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  1. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    don
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    I went into a local model train store yesterday, (not too many of them around), and made my purchases, and being curious, I looked at the prices of paint, relative to when I used to sell, 20 to 40 years ago, and way back to when I was a kid, 55 years ago.

    The small ubiquitous bottles of paint. Back then PACTRA or TESTORS, we’re, for me originally 10 cents, then 15! When I was managing Paul Frieler’s Historical Models, those same bottles were last 45 cents.

    Yesterday, one small bottle of TESTORS thinner The Rediculous Costs of Basic Supplies , #1145, currently priced at $2.50!!!!

    Why?

    I asked if that were a mistake, and was told “no”. - but it was!

    The little bottle of paint thinner The Rediculous Costs of Basic Supplies is something that should not be stocked at that price! When the big chain stores started to stock DREMEL The Rediculous Costs of Basic Supplies tools, a mainstay of mine, I had to decide to drop some of the tools as I could no longer be competitive. I had to focus on my turn-over and mark-up margins.
    -craftsmanship is a lifelong project of
    self-construction and self determination
    QUOTE QUOTE #1

  2. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    don
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    Hobby shops have almost completely disappeared from Southern California.

    I will go out of my way to support the few that remain, and I do offer some suggestions about products, but I don’t push it, after all I am not in that business any more, and they have their reasons, I’m sure.

    I’m not sure about anything anymore, and I realize that this is a textbook “rant” - but what can we do to promote further our hobby?

    The hobby magazines are getting thin, the shops are few and far between. Costs for small incidental items are outrageous,

    And, ( at least here in the states) too many modelers are aging out!

    Lack of interest? -or interesting?
    QUOTE QUOTE #2

  3. Egon's Avatar Moderator
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    egon
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    I think all shops went online now, but shop from home and aviod the travel and time to collect.
    QUOTE QUOTE #3

  4. Richard Bartrop's Avatar Active Member
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    There's at least 4 functioning hobby stores here in Calgary. I guess we are just a backwards people.

    I always thought those little jars of thinner The Rediculous Costs of Basic Supplies were ridiculously overpriced, which is what I get mine at the hardware store, where I can get a quart of the stuff for what Testors wants to change for those tiny bottles.
    QUOTE QUOTE #4

  5. JunkGTZ's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Larry
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    I enjoy going in the brick and mortar hobby shops but they can’t compete w online places unless they themselves have an online presence and that is still no guarantee. My local shop tried that and still went belly up two months ago. I did buy some supplies there and ordered things through them but it was small things and not any big ticket items. I’m not sure what the markup is on items but I look more than buy or scour the clearance bins because I just can’t spend huge amounts on this kind of thing.

    As for the hobby of model building not being passed on anymore, I’ve seen a trend in education that sort of parallels that. I teach college and none of the incoming students has a clue as to the long patient pursuit of anything. They were born into an age of digital everything and immediate gratification and are not visionary enough to sit down and engage in real hands on tasks and follow a series of step by step instructions. They like apps, hacks, microwave popcorn and microwaveable meals. It is sad to me because the pursuit of becoming anything really takes time and insight and patience. When they hit obstacles they want to give up. Model building is just too tedious to their short attention span minds.

    There are some of the younger generations out there who are intrigued by it, but they are such a minority.
    QUOTE QUOTE #5

  6. Richard Bartrop's Avatar Active Member
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    Richard
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    Sears used to stock Dremel The Rediculous Costs of Basic Supplies tools here under the Craftsman name, before they closed down all the Sears stores.
    QUOTE QUOTE #6

  7. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    don
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    My shop was as much a book store, paint store, and social nexus, as much as it was a supplier of model kits, tools, raw materials and a place to see hundreds of models built by some of the best modelers in California.

    Modelers toil away alone in their workshops and benefit from places like hobby shops.

    Model shop owners have a hard time being competitive, they are useful places,
    and usually appreciated but it’s a different marketplace. Brick and mortar shops have been replaced as places to buy from
    But the opportunity to meet like minded people, in a non club environment is gone.
    QUOTE QUOTE #7

  8. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    don
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    Clubs and societies are fine, but they often include contests and a political element that some modelers (me) just do not enjoy.
    QUOTE QUOTE #8

  9. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    don
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    JunkGTZ - do you think trade schools are making a comeback?
    QUOTE QUOTE #9

  10. JunkGTZ's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Re: trade schools, I think more students should go that route and according to my brother in law who is a CEO of a family owned manufacturing business machinists are in short supply. A newly minted tech school grad cam start around $65k. That’s up in newly minted chemist territory. It’s along the lines of Mike Rowes comments about jobs that are hard to fill because too many students go to college with out a clear idea of what they want to do and waste thousands on schooling and end up with tons of debt. Considering the technology available (CAD, 3D printing, etc.) one could see a revived interest in model building - perhaps if instructors encouraged such.

