Chuck

To help kit developers and kit builders alike-What would you like to see developed for the hobby.

108 posts in this topic

I've already added my 2cents on Civil War era ships, but then had this thought:How about a USS Housatanic pob packaged with a resin Hunley in the same scale. Saw a photo of such a model on the NUMAsite and thought it was a cool display.

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I whole heartedly agree with Pete's assessment. mid to late 19th century, packet ships, brigs, and brigantines, especially those in the 200-500 ton range were immensely important to the development of ocean going commerce and they would make wonderful modeling subjects.

 

Russ

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JohnE has a good point about Euro ships but an even bigger lack in the market are Asian ships.  The ships of Asia were amazing pieces of technology.  Some were as long as 400 feet and they sailed long distances.  Be nice to see some of the Chinese, Japanese, Indian and other Asian ships represented in the market.

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My opinion:

 

I like ships of the pre-1800 era. Vasa, Soleil Royal, Sovereign of the Seas, etc you get the idea. Lots of ornamentation and bling.

I would love to see well made ornamentation. No matter if wood, resin or metal. Only to be accurate. They can be painted anyway.

I am still looking for a good POF kit of a ship of this style.

Price range: I know quality comes with a price, so that would not matter much or in any case, would be understandable if priced high.

Detailed instructions (or lack of) is something many builders complaint about too often. Accurate plans.

Scale: A very tough question. The bigger the scale, the better the detail and the harder to find a place to build and display the ship. (The opposite for small scale.) 

 

Thank you Chuck for your interest!

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Originally from New England, Old Ironsides,Charles W. Morgan and the Mayflower were right down the street.It seems to me the ships that made history were popular for a reason.They also have sold a lot of kits in wood and plastic.Now that I am down south I see the Susan Constant ,Godspead and Discovery.Three ships that brought  the first colonists to Jamestown in 1609. Another life size replica:The Elizabeth at Roenoke Island NC.She brought queen Elizabeth`s/Sir Walter Raleighs "lost colony" .We could name more but the idea is they havn`t been kitted,they have a popular history.With quality fittings and basswood and plywood they may sell for $150 more or less.As stated earlier the builder can up grade if they choose.A Spanish Galleon fron a treasure fleet of the 1600 or 1700`s or perhaps a "real" pirate ship would attract interest. drake1588

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Look up Woody Joe kits on a Google Search.  Clare Hess has had a couple of build logs on these kits.  Can always be more kits -  but didn't know if you were aware of these kits.

Kurt

I saw the build logs for the Woody Joe kits and they are great kits.  However they represent a small selection of small water craft from one area.  I would like to see some from other areas.  Korea, Vietnam, China, India, Arabia, all have interesting ships that you rarely if ever see models of. 

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I would like to echo the choice/suggestions made by a few members for models of ships dating to the "transition" period (steam/sail).  Any model would need to meet the interests of many rather than the few to be commercially viable, so I will stick to a selection where there are ample NMM plans, some contemporary reference books, and included multiple ships in the vessel Class to allow some personalisation/customisation by the builder.  

 

My selection meets these criteria while still offering interest to builders from several nations as these vessels were resold or built for more than the RN.

 

- Gun Despatch vessels of the Arrow, Vigilance or perhaps the Albatross Class (Crimean War plus period).

- Good wood quality, resin and PE rather than mixed metal, and brass or resin cannon (with appropriate detail) etc.

- Perhaps two versions of each kit (one for beginners, POB, with lower quality materials etc and another for more experienced builders, POF, with better quality wood, options for higher quality materials and fittings etc.

- Scale 1:60 or 1:64?  (1:48 would be nice but rather large to display for many)

Good plans and instructions essential - especially for rigging as practices throughout this period varied and evolved.

- Laser cut or CNC milled parts (not die stamped etc); consider planking templates (spilling method).

 

If this path were taken, an author may also be inspired to produce some sorely needed reference material using builds of these kits for pictures etc, and collate the contemporary materials such as Peake, Paasche etc. This period sadly lacks modern reference books in the vein of the "Construction and Fitting of ..." etc books.  Sorry if I have strayed into another area here.

 

cheers

 

Pat

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What I would also like to see is a kit in a common universal scale, like 1/64th, or 3/16" = 1 foot.

