Author Topic: Forum Update - 14 April 2024  (Read 303 times)

Offline Brad Cancian

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Forum Update - 14 April 2024
« on: April 14, 2024, 06:05:01 PM »
Hello everyone,
Today is my first day back home from overseas; accordingly I owe everyone an update after the passing of Dave Wilson, our previous forum owner and administrator, as to where things are at.

Our Intent and Commitment:

Dave passed ownership of the forum to myself prior to his passing in late March this year. As the new owner and administrator of our fine site, I am very aware of the legacy that Dave, and Des before him, created in setting up and fostering this site to be the premier WW1 aviation modelling website on the ‘net. Accordingly, I am very aware that taking over this role is not only a great privilege, but that it also comes with great responsibility.

My intent and commitment to you all is to continue the fine legacy of those that have come before me. I and the moderating team intend to keep this forum focussed squarely on you, our forum members, and the WW1 aviation modelling community. The aim of our site remains to continue to foster WW1 aviation modelling, and explore and understand the history of the people and machines of that period. Not only that, but we aim to continue to offer a place to chat over any and all manner of things (WW1 aviation or otherwise) as a group of likeminded friends in a safe and supportive place.

The Mod Team:

Myself, Lance Carroll (lcarroll) and Zac Yates (kiwizac) remain your committed moderator team. Please bear in mind that we are a small team of three. We also have day jobs and things going on in our lives, so please be patient with us if we’re not immediately able to respond to a request or issue – we will do our best!

General Forum Administration:

In terms of the general forum administration; I have reviewed the forum rules and we’re not making any significant modifications to those at this stage. That being said, I have made some very small administrative adjustments to the forum rules given Dave’s recent passing. These very minor changes do not affect the intent of any of the rules.

As a reminder to all, the forum rules are located here –

I intend to review the forum rules regularly, and the mod team is certainly happy to consider tweaking things if they are in the interests of the betterment of our forum.

For example, I understand that many of us have other modelling interests beyond just WW1 aviation subjects; we will continue to support non-WW1 aviation content whilst staying true to our WW1 aviation core.

Please remember one of the core tenants of our forum is to create a safe space for all of our members. We will NOT tolerate content that is offensive, harmful, belittling, deceitful or misleading to our members. We also are not politically affiliated, so please be aware that content with a political bent may be considered for deletion, after due caution. Consideration will be applied fairly. Please don’t hesitate to contact myself or any of the moderator team if you feel any content in any thread has ‘crossed a line’.

Forum Hosting (now and into the future):

We utilise an external company for forum hosting. We pay for this hosting from forum funds. This arrangement is set to continue (and paid for) for some time, so there should be no worries that the forum may suddenly disappear.

Please note that our forum software is quite old. The forum was set up over 12 years ago, and it it is exceedingly expensive to change our current structure over to a new hosting set up. This may continue to limit the future functionality options open to us, at least until such time as an update is viable (which may or may not occur). Please be patient with the limitations that we have.

Forum Donations:

Regarding forum donations – our forum does rely to a notable extent on forum donations. Donations are used to assist with forum fees, maintenance, and so forth. That being said, with Dave’s passing and the complexities associated with Paypal, the Paypal account associated with donations needs to be re-established. Please hold off on donations until we have completed this; the mod team will make an announcement on this in the coming weeks once this avenue is re-established.

The Future:

As above, I wish to keep the forum a living community, relevant to the needs and desires of our members. At this stage, we plan to be collaborative and move things slowly, but positively.
First up, there absolutely will be a Dave Wilson memorial group build. In broad terms, the group build will kick off around the end of April, and run for six months, i.e. until the end of October. In the spirit of this group build, participation will be the main focus; accordingly, there won’t be prizes for this particular group build. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on this shortly.

