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Is it just me or is the old stuff...


adfogel
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making a small but notable comeback amongst us modelers? It seems to me that I have been seeing older kits eithe rbuilt up or brought back to the workbench by more and more modelers over the past 6-8 months. It may just be me but I wonder if anyone else out there is picking up a trend (of sorts) here? I personally love the older stuff and have plenty of it. But the newer stuff although nice seems to be getting more and more expensive leaving some modelers to "catch up" when these kits have been on the market for awhile. Funny thing about that thought is that some of these newer kits seem to rarely if ever pop up in the 2nd hand market (unless you are on Ebay).

 

Any thoughts on this in IPMS land?

 

Later,

 

Lee

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The only problem I have with the older stuff is that I spend a lot of time fixing their mistakes and the capabilities of the moldings.

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The only problem I have with the older stuff is that I spend a lot of time fixing their mistakes and the capabilities of the moldings.

 

 

So, the mere thought of building AMT's old 1/48 Ju88A-4 makes you run away and scream? :smiley17:

 

Sorry, I could not help it. I wrapped up this kit back in December and it certainly was a "unique" experience. But also worthwhile as it made me appreciate the fiddly Dragon offerings even more. And I figure the older stuff that has fit/accuracy issues helps to keep our complete modeling skills fresh. :smiley2:

 

Later,

 

Lee

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It might be two signs of the times......the first that the economy is hurting and modelers are picking up and building the older less expensive kits, and the second that some of us are enjoying some "nostalgic" modeling while building kits we've built in our earlier years. I know I enjoy the older models (up to a point) for both of the above reasons!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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I guess my excuse is that by the time I finish the "new" kit I am working on, it is "old stuff"... :smiley22:

 

Seriously though, there are quite a few GREAT old kits out there. For example I have a Revell 1/72 Ki-21 that is about ready for paint and it looks great. No fit problems, very little filler used, and the surface detail is better than some of the newest kits out there. If I didn't have to mask about 2000 little windows, I would have had it finished about a year ago!

Don't get me wrong, there are more than a few 'dogs' out there, but I enjoy working on an older kit now and then.

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For me it is a few things. I have a lot of the older kit on hand. So to save cost I have been building them. With a little extras (after market stuff) and there you have it. Sometimes I built OOB. There is a nostalgic part in this, I think as I get older (42 soon to be 43) I do feel like I am back in time on my back porch in the summer with tube glue everywhere.

 

I think the real reason thou is time. Some of these newer kits read and build like the Empire State Building. Massive!!! Besides, remember when these older kits were the state of the art kits at the time! I like most bought them up saying I can't wait to build this. Then onto the storage shelf for safe keeping for the rest of time. Modelers, we really are pack rats.

 

Chris Graeter

IPMS # 39558

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For me, its a combination. Of course, the newer kits are more expensive and even though they may be better, with my level of modeling skills and, quite frankly, my level of interest in being "spot on", they wind up being not any better looking than my old kits. Plus, I enjoy the challenge of making the Airfix and Frog kits of old look as good as they can. In addition, the new stuff seems to re-hash the same subjects over and over, especially in Military Vehicles. How many Tigers/Panthers/Pzkfv IV/Anything German can you build? I know Bronco has issued some great kits of other vehicles, but their prices are even higher than the normal high.

 

I built a bunch of Monogram tanks a while back, had a ball and they look pretty neat. Plus, I know they look good because of my efforts, not because of slide molding or supplied PE frets.

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The only problem I have with the older stuff is that I spend a lot of time fixing their mistakes and the capabilities of the moldings.

 

But that's half the fun, Les! :smiley17: Anyone, including me, can build a decent model from a Tamigawa shake 'n bake, but it takes real skill to make a decent model from an old Airfix or Matchbox - and one day, I'll succeed! :lol:

 

Depends what one wants from one's modelling, I suppose. Me, I have fun building the oldies, regardless of the results.

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But that's half the fun, Les! Anyone, including me, can build a decent model from a Tamigawa shake 'n bake, but it takes real skill to make a decent model from an old Airfix or Matchbox - and one day, I'll succeed!

 

Depends what one wants from one's modelling, I suppose. Me, I have fun building the oldies, regardless of the results.

 

 

You're my kinda modeler, Paul! Up with the oldies! Of course when I say that at this point Trimaster qualifies as an oldie! :smiley17: But I do have a spoft spot for the old stuff and a REAL weakness for FROG kits. That's my one 1/72 scale vice.

