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Author Topic: Dotage and memories.  (Read 2458 times)

Bryan Young

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Dotage and memories.
« on: December 20, 2016, 06:04:55 PM »

You must all by now be getting a bit fed-up with seeing my name. I don't blame you. But after a long absence from mayhem both the site and (some) members have grown older...iand possibly even wiser.
After some correspondence with a fellow past member of "a certain age" (i.e. Old) I was urged to re-read my postings on the build of the Admirals Barge. This has proved to be more than just a bit of an eye-opener for me. For starters, it may well have been written by a total stranger to me. Secondly, although I know that I built the thing, I have no real recollection of how I did it. All in the past. But browsing through the tale, I've been struck by how many of the then respondents have simply disappeared. Most of them pretty hard-core scratch builders. I know that age plays it's part...but we all had to learn the "trade so to speak.
Perhaps the hobby needs more of us oldies to write stuff that may enthuse the youngies? But how to do that is a question I don't know the answer to...or even if it's possible in this age of Grand Theft Auto and so on.
    Getting "old" is not really a joyful process. Physical and mental prowess both diminish. One can't help but wonder which comes first....senility or dotage (or are they the same thing?). Not a pleasant prospect.
So come on you "oldies", set your thoughts down in writing before all your experiences, learning and skills just literally go up in smoke. Someone, somewhere just might benefit from them. BY.
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Notes from a simple seaman

Colin Bishop

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Re: Dotage and memories.
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2016, 06:37:19 PM »

The advice would still need to be relevant Bryan. Gluing together a yellow pine bread and butter hull with a mixture obtained from rendering down pieces of horse is not likely to be of much use in this age of GRP, 3D printing and superglues.

I'm still happy to work with gummed paper strip and shellac which is still a perfectly viable method of skinning a hull and much less messy than using resin but I very much doubt if anyone else will follow my lead and indeed why should they?

New materials often require new techniques. The old methods are still well documented in old magazines and in books so are not likely to be lost altogether.

The other major factor is that many of today's oldies were brought up in a world where it was normal to make your own stuff and often had education and training which gave them the skills to do this. These days modellers are more likely to be familiar with using computer draughting programs which produce files which can be fed through 3D printers or laser cutters to produce the required components. Not a knifeblade or saw in sight! They never did engineering studies or technical drawing at school and probably have little idea of what a lathe is or its capabilities.

In previous ages there were all sorts of skill sets which were vital at the time but which progress subsequently rendered completely obsolete. Modern ships are constructed almost entirely from flat plates, all those metal shaping skills to produced curved ones are no longer necessary and I read the other day that the last firm able to rivet hulls together has closed, yet another skill lost to progress.

Such is life,

Colin
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Bryan Young

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Re: Dotage and memories.
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2016, 07:14:35 PM »

The advice would still need to be relevant Bryan. Gluing together a yellow pine bread and butter hull with a mixture obtained from rendering down pieces of horse is not likely to be of much use in this age of GRP, 3D printing and superglues.

I'm still happy to work with gummed paper strip and shellac which is still a perfectly viable method of skinning a hull and much less messy than using resin but I very much doubt if anyone else will follow my lead and indeed why should they?

New materials often require new techniques. The old methods are still well documented in old magazines and in books so are not likely to be lost altogether.

The other major factor is that many of today's oldies were brought up in a world where it was normal to make your own stuff and often had education and training which gave them the skills to do this. These days modellers are more likely to be familiar with using computer draughting programs which produce files which can be fed through 3D printers or laser cutters to produce the required components. Not a knifeblade or saw in sight! They never did engineering studies or technical drawing at school and probably have little idea of what a lathe is or its capabilities.

In previous ages there were all sorts of skill sets which were vital at the time but which progress subsequently rendered completely obsolete. Modern ships are constructed almost entirely from flat plates, all those metal shaping skills to produced curved ones are no longer necessary and I read the other day that the last firm able to rivet hulls together has closed, yet another skill lost to progress.

Such is life,



Colin
    Oddly enough, I agree with almost every word you say.
Life and times move on.....but surely the individual desire to "create" something unique and personal is always at the heart of any artistic endeavour...and I include Model making as an art. Perhaps more like "Banksy" than Holbein, but art nevertheless. Utilise all the materials and machines you want...but if people don't even try to find an outlet for any form of creativity then the world is a poorer place....and I put modelling into that category. Bryan.
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Notes from a simple seaman

Peter Fitness

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Re: Dotage and memories.
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2016, 09:18:22 PM »

I agree completely with your post, Bryan, but similar thoughts abound in just about all of the modelling disciplines. As Colin has rightly pointed out, materials, techniques and even expectations have changed dramatically since we were young. I will be 80 in January, but I love technology and have embraced it enthusiastically. However, I am probably classed as a traditionalist when it comes to modelling, insofar as I much prefer traditional methods and materials where possible. That's not to say I won't take advantage of things modern if they suit my purpose.