 

Often, ship model kits are made in some truly frustrating scales. What the companies do, is to first figure out, through marketing, what is the most popular size of a completed ship model, taking into account the average display table size, or fireplace mantel dimensions. Once they come up with that figure, they alter their ship size to fit that space, and as a result, come up with some pretty unhelpful scales to manufacture their kit in. Try finding accurate replacement 12-pounder cannon barrels in 1/76.2-th scale. (Model Shipway's Essex, I'm looking at you. :)

 

Or worse yet, in order to minimize costs, they adjust the scale based on what will fit into standardized packaging designed to simplify shipping and distribution. Then again, reducing costs for kits that so many people complain about being excessive, may not be so terrible (?).

 

Clare

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The type of ship doesn't really matter. I prefer ships between 1750 and 1785. A ketch rigged sloop in a larger scale (1/48; 1/32), perhaps a bomb vessel, but historically accurate. There are more than enough fantasy and bad designed kits in the market

 

What I think is really necessary: a new or very old way of commercialisation of kits.

 

I think it is a good idea to offer a kit in different parts. Most of us like good quality wood (box, pear, ...) but this is very expensive and in my opinion not a good option for a kit as it will offered today. The kit will become expensive and less costumer will buy it.

 

So my idea is to offer the kit in three, perhaps five parts

 

-Part 1: bulkheads and drawings

-Part 2: wood for building the hull (perhaps in two different qualities: lower quality basswood; higher quality: pear)

-Part 3: fittings (Chucks way with laercut parts is a really good way)

-Part 4: Mast and spars (perhaps also i two qualities); blocks and so on

-Part 5: Rigging Material

 

The modeller can choose the qualities and don't need to buy every part in one time. The problem is, that the company needs a bigger store.

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I would have to make one request.  Of course like everyone I'm biased by nationality and interest, but I think there are a couple of ships from the age of sail that are not represented in any kit form which seems a real hole in the market, I'm talking about HMS Trincomalee and the frigate Unicorn, both Leda class frigates and a very successful design - HMS Shannon of Chesapeake fame was also a Leda.  Given the ships are still in existance I suspect that these would have a lot of interest similar to the other ships (or even replicas) that seem to generate so much interest.  The class also crossed over the changes from the flat to rounded stern so could make for some very interesting modeling.

 

Another interesting ship is the RRS Discovery (famous for Scott's ill-fated voyage to the South Pole) berthed in Dundee (within sight of Unicorn in fact) which again I think generates interest for its historic value and the fact that she is also still in existence.

 

Preferred Scale - 1:64.  I'm not retired so have a bit more flexibility with finances but believe in getting value for money and not just the cost side - current Caldercraft/Amati price point seem reasonable, however I prefer to pay extra for option of better wood, I'm tired of dealing with the ubiquitous walnut....

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It seems there are as many suggestions for a vessel or type of vessel as there are responses, thus the problem.  There may not  be enough buyers for a company to invest in designing and putting together the plans and materials for a kit.  Scratch building opens up the door to hundreds of vessels, but there are the downsides - more tools (toys for grown ups) more space.  Back to the positive side of scratch, there are some top wood and parts suppliers now so one can put together a kit of his/her own, including  blocks, cannon, deck furniture and more.   That is really just one step past kit bashing so maybe another solution to the problem.  It would also give the builder a project to build a vessel that has not been done a thousand times before. 

Just some rambling thoughts that I had.

Allan

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Having read through the preceding posts I offer the following;

 

Kits in parts from one or more supplier, ie Syren andCrown Timberyard.

Kits that introduce new techniques, preferably gently, and form a progression.

Projects based on vessels of any period that are significant for pushing the design envelope.

Less POB, more POF.

 

My choice of vessel? HMS Niger and her sister vessel HMS Basilisk, both built as sailing sloops, were used for the 1849 propulsion trials.

Basilisk drew the short straw and was equipped with paddles. They both served on after the trials but HMS Niger must have her place in history. Build them as a pair? Now there's a thought!

 

Mike.

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There used to be a Dutch firm that did some small ships, at 1:100. Resulting models about 25 centimets (that's 10 inch for you non-metrics:))

Rather basic kits, solid hull, partly precut, basic rigging, but great starter-kits, with quite a lot of detailing-options. Firm went backrupt, and no one else continued the range. Jan

Would this be Authentic Shipmodels Amsterdam? If so, I still have a catalog from them.

