International Flat Figure Society - British Flat Figure Society

Feedback Forum - Comments => Site Ideas - Opinions - Suggestions => Topic started by: Roger on September 27, 2013, 05:43:06 AM

Title: Non posting members.
Post by: Roger on September 27, 2013, 05:43:06 AM
Out of curiosity I've just had a browse through the members list. There's almost six pages of people who have registered on the forum this year. I haven't taken the time to count but very few have actually posted anything, is this normal for a forum and do we need to do more to encourage people to introduce themselves and participate?

Title: Re: Non posting members.
Post by: Scott Johnson on September 27, 2013, 10:15:07 AM
The Painters seem to outnumber the Collectors. Lots of posts center on "take a look at what I am painting, or just completed." Responses to those typically say, "Great work!" or "How did you produce that effect?" Nothing wrong with all of this, but without other interests reflected here our audience is self-limiting.

There was a new section opened up for Collectors in the past two weeks. Let's see if that helps.
Title: Re: Non posting members.
Post by: Roger on September 27, 2013, 10:36:14 AM
I agree Scott and thanks for your response but out of the six pages of new members for 2013 very few have even bothered saying "take a look at what I am painting, or just completed." Responses to those typically say, "Great work!" or "How did you produce that effect?"

I was just wondering why.

Title: Re: Non posting members.
Post by: Glen on September 27, 2013, 12:38:06 PM
I would imagine part of it is curiosity. Additionally, people reading the forums can't see attached images unless they are registered and signed in (at least I can't). So... they register. I would also imagine that most of the new registrants aren't collectors or serious flat painters. They simply paint figures and flats are another type of figure. They may be looking for something in line with their personal interests - Orcs and elves, Napoleonics, ACW, Vikings, etc. If they don't see that, then maybe their interest wanes a bit. Also, people new to flats are going to be a bit shy when it comes to posting their own work when they compare it to long established painters. This is a trait shared with round figure painters, plastic modelers, etc.
That said, the open forums are a bit thin on how-tos, tips, techniques, etc. Most of the completed flats are simply a pic and a 'here it is'. Many are posted without a scale/size, manufacturer, paints used, source, and/or commentary about any issues with the piece. There is little apparent effort to attract and hold new members who just want to learn how to paint a decent flat. Maybe it's time to up the game. The next time you post your latest piece, state the above. If there's a casting or engraving flaw, say so. Then tell everyone how you fixed it. Don't be afraid of receiving feedback - good or bad. And, limit the feedback to what was asked for - not the genre, subject, etc.
One suggestion, when people register for the site, perhaps a field (or fields) for interests, genres, scales, painting mediums could be included and be visible to everyone. That way people could find others with similar flat interests.
I am curious about the six pages of registrants and their average age and where they live.
Title: Re: Non posting members.
Post by: Roger on September 27, 2013, 12:41:18 PM
Some good points there Glen, thanks for taking the time to post them... more food for thought.  :)
Title: Re: Non posting members.
Post by: marko on September 27, 2013, 01:55:01 PM
 Some very interesting points Glen - opinions which I generally share.

A couple of things I can clarify a bit:

1.)  Folks that are not registered - Guests - do not see attachments in posting.  They do have access to the Galleries and the bulk of the site so there is a wealth of content they can still peruse.

I should note the major reason we ask folks to register it is the only sure fire way to prevent SPAMMERS, i.e. no ones email address or information is EVER used for any purpose whatsoever.

Since we have been up our anti-spam software has prevented 29,539 bogus accounts, meaning automated bots for the most part trying to create and account on our site to post stuff.  However, many people are understandably leery of putting out their email addresses, which I respect but, unfortunately given the above it is a necessary step.

In regards to the general shyness I respect that too, which is why I am leery of any proposal to limit access to paying members.  Such measures, in my opinion, are generally counter productive.

2.)  Painting tutorials - more How to and Discussion would be heartedly welcome overall.  Other than a few kind folks willing to take the time it seems to be hit and miss.  Personally, my hesitation tends to be working habits - I cycle between figures constantly and marry that with poor photography skills I usually wait until I am finished - though I do have a few over exposed pictures of figures showing on the site.

One thing I am curious about is we have almost 50 articles in the Knowledge Base including 23 on painting flats but, they are never mentioned.  Glen and others are you aware of this?  I sometimes get the impression that other than the Forum folks don't explore the site all that much which would be a shame given some of the great stuff about.

3.)  By trade I manage computer projects which makes me generally pushy.  However, for this site I believe a hands off/low profile approach seems to work best.  (If we build it they will come basically.)  This seems to be slowly paying dividends though I would prefer more interaction and users that may just not be practical in our case. 

I am fine with that too - we have a great group and wonderful content so I am thankful with how far we have come vs. what is missing.

