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#1 patmat2350 Sep 07, 2012 07:35 AM

DeAgostini's Subscription Plan
 
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This could be interesting, in light of recent notes about the LHS, demise of small suppliers, and the predicted demise of the hobby itself:

DeAgostini/UK is a hobby outfit that sells fairly high-end static kits (at least, they ask high-end prices!), using a subscription service. You sign up, and pay about $10/week (at least, in the UK; postage extra to North America!), and they send a few bits and instructions every week for about 2 years. Allows you to rationalize the high cost by spreading it out over time, and should allow you plenty of time to finish the job without being overwhelmed by a huge box of parts and an instruction manual 1 inch thick.!

I blogged a little about it at:
http://matthewsmodelmarine.wordpress...n-of-the-seas/

Is it working?
Well, there's a lot of production effort that goes into their package (weekly "magazine", web site maintenence, customer fulfillment, etc), which suggests that they can afford the staff. And I know they have a professional marketing push behind their latest project (I was contacted...), and THAT ain't free... so it must be working for them.

Maybe some lessons to be learned here for our smaller suppliers?

#2 patmat2350 Sep 08, 2012 04:19 PM

So, anyone here (including in the UK) ever try any DeAgostini models?

They have a Yamato as well as some other stick-and-strings models... all actually manufactured by Artesania Latina, but the whole subscription thing is run by DeAgostini.

#3 bgnome Sep 08, 2012 10:38 PM

are the models exclusive to the name and can't be had any other way? are the models even worth around $500 in bits and bobs?

#4 Circlip Sep 09, 2012 04:01 AM

Models are exclusive to them and in the UK., the present offering is 805 for the complete series. $1200 ?

Regards Ian.

#5 craig_c Sep 09, 2012 04:03 AM

I kinda remember some one here starting the Yamato - how'd that thread end up?

Actually I disagree about the demise of small suppliers, I actually think that they will be a mainstay of the craft in the future - the artisanal modeling company, like silent hunter's, Lee Upshaw's or GILL RC's. I would point to the "garage modeling" markets in both Japan and the US as a possible prototype of the type of operation we might be seeing arise. Nobody gonna get rich doing this, but just maybe the hobby will still plug along on short run plugs (srry).

The dropping cost of laser cutting systems, like the epilog, is going to bring kit/short kit production within the reach of anyone who can use CAD/CAM - e.g. Milton Thrasher's operation down in Floridia. ThreeD printers will kick out our fittings - modeling companies may just sell digital templates for both systems, the modeler finds a production house to make them.

Whatever form it takes, I think we will see less of larger companies like Fisher and Dumas and much more of the artisan builders and modelers turning semi-pro or pro to fill the gap.

#6 capterik Sep 09, 2012 08:41 PM

None of the partworks sells in the US, although earlier in the year DeAgostini told me they plan on starting sales in the US in the near future. Although when you add up the cost of these, they are expensive, you get more than just a model, you get historical background and info in every installment. I have been wanting to try one of these for years, figuring they would be great for when I am at sea, working on a small bit at a time to make the larger whole. For this reason, I actually acquired a complete unused Lancaster Bomber partwork from Hachette and plan on trying it the next time out. These kits are highly detailed, and I for one, would jump at the chance at having a subscription.

#7 ZZ56 Sep 09, 2012 10:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by craig_c (Post 22682000)
ThreeD printers will kick out our fittings - modeling companies may just sell digital templates for both systems, the modeler finds a production house to make them.

I think that PatMat and others have posted enough about 3D printing systems to prove that they are absolutely NOT suitable for cranking out kit fittings. The cost/quality intersection is IMO worse than standard cast metal or resin or even low-pressure blow moulding.

#8 craig_c Sep 12, 2012 06:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ZZ56 (Post 22689174)
I think that PatMat and others have posted enough about 3D printing systems to prove that they are absolutely NOT suitable for cranking out kit fittings

Never say never - The current generation of low to medium end machines currently available to us now that is true.

