What is the one thing you wish our hobby had?

Discussion in 'General' started by JustinScott, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. JustinScott

    JustinScott Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Posts:
    1,621
    Location:
    New York
    Besides new members... I say RTR boats. Not that I would own one, but just to bring new blood into the fray.
     
  2. JohnmCA72

    JohnmCA72 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    Posts:
    681
    Why emphasis on new member? Why not try to keep those who have already gotten in? People make value decisions all the time, about how they're going to spend their time & money. People will spend enormous amounts of both time AND money, if they feel like they're getting something out of it that's worth more than what they put in. Instead of focusing on an endless parade of newbies, who only last a short time & get replaced by newer newbies, I think there ought to be more emphasis placed on making/keeping things fun, to retain those who ARE involved, & have already made investments.

    I'm not sure that lack of RTR ships are keeping many people out. Cheap entry also permits easy exit, & my opinion is that it would just speed up the revolving door. When somebody has a serious investment in something, they're more inclined to stick with it than if they got in for free, or even cheaply. If there's enough fun to be had, people will spend fortunes for years. If not, they'll bail as soon as the fun value is no longer worth the investment, & if the investment level is low to start with, that point comes sooner rather than later.

    One problem with RTR ships is that there are so many different ship sizes & shapes out there. Somebody would either need to invest a lot of money, with little rate of return, on a large number of ship types or else make a heck of a lot of them all the same. Another alternative would be to do away with the "scale" aspects of model-building, instead defining several different ship types (such as battleship, cruiser, destroyer, etc.) that all share common hulls with common equipment, mounting points, etc., &, differing only in superstructure details. A ship might "look" like a Bismarck or an Iowa on casual glance, but inside & underneath they're built on the same hull. Install 3 triple guns for the Iowa, 4 twin guns for the Bismarck, slap on the appropriate superstructure (out of scale, but who really cares?), & off you go. Convert 1 to the other in just a few minutes.

    What I think the sport needs most is a repositioning in terms of image. For one thing, note my use of the word "sport" instead of "hobby". I think that R/C warship combat should be repositioned as a sport instead of a hobby. The image that "hobby" conjures up is something along the lines of a geeky little guy with a magnifier on his head. When you think of "sport", OTOH, the image is more of a strong, good-looking, active person. If you were to survey people's impressions of types of person, such as "professional", "sportsman", "hobbyist", "criminal", etc., I think you'd find categories such as "athlete", "sportsman", & others of that ilk scoring much higher than "hobbyist". An image make-over like that, appealing to a more aggressive, active type of person, would be a lot more productive than trying to appeal to the "modeler" type, & bring a whole new dynamic into the sport. Not to mention, those who lean toward scale models aren't typically very interested in seeing their pride & joy trashed, anyway. Trying to recruit from that group is going after an infinetesmally small share of what's already a small & saturated market. On the other hand, how many people like sports?

    Reposition the "hobby" as a sport. Shift emphasis away from the building to activity. Focus most strongly on what differentiates the sport from a hobby, namely the ACTION on the water. Replace "hobby" with "sport" & "boat" with "ship" in general usage. Emphasize the active terms, such as "combat", "battle", "competition", "fight", etc. rather than "build", "detail", "model", etc.

    JM
     
  3. CURT

    CURT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Posts:
    5,698
    Location:
    St. John's Newfoundland , Canada
    Well said and I couldn't agree or say it any better. This sport we do is a game, a competitive game where our playing pieces are our ships.Everybody who plays a game wants to do well and be their best but also have fun as well. In the last 17 years doing this I find that some people just don't get it even after being in the sport for years they don't realize this is for people who like friendly aggressive competition.In other words we play to win and avoid being humilated by being sunk! I have always stressed the sport aspect of it and yes it may scare away a lot of people but I rather have a small core group of dedicated,competitive Members than a very large group having half the members not compete because they overdressed their model to the point where they are afraid to let it go into harm's way, or those that just don't practice their model and learn tactics or practice with their fleetmates.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  4. CURT

    CURT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Posts:
    5,698
    Location:
    St. John's Newfoundland , Canada
    I wish the hobby had more manufacturers for the much needed parts. I wish that there were more standards for selecting motors and prop for different ships so that people are not constantly trying to trial test speeds ect. There should be enough models trialed out there to get a concensus of what motors or gears work with what size props ect to make a model go it's speed whether it is Big gun speeds or small gun speeds ect. Superstructures on a lot of ships are daunting say to the least to the new guy getting into the hobby so if there was a manufacturer out there with basic packages for a variety of ships that would help get more ships on teh water quickly.
     