Marcus

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Lots of great suggestions. Additionally:

 

*I would go for more French or  British Frigates as has been mentioned, but American Frigates would be especially welcomed. The other types of kits I would like to see are more yachts from the late 1800's thru the 1930's, or merchant vessels from the mid 19th century.

 

*Quality material POB or as a transition to POF from POB for intermediate modellers just leaning POF.

 

*Price $250 to $400

 

*Time frame 8 mos to 16 mos

 

*Intermediate builds would be great. As mentioned, a transition for modellers graduating to POF from POB who are not ready for scratch building.

 

*The suggestion for the HMS Shannon and the Chesapeake was a good one and would be very interesting, or some other famous sea combat action.

 

Chris

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I think the idea of a Shannon expressed by several others has merit, as well as being a ship of note in its own right (and would also like to see a Chesapeake) it has some extension possibilities.

 

The cost of development and manufacture has to be a consideration for Chuck as a developer. The Shannon was a Leda class frigate of which there were some 46 produced for the Royal Navy, including the Trincomalee (my current scratch build) and the Unicorn as mentioned by Beef Wellington. Therefore the ability to adapt the base research at say 1:64 scale and produce a multitude of variants may be worth considering as a means of leveraging the initial investment. We have seen this to some extent with the Victory Models Vanguard / Elephant / Bellerepharon or Caldercrafts Cruiser / Snake.

 

I wouldn't advocate providing a multiplicity of options in a single kit as that would make it too expensive, but perhaps a common starting point with options to take up for different ships may work. With something of a large class like a Leda you can go from the classic early ship with open rails of the Revolutionary Wars through to the Unicorn with its built up barricades and austere black and white paint scheme of the early 19th century, all which rests with the builder, not the developer.

 

POB to keep the costs down.

 

Perhaps an option on materials - if your going to paint the hull then keep the materials simple, if you want the classic look then a premium for box, pear, or whatever.

 

Price - for the kit I want to build I don't have an issue with circa £500 \ $700, but possibly variable as above as I realise this is too steep for many

 

Just my views, but ultimately it must come down to a concencus on demand from all of us and that we buy in to that consensus, otherwise Chuck may as well take up painting elephants white!

 

Gary

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This discussion is great, its a peek under the hood of what people think about the hobby and I would like to see it worked up into a survey with 100 questions. Then EVERYONE on MSW could be invited to take the survey. Questions could start with ascertaining demographics of the users and then move on to the nuts and bolts of the hobby. Not sure what all the questions would be, a lot of "Have you ever built a Plank on Frame model?" or "do you use paint on your models?"   with some more esoteric questions like "have you ever built the same kit twice?" or " what is the most money you ever spent on the construction of one model?". these questions, if answered by enough people, would provide a fascinating set of pie graphs that would represent the nature of the typical builder.

 

I am sure manufacturers would agree that having this information would be helpful. On the other side of the coin, I would LOVE to see some analysis of the business side of the hobby. For instance I would like to see a list of all past and present ship kit manufacturers, something I have never seen put together before. Then I would like to see this list broken down in various ways: List ranked according to date of the company founding, list ranked according to number of kits sold by each manufacturer, then this same list expanded to show performance figures by year.

 

I would be interested in seeing a breakdown of the cost of the materials that go into a kit- on a pie graph, a slice for photo etched parts, a slice for wood sourcing acquisition and milling, a slice for R&D, a slice for cost of writing illustrating and printing the plans and guidebook, A slice for the rigging line, a slice for the blocks, a slice for the white metal, a slice for the cost of the box the kit comes in.

 

In short, everything. I think such kit information would hold some surprises for those of us who have never been involved with product manufacturing and distribution. Speaking of which lets have a pie graph for that too! I'm sure a lot of us take production of kits for granted and would be willing to part with money for kits that clearly cost a lot more to produce than others. Somewhere in the hobby there is one kit that cost more to produce and distribute than any other- I wonder which one it was? Elsewhere in the hobby there is a kit that became the most profitable kit in the entire hobby- I wonder which one it was! And sadly there must have been a kit somewhere that sold fewer units than any other kit, I wonder which one it was, and how many were sold.

