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Where will this hobby be in 10 years?? Written 3 years ago!!

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  • Member since
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  • From: Portland Oregon: Tree Country. Most beautiful area on the West coast.
Where will this hobby be in 10 years?? Written 3 years ago!!
Posted by Treehugger Dave on Monday, May 1, 2017 10:50 PM

Myself, I don't have any predictions. I've watched it change over the many years. Next year the hobby will be 60 years old. 1958 was when AMT started the craze with it's first lineup of 1/25 kits, and this is my 10th year here at Scale Auto

To me, it seems like the hobby has peaked for now, but it has before. Many of us older builders may be gone in 10 years, so I wonder what the new crop of builders will find most desireable and enjoyable to build.

I would love to hear from any of you who build and find out your opinions of the future of this wonderful hobby we enjoy.

 

 

 

                                     

 

 

  • Member since
    May 2015
Posted by Goofy62 on Monday, May 1, 2017 11:40 PM

I still believe that the hobby will continue to wane in the number of people participating but will grow in the amount of materials that will be available to those remaining.

Just as it has in the past thirty years, the availability of after market products has greatly increased from what there was back in modelings hey day.

I also believe that while the kit manufacturers continue to disappear, the slack will be taken up for a period of time by ever improving resin technology & will eventually be replaced entirely be 3-D printing technology.

Just as digital technology has replaced vinyl records & video tape, I believe that in the not too distant future, the 3-D printer will replace the injection mold.

 

Steve

  • Member since
    March 2010
  • From: Midwest
Posted by High octane on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 9:46 AM

Even though I'm working on it, I really don't know where I'll be in the next ten years. At the rate that I'm finishing model car kits, I have plenty. A number of modelers seem to want the younger generation to carry on the hobby of model car building. I started model car building in the late 50's as a hobby and personal enjoyment, and when I'm gone I really don't care what happens to the hobby. The younger generations have other things today to keep them occupied, things that we never had in the 50's, 60's, 70's, etc. So I really wouldn't count on themn to carry on this hobby of building plastic model kits. This is one of the reason that many mom & pop hobby shops are long gone today.

High octane

  • Member since
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  • From: kingsport,tn.
Posted by 01jeepxj on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 1:13 PM

I agree H.O. With my ongoing medical issues(largely Agent Orange induced) over the last few years, my completion rate has really slowed. With lesser dependence on foreign oil, kit prices may stabilize or drop.

Over the next 10 yrs. I see less people coming in. Younger people just don't see a '36 Ford or a '60's muscle car the way we do.

Looking at a display of hand built race cars brings a real excited YAWN from most young guys.

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of time and it only annoys the pig.

  • Member since
    March 2010
  • From: Midwest
Posted by High octane on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 2:43 PM

Sorry to hear of you medical (Agent Orange) issues, and thank you for serving our country. I went to the draft board when they called, and they didn't want me. I was hopin' they could keep me stateside and work as a mechanic, cook, or finances? Oh well.

High octane

  • Member since
    March 2017
Posted by Moparlover64 on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 8:15 PM

Every effort counts the supports from others is what drives us soldiers to do what we do best 8t takes all types to make the world go round

Moparlover64

  • Member since
    March 2017
Posted by Moparlover64 on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 8:16 PM

If you can't see that then you're clueless not referring to youvpersonall but you get the jyst

Moparlover64

  • Member since
    July 2007
Posted by FloridaBoy on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 8:35 PM

I am not the builder that Treehugger is, but I have been around as long.  To me it is quite different, but very much the same.  Right down to the basic, it is building a scale model from a kit, or parts, using paint, putty, tools, hands and your imagination.

I really don't know what is to become of the industry, as it seems that the big firms are taking over the smaller ones and combining their resources.  I don't find that bad, and even hope that continues.

But as for models, I can see a steady deliberate progression toward accuracy, realism, detail, and use of more materials to make functional things,like steering, opening doors, trunks, hatches, etc.  Another aspect I see is the void to be filled in the areas of doing more out of the home, like making decals, chroming, parts making, use of foreign materials to make wiring, hoses, and lastly fittings and connections.