In terms of future improvements and initiatives that we’re pursuing, here are some things the mod team has been kicking around –
1.   Fixing the issues that several members have had regarding the lack of e-mail notifications on subscribed posts / threads, and Private Messages (PMs). This is to be taken up with our web hosts, but it may take a little time to get sorted out (if they can even pin point the problem). Please be patient with us on this one!

2.   We will definitely be continuing our excellent relationships with our current sponsors of review kits, including Special Hobby, Roden, Eduard, and KP. I’ll be looking to engage more widely with of the other manufacturers of WW1 aviation products and accessories, with the aim of bringing the forum membership the most contemporary news and reviews that we can. These relationships take time to cultivate (noting that manufacturers send samples to us at a loss to them), so again, please be patient.

3.   On the topic of reviews, we’ll look to expand our “new and old” kit review section to include reviews of not only new releases, but some of the older kits, or ‘classic’ kits that we may have grown up with or loved (some of which may be out of production, or still available). We may also look to do ‘cook up’ style reviews where we review a cross section of several different manufacturer’s kits of the same subject, to do a comparison and make recommendations to you, the modeller, as to your best options for a particular subject and scale. We’re happy to take suggestions or ideas here! If you also would like to request or submit a review of a historical kit, please contact the moderator team (as we have some fairly strict processes for review content and submission).

4.   I am keen to reinvigorate themed group builds, utilising our forum review items as prizes. I am thinking roughly two group builds a year, with a dedicated theme, to help focus the build and perhaps encourage folks to dabble in areas that they may have not done so before. We could look to do a two-seater group build, or an ‘aces’ group build, or a theatre focused group build (e.g. an Italian theatre build, or a ‘battle over England’ group build…). These are all just ideas, so again, please flag any thoughts or interest here. The intent is to encourage participation, and not just to win prizes!

5.   Our forum structure is a tad bloated here and there at the moment. For example, we have 17 sub forums under the “WW1 Aircraft Modelling” section alone. We’ll look to consolidate some of these, to make search for topics and updates easier. This may mean trimming and combining some boards here and there. Again, as this forum is for you, I would welcome any desires / thoughts here that the membership team has. We will advertise proposed changes before we make them.

6.   We’ll be looking at some strategies to consolidate and invigorate the history sections of the forum (i.e. the sub-threads currently under the “The WW1 modelers' reference library” section of the forum). Ideas at the moment include consolidating and simplifying this section to include a more focussed WW1 aviation history board, a ‘technical’ board to discuss the technical aspects of aviation (aircraft, engines, performance, flight characteristics, etc), and continuing with a colours and markings board. Vigorous participation in these discussions add to the richness of our forum, and I'd like to foster and grow that (there are plenty of us out there that have knowledge and reference libraries that can add to this richness). If folks have any preferences / ideas, please throw them into the ring.

7.   I will be examining what we do with our web-shops, and whether these continue to provide value to our members, and to those manufacturers. I welcome any thoughts or desires here.

8.   We do have some ‘off topic’ themes that I’d like to get membership thoughts on. For example, whilst we have some excellent threads on aviation books, we have some threads here and there on WW1 related movies, WW1 aviation board games, WW1 aviation video games, and so on. These 'other' media contribute to many of our broader aviation related experiences, so I am keen to also consider useful or interesting content here for our membership.

If you have any other thoughts / ideas / suggestions for improvements, please keep them coming, either here in this thread or via PM. Remember – this forum is for you!

Please note, as above, that some suggestions may not be possible due to the aged nature of our extant forum hosting software / structure. We will consider each and every idea, but please note that we might not adopt (or be able to adopt) every suggestion; it’s not personal so don’t be offended if this is the case :)

“In Closing…”:

A bit of a long post, but as you can see, I and the moderator team are keen to collaborate with you all and make this forum the best it can be. We intend to continue the legacy set up by both Des and Dave, to keep this site as the premier WW1 aviation modelling website on the ‘net.

Thank you again!

Brad Cancian
Owner and Administrator