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Old 02-01-2011, 12:36 PM   #1
Captain Sci-Fi
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: South Glos, UK
Posts: 5,017
Default Cap'n on Deck, Blooming heck it's 2011..!!

Hi Guys,

Firstly an apology, I was supposed to post this yesterday (the 1st) but I was hung over (it was a good party), Happy New Year to all..!!

Bad times, Good times
To hell with the VAT increases, the world recession and bad economy. I am more optimistic about this hobby and our forum than ever, the forum gives me the chance to look at and be inspired by other peoples work when I can't get to build anything myself and keeps my spirits up with a great place to escape and indulge my interest.

Looking forward also means looking back and a little taking stock, here are a few things to think about and build upon, put in a historic perspective:

We are firmly embedded with the CS New Media our service provider and owe Carl a huge thank you for his patience and technical support this year. We are expanding again soon with new forums and libraries being added with the same speed and quiet efficiency we take for granted - thanks mate

Expansion and rearrangements
A huge milestone has been reached recently. Did you know that we now top 2500 active members (logging into accounts - four times that number as guests) and Google Analytics reports we have had 3.9 million hits just in December with over 1 million page views....? Take a look at the stats here:

(Source: Google Analytics Period is 1st - 31st December 2010)

The Site is 3 times the size it was in February 2010 and will double in size again by April 2011. The Anderson Reference section was added and continues to be populated with Hi Res Images hosted directly on the site. I still have the ambition to cover every Anderson subject with colour reference and a blueprint available to anyone who wants to build their favourite subject. We will take the accumulated knowledge, shots of the original props and member input and build them into a permanent searchable archive.

Another change for this last year was access to the first in a series of hi res downloads of models from Space 1999. The Digital Image Zipped Packs cover Hawks, Taybors Emporium and Gun, The Croton Ship, The Alpha Child Ship and many more, these are made available to support the Fanderson nominated charity (Cots for Tots) and cover the forum expenses to produce them equally. You get a choice to download or have physical disks posted to you so please, go buy them...

Over the last year we have seen an explosion of parts made available by fellow members in support of builds, the stuff that is impossible for the average builder to make alone, engine bells are an excellent example of this. It is now easier to build a 44" Eagle than it has ever been with many quality parts available. Finding them on this busy forum is sometimes problematic so to make life easier we will be reorganising the sales area of the forum to track parts by subject. This is to answer the basic questions of who makes what, is it available, how much and how do I get them?

It will be an organised supplier index of sorts but will be linked to builds so you can actually see these parts in action and hear what fellow builders think.

The new Supermarionation section has been a big hit, with new builders taking up the challenge and a wealth of talent here to answer questions and help anyone involved in puppet replica building. We are working on supply of parts for bodies and character heads and should have everything in place soon.

The new forum Researcher posts were created and has brought together some of the best kit spotting talent available. They are also excellent builders in their own rights too. Each has added to the forum with exciting builds and topics of interest, check Chris Potter's amazing 1999 replicas, Mike Delamar's Fire Engine Posts, Phil Stevens stunning Studio Scale Liberator and new Dalek film venture's the list goes on.

Moonbase Alpha
A lot of my time has been taken up in the latter part of 2010 with the cataloguing, photographing and CAD blueprint production of the Original Alpha filming miniature. I would like to offer my personal thanks to Andy Hopkinson and James Winch for supporting me in allowing access to the model. I hope to do you proud guys....

It is a monumental effort but after the Eagles (before in my case) this is the most important model from the series and well worthy of the effort.

Looking forward to the future with big plans
Next year we will start to add the "who's who" of Anderson technicians giving recognition and thanks to those who had input into what we saw in the series we love. Artists, designers, model builders and effects technicians, camera operators, directors, editors and notable suppliers will all be there when we are done. This will be a huge undertaking but thankfully supported by some of the people who worked on these shows.

Personally this coming year heralds many new and exciting topics of interest. I will continue to look at new technology and it's impact on our hobby from the ground up:
3D printing, Laser cutting, CAD and computer modelling, home decal production and photography technologies all examined in detail. It's a learning curve but what a ride..! As 3D printers become closer to domestic price availability what impact will this have on our hobby, will we all become software engineers? Instead of model shops will we be visiting 3D Printing shops? I will attempt to answer some of these questions....

Cad and Blueprint production

At last we now have the capability to print the best quality CAD drawings in house. Very soon (by the end of January I hope) you will be able to buy a series of Blueprints of Alpha and other subjects in studio scale to aid building and for collectable art enjoyment, add your name here if you want to buy these when available:

It is set to be an exciting time for our hobby and for Anderson modellers in particular, there are many more exciting journeys to make, many new friends to meet & greet and so many new models to build, 2011 will seem awfully short.....

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