  5. GregMcFadden

    GregMcFadden Facilitator RCWC Staff

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2006
    Posts:
    2,364
    As far as superstructure stuff, I am currently experimenting with an easy way of making decent looking superstructures. If it works, it would allow me to make a mold for a decent superstructure for any ship that people can get me electronic plans of in about 3-4 weeks (at the hobbyist rate) (I have put about 15 hours into the design of my tirpitz superstructure, and it is ready to be made into a mold, which I am working on as we speak). So I will see if I can fix your superstructure sourcing issues ;)

    -Greg
     
  6. JustinScott

    JustinScott Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Posts:
    1,621
    Location:
    New York
    Greg, you might want to work with the guy @ barnstormers... I believe he is making similar efforts.. full prinz eugen superstructure for $249.

    I also have to dissagree with you John & Curt...

    You both are living in a place where you have your stable group of 10+ people. My (local) big gun group consists of 2 people + myself... One of which typically never shows up. I can fight in the MBG, but I have to drive to another state to do it. My (local) MWC is to a stable point around 6-8 at each battle, which is why I'm creating my Iowa to MWC standards so I can fight with them this season.

    If my local Big Gun group doesn't collect a few more members, it is really doubtful that it will survive.

    People will leave a group if they move, die, or loose interest. We can try to keep them interested, but can't prevent the other two. So sooner or later, every group will need new members. And (believe me) it is a lot easier to attract new members with a full healty combat club.
     
  7. GregMcFadden

    GregMcFadden Facilitator RCWC Staff

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2006
    Posts:
    2,364
    Justin, if it works out I will have to have you get me in contact with your friend at barnstormers..
     
  8. JohnmCA72

    JohnmCA72 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    Posts:
    681

    I did not always live in an area that already had a stable club. At some point, there was no MBG, no SCBG, no WWCC, or any of the other clubs (sorry, & no disrespect to any that I didn't name). None of those clubs just magically appeared one day, at full strength. They were all built from nothing, by people who were willing to put a lot of work into it over a long period of time. It's important to set & keep a schedule, show up to "club activities", & give every possible appearance that there's something going on, even if it's only 1 person for a long time.

    Action will keep the interest of the "veterans" as well as close the deal for the newbies. All the web site flash, videos, photos, etc. in the world will only get a prospect so far. If your advertising gets them to the pond at the appointed day & time, & there's nothing going on there, they'll walk & you'll probably never hear from them. If there's even 1 guy there with a ship, then at least there's something tangible that the prospect can see & you've got a chance to get them interested.

    Every group loses people, & it's important to not only replace those who leave but actually grow by attracting more. It takes awhile, though, & you need to be patient, stick with it, & be reliable so that people can find you. The same thing that attracts new people is what retains those you have already, & that thing is ACTION. If all you have to offer is a web site & a couple of guys who get together & do nothing but talk once a month, people are going to find more interesting things to do.

    JM
     
  9. CURT

    CURT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Posts:
    5,698
    Location:
    St. John's Newfoundland , Canada
    [Well it was never stable and it still isn't stable. Our core membership went from 10 down to 3.And even there one of those have particapated in less and less events or battles. Yes we get new members but it's been extremely difficult to get them set up correctly and on time for the National Event. Here most of the equipment that counts ie BB cannons,regulators,ect we have to order from the U.S. The shipping costs, duties, taxes, make it difficult to attract someone. Oh they like what they see, enjoy watching but just don't have time to get all of this together. We manage to keep a group of 10 to 12 but local battles have shrunk, with July being a no show. Our season is extremely short. Most guys have to wait till late spring before they can work on their boat. They don't have the faciilties to resin or cut out hulls, or paint.

    We peaked at about 30 members one year, most of them from outside the main City.We would battle with about 5 to 7 ships on an avg battle. The largest group at our Can-nats was 14 ships. The smallest 7 to 9. Most of our members move away for school, or for employment. Several live way outside the city.

    Maintaining interest also has to factor the time involved. I found that most people just don't have time for anything that involves sitting down for a few hours. This is a complex hobby. You have a huge population base compared to what we have. We have a definitive Maritime Heritage but the Aircraft RC'ERS, THE Train guys, the RC car guys seem to have the share of enthusisasts for RCers. That's a lot of competition for a small population base.

    I found that showing up at the pond is one of the main ways to get interest but as individuals you can talk about your hobby, have a pic of your ship at your workstation, over break with your fellow employees talk about your hobby. I'VE recruited more people this way then at any show, mind you the shows get you more awareness but doesn't get them signed on.

    It's a long process to get people but I understand your situation there. It's similiar to one of our club members in another province who've tried to get a club going there and he has tried. Sometimes the mentality of a given population also has an effect. I did not know you had only 2 for BG in your area.

    Right now we are revamping our club and this forum and site you have will help.

