The Sprue Cutters Union is back and bigger than ever! If you are into modelling and maintain a blog, facebook page or website about it…. join us! Write your article about the topic at hand and share it over at The Combat Workshop. Also don’t forget, as a courtesy to the other bloggers, to post the links to their respective articles in your own article post. Simple as that and everyone is welcome!
This week’s topic: Is our hobby dying?
In one easy to understand word: NO, the hobby is not dying. Far from it even. This writers opinion is that it is changing.I could stop there and be done but let me elaborate and digress for fun and giggles.
A few years back i ended up in an adult form of “show and tell” in front of a group of people (don’t ask). So, naturally i brought one of my models and explained to the audience how i achieved painting and building the model and how i could also tell a bit about the historical background of said model. To my astonishment and delight i found my audience genuinely captivated and interested in my model and asking questions about it! One could conclude that the average Joe can appreciate a good model when they see one and be interested in hearing about it. So much for the dull, dusty and stuffy image our hobby is often referred to. People like models, period.
My personal opinion is that the modelling hobby is a rather specialised one that is not meant for everyone. It requires patience, dedication and eye for detail and, maybe to a lesser extent, an interest in the historical background of any given model. So often do i hear the phrase: “Wow, that is so detailed and cool! I could never do that because i simply do not have the patience for it”. And thats exactly why i think only a select group is really deep into the hobby.
In a way our hobby is facing a population in modern times that has a “sensory overload luxury problem”. There is easy entertainment all around us that is easily accessible, readily available and requiring no skill whatsoever. Especially moving to the united states i observed a 24/7 economy that caters to people wanting stuff. Now. Alot of it and anytime i want it. And i am participating too! I can pop on a neverending stream of episodes of “Cops” on my wide screen HD TV screen and sit on my lazy bum all day watching it and be entertained. (they never ever listen, it amuses me to no end) Not everyone has a natural sense of patience, just look around you on the freeway going to work. People weaving and bobbing and elbowing their way to a position just inches away from where they were….. tsssk tssk… impatient, what? Exactly.
The observation that the LHS around the corner being at it’s decline or getting smaller in my humble opinion is not without merit but it also doesn’t mean that the hobby is declining or dying. It is merely shifting position. I could order any modelling related item at any time of the day and have it delivered to my doorstep from the comfort of my home. I am noticing myself that i shifted from buying my kits at the LHS to buying them off the web. I still prefer going to the good old hobby store for paints and small supplies. Shifting and changing, not dying
I honestly think that we, modelling folk, absolutely need not worry about us being a dying race. A bunch of dusty dinosaurs with a questionable, hermit style hobbychoice. Absolute nonsense! Visit your preferred modellers hangout on the interwebs and look up the “new guy saying hi” corner. There is a definate influx of new enthousiasts!
Our hobby went from the teenager at the kitchentable pumping out cheap airfix kits by the dozen, then blowing em up with firecrackers to a slightly more mature audience with a wallet that want quality kits to build. A shift from a ” building plastic toys” to “building high quality reflections of history” if you will. Not dying,…. changing
See? It is certainly not a matter of doom and gloom. Look around you and what is available to you compared to ten or twenty years ago. A vast expansion of available quality hobby related materials is what you see. Hardly a sign of companies abandoning us model folk because there is no profit to be made anymore. So rest easy,… go back to your benches and accept the change i say!