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Member postings for Dodgy Geezer

Here is a list of all the postings Dodgy Geezer has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Facebook Cover
12/10/2017 10:19:18

What a great figure! Who will be the first to model the SIRIUS - the converted trawler/drifter? that Haddock, Tintin and the Thompson twins used to search for Red Rackham's treasure? Or Prof Calculus's shark submarine...? Complete with crew....

 

Ah - I see someone's already done it... http://www.modeliste27.com/sirius-PR.htm

 

Edited By Dodgy Geezer on 12/10/2017 10:24:08

Thread: Blackpool Model Boat Convention 2017
12/10/2017 09:19:10

Actually, DM, it's the model the Indians are waiting for - I don't know about the rest of the world... see, for example, **LINK**

It's very like me to be shy - I seldom go out, and then only in disguise! And I certainly neither want to be a leader, nor claim to offer a solution... both quite exposed positions!! All I wanted to do was to get people talking and thinking about how to improve Model Boating's position in the hobby pantheon - and getting pictures on Facebook seems a wonderful idea.

Incidentally, several hits on my websites come from things called 'Facebook Tags' - whatever they are....

Thread: Facebook Cover
12/10/2017 08:51:13

Model boats on Facebook? Now that DOES sound like a good idea!! I haven't got many pics available, but here's one off my album:

pt-boat5.jpg

Thread: Blackpool Model Boat Convention 2017
11/10/2017 23:22:17
Posted by Colin Bishop, Website Editor on 11/10/2017 20:42:14:....

It is all too easy to sit on the sidelines saying that this or that should be done but those that do so rarely take any positive action. .........my article on my Fishery Cruiser Brenda has attracted a surprising amount of interest from readers of he magazine who love the design of the model and will hopefully inspire others to do something similar.

You have been promoting EeZeBilt models for some years now but only on the internet forums, I am not aware of anything appearing on either of the two model boating magazines which would have reached a far wider readership. The opportunity is still there with Model Boats.

Colin

Hmm... given that I have regularly argued that model boat data and plans ought to be freely available, it would be a little inconsistent to write for a commercial magazine, and I hope I can't be accused of not putting my money (or lack of it) where my mouth is. Besides, I have seen a couple of EeZeBilt articles appearing in your esteemed publication - an occasion when I even bought a copy!

However, I do wonder why a discussion on problems with the model boat hobby and how they might be addressed turns into a discussion of my undoubted failings - which are hardly the issue here.

Your Brenda is undoubtedly an attractive boat, with a wealth of detail, and perfectly finished. But, alas, not an easy subject for the EeZeBilt treatment. Even if I had the skill (which I don't) I suspect that newcomers to the hobby will be looking for something simple but striking. Here is a preview of the latest EeZeBilt - INS Nipat, which will be coming off the stocks in a month or two:

osa boat.jpg

11/10/2017 20:05:54
Posted by Colin Bishop, Website Editor on 11/10/2017 19:29:07:

DG you have rather confirmed my impression of you I'm afraid. You say you only buy the magazine occasionally and presumably never grace the shows with your attendance.. So you are a peripheral presence really.

 

I'm not sure why you need confirmation - I've been saying that I think that model boating needs a new direction if it wants to improve its popularity - so you can hardly blame me for not supporting the 'traditional' approach very strongly. My sites are only ever going to be peripheral - a few hundred visitors per month rather than the thousands which a professional site like yours can manage - but at least I am trying to go where the young entrants to the hobby are...

 

P.S - You have seen this story? https://www.conservativereview.com/articles/millennials-need-instructional-video-for-operating-tape-measure

Edited By Dodgy Geezer on 11/10/2017 20:10:27

11/10/2017 18:50:26
Posted by Colin Bishop, Website Editor on 11/10/2017 18:27:16:

Well DG,

1: Do you subscribe to the magazine or buy it every month?

2. How many (if any) model boat shows have you attended in the last 12 months.

I think we should be told...

Colin

I fear you are misinterpreting my call.

I am suggesting that we do NOT follow the line that was being proposed earlier - trying to maintain shops, shows, and even (dare I say it?) a modelling magazine which were appropriate and successful 40 years ago but which no longer provide a service that many customers want, and consequently are in decline. So it would hardly be consistent for me to support any aspect of it - though I must admit to clearing out a shop's stock of bass wood last week, and buying the (very) occasional copy of Model Boats which has an item of interest.

