I can only confirm David's statement - there is a certain decline in interest in modelling also here in Germany and there have been less visitors on the big exhibitions here compared to those 10 years ago. And some model exhibitions have vanished, for example that big exhibition at Hamburg ("Hamburger Modellbautage")that normally took place in november (approx. 40,000 visitors on three days). I had been there with my family and our models together with other members of the submarine modellers club (SONAR) for several years and normally about 40 to 60 submarine models had been on display and/ or running there. And nowadays - nothing more!
At Bremen we had the exhibition "EUROMODELL" for a long time with all kinds of modelling (especially model railways - on each event even magnificient layouts from British railway modellers had been there that I enjoyed very much!). I had been there with the SONAR and we had a large basin to run our models. Visitors had been there in a number of 30,000 to 40,000 on three days. Then 2006 another exhibition organiser took over (the same who organises the exhibition at Karlsruhe and Friedrichshafen) and he had more commercial exhibitors there (Modelling companies like Graupner, robbe...) and for another 4 years we had been there. At last the number of visitors became too small so that the organiser cancelled the 2010 exhibiton and announced the next one for 2011. Eventually he also cancelled the 2011 exhibition and justified this decision by the lack of (wealthy) visitors. For luck the old former organiser of the EUROMODELL will organise a new EUROMODELL in november but we will not have a deep basin so the other SONAR modellers will not be there (only my family and me).
Probably there are a lot of reasons for the decline of interest in modelling. Of course modern entertainment media have their special attractions, also computers. But in my opinion there are other important reasons too that have their origin in our modern and perfect world. Meanwhile you can buy many good ready-to-run models (perhaps not submarines but cars, helicopters and planes). Where is the challenge for the modeller? And do young people still learn practical skills for modelling, how to work with wood or metal? When I was a young boy in the sixtees my parents had not much money and so it was no question to make most of my toys by my own (needed only some paper and card material, a pair of scissors and some glue). And later on I continued with RC models (first with a second hand bought RC-set). Maybe it has become too perfect now and too easy commercial available so that people never experience the big satisfaction you will have with a self made model...
But there is no use to complain - we must face the situation.
(one of the old fashioned modellers)
Last edited by Hermann on Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:47 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : correction of a few writing mistakes)