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Everything posted by ckw

  1. Its not the 50 year old kits that are the issue, its companies working to the collector mentality - I've certainly noticed more 'limited edition' kits these days. If collectors are prepared to pay a premium for these, then everyone suffers. I totally get the desire to buy a kit before it sells out because you want to make it, but pure collectors are buying multiple copies hence inflating the value. This is certainly happening (people have said they are doing this in this forum) but the scale at present is unclear. But once any commodity is assigned a value above its price, the price will sooner or later increase to match the perceived value. Cheers Colin
  2. That's the other problem and in this respect some of the modelling community is it's own worse enemy. By stashing kits (sometimes multiple copies) demand starts to outstrip supply, the kit becomes artificially more valuable, and because of that, it encourages more to do the same in an expectation of every increasing value. Viscous circle. I suspect this might influence pricing on shorter run kits with the manufacturer knowing that a limited run of a desirable item will be snapped up by collectors as an investment. Nothing against collectors - collecting kits is I guess as valid a pastime as collecting stamps. But it does introduce a sort of conflict within the community where one group sees the value of the kit being in the unmade version, the other being in the build process and completed item. It seems that the value in the former will outstrip the value of the latter. We may get to the point that seems to exist with collectable figures which have such a high value for 'mint in box' that it is hard to justify giving one to a child to play with. Cheers Colin
  3. Of course and there is absolutely nothing wrong with using brushes. But these days it appears that most modellers think they have to have an airbrush, and that contributes to the perception of the hobby as expensive. Yes - can't argue with that, and of course that's not restricted to modelling. But that's a whole different discussion. In terms of the actual expense of the hobby to the modeller, computers - or more specifically the internet - has made it less than it otherwise would be. On the broader point, I think the Internet is the biggest cultural change since the invention of the printing press and it has simply not been around long enough to assess whether or not it is a 'good' or 'bad' thing. There have only been short term gains and losses. The true answer will become available in 100 years or so. Cheers Colin
  4. True but most of these are entirely optional. As in all hobbies there are plenty of companies who will exploit the belief most people have that they will do better if only they had the latest ... Not that fancy files etc. don't have their place, but they are certainly not required. In some areas I would say prices have come down in real terms - for example Chinese airbrushes and compressors have made these an affordable accessory to many more people than 30 years ago (when I bought my first outfit at what seemed like vast expense). I wouldn't count computers (and most people have a smart phone anyway) as it is their wide spread existing use has allowed companies to shift to online sales. And of course the ability to shop online has made it much easier to find bargains and used items, so I think we'd have to count that towards a reduction in modelling costs. You might as well say you have to include the cost of a car/public transport to get to a real shop. Cheers Colin I
  5. So true - I recall boarding a Ryanair 737 which was so patched I was having 2nd thoughts! Is that really a thing? I always thought it was the other way round as in the larger scales so much is done for you, whereas in 1/72 extra detail required scratch building. But of course that's probably a bias I have from 30 years ago. I wonder if this is a policy to avoid upsetting manufacturers - i.e. to make the product look as good as possible Cheers Colin
  6. I think the new 1/24th can be justified - the previous 1/24 Spit is now very long in the tooth. I imagine the two kits will be like chalk and cheese. As for the others, well while its true many other companies produce Spits, how many will appear on high street shelves? Outside specialist model shops I think you're unlikely to see them. Basically the common or garden kit in the UK seems to be Airfix or Revell, and since Spitfires are sure to sell (esp. to the non-specialist), it seems a safe bet for Airfix to keep churning them out. I doubt it takes away from anything else Airfix might be doing and provides a steady revenue stream. Cheers Colin
  7. That's true - quality control seems to be an issue. Cheers Colin
