Originally Posted by nev
but then again it depends whether the person is in this hobby to help others or make money!!!!
I don't think this is a can of worms at all, but it sounds like you are saying that making money by creating and providing resources to the hobbyist is a bad thing. I spent my working life and made my living designing things and making drawings for others to build from so I'm always curious as to how one comes to the conclusion that I should provide them with design and drawings at no charge (and they often did.) The reason was they didn't value the work that I did, the attitude was usually "anyone can do that." As some one who can and has designed a number of projects, if drawings for a future project I wanted to do were available, I would GLADLY pay a reasonable price, maybe even an unreasonbale price to save me the many 100's of hours of sweat and toil I would expend doing it for myself.
Some years ago a new phrase appeared in the American political lexicon which was ". . for the Children." That phrase, when tacked on to every hair-brained self-serving political boondoggle was supposed to end all opposition because nobody wanted to be seen as being against anything that might help our children. Pretty soon, because it was so overused and misapplied, it became a national joke. Nowadays I hear the term "for the hobby" and it is almost always heard when someone wants something which they can't provide for themselves for free, and I've had it said to me a number of times. This doen't really mean "for the hobby" . . . it means for Me
The 600 hours spent drawing I mentioned in my previous post was done for free . . .literally "for the hobby", at absolutely no cost to the publisher whose magazine published them, because I wanted contribute something to his publication and by extension to the hobby. I didn't make a cent on it AND I used up 600 hours I could have spent on one of my many unfinished projects but it was my contribution, in partial repayment to those who taught me through their writings, drawings, and such which I paid relatively little for and from which I built a life-long hobby and love. I am eternally in their debt. I now sell my drawings (those mentioned above - I retain the copyright) for $40 per set and I've sold a grand total of four sets. So far on that account I've stolen from the poor live steam hobbyist around 26pence/US per/hour for my labors. (Piracy! Highway robbery!) It's a known fact, and one which must be accepted by those who fancy entering the market, that no one ever got rich being a model engineering supplier. It can't be done, so in almost every hobby business, especially cottage industry businesses, there is a conponent of "for the hobby" whether it appears so or not.
I would agree with you on one issue (and I'm sure others also) that there are those suppliers to the hobby who expect too much, who we have to assume are innit for the money only. Here is the problem there . . . no one ever got rich making and selling 5 cheeseburgers a year. You can however get rich making and selling 5,000,000 cheeseburgers a year! Since there is very often only a market for 5 of this or that model engineering product per year, a set of drawings or castings for instance, you can readily see the problem for those who are innit for the money. Trippling the prices won't help. Another thing that must be taken into consideration is that we rely upon Industry for most of our goods so we are subject to the whims of industrial commerce. When the price for poured metals and associated labor goes up, the cost of our castings must go up. Which job would a foundary rather have, 5 sets of fiddly little castings which require lots of careful labor and have a high scrapper rate, or 500 castings which can be run with no extra care and near Zero scrapper rate? We find ourselves in a difficult, and costly, position. We are subject to many whims, almost all of them someone else's.
Incidental where does one buy the drawing for the 1" Minnie design?
There is a book by the designer, Len C. Mason, title Scale Model Traction Engine Building, Featuring Minnie
[ISBN 9780853440772] which of course includes all the drawings. Or, the original construction series ran in the Model Engineer magazine from 1969 to 1970 and those volumes are no doubt available from back number suppliers such as Tee Pubs. BTW my understanding is that upon his death a few years ago Len's estate included the copyrights to his engine designs which he hoped would provide his son with a small but continuing income.