 

Les, I will agree that some of the old stuff does make you pull your hair about a bit more than necessary. But I figure I can grow hair...but I'll be darned if I can grow $50 bills! :smiley4:

 

Later,

 

Lee

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From the shop owners perspective, let me clue you all in to what my custoemrs are saying, that the industry is ignoring. Plus I have three types of customers.

 

I. The Fun Builder: This guy is the guy who brings in one or two new models every weekend. We have various club meetings 3 weeks out of 4 in any month. The Builder will get a model built and have fun doing it. He is the guy who doesn't want to spend three months super detailing a kit, he want to just build for the joy of building. I have several of these, and they usually limit their spending to under $200 a month. For their $200, though, they can buy 8-10 kits maybe more if I have a collection on consignment or a scratch and dent table. These guys LOVE the older kits and the less expensive newer kits. They ABOSULTELY HATE the new Uberkits put out by the Chinese unless it is an abosulte must-have on their list. THese guys aren't cheap, but they budget and spend wisely for their goals. These are the guys with many more built kits than boxes in thier houses.

 

II. The Serious Builder: This guy is the guy who has to make every last detail perfect and isnt shy about spending a lot to do it. It'll take this guy 2-3 months to finish a kit, but he spends about the same per month as the Fun Builder. These guys tend to love the new uberkits from China when they come out, but then I hear all the bitching and moaning about how everything doesn't fit great. This guy is also the guy on hyperscale/arc/armorama who pays attention to what everybody else says and demands more detail ine very kit thus driving the complexity & detail (and therefore the PRICE) ever higher.

 

III. The Collector: This is the guy every hobby shop owner loves. He will buy one or two of every new kit in his particular area of interest. This guy builds one or two kits a year, but might have two dozen in various stages of completion at any time. Because the Collector is buying and not building, he can spend much more than many of the others. He doesn't complain about kit shortcomings and has a grand plan to build them all some day after he retires.

 

A lot of companies have listened to the guys posting on other sites asking and demanding more detail, better accuracy, etc. This 'better' kit will cost much more to produce and results in a company putting out fewer kits per year because they only have so much capital to invest in tooling. I hear a lot of modelers blame IPMS for this trend, but the fact I have observed is that most of the more vocal ones posting these demands are very anti-IPMS in their other posts! We are getting blamed by the guys who don't like us!

 

So what is the bottom line? There are some companies are producing kits that fewer and fewer can afford to buy. Most of my customers will not even consider a kit over $100, and ten years ago the price limit used to be $50. Times are tough and people have less money to spend, so they are buying the stuff on the sale table and the lower priced kits.

 

What are my best selling lines in aircraft? The old Monogram kits, the old Tamiya kits and the Eduard weekend editions. Why? These are all kit generally under $40 and some are under $20. Even some of The Builders are now buying and building these kits instead of the new uberkits as they can no longer afford those.

 

Who is my biggest competitor? Ironically, it is any IPMS event within 6 hours! Guys will save their money to go and buy other people's old unwanted kits, or even go to sell theirs.

 

Oh,m and there is one other trend that is going on. The manufacturers seem to be aligning their releases to all hit at once. This month has seen very little new so sales have been down. This past week has seen several major new releases and now the shops are in a pinch to afford to buy the stock they need to survive. If these manufacturers would learn to spread their releases out (even in their own line) more evenly, everybody would sell more stuff because the modelers could afford to buy it in smaller chunks.

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Interesting points, James. One company that is producing more new kits is Airfix, who seem to have taken the road less travelled and are making new moulds with good outlines and sparse detail for less money - just the sort of kit favoured by the budget-challenged Type I modeller you mention. Even the new 1/24 Mosquito is quite reasonably priced for what you get; I could see it easily topping $300 if it came from the Far East.

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Adfogel said:

 

So, the mere thought of building AMT's old 1/48 Ju88A-4 makes you run away and scream? :smiley17:

 

The thought of building any airplane makes me run away and scream. I build ships. If you want to give an older kit a try, build the Lindberg Blue Devil Destroyer. Many have tried to make it right and many have failed. :smiley14:

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Right now, I'd say the companies doing it right are Revell/Germany and Airfix (minus the AWFUL decals) Their 72nd kits are very nice, detailed but not nuts (but they are a great starting point if you want to go nuts) and a real value at the $8 to $15 range for a 72nd kit.

 

I like what Tamiya, Trumpeter and some of the Eastern European companies are doing, but dollar for value I don't think you can beat Revell/Germany and Airfix.

