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Author Topic: The future of Model Boating ....  (Read 9384 times)

Subculture

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #25 on: July 01, 2018, 08:01:07 PM »

I think rather than one or two simplistic issues, it's a combination of lots of factors, many of which have been highlighted in this thread, and which have played out over the past three to four decades.

What is clear is that what has been done to date isn't attracting newcomers to the hobby, so stop doing that, and either try something else, or enjoy what is left whilst it is there.

plastic

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #26 on: July 01, 2018, 08:05:18 PM »

I think rather than one or two simplistic issues, it's a combination of lots of factors, many of which have been highlighted in this thread, and which have played out over the past three to four decades.

What is clear is that what has been done to date isn't attracting newcomers to the hobby, so stop doing that, and either try something else, or enjoy what is left whilst it is there.

The problem is the global media promote the brain-dead 'slebs so it's just not cool to want to be clever. And only fools work with their hands so practical skills are valueless.

It would need a 180 deg. shift in media attitudes to make engineering/modelling/technical stuff interesting to the average kids of today.
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Subculture

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #27 on: July 01, 2018, 08:18:55 PM »

I don't think it's the real smart engineers that have disappeared, after all enormous amounts of design still originate from these shores, but design engineers represent only a very small fraction of engineering jobs. It's huge swathes of manufacturing industry that has been torn up and moved overseas, or automated that has lead to the dissolution of thousands of jobs in manufacturing industry. China opened up in the 1970's, and with it came an enormous workforce ready to work for a fraction of their western counterparts.

The South has probably been more disproportionally affected than the North, no doubt higher land prices influence that, as industry has disappeared far faster than up there, but I think in time, they will feel the effects too.

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #28 on: July 01, 2018, 08:41:27 PM »

It's a UK problem and falls back to schools, colleges and universities as well as the media.

There are still good people out there in training, development and practice but the way they are handled is shockingly poor. It discourages people from continuing their career and to look elsewhere - this has a knock on effect for those following.

I know a lot of good people who have quit engineering because career opportunities were withheld, had no encouragement from colleges / universities - or were told that the only career goal is to be a manager and been blocked at every step. (One consultant I worked with - everyone was a manager, no other staff, the design function was all agency).

We have  begun a bit of a technical resurgence Mythbusters, Forged in Fire, American Restoration, Wheeler Dealers, Salvage Hunter etc have encouraged people  to look at engineering and trades - but it is fragile
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suffolk1928

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #29 on: July 01, 2018, 10:08:36 PM »

I wonder if model boating is particularly affected by the loss of skills described above ... Wargaming or plastic kitbuilding is relatively accessible to a newcomer / younger modeller being cheaper, quicker to assemble, not needing many tools. Compare this to a proper boat kit which takes much more time to finish with several different techniques.


I remember the Club 500s being a good introduction, with some simple construction/ painting, basic RC gear, and also fun!


Plastic magic projects might also be good for younger modellers for similar reasons.


I have no engineering training - usually find something I need to build in a project and then have to read up, ask other modellers to find out how to make it!


James (age 31!)



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unbuiltnautilus

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #30 on: July 01, 2018, 10:47:01 PM »

We supported the UTC Royal Navy Engineering Challenge 2018 at HMS Sultan in Gosport, back in the Spring. There were 85 teams tasked with building a boat, that would fit in a supplied box, that could recover floating and sunken objects, and deposit them on a jetty, all the while maneuvering around a fixed course.
The competition was open to both schools and colleges, with a small number of RN teams competing also. While I could write a book based on the days observations ( water and radio equipment do not get on well together, speed controls invariably go pop if you try to put power in the motor end, direct drive motors make terrible winch motors!! ), there was an interesting spread of really well designed models, good efforts showing unexpected ingenuity, designs obviously not tested beforehand, and disasters waiting to happen. Some teams had enjoyed the full support of the teaching staff, some had effectively been cast adrift for the day, with nothing but a couple of 3 litre fizzy drink bottles, no scissors or gaffer tape!
It was interesting to note the enthusiasm of the majority of teams we helped out, they accounted for about a third of the groups. Some just using our soldering station and over used hot glue gun, others with radio issues. That left two thirds who had really well thought out designs, or just functional models. An interesting day that hopefully will see some new blood into the hobby at some time.
I have seen next years challenge..good luck, you are going to need it!!
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unbuiltnautilus

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #31 on: July 01, 2018, 10:51:14 PM »

The second photo with the polystyrene cup of water as a counter balance reminds me of a funny, ongoing use of MOD product. We were supplied with about thirty boxes of MOD coloured AA batteries, to keep the teams powered up over the event. Most of these were dished out as ballast weights to trim the vessels :}
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Martin [Admin]

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SJG001

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #33 on: July 01, 2018, 11:22:20 PM »


Gaming now has people in stores who help develop the skills of the hobbyist and there is a lot of skill involved in completing some of the models. 10-15 years ago  the hobby was in serious decline - now I see stores opening all over the UK. Companies which did not adapt failed and I have boxes of games from failed companies in my loft to prove it. In comparison a lot of model stores are closing or dying.