I would like to see a far more lively web-based hobby, which is, of course, why I am active on it. I fear that trying to perpetuate a commercial structure which has shown itself not to be viable is doing no one any favours.

Thread: Advice Sought
11/10/2017 17:56:46

Out of interest, what size (or type) of brushless would you fit to such a boat? I have quite a few old Aerokits needing restoration...

Thread: Blackpool Model Boat Convention 2017
11/10/2017 16:21:13
Posted by Dave Milbourn on 11/10/2017 15:02:27:

Several ideas there - but they really need a 'thought leader' to start experimenting with them. Like Model Boats...?

I think you seriously misrepresent the position of Model Boats magazine within the hobby and overestimate the work capacity of its editorial staff - who will number approximately one after Paul Freshney and Colin Bishop have both retired. Unlike Games Workshop, which has hundreds of staff at its HQ here in Nottingham, MB/MTM has no other commercial objective than to report on a minority hobby, and the vast majority of its editorial content is provided by "contractors" rather than staffers.................

Posted by Colin Bishop, Website Editor on 11/10/2017 14:45:40:

DG, you rather airily suggest that 'Model Boats', should give a lead. In the whole of MyTimeMedia there is only ONE person with an interest in and knowledge of model boating and that is the Editor who has a full time job producing the magazine. It's the same with most of the other titles. Budgets are tight to say the least, there is no spare cash for speculative developments. There has to be an assured return.............

Two points - GW has hundreds of staff BECAUSE it is successful. I'm certainly not suggesting that Model Boats sets up a multi-national boat business. I'm talking about ;thought leadership' - which can be done simply by chatting to a club or a school.

And I am not suggesting any expenditure. There is no way that Model Boats can regenerate the hobby - that HAS to be done by commerce. What I am suggesting is that the magazine be open to the possibility that the hobby will revive, rather than thinking of reasons why it won't. DM suggests that the skills may have gone - I would suggest that the plastic modellers show that they haven't, and that his anonymous model manufacturer is right to expect them to revive.

11/10/2017 15:43:04
Posted by Tim Cooper on 11/10/2017 14:40:16:

I thought that Games Workshop target boys (mainly) from 12 to 18 ish. ..............

They target boys from 12 (and younger) with lower-priced packs and games, which you will have seen in the shops. Then, as they grow older, they target young executives with the more expensive sets - some figures costing hundreds of pounds. Finally, they run world-wide competitions and produce semi-professional kits under the brand 'Forge World', which run well over a thousand pounds, and would only be of interest to high-earning professionals.

You will only have seen the younger tranche of their customer base in a GW shop. Look at GW's statements about their company - **LINK** You will see that they are offering something for everybody - model makers, painters gaming enthusiasts, collectors - from all ages. Of course people drop out as the years progress, but GW is really intent of building themselves into a huge model-making industry, and they are succeeding.

All I am suggesting is that there are modelling customers out there if the appropriate business strategy is employed, but that the optimum strategy for the 1960s is probably not the best one to employ in 2020...

11/10/2017 13:45:09
Posted by Colin Bishop, Website Editor on 11/10/2017 09:27:09:

Bob, it’s no secret that the sales of magazines have been declining for years and that many have gone to the wall, Marine Modelling being a recent example. The reasons (as with shows) is that people are turning to online content and shopping and, in our case, the increasing average age of model boaters.

However, there is still money to be made from magazines provided that enough people still buy them and costs can be contained to maintain a reasonable profit margin. With regard to costs it is perhaps pertinent to point out that this forum is essentially funded by the people who buy Model Boats although I rather suspect that a significant proportion of forum users only actually buy the magazine occasionally, if at all in which case don’t complain if the facility is suddenly withdrawn!

Interestingly it appears that sales of Ebooks have stalled as more people are reverting to hard copy which makes for a more enjoyable reading experience. I have a Kindle but I use it mainly on holiday to avoid having to pack a lot of books. I don’t use it much at home as I much prefer real books.

Colin

This opinion is not shared by White Dwarf, the Games Workshop magazine, which has a monthly print run of well over 100,000, and temporarily went weekly for a couple of years recently. This seems to be seen as an integrated part of the total organisation rather than a profit centre on its own (though the price is still high!).

I'm pretty sure that there are many potential boat modellers out there. But the original modeller's magazines were all reactive - responding to the growth of a hobby interest in a section of the community and following it rather than guiding it. The new commercial imperative is to create a brand loyalty which is under the control of the commercial organisation, and grow that through viral marketing, using your customers as unpaid salesmen. We see this everywhere in web marketing - where initial profit is often sacrificed to build market share (so long as a VC is paying the bill!).

