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Modeller, Scratch Builder, Assembler...........What Are You?

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  • #16
    I am a little more optimistic of our youth, but like most things, we will need a event to shift the mindset. While I too wish we had metal, wood, mechanical classes, there is another way in which students are learning to use their hands. We have a robotics class, in this class the students are assembling components (not block style or simplified type). They have drawers and bins of gears, bushings, screws, and nuts. There is metal straps, sheets, motors, servos, tools for cutting and files. Equipment anyone of us would dive into like a child under a Christmas tree.
    While the core of what we grew up with has changed, the creativity of these students is the same. There is hope and it is important that we encourage and direct these young minds versus condemn and give up.
    We have a counselor here who has his doctorate in an area that deals with social norms.

    Social norms is getting a grasp grasp of real information verses rumor. As an example a girl gets pregnant in school. The rumor mill tells that story to many people, then many people here the story from many different views. After a bit, students think everyone is getting pregnant. when in reality it was one person.
    A real world example can be shown with our police. A few have done wrong things, but media has told the story loud and repeatedly that now all police are labeled bad. In reality, 97% are honest hard working people putting their lives on the line daily. Of the 3% most of those are making judgement calls and make a mistake once. Then you have a very few who are not walking out their job in a manner that goes against the oath they pledged to.

    My point is yes there are button, game playing, lazy youth, but I see many more students learning and being creative in life.

    So, as a hobby, maybe we need to have some simple subs that they can quickly put together and have a working sub. Then as the interest grows introduce them to more difficult construction.

    My love for subs goes way back in my youth. My grandfather made a wooden sub with a lead keel and nail heads for middle hatches. It was barely positively buoyant. You would throw it in a pool and it would travel long distances before coming to the surface. I spent hours playing with that sub. Watching it above and below the surface.
    The submarine ride at Disney was one of my favorites. Movies including the war ones, if they had a sub in it, I liked it. At Fox studios, there was a display of a Gato sub and a ship firing at each other. I watched that while sitting at a restaurant. It has since been paved over. Cousteau and his tv show also inspired me (not his political view, but his passion for the ocean).

    Somehow, we have to engage the young mind to fall in love with submarines. If a game gets a kid to build a model of a Type 7 then great!

    i will stop rambling, need coffee.
    If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.


    • #17
      In my other job, we are over run with Duty of Care directives, Dignity at Work policies and Staff Welfare issues.

      But the fact of the matter is when something goes wrong nobody 'cares', as it's a rush to get butts covered in case some form of liability accrues.

      I agree with DrS we should, but the reality for most is as David suggests.

      As both an employer and an employee, I can see both sides.

      Unfortunately, we are also being over run with those that think they have an entitlement to be cared about, where none exists.

      ''We're after men, and I wish to God I was with them........!''


      • #18
        It's one thing to talk about these things, it's quite another to do.
        DIVE IN! Go on, go on, go on, go on, GO ON!


        • #19
          Originally posted by Subculture View Post
          It's one thing to talk about these things, it's quite another to do.
          That is absolutely correct!
          If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.


          • #20
            It's right to try to come up with some positive ideas, but there's absolutley nothing at the moment that can compete with computer gaming for young boys (the target market), who spend their formative years thumb pushing and never get into kit building.

            One example is my godson, who was a fanatical collector of model farm machinery (he lives on a farm, no surprise), then techic Lego, then I get him into drone flying, but since he's discovered the x-box the toys that might progress him to kits are forgotten.

            The ship has sailed as per Andy's point.


            ''We're after men, and I wish to God I was with them........!''


            • #21
              There are still countries that insist their youth undertake compulsory military training, not necessarily because they see the need for a large, standing army, but for the social effect that training produces. Having spent most of my life in SF I can tell you the young men and women who populate that world are completely hands on, in the moment, lateral thinking, operators. Give one of them an X-box and they will probably play with for a while before pulling it to bits to see what's inside.