Although I have built contest winning models for less that $10 net, I see the average cost of a finished model to emanate toward $80-$100, with paint, material, aftermarket, etc.

The hobby will continue to diminish in size, as in all faddish trends, leaving the "hard core" dedicated modelers who are extremely talented, patient, and set the bar. There will be less journeyman models in contests, less contests at the local level, but intense competition in every class.

The hobby will continue to follow the trends of 1:1 autos, like now I am seeing TROG (The Race of Gentlemen) models which are now starting to use vintage vehicles racing on beaches on both coasts. As trends continue to manifest, so will our hobby follow.

Just my 2 cents worth. Future based on past.

Ken "FloridaBoy" Willaman

Ken Willaman
  • Member since
    April 2012
Posted by litespeedsae on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 10:19 PM
What ever we have available, I plan to continue this hobby.Bought my first kit probably in 1958 when it all started.I am 66 years old.

Little Rock, Arkansas

  • Member since
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  • From: Steel City, Hamilton ON
Posted by Kromag on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 11:40 PM

Hi, If you mean Globally Japan has more hobby shops per than the USA and Canada. It's pretty healthy there, the young ones have a balance of tech and building. They are taught in school from a early age. It's hard to believe all the companies would invest so much on wishful thinking. Model building may take on a different form from what we know now. As a graphic designer I have seen the traditions of tube paint and palette give way to electronic canvas and virtual paint. The works are as impressive from that medium. We used to think with self-driving cars we had to change the road like GM said..It was the car that has changed.

Kromag 

  • Member since
    March 2006
  • From: Spring, Tx
Posted by modelcarjr on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 7:44 AM

Last year, I was at a contest and a young man about 16 years old had scratch-built a crane that was about 3 feet tall. As he held court throughout the day, he explained that he had a lot of help from his father's construction company and it was 3-D printed. He had done a lot of the design using computer design techniques and languages that he had learned and I'm sure he was much smarter than I'll ever be. He indicated that each section of the crane arm (there were several sections) was $20 for the material and printing. Everything was precisely designed and cut. And I'm sure that Dad paid much of the expense and/or employees pitched in after hours to help with the design and printing.

I'm sure this was a wonderful learning experience for this young man and he has a head start on a great career. But in the final analysis, it looked all too manufactured or pristine. Its like comparing my 1:1 57 Chevy to my 2015 Challenger. There is no comparison! 

 Sure, there was glue and paint involved, he won in his Junior class, and everyone was extremely curious to discuss the build with him and learn more about it. But if this is where the hobby is going I won't be able to get there.  I'll never have enough brain power at my older age or enough money. 

But what do I know, I still carry a cell phone for my convenience, that is, I only use it if I have an emergency and need help or call home while I'm out. Its off most of the time as I have a land line at home and I am usually here building. I am a dinasaur - I know it and I like it! Cool

If you cannot have a good time, what kinda time can you have? JR

Next on the bench:  Another 1970 Hemi 'Cuda, 1958 Chevy Impala, 1987 Buick GNX, 1950 Chevy Pick-up, Indy Reynard, 1965 Corvette, probably not in this order.

  • Member since
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  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 8:20 AM

Kromag

Hi, If you mean Globally Japan has more hobby shops per than the USA and Canada. It's pretty healthy there, the young ones have a balance of tech and building.

Kromag 

 

Excellent observation, Kromag. The hobby is doing very well in other markets, which is probably the best hope there is for the long term survival of the hobby.

I agree with much that is said above. On this continent the hobby will continue to slow until, as others have mentioned, it is boiled down to the core enthusiasts plus a few younger stragglers. We may be near that point now, or perhaps there is much more 'thinning of the herd' to go. It's no secret the hobby is aging, and once the current generation of builders is gone there will likely not be enough builders left to support the North American industry as we know it.

But in the meantime the aging hobby population is demanding more detail and quality in their kits and the industry is catering to this. As a result kit prices will probably rise, which I think they must do in the face of these conditions, and do so regardless of the constant whining in which so many seem intent on indulging, despite the fact kit prices are lower than they have ever been.