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I did not actually address the question which was "What would you like to see developed for the hobby?". My dream kit would reflect the fact that I do not have much space where I live for the display of a large model, but that I love a good square rigged ship in a large scale. If its armed with cannon all the better, but the lack of armament would not be a dealbreaker. I would like it to be 1:48 scale for the sake of the culture of our hobby and the freedom to include detail the scale affords, but am wiling to go for a smaller scale for the sake of matching the other parameters I have, which are about the kits size.  I would like the model to be as small as possible while still being of a lergish scale, I would want the criteria for the selection of subject to be driven first and foremost by its being the smallest possible overall length of the completed kit. So it looks like we are talking about brigs and topsail schooners. There are many exotic coasting vessels that could fill the bill too I am sure. A brig with only four cannon and a short headrig, is that a thing? The printmaker Baugean made  a lot of nice engravings of vessels that appeal to me and you can see them in the book Ships and Seamanship by John Harland. Just about any vessel depicted in the last three quarters of this book would be a great subject in my opinion.

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As long as a topic about what we do as developers doesnt evolve into a sales pitch I am all for it should the membership be interested and have questions.   I would also welcome the "big boys" as you call them to participate although I think that isnt the true picture.  Many of these companies.......Admiralty Models, Caldercraft,  Bluejacket, Maristella, Dusek, Seawatch Books included,  are not the big boys.   They are still very small by most business standards and are Mom and Pop type operations with sales NOT in the millions annually.  Hardly considered big business like some older more established companies like Model Shipways, Amati, or Corel and others.  Although I may be mistaken.  The true definition...if you are in business with under 2 employees you are a micro business.....with up to 50 employees a small business etc.

 

But to preserve this topic as a way to allow our members to communicate their wish lists and preferences for subject,  price points and materials..... I still ask that no commercial folks post here.

 

Having said that, if our membership wants a topic where they can ask our sponsors some kit development questions or respond to other inquiries and see a slice of what the development process looks like and costs....let me know by replying here and I will start one.

 

I am just hesitant because I dont want it to be a big commercial or very sales oriented topic.   Or for one or more such companies to monopolize the conversation.  All of our operations are probably very different.  Same is true probably for our business philosophy. 

 

It may be better for each dealer to just set up their own topic here.....

 

There is really nothing preventing any vendor right now from starting a topic in the traders and dealers section right know detailing what it takes to start and finish a particular project.  Sort of what Maristella has started here (topic)    but he hasnt gone into costs and differnt things.  Its his choice.

 

I have already started one for Syren here....kind of...I would be more than happy to discuss any aspect of my development process and philosophy...as well as costs/challenges.  I think the topic already contains such questions from our members.  I am not adverse to talking about it in more detail either...just pose the question in my topic.

 

So I guess what I am saying Dave....is that it may be better to just create a stand-alone topic for the Lumberyard rather than have a mish-mash of commercial gobly-gook in one large topic.   Just my two cents.  So feel free to start your own.  

 

Currently I have found this topic fascinating....for my area of expertise..(not sail to steam, not POF)

 

Preference for complete kits of frigates and ships 1750-1840ish as described by many....POB ..1/48 scale or 1/64....with better materials.....huge detailed instructions with crisp Hi res photos in color....high end fittings and not the usual crap...better rope and blocks....all for what has been averaged out to around $200-$500.  Dont make a ship already available as a kit......plenty of particular ships mentioned  so thats not an issue.  That is a tall order.  There are a few willing to pay more but most are not....we are talking years to develop each project and thousands invested in that development.  I probably should have opened up a pizza parlor instead.

 

I would not have gained that info had this topic been over run by input from the developers.  The same is true if the topic was watered down by having a similar topic competing with it, because some developers are chomping at the bit to get into the conversation.  So yes, Dave, feel free to start a stand alone Lumberyard topic.  As the info I am getting must continue to be collected un- abridged.  It is just too valuable to muck-up.  For me anyway.  And feel free to also comment in my topic as I will feel free to comment in the Lumberyards.  I think it will give everyone a lot of insight into our individual operations.  And we developers will have a lot to gain from talking to each other in our various individual topics.  I am sure we can all help each other move the hobby forward by letting folks know about our challenges commercially.

 

Again,  I am sorry for going off track here a bit.

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Sorry to join the conversation late.  This is a really great topic of conversation Chuck, thanks for raising it and giving the customer some input on possible future product launches.

 

I think for first time kit buyers, the market is pretty well saturated with good beginner kits where the beginner probably cares less about historical accuracy and bashing, but is just looking to get their feet wet and build something out of the box.  What is probably most important is for there to be good instructions.  When I was getting started in the hobby, I was looking for a beginner kit with very detailed instructions.  There weren't too many of those out there at the time surprisingly, but I think that's been changing.  I ended up going with the Caldercraft Badger because it had a 65-page instruction manual that was close to what you've done with the practicums.