The old site was a fantastic stepping stone but, it also had a basically small core group as well.  Sadly many of them have other focus in their lives now and I miss some of the names I used to see.  With some time we will get there and I hope to recreate the 'magic' I felt from that site with the new one.

Thanks for the thoughtful comment Glen as well as being willing to post and share.

Mark  8)
Title: Re: Non posting members.
Post by: Brian on September 27, 2013, 02:18:26 PM
I also hear what you are saying and at shows we are constantly being asked "How do we start?", maybe an idea would be to have a figure started from the beginning, cleaning flash, cleaning the figure in detergents, priming and finally painting, on the general forum as a sticky but for everybody to see the photos and text, guests and members.
Then maybe this would give encouragement to people to have a go ;)
Title: Re: Non posting members.
Post by: Nicholas Ball on September 27, 2013, 05:58:05 PM
Some excellent observations, and for my 2 pennies worth I agree with them all.

Glen, when I start a figure I tend to put it in the Workbench area and post constant update pictures.
Specifically to give encouragement to others to learn by, However, as you say, unless you are a member, you cannot see them.

I am willing to do as Brian suggests and do a figure from start to finish on an open thread, would there be a suggestion of what you would think would be good?

I do have an Elf sleeping in an open book, its very cute and as a commission I have a Hawk.

I have just started the Taureggan convention, which is a set of six Napoleonic 54 mm figures, ( I  could concentrate on one for the topic ) but I will be posting all in the workbench starting Monday, and I have already cleaned them and filled small pinholes, so this would be glossed over!

If anyone wanted me to try this, please bear in mind it would be over a 2 to 3 month project to begin with, but non members on regularly would be able to follow the process.

If you wanted a longer project, with a lot more detail, I have finally purchased my favourite figure at Kulmbach, ( after a 3 year )  which is Vladamir Nushkin's -  Peter catching the Firebird, a Russian folk story.

Title: Re: Non posting members.
Post by: Roger on September 28, 2013, 01:01:59 AM
Rather than a complete figure from start to finish it might be a better idea and easier, if it was broken down into bite size chunks, for example, clean up and preparation, painting boots, the face, red coat etc. and posted in the Techniques section.
Title: Re: Non posting members.
Post by: errant49 on September 28, 2013, 04:00:51 AM
Good ideas !!
I will follow Nick'proposal and open a topic in the techniqes section
I will try to follow Roger suggestion
Will start in a few days when I find the good figure for that

Title: Re: Non posting members.
Post by: Brian on September 28, 2013, 04:38:37 AM
My idea was to use a very simple figure, 54mm and something to give the beginner a sense of achievement if they follow the basic steps given, now all we need is to figure out how to get the collectors to post ;D 
Title: Re: Non posting members.
Post by: Roger on September 28, 2013, 04:40:23 AM
I think we should just demand to see their collections.  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Non posting members.
Post by: Glen on September 28, 2013, 01:08:00 PM
Mark, I do know about the need for registering to post due to spambots, but that shouldn't effect the ability of people simply seeing a pic (unless I'm missing something...). I'm also aware of the Knowledge Base, but my experience with other forums - modeling and cars - has been that many people, for whatever reason(s), tend not to go through archives or older posts. Some don't even use the search functions. That is why I see 'how do I blend acrylics' or 'what oil do I use in my 72 Midget transmission' posts on a regular basis.
Nick, I have no specific suggestions for what figures to paint, talk about, and post. Wherever your interests lie is the place to start. It'll be easier that way. One thing I do recommend is that there be a wide variety of subjects in terms of scale/size and genre - historical, sci-fi, fantasy, scantily-clad babes*, etc. That way people don't get an impression of 'there's nothing here for me' and walk away.
As I don't collect, I don't really have any meaningful suggestions for putting collections out to the masses. With me, painting is the thing, so I tend to keep flat acquisitions to a manageable level. What I do have - or have done - is 54mm and larger medieval subjects and somewhat lager scale fantasy/babe bits. And a WW I airplane.
I'm well into a Trost Steampunk Girl bust right now, so a WIP piece in the Techniques forum will have to wait some.
*I will happily volunteer for this.  8)
Title: Re: Non posting members.
Post by: blaster on October 23, 2013, 05:21:44 AM
Hi All,
Like some flats enthusiasts, I have discovered the joys of setting up my own blog to post my stuff on-line. The personal website allows for a chronological and fairly consistent style to sharing of the hobby. Posting on a web forum allows for group interaction but the individual pictures are in disarray. I notice that many silent members do post their stuff on the Gallery section which is very attractive -but the blog is more comprehensive for me.
I am 55, started collecting flats in earnest about 3 years back, and have moved on to using flats in shadow-box dioramic displays. (
I have learned a lot from this forum and intuitively, I have made many like-minded friends here.
Best Rgds Always, Victor