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Gromit801

What Do a You Miss?

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Due to living in rentals where I either had no room for a hobby bench, or the lease had a "no flammable liquid storage" clause, I had a forced hiatus from modeling for about 20 years. I have a house, a whole room for my modeling bench and supplies, and damn! Things have changed. So many brands that were my mainstay, have vanished.

 

Here's what I really miss:

 

Pactra

Floquil

Gunze-Sangyo Aquious

Micro Scale/Superscale

Monogram (as an independent entity)

And if I wanted to go back further, I wish Profile Publications came back, along with Quarterly and Update.

 

What do you miss?

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Ditto on the Floquil. Great paint. I still have a few bottles. Great shelf life.

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I'd have to ditto most of your list Jim. That said, we're living in a true golden age of modeling where there's more products available, and many of them are better.

 

The biggest problem with non-acrylic paints is that they took most (or all) of the lead out of 'em, so they're not nearly as good as when we were kids!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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I too miss the Pactra enamel paint. Great stuff. I use mainly Model Master enamels but I some of the acrylics are good too. I watched a demo of the Vallejo line at the nationals and was impressed.

Miss the Floquil paint as well. I did some model railroading when I was a kid and learned how to use an airbrush using Floquil.

I miss my local hobby store that just closed at the end of July. :smiley19: It was a great place where you could go and hang out and talk shop with other modelers. I did buy out the rest of their Alclad II for a great price.

I also miss discussions like these instead of bickering about where the nationals will be held :smiley5:

 

-Ken

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I miss being able to buy a model kit with what was once "pocket money" at any number of retail stores. I grew up being able to buy 1/76 scale Matchbox kits for a couple of dollars at the local discount store. Even while in college in the 80s, $5 could buy a decent armor kit, except for Tamiya.

 

When Star Wars Return of the Jedi came out, I was able to buy most of those kits for little money at the same discount store.

 

Today, you have to find a hobby shop to buy kits. Even kits that are ancient are over $20.

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Not a thing! I miss my own ability to just built OOTB. I am currently working on a Dragon Operation Cobra and because of my knowledge and skills, I have so much that has to be added or changed. I could say the cost of kits, but that is nothing more than the inflation/COL so that will never change.

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Sounds like a broken record in some respects, but:

 

Floquil

Pactra

MicroScale/Superscale

Profiles

Monthly magazines besides Finescale printed in the U.S.

Aurora kits (some of'em)

Comet kits (some of the plastic ones)

Monogram kits

Testors kits (some of'em)

Williams Bros. kits (the original company)

Hawk kits (some of'em)

Original singlespeed Dremels with external speed control box. You could pull those down to 100 rpm.

35mm film cameras

Ilford HP5 b&w film

 

I've been in this game so long that I shudder to think how long this list could wind up being. And one more thing: In spite of this being a relative golden age of model kits where detail and huge parts number are concerned, I miss the good ol' days of kits with 80 or 90 parts that could be built into National prize winners. How many of us really want 1/48 or 1/32 single seat fighters with 400 - 500 parts? Worse, half the parts replicate detail fitting inside the fuselage where all that detail will never be seen again!

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Good list, and good points Richard. Agree with Williams Brothers, and add

 

Bandai

Otaki

And hundreds of local hobby shops. This isn't a golden age, that was from the 60's through the 80's.

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Jim, you are so right on all counts. As for the hundreds of hobby shops, I live in Fort Worth (Tarrant County) Texas. We used to have all kinds of full service hobby shops. Today? There's exactly one from the old days and he gets very little business. Can't complete pricewise with the online shops. How does he get by? Framing, fishing worms, tomato plants under grow lights, throws the local newspaper (or did). Oh, yeah, one other thing. He owns the building. If he didn't, he wouldn't exist.

 

What else do we have? A couple of full service model railroad shops, three...or maybe four...Hobby Towns. One is fairly close to being a full service shop, but the others are heavily into toys. There's also a hobby shop that focuses on radio control, though they have now added a decent selection of plastic kits. And, of course, there's Hobby Lobby, but you know what you have there.

 

Do any of them have the old environment where several modelers would stand around swapping stories and techniques? Maybe the railroad shops, but if more than about three people try to congregate at the same time, you're stepping on each other's toes. The shops are too small. As for the rest? It's a new age. Enter the shop, find what you need, pay for it and leave.

 

Those who have no knowledge of the 60s..even 50s...through the 80s really are living in what they consider the golden age of modelbuilding. Those of us who experienced that time period know better.

 

We've lost more than we've gained, don't you think?

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We've lost more than we've gained, don't you think?

 

Wandering from the topic a bit, but asked. While we have lost the social end of the hobby at the ol' hobby shop, I truly believe we have gained far more than we lost. LHSs have gone the way of the dinosaur, but like the evolution of the dinosaur into birds, hobby shops have evolved into internet stores that carry literally ANYTHING you need for the hobby.

 

Just my opinion.

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Internet stores do me no good if I want to examine the produc first, or if there's paint or other supplies I need now.

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I miss things about the old hobby stores. I miss showing up on Saturday morning with a cup of coffee and swapping lies with the guys. It was a great hang out. I am sorry that that has been replaces with places like this. Yes, I can hang out with other modelers, but I am old school and still like the face to face. I like watching someone's face light up when I tell a joke and hearing the laughter not just a cutesy emoticon.

 

I miss being able to actually feel the product in my hand. My old hobby shop owner would let us open a new kit and examine it from top to bottom, knowing that we would probably buy a few. In fact he actually would join in the fun. He loved building models. The internet price and selection is far better than he could ever match, but I miss the physical contact with my hobby.

 

Yea, modern convenience is nice, but model building is such a solitary hobby as it is, I miss the contact.

