a new era in ship model building

didit

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#1
have always been interested in building model ships from the age of about 8 onwards, but kits never gave me any satisfaction, or sense of achievement. When I found Plank on Frame Models, by Harold A Underhill, in 1964, it was like a breath of fresh air. My first serious model was the Leon, and the satisfaction that I had built all of it, started me on a lifelong hobby of scratch building ship models. In the 21st century, scratch building has virtually died out. I have recommended those two books to lots of new modelers, but very few have ever taken it up, preferring large, expensive kits. Admittedly, a well-built kit far surpasses most scratch built models, but their value is diminished by the fact that they are confined to the same old subjects and duplicated in their thousands.

there use to be a magazine Model Ship Builder which stopped publishing years ago and it was bought out by Ship in Scale. Now Ships in Scale has closed its doors and stopped publishing. This leaves the hobby with no magazine or worth while publication. Times they are changing and forums such as this one is the new information source for the hobby.
It all sort of makes sense printed magazines are obsolete. Take a how to article in print, part 1 is published and you have to wait 3 months for the next part in a quarterly published magazine. Any magazine can not afford an in depth article as space is limited. Now a forum build log is updated as the build continues and as a reader you can post a question and get an instant answer.

I agree the scratch building in the hobby has died out and replaced by better and better kits. Kit builders do not need to go deep into research, they do not need long winded articles just good kit instructions. As a matter of fact you don't even need instructions because all kits are built the same, all you need is one good article on planking a hull and that covers just about all the kits out there.

to go forward from here people interested in model ship building need to support and most of all contribute to this forum. Why this forum? because it is the only international forum that allows all kit regardless of who manufactured it and where, with kits being over 90% of the hobby it is very important that ALL kits are included. Secondly this forum does not block build logs from the general public and guests to the forum it is wide open for everyone.

so with the last printed magazine now gone and no other publication that covers kits, scratch building and from rank beginner through intermediate builders to the pros this is it so let us all add our 2 cents worth the future is E-publishing and not old school printed magazines and journals. This is a sign of the times printing is a thing of the past.
 

donfarr

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#2
RIGHT ON IT DAVE, YOU ARE SO CORRECT, NEED YOU AND THE GANG TO FIND NEW WAYS TO GET KITS AND INSTRUCTIONS 3-D {PRINYING etc. THANKS FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO THIS HOBBY ALWAYS TRYING TO MAKE IT BETTER and looking and finding NEW APPROACHES. Don
 

shipbuilder

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#3
Printed books have certainly not died out! My last one, Minaiture Shipbuilder 2015 was reprinted a number of times, but is presently sold out. Only last month, I was asked to write a mjor article for a model magazine with world-wide circulation. I am in the process of writing another book on model shipbuilding, and I have no doubts whatsoever that it will enjoy the same success as the last one. But I do agree, there is room for e-books and articles as well, and I have produced dozens of them, and they enjoy excellent sales. Here is a FREE download as an example: https://payhip.com/b/krO6 Scroll down a bit after it opens, and you can read the synopsis. The, if you would like the full FREE download, a button labelled "This item is free" is provided, top right. But I only deal with merchant ships as I find them inifinietly more interesting than warships. Here is the front cover of my last book (Sold out, but still available in e-book form). Bob Miniature Shipbuilder 2015.jpg
 

didit

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#5
I would agree printed "books" will be here for some time into the future.
what I was getting at is the more common day to day information on how things are done in the hobby, who is doing what and how.
A beginner is more likely to search the web for information about the hobby before buying a book or search a forum such as this if they have a question about a kit
 

didit

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#6
Bob your approach to articles and information is actually more in line with my idea of the future direction of the hobby.

it is right there on line I do not need to buy a subscription or pay dues to get a publication. When you have to purchase a years subscription you may get 80% of worthless information you personally have no interest in. I would much rather search on line and forums to pin point what I want.

Whether this publication continues will really depend on its reception. I do not need any feedback unless you wish to send it, as I can gauge the popularity, or otherwise, by the number of downloads sent out. You will not be bombarded by SPAM, by downloading this document. I will reply to any communications, but will be following a "speak only when spoken to" policy.


this is where it is going and your there on the cutting edge. I can make contact with you there is no middleman no "publisher" to deal with and most of all it is all real time.
 
