Proposal for Forum board merger and minor changes

Do you agree with the proposed changes?

  • Yes

    Votes: 28 82.4%
  • No

    Votes: 3 8.8%
  • I have a better idea!

    Votes: 3 8.8%

  • Total voters
    34

overscan (PaulMM)

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I'm proposing the following:

Add more descriptive descriptions to all sections indicating their purpose better.

Merge "User Artwork" and "Modelling Forum" as "User Artwork and Models"


In future, all drawings art and models created by forum members or non-professionals on other sites and forums should be posted here. Links to topics here can be placed in other topics, but we should try to maintain a separation between user-generated and official content.

I am aware there are many grey areas (a Pilot Press 3 view in an old Air International is not an official company drawing for example, but might be based on a proper drawing) so the rule of thumb is - original drawings, or drawings published in a book or magazine attempting to be an accurate depiction of a project are fine. Speculative drawings. or user-made art, should go in "User Artwork and Models".
 

Grey Havoc

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What about official or otherwise highly accurate models that were not made by users though?
 

SleeperService2

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As you already link to the What-If Model making site why not simply link to there from the menu? Artwork will fit with General Modelling Topics perhaps in a sub-board. Or in the Profiles and GCI Section. While you're looking at things I'd suggest a tidy up of the group Builds area. Any that have no new posts after a period could be archived leaving current ones on the main board. If you want to be really swish then they could auto - resurrect if an archive thread gets a new post. That is a shelf of Doom entry gets another life.
Just a thought, if it's rubbish I blame cabin fever.

I've got to see the specialist on 11th December. I've never been happier to have a clinic visit. 2020 the year that should be struck from history.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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What about official or otherwise highly accurate models that were not made by users though?
Official models of course go in the Projects sections. They are a valid primary source just as much as a drawing or artwork. Anything not made by the company or commissioned by them a reputable manufacturer from e.g. Precise should go in User Artwork and Models however, no matter how 'accurate'.
 

uk 75

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This is reasonable of course but sometimes modern replicas or images like Shipbucket are the only or the best ways of visualizing a project.
If you banish them to your dumping thread, you make the site much less useful than books like Secret Projects or Blue Envoy which have them side by side with originals.
Its your site so its your call but is mixing of images and models such a problem. It is soon made clear in a thread if a model or image is not "original".
Am not pushing this one, but I am a user who does use lots of different threads on this site and have a pretty large(if chaotic) reference library. And am a bit puzzled why you have it in for modern models and images which are often better than the originals. Have just been leafing through Secret Projects Bombers which has both old and new models clearly labeled.
 
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Hood

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I am a Shipbucket artist, but I would never consider any Shipbucket drawing to be a Grade A source, there are simply too many limitations with the style. I agree they can provide 'flavour' of an unbuilt design.
I think Tizoli's artworks look great but I'm always uncomfortable about them being in project threads simply because they are his interpretations of original sketch and line drawings and all the details he adds can only ever be speculative fantasy - just the same as any shipbucket drawing or speculative 3D render or model. By speculative I mean if you give ten artists the original blueprints and say "draw me X" they would all come up with something slightly different.

I'm not saying they are not useful or lovely to look at because they are, but they should be clearly identified as artists impressions. As we've seen in countless "Luft 46" posts, even post-war reconstructions have often been highly problematic. We shouldn't really be peddling these myths if we can avoid it.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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"Better" in what way? You can't use a modern reproduction as a primary source. If done well, it can help with visualisation, sure, but you can always link to the Art topic from the Main topic.

We have always put user-created profiles in User Artwork for example since the beginning of the forum. I'm simply suggesting that we stick more closely to the rules.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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I've merged the two sections ("nodes" in Xenforo) into one.

I'm going to look at whether we can lose other low traffic nodes and consolidate a bit.
 

dan_inbox

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Good.
For further consolidation, maybe "Theoretical and Speculative Projects" and "Alternative History and Future Speculation", since they are both dealing with the opposite of firm historical information and deal with hypothetical stuff.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Another candidate - Found on Ebay (accessible to senior members only) could be merged with Interesting Websites and become public.

New forum could be "Found on the Internet"

Any sensitive auctions you don't want to post in public could go in Private Discussions (accessible to senior members only) until the auction is completed.
 

uk 75

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"Better" in what way? You can't use a modern reproduction as a primary source. If done well, it can help with visualisation, sure, but you can always link to the Art topic from the Main topic.