 

When it came time for my second kit, I was looking for a step up in difficulty, something interesting and historically accurate, and with good quality components.  At the same time I wanted to bash the kits to improve on them, so I purchased "used" kits since I knew I would be replacing most of the wood anyway.  With a kit under my belt, limited instructions were fine with me.  Here's been my experience with some of the kits I bought since the Badger:

 

-- Amati Pegasus:  I bought the kit because of the ship's beautiful lines and decorations, the availability of TFFM and plans from the NMM, and because the kit components were of very high quality.  The kit in my opinion is A+++ all around.  If you like the subject matter, Amati has hit the ball out of the park with this kit.  My only quibble is that the walnut planking and walnut laminated sheets had such variation in color that I couldn't use it since I wanted natural finishes on the model.

 

-- MS Charles Morgan:  I wanted something different besides the typical 18th century British warship.  Great plans, lots of information out there, and you can see the actual ship in person.  I'd knock the kit down slightly because the keel and bulkheads are in basswood rather than something stronger like MDF (Pegasus) or plywood, but otherwise I'm very happy with the kit.

 

-- Corel Unicorn:  A kit with a lot of promise with available plans from the Chapman Architectura book and the NMM (for its sister ship, the Lyme) that unfortunately frustrated me to the point of dropping the build.  Keel was warped.  The plans didn't match up with each other or with the parts in many instances.  You can certainly build a nice model from the kit, but as you can see from the various logs on here, Corel took a few liberties and the ship is not accurate in many respects.  Once I started comparing the ship with the plans, etc., it was going to be too much work to modify things and so I decided I will build a Lyme class ship from scratch in the future.

 

Lots of good suggestions from others above.  If I had to come up with my ideal kit, and if you're looking to target the more experienced modeler, I would look to these principles:

 

1.  Good quality frame, plans and detail pieces - MDF or plywood keel and bulkheads, with plans that match one another and the parts.  Either include good detail pieces or don't bother including them.  Warped keels and bad plans are really unacceptable in my opinion, but they seem to be pretty commonplace.  

 

2.  Interesting subject - There are lots of good 18th century British warships out there.  After rigging cannons with 2mm blocks, I was very interested in the Charles Morgan for a next build!  No cannons, but lots of interesting deck details like the try works, etc.  For subjects, maybe another whaler like the ill-fated Essex?  A fishing or other kind of working or merchant vessel?  Dutch or french ships (I bought the two Euromodel kits in my signature because they were relatively unique offerings in this respect).  Something with history, decorations, cool deck items and details?

 

3.  Additional source material - I think as people move onto second, third, etc. builds, the historical piece is almost as interesting as building the model.  Plans available from the NMM, or from books like the AOTS series, are great resources to help improve the kit.  I think the Pandora can fit this bucket quite nicely, and it also has an interesting history.

 

4.  Option to buy kit components a la carte - Not sure how feasible it is, but I think there would be a market of builders who would buy a kit from a manufacturer if they could buy, for example, the plans, keel and bulkheads, and decorative pieces.  Either offer upgraded wood packages or offer the kit without any wood.  For me personally, if I'm going to use pear, boxwood, etc., no way I'll buy a complete kit from the manufacturer as I'd rather just wait to buy one off eBay for a big discount and use the savings to buy the wood I want (I bet for some buyers too, the attraction of buying good quality detail pieces from you is a huge incentive to purchase certain kits).  Without this option, I think many people will buy from secondhand sources in lieu of buying retail, or they may scratch build what they want.

 

So I'm in if you decide to ever offer an Essex kit with the keel and bulkheads in MDF, great plans, and either without kit wood or the option to upgrade it, and detail pieces for sale on your website  :D

 

You asked about price and build time.  I think if you're looking to the intermediate/advanced set, then people get the price and build time factors.  Like I said above, I think on price, people might be more apt to buy a kit retail if there was more of an a la carte option.  Build time wise, I don't know if people care about finishing a model in a set period of time, unless they were doing it for a job or possibly they were elderly :)

 

Thanks!  Obviously these are idiosyncratic opinions.  Sorry for the long post!  

