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Old Nov 15, 2011, 07:54 AM
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lake orion mi
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Bring back model building?It's not going to happen.Well maybe if you get rid of Computers,TV,,Cell phones,Nintendo,X Box,Face Book.....Look in the scale builders section.There might be a dozen people who build from a plan and fewer from scratch and this is an international forum.This at a time when the US army is doing lost skill studies.My nickels worth.Joe
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Old Nov 15, 2011, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by mistairjoe View Post
Bring back model building?It's not going to happen.Well maybe if you get rid of Computers,TV,,Cell phones,Nintendo,X Box,Face Book.....Look in the scale builders section.There might be a dozen people who build from a plan and fewer from scratch and this is an international forum.This at a time when the US army is doing lost skill studies.My nickels worth.Joe
Your nickel is as good as any other.

Our club has dropped in half in the last ten years from about seventy to about thirty five. Two thirds are retired or retired but still working some. While we may see an influx of activity from boomers retiring (there is significant evidence for this) and needing a hobby... the hand writing seems to suggest that twenty years from now when the current crop of retires has thinned out... activity will be diminish even more.

Profiling the half who have dropped out in the last ten years, would show that perhaps one half were age related attrition, about one forth due to tightening of discretionary income and job loss and the last fourth due to normal loss of interest or moving on to something else.

What is clearly not happening is enough new blood to balance the attrition and I agree with others who make the simple observation that there is simply too much competition.

At our club, we've seen a good many estate grants to the club of a deceased modelers full range of planes and equipment, which seems to tell a story that no family member wants it and the value has lessened to the point of being worthwhile to fool with.
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Old Nov 15, 2011, 08:44 AM
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Your nickel is as good as any other.

Our club has dropped in half in the last ten years from about seventy to about thirty five. Two thirds are retired or retired but still working some. While we may see an influx of activity from boomers retiring (there is significant evidence for this) and needing a hobby... the hand writing seems to suggest that twenty years from now when the current crop of retires has thinned out... activity will be diminish even more.

Profiling the half who have dropped out in the last ten years, would show that perhaps one half were age related attrition, about one forth due to tightening of discretionary income and job loss and the last fourth due to normal loss of interest or moving on to something else.

What is clearly not happening is enough new blood to balance the attrition and I agree with others who make the simple observation that there is simply too much competition.

At our club, we've seen a good many estate grants to the club of a deceased modelers full range of planes and equipment, which seems to tell a story that no family member wants it and the value has lessened to the point of being worthwhile to fool with.
Same thing we saw, and see, in the model railroading hobby. I knew quite a few people involved with that hobby way back when. Today? I can't think of the last time I saw a train layout in a friend's basement.
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Old Nov 15, 2011, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mistairjoe View Post
Bring back model building?It's not going to happen.Well maybe if you get rid of Computers,TV,,Cell phones,Nintendo,X Box,Face Book.....Look in the scale builders section.There might be a dozen people who build from a plan and fewer from scratch and this is an international forum.This at a time when the US army is doing lost skill studies.My nickels worth.Joe
Well, I guess it's official then, no point in going any further with this thread, building models is dying and will soon be dead!

While I can't argue with what you say, and even believe to an extent you are correct. I'm going to enjoy building models until I can no longer do it as that IS what I enjoy in this hobby! I've said before and will say again: simply flying does not hold my attention and never did, like building a model does!
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Old Nov 15, 2011, 06:42 PM
I'm a pilot... 100 yrs to late
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USA, FL, Palm Harbor
Joined Jan 2005
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Agree with mode one... once I complete a build and fly it a few times I'm already opening a box for another one if not sooner. I've said this before and will well you know..

There are builders... there are flyers and there are those who enjoy doing both. You can somewhat skew numbers by introducing building to flyers but that's the best you can do.

What I find interesting is that with all this talk in the reduction of model building, the number of planes available by plans only seems to growing at a healthy rate. Odd..
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Old Nov 15, 2011, 07:50 PM
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lake orion mi
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I also love building.It is in my blood.I am learning to draw in ACad at the age of 64 so I can have pieces laser cut and that these parts will fit well.Friend of mine Al Mrock of Classic Aero is designing and building a prototype of the Savoia Marchetti SM 55x and posting the build in the scale forum.So far 84 postings 5500 looks and hardly any comments.It is a sad state of affairs that we are in when it comes to building and/or designing.What is more disturbing is that we have a lot more tools and information at hand then ever before that makes design and construction easier.All I can say is that the passion is gone in seeing something take shape from ones hand and how does one pass that on? I am including some photos of the SM 55x in closing.Joe
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Old Nov 16, 2011, 01:41 AM
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There will always be builders, just as there will always be amateur mechanics - just because many people do not do these things doesn't mean they are dying out or do not exist.

At my local flying club it is actively encouraged that you build your craft if and when you can - the younger ones in particular seem to think that building you own plane is 'cool' and are quite interested in doing so. Just last week I had a request from a young fellow (10ish?) for a set of plans for my Cox-powered flying wing. Well, I've printed a set off and they're in the flightbox ready for him, along with a few crude instructions by yours truely on the back.

The way I see it, its not 'whats happened' to the pastime of building... rather 'what we're doing about it'. Well, I'm passing on building to as many people as I can!

Some food for thought/my two cents - boingk
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Old Nov 16, 2011, 05:48 AM
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boingk, Good point! Also, look at the progects going on here in this and all the other forums! Without doubt, building is not as popular as ARFs or RTFs. Still I think it is hanging on. Mistairjoe's comments on the future of the hobby look bleek and may well be bleek! However, the future is the future and what is going to happen to buildin then is difficult (impossible) to predict!

