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John Aero

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John Aero last won the day on January 5 2015

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About John Aero

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  1. Following Mike C's post. 'How well would they sell'. Frankly not massively, but to generate interest in any subject, it has to have publicity and encouragement from the magazines. I started off my company 'Aeroclub' with the hope that the models I would produce would reflect the aeroclub light plane scene over the years. When I kicked off the metal accessories side, the demand for stuff to enhance and improve mainstream kits such as the ejection seats and props sent me in a totally different direction. To stay in business it was best to follow the money trail. Not that that was ever El Dorado, believe me. Conventional injected tooling was very expensive so very few companies would venture far away from the Spitfire, Mustang, 109 route. Vacforms had the "ugh, far too much effort" label, but modern techniques such as resin and low cost injection now offer the possibility of meeting smaller markets. (The older short run system which Merlin, Pegasus Skybirds and myself used, now has no technical or spares backup anywhere in the world, it has gone the way of Dodo egg incubators). A number of Continental companies seem to be doing reasonably well. One thing I will add is the debt I owe to magazine editors such as Alan Hall, Ray Rimell, Ron Firth and others for the support I received in my early years. How many know that a small article in Aviation news started the British short run injection industry. When magazine editors had influence! John
  2. How do I post Pictures?

    Thank you for the extra info. Yes I agree that this will not work for Photo Bucket, as deleting in PB wipes it off BM. But if you post a photo from Flickr to BM then go back to FkR and delete it the image stays on BM but when you click on it, it doesn't open up your Photostream. Again setting up albums on PB was easy whilst albums on Flickr seem to be instantly open to all and sundry. I have still a Photo bucket pro account and that is a dream compared to the imbecilic Flickr. John
  3. For a small firm my advertising budget in our heyday was a real pain. Editors replying? Hmm heads above the parapet! It might be wiser to read, evaluate and keep under cover then see if any comments are useful. So far the comments have been mainly about the layout and content breakdown rather than "more Spitfires" or "less Spitfires" camps. Another simple fact is that all of these magazines are largely military biased and only the old Scale Models and the early Airfix mags ever really broadened the spectrum. I'm not a modern big Airliner fan but I do like general aviation stuff and especially pre-war civil stuff which hardly gets a mention anywhere. One might comment that there's no interest but if you want colour and variety, go to Old Warden or a P.F.A. rally. (now the Light Aircraft Assoc). Perhaps some of the magazines will leaven their bread a little. Elsewhere in the world, the US, and Australia, and Europe the lighter scene has greater appeal and many of the available models actually come from European makers. This is one of my gripes with Aeroplane. Under Richard Riding's editorship it flourished for many years with a largely pre-war content,. Now it's another glossy photo of another glossy Mustang. Where have all the wonderful pre-war photographs from the old Aeroplane archives gone. One thing I wish Editors would take more care over is the re-hashing of old scale drawings or new re-draws of these as so many are not fit for purpose. but who's to evaluate them. I realize that this all takes time and expertise, that the magazines staff don't necessarily have. One of the things I'm spending my time on now is creating new drawings for pleasure including some specifically for model companies. I'm currently converting Imperial fractions to decimal in 200 odd megabytes of old Percival drawings and the same with Westland, Hawker and Fairey stuff and trying to learn CAD. One great advantage that sites like this have over magazines is the latent pool of specialist and helpful talent which can be drawn on very quickly. The downside is that when someones research is aired in ether rather than ink, some erseling will soon be spouting it as 'his knowledge' on other forums with no regards to credit, if only for politeness. Over the years I have supported magazines by advertising and also buying them to broaden my knowledge bandwidth and now I can specialize, I think the bottom line for me is that I will buy magazines but it has to keep my interest. John
  4. A beautiful job of a very ancient kit. I remember using flint hatchets to carve the Bog Oak for the original masters. John
  5. How do I post Pictures?