    Curt




    quote]Originally posted by JohnmCA72


    I did not always live in an area that already had a stable club. At some point, there was no MBG, no SCBG, no WWCC, or any of the other clubs (sorry, & no disrespect to any that I didn't name). None of those clubs just magically appeared one day, at full strength. They were all built from nothing, by people who were willing to put a lot of work into it over a long period of time. It's important to set & keep a schedule, show up to "club activities", & give every possible appearance that there's something going on, even if it's only 1 person for a long time.

    Action will keep the interest of the "veterans" as well as close the deal for the newbies. All the web site flash, videos, photos, etc. in the world will only get a prospect so far. If your advertising gets them to the pond at the appointed day & time, & there's nothing going on there, they'll walk & you'll probably never hear from them. If there's even 1 guy there with a ship, then at least there's something tangible that the prospect can see & you've got a chance to get them interested.

    Every group loses people, & it's important to not only replace those who leave but actually grow by attracting more. It takes awhile, though, & you need to be patient, stick with it, & be reliable so that people can find you. The same thing that attracts new people is what retains those you have already, & that thing is ACTION. If all you have to offer is a web site & a couple of guys who get together & do nothing but talk once a month, people are going to find more interesting things to do.

    JM


    [/quote]
     
  10. CURT

    CURT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Posts:
    5,698
    Location:
    St. John's Newfoundland , Canada
    Sounds great Greg. Do you know if anybody has Tennessee turrets(refit version) ?



    quote]Originally posted by archer183

    As far as superstructure stuff, I am currently experimenting with an easy way of making decent looking superstructures. If it works, it would allow me to make a mold for a decent superstructure for any ship that people can get me electronic plans of in about 3-4 weeks (at the hobbyist rate) (I have put about 15 hours into the design of my tirpitz superstructure, and it is ready to be made into a mold, which I am working on as we speak). So I will see if I can fix your superstructure sourcing issues ;)

    -Greg
    [/quote]
     
  11. JustinScott

    JustinScott Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Posts:
    1,621
    Location:
    New York
    Remember I live in the Detroit area, not Indiana where MBG is. There are more BG people in the area, they just don't do anything BG. :) I have decided to step up this year and get BG rolling again. I have secured a pond we can use & if its just me and Mark battling on a large pond, so be it. Damnit, it'll be good practice for whenever you and I meet! :)
     
  12. Kotori87

    Kotori87 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Posts:
    3,206
    In my particular club (the WWCC), RTR (ready-to-run) boats are not hard to come by. There's a bunch of small torpedoboats that were hastily slapped together by the most prolific but least reliable ship-builders in the club, which, although capable of driving in circles, require extensive overhauling before they are RTF (ready-to-fight). Potential new recruits buy these junk heaps, then are scared off by the hideous quality and disastrous reliability of their "new" ship. What I wish the hobby has is a supply of decently-built, combat-tested treaty battleships and battlecruisers ready to sell to new members. This enlarges the club's battleship fleet (always a good thing), makes it easier for new recruits get reliable, fun boats their first time out (helps boost retention rate), and offers battleships to those torpedoboat veterans who don't have the time and tools to build their own behemoths.

    I've discussed this idea with several other captains in my club. I have noticed that there are several club members who build a new battleship every year. These club members already built their big bruiser battleships which they use for serious combat, so all their newer projects are challenges which aren't very combat-effective. For example, the WWCC president built the WWI battlecruiser HMS Lion, just so he could try arming the amidships turret. It's not very effective in combat, but he built it anyway because he could. I wondered what would happen if these bored shipbuilders focused their efforts on building treaty battleships and other "beginner" boats, testing them in combat to work out some of the bugs, selling them to new members, then doing it again? Much better than the current system of telling a new recruit "here's some plans, here's the rules. good luck!" or "heres the rules, here's a boat with 10 bb guns and 6 torpedos. Who cares that it doesn't have room for any CO2 equipment, it's still a good ship."
     
  13. JustinScott

    JustinScott Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Posts:
    1,621
    Location:
    New York
    I tried to get a professional model boat builder to start offering 1:144 combat ships... What he said was:

    • You could probably use the 1:150 scale ships I build
    • You could probably attach working pneumatics to my ships
    • Oh, BTW, you either buy the museum quality ships $1k+ or nothing.


    I tried to explain a little more about what we are looking for & his response was:

    " "

    --That's right, nothing. Oh well, it was worth a try.
     
  14. Craig

    Craig Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Posts:
    1,537
    hmmmmmmm this reminds me of something Curt and I were discussing. If we could come with a way to piece together say three cruisers for our club and then rent / lease them to potential members or those who are new and paid their dues then it gets them on the water sooner. Using parts that are "lying" around unused and some club funds you could make some reliable "loaner" boats. Also for battles it leaves a couple of spares should someone have to opt out for technical reasons.
     