Part of this is due to the change in attitude of the gaming companies and store holders - they have space, time and tools to help people and it pays them to do so. It is fantastic to see some kid paint his first miniature at a Games Workshop store and get help from the staff to do so.

The average age of a gamer has fallen and they in turn have brought other people in. The fact that some of the stores are now social hubs is incredible.


There are groups setting up in the UK which give access to tools, equipment and shared knowledge for technical hobbies including model making and this may be the future. Not modelling clubs, but loose groups with similar hobbies who support each other.

"Proper" boat kits are OK but they don't offer a easy introduction to model boats. Graupner have adapted some of their kits for ease of construction enabling younger modellers to build their first boat - Not all will stay in the hobby - but a few who get the taste will.

You are right about wargaming / plastic kit building being "relatively accessible " but this is the point  it allows modellers to build up their skills. A lot of them transfer to other hobbies.
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Neil

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #34 on: July 01, 2018, 11:23:44 PM »


I just wonder whether our art of finding new things to talk about is dying....


this old chestnut must come up bi-monthly at least....and is never resolved <:( >>:-( O0
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Peter Fitness

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #35 on: July 01, 2018, 11:55:24 PM »

I just wonder whether our art of finding new things to talk about is dying....


I don't think that's the case Neil, some people are genuinely concerned about the lack of young people entering, not just model boat building, but modelling as we know it generally. I don't believe that we Mayhemmers are going to resolve the issue, but talking about it may just encourage some to try harder to bring "new blood" to the hobby.


Times have changed dramatically since I was young, back then there was no TV, or any other electronic gadgetry other than the radio, so we tended to turn to other pastimes. In my case I started building the little balsa aircraft kits I could buy for a few pence from the local newsagent, and it progressed from there. I am sure there are many others with similar tales to tell.


One of my grandsons, aged 18 and in his first year of engineering at university, likes to build computers, which is both practical in this modern age, and useful as well. That's his hobby at present, and I believe that it's just as valid as us building models. We live in a different era and, while we may bemoan the loss of traditional manual skills, it's a form of evolution. After all, as technologically advanced as our modern society is, present day engineers could not build a pyramid to equal that of ancient Egypt, at least, not according to the History Channel %)


Peter.
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Andyn

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #36 on: July 02, 2018, 01:54:55 AM »

I'm 26, been doing this since 12 and have no interest in electric motors, only those proper things with moving parts. One of the lads at the lake is 16 and the same.
Also, I make models for a living and know how to wire a plug. There's exceptions to all the rules...
Model boating will continue, as the amount of people reaching the age at which they need hobbies to fill their days is increasing by the day
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tigertiger

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #37 on: July 02, 2018, 02:40:36 AM »

It's a UK problem and falls back to schools, colleges and universities as well as the media.


 


It is the same in China, believe it or not. The high schools have to concentrate on academic studies, to pass the big college entrance test, which is really tough. Most kids do not go to the university of their choice and they don't even get to choose their courses. Except for maybe the top 10 universities, most degrees are worthless, as students are almost given an automatic pass. Places on engineering courses are relatively few and it is highly competitive. The vocational colleges are very poorly regarded, and it is where you go if you fail high school.
I have worked in high schools, universities, and colleges in China. The students are mostly interested in owning or playing with the latest tech gadgets or apps (the latest fad is apps that add silly ears to your photos), being a celebrity, looking cool (the boys are maybe more vain) and getting lots of money (without any thought of how to get it). Many of the kids now are not computer literate (a big change in one generation), as they spend all of the time using phones or tablets. We have had high school kids who cannot use a keyboard, or even manage files.


Every generation, ours included, concentrated on what was perceived as 'interesting'. The comment about long queues at the CSI desk on the school careers evening reflects media attention, and CSI is not easy. When I went to university (late) the college had just closed down its archaeology courses. Then Time Team was on the TV, and there was a demand, but no courses.
Unless engineering becomes 'sexy' again in the UK it won't have a following. As a kid, back in the late 60s I wanted to be an astronaut or a DJ. In the 70s I wanted to be a heavy metal rock star. All driven by media attention, a product of my generation perhaps.



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tsenecal

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #38 on: July 02, 2018, 03:25:40 AM »

It's a UK problem and falls back to schools, colleges and universities as well as the media.