    I think that finally I have the measure of this very odd photo site, it really is a dumb site. It would seem that if you choose private, Flickr will not let you post on other sites so you have to go public. This means all your photos can be seen by anyone. If I'm right after posting if you go back and delete the picture from Flickr it stops access to your other pictures. John
  6. Reading through some of the other posts, it struck me that perhaps modern modelling magazines have developed into colour catalogs because of the huge amount of stuff churned out by the international marketplace in recent times and it's an easy way of filling pages. A lot of modellers actually don't bother with the net. I have often asked customers "do you go on Britmodeller" (for instance) and an amazing number, and not always seniors, admitted to not using the online model sites. Nostalgia, well at one time the only serious real players in the modelling game were the UK and the USA, with Japan slowly claiming the quality ground, again reflected in the mags of the time. There was also becoming plenty to write about as new small companies gave us more diverse models and conversions by using simpler manufacturing methods such as Vacuforming and then an accessory market for the more detailed hard to make bits. These new ideas needed to be disseminated and people hungry for different models, and skills, bought the magazines 'how to do' articles. This was until someone in Berlin took the bung out of the bottle and released the latent manufacturing talent of eastern Europe. Well the Genie grasped new technology by the bells and it proliferated in countries where they still produced engineers, We in the meantime had changed to 'service industries' and our early talent of the vacform era such as Gordon Sutcliffe, Gordon Stevens and Joe Chubbock had sadly started to follow Bilbo Baggins to join the Elves across the Western sea. Initially the newbies made the mistake of producing little known (to most folks) indigenous aeroplanes but free of the Red gripper they soon found that western aircraft and particularly WW.II made money... But they eventually gave us the first accurate Spitfire and even the cartoons in my latest magazine copy! Nostalgia, is also Black and White. For the first seventy odd years of aviation photos are gray-scale but it seems that magazines layout editors now have to sell "impact" and not clear history, so why do they have to place a black text on a huge gray-scale photo, making the text hard to read and the photo pointless. Colour printing is now cheaper but why over use it. Yes colour profiles (providing they are accurate) are much better than the old Letraset cross hatching profiles of the late Mike Keep, who did a great job with the techniques of the time. I do personally dislike garish over coloured layouts. Aeroplane for a time had a female art editor (memo to thought police, gender mentioned for historical accuracy) who tried to flood the magazine 'with arty farty' touches. Why it's only read by boring anoraks like me. Perhaps the magazines are produced by bright young things who forget that they're mainly bought by dim sighted older people and not everyone has a fortune to spend on their hobby or they might want something that doesn't carry weapons. John
  7. The irony of this thread, is that the subject (Model magazines) is being debated in an entirely different media and incidentally the one that most threatens their existence. I think that generally I agree with the sentiment of the title. I now only take one regular mainstream aircraft modelling magazine Scale Aircraft Modelling and I think that is because I haven't remembered to stop the subscription. I also take Aeroplane ( again I'm beginning to wonder why). Both of these mags, which I have bought since 'Pontius (Pilate) was a rear gunner' and they are now not giving me much satisfaction as they are full of gloss and no great content of value, unlike the earlier issues. I still buy other stuff off the shelf when it interests me and I'm a member of Air Britain (Historians) and until recently Cross and Cockade. As a retired former manufacturer I have amassed a large library of books, magazines and drawings, some of which (reflecting my own core interests) are fairly exotic. All of this was essential to my acquiring a depth of aviation knowledge. Could I have garnered this knowledge from the internet? No way. it's got a long way to go yet. The internet only stores information, both good and bad, it doesn't make it or authenticate it. The contributors and their core sources such as first hand experience and their repositories are the fount of this information. I can only share my library because I built it up in the first place . Magazines are only as good as the editorial staff and these are restrained and controlled by the Owners and ultimately the readership. Owners want sales and the readership, only content that suits them personally. Feed back on the Internet is instant! Feed back to magazines is glacial (if readers bother) and it's the bean counters who will raise the alarm and then it's exit the editor. Two careers to avoid are Model magazine editors and Football managers. How many editors now have a real passion that some of the past masters had. People like Ray Rimell, Alan Hall and Neil Robinson. In my opinion they brought something to the magazines now lacking. The glossy catalogue format was started by one and then copied by others so editors must have thought it had some merit. Oh and don't get me started on the accuracy or otherwise of drawings in magazines. Yes, the hobby has evolved and the magazines reflect just that. The scene has changed with the difference between mainstream products and those from the smaller companies becoming blurred and hand crafted conversions a thing of the past. You now have add on's galore of which I claim to have played some small part. I started in the 'carve from balsa days' and at least this taught me the hand and eye skills and the subtleties of shape. Now the designer works with a 3 D cad program and apart from the touches on the keyboard the finished product might well appear almost totally untouched by human hand. If the base information is wrong then the model is wrong. Even if a real plane in a museum is scanned, if the designers don't know that it might have the wrong tail cone fitted or the under-carriage legs were not at the correct pressure when scanned, the model will be wrong. The future modeller will expect the skill to be built into the model and the seat belts to be pre painted. John Part of my library.
  8. How do I post Pictures?