  8. I think when you consider 'quality' I think you have to look beyond accuracy and detail and consider 'buildability' as well. Taking the whole package, I think Airfix stands up well. Instructions are IMHO 2nd to none, and I have seen some examples of clever engineering (e.g. Swordfish) to make a potentially tricky build relatively easy. Some others may have more accuracy and/or detail, but are more difficult to build. Airfix have also AFAIK up to now eschewed etched or resin parts, again simplifying the build. For the more advanced modeller, these things may not be an issue, but Airfix are trying to appeal to a broad spectrum. I would suggest that most average modellers will be able to enjoy an Airfix build and complete it to their satisfaction. This is not always the case with some Eastern European products, though in the right hands these may result in a better model. Cheers Colin
  9. Yes - but significantly down sized. The 'standard' bar (80g?) is not made anymore hence ruining the mars bar index Cheers Colin
  10. It is very hard to compare values and prices across time. The Mars Bar index used to be a good way until they stopped producing them. But if we consider that an average chocolate bar costs about £1 these days, then a Spitfire = 12 chocolate bars. a Harrier 24. I suspect over the years that hasn't changed much ... certainly seems roughly a similar value to when I started buying kits 50+ years ago. Average pocket money in the UK for a 13 year old is just under £10 week. I recall at that age big kits were birthday/xmas presents. I could buy smaller Airfix and Matchbox with pocket money, but not on a weekly basis, so perhaps nothing has changed that much. Maybe - but that prediction has been made for years. It is a changing market though, and youngsters have computers and games that us oldies never had .... would I have bought kits if I did? Don't know. I think in the recent Hornby TV series, it was pretty clear across the board that the focus of the group is on serious collectors. Cheers Colin
  11. I get that, but don't understand why they are blocked on ebay. Is that an ebay decision? Cheers Colin
  12. Maybe I'm misunderstanding this, but it reads to me as if 3 ebay users are being punished for a system error on ebay. Yes they got a bargain, and perhaps should have realised something was wrong ... but such price drops are not that unusual. I've picked up a few expensive Japanese kits for a song on Amazon. Cheers Colin
  13. ckw


    I must confess to opting for lane 2 on the new "smart" motorways. On the basis that there could be someone stopped on the inside lane (previously hard shoulder). I've seen one horrible accident due to this, and don't intend to be the next one Cheers Colin
  14. I guess there simply isn't the interest. Warbirds draw huge crowds at airshows, major airports always have hordes of spotters yet local private fields have few if any spectators despite usually much easier and closer access to the aircraft. Perhaps a case of "familiarity breeds contempt". Cheers Colin
  15. I was thinking of "Shelf of Doom" for mine Cheers Colin
  16. I've seen this discussed in various Railway forums. Here is a pretty good explanation https://gardenrails.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11777 Cheers Colin
  17. I don't see that washing the sprues can do any harm, but for me a wipe down with IPA or Mr Hobby thinners just before painting is more important so as to remove any finger grease, marker residue (I use markers to check for good seams) etc. If you are still using Humbrol paints, that may be the problem. There seems little doubt that the quality and consistency of Humbrol paints has suffered in recent years. Cheers Colin
  18. I would use gloop (mix of Tamiya thin and bits of sprue) for this. Cheers Colin
  19. The year did not start well ... 3 builds consigned to the shelf of doom for various reasons. I do hope to recover them later. Desperately seeking some success, I looked for the easiest to build model in my stash and came up with this ... Zevezda Yaks 3 1/72. Although this is one of their snap fit kits, I was surprised at the quality and level of detail. Would put some other "proper" kits to shame. Confidence slightly restored, I moved on to something a little more challenging RS Models Arado Ar 66c 1/72nd - nice simple rigging on this type. Presented no real problems, but the tail struts needed replacing with brass rod to fit. Hobby 2000 Junkers Ju 87 D-1 1/72. I'm a big fan of Hobby 2000 boxing up good quality older kits (in this case Fuijmi) with new, quality decals at a decent price. Good value for money Hasegawa Yokosuka P1Y1 Ginga (Frances) 1/72. Typical Hasegawa, not much more to say except I got it for a great price on Amazon so couldn't say no. Airfix Vickers Wellington GR Mk.VIII 1/72nd - spent too much time on the interior which is effectively invisible. To be fair, Airfix do warn you of that in the instructions. I was attracted by the less common colour scheme. Having got a bit of confidence back, I felt up to a challenge .... Valom Bristol Bombay Mk. 1 1/72 - having read scary things about Valom kits, I was expecting the worse, but while nearly every step presented a little problem, none were too difficult to overcome. Certainly not put off further Valoms Hasegawa Kawanishi