Posted by George Elder on August 16, 2022, 13:36:38, in reply to "Basic Accuracy
I received much scorn for even broaching the subject of accuracy when I was in the game, and it drove me to distraction to fund projects that I knew were not being done to the standards many collectors like to see. In many cases, I believe that cost was the essential issue. There is always a battle between what can be done and how much the extra bit of detail will cost in terms of effort and time. I understand this conundrum, but of much greater concern, at least to me, was essentially poor research. Great model-making demands ample research material, and I have seen guestimates that saved much time and money but that caused no end to consternation when collectors noted that such and such was simply not the case. As a dealer, one wants to present customers with the very best products possible, and I learned that trusting all this to the producer is not the best way way to go. We are blessed to have a hobby wherein there are many great researchers readily at hand, so I began making deals wherein if a certain model was desired...I would produce it IF adequate research material was provided. For example, Neptun produced the Italian torpedo boat Pegaso based on the efforts of a customer who secured detailed plans. MSM paid for the development work, and I believe the customer got 10 models in exchange. That worked out well, and we did a number of such projects. But when I left the R&D strictly up to the producer, that did not always go well. It was far easier to do so, but the results were often very disappointing. I would complain, often publically, and the friends of the producer would rush to his defense. This is perfectly understandable, but the essential problem was in doing proper R&D, which I had little time for given the needs of running a business. In the end, we had built up a healthy group of researchers, including naval architects that have access to detailed plans of all manner of vessels. They supplied plans to companies such as Albatros, and thus many models came into being that might have otherwise never been. Ah, but that was a lifetime ago, and there was much turmoil in the process due, mostly, to my confrontational and strident nature...which is not the best way to behave as a merchant. Oh, it served me well as a coach, less well as a teacher, and poorly as a dealer of what is, after all, works of art. There were and are many sensibilities, and I was, when all is said and done, very much into producing the best possible product--feeling be damned. My main regret was the ill-treatment of some people who deserved better but of even greater concern was the release of products that I considered substandard. To me, that was an egregious failure, and there were a number of projects that were plagued by inaccuracies that were as preventable as they were lamentable. Now, as life ebbs, I find myself drawn to the term responsibility. We are, when all is said and done, responsible for our actions, and the worst thing I can imagine is not doing the best we possibly could for those we serve. All model makers and producers face this conundrum, which is a manifestation of how best to live in a world wherein our legacy is often measured by how well we did our jobs. It would, perhaps, be better if we were judged more on the quality of our humanity, as in being a good and caring person. Well, we do not get do-overs, and I suspect most people do the best they can. Forgive me for rambling, but there is little else I can do at this stage of the game.
George/the lame and slow