How many Me109s or Bismarcks do we need?

Discussion in 'Off Topic - Card Modeler Lounge' started by sakrison, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. sakrison

    sakrison Member

    At the risk of sounding like a *&^%$#@!, I can't help but wonder why so many publishers and talented designers keep giving us models of subjects that are already out there in duplicate, when there are so many worthy watercraft and aircraft that have never been offered in paper--at least not to my knowledge.

    I'm thinking of various landing craft large and small, coastal vessels, patrol/rescue boats, sub tenders and "freighter" subs, research or rescue submersibles, "suicide boats," ocean-going barges, even D-Day Mulberries.

    When was the last time you saw a paper model of Amelia's Lockheed Electra, a Beech D18, or a Beech King Air in 1/33? Very important aircraft--and all wore warpaint.

    Why isn't there an M113 APC or a Dodge military ambulance in 1/25? Would either one be harder to design that another T-34?

    There's a world of subjects out there begging for designers to bring them to this hobby.

    Every scale model medium and category has the same problem. I can understand it (sort of) when it takes $1 million to bring a plastic model to market. But paper is fundamentally different.

    The Internet makes it possible to bring paper models to market with very low overhead and to make money with low volume. That has already resulted in a lot of models in paper that we'll never see in plastic. I just want to see that trend continue. When is someone going to come out with a T-28, a C-46, a Cessna Skymaster 02A, or NASA lifting bodies in 1/33?

    I don't mean to pick on anyone in particular here, or to criticize the work of any of the designers who make this hobby possible. Lord knows, I'm in awe of what they do. And I'm all for online designers who give us a single airplane in a variety of markings and liveries.

    But do we really need another Titanic? Or another P-47?

    Before you design another Me-109 or Fletcher-class destroyer, take a look at some subjects that aren't already out there. Some of those subjects that have been ignored could turn out to be very popular!

  2. cdcoyle

    cdcoyle Member

    Hi, David.

    I totally hear what you're saying. This same topic comes up repeatedly in the wooden ship modeling community (e.g. there are too many Victorys, Constitutions, and Endeavours). I suspect the main reason why we get so many redundant card model offerings is the same reason why there are so many redundant wood ship model offerings: it's what sells.

  3. paulhbell

    paulhbell Guest

    I don't agree with what you are saying.

    As an example look at the P-47, different versions and different paint jobs. Also with the models that are available, you can choose to build an easy version or go for a really detailed version. The same also applies for the Bismarck models, different paint/camo.

    Have you actually seen a 'bought' card model boat book. There must be over 1000 pieces to cut out and glue on the halsinki Bismarck. I for one am happy that JTFOX is designing another Bismarck that is easier to build (hopefully).

    As for titanic, in a way I do agree (slightly). There was only one paint finish. But I don't mind different scales and different 'hardness' of build. i.e. more detail or less.

    Look at it this way, you don't have to buy or download models. No one is forcing you to get hold of them.

    I'm sure I've seen a card M113 APC advertised in a shop somewhere.
  4. David H

    David H Member

    I am with David 100%.

    But then the frightening thought hits me, just because I like weird and whacky subjects does anyone else? I guess if I had more talent and more skill as an entrepreneur I might chance seeing if cool but odd ball subjects would sell.

    I have never built an ME 109 (got one in the stack though) I don't own a Bismarck, HMS Hood or USS Essex, but I do have a selection of destroyers and a RMS Titanic in the "collection"

    In the to build pile are a customs / harbour patrol boat, fire engine and a crane. All were bought from suppliers off the beaten trail and all were offered as sale items - could their be a connection between low price and unusual subjects? I note with some interest that a Bismarck with photo-etched kits is pushing £100!

  5. paulhbell

    paulhbell Guest

    £100 for a Bismarck is better than paying nearly £1000 for the weekly Hachette Bismarck magazine. Although it may be radio control at the end.

    I have aprox 20/25 bought models and never started any of them. All of my builds up to now have been available as free downloads on the internet.

    I'm also into different/wacky design's, as far as I know I was the only one who built the enterprise bridges by skip.

    David, if you want a M113 follow this our own Yaniv is designing one.
  6. cmdrted

    cmdrted Active Member

    I agree with DAvid also. In 109s Fly has 2 GPM has/had at least 5, Halinski 2 109 Es a 109F, Answer has the 109 K Marek has @3 Fs 1 E 1D maybe more . Kampflieger a 109F I think. Maly has 3. Modelart has an Avia in Israeli colours and a 3 for 1 version kit. There are a few more out thereas well, JSC , EMF Nobi and the one 109T and some other 1 offs. Yes there are differant versions, Mike at Gremir has several for download and the colour schemes are what keeps me buying them but... Designers we do crave something differant. I'm into Naval aviation, anybodies NAvy. Landing aircraft on floating vessels has got to be the pinnacle of a flyers ability, and the aircraft designed for this job are utterly fantastic.
  7. shoki2000

    shoki2000 Active Member

    While I agree with the statement that there are may more interesting planes/ships/vehicles still waiting to be designed, I also understand while we keep seeing the same models "repackaged" into another version/color scheme - designers work on the models ordered by publishers and they order that what sells. I don't think any publisher will go through expenses of issuing a model that will sell 5-6 copies out of a 1000.......
  8. Dragos