              • #22
                Hello all,

                Very interesting read. I have just got a couple of minutes to squeeze in a comment in between teaching my year 7 technology class. Friday afternoon, you know, attention span about as long as Donald trumps. As I've mentioned before, I've bough subs into class to show kids that we can make more in the workshop than just wooden pencil boxes and candlelabra.

                There are students that are interested but we hardly have the infrastructure as mentioned to cater for them. Also I strongly believe that our society is dumbing us down. I've already talked before about how some forms of creativity are put on a pedestal and others ,like ours are completely ignored or ridiculed. I do get tired of the endless attention and accolades that musicians and the performing arts get. I am not against these pursuits ,just wish there was more balance in what the media reports on that which is creative. It would be good to see model making and engineering shows on TV and the creative types that inhabit our hobby given some air time and made out to be people that could inspire the next generation.

                David H


                • #23
                  Sorry, couldn't resist............................
                  Image result for cartoon about model making

                  As a coincidence , I heard a conversation on the radio this morning between two 'professional' presenters....... this is not a joke.

                  'The woman with the longest legs in the world, they are 52 inches'

                  'What's that in feet?.........there's 12 inches in a foot, I think'

                  'Eh, hold on, I'll Google'

                  'It's ok, I've got it, it's four feet three inches!'

                  David's right, we're DOOMED!


                  Last edited by The Boattrainman; 09-08-2017, 11:21 AM.
                  ''We're after men, and I wish to God I was with them........!''


                  • #24
                    I'll test my son and report back if he can give me the correct answer.
                    If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.


                    • #25
                      Actually I make my money promoting digital I can't really complain.


                      • #26
                        Why are you blaming the young people for they way they are?

                        Who raised them, and created the society they are expected to live in?

                        If you want to get things moving, put some life into things, quit aiming at the kids, and look at the twenty and thirtysomethings. That's the age bracket where you're more likely to get 'em sticking around. If you aim at kids, it opens cans of worms like child protection agencies breathing down your necks, and youngsters can be very fickle. Soon as they get into their late teens they'll be more interested in cars, booze, travelling, women etc.

                        Aim to create a fun, dynamic movement which can be enjoyed by all ages- kids and youngsters will remember that, and then hopefully seek to revisit when the wine, women and song has lost a bit of it's initial charm. That's when you're more likely to grab them and keep them in the net, but of course there are no guarantees.

                        Regarding scratchbuilding skills, I believe that train has left the station. Those that have them, continue to practice them and try and convey those skills onto others. Some may be intrigued enough to want to follow, but it is something that takes many years to master well, so if started late, then it will take high levels of dedication to catch up.
                        DIVE IN! Go on, go on, go on, go on, GO ON!


                        • #27
                          My son got it right! 4' 4"! So, we are not doomed. Andy, I would agree with the age bracket that we should draw in. Working class that is realizing some of the other interests have lost their appeal. I think young children is were we plant a seed (as you stated). It is a long term investment with little immediate gain. Then teenage years you may see a bit more interest (able to grasp more complex thought), but it usually fades, distracted, or is set aside. Then if we look at the past and current ages of those owning and running subs, we see a larger slice in the 40+ range (with a good chunk in upper retired ages). It might be a fun study.
                          If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.


                          • #28
                            Great, there's hope yet!

                            I was more disturbed that one of the idiots was going to look it up on Google...................!

                            I don't think there's kid bashing here, more bashing the choices that are made and to be honest, the marketing guys who sell the latest tat as 'the next best thing'.

                            As I said earlier with four decades of youth work behind me, kids are still the same and a wonderful resource, just a pity that the road they are on will lead to a lack of deversity in interests and hobbies.

                            For a million reasons I can think of, now you'll never see a few urban kids making rafts out of junk and messing around on the local river, one of the ways I spent my summers. Got me onto the water for free and a life-long love of all things boaty! I passed by one of my childhood waterways a few times during work over the summer, not a kid in sight.

