And the companies that put this stuff out under their brand aren't always stand-alone companies like Tamiya who focus entirely on the modeling world.

So don't expect things to work according to how they should in a classic B-school case study. It's a great deal messier, and often more opaque than you think.



I'm happy as long as they keep on cranking out models ...
My poor wallet hates it though
lcreid
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Posted: Friday, September 06, 2019 - 05:35 AM UTC
Can you provide any details about Brown U's collection of military miniatures? i.e., on display and open to the public?

Thanks for your help.
bill_c
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Posted: Friday, September 06, 2019 - 06:45 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Why does Tamiya do so few licensed kits under their own label? Hasegawa does anime kits, Tamiya almost never has except the kits they supply to Plaatz?


As someone who works in the IP industry, licensing requires:

1.) The property owner to agree to it being licensed (many large aircraft companies have refused to license their brands to models because of the cost of the contracts, risk of being sued if someone gets hurt, or other fears);
2.) The payment of a royalty for that usage. Profit margins in plastic are already notoriously low, so adding a few points on top of that can swamp a project's profitability.
jasegreene
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Posted: Friday, September 06, 2019 - 07:27 AM UTC
This is the strangest question I have heard since "what would life be like if pigs fly?"On the question of more females in the hobby is something that all local clubs can help bridge together so they can be more females along with the next generation.