    The possibilities are actually quite numerous if someone can spark the imaginations of students to think about options outside of a university education.
    QUOTE QUOTE #10

  11. whulsey's Avatar Member
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    Wayne
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    Hi, guess I signed up here awhile ago; but haven't been on the site. Thought I'd look around since sort of burned out on Spotlight and MCM. Lived in Orange County for years so went to Frieler's occasionally. Worked at Hobby City on and off in the early 70s. Now living in a small mountain town in Arizona so nearest hobby shop is about 60 miles away.

    Do shake my head when I see the price for model paints now. Most things I tend to use paint supply stores now for thinners, etc. Have got into doing a lot of stuff in cardstock now (saw a thread on Milan Palaus' Ferraris). Recognize a few names here so will probably lurk some to get a feel for what's going on here. Looks like a lot of large scale stuff and I stick with 25/24 basically.
    QUOTE QUOTE #11

  12. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    don
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    Every scale, and every modeler is welcome
    QUOTE QUOTE #12

  13. sky's Avatar Active Member
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    rom
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    Model A Model, I hear you. Funny that you should mention Testors colours. I'm from the old world across the big watery thing and I have had a surprisingly hard time getting Testors colours here. Actually so much so, that I had to order via some place on Ebay working out of Chicago or even north of the border after having spend aeons talking to other sellers - none of whom wanted to or could ship over here. I found places in nearby countries here who had one or max two of the colours I wanted, but non carried all - most carried none at all. Of course ordering that way was quite expensive, but I wanted those colours. Interesting enough I somehow never thought that those tiny jars are that expensive. It almost feels as if manufacturing those small gloss bottles costs more than its content but what do I know, right?
    Further more on the topic of paints. I have wanted to buy some spray cans of acrylic The Rediculous Costs of Basic Supplies colours recently for a different type of project and was surprised at the price ranges for those as well. From something like $4 a can to close to $15 for the same size. I've checked local DIY stores, auto parts stores, etc. - the cheapest by far was again found on fleabay. What's the difference? I mean I don't understand how the same thing, sometimes the same brand and can just from a different retail outlet costs 2 or 3x the price of the cheapest? Markup much - especially between online resellers where it doesn't make sense to me.
    For local vs. online I could always argue one doesn't need to maintain a shop / office on some thoroughfare or high street or whatever, but only a warehouse in the boonies with a competent and working postal service (seems to be getting difficult to find one as well, side rant) so saves on overhead there and can sell for less, but needs to factor in postage and shipping. And the other has to factor in the office space, extra behind-the-counter sales staff but has the benefit of not having to pay for shipping (the customer has to do the driving and picking up from the shop, so does the p&p himself in a matter of speaking). Overall though, the cost will still be higher for the small high street shop as the online place probably buys in larger volumes, hence gets better discounts....
    Oh well...

    Also you guys are lucky if you still have local hobby shops. I have looked long and hard at my old haunts from when I was a youth. Some of them still exist, but they carter hardly any kit modelling stuff. You will mostly find RC stuff there or model trains which I was into decades ago - but no car model kits. I have searched the net and asked around. The nearest actual shops are like 60 miles away! And I can't be bothered to drive that far just to have a look see and realize "oh, small selection plus steep prizes plus long drive". Also they all carry only one brand of colours or glue or kits (and that's a "local" one not exactly known for quality") - I'd pass. So for me it is online only these days - not by choice!

    And as for the youth thing. I've noticed the same thing and you can hear it anywhere, regarding attention span, willingness to put in the hours or dedication. I hope at some point in the very near future (PLEASE!) this will all change again. Try getting a handyman to do things for you or a builder. You'll wait months before you even get a quotation - if you get a reply at all. Hence I started to do more things myself (and strangely finding it enjoyable and satisfying. Tom Hanks like in Castaway "look, I made fire" type satisfaction).

    /RANT.
    QUOTE QUOTE #13

  14. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    don
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    Hello there!

    What happened here in California was a combination of old established industries moving out. The exchange rate for dollars versus Yen got worse for U.S. and of course the explosive growth of the Internet.

    Distributors had no option but to compete with the retailers they once sold to, and even that did not last, as those distributor / importers started to merge or fold.

    The hobby will survive, it will just never have the “Club House” feel of a friendly local shop!
    QUOTE QUOTE #14

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