Peter Shulman's War

This blog is a place for the thousands of people who visit and email from the web site Peter Shulmans War. I thought that it was about time the viewers of the war site had a place to contact and communicate with each other about plastic modeling, war gaming and anything else of interest.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The High Cost Of Plastic Models

I am amazed at the prices for new plastic models of aircraft, vehicles and figures. I am not sure of the reason behind the increase. Over the years the dollars value has gone up and down often and the prices never rose as they have in the last year. I guess oil is used in the manufacturing process but not that much I think.
I do know that my goal of adding 100 new models to my war each year has been downsized. When I get my squadron shop update each month I am amazed at the prices. The only place I am able to get bargains now in on ebay and those are becoming rare.

If anyone has thoughts on this subject please post them.


At 7:50 PM, Anonymous George Lopez said...

i completely agree i build dioramas and have to say its ridiculous considering it probably costs 1/8th the price to produce them. but hey your soldiers are clay which by the way i still want hahehaha.

At 1:02 PM, Anonymous Mike T. said...

Prices are making military model building a very expensive hobby. I think I will finaly take up golf.

At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Peter, I DID offer you some for free... ;->=

Not that a 1/32 FROG missile launcher or Korean APC would be that interesting.

At 5:53 PM, Blogger Downwood said...

I think the higher cost of plastic model kits is coming from a few different directions.

1: the price of oil has a direct impact on the price of plastics, as almost all plastics used for injection molding are made from petro chemicals extracted from oil during the refining process. Most major oil companies even have a plastics research division.

2: Competition. Usually competition in the market place would drive down products, but in the niche market of high-quality plastic models, it is having the opposite effect. A lot of model makers are going to multi-part molds for plastic injection, molds that have sliding peices for greater detail and undercuts, which aren't possible on a standard two-plate mold. The technology investment needed to produce these molds has to be paid off somewhere, and we get to foot the bill. In the meantime, we'll get higher quality models, in theory.

At 6:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting downwood. Your points are completely correct. I think if you add the up and down value of the dollar as say point three the subject will be all covered.

I only have one comment about the supposed higher quality issue. I have recently added a squadron of Classic Airframes B-57Bs to my air force at a huge price. When opening the box I was amazed to find the parts heavily and simply molded in the fashion of 1950s kits.


At 6:59 PM, Anonymous Peter said...

Anonymous who are you (I am laughing). I would never turn down equipment please make the offer again.

At 7:08 AM, Anonymous JTate said...

Downwood's observations are correct. Many in the hobby have noticed the trend towards ever more expensive and complex kits; however, high kit prices are a direct result of adult modeler demands for better accuracy, quality and more varied subjects. Today's hobby is the result of the plastic modeling revolution that occurred in the mid-1990s, when the hobby was transformed by new kit technology and primarily adult consumers willing to pay for quality.

I got my start in the hobby as a kid back in the 1960s making plastic airplane models, and had a blast. But as an adult now in my mid-40's, I would not want to return to the days of cheap, toy-like models. Accuracy and quality are well worth the money spent.

Peter, you need some "lend-lease" assistance! There are many, many modelers out there with built models who would enjoy freely providing you with no-longer-wanted shelf models for The War. The grand scope and scale of your amazing project is fascinating and an irresistable draw to many otherwise "serious" modelers involved in IPMS-style scale modeling. Thanks for sharing your passions with the rest of the world and giving us a fresh perspective on scale modeling.

At 4:36 PM, Blogger Peter said...

Thank you for the great comment JTate. You are of course correct and the wonderful detail in the new kits is amazing and I guess worth the price to most of our fellow model makers.

Your lend lease idea is great but no one has ever offered any of their old dust collectors. I of course would accept any models that fit into the game in scale and would enlist the sender into the army.

I have been buying loads of century 21 models at wall mart stores to build up my WWll equipment. They are not realy kits in the old fashioned sense but they fit well in my war and the price is good.


At 4:40 PM, Blogger Peter said...

I should also mention that since I build most of my models without using many of the smaller parts I have a huge number of spares in their boxs stored in a barn. I get about one request a month for these parts which I usualy mail without charge to fellow modelers.

I do the same with most decals.

At 9:41 AM, Blogger pylgrym said...

Peter, have you tried the toy tanks made new by Classic Toy Soldiers and found them wanting?

At 3:20 PM, Anonymous Peter said...

Yes I have tried a few of the Classic Toy Soldiers items. I use them as destroyed vehicles or built in bunker items. They lack the realistic and true to scale proprties that I enjoy when having my battles. Thank you for your post.

At 6:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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