Chuck

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

113 posts in this topic

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.

 

My intention was not to be 'huffy', it was to point out the exact same thing you did about the vegetable farming.  You can't have everything, you need to consider all the factors going into the product, and that it's kind of unreasonable to say "I want this awesome thing made out of the best possible components which are all expensive, but I want it to cost a dollar".

 

Sure, we all might *want* it, but that doesn't mean that it's reasonable to ask for it.

 

I don't need to really understand the industry to go to Crown and look at the cost of a wood package, then see what a set of plans costs somewhere, what do various bits of fittings, ropes, etc. cost, and add it all up to get at least a vague idea of the materials costs that would go into a given project, then consider that any business has development costs (in time and materials both), and that they need to make a profit of some kind.

 

Hopefully nobody takes my earlier post (or this one) personally, as neither was intended that way at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's important to understand is that someone saying "I want this awesome thing made out of the best possible components which are all expensive, but I want it to cost a dollar" isn't necessarily insisting that all three of those things be true all the time, they're just telling you that those three things are important to them, just as a market customer is telling me that they care about cost, quality, and growing method.

 

It's not breaking news, but this collection of comments tells us that  majority of people here like 17-18th ocean-going ships, they have a budget they feel is appropriate, and they value good materials and instructions. Any given designer may not be able to meet all three goals, but they can make an educated decision about which of them to focus on.

 

Again, this thread asked people what they thought in general, as if I handed out a survey of farmers market shoppers. People giving their ideal ideas to a survey is not the same as people specifically criticizing a given vendor. Consumers that challenge my market prices directly and personally are annoying if they don't try to understand the business model. Consumers who tell a survey that they want organic, affordable, nice-looking produce are just telling me in general what's important to them. Respondents to this thread are, by and large, saying what matters to them in general; they're not saying "X company is too expensive or Y company doesn't make models I like".

 

For example, when I say I want a kit to be $250-$400, I'm saying that's as much as I can possibly justify spending. If the only way to make a kit I'd otherwise like is for it to be $600, then I don't want that kit made for me because I won't be able to buy it no matter how nice it is. That's important information for a manufacturer. I'm not insisting they lose money making me a $600 kit for $400, I'm saying that's my budgetary limit, period. We chose not to grow some things on our farm because we couldn't sell them at a price consumers would accept. I'd like to grow them, but I accept that people won't pay me to do so. They can grow them in their home garden if they want those items, or scratchbuild that model, or just do without if that's what life dictates. Again, don't misinterpret what's being said in this forum.

GuntherMT, Canute, mtaylor and 4 others like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty much everything has already been said and I would like to add the following:

 

I am always looking for more 'accurate' Dutch kits from 1600 to 1800. One of the MSW members by the name 'Hans' started a company and he has the Batavia available and he is working on other ships as well. http://www.kolderstok-models.com/index.en.html

For the scratch builder there is much available in the form of books with plans. Seawatch published a few by Ab Hoving and Cor Emke who did all the CAD drawings.

 

Marcus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chuck,

 

I'd say play to your strengths.  You design beautiful kits with a history. Instructions that are second to none. There's options on purchasing (that's a big plus) such that if the buyer wants better wood, they can get what they need from you and "good wood" from elsewhere.  This saves the buyer some cash on the kit.  Options on the fittings.   

 

You're already basically allowing your customers to "roll their own prices".  You have range of kits in work or available.  I take it that Winchelsea is next?

 

From what I see, you're doing right by your customers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

POF, mid-18th to early 19th century schooners, brigs &c. (merchant or fishing).

 

Scale, that's a tough one. I'm less concerned with all my models matching than being able to work on it. For example, I found 1:128 far too small when building, but the 20 inch product is a good size. 1:48 is easier to work, but the result if rigged is a burly beast.

 

I like the ala carte menu option - build it your way! Instructions (at least detailed guidance on sequence) would be most beneficial. Detailed step by step, maybe but, for a beginner, seem proscriptive rather than suggestive. (Oops - I missed that step, dangit! Now what? ShouldI start over? Tear out what I just did?)

 

Price point is tough. Done as ala carte, components bought over several months or years, total price can be higher, so long as component units stay in that target range!

mtaylor, grsjax and Canute like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a total newcomer to wood I at first thought I had nothing to add here, but on reflection I do.

 

Even though the topic is "new kit development", I think its worth saying that with regards to existing kits I would like to see more/better information on all the manufacturer's websites.  A ship name, scale, and a handful of low resolution photos of the expertly finished product, frankly, doesn't cut it.  Show me what I am getting for my $100-$600 (don't rely on 3rd party reviews).  You don't have to give away the plans but a PDF of the assembly process is what gave me the confidence to finally click "buy" on my first kit.

 

As far as future development, I think there is a great opportunity to up the scale realism by embracing a more multi-media approach. Wood is nice, I like wood, and wood is the whole point here but there are many many parts-pieces which could stand to be resin, or even injection molded plastic.  There are just some details for which the over-scale grain of real wood shatters the illusion (ships wheel for example).  Also the plastic model world is doing amazing things with PhotoEtch and I see lots of opportunities for its incorporation in wooden ship building (beyond what its currently being used for).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, I'll throw a few cents in.