For the core building enthusiasts things will continue to improve. More and more great products are being developed every day such as a dizzying array of paints and finishing products, things like Molotow pens, improved casting products, precision tools, and we will all be seeing much more of 3D printing in the future. And of course the detail level of kits is improving all the time. There will be many other developments which we can't yet perceive.

I believe efforts to encourage kids into the hobby will ultimately fail. This hobby is a fantastic thing for the young and mechanically inclined for many reasons that have been discussed in the past, but these days the kids are not interested in cars the way we were as youngsters. As the car enthusiast hobby changes, so to will this hobby. This is not doom and gloom, just that the hobby is on a natural progression and times are changing. I will continue to introduce kids to the hobby, though.

I don't think the hobby will die completely. Model building existed long before injection molded plastic kits, and will continue long after they are gone. Modern technology (3D scanning and printing, among other developments) will eventually take over, and with it the ability to remain afloat with only a small enthusiast base to support it, though it will look very different than it does today.

"It would be unusual, if the unusual didn't occur."

- Steamboat Gariepy

Trevor

  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 9:00 AM

modelcarjr

  I'll never have enough brain power at my older age or enough money. 

3D printing and other computer related technologies will be an enevitable part of the future of this hobby. I can't say I am excited about it as it relates to this hobby, but one thing I can assure you is you will not have to be a genius nor rich to use it when it goes mainstream. 25 years ago I couldn't even turn on a computer and had no interest in trying, so rediculously complicated and contrived as they were, and yet here we old coots are banging away on our key boards communicating with each other around the world. 25 years ago I could never have imagined this, but I have to admit that this technology has increased my enjoyment of the hobby immensly. Despite my general disdain for modern technology, my building has improved 100% with access to information from other builders.

There may be a begrudging acceptance of increased modern technology in the hobby, but to be honest I am quite happy with the way it is now.

"It would be unusual, if the unusual didn't occur."

- Steamboat Gariepy

Trevor

  • Member since
    July 2016
  • From: Podunk, Illinois
Posted by smhardesty on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 11:33 AM

Bainford

I believe efforts to encourage kids into the hobby will ultimately fail. This hobby is a fantastic thing for the young and mechanically inclined for many reasons that have been discussed in the past, but these days the kids are not interested in cars the way we were as youngsters. As the car enthusiast hobby changes, so to will this hobby. This is not doom and gloom, just that the hobby is on a natural progression and times are changing. I will continue to introduce kids to the hobby, though.

Trevor,

Interesting that you happened to post this comment a this time. Just 3 or 4 days ago my wife made mention to me that our grandson seems to have already lost interest in building the snap kits I have purchased for him. It seems that it was fun for a while, but he now would prefer building things with the Lego set we bought him.

I’ve said it before and I could be wrong, but I think the problem is that the cars of today are too similar in appearance and just plain uninteresting, both to kids and us older guys. A lot of people, including me, will place partial blame on the whole electronic technology thing, but the fact is that if cars on the roads today were as unique and exciting as the 50s through 70s, kids would be more interested in them. I haven’t seen anybody on the forums that collects and builds nothing but “stretched VW” style modern automobiles. The majority of builders I have run across so far seem to concentrate on 50s to 70s cars, building them as either showroom stock, lowriders, or some type of street rod/race car. Then there is a large number of builders that prefer modern luxury sports cars.

So yeah, I agree with you 100%. Today’s kids don’t have interest in the hobby because they don’t have interest in the cars of today. I also agree that this doesn’t necessarily spell an end of the hobby. It just indicates that kit manufacturers will need to change in some way to meet the needs and demands of the changing market. Here in Podunk, Southern Illinois, there is a really big interest in high performance pickup trucks. A lot of the young guys that own trucks have them beefed up to participate in truck pulling. Maybe that’s the new niche for manufacturers. Time will tell.

Steve

On the bench - Right now, a mess.

  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 9:32 PM

smhardesty

So yeah, I agree with you 100%. Today’s kids don’t have interest in the hobby because they don’t have interest in the cars of today.