We have always put user-created profiles in User Artwork for example since the beginning of the forum. I'm simply suggesting that we stick more closely to the rules.
I really am not quarreling on this.
But remain puzzled why the practice adopted by most published books on this subject of including both original artwork/models and modern equivalents usually commissioned for that book is so worrying here.
Also being a bit picky a lot of the comments/questions that make it into threads (including some of mine) hardly qualify as primary source material.
 

Schneiderman

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I'm not saying they are not useful or lovely to look at because they are, but they should be clearly identified as artists impressions. As we've seen in countless "Luft 46" posts, even post-war reconstructions have often been highly problematic. We shouldn't really be peddling these myths if we can avoid it.
Yes, I agree with that. I do quite a bit of (+/- adequate) 3D CGI modelling but would not want anyone to consider them as anything other than a representation. Working from original company GA drawings throws up a whole range of issues when rendering them in 3D, the mismatch between the three views are often horrendous and have to be fiddled to fit.
 

sferrin

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"Better" in what way? You can't use a modern reproduction as a primary source. If done well, it can help with visualisation, sure, but you can always link to the Art topic from the Main topic.

We have always put user-created profiles in User Artwork for example since the beginning of the forum. I'm simply suggesting that we stick more closely to the rules.
What about stuff posted with the intent to aid in visualization but marked as "User Generated" or some such? For instance sometimes I'll post stuff like this:

TEL.jpg

With the intent to aid in visualization, not to deceive. Putting it in a separate section would seem to defeat the purpose. What if it was clearly marked, "User Generated"?
 

Trident

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Good.
For further consolidation, maybe "Theoretical and Speculative Projects" and "Alternative History and Future Speculation", since they are both dealing with the opposite of firm historical information and deal with hypothetical stuff.

Concur! I was going to suggest the same thing. Truth be told, I always struggled to work out where the demarcation line between these sections was, the only reason why it didn't bother me all that much is that I rarely frequented them.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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"Better" in what way? You can't use a modern reproduction as a primary source. If done well, it can help with visualisation, sure, but you can always link to the Art topic from the Main topic.

We have always put user-created profiles in User Artwork for example since the beginning of the forum. I'm simply suggesting that we stick more closely to the rules.
What about stuff posted with the intent to aid in visualization but marked as "User Generated" or some such? For instance sometimes I'll post stuff like this:

View attachment 645126

With the intent to aid in visualization, not to deceive. Putting it in a separate section would seem to defeat the purpose. What if it was clearly marked, "User Generated"?
Clear attribution of sources in all messages certainly would mitigate any confusion, for sure. I'm not instituting a hard and fast rule, but the forum is used as a source by authors and researchers, and the better labelled the content, the less room for mistakes and confusion.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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"Better" in what way? You can't use a modern reproduction as a primary source. If done well, it can help with visualisation, sure, but you can always link to the Art topic from the Main topic.

We have always put user-created profiles in User Artwork for example since the beginning of the forum. I'm simply suggesting that we stick more closely to the rules.
I really am not quarreling on this.
But remain puzzled why the practice adopted by most published books on this subject of including both original artwork/models and modern equivalents usually commissioned for that book is so worrying here.
Also being a bit picky a lot of the comments/questions that make it into threads (including some of mine) hardly qualify as primary source material.
Your point is actually a good demonstration of my point. I've seen a John Hall model (built for one of Tony's books) posted as a model of a project with no information that it was a modern reconstruction or that it came from Tony's book. Its incorrect (based on faulty information). Someone could then print a book using this photo and not realise they are now disseminating speculation as fact.
 
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Tzoli

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I disagree with the merger. More then often, we naval artist are the only one who could visually create a proposed design and show how it would looked like and contribute to the community. These drawings might inspire others to not only search for these designs but actually got interested in naval affairs! Stying in their respective threads shows these were real designs. Of course they are artistic impressions but we seen through the years that even in publish books there are inaccuracies even from well established ones!
(The Imperial Japanese Navy's No.13 class Fast Battleship Drawing now on WIkipedia and which was based on Breyer, Siegfried Battleships and Battle Cruisers 1905–1970 book of 1974 shows the incorrect distribution of main weapons and general appearance, because at that time Breyer had access only to a limited IJN archive and since then the accurate design proposals were found)
If you lump all the drawings of varius artist who based their work on official sketces or source data into the modelling forum others might not be able to find them and also might think: "how nice looking, so these are only own creations right? not actual proposals?"
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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I disagree with the merger. More then often, we naval artist are the only one who could visually create a proposed design and show how it would looked like and contribute to the community. These drawings might inspire others to not only search for these designs but actually got interested in naval affairs! Stying in their respective threads shows these were real designs. Of course they are artistic impressions but we seen through the years that even in publish books there are inaccuracies even from well established ones!
(The Imperial Japanese Navy's No.13 class Fast Battleship Drawing now on WIkipedia and which was based on Breyer, Siegfried Battleships and Battle Cruisers 1905–1970 book of 1974 shows the incorrect distribution of main weapons and general appearance, because at that time Breyer had access only to a limited IJN archive and since then the accurate design proposals were found)
If you lump all the drawings of varius artist who based their work on official sketces or source data into the modelling forum others might not be able to find them and also might think: "how nice looking, so these are only own creations right? not actual proposals?"
Your argument makes no sense, perhaps you simply misunderstood my intention.