 

As a newbie scratch POF builder, I transitioned from "traditional" POB kits, however I did learn a lot from POB kits, mainly that the plans and instructions were mostly terrible ( exception being MS Confederacy IMO ).

I agree wholeheartedly with a lot of comments that having options for upgrading kits is great, but I think that's better left to the specialists like syren/crown etc.. to offer than the manufacturer ( it's not in their interest). Just check out the option kits available for a lot of plastic kits from third parties ( it's a huge business ).

Now I think I can say with reasonable confidence that a large amount of ship modelers want to build something with a history ( why so many Vic's and Connies ), but there are a lot of other ships with great history's that are being ignored but my point being that who wants to build 5 Vic's, we need to have choice, but who knows what they are interested in until they get inspired by seeing something different, ( DA comet, GH swiftsure, CP barge ).

 

I think what I'm trying to say is " if you build it, they will come" IF it's good quality, great plans and instructions, price reasonable for the subject matter ( $200 for a awesome barge, $800 for an awesome frigate, $1500 for an awesome first rate ).

 

Ben

MEDDO, Chuck, Canute and 7 others like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to see 'crew members' so as to help give a clue as to scale.. I find some on wargames figures websites,  but the general kit scales do not often match these... be nice to have sailors looking like they are altering rigging etc.

Sunsanvil, Canute, mtaylor and 1 other like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More scale figures would be nice to see but with so many scales available I would think that would have to be a custom order from someone with the time and equipment, mainly a 3d printer, who would be willing to do that. If anyone knows of someone who is let me know as I would love to have some sailors on my ships!

Canute, Sunsanvil, WackoWolf and 1 other like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if this applies to multiple manufacturers, but I think Caldercraft/Jotika missed a trick with their Ballahoo schooner beginners model which I'm currently building. The instructions are not designed for a beginner - they are simply a list of things to do in a sequence with minimal detail on technique or process.

 

It's quite possibly one of the reasons why I bounced off the hobby for several years after getting 2 or 3 planks into the first planking. Thankfully I found a way back into it by looking elsewhere for guidance (such as this site) and I now feel up to speed on how to approach the build. But the whole process of learning the hobby is way too obtuse in my opinion; it's totally different to any other kind of model making and there needs to be a lot more hand-holding for absolute beginners if you ask me.

 

Also, it really is in the manufacturers best interests to grab hold of newbies and shower them with amazing instructions on beginner models (I'm not suggesting they include a complete paperback guide, just... something substantial). It means once they've finished they will go back and buy a more advanced model that takes their fancy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Name of Ship - No particular vessel in mind but would like to see something with similar lines to La Jacinthe through to a composite steam/sail or steam luxury yacht – type that you would see anchored off Nice or Rhode Island late 1800s to1930s- eg Imperial yacht Standart (1893) being built by Alex Baranov in the current build logs.

 

Scale - depends on size but prefer 1/48

 

Country of Origin - not important just fit the bill for appeal.

 

Material Choice –Very Important to me being located here in Australia as it is difficult to source the nicer wood such as pear/boxwood/cherry etc especially in thick sheets or billets would pay what it takes to get the wood supplied in say 24”x 4-6”W by 2”D or in smaller sheets that is dressed to get around our quarantine.

 

Style - Either POB or POF or possible (Hybrid see below) but not solid hull – reason again is mainly location and cost of mail to ship the weight. Probably also an issue internally in the US?  It may be worth considering a Hibrid hull choice which would help both the newer modeller and those that do not want to spend the length of time on a full frame. I thought something like the build of Toms10 HMS Leopard POB/POF/POB.  For those new to full framing you could offer all the easier square frames and POB for the more difficult cant and stern frames? Also may appeal to those that are looking for a shorter 12 month build. It would for me as I intend to start with an accurate kit probably POB to get my eye back in before I tackel Eds Naiad but would love a hibrid to cut my teeth on frames.

 

Build time – I would be prepared to put in around what it takes to build an Naiad as I want to leave something of me behind when I move on but I also normally have a couple of projects on the go for when I hit the wall on the main one. So another POB or Hybrid would fit the bill there as a 12 mth project.

 

Price range - depends on the timber supplied but if it came in large planks as mentioned above whatever they are worth plus the design time and plans – realistically probably up to $850 – $1000. Having just spent around $450 for a used Byrnes a third of which was shipping cost that would seem reasonable.

 

Advanced or beginner......something in-between? - Maybe the hybrid design could address this problem – one lot of research same detailing for both with three hull construction choices? In regard to a kit for beginners I think we have to acknowledge that we have a passionate but pretty narrow field of interest compared to the real and virtual world out there.Not many kids these days know what a chisel is let alone how to use one – this is in no way a critism of them its just that they have grown up in a disposable world and the thought of repairing something let alone building something is completely alien to them. If you accept that thought then it seems to me (generally) that the new entrants to our hobby will be those now aged mid 40s who have built models of some sort in their youth and are looking to re-engage rather than abinitio.