    Chris Thank you for the reply. This is much of what I've been doing. I have photos also stuck in limbo which if I click on them Flikr just wants to alter (position) them and if you click save they just go back to the limbo position. I have gathered that if you make them private that's when the long useless url appears, which when pasted in does nothing except turn pink. I noticed that I just clicked on your picture and it opened all your photos which is not on. Any one know how this can be stopped. This couldn't happen in Photobucket. I simply want to be able to keep my stuff totally private and post relevant stuff for the guys here and at Key Forums, the only sites I visit. Anyone know what advantages there are in Flickr Pro? Thanks again. John
  9. How do I post Pictures?

    Valkyrie Thanks for your post. However the problem appears to be Flickr as there is no help system that I can get to work. I only want my photos to be seen on specific threads on this and other selected Forums and not accessible on any public view on Flickr. The main problems are that it lets me upload a photo then will not let me move it out of Photostream. On the occasions I can click on them. the url is a long one and will not work on 'insert other media then on another time it gives a short url which works. Photobucket was a dream compared to this nightmare. John
  10. How do I post Pictures?

    I.m still trying to work out Flickr. There seems to be no rhyme or reason, I insert the url and the box just turns red. John I think that I have just managed to post and also delete this picture, then restored it again. However if I click on it, it opens up my Flickr page. How can I prevent this?
  11. Westland P.V.6 Houston Everest Expedition marking

    Only recently I was allowed to examine the Everest pilots heated goggles in their polished wooden, brass labelled presentation box. I have had excellent access to measure the surviving Wallace as I'm working on a series of drawings for the Wallace and Wapiti of which previous drawings for both types are inaccurate. It shouldn't be a surprise to find a belly window in the PV.3 as it was designed as a military aircraft. The PV.6 had quite a few identities and guises before it became the Wallace 1 and later the prototype Wallace II. The small low side windows were simply to give some natural light for the prone position. John
  12. 1/36th scale prize winning models, but who was he?

    Tony Woollett was a long term modeller as was his older brother (whose name slips my mind for the moment).I always enjoyed meeting up with the Woolletts. Somewhere I have a wartime Aeromodeller which features a large scale detailed Hawker Typhoon his brother made. I also have an original painting on my stairs of a Puss Moth which was commissioned for me, by my late wife Angela from Tony, who was an accomplished aviation artist in his own right. Tony liked to work in 1/36 scale (1/3rd of an inch to the foot), or twice 1/72nd). This was a common Aeromodeller Plans Service scale. They supplied Plan packs of a plan to 1/72 scale and another of the same aircraft in 1/36 scale. His favorite period was the pre-war light aeroplane and his exquisite models were made entirely from Plasicard with some items such as cowls made by push moulding. I've often thought it's a great scale to fit with 1/35th military models. the average 36 foot span aeroplane being just 12 inches span. Again somewhere I have the Christies auction catalogue Tony gave me which featured all his remaining models. Many more were made and sold to commission. The 1/28th scale WW.i models were actually by his brother and were often seen at Hornchurch when the Woollett boys shared a stand. I'll see if I can find some of my photos. John
  13. Tiger Moth to Fox Moth