<snip>


no, it is global
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Martin [Admin]

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #39 on: July 02, 2018, 04:23:01 AM »


Model boating is not dying, it will never actually die.  Admittedly there are fewer and fewer people taking the 'art form' and actually
making stuff, but there will always be some of us building model boats, the same way as there are still people doing any niche hobby
or skill.


There's one guy rebuilding 'The Antikythera Mechanism' that estimated, over 2,000 years old!
He making and using some of the original tools and engineering techniques!   -   
https://youtu.be/ML4tw_UzqZE




...... never thought i'd actually use the word 'niche'.... ever!    :o
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plastic

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #40 on: July 02, 2018, 06:24:06 AM »

I agree model building will never completely die out - there will always be someone beavering away in their shed.

But when it drops to an insignificant level, none of the manufacturers will be profitable so they will go out of business. The only people doing it will be the hard-core modellers having to scratchbuild everything with no support - just like in the very early days.
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roycv

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #41 on: July 02, 2018, 08:17:22 AM »

Hi all as a club Secretary an important subject, we were out at a show on Saturday and a young guy late 30's was showing his daughter how one of the models on show worked.  When he had finished after I asked a few questions he was a modeller who did boats aircraft and Tamiya lorries, but he did not belong to any model clubs.
Just one of I suspect of many loners beavering away as has been mentioned.  I used to be a loner until the early 80's then got more involved.  I know where he is comiing from at his age I did not see the point, I was doing what I wanted to do when I had time.  Let us hope they are there and will surface eventually.
 The pressures in raising a young family have totally involving hot spots that leave no time for anything else.

regards,Roy
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Klunk

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #42 on: July 02, 2018, 08:29:54 AM »

hi roy, and other club secretaries and officials. taking a slight....detour, although i love modelling as a whole, i find I'm spending more time researching and organising than actually doing. this week alone I've spent 7 hrs running around getting other people's boats for sale. 2hrs sorting out club venue problems. I have 3 boats in for repair from 1 club member. on top of that i have updated the club dates website, in the middle of organising the 1st Hemel sail as well as answering the phone and email to a myriad of other questions. I'm also putting together a youth night go 6 to 11 year olds showing them model helis, gliders, and planes and hovercraft as an introduction to modelling. I also work full time! i would love to do some modelling for myself
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roycv

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #43 on: July 02, 2018, 08:35:11 AM »

Hi Klunk, busy, busy, I know you work hard for your club, have I picked up correctly from your last post, are you having a boat sale?

 I used to enjoy the old boat etc. auctions, then I think we had traders come along.  Still have the Nordeney (fishing boat) I bought there.
regards Roy
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Klunk

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #44 on: July 02, 2018, 08:39:18 AM »

not at the moment Roy. but i have about 20 in stock. maybe it is time to resurrect the auction. if we can find an auctioneer!
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roycv

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #45 on: July 02, 2018, 08:49:56 AM »

Hi Klunk I would have thought you were just the right man for the job.  You do need a couple of assistants to keep the flow and someone to keep tabs on the money.  Do let us know if you are back in the auction game.  There is no fun and banter on ebay! 
I am always on the look out for something different that needs doing up.
regards Roy
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Klunk

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #46 on: July 02, 2018, 08:59:49 AM »

lol. i have a committee  that keeps me in line. they even tell me to slow up! all committee members in every club do a great job, otherwise we would not have the great shows up and down the country.
I know this thread is about MB dying, but at St Albans show last year I looked at all the kids looking in awe at the railways, planes boats, scalectrix and meccano. this is the type of show where we get the kids interested.
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grendel

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #47 on: July 02, 2018, 12:51:43 PM »

I dont thing engineering is dying, but practical engineering is, we have a raft of bright young electrical design engineers where I work, but none of them have any practical skills, this is the problem, with all the machines being computer guided, none need to know how to perform the manual task of running the machine, its just throw the material into the machine and out comes the part.
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Allnightin

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #48 on: July 02, 2018, 02:53:10 PM »


no, it is global

I would be interested to hear if the same issue applies in Germany as I had the impression that being an engineer there still confers a level of status and secondary education is reportedly much better at giving a technical education ready for working in a particular trade.  I also get the impression from the reports on German model shows that membership is more evenly spread across the age groups.
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plastic

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #49 on: July 02, 2018, 03:08:06 PM »

This could very easily go down the rabbit hole with theories about Western governments long-term plans of deliberately dumbing down the population to make them more malleable.

They say that this current generation is the most technologically dependent generation ever - but with the least understanding of how any of the technology works.

I often wonder about what would happen in the 'doomsday senario' and would engineers suddenly become gods for knowing how to do things in the post-apocolyptic world.

Or, like the Golgafrinchans, should we launch all the useless telephone sanitisers, account executives, hairdressers, tired TV producers, insurance salesmen, personnel officers, security guards, public relations executives and management consultants off into space.
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