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Preference for complete kits of frigates and ships 1750-1840ish as described by many....POB ..1/48 scale or 1/64....with better materials.....huge detailed instructions with crisp Hi res photos in color....high end fittings and not the usual crap...better rope and blocks....all for what has been averaged out to around $200-$500.  Dont make a ship already available as a kit......plenty of particular ships mentioned  so thats not an issue.  That is a tall order.  There are a few willing to pay more but most are not....we are talking years to develop each project and thousands invested in that development.  I probably should have opened up a pizza parlor instead.

 

 

 

I feel for you Chuck and Dave, as I've noticed the same thing, and I have to think that these people are being completely unreasonable and not really thinking through what they are asking for.

 

I'm going to use Cheerful as a 'talking point', since it's my most recent purchase, and it's a great example, as I've put together the components very much like what they are asking for, yet it's a much smaller kit than what they are asking for.

 

Starter kit w/laser cut keel, bulkheads and stern frames.

All the mini-kits available.

Full timbering kit including pre-milled planking for the hull.

Guns and carriages.

 

All of that adds up to about $565 if you pay normal price, and does not include shipping.  Not included - more wood stock for the masting, all the rigging rope, fittings, stuff like anchors that kits normally include, and we are easily into the $650~$750 range depending on what all you add, and this is a 1/48 scale single masted cutter.  People that expect to get a 1/48 scale frigate kit using that quality of materials for under $500 are never going to get what they want.  It's simple math really.  If you want a 1/48 scale HMS Surprise that uses Boxwood or Pear instead of Lime & Walnut, and replaces bad generic fittings with high quality fittings, it is going to be $1000+ even from a large company.

 

What is really surprising to me is that people don't seem to consider the value of the purchase over the time spent building it.  The AVS took me 13 months, and probably 1200 hours to build.  So what if I spent $600+ on materials to complete it, that's pretty cheap 'entertainment', especially if you spread the 1200 hours out over a longer period of time like most people do.

 

Most plastic modelers (or at least the ones in my IPMS group) spend $50 per month easily on kits, and that's just the ones they actually build, not the ones that just get added to the stash.  At $600 per year, if you build a really nice frigate in 2 years, that's $1200.  Yea, it's all at once, but over time, it's the same as buying a $50 plastic tank model every month.  

 

You get what you pay for, and if you want a high quality model, you buy a high quality kit, which isn't going to be as cheap as a low quality kit of the same subject.

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Funny thing about this topic... everyone has their idea of which ship or type of ships.  Yet when one looks at the kit builds there's a big gap.  There's the Vic's and Connie's en masse.  The odd balls, the work ships, the little known... not so much.  Even the scratch area although they are all over the map there's still some in the "majority".   The ideal model also seems to be divided by continent or country even...  

 

One thing I have noticed is that there is a big aftermarket for parts like what Chuck is bringing out.  I'm doing a scratchbuild and yes, I'll be using some aftermarket stuff because I don't have the tooling, inclination, nor the expertise to design and build some parts.  

 

Maybe the ala carte method is a good one.  It's like buying a basic car and the adding options.  The problem is the picking of the basic car or ship in this case.

 

I guess I'm saying, I'd sure hate to be a kit designer and try to figure out the market.  : :)

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Chuck, Your posting today brought up a good point: the instructions. Having your build logs that turn into the instruction book works out great in my opinion. "Show me" works much better for my brain than "tell me".

 

Brian, yours re: dollars per hour is spot-on. It's just that the admiral won't notice $50/month but the ONE TIME - man, my couch is not that comfortable!!!

 

R/

Jerry

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My two cents worth.

 

I would like to see some decals available for the frieze decoration on ships.  Just black outlines printed on clear decal film that can be applied to the hull frieze and then painted. (or painted first)

 

I very often use that technique myself and think it might be of use to others. Anything would be an improvement on the over scale clumsy metal offerings currently available in some kits.

 

Dan

mcpesq817, hollowneck, EJ_L and 4 others like this

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A idiot proof HMS Winchelsea (1764) kit by Chuck with same level of instructions as the Cheerful.

 

Full resin stern (?), lots of mini kits. 6-900 dollars depending on the amount scratch built.

 

My only caveat is; if the skill level needed is too high, I would have a hard time paying so much -- fearing failure.

