Miniatures Talk

How rare is rare, and how abundant are the abundant

Posted by DerkleinePUC on 01 Aug 2021, 09:27

Hello and Good Morning,
I wrote a few times here about the rare-ness of sets and manufacturers. The last bad news come from BUM and GERMAN from Spain. They stop their long lasting but very rare set production of WSS Spanish sets and other sets.
The seasons were and are that molds still do not last forever. Some work some die. The future to this company will be: older sets printing in 3D.
The other point of this topic is the mass of new sets. You have to mention that Strelets serve - only in my decades of collecting - nine new sets. This makes a 100 Euros only for Strelets. Then comes Franznap with 200-300 Euros for his new sets. Then Eric Bahlouli makes 3D Guard Pioneers as fire fighters of Napoleons palaces. Lange Rede - Kurzer Sinn: I do not have the money to buy all. So the good old times with Airfix and Esci selling large amounts of soldier sets have changed into a wide spread market with all you need for every period of collection.
The dying producers are being substituted by many smaller, more specialized manufacturers in the future.

Have a nice weekend

Patrick
DerkleinePUC  Germany
 
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Posted by Howlin on 13 Aug 2021, 19:18

Great analysis, it is great to see things be able to morph into many producers, If all it took was a scanning a model into 3D computer image and then printing that with good details would be fun to try at. It's a big technical hurdle for me but I may get there...

but those prices are a little much and I stick to the big box sets from mostly linearA, Zvezda, Caesar, Hat, and a few others. Its really just the linear A stuff I want now anyhow.

Hopefully Zvezda can step up one day, I have some hope that they are re- releasing some old sets like the trebuchet and Roman Trireme that were rare. They just need exposure and shelf space in hobby shop and get a good complete starter sets that cover a range of minis for a few civilizations per time period, but they kind of just fill in some random sets or leave some blank spaces depending on other manufactures to fill in,

Table top gaming is getting pretty big in the US, but its market is mostly going to warhammer games, but you really get so much more value out of 1/72. (personal subjective view perhalps, I like the smaller scale for bigger battles and the details are often about the same) How do we get people interested in history again?

Thanks for responding
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Posted by OwenChpw on 15 Aug 2021, 01:25

Howlin wrote:Great analysis, it is great to see things be able to morph into many producers, If all it took was a scanning a model into 3D computer image and then printing that with good details would be fun to try at. It's a big technical hurdle for me but I may get there...

Table top gaming is getting pretty big in the US, but its market is mostly going to warhammer games, but you really get so much more value out of 1/72. (personal subjective view perhalps, I like the smaller scale for bigger battles and the details are often about the same) How do we get people interested in history again?


3D printing is starting to be a real force - it had already started inching into the 28mm heroic scale market - which is basically dominated by Warhammer but there's still issues with getting started. I think once the printers are even cheaper, we might see a real market shift, but who knows?

I recently started inroads into the Asian 1/72 model market, and there's a lot of 3D printing there, sold on their TaoBao shop but also via private model groups. It works quite differently from anything I've seen in Western markets (I'm speaking from an Australian perspective, maybe there's European or American stuff I don't know about).

I love the smaller scale too. I think history will always struggle against the larger than life, visual-stimulus, immediate gratification of big Warhammer centrepiece models. You see a huge Necron floating pyramid or a huge tank and its impressive, so that will always be a popular form of modelling. I mean, I only got into 1/72 as I got older, and I think as a kid you care more about 'big' things. I think as people get older they become aware of cheaper options, like 1/72 and care more about other things, like shelf space. I think Warhammer will always be front and centre, but I have no problem with that. Let people enjoy what they enjoy, and it's not mutually exclusive. I still play Warhammer, but I focus on 1/72. For my part, I promote 1/72 to people I know and I'm happy just doing what I do.
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OwenChpw  Australia
 
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Posted by Xantippos on 15 Aug 2021, 14:34

In Europe in the 80s, 1/72 soldiers were as popular as some genre of videogames today! that is how I got into them, they were just a toy theme. Economics I guess played a part as well, if I had been rich maybe I would have gone to mainly buy action figures, but they were very, very expensive. With little money you could build yourself your universe :) .

I preferred 1/35 as a kid, but there was simply not much choice available; not even historical vehicles or tanks. So I went to 1/72 as there was huge choice of planes, tanks, etc.

Warhammer I kind of hated it :lol: . I saw it as something that was destroying the 1/72 world, and it did, as a lot of model shops stopped selling other things to just have Warhammer. In the end, at least in the EU, both have largely died.

What I strongly dislike about Warhammer is it's scale, I have always been a staunch defender of 1/72. I agree that from a cold perspective, sort of 1/48 might be best for soldiers and vehicles, it has a right balance, but for example you cannot have humungous things in that scale, while you can have four engined Lancasters, or huge cannons like the Dora still in 1/72 without needing a house only to keep it!
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Posted by OwenChpw on 17 Aug 2021, 02:06

Xantippos wrote:What I strongly dislike about Warhammer is it's scale, I have always been a staunch defender of 1/72. I agree that from a cold perspective, sort of 1/48 might be best for soldiers and vehicles, it has a right balance, but for example you cannot have humungous things in that scale, while you can have four engined Lancasters, or huge cannons like the Dora still in 1/72 without needing a house only to keep it!


