Some readers of this article may find it too provocative but it needs to be said. After spending 30 years building ship models, and twelve years selling radio controlled and wooden ship models to the hobby enthusiast, I find there are some frustrations that never go away in the ship model building industry.
Let’s face it; the business of ship model 중국배대지 building, operates as a niche industry. Nonetheless, radio controlled and wooden ship models are, to the hobby enthusiast, a very important past time. Rich in history, technical challenges, and a form of art and legacy; ship modeling is a very rewarding hobby. The ship model market, by its very nature, caters to a very small group of like-minded people with a particular passion to create a unique piece of work. It is characterized by higher prices, limited availability, and limited manufacturer’s model choices. And, those kits rely heavily on our skills and innovations as builders to complete a historically accurate ship model to be proud of.
Let’s examine the manufacturing and distribution chain a little closer.
MANUFACTURERS of ship model kits and fittings often temporarily remove popular ship model kits from the market place, redesign them, and then, re-offer them. What reasons would a manufacturer have to do this? Have you ever considered any of these possibilities for ship model removal from the manufacturing chain? 1. Improve the overall quality of the kit? 2. Respond to customer comments about the build difficulties in a particular ship model? 3. Reduce manufacturing costs? 4. Re-locate manufacturing center? 5. Add additional features? 6. Improve the plans, drawings, or instructions? While kits can be removed for any of the above reasons; ship model manufacturers are facing the same economic realities as other types of industry. Often times, it’s the bottom line that has to register the most strongly with a manufacturing company. Put in stronger terms, the reason is to increase the profit margins also known as we need to “make more money”!
Don’t get me wrong; to stay in business all manufacturers have to make a fair profit. Most manufacturers of ship models provide a good quality product for a reasonable price. They do need to place a little more consideration on the needs of builders. This would certainly help in growing the hobby and their market share.
Another frustration for builders is manufacturers that are still providing only die-cut parts in their ship model kits. Die-cut parts have a tendency to become less accurate with the greater number of parts produced and they are frequently difficult to work with. Getting a die-cut keel out of a 1/8″ thick piece of basswood without losing any important curves can sometimes be enough to drive a builder to close up shop for the night. Listen up kit manufacturers; if you are going to be in the business then do yourselves and your customers a huge favor and get some laser cutting machinery! Or go forward thinking and investigate the possibilities of a 3D printer.
Then there are the manufacturers that give you materials that are almost impossible for the average ship model builder to work with. For example, some kits provide wire that is to be fashioned into chain assembly parts. This is a sure-fire way to turn off a novice builder. Turn off the builders and watch the niche market we occupy get even smaller my friends.