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Building an older ship model requires lots of scratchbuilding and time. I've built the Matchbox/Revell Snowberry/Blue Bell/ etc. The only parts I didn't scratch was the stanchions that had have cables run through them and the 20mm guns that I took from a couple of Airfix Rescue Boats. It took a long time. I started the Lindberg Minesweeper only to find the information on the bridge layout was very sparce until recently. The bottom line is that when you compare a ship model in 1/72nd scale to an airplane, it's apples to oranges. I do enjoy the scratchbuilding part, except that it takes a long time and burn out is a problem. Aftermarket parts are sometimes available, but I'm too cheap to buy them when I can make them myself.

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Okay Les, I'll take your word for it on the Lindberg DD. I stay away from ships because I've seen what folks can do with them and I simply know I cannot do them the justice they deserve. Plus I'm just not interested in PE railings and such. I appreciate it all but any ship i would build (which would be 1/350th battleships) would be OOB.

 

James C those are some very good points you brought up. I think that you nailed it very well in describing your client base. That was very similar with the RR crowd when I ran a hobby shop in Kentucky back in the mid to late 1990s. Even the R/C guys had some folks who were collectors and THAT was an escoteric group there...I learned more than I ever needed to know about OS and Thunder motors! :smiley4:

 

Later,

 

Lee

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Well, speaking as one of the Type I "fun" modelers from James Corley's list; I build the old models for nostalgia's sake as well as for fun. I also build them because I remember them in my old childhood friend's collection and always wanted one in mine. Some I rebuild to compare to the originals still on the shelf or ceiling to see how far I've come. Another reason I build them because sometimes I just haven't the income to buy new kits; especially the high priced ones coming out of the Far East. So, while I'm not able to buy too many, I'm able to build a bunch. My stash has slowly been shrinking faster than it's been growing.

 

Still, to me, building the oldies is a great trip down memory lane. Gotta love the oldies!

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Still another reason to build old kits is the variety of subjects; the high-end kits are mostly wildly popular subjects (ala Tamiya's 1/32 Spitfire). Being cheap and plentiful means no-worries when you decide to pull out the razor saw and attempt some major plastic surgery.

 

Finally, some of the older kits are surprisingly accurate and well engineered (probably because the hobby was still popular enough back-when to justify putting lots of work going into the design and tooling). Some of the Revell real-space kits that were done in the 60s are really nice, as are a lot of the Monogram and AMT car kits from the mid-80s through early-90s. Even if the fit isn't perfect, I like having separate parts to work with and knowing that there actually is a scale carburetor on the motor, even though it can't be seen under the air-cleaner. Sometimes it seems that Tamiya's goal is to mold an entire car/plane/etc in 3 or 4 (extremely intricate and detailed) parts that seamless snap together, reducing the entire hobby to an exercise in masking and painting.

 

Don

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Well, speaking as one of the Type I "fun" modelers from James Corley's list;

 

Duke, even though you're not one of my customers, I'd definitely list you in group I... you are one of the lucky guys who gets the most fun out of the hobby.

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Interesting thought about the older ship models. By saying you need to do all sorts of scratch building and such, you sort of put yourself in that 2nd category of James', the serious builder. You're probably a very good ship modeler who turns out accurate and well done models, but it is possible to build the old Revell/Renwall/etc. ships, produce a nice model and have fun doing it.

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Duke, even though you're not one of my customers, I'd definitely list you in group I... you are one of the lucky guys who gets the most fun out of the hobby.

 

Thanks James! I do my best!

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Interesting thought about the older ship models. By saying you need to do all sorts of scratch building and such, you sort of put yourself in that 2nd category of James', the serious builder. You're probably a very good ship modeler who turns out accurate and well done models, but it is possible to build the old Revell/Renwall/etc. ships, produce a nice model and have fun doing it.

 

I'd generally agree with that. I just built three of the old revell Arizona kits to do a color experiment. I spent about 2 hours on each over two months, including painting and I built them in series (shoulda done a parallel build).

 

They don't look great, but they are good enough to get my point across eventually.

 

Most importantly, I enjoyed building them!

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I'd deny being a collector, but the 1000 kits in my hobby room are shouting their disagreement. I've told them to shut up, but they just won't listen anymore. They know they outnumber me. :o

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I'd deny being a collector, but the 1000 kits in my hobby room are shouting their disagreement. I've told them to shut up, but they just won't listen anymore. They know they outnumber me. :o

 

 

BBBWWWAAAHHHAAAAHHHHAAAAA!!!!! :smiley4:

 

Still Laughing,

 

Lee

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