 

Not to beat this point to death (and apologies to Dave if this is straying off topic) but reading your post made me think of this in a rather simple way; I build models only because I am a car enthusiast. If I was not a car enthusiast (or aircraft, or ship, or military enthusiast) I would not be a model builder. So if kids are not car crazy, like it seemed the majority of boys were when I was young, they won't be enthusiastic model car builders.

Sorry to hear interest is waning with your grandson. There is a guy in my office who built as a kid, and when his own son was 9 or 10 he introduced model cars to him. They built together and the boy loved it, but had no interest doing it alone. His Dad asked him why and he said it was just something he did with his Dad. Perhaps your grandson feels the same way. But I also think it is important to get them kits that are generation appropriate. Muscle cars won't do it for most young boys, they can't relate. Buy him kits of modern cars if you can find them.

I remember the first time I saw a model car. I was five, it was 1971, and I was already rediculously car crazy. Dad reached up into the top kitchen cupboard and pulled down a couple of boxes with some very interesting car images on the panels. I just knew something awesome was hiding inside. They were two model cars that he had built before I was born, and I was awestruck. This was the coolest thing I had ever saw. The detail that made the car instantly recognisable was very alluring. I knew this was no toy.

But the best thing happened next. Dad pulled down an unbuilt kit, probably a 1/32 snap kit (I remember much of its detail and have been looking for it), and we built it that evening. My first model, and I was hooked. You couldn't beat the desire for model building out of me with a 2x4. And it's because the model car, with it's detail and authenticity,was a tangible connection between me and cars. That was the hook.

apologies for the long post

"It would be unusual, if the unusual didn't occur."

- Steamboat Gariepy

Trevor

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Fall River, Ma.
Posted by baycolony on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 10:39 PM

I was thinking of this about a month ago when I was at an IPMS event in New Jersey.  I was just looking around at the people at the show and it dawned on me that in 30 years or so this hobby will be dead.  There wasn't more than a handful of persons under 30 there.  Model building is a dying hobby that I think will only be maintained through the model stashes of individuals.  I just don't see it sustaining the interest that is necessary to promote a profitable industry.  Yes, there are technological advances on the horizon but it is the interest that will sustain the industry and I just don't see it increasing because of the tech advances.  That being said, I think it has a better chance in foreign countries where this interest seems strong.  Maybe there is hope there to influence those in this country.  All I can say is: Enjoy it while you can.

 Here is a link to my other completed kits: 

http://public.fotki.com/GilCosta/

  • Member since
    July 2007
Posted by FloridaBoy on Saturday, May 6, 2017 7:50 PM

A few guys on this thread took a fatalistic approach saying they don't care where the hobby would be in 10 years because they have the kits and supplies to last them through it or a lifetime.

I went through this disaster once in 1970 through about 1978 and it was pure HELL!!!

Back in the early through mid sixties, I was fully into street rods, customs, street machines, some dragsters, all reflecting those seen in Hot Rod, Car Craft, Car Model, and Rod & Custom.  I was in my heaven, so to speak.  Then in the late sixties, styles changed and the hobby diminished.  Box art was nothing but psychedelics, lots of craftsman kits, no new stuff, stupid theme cars, and the worst of the worst, Wild Ones. These were cartoon cars seen in the magazine, CarToons, which are still made today as a sort of side show oddity.  Back then they were main models.  Customs, rails, etc were out, and the only drag cars were funny cars. 

It seemed the model car guys adopted the "hippy lifestyle" into their modeling, and trying to out-wild each other with distorted cars. Slowly, the banks of models seen at hobby shops and department stores began to disappear, supplies became hard to find, and only the major hobby shops carried model cars as an afterthought or inventory clearance.  I had a stash of cars and supplies and can remember sanding my custom cars in the evenings, after a day of work, afternoon of tennis, or weekend of sailing/surfing. When I worked on my cars, I felt so disconnected to a non-entity the only thing that kept me going on was pure love of what I was doing.  No clubs, no shows, no contests, no events, nothing.....a pure desert down here in south Florida. AMT hit the skids with trophy kits reissued with thin brittle plastic and weird stick on aluminum plating and totally ridiculous themes.   Heck, I thought American Graffiti would ignite a rebirth of period model cars.......sorry.