Pontificating about the future is far less important than advocating building models right here right now, which is what this thread is all about!
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Old Nov 16, 2011, 07:57 AM
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lake orion mi
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"There will always be builders, just as there will always be amateur mechanics"The reality and difference is looking under the hood of your 2011 Prious or Chevy.Our club has a 180 members and among us hardies, this issue of builders vs arfs is never ending.This is now, in the present.The simple fact is that while Jimmy Stewart and Carry Grant corresponded about building models there are few in our club that build.Joe
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Old Nov 16, 2011, 09:31 AM
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As we've said many times in this long-running thread the hobby has changed a lot over the years. Like plenty of us I remember when you HAD to build a model if you wanted to fly. It was either that or buying other folks castoffs. Because of that almost everyone had at least tried to build a model or two. Some of us really liked it and are still doing it 30, 40, 50 years on. Others left the hobby because they only wanted to fly not spend all their time building.

Fast forward to today and that's no longer the case. Many of the fliers I know have never done anything but buy an ARF, assemble it and fly it. And many of them are great fliers. I tend to think it's a shame that they don't know how good it is when a plane you've put together from bits of wood (or even foam) flies beautifully...but they can't see any real reason to put in all that effort when they just want to go flying.

Fortunately there will always be a few people who want something a bit different and are willing to make it happen, even if it does involve some learning, effort and, let's be honest, probably costs more than the easy ARF route. But since there are now loads of fliers out there who have never had to try building and have probably never even thought of it then it's no surprise that there are not so many builders coming along as there used to be.

All we can do is keep showing them what we do and how they too can get something more interesting than the latest plastic fantastic to fly. Some will follow through and we can help them learn, many probably won't. Personally I think all the build threads around on RCG are probably the best signposts and introductions to building and are doing a pretty good job of showing the way.

Steve
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Old Nov 16, 2011, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mistairjoe View Post
"There will always be builders, just as there will always be amateur mechanics"The reality and difference is looking under the hood of your 2011 Prious or Chevy.Our club has a 180 members and among us hardies, this issue of builders vs arfs is never ending.This is now, in the present.The simple fact is that while Jimmy Stewart and Carry Grant corresponded about building models there are few in our club that build.Joe
So, there are few in your club who build! Does this mean that what is happening in your club, is what is happening everywhere?

I belong to a smaller club, membership fluctuates between 15-25 members. So, let's say it averages around 20 members. Of these 20, 7-10 have built and will build again. Many of them also use ARFs, myself included. The depth of Minnesota Winters, in the northern part of the state, may be a factor in this high model builder count, I don't know. From what I have seen in the other local R/C clubs, it appears there is fairly high percentages of builders in these other clubs, also.

I look at all the projects going on here at the various Forums and at other R/C forums I visit and I come away with a slightly more positive outlook on the health of the model building hobby! Maybe I just choose to be a tad more positive about it! In the end, what does it matter what you and I think? Like Steve said above, maybe the best way to promote building is by starting a build log!
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Old Nov 16, 2011, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Mode One View Post
So, there are few in your club who build! Does this mean that what is happening in your club, is what is happening everywhere?

I belong to a smaller club, membership fluctuates between 15-25 members. So, let's say it averages around 20 members. Of these 20, 7-10 have built and will build again. Many of them also use ARFs, myself included. The depth of Minnesota Winters, in the northern part of the state, may be a factor in this high model builder count, I don't know. From what I have seen in the other local R/C clubs, it appears there is fairly high percentages of builders in these other clubs, also.

I look at all the projects going on here at the various Forums and at other R/C forums I visit and I come away with a slightly more positive outlook on the health of the model building hobby! Maybe I just choose to be a tad more positive about it! In the end, what does it matter what you and I think? Like Steve said above, maybe the best way to promote building is by starting a build log!
I did a build log on my solent on watt flyers forum and it was fun . If you go to rcscale builders you can see hundreds of guys scratch building and plan building . I hope the younger guys pick up building of their own planes and i will try to help any who ask .We have alot of builders in my club and we learn from each other so i really dont notice it declining that much here but when i go to ama meets i see more and more guys flying ARF s . Iam just like mode one and going to build till i die . joe
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Old Nov 17, 2011, 08:28 PM
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SE MI
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Our "unclub" SEMFF has about 15 guys and we all scratchbuild, as we're building foamies for combat. Most of the guys have one or two kitbuilt planes for fun flying, but by far the scratchbuilt foamies predominate when we get together, and they vary from 24" span BluBabies to 40"+ span OshKosh specials, SeaBB's, my 40" quicksilver 30's racer and 42" span P40, etc, etc.
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Old Nov 17, 2011, 08:40 PM
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Springer, do you have photos?

We do combat a little here, also. Used to be much more that as of late. .40 sized Wiffle bats with foam wings, Coroplast tail feathers and 50 foot streamers. Now were doing the Blue foam delta wings. During our Fun Fly we had 12 of them in the air at one time. It's full contact, no streamers, last one left in the air wins. Lots of carnage and the spectators love it!

I also have a couple flat foam Yaks.
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Old Nov 19, 2011, 06:37 AM
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Are Un-Clubs something different now? Is it more fashionable to be a member of an Un-Club? The old clubs I was a member of were more like Un-Clubs then the club I belong to now.

While I agree being a member of a club, now days can seem like a task at times! Going to meetings can get pretty onerous, because as in real life today, people seem to have such divergent political agendas and many feel it's simply their way; or, the highway!

Isn't it like this in UN-Clubs? If not, how do I find my nearest Un-club? Is there an Un-AMA that I can't join, because they do not accept members?
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