How might this work for model boating? Well, perhaps a defined and controllable brand - like a one-class racing hull. Perhaps a one-scale set of boat plans, like Ashley's battleships, building into a 'model boat world' a bit like Sim City? There's no point investing heavily in such ideas because many will fail before one succeeds - but that's OK, because hobbyists and model boat clubs can be persuaded to do the leg-work themselves? There needs to be a corresponding push to gather new adherents - that's going to be heavily web-based, probably emulating a site like this **LINK** and aimed at kids...

Several ideas there - but they really need a 'thought leader' to start experimenting with them. Like Model Boats...?

10/10/2017 23:01:22
Posted by Colin Bishop, Website Editor on 10/10/2017 22:33:03:

.............. More power to their elbows but it isn't for me.

......................

Colin

I'm not suggesting that we all take up plastic modelling! But there's a lot of modelling work going on out there - I just think that Model Boating needs to get a bit more of the action.

I suspect that the lack of model boating ponds has a fair bit to do with it.....

10/10/2017 22:20:30
Posted by Colin Bishop, Website Editor on 10/10/2017 19:48:13:

When we were very, very young, modelmaking was a mainstream hobby. Just about every boy made models, whether it was Airfix kits or something more exotic such as Aerokits and Keilkraft etc.

There was consequently more than enough business to support a small but comprehensive general modelling shop in every town selling kits and materials.

Now modelmaking is a niche hobby generally practised by the over 65s and many of them prefer to buy on EBay rather than construct their own models. There is no longer the local footfall to sustain local shops and those that do survive make their money by mail order and online. and even then they struggle.

High street model shops are dinosaurs and will share their fate, unfortunate but true.

Colin

Hmm.... I need to take issue with you there, Colin. Some types of modelmaking are still alive and well in the UK - in fact, more than alive. Wargaming figures, for instance. Games Workshop is probably the largest company of its type in the world today - leading anything the US or the Far East can do. It runs around 400 stores in this country alone, and did considerably better than doubling its profits last year. **LINK** This is a modelling field where we rule the world - and you can see that the profits are not small - £38.4m. These are plastic figures very similar to Airfix, they are assembled like Airfix kits and they have as much market as Airfix did.

Games Workshop is a good example of a model company which is primarily web-based, using its shops and the big shows like Salute as advertising operations rather than sales outlets. Have a read of their Business Model - it should make fascinating reading for a market sector which exhibits, I feel, a little too much self-pity and resignation. **LINK** They run an integrated package of models, books, games, films and strong defence of intellectual property, all designed to draw in customers as children and offer something interesting for every stage of development - and they have been very successful at it.

So I think that British modelling is as strong as it's ever been - just not with model boats...

10/10/2017 18:22:10

DM's views are always worth listening to, as someone with experience in this field, and it seems to me that he is saying that the customer requirement changed, from needing specialist advice (essential with the early single-channel radios!) to cheap RTR boxes. Of course this depended on the RTR items being available - but once they were, a lot of modellers who were more interested in operating than building went to the big stores, and of late to the internet. Hence the demise of the specialist model shops. Do you remember all the arguments about the 'builder of the model'. DM?

Cheap RTR kit is always going to be cheaper direct from the manufacturer. At the moment there are 'internet middlemen' - I suspect that their days are numbered as well. Traders will surely trade so long as they have customers - are the model shows critical in maintaining customer connections and brand awareness? If they are, then the traders will stay with them so long as there are profits to be made.

I have always believed that an important approach will be to encourage youngsters into the scratch-building side of the hobby rather than the RTR side. If that can be done there is a future for model building....if not....

 

Edited By Dodgy Geezer on 10/10/2017 18:22:58

10/10/2017 17:14:59
Posted by Paul T on 10/10/2017 15:57:46:

Ah, Dubious

I have no difficulty in understanding my original point of customer loyalty and no amount of your muddying the water with this double talk of Hansom cabs being purchased off the internet will change the fact that if consumers remained loyal to their local model shop then that business would not have to close.

...and if I had some bread then I could have a ham sandwich. If I also had some ham....

You seem to have more difficulty understanding my comments every time I respond. One might almost think that you were trying to provoke me into descending to your level, but perhaps this is not the case, and you really cannot see the analogy?