 

My two bobs worth – hope I'm not out of order. - Cheers Pete

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know I'm doing an Oliver Twist but I've been reflecting on my comments in my last post effectively writing off younger beginners which is not what I'd like to see happen. Maybe the way is to harness their mastery of computers and see if they can be tempted to put some skin in the game by physically constructing an object they have created on the "Dark Side" ie CAD modeling ?

Canute, EJ_L, donrobinson and 1 other like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JanetB

                                   I would love to see or buy if it was available a kit of the paddle steamer Waverly;the ship was built on the Clyde in the United Kingdom i think about 1930 or even

                                   before that in the second world war it helped in the evacuation of troops from the beaches of France.The ship has now been fully restored and in season you can

                                   even take a trip round the coast,with its two large funnels she makes a stirring sight.Many people in the u/k have made models of her but they are built from plans.

                                   I think as a fully working ship from the maybe just working paddles she would make a really fine model say 1/48 scale.

Elijah, mtaylor, AntonyUK and 3 others like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

two things for me....

I live within driving distance of whitby and hartlepool, and we have local famous boats like Endeavour (done already) and the Redcar and Whitby lifeboats, along with Trincomalee. I wonder if the linked shops would do well selling replica kits, especially the lifeboat? I did think that the RNLI could make money from this if they did a series of early lifeboats, same at Trincomalee museum? Would you buy one? One of these days I will get around to modelling the Zetland, kit available or not...

Canute, Jack12477 and mtaylor like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good well designed (accuracy, plans etc) basic kits that can be upgraded with better wood, resin figures and parts instead of terrible castings. Your Confederacy  (my current build) is a good role model. Good plans that even a one or 2 kit person can put together with close attention to plans. Bought your resin figure head to replace "Marvin the Martian" as well as your cannons and now "rope". Modellers Shipyard in Aus has put out a series of kits at various price points where you can buy a CD of their Model expert actually building the model. I have learned lots from them such as how to do copper plating. 

Best

Jaxboat

John Allen, mtaylor and Canute like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love ships. But not only that, I would like to one day see a kit developed of a late 18th- Early 19th century Gold dredge.

 I really love dredges. Especially the gold rush Bucket line pond dredges. They are very interesting and unique.  There is a model of one in the Cromwell information Center based in Central Otago, New Zealand.

These wooden behemoths of the rivers and ponds are a big part of history during the gold rushes of the world and all come in lots of different shapes and sizes.

This type of model will incorporate lots of wooden boat building as well as offering the Adventurus modeler a chance to work lots with metal parts too.  

Lots of winch gear work for working the machinery and also control the anchor lines. Plenty of detail to include and lots of photos from around the world for research.  Anyway that is my two cents spent.

EJ_L, mtaylor, Pete Jaquith and 2 others like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry for the late chime,

 

Something I would like to see is

1920-1950

Motor Yacht

POF

1:20-1:30 scale (not to small or not to large)

Maybe removable superstructure to emphasize detailing. 

This is just an idea I like and found on the internet.

DSC_0203.JPG

mtaylor, GuntherMT, KenFord and 2 others like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peterson designed Hermphrodite Brig Fritha in 3/8"=1' in POF would suit me just fine. Plans are available from Peterson's son Bill for a price and she's an absolutely stunning vessel. At that scale she's big enough for detail but not so big she won't fit in the house.

166856447_4a252d9d27_b.jpg

frithafullsailstarboardviewweb.jpg

Canute, GuntherMT, mtaylor and 1 other like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a few simple wishes from myself,

 

Prince Royal - England 1610 as built, being a large complex vessel similar to the Sovereign. Wood POB around the 1/72 scale is nice to work on and not too large. Would pay up to $1000 (AUD) this would again be more of an advanced ship I'm assuming?

 

Brederode - Netherlands 1644 - Tromps flagship of about 60 guns, Wood POB (would be interesting to see POF but the dutch built their hulls at this time, planks first then set in the frames so very different to a typical POF look and while not impossible, possibly too costly to produce in commercial form) again 1/72 range (1/100 I find too small for details and 1/64 is nice but can be too large for display purposes) price again up to $1500 AUD (advanced)

 

Sophia Amalie, Danish/Norwegian 1650, 108 gun ship of the line,  built to surpass the Sovereign of the Seas. Wood POB 1/72 $1500 (advanced)

 

De Zeven Provincien - Netherlands 1665 - 80 gun flagship of De Ruyter, Wood POB, 1/72 up to $2000 AUD (advanced)

 

Preussen, Germany 1902 - steel five masted ship rigged windjammer. Wood or plastic/fibreglass hull POB 1/72 or 1/100 between $1500-2000 if at larger scale (advanced)

 

With the improvements in 3D printing, apart form the higher costs, it could be possible to see decorations made in this fashion - like the plastic decorations from billings etc showing more crisp detail. I use 3D printing in a lot of my modern builds mixed with PE parts especially on modern RC warships with great results (these of course being scratch built I can spend as much or as little as I feel though not sure how it would go in a commercial kit)

 

 

amateur, Mike Y, mtaylor and 1 other like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.