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No, I think we've gained a lot more than we've lost. While small pockets of modeling havens have all but vanished, the modeling community has increased to include all modelers from all over the globe.

 

I've helped Polish, Australian and UK modelers and have received help from many more countries as well. Products that were unknown to me or unavailable even if I knew about them are readily available today.

 

Items that would be hard to obtain like excess spare parts are almost always available from another modeler somewhere online.

 

Reference images that used to be a few grainy photos from a book or magazine are now multi view walk arounds in high resolution taken by modelers for modelers.

 

Have a question about a particular kit? Ask at one of the model forums and someone somewhere has the kit and can answer the question.

 

Yes, we've lost the small community groups, but we've gained a global community.

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No, I think we've gained a lot more than we've lost. While small pockets of modeling havens have all but vanished, the modeling community has increased to include all modelers from all over the globe.

 

I've helped Polish, Australian and UK modelers and have received help from many more countries as well. Products that were unknown to me or unavailable even if I knew about them are readily available today.

 

Items that would be hard to obtain like excess spare parts are almost always available from another modeler somewhere online.

 

Reference images that used to be a few grainy photos from a book or magazine are now multi view walk arounds in high resolution taken by modelers for modelers.

 

Have a question about a particular kit? Ask at one of the model forums and someone somewhere has the kit and can answer the question.

 

Yes, we've lost the small community groups, but we've gained a global community.

 

I agree with Robin and a few others.

As a child of the 60's I too miss the LHSs, but access to kits, supplies and information are better than before. Since I build Real Space models I used to have a choice of 3 or 4 models to choose from. Now with these garage kit businesses popping up, I have dozens of choices. The resin garage kits are also important in that I have a chance to get a kit of something obscure that would never pass the accountants attention in some of these BIG model Co.'s. I can order a kit (that never would have been on the shelf of a little hobby shop) from the Czech Republic,or Japan have have it at my door in a week or so.

 

Buying from Amazon I can order my Vallejo paints or some 1/4 round styrene rods on a Monday afternoon and the box is on my doorstep Wednesday morning.

 

If I need information I don't have to wade thru magazines to see if there's an article about it in a back issue of FSM, or other the like. I can simply go to one of the many online forums and get the info I need. I

f I want to see how a technique is done, You Tube is my friend. Put what you're looking for in the search box and you'll find at least 10 modeler's videos all willing to show you how it's done. Oops it's a video from Germany?! No problem, hit the cc: button and the audio is automatically translated.

 

So while the brick and mortar stores are going away, I think the hobby is as strong as ever. What we *need* to figure out is how to get the kids to put down the electronics and pick up a model! :unsure:

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Kevin, et al, y'all make excellent point in regards to the first Golden Age of modelbuilding (the late 50s to 80s) versus the second Golden Age (late 80s to present time) of modelbuilding. Those of us who experienced both have a completely different perspective than those who are only familiar with the second one. Each have their strong points and weaknesses.

 

Besides the modeling tools and kits that we all miss from the first Golden Age, there are other things gone by the wayside no one thought would ever vanish. Typewriters, for example. Until thirty years or so ago, I couldn't conceive of typewriters never existing. Today? All my writing is done on a computer, emails have put a major dent in the postal service, ebooks and photographic CD-ROMs have replaced many reference publications and specialist publications for the modelbuilder and we frequently spend more time on the computer than we do actually building a model. Returning to the old, familiar (at least to some of us) typewriter, most twenty-somethings wouldn't recognize one if they saw it in a museum...which is about the only place most people will see one these days.

 

Are all these changes wrong? Not at all. Time marches on and things progress. But I'd suggest that some of the things we wax nostalgic about...particularly simple modelbuilding techniques that have been 'improved' and overcomplicated by the application of technology...need to be not only remembered but retained. Sometime the old methods work better than the new ones and sometime a 35 year old kit produces a better model than one released this year at five times the price.

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Then why don't we all stop building physical, model kits, and just model them in 3D on our computers.

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Jim, that wasn't my point. However, there are some modelers who have done exactly that.

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Internet stores do me no good if I want to examine the produc first, or if there's paint or other supplies I need now.

 

Part of the "what we have lost" list.

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  • Original AMT automotive kits - the Round 2 repops are garbage.

Pactra paints with the teardrop bottles.

$2.00 Monogram kits.

Burland's Hobby Shop in Pittsburgh, with the built models in the front windows.

Amer's Hobby Shop in Boardman Ohio.

Painting enamels with a brush and getting a smooth finish. I could do it when I was 12, I can't do it now.

Waking up to kits under the tree on Christmas morning.

Passing around the old Squadron catalogs in 6th grade (the ones with drawings of each kit, all black & white) like Playboys.

Scale Modeler magazine.

Building models with my sons when they were little kids.

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Original singlespeed Dremels with external speed control box. You could pull those down to 100 rpm.

Still have and am using mine. I set top speed on the box, then vary speed with a foot controller.

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Sorry, browsing through all this new & wonderful stuff on a computer screen simply doesn't replace standing in the store looking at the boxes, poking around in them, etc. That's what lead to trying something new. It's much the same with magazine stores, book stores versus a computer screen. My library had information.

 

I'd go back, shed 40-50 years of so-called progress, in a heartbeat. Shop simple, build simple, enjoy more.

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Feels like the art of scratch building has suffered. Remember before detail parts?

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back then, you were lucky if any of the real cool kits were left. The local store only carried one of each of the new Star Trek kits; one Enterprise, one Klingon ship, one Spock, etc. I didn't have the money at the time and ended up with the space station. I loved the little Enterprise kit that came with it.

 

Any way, today, all the hot kits are aplenty.

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