                            (orchestra swells.......shot of middle age chap shaking his head...............gets on his bike...............pedals off in the distance...........audience in tears..............end credits!)

                            ''We're after men, and I wish to God I was with them........!''


                            • #29
                              I see modelling as a journey. We all start somewhere. Inspiration for me came from my grandfather. He was a cabinet maker by trade, served in the para's and built model aircarft for a hobby. The model most remembered by all who knew him was a scratch built Vulcan bomber. Incredible in size. A thing of beauty and excellent workmanship. It was big enough to fly RC, and some offered to buy it off him but he would not sell. So it hung on his living room wall, a testament to his craftsmanship which he had developed over many years. I remember being inspired by this as a young boy, and I soon took on my first plastic Airfix kit.... This was the start of the modelling journey, building straight out of the box - assembly type modelling. Fast forward to my teen years and I had moved on to altering kit parts and adding extra bits to improve the kit. This is 'modified kit' stage. As I learned more tips and tricks from other experienced modelers (who were willing to share) I moved on to 'Extensive Modified kit', where 90% of the kit gets modified / rebuilt. At this stage it soon becomes apparent that with a bit more work a model is achievable entirely from scratch. Scratch building IMO is when a modeler is free via competence to complete any model they choose. Especially good if what they desire is not currently available. I am currently at this point. I don't say it to brag, ( I know that I am in the company of many accomplished modelers right here), but simply to demonstrate the journey. A number of years ago I scratch built myself a Disney Nautilus for two reasons. 1) There were no Nautilus hulls available at the time - Disney were fiercely protective of their copyright material back then! 2) I felt I had attained enough competency to do it. I built my Balsa hull form, created the fiberglass mould and fiberglass moulding. Finally I made detailed riveted plating out of 10 thou polystyrene sheet and super glued these on. Some small detail parts were sourced, eg wheelhouse clear domes were junior hack sawed from a toy rattle. Brass propeller and prop shaft were proprietary bought. But I count this as a scratch built model, because I didn't make it from a kit.. So there we have the succession; OOB Kit assembly - modified kit - extensive modified kit - scratch built. All of these are encapsulated by one term..modeler. We are all modelers on a journey. The destination is how much we want to get out of it. I'm convinced this is different for different people.


                              • #30
                                I have seen many an observation of todayís youth not interested in the craft, to me itís up to parents to guide and steer kids in the direction of the hobby or else it might die. That said, I do appreciate that it can be difficult, as we can lead the proverbial horse to water but whether or not they take a drink is ultimately up to them. But the kids wonít get interested at all, if they are never shown.

                                My son has been pretty much by my side since birth in the workshop. Whilst Iíve put this fine hobby on hold for too long for work and study, I have come back in the last few months to teach my son James (now 8) the basics of the workshop. He has two RC models under construction. Ė A 2ch Vac-u-tug which he is scratching building a wheelhouse and will paint and detail and he has an OTW Trafalgar, which he is cutting his teeth on being his first RC sub with the help of me.

                                In the last couple of weeks James attended his first sub regatta here in Australia. Whilst not having a working sub yet, he was content to drive his 2ch tug for around about 4 hours. He was never bored. He spoke politely to the adults and worked well to have fun and not get in anyoneís way. I was proud. But more so I am encouraged. I found him in the shop a couple of nights this week on his own before dinner. He was there with a bucket of soapy water, some wet and dry paper and took it upon himself to clean up all my parts and hull halves for a couple of projects I hope to start soon. Totally unsolicited and productive help from an 8 yr old. Wow! His mother would like his room cleaned to the same level he leaves the shop!

                                To me it doesnít matter if youíre a master scratch building tool maker, or if youíre a kit assembler I think it matters most that the craft lives on with efforts that people in the hobby make and conveying to otherís especially the young an appreciation for creativity.
                                John Slater

                                Sydney Australia

                                You would not steal a wallet so don't steal people's livelihood.
                                Think of that before your buy "cheap" pirated goods or download others work protected by copyright. Theft is theft.