  15. JustinScott

    JustinScott Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Posts:
    1,621
    Location:
    New York
    NTXBG was considering a similar concept.
     
  16. CURT

    CURT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Posts:
    5,698
    Location:
    St. John's Newfoundland , Canada
    Maybe we could have a USED boat section here. Again more data collecting but it would be interesting to see just how many ships are out there in half built condition that need a little TLC.Kinda like a reserve fleet or used car lot of ships. Call it the "BLACK FLEET" shipyard. Or call it the "SPCA(SHIPS PEOPLE CAN ACTIVATE) ok that sounded corney but I'm trying here, darn Starbucks for cutting back on the Trans fats oy!Anyway we need something like that. I know right off hand guys with ships just collecting dust that need some work but could be effective models.
     
  17. Craig

    Craig Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Posts:
    1,537
    How about the "Grey Armada". For example:

    The Ships I Own and their status include-

    Bismarck (construction - soon to be active)
    North Carolina (defanged - might become part of the GREY ARMADA)
    Shinano (Waiting for trails - soon to be active for convoy)
    Newfoundland (GREY ARMADA)

    We could try something like that. Are you wanting to list everything everyone has or just their ships that "could" get out there???
     
  18. GregMcFadden

    GregMcFadden Facilitator RCWC Staff

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2006
    Posts:
    2,364
    I will add to that:

    Karlsruhe (mothballed, but a few minutes work and she would be ready to fight
    Iowa: Awaiting Tirpitz/Bismarck innovations
    Tirpitz: Under construction: deck is mostly planked, rudders have been molded/installed, prop installed. Gearbox parts are going to be ordered from mcmaster carr soon (I am making it easily customizable as I intend to continue using brushless outrunners after how well they worked in the karlsruhe). Cannon design continues, slowly. When done they will be sweet (or not work at all) but my vote is for sweet. Superstructure molding equip. is on the way.
    Von-der-tan: Kit in garage, I might try to put it together quickly for a rookie loaner ship.
     
  19. Kotori87

    Kotori87 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Posts:
    3,206
    This is exactly how my brother and I first got on the pond. The WWCC had several transport vessels that were not being used. Considering that we were poor high school students at the time, the owner agreed to lend us each a ship, provided that we repaired the holes and kept them operational. We returned one when we bought a beat up old Scharnhorst and gave the battleship a complete refit. We then bought a Giussano class light cruiser that was little more than a keel, subdeck, and a couple ribs and returned the second transport. We didn't finish the light cruiser in time for the combat season (wood hulls take a lot longer to build), so another experienced club member lent us the King George V he built his rookie year (he already had other ships to run) so we would have similar ships to run. Again, we had to maintain it and return it in the same condition we recieved it in at the end of the year. At the end of the year, I sold Scharnhorst and bought Spahkreuzer (was going to college soon, and a battleship can't fit in a dorm room as easily as a light cuiser can).

    The Grey Armada is an excellent idea. The WWCC has a very healthy exchange of used ships that are sold, refit by new owners, and brought back into combat. They are also often sold to new members to help get them on the pond faster, especially if the ship is very close to fighting condition. Every new member since I joined has purchased and refit his first ship, and visitors are allowed to run an unarmed transport. Even experience members buy used ships and refit them. I watched every single rotting rib from an old Le Fantasque get cut out and replaced. It ran in battle for two years before getting sold to a new member. The KGV I borrowed has since been sold to a new member. There is a USS Alabama that is older than I am (just turned 20) that fought in the last man standing this year and has passed through so many hands that the original builder could barely recognize it. My spahkreuzer is yet another example. The second owner replaced the superstructure and weapons, and I replaced the weapons again and am working on repairing and replacing sections of the hull.

    I would like to see combat modelers who have plenty of experience building combat ships build reliable treaty battleships to be sold or lent to new members (or members whose boats aren't as reliable). These ships should then be proven in combat (multiple battles, and a sink test is also good) before being sold or lent. I DO NOT want to see non-combat modellers building combat ships, nor do I want to see crappy, unreliable, or untested ships being sold. In the biggun format, the top two ships I would like to see are the South Dakota and the Scharnhorst, with the second two being Dunkerque and King George V. They are well known, effective fighters and are neither too large (Yamato, Iowa) nor too small (cruisers, destroyers, monitors, submarines) for new members.
     
  20. CURT

    CURT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Posts:
    5,698
    Location:
    St. John's Newfoundland , Canada
    Looking for ships that could get there. Basically a oh I don't know say 50 to 75 percent chance of being completed.