User Artwork and Models description is "Unofficial drawings, images and scale models of real projects created by users".

This is emphatically for drawings and models of real projects only.

The "Alternative History and Speculative Projects" section would then be the place for anything that was not based squarely on a real project.

So your drawings would go in User Artwork and Models, not Alternative History and Speculative Projects. No confusion.
 

Tzoli

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That would still means they are not staying where they belong, their respective threads, and peopel will have difficulty finding them also you need to have multiple threads opened for a single project! Say for my current Long Beach variants. You need the Long Beach main thread, their associated drawings thread, and say I want info on the Regulus missile then the associated "data" thread of Regulus and the connecting "Drawing" thread. This is 4 threads instead of 2 meaning the number of threads will increase dramatically on the forum. Not sure how the server handles this but surely the stored data will increase as well. And would be confusing to find the pairings and more time confusing to upload such threads because I need to upload the drawing first copy it's thread/comment link into the new "data/discussion" thread.
I don't see the pros of this action except there will be a collected thread for arts and for discussions. This would burden the admins to move these large amounts of images to their respective parts, not to mention what happens if an artist's own work which was posted here appears in an official publication? Then you have to put that art back in it's data/discussion thread???
There is a true saying: If it's ain't broke don't fix it.
 

Hood

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Just thinking out loud, its probably not possible to do but I'll punt it out there anyway.

What would be ideal would be two mandatory boxes on the image upload screen that required: a) source attribution, b) a grading along the lines of Scott's proposal (which he linked to another thread the other day) - which could be a multiple choice tick box. This information could then sit underneath the attached images.

Probably would not work with the forum software as it exists, but such a thing would make it very clear where an image came from and how genuine/useful it was.
 

uk 75

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An example of why modern art is helpful in a thread was my recent enquiry about a photo I saw years ago of a proposed variant of the Vosper Mk10 frigate with single arm Seadart. The photo is nowhere to be found online but a kind soul posted a Shipbucket of the ship.
With your approach, he would have had to go to the trouble of posting it in the modelling section and create a link on my thread, which is a pain on this site if you are ina hurry.
I have a vague suspicion you dont like modelers using this site and would prefer it kept to retired or current professional writers and researchers swapping their original material.
If this is the case you will find most topics will become pretty arid pretty quickly.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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That would still means they are not staying where they belong, their respective threads, and peopel will have difficulty finding them also you need to have multiple threads opened for a single project! Say for my current Long Beach variants. You need the Long Beach main thread, their associated drawings thread, and say I want info on the Regulus missile then the associated "data" thread of Regulus and the connecting "Drawing" thread. This is 4 threads instead of 2 meaning the number of threads will increase dramatically on the forum. Not sure how the server handles this but surely the stored data will increase as well. And would be confusing to find the pairings and more time confusing to upload such threads because I need to upload the drawing first copy it's thread/comment link into the new "data/discussion" thread.
I don't see the pros of this action except there will be a collected thread for arts and for discussions. This would burden the admins to move these large amounts of images to their respective parts, not to mention what happens if an artist's own work which was posted here appears in an official publication? Then you have to put that art back in it's data/discussion thread???
There is a true saying: If it's ain't broke don't fix it.
I'm not changing anything. This is how the forum has been set up since the beginning, if you had bothered to read the section descriptions. The fact that you and others have ignored the rules and posted your own artwork in the Projects topics is not really relevant. All I've done recently is merge the section for unofficial models with the section for unofficial drawings and suggested following the existing rules better. You can agree or disagree, and post your drawings where you want to.
 
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overscan (PaulMM)

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An example of why modern art is helpful in a thread was my recent enquiry about a photo I saw years ago of a proposed variant of the Vosper Mk10 frigate with single arm Seadart. The photo is nowhere to be found online but a kind soul posted a Shipbucket of the ship.
With your approach, he would have had to go to the trouble of posting it in the modelling section and create a link on my thread, which is a pain on this site if you are ina hurry.
I have a vague suspicion you dont like modelers using this site and would prefer it kept to retired or current professional writers and researchers swapping their original material.
If this is the case you will find most topics will become pretty arid pretty quickly.
That escalated pretty quickly Ralph. I have no idea how you came to this conclusion. Most user artwork has always been placed in the User artwork section - see the long-running topics created by various CGI artists for example. I never read Naval Projects section if I can help it, which might explain how Tzoli's pictures largely escaped my notice for example.

