Hi, Dave and all.
Maybe a look at what this hobby is really composed of may help. ALL of the models we see and/or buy are in reality Artistic Renditions. Current manufacturing methods require that an original model, or Master, be produced of various materials. This master is used to form a mould, which is then used to produce copies in casting metal or resin for public consumption. To make a master requires a skilled Artisan, many of who we hear little of in normal business. John is one of the better artisans now extant, and he has made masters for several manufacturers, including, IIRC, Neptun. One of the tricks of making masters is making the necessary compromises that are needed for casting the components, hence, there are things that one can do in building individual ship models that are not credible for casting.
Another aspect to look at in artistic endeavors, is that the metal models are reproductions of the original handmade Master, and just as in paintings, the original is held in higher regard than the very suitable lithograph copies produced of it, and thus commands to the discriminating collector, a higher value. If you desire a cheaper version of Johnís models, you can always buy a production one made from his masters.
The future may portend differences in the process as 3D printing accelerates, but even now still, it requires a skilled artist, now in CAD format, to produce a beautiful model.
Just a thought or two.
Mark et al:
Read your comments, Mark. Felt that they were denigrating. Thought I might enlighten you on a few things relative to scratchbuilt models.
1. In addition to making 1250 scale models, I collect a small number of art pieces by artists such as Kinkaid and Richard E. Williams (known as the painter to the Presidents). I have learned to be satisfied with COPIES of their works, as the originals were way too expensive for me. The copies are well done, but they aren't originals. Where art and artisans are concerned, "you get what you pay for"! An original is one of a kind. No one else has one exactly like it.
2. Over the years, I have made and sold 300 (more or less) of my models to collectors worldwide. A fair percentage of them have been custom models (some never before attempted as far as I know) for a particular collector. I don't remember anyone sending one back because it was too expensive and merely "nice".
3. In my posting, I was trying to do collectors a favor by quoting prices which are, in general, about 50 - 60% of what such models usually sell for. I do not try to beat commercial producers prices.
I hope this has been helpful to all. Thank you all again for your comments.
John does nice hand made models within the bounds of his style. I can understand collectors perhaps wanting to have a sample of a decent hand made, vice a cast model.
What has amazed me over the years is that John continues to make his models for sale despite the availability of existing exquisitely detailed cast models that sell for far less than his rendering. Why would anyone buy the Youngerman version? Yet some one must be buying.
Two examples from his list: a terrific Neptun AG MISSISSIPPI sells for $82 vice $140. Neptun CASABLANCAs for about $75 vice John's $100. The Neptun CASABLANCA has been out for 20 years, so it's not that they are unavailable.
Serious question: would like to hear from a devotee or two why they optfor the lesser quality, higher cost model?