Then in the early eighties, I was wandering through a Ben Franklin Five and Dime and saw a bank of AMT Ertl trophy cars, 49 Ford, 40 Ford, etc.  I was elated, went to the newstand, and saw this newfangled Scale Auto Enthusiast and I was ready.  My sadness was over, and I joined a club, we had contests, hobby shops started to increase model inventories and it has been that way since. 

There is a lot of decline now, but nothing compared to the zero years back then. I think all of my fellow older modelers remember so well because we keep hundreds of unbuilt models in case it happens again, but we all DO NOT WANT that to happen.

Ken "FloridaBoy" Willaman

Ken Willaman
  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Lake Orion, Mi.
Posted by tgabreu on Sunday, May 7, 2017 8:21 PM

Someone, far wiser than me, once said:"Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it", or something to that effect. Those who have trouble accepting 3-D printing sound a lot like those who predicted the downfall of model building at the beginning of styrene kit production. We, as dinosaurs, actually have an advadtage over the young pups: we have skills they'll never have, and the option of picking and choosing to adopt whatever new technology comes along. Using cost as an excuse to not accept new technology is short sighted, for a couple reasons: cost comes down as technology gets more widespread (how many of you said you'd never own a computer, because in 1980's dollars a PC cost $2500?), it'll help get younger people involved with the hobby (kids have always liked toys- help them get a printer and they might print model parts for Grandpa when they're not printing their own stuff- it's a bonding opportunity), you'll see items available that would have not been available otherwise, guaranteed. Beyond that, sites like ebay are loaded with cheap models, enough to last a lifetime for those who don't already have their terminal stash. It amazes me that every forum is full of predictions of gloom and doom- if the glass is half empty, refill it and move on. I figure when I die, all my models will get tossed in the trashed (any of you who are still around, feel free to come and garbage pick!). Will I care? Of course not- I'll be be dead.

  • Member since
    July 2007
Posted by FloridaBoy on Thursday, May 11, 2017 2:17 AM

I am loving this thread!!!!  A few more thoughts......today, thanks to everything discussed on this topic, I feel  I am a better modeler than ever before in my life. I am far behind in some aspects such as engine detail, chassis detail, dashboard, instruments, but know at least what left I have to do. I belong to two modeling clubs that are supportive and positive, and members of each will attest that I have a higher abundance of enthusiasm considering my age, than many.  That is partly out of deep seeded desperation.....I do not want to see another cataclysm occuring. Also, I have a deep seated puristic enjoyment of taking in a well built model. No envy or jealousy here, but pure admiration and inspiration.

I am now, and always have been a strong, STRONG supporter of model contests, the more the better. But when I talk to guys at the hobby shop or in the aisles of art stores, there is a growing disenchantment towad contests, for a number of reasons, but one common theme is a shyness to enter and compete. To me the contest is way more than competition, it is like a museum to show off your work, and share it with your contemporaries. The friends I have made in this hobby are countless and growing, and for the most part, value and cherish that. 

If you want to see how positive a contest is, click on rocketfin.com,and our banner on the far right margin.  Then click on the video tapes of our contests.  You can see the spirit of the cammaderie and friendly competition, and that modelers are happy and supportive to see their peers succeed and participate. It is also a place I have purchased kits, parts, paint, etc at a discount, and found that elusive kit I have been chasing for years. I live in south Florida, and if you attend a contest just about anywhere south of Orlando, you will see a big loud laughing guy and that is me. Please come up and shake my hand and get into the conversation and mix of things.  We builders down here are not a closed society, for in my experience, I see nothing but a welcoming attitude. 

Ken "FloridaBoy" Willaman 

Ken Willaman
  • Member since
    December 2007
  • From: Portland Oregon: Tree Country. Most beautiful area on the West coast.
Posted by Treehugger Dave on Sunday, July 26, 2020 8:47 PM

I wrote this 3 years ago.

I guess this was a good topic to write when I wrote it.

I guess it's a good time to read it again.

Life is moving on ya know, with us or without us, no matter how we "hypothicize".

The future will be what it wants, so all our opinions are just "BLOWING IN THE WIND".

SoapBox

 

 

 

                                     

 

 

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