H8K2 Type 2 (Emily) 1/72 This is the new tool which I got for a bargain price on Amazon a while back. Goes together very nicely. Only problem was the size made painting a bit of a challenge. One thing I didn't like was the wing walkway decals are printed on one large decal for each wing. As I was pretty sure silvering was bound to occur somewhere, I painted these instead. Italeri Lockheed P-38J Lightning 1/72nd Having waited in vain for Tamiya to release their P-38 in 1/72 I opted for the new Italeri kit which is based on the Academy kit not the evil Dragon one. The colour scheme intrigued me, so I consulted the BM hive mind Not sure we came to a definite conclusion, but I believe the scheme was possible as a 'one off'. Overall a nice kit - added some detailing for the open cockpit and a little surgery to produce the drop down side windows. The kit provides spoked wheels, but the photos I found of Miss Ann had solid covers, so these were added. Italeri Messerschmitt Me 210 A-1 1/72 - didn't like the way the kit canopy was split down the middle, couldn't find a vacform replacement so somehow convinced myself that cutting the kit canopy up and displaying it open would be a good idea. Worked reasonably well, but meant adding a bit more detail to the interior. Italeri Fiat CR.42 Falco 1/72. Biplane and Italian camo - just asking for trouble. First attempt at spraying camo freehand. So that I had a chance of correcting inevitable mistakes, I used Colourcoats enamel, but sprayed a coat of Klear/Future after each colour. That way if I mis-sprayed or splattered (which I did far too many times) I could quickly wipe off the mistake with a thinner dampened cotton bud without damaging the previous colour. It worked. Eventually. I also found drawing the camo outlines with watercolour pencils of a similar shade helpful. Looking at it now, the splotches seem a bit over scale - yet the shape and position corresponds more or less to the kit plan. My only regret was using the kit instrument panel decal - it is much more visible than I expected at this size and looks very much like a basic decal. Revell Handley Page Halifax B.Mk.III 1/72nd - not much to say. Decent kit, caused no problems. Airfix Bristol Beaufort Mk.1 1/72 - this one seemed to fight me at many points, though there's nothing really wrong with it, as did the paint for some reason. This one nearly ended my year as it began with a trip to the shelf of doom. Time for a break. Cheers, Colin
  20. I use adhesive lead tape - the type used for balancing tennis rackets or golf clubs. It's particularly useful when you don't have a large enough space for lead shots as you can cut strips to glue on floors, landing gear bays etc https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00LPME7VU/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Cheers Colin
  21. ckw

    Pledge Polish

    I guess it depends how you look at it. Klear (and the various techniques for using it) has been around a lot longer than most, if not all the acrylic paints and varnishes. I think modellers can be quite conservative - when you find something that does the job, you stick with it. I don't really think its a case of trying to save money but what I'd say is if (as I have) you have used Klear successfully for some 40 years and got the required results, why pay more for an alternative? Especially when properties like non-yellowing require many years to prove. Note - I have not been continuously for 40 years, but models finished with Klear before my long break have, following a wash, looked as if I'd built them yesterday. I'd say explain to me why I should change! Cheers Colin
  22. I like milliput, but it is difficult to rescribe without getting crumbled edges. I this is going to be an issue, I'll use 'gloop' - a mix of left over sprues in Tamiya extra thin. Takes a while to fully dry, and you may get some shrinkage, but once set it can be worked just like the kit plastic. Cheers Colin
  23. All of the fuss over the TV thing (which I haven't seen) prompted me to re-read the books (well the first 2) after some 40 years or so. To be honest, I was disappointed. I think Asimov was a great short story writer, but sustained plot or character development ... not so much. To my mind the books seemed very dated and rather shallow. On the other hand, they are very much of their time ... and in some ways quite amusing, 'atomics' being a power source for everything On the plus side, I can see how they are a great starting point for film or TV adaptations. But not I'm tempted enough to get Apple TV. Cheers Colin
  24. I've found the various types of Gorilla glue very effective - and seem to last well in the bottle. However I've never used an accelerator on them. Cheers Colin
  25. I had a similar issue elsewhere. I think PayPal have changed things. If you want guest payments using a donate button, the account holder has to enable this in the settings. I'm pretty sure that previously guest payments were allowed by default. Cheers Colin
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