There are high end, specialized systems are capable of near mirror finishes right off the platter with very high resolution right now. Do NOT discount what will be available in 3 to five years or ten years out.

I agree casting is the way to go right now, but tomorrow - we'll see.

#9 patmat2350 Dec 28, 2012 08:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by capterik (Post 22688098)
None of the partworks sells in the US, although earlier in the year DeAgostini told me they plan on starting sales in the US in the near future. Although when you add up the cost of these, they are expensive, you get more than just a model, you get historical background and info in every installment. I have been wanting to try one of these for years, figuring they would be great for when I am at sea, working on a small bit at a time to make the larger whole. For this reason, I actually acquired a complete unused Lancaster Bomber partwork from Hachette and plan on trying it the next time out. These kits are highly detailed, and I for one, would jump at the chance at having a subscription.

Yes, it would be interesting to have these more readily available Stateside. Don't know if it's a hint or not, but I've been asked to do a review build on the Sovereign of the Seas... it'll be a real test, as "sticks and strings" hasn't really been my thing!

But I'm posting about it on a dedicated blog... just started on the first 4 installments, 131 more to go!

A Yankee Builds DeAgostini's "Sovereign of the Seas"

http://yankeesots.files.wordpress.co...pg?w=300&h=222

#10 oldtribefan Dec 28, 2012 11:43 PM

Nice blog, Pat. Now I would like to see you figure out a way to waterproof it and add some nice RC gear!

#11 Umi_Ryuzuki Dec 29, 2012 01:46 PM

The tall ship modelers have always had to battle the intimidation factor of their craft.
Many practicums from various authors have been published to help break down the
constructions and kits into smaller less mind numbing goals. As egos and ideas sometimes
clash, the rise of bulletin boards like RCgroups have given the modelers more social ways
to discuss the issues that eventually arise in the construction of these classic tall ship models.
One these boards is Model Ship World.
http://modelshipworld.com/phpBB2/index.php

I have seen ship cross sections to whole ships planned and constructed by groups of
modelers online.
H.M.S. Triton, 28 gun frigate (Cross Section)

H.M.S. Triton, 28 gun frigate (Complete Model)
The detail, down to the 16-20 piece build up per ship frame is incredible.
And it is presented and built up a post at a time till everyone has completed their model.
Each person works at their own speed and can lead or follow along as the
kit or scratch built ship model progresses.

DeAgostini's Subscription Plan has some great precedents to follow.
Even the old Revell Master Modelers Club. I believe they used to send
one small kit a month to the avid model build back in the "day".

:)

#12 herrmill Dec 29, 2012 07:18 PM

Not a subscription offer but has anyone come across the JoTiKa build tutorials? They are out of the UK & make some outstanding kits

http://www.jotika-ltd.com/Pages/1024...uals_Front.htm

You'll find a Victory build over at MBM.

http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/for...?topic=35110.0

#13 capterik Dec 29, 2012 07:54 PM

Now sold in the US!
http://www.model-space.com/us/

#14 mitchlandry Dec 29, 2012 09:49 PM

100 / month for 12 months, kinda steep. wow.
Thought about it till i saw the price.

Edit: Just checked Mamoli's price for their victory, the subscription is actually cheaper. Man those kits are pricey.
I would like to tackle one someday, just not one of that size / price for starters.

#15 patmat2350 Dec 31, 2012 11:01 AM

USA, USA!
Neat, don't know if/when they'll offer the Sovereign... the mass market here would be (slightly) more familiar with Victory...
What's interesting is that this is a big enough biz to warrant TV ads in the UK... Youtube has them:

DeAgostini also comes in for unwarranted price criticism in the UK... mostly from folks who just don't understand the value of high end hobby stuff... but they might gladly drop just as large a chunk of change on OTHER hobbies (a show dog pup... a bike... engine upgrade parts for a motorbike...computer... sewing machine...). Whatever spins your props, it's your money!

De Agostini Sovereign of the Seas (0 min 31 sec)


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