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#7
The sad truth is that folks are not willing to pay the cost of a glossy printed magazine - relying on advertising to pay the cost is common, but unfortunately the rates for advertising are proportionate to the reach of a magazine (i.e., the number of paid subscribers). The death of the printed magazine 9and there is still at least one out there) is more related to the relatively specialized nature of some in the hobby (only 20th century merchant or 18th century British warships, for example) and the small potential customer base (in comparison to, say, Sports Illustrated or Reader's Digest).

For me, I really do not get much reading enjoyment from looking at a poorly written article on building the (pick a ship). I much prefer the well researched (and I mean using primary sources whenever possible, not 20th century secondary sources) article concerning either a certain vessel or class of vessel 9the history, the ships in the class, the construction details employed and so on), perhaps linked with some tips on implenenting aspects into model building.

Just my 2 cents worth.
 

didit

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#8
The sad truth is that folks are not willing to pay the cost of a glossy printed magazine - relying on advertising to pay the cost is common, but unfortunately the rates for advertising are proportionate to the reach of a magazine (i.e., the number of paid subscribers).

as a business owner I saw that coming a mile away. Ships in Scale is gone so is Model Ship Builder and Model shipwright all gone and replaced by what you see here. I thought why pay high rates for a space in a magazine and reach only those who have subscriptions when I can direct efforts to on line and reach millions world wide.

The death of the printed magazine and there is still at least (one out there) is more related to the relatively specialized nature of some in the hobby (only 20th century merchant or 18th century British warships, for example) and the small potential customer base (in comparison to, say, Sports Illustrated or Reader's Digest).

the only hobby model magazine is Fine Scale Modeler and I think it is still out there because of the big customer base. it is diversified enough it covers a wide range of topics and hobby interests as opposed to SIS which covered a very small specialized hobby. Cost of running such a magazine is more than the hobby can support. The only other publication I can think of is the NRG journal. Here an already a very small market of model ship builders has been narrowed down even smaller to a point it is almost worthless to the "hobby" and kit builders. Two of the publications that tried a higher end approach one Model Shipwright is long gone and the NRG journal is the same, stagnated 20 years ago no growth and no world wide distribution. Besides that it is not a commercial publication it is a publication of a non profit organization so we can not really count it.

For me, I really do not get much reading enjoyment from looking at a poorly written article on building the (pick a ship). I much prefer the well researched (and I mean using primary sources whenever possible, not 20th century secondary sources) article concerning either a certain vessel or class of vessel the history, the ships in the class, the construction details employed and so on), perhaps linked with some tips on implementing aspects into model building.

The one big issue is the cost of primary source research it is extremely expensive so with this hobby being 90% kit builders no one is doing such research nor ever cares to. So there is NO market in this hobby for research material and publishers who think they will sell their magazine based on the premise of high end research is sadly mistaken. Keep in mind this is a hobby and not an academic based group.
Even if such research and articles are done they can be published on line and in forums ie. the Mississippi project it is all here and available with week to week up dates.


the Navy Board Model site I think is the new wave an on going digital library that is in a constant state of up dating and reinventing itself.
 

shipbuilder

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#9
I was a regular writer for Model Shipwright for many years. Then they went on to the annual harback from 2010 to 2013, after which it was discontinued. I then produced Miniature Shipbuilder 2015 on my own account, paying for it to be printed. "Vanity Printing" as it is often referred to, on account of it allegedly being so bad that the only way to get it published is to pay for it yourself. It was a great success, with a number of print runs, and I only ceased reprints after I became a bit tired of spending my life packing and posting books. But I am again part way through the next one, having recovered from physically dealing with sales. I put the success down to the fact that I am giving fresh material with none of the old favourites of Cutty Sark, Bounty, Victory, Titanic, etc in it, and definitely no warships! Then only forum I know of in the whole world on Merchant Ships, 19th and 20th Centuries, is here on SOS, but there is practically no activity, unless I add anything, that I rarely do nowadays. Surprisingly enough, my facebook Group "Merchant Ships in Miniature," now has over 600 members, many of who are extrely active building merchant ships of all sizes and shapes from ancient to modern. You would be surprised how many modellers say they prefer the printed book, even if it costs more than e-books.
Bob
 