I agree, I much prefer the smaller scale. Some Warhammer models are so large now I don't even know if they should count as playing pieces- they literally take up a quarter of the table.

But I still understand the appeal, you know it's a simple idea that the thing is big and people like big things. I don't think it's practical but there's that visual impact.
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OwenChpw  Australia
 
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Posted by Howlin on 17 Aug 2021, 21:10

I like big things too, its why I am so devoted to ships!

and there are castles, and the need for siege engines.

War hammer is pretty cool, I have never gotten into it, but I see its appeal.

I just grew up with too much age of empires as an influence and like the universal attraction of knights, etc... something the whole family can appreciate.
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Posted by Alinmanila on 22 Aug 2021, 06:28

A very interesting thread...

Like you all, I grew up with Airfix, Atlantic and Matchbox. I just loved the artwork on the boxes and used to cut out the pictures and put them in a scrapbook.

It is great that we can get re-releases of our old favourites as well as exciting new sets that I never thought we'd ever see released - Strelets in the modern equivalent of all of the old manufacturers put together.

One day, I hope to add the Airfix Fort Sahara set to my collection, otherwise I'm very happy with everything that gets released.

With regards to production and purchase, I am surprised Russia and the US don't end up buying everything that is made! 1/72 scale is affordable and detailed and covers such a vast range of eras and conflicts, and for me provides most everything I am interested in and could ever want. I only collect 1/72 plastics but have played games in other scales, including Warhammer, etc, which was okay at the time, but historicals have always been my preference.

I always wonder what happens to figure moulds, and likewise wonder why they are not sold when a company stops producing; in this day and age maybe collectors could crowdfund their purchase with an eye towards the future? For example, if HaT is basically out of business, why don't they sell the moulds on to companies that are still in the game? Thinking about it, they started out with Airfix figures in HaT boxes, so why don't the moulds and tools stay in the game?
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Posted by Xantippos on 22 Aug 2021, 07:13

Considering the price of other hobbies, Warhammer included, with 1/72 you can have nearly all the range of the era you are interested in! of course, excluding vehicles, ships and fortifications, which in some cases become tremendously expensive or hard to find.

A lot of moulds get damaged or destroyed, hence why they never come back. In 1/72 figures this seems to happen less, as it seems that soft plastic and small parts result in longer mould longevity. In action figures for example, usually it is not expected that the mould will resist more than 10.000 casts, for example, at least nowadays.

I didn't know Hat was out of business. As far as I have seen, their recent reissues still appear, although it is long since they released a new set.

You could say that with soldiers, every time the range is bigger, and even a product made 60 years ago is readily available, as the Airfix & Matchbox sets. So you could say that for a new set, the market is every time tighter and tighter, as the choice is larger, hence more difficult to make good sales out of something.
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Posted by Howlin on 22 Aug 2021, 17:38

so like big toy manufactures are you saying they need to make new molds all the time? like star wars for instance, Selling millions of figs, are they making thousands of molds? that cant be....

Possibly that is for one material type? and a steel mold would last near forever? and smaller producers use the softer types?


I think part of the problem is marketing, I had to discover 1/72 on my own.
Howlin  United States of America
 
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Posted by Alinmanila on 22 Aug 2021, 19:06

Good question....
I'm amazed they only make 1000-1500 sets from a mould, and if this is world wide sales, it just seems bizarre !
I understand that companies must make profit to continue in any market place, I just never had any idea that 1) production was limited to around 1500 sets and 2) that all of these needed to sell to make it worth making another set...? It would seem from this example that the profit margin is tiny.
Also, why keep moulds if you're not going to keep using them? Surely once the mould is made that is the most expensive step, and even over time a company would recover the investment on this part of production>

1000-1500 sets world wide from one mould?
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Alinmanila  New Zealand
 
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Posted by denitz on 22 Aug 2021, 21:04

Because 1000-1500 it's life limit for soft copper mould.

Steel mould cost x10, but 15000 sets will selling a years and years without wide distributors chain, as have Airfix or Zvezda.
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Posted by Xantippos on 29 Aug 2021, 08:49

Apparently, everything depends on how good the mould is. When a company is expecting to produce thousands and thousands, they make a very strong mould, and that should last near forever! that is what Star Wars, for example, would do. But, sometimes, you notice that they've had to remould, seeing a different moulding line or very slight differences. Other times they simply make more than one identical mould, as to ensure no problems.

But there has been plenty of times, when a company wanted to reuse, for example, a 80s mould, announced the reissue, but the mould broke in mid production, hence cancelling the item and becoming very rare of the very few reissues.

In soldiers, you can see the second type of Airfix Commandos. As you might know, the moulds broke, and hence Airfix had to return to their older type! hence now they are quite, quite rare. I had most of them, but decided to sell them as they were very similar to Matchbox ones, and I already have them in 1/32.
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