Modern youth is used to having what they want almost instantly, that's what happens in the digital age, and the slow process of traditional building does not appeal. I would love to be able to come back in 50 years and see how modelling has evolved.


Peter.
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Bryan Young

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Re: Dotage and memories.
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2016, 10:06:37 PM »

I agree completely with your post, Bryan, but similar thoughts abound in just about all of the modelling disciplines. As Colin has rightly pointed out, materials, techniques and even expectations have changed dramatically since we were young. I will be 80 in January, but I love technology and have embraced it enthusiastically. However, I am probably classed as a traditionalist when it comes to modelling, insofar as I much prefer traditional methods and materials where possible. That's not to say I won't take advantage of things modern if they suit my purpose.


Modern youth is used to having what they want almost instantly, that's what happens in the digital age, and the slow process of traditional building does not appeal. I would love to be able to come back in 50 years and see how modelling has evolved.


Peter.
Peter, interesting point you made...."almost instant results" ( to paraphrase you). It's really only in popular culture that instant results are demanded. And most of that is pretty transient / "fashionable stuff.
Many people in all walks of life work for the "long-term" result.
Just because many younger people fall for the latest fads and the overblown adverts doesn't mean that all of the younger generation are mindless head-bangers or "followers of fashion"!
Young engineers are still encouraged to make models to show off their skills. Just look at the modelling expertise shown in locomotives and aircraft. Ships seem to have been relegated down into the 3rd division.
And I believe that the general public, looking at the modern offerings, consider them to be just a different sort of Leggo toy. For that, blame the kit "industry". Individual aspiration has seemingly surrendered to the herd mentality.
Not meant to be a bit of a rant although it may seem like one! Bryan.


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Notes from a simple seaman

Colin Bishop

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Re: Dotage and memories.
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2016, 10:29:47 PM »

Bryan, to be honest I doubt very much if the general public would be able to distinguish between a kit and a 'scratch' built model. To them all merchant ship models are Titanics and all grey ones Bismarcks. And all warships are of course 'battleships'.

Colin
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raflaunches

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Re: Dotage and memories.
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2016, 10:47:24 PM »

I find that it depends on where you sail/display to the responses you get from the public. Obviously at shows you of course get the public who are interested but due to the unusual models that Dad and I build we can almost guarantee that they don't call our models the usual battleship/titanic designation.
I have used almost every method of construction from bread and butter to buying 3D printed items however I have just bought the book about Norman Ough and his models and they are better than some models today- no wonder he was considered to be the best modeller of the 20th Century.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Dotage and memories.
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2016, 10:48:57 PM »

Incidentally Bryan, how would you classify this fine model?

Colin
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Ron Rees

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Re: Dotage and memories.
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2016, 09:35:54 AM »

I completely agree with your feelings Bryan and go along with what Dave and Peter say. Us 'Oldies' do need to try and pass on some skills to the up and coming builders of tomorrow.


I commend all the Mayhem readers and contributors who send in build blogs and I read them avidly but not everyone has the confidence to put their work out for public scrutiny, warts and all. So well done to all those who do, it helps to make this site as good as it is.


As most people on here will know I prefer to write articles, draw plans and come up with silly ideas that I am prepared to stand behind, and those that are good enough go into the Model Boats magazine, which I enjoy seeing in print and helps in some small way to finance my hobby.


I know that some 'more traditional' modellers will hold up their hands in horror at some of the things I do, Nylon tights and foam hulls........ blasphemy!! but I always think of my poor Mum when we asked her if she'd like a Chinese Curry and in horror she told us that it was terrible stuff and she didn't like it....When asked when she'd had one, she told us she'd never had one!.    There is a lot of this antiquated approach about.


I am, in fact very traditional in my methods with far more wood and metal models under my belt than foam ones, I just enjoy the change and the challenge of trying out new things, they don't always work out, but when they do I want to tell someone....Anybody with the urge to pass good ideas and experiences about our hobby should have a go, us oldies enjoy reading it (and putting in our oar so to speak) and newcomers get a lot more help than some people think out of what you write..............go for it I say.