SOS

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#10
I was a regular writer for Model Shipwright for many years. Then they went on to the annual harback from 2010 to 2013, after which it was discontinued. I then produced Miniature Shipbuilder 2015 on my own account, paying for it to be printed. "Vanity Printing" as it is often referred to, on account of it allegedly being so bad that the only way to get it published is to pay for it yourself. It was a great success, with a number of print runs, and I only ceased reprints after I became a bit tired of spending my life packing and posting books. But I am again part way through the next one, having recovered from physically dealing with sales. I put the success down to the fact that I am giving fresh material with none of the old favourites of Cutty Sark, Bounty, Victory, Titanic, etc in it, and definitely no warships! Then only forum I know of in the whole world on Merchant Ships, 19th and 20th Centuries, is here on SOS, but there is practically no activity, unless I add anything, that I rarely do nowadays. Surprisingly enough, my facebook Group "Merchant Ships in Miniature," now has over 600 members, many of who are extrely active building merchant ships of all sizes and shapes from ancient to modern. You would be surprised how many modellers say they prefer the printed book, even if it costs more than e-books.
Bob
Bob ,why not invite those members from your facebook group to Sos and they can create activity and build logs ,that might start something and more people will join??
 

pebbleworm

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#11
For new research, I defer to professional marine archaeologists. While site reports USED to be buried in limited release and very expensive technical publications that are a real challenge to get via interlibrary loan, more and more are going open source either through the institutions involved or sites like academia.edu which is great news for everyone involved. Just for example, here are some recent papers on ancient shipwrecks:
https://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Ancient_Shipwrecks
I haven't needed the "premium" access to the site yet, but 8.95 a month is nothing if you are getting the information you need
 

zoly99sask

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#13
The members of my Facebook group are only interested in merchant ships the same as me. Mostly steam vessels!
Bob
Bob,that is what I would expect from them ,lots of merchant ship build logs Lol,nobody bites here though
 
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#14
Primary sources, both archeological and contemporary, are becoming more available all the time thanks to the interwebz. While some amount of archival work is still necessary, the online indexing at many archives continue to improve, aiding greatly in reducing the on-site time needed (and cost for requesting copies of items of interest).

There is a surprisingly sizeable population of model builders, both scratch and kit, which is interested in the historic record and info. There are also many who prefer the tactile sensation of print over electrons.

In it's heyday, the NRJ was an amazing resource. It has, unfortunately, shifted aeay from research into showing off models. That, though, is what subscribers want to see.

I still get The Mariner's Mirror and will be renewing for Northern Mariner, in addition to several online sources (including Academia.org and jstor).
 

didit

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#15
Winston over at MSB did a E journal for several years and it was quite a success I think he ended publication for lack of writers it was a constant struggle to find articles.

The members of my Facebook group are only interested in merchant ships the same as me. Mostly steam vessels!
Bob

Then only forum I know of in the whole world on Merchant Ships, 19th and 20th Centuries, is here on SOS, but there is practically no activity, unless I add anything, that I rarely do nowadays.

Bob ,why not invite those members from your facebook group to Sos and they can create activity and build logs ,that might start something and more people will join??


sure this forum and site has a lot of kit builders and sailing ships but that did not stop me from creating a steam ship topic nor should that stop you from creating a merchant ship section.
 

didit

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#18
In it's heyday, the NRJ was an amazing resource. It has, unfortunately, shifted away from research into showing off models. That, though, is what subscribers want to see.

and its heydays have come and gone and like you say WAS a resource of information now it is just eye candy and a store front for the businesses it supports.

but that is not the discussion here it is about the vanishing publications and a source of information now left vacant. If we want this hobby to survive and move into the future and not as just a commercial kit building hobby but a true model engineering and historical creation of ships of the past we need to create that resource ourselves like bob has done and is doing with merchant ships
 

zoly99sask

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#19
But I have a merchant ships section here, and it has been here for years:
Maritime History Build Logs: 19th & 20th Century
Has anyone actually looked in it?

It seldom changes unless I say something! The Facebook bunch are very active, and they are always posting their builds there. Every time I look. there is something new.
Bob
Bob,you can see how many views have on each topic,let me tell you quite lot,if u bring in those guys will be more logs and more views and more activity brings in more interest,be proactive insted and not negative,complaining about it not going to create more interest,more members alike and build logs ,yes.
 

didit

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#20
But I have a merchant ships section here, and it has been here for years:
Maritime History Build Logs: 19th & 20th Century
Has anyone actually looked in it?

It seldom changes unless I say something! The Facebook bunch are very active, and they are always posting their builds there. Every time I look. there is something new.
Bob

that is great news Bob it shows there is an active group and an interest you just got to direct it and build on it. Tell the people hey here is a forum with a

Maritime History Build Logs: 19th & 20th Century
 
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