    Dragos Active Member

    Not only too many Me-109 and Bismarcks but also too many Spitfires. I would like to see some Potez or Bredas or some Somua tanks.
  9. Rick Thomson

    Rick Thomson Member

    Realistically I have to agree with Michael, but I would like to see some of the less heralded ships or A/C modeled. Even some of the more well known cold warriors are hard to find, such as the F-101B, and I have yet to see a Halsinki or Flymodel Sabre or Starfighter (two of the most prolific fighters of the Cold War), let alone such as the CF-100, the Victor or Valiant.
  10. Dragos

    Dragos Active Member

    There are couple of Sabres and Starfighters, even free ones. Flymodel has a Sabre.
  11. Rick Thomson

    Rick Thomson Member

    I've seen a few free Sabre's and Starfighters, I've even bought PModels F-104J (which annoyed me as I could not repaint it as a CF-104 without going through extreme acrobatics. I wasn't aware of Flymodel's Sword though, thanks for pointing that out.

  12. Kjev

    Kjev Member

    One the one hand, it allows me to pick and choose the best version. On another, it's a case of several people working on the same idea independently (my ISSAPC from Space: Above and Beyond is a great example).

    On another hand, it IS enough to drive you nuts.

    Someone mentioned that what if no one shared the same interests. My philosophy is simple: I design what I want if I can't find it out there somewhere. If no one else likes it, no skin off my shoulders. No one's forcing them to download it.

    And if someone can do a better job (and I know a lot of people can), great!
  13. eric_son

    eric_son Member

    Where I come from, the only option I have is purchasing models digitally. Given the reliability of our postal service, I won't even dare order printed kits.
    With printed kits out of the option, that leaves with with but a few 109's.

    Anyway, unavailability of the stuff I want has had a positive side effect. I got motivated to design my own stuff. (With the gracious help of the forum members of course. :) )
  14. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    David, I would take your gripe a step further: instead of asking "Why yet another Me-109?", I would ask "Why yet another warplane?" If you look at the entire history of mechanical transport, war machines comprise only a tiny fraction.

    Sure, I know, engines of destruction are what most modelers want to buy/build. As a male, I understand the fascination. But I also think there's a self-reinforcing cycle at work: as long as most models are military, military models will remain the most popular.

    Just like music or any other art, exposure is a major factor. People who have only been exposed to contemporary pop music will never buy a CD of renaissance dance music, no matter how good it is or how much they might enjoy it. If modelers were exposed to more of the incredibly, amazingly cool machines that have sailed, rolled or soared throughout history, the demand for them would surely grow.

    I think its really cool that the production costs of card models allow a wide variety of non-military subjects to be explored. I would love to see a lot more of that!

    Below: way cooler than any tank! :)

    Attached Files:

  15. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

    I have to agree with the thread OP on this. Certain subjects are beat to death, revived and beaten again. The high-end model designers keep putting out the same models over and over as if no one else has ever done them.

  16. sdk2knbk

    sdk2knbk Guest

    I can agree with both sides on this question. For example, I'm much ,ore likely to build Ralph Currell's 1/700 scale Titanic than my copy of the Taschen 4 foot version. I do have a fair number of '109s in my collection, both paper and plastic, but so far I've only built the Fiddlers Green version. For many people, the simplest versions are the ones most likely to be built first (or even at all, in my case), so it's good to have a selection.

    As far as new designs go, I hope the ones I'm working on are far enough off the beaten path to be of interest. They include the Boeing Model 307, Van Braun Mars Lander, YRB-49, just to name a few.

    Art, I agree, that bus IS cool! (I do like tanks, too, but most are just too complex to hold my interest long enough to actually finish one.)

    Scott K.
  17. nebeltex

    nebeltex Member

    i can understand the frustration. however, there are some subjects which are so common that to NOT offer one would be a glaring omission. the Bf 109 i just one...

    basically, successful designers conduct valid market research to determine what will sell. few designers for profit will waste their time designing something only a few people want. that is why some of the more "esoteric" model subjects are never designed. scale also is an issue. some of the subjects mentioned in this thread do exist, just not in the scale that someone prefers...
  18. David H

    David H Member

    So it's human nature we should decry.

    I am not criticising the modellers or their skills but it is a pity that so many of the favoured topics are the product of an evil regime. Still they are subjects we have all built at some point in our lives. Perspectives change.

    On the plus side this forum is somewhat more varied in its choice of topics than others.

  19. davelant

    davelant Member

    The vast squadrons of Me109's that descend on every plastic modeling show have become a joke embraced by the modeling community. I've been to shows that had a special prize for the best kit-bash of an Me109 to make it look like like something else; and another where every member of a club would build and enter one. By the way, the kit-bash winner was a figure wearing a propeller-based flying pack on his back; it was actually pretty good.
  20. sakrison

    sakrison Member

    Shoki (and others) make a good point about published models. I don't disagree with any publisher--paper or online--who looks for subjects that will sell. That just makes good sense. And recoloring a model with different markings or camouflage isn't the issue, either.

    It's the designers out there who are designing for the fun of it, offering their stuff for free or at minimal cost who could perhaps offer some of the more underrated subjects, like civil aircraft. But in the end, it's their choice and it comes down to whatever rings their bells.

    Again, I want to say, I'm not trying to criticize or devalue the efforts of any designer, I'm in awe of what they do, and I'm grateful beyond words for the model kits they provide--at whatever price! :thumb:

    No worries,

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