If Hansom Cab customers had continued to use Hansom cabs, then we would still see them on the streets. But we do not. Why? Because the taxi-cab offered a cheaper and more convenient service for the customer, with more profit to the owners. As does the internet purchase of modelling items.You cannot buck the market or turn back the clock, and it is foolish to try.

There will be model shops which will be successful under the current conditions - those which recognise the changing market and adapt accordingly. That is what we should be encouraging them to do. Mindlessly requesting 'loyalty' to a system which is no longer competitive does no one any favours - indeed, it puts those organisations that are able to compete at a greater disadvantage.

10/10/2017 15:25:53
Posted by Paul T on 10/10/2017 14:18:36:

Dubious Geezer

Your Hansom Cab analogy doesn't apply as it is simply an example demonstrating an advance in technology, in the present context it would only qualify if you could prove that Brushless Motors were the direct cause behind the closure of so many model shops.

The Hansom Cab industry didn't die out, the owners just changed over to the more efficient petrol driven Taxi.

Ah, Paul - I can see that you have difficulty understanding that it is the technologies of internet purchasing and the logistics advances that make it possible to purchase a cheap item from the Far East at the click of a button which are damaging the high-street retail trade generally and model shops particularly. Or, as you might put it, not damaging them, but changing them over to warehouses in China.....

I did state this in my comment, but perhaps you didn't read that far?

Thread: cradles
10/10/2017 12:08:52

I believe that the Whitehall is a styrene hull? If so, use a sheet of cardboard as Ray advises to cut out a template for the hull shape. It's easier to just cut a template for half the hull and use that shape 'doubled up' for the full template - if the styrene hull comes in two halves that is even more convenient!

Allow a space for padding as Ray mentions, and only join the two supports together when you have the full hull made and can adjust the gap between them to fit perfectly.... wink

10/10/2017 08:40:57

The cheapest stand is a cardboard box with 'V' shaped cutouts in opposite sides. Put some string around this and you can use it as a carrying cradle, with your radio and accessories lying in the bottom or the box.

Of course, cardboard doesn't like getting wet (though a coat of paint can preserve it for a while) - so making the same thing out of wood or plastic sheet makes it more robust.

Some people make pretty stands out of wood to display the boat at home - **LINK**

You can make stands out of PVC piping - **LINK**

It's also a good idea to have some way of protecting your boat in storage and transit. Most people make boxes for this, which can incorporate a stand - **LINK**

Wooden boxes are heavy - here's how I make mine: **LINK**

Thread: Blackpool Model Boat Convention 2017
09/10/2017 21:10:19
Posted by Paul T on 09/10/2017 19:21:19:

The model boat industry is customer driven and the decisions on where and when the customer chooses to spend his money has a direct effect upon the retailers.

So was the Hansom Cab industry....

09/10/2017 18:18:06

While I am as unhappy as the next modeller to see the demise of model shops, blaming the customers is a very simplistic view.You might as well blame the customers for the demise of the hansom cab.

We are seeing a revolution in retail developments. The vast majority of the retail sector is in the same boat. We are watching the closure of many high-street shops, unable to cope with competition from internet stores and Far East manufacture. Trying to hold back the tide is never going to be a practical way of addressing the issue.... Tempora mutantur et nos mutamur in illis...

Thread: cradles
09/10/2017 17:04:52

I would say that a cradle is essential - not only to support it while building but mainly to support it at the poolside when you are performing final checks.

It should be big enough to support the prop and rudder off the ground. Depending on the design, you might also use it for carrying the boat to the pond.

There are many different designs - most of which require you to know the angle of the hull at a couple of positions. This is the sort of cradle I typically use:

stand.jpg

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Make your own contribution to the Website

We welcome well written contributions from Website members on almost any aspect of Model Boating with a particular emphasis on practical hints, tips, experience and builds.

In order to maintain a consistent standard and format, all suggestions should first be sent to me by Personal Message for approval in principle. Only a very limited amount of time is available for editing contributions into a suitable format for placing on the website so it is important that the material is well presented, lucid and free from obvious spelling errors. I think it goes without saying that contributions should be illustrated by appropriate photos. I shall be happy to give advice on this.

The Member Contribution area offers space for short informative mini articles which would not normally find a place in Model Boats magazine. It is an opportunity for Website Members to freely share their  expertise and experience but I am afraid that virtue is its own reward as there is no budget to offer more material recompense!

I look forward to receiving your suggestions.

Colin Bishop - Website Editor