 

Ed

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Here's a couple for you -  the 17th and 18th century ships have beautiful sterns, but are expensive/troublesome to build in any decent scale - how about a stern only build like the Victory prow section that Panart offers - only not Victory - I'm kinda tired of that one, besides, with the new mediums available, I would like to see better decorations instead of the vague, chunky metal ones,  I don't think people are too biased against resin or (choke!) even plastic if done properly.  Another thing I would like to see is the aforementioned sharp and rakish civil war era ship, say like the Harriet Lane that MS offers, but in a larger scale to better show detail.  Also would absolutely love to see a midship cross section of this ship with the interior machinery and hull framing, with or without a mast and the paddlewheel shaft (eliminating them would save time and cost).  If you can catch my drift here - the cross sections aren't too well represented in the market right now, and would be more affordable and less time-consuming to build and not require too much space to display, not to mention the expense of a case to protect it.  I'm a lover of detail, but severely limited in both time and talent!  Price point will be consistent with the quality - I like to have something to start with a la the Cheerful and launch kits, with the option to upgrade or not with timber sets, and masting/rigging sets as originally planned for the MS Essex, which can stand on its own as an admiralty style.  BTW, I'm liking what I've seen lately with the new offerings from the mfrs that sponsor the website.

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My first wish, and off topic, would be to have the ability to push the like button more than once!! As I think Brian has said it all perfectly.

 Speaking for myself and answering the questions the name and country of origin have no consequence as to whether I buy or not. The material in the kit is not that big of a factor either as I have the ability to make my own and if not (such as blocks) it can be readily ordered. I am not saying to send me a box of crap but am saying if I want to change it I can make that decision, leaving it to the dealer to send the best economic material available.

 Price is not a factor either, if I like what the dealer has made I will find a way of buying it. The time it takes to finish a build is also irrelevant to me, as this is something I usually have.

 In saying all of this I know I have been of no help thus far but here is where I sit.

 Currently I have thirteen kits on my shelve ranging in price from $200-$1100 and have two more on the way as we speak. The reasons for buying these range from looks to price to "I just have to have that". This, hoarding, has not been mentioned here yet but I am pretty sure I am not alone here.

 With years of builds ahead of me I am still looking for more, are we all not? Today's thought of my next buy is something not so complex, meaning no rigging,minimal planking etc. I would be looking for something that could be used as a diversion from a more complex kit that is being worked on. It would be a quality kit that could be put aside for weeks maybe and be picked up again without having to re-study everything for hours before resuming. The price is again not really relative, not that I am wealthy, if I like it and is what I am looking for I will buy it.

 I'm not sure if any of this will help, it is just a little insight as to what my circumstances currently are. 

EJ_L, Rustyj, coxswain and 8 others like this

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I feel for you Chuck and Dave, as I've noticed the same thing, and I have to think that these people are being completely unreasonable and not really thinking through what they are asking for.

 

 

People aren't being unreasonable, they're doing exactly what they were asked to do by the topic, sharing what they'd like to see. Most of us don't know anything about the business side of kit development (which is why I tried to ask about it earlier), so how do you expect respondents to magically produce only practical answers?

 

Look, no one understands businesses they aren't engaged in. Among other things, I'm a vegetable farmer, and farmers market customers always want their produce organic, perfect, and cheap. Well, you can't have all three. Organic and perfect, it won't be cheap. Organic and cheap, it's going to have bug damage. Perfect and cheap, it ain't going to be chemical-free. But people who have never grown a vegetable in their life, or even people who have a home garden, have no mental structure for evaluating the actual business of vegetable production.

 

So there's no need to get huffy about modellers saying what they'd "like" to see, especially when that's what was asked for. If we can get a nice explanation from the developers of what actually goes into the business model of kit development, maybe then we can give more "realistic" answers. Until then, just take the feedback here at face value as a narrow sampling of a limited community of dedicated modellers and get what value you can from it.

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I feel compelled to make a comment from the manufacturer's side. Our CSS Alabama kit took about 1,400 hours to develop. That's a BIG chunk of payroll money. Even a "simple" kit like our Revenue Cutter is hundreds of hours of development.

 

As to deciding which ships to model, I made a survey back in April of 2014 that reached 3,000 people, and I got back 60 or 70 responses. That is BlueJacket's general guide for kit development for the next several years to come.

 

Without being too commercial, we already offer some kits that were suggested in this thread. We also have a toll-free help line for our kits. We take our reputation very seriously.

robin b, donfarr, Canute and 16 others like this

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