Ron.
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John W E

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Re: Dotage and memories.
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2016, 11:20:40 AM »

Hi Colin
Is that the model of Admiral Graf Spee by Robin Lee ?

john
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roycv

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Re: Dotage and memories.
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2016, 12:39:59 PM »

Hello Ron I have always held nylon tights with great regard for years now.
Roy
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Dotage and memories.
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2016, 12:59:04 PM »

Yes John, it is indeed and a very nice model too.

Colin
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Subculture

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Re: Dotage and memories.
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2016, 02:52:53 PM »

much less messy than using resin

Are you comparing gummed paper with polyester resin and chopped matt? Epoxy resin used with very fine cloth makes no mess at all, and no odour to speak of either. The cured result is very strong, and totally waterproof.

Peter Fitness

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Re: Dotage and memories.
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2016, 09:47:03 PM »

Bryan, I totally agree with your comment on my remark about "instant results" as regards the aspirations of the younger generation. That remark was intended to refer to modelling, and I should have been more specific. In my own family there are three grandsons who have embarked upon university degrees after having worked for a number of years before deciding to undertake further study. This indicates to me that they are looking to the future, as are many other young people.


The modelling scene, however, is quite different, at least, in my experience. I belong to a smallish marine modelling club boasting about 20 members, none of whom are under the age of 65, and all are retired. Despite many attempts to attract younger members, by way of displays, offering hands on experience by having models available at the lakeside etc., we have not had one young person join. Many have shown interest, but the usual questions are "How fast does it go?", "How much does it cost", or "Do the guns on that 'battleship' actually work?". Cost is a big factor, if not to the young would-be member, then to his/her parents. Unfortunately, given that most kits are made overseas, their cost here in Australia is very high, which seems to be a deterrent to the aspiring modeller. I don't have a solution to the problem, perhaps wiser minds than mine do.


Peter.
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grendel

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Re: Dotage and memories.
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2016, 08:47:42 AM »

I feel that if interest can be generated during the teenage years, even if in adulthood the hobby is retired to the back shelf, then in later years when they have more time and disposable income, then a certain amount of people will come back to the hobby - much like I have done, as a child I was interested, when teenage a local modeller ran classes at the local youth club (his wife ran the badmington classes at the club, and he came along and ended up running modelling classes). under his tutelage we made model boats and planes, the club subsidised some cheap radio control gear for us and we were out in the school field some evenings flying the planes. after that I got into electric car racing, but then work, family and life intruded and I did nothing, only recently with time on my hands and a small amount of disposable income, was I able to start getting back into hobbies that I had held as a child (meccano and model building).
As a child I was encouraged by my parents to try a lot of different hobbies and crafts (my mother had been an art teacher). and now as I look toward retirement in another ten years I am slowly getting back to some of those hobbies with a long term view to keeping myself occupied in my waning years - long and fruitful may they be.
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tonyH

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Re: Dotage and memories.
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2016, 05:55:06 PM »

Perhaps two elements that have gone a long way to creating the change are (1) comics and (2) the parental/school idea of "elf and safety"

(1) In the "Old Days" a lot of the ideas of what and how came from reading such as Eagle & Lion etc. as 10 year olds so that we were caught at a very early stage. I remember building navies with pals using 2x1 timber cut roughly to shape with baked bean tins for turrets and armed with Dinky match-firing cannons. I'm sure it wasn't just me.
(2) To do (1) I could use a tenon saw and a hammer. The attitude was "If he cuts himself, he won't do it again" Again, I'm sure it wasn't just me. My first chemistry lesson at secondary school was how to blow glass and make our own test-tubes. Try suggesting that now and see what the response would be.

We were caught with the "making" bug early and it was normal to be allowed to experiment, make mistakes, injure ourselves a bit and get the practical skills that are now, in the main, being lost.

Sorry if the above is a bit of a sideline but a couple of occurences yesterday led me to it.

The current edition of New Scientist has a couple of pages on the drastic shortage of laboratory glass blowers and apprentices making some of the weird and wonderful systems needed.
I work part time in an "old school" hardware shop. Yesterday I sold a fretsaw. The first in 4 years and to a chap for his 10year old son. Huzzah!

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Baldrick

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Re: Dotage and memories.
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2017, 05:02:38 AM »

I love building models using quality wood. I find that a choice bit of American Boxwood gives such silky tactile feel and aroma when it is pared lovingly with my Pfiel razor sharp chisels. However the problem I have now is that Nurse keeps taking them away from me and the plastic ones she gives me are useless.


 PS Perhaps my love of wood stems from the carpentry classes we had at secondary school, do schools still let kids loose with sharp tools in this age of elf & safety.
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