Gertrude Fuller Ship Models January 24th, 2018 - 10:19:27
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. Lets face it; the business of ship model 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.
As we have continued to move inventories out of bricks and mortar buildings and into the cloud retailers have seen stock levels in North America fall to much lower levels. Cost concerns have led manufacturers to source manufacturing in countries with lower wage levels fewer health benefits and longer working hours. Unfortunately these moves have also provided barriers to effective and efficient information concerning product availability and longer delivery times in some cases. In order to address product availability longer lead times higher shipping costs and extremely price conscious retailers (as an extension of their customers) distributors have been taking steps to improve their ability to provide cost effective products. Sometimes in a smaller marketplace (like Canada) this can mean a limited supply of product in the warehouse a longer ordering cycle and longer shipping times in order to take advantage of lower cost transportation systems. And we retailers arent all saints either.
Wooden ship models are built-to-scale representations of modern or ancient sea-faring vessels. Traditionally all types of ship models have been built of wood though with the advent of plastic and sheet metal these have been used for amateur kits. Of course wooden models project grandeur and finesse. The ancient Egyptians were the pioneers who made detailed ship models. The models were crafted as part of funeral rituals which forced the builders to strive for precision otherwise the unmitigated soul would pester them. The ship models kept inside the coffin were supposed to transport the soul of the deceased to the next world.
Often times its 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\"! Dont 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.