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Posts posted by TomHall

  1. It's not exactly a red primer.  It's a brown paint.  Please see https://page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/o237043354.  If you scroll one image to the right, you will see a very tired example.  This derelict is badly weathered, so you will want to darken the brown a bit and not take the camouflage color literally.  Yellow tips.  The model manufacturer may have relied on the RAF Cosford museum example, which I believe was restored with black prop blades.

  2. Okay, gentlemen, thank you very much for your thoughts. I have read them with interest. (I clicked "like" on several replies to thank you, even though I may have some doubts about one or two points you collectively made.)


    Certainly, the timing of my thread here is bad; many of you are getting ready for Nationals in Las Vegas. I am overdue in saying "thank you" to the people who run this playground for us. I understand the problems of staffing hobby clubs and civic organizations with unpaid volunteers and the tendency for them to be spread very thinly.


    I am intrigued by the comment that it used to take hours to read all of the new posts. That caused me to spend too much of my life on forums. A high volume of posting would be a pain for moderators and other forum management, but advertisers would love high traffic (with or without posting). I am happy that the volume of discussion is not overwhelming today; I can't afford to spend much time on discussion forums. I can look and chat, or I can build, subject to many other demands on my time.


    There has not been a drop-off in the discussion at an antique car club forum that I once helped to moderate. The demographics of that club are similar, but it probably has higher per-capita income. I think it has a smaller membership at 7,000, a very stable figure.


    RGronovius and Mr. Deliduka, what you describe tells me that there is a market for group builds. Six or seven group builds for you currently, Mr. Deliduka. That means you're not burned out on group builds, and that you have some flexibility about subject matter. It seems that IPMS-USA has not been able to tap into the group build market well. That deserves more study.


    I don't know at what point the market for group builds becomes saturated. Even when a market is saturated, customers still go the market.


    I am not convinced that there is unbreakable brand loyalty to one or two sites. As to Fine Scale Modeler, it should not be difficult to entice people here from the FSM group builds. Your software is superior. I can't spend the time at FSM to wade through fifteen pages of silly "stickers" that show how many previous group builds Acrylic Adam was in, which appear every time Acrylic Adam posts something. Give me a break! I also won't spend the time to search for the next installment of someone's build. I wanna see an uninterrupted progression for each model, but FSM doesn't offer that. Britmodeller does and is very popular. IPMS-USA can.


    Mr. Morrissette has some telling words: "...if the topic was good and matched, I would be in, also." This suggests that we're having problems floating the right kind of proposal. It is possible to screw things up with the proposal for the group build, by making it too broad or too narrow. That's where written guidelines and active management come in, to help the person who is trying to float a proposal.


    Then, too, if we don't get people to these forums, they can't notice group builds. If we've got 9,000 members (or whatever the figure is) and only 150 of them come to any of the IPMS-USA forums, that would be a problem. Has anyone checked into the percentage of members who use the IPMS-USA forums?. Maybe the IPMS-USA Journal needs to advertise the existence of the discussion forums vigorously. (And, forum management should add a tab that says "forums" at the top of the home page.)


    My questions are probably not answerable without more study and some experimentation in the management of these forums. Even if IPMS-USA did get a late start in setting up discussion forums, that's not the best reason to dump them. There would be a good reason to dump them if there is little demand for them, but first we'd want to know if people are even aware of these forums. I'm confident that IPMS-USA could "come from behind" and put on some fun and successful group builds if it wants to. The question is whether it wants to. On that point I will just say I think in this day and age a nationwide plastic model club would probably have to have several group builds going at once, all year round, to be considered truly "full service" or "world class".

  3. Mr. Montgomery and Mr. Filippone, it's not particularly that I seek treasure or group builds tailored to my needs. I have no particular needs along that line. My time is pretty well occupied, and as Mr. Morrissette points out, there are other places I can play. (Be careful about sending people to other web sites that you compete with. You may lose members that way.) I was hoping initially that someone would say, "Tom, we actually have three group builds going right now and they can be found here:________" Not the case, apparently.


    If the answer to my question above is, "Tom, we're too tired to do many more group builds; you will have to do them," I'll accept that and wonder if you could have called for help. If the answer is, "Tom, you barely ever visit, so you have no say in the matter," then I'll accept that answer and wonder if that is the way to deal with polite comment by a dues-paying member.


    I would say that Britmodeller is currently the gold standard in discussion forums for plastic models in the English language. I say that as an American. There are dozens of Americans playing happily on Britmodeller. I don't see too many of those people here, though. (I have not spent hours searching for them here, but I don't see the prolific ones.) Incidentally, Britmodeller is not limited to British and Commonwealth subjects.


    You might want to ask yourselves whether you need to lure some of those people over here, along with the good things that they can bring, such as expertise, good fellowship, words of encouragement, dues money, money to spend on your advertisers' products, volunteer services such as moderating, and so on. This is about marketing the IPMS-USA brand.


    Every time a discussion forum starts a new group build, it creates for a short time a little bit of new enthusiasm. People pop in to see how so-and-so's model is coming along, techniques he/she is using, and so on. Group builds add a little pizzazz to a model club site. If IPMS-USA is not launching new group builds, then it's missing out on that. And so are we, the rank-and-file members who are your customers. (Remember that I don't have to write a check for dues to you every year. I may decide that I don't like your brand well enough to spend the money. Remember also, please, that some people look at group builds even though they don't build models any more or don't build within the chosen theme.)


    If you want to update the group build forum, then you might want to borrow some pages from Britmodeller, including posting a clear statement of how to propose a group build -- the checklist of items that need to be covered in the proposal, including scale(s), material(s), subject matter, deadline, etc. Help people like Mr. Wise say clearly his proposed class by adding to the little bit of rules that have already been posted. Tell us whether you require a particular number of people to second the proposal. (Britmodeller requires over 30, knowing that some will only be spectators.) Tell us who votes on the proposal. (Can Guest Petrol Gator really have meant that the board of directors approves a group build?) Make it easy for the newcomer to succeed without having to ask a lot of questions. Make it specific.


    Once I see that management here has added some of the needed framework in a pinned thread about rules and procedures, I will try to propose a new group build and start a new thread for it in the next few days.

    • Like 1
  4. Mr. Hodges, please call me "Tom".


    Mr. Filippone, I don't think I'm scolding the Society to bring up this topic (but I would be inclined to scold people who stereotype modelers' motivations).


    Please reread the heading of my question: "Is there no interest...? Is this forum moribund?" Those may be difficult questions, but I don't think they're judgmental. I will let you know when I'm scolding, believe me. A short answer to my question could be, "Yes, Tom, at the moment this forum is obsolete/near death." Or, it could be, "No, there is still an interest in group builds, as seen by the four proposals we received in the last year, but we didn't approve any of them because ____________," or something like that.


    The rules for group builds seem simple enough. Just put your proposal out there. Not sure what is done or required to get it approved, or by whom, exactly. I do see a September 2014 post by Guest Petrol Gator in a thread titled Group Build Topics that says, "...if the board likes it, we'll use it." That begs questions about who the board is and whether it will like it. Maybe the Society would want to tell us more about that process. If it's democratic, the decision process is out in the open, transparent, and even capable of getting some constructive criticism. For rules, there is this somewhat cryptic comment: "So, this is usually how it's done." That implies there may be other ways it is done, but I can't see what they are. Can you?

    • Like 1
  5. Keeper, the "purple" Rufe is thought to have originated from a misunderstanding of aging effects on the finish of a derelict plane. When the upper coat wore off, a red primer was revealed. Someone took it to be the upper coat, and also mistook it for a maroon or mauve color. It was actually red. At some point, aviation artists showed the interpretation as the finish coat, e.g., Sidney Chivers for Scale Modeler around Volume 4, Number 11 or 12 (which makes it late 1969 or 1970). I still have the remains of my LS model in several shades of maroon!

  6. Thanks to both of you for your comments.


    I agree with what Gil said under "first". These forums are not all that visible from the home page. I think that needs to be worked on.


    Yes, some people are not "team players", but if it were the case that modelers were simply too independent to participate in group builds, then group builds would generally be unsupportable on any model web site, which is not the case. There is competition on Britmodeller to get one's proposed group build put on the calendar. Britmodeller gets a great deal of traffic. Much of it is by Americans. FSM has group builds, too, but their software does not lend itself to allowing each model its own thread.


    I also am not so sure about the notion that the more models built in a year, the more likely one would participate in a group build. Group builds can inspire people to build something. Although I am a very low-volume builder, I certainly don't fit the supposition that I wouldn't even look at group builds. Actually, group builds help me be more productive because of the small amount of peer pressure and moderate amount of encouragement to push on with the project. I'll bet I'm not alone in that.


    I don't build much at all, or maybe I should say I am so occupied with other things that I often can't finish a group build in the too-short time allotted. The software covering the group build has to be good and not waste my time. That excellent software exists here. I think it needs some better advertising and a shot in the arm.


    If it is the case that IPMS-USA has basically given up on group builds due to plenty of opportunities elsewhere ("other sites seem to have it covered"), then why maintain the category "group builds" on the discussion forums? (By that reasoning, GM should just stop making cars, because there are plenty of other car makers.)

    • Like 2
  7. I don't visit IPMS-USA forums here very often. Maybe once or twice a year.


    I'm pleasantly surprised to find today that you have licensed the excellent software for discussion forums that is also used at Britmodeller. It easily allows posting of photos. It also provides the opportunity to "like" a message at the lower right of the message. It has a lot of fun features. I think it's the Cadillac of forum software!


    It is practically ideal for hosting group builds -- IMHO, way better than Fine Scale Modeler group builds, where a lot of space is spent showing us what previous group builds a person participated in.


    Why don't I see at least three group builds currently in progress here? What am I overlooking? All I can see are cobwebs. (I don't see any announcement saying that the group build forum has been shut down, and if it has, then the Administrator may want to pin this entire forum, starting with a heading that it has been condemned due to lack of use...)


    Is it that we are lacking helpers? Is it that American modellers (or modelers, if you prefer) flock to Britmodeller to do their group builds, to the detriment of this site? Is it that members are not proposing and moderating group builds? Is it that members are not building models, or are too specialized to make a quorum for having a group build? Please educate me.







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