My suggestion to follow the existing rules better on separating 'fan art' from real information came off the back of the rather heated discussions over some somewhat speculative data and drawings of the EF.130 from Justo. My primary aim has always been to collect actual information about unbuilt projects, be that from primary or secondary sources, into a sort of living database. User generated art can be interesting, or beautiful, as an adjunct to and illumination of the known information on a project, but it is still distinct from being an actual source of information.
 

uk 75

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I think your last sentence encapsules the problem. To paraphrase, user art is not an actual source of information.
I see the threads as being like an online magazine with numerous contributors. Like a magazine I have come to enjoy the different approaches of individual posters.
A well chosen image from whatever source adds both to my information and enjoyment.
If it is wrong or of poor quality, that is soon pointed out by contributors, and that increases my own knowledge.
I repeat my concern, arid repetition of source material and texts (which are often well trodden and familiar) reduces threads to dull dictionaries.
 

Jemiba

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In an attempt to de-escalate this discussion, perhaps we should first come to an agreement, how to handle that change,
I'm still not sure about it, too.
As an example, seven years ago, in the "Lockheed S-3 Viking Variants and Projects" an artist's impression of a proposed
COD version was posted ( https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/threads/lockheed-s-3-viking-variants-and-projects.4313/post-204320 ),
I answered with a speculative side view (labelled as such). Should this go to the User Artwork section in the future ? Principally no
problem, instead of the drawing, there would be just a link.
We have lots of threads, where the projects are shown by Jozef Gatials great renderings. Those would have to go to the
User Artwork section then, too, in the future, with a link in the original thread.
I think, the doubts Ralph are mentioning, are, that this of course is possible, but it would make those threads less interesting, or
at least more difficult to read. Imagine one of Dan's great bookazines, all based on original documents to present those projects,
but for looking at the colour profiles, or artist's impressions widely used there, you always would have to browse to the "colour profile
section" at the end of the bookazine.
 
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overscan (PaulMM)

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So - lets be clear - are you advocating to close the existing User Artwork and Models section completely and redistribute all the content to relevant topics?

Or is there some purpose to this section existing when we post nevertheless exactly this type of content in the main topics that I'm not seeing? Is it just personal choice?

I've merged the Artwork and Models section regardless.
 
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Jemiba

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To me, artwork has something to do with "art", that means (again, to me !) colour and perspective. I wouldn't look at
architectural drawings of, say this painting in a museum.
1606980076876.png
A 3-view, even if not from an original source, but reconstructed, has nothing to do with art, it's mostly simple geometry, and
just meant to depict an aircraft. If it's not based on an official, authentic, original drawing, because there is non, or at least
still yet not known, it has to be labelled as such and is open to discussion then, and open to changes by others as well (maybe
an important point ?). The aim then is, to get a drawing, as close to the real thing, as possible. That may include drawings from
other sources, books or mags, as well, that quite often need corrections, too. But line drawings are a kind of graphical descriptions
of an aircraft, not art !
As I mentioned Jozefs work above, that really is art in its best form and correct placed in the art & models section. A bit difficult,
to my opinion, are colour profiles. But as for a "never built" designs, those are always kind of What-If, and so should/could go
to the art & models section, too.
For short: Line drawings in the projects section, colour to the art & models section.
 

Schneiderman

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Isn't this simply a matter of the User using his/her common sense where material is best posted? Although, granted, in some cases common sense appears to be in short supply.
No artwork or model can ever be construed as a reliable primary source although those that were created by the company at the time can be better than nothing and may give clues to how the company were developing projects (for example Brabazon). You only have to look at advertisements for British aircraft in the 30s and 40s in particular to see how warped and exaggerated they could be (look at the Skua for example). And as I posted above some company 'primary source' drawings can be surprisingly poor themselves and little better than artwork, whether company or user. Then there is always that judgement call over whether a piece of artwork is indicative of a true project in its early stages or just a piece of pure speculation; the 50s, in particular, are full of those.
So, while I do not accept that eliminating all of this kind of artwork from threads would make them sterile, I would like people to think seriously whether posting model and artwork actually adds anything positive to the topic, just as they should for other stuff like endless Wiki links.
 

Jemiba

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... as an addition:
I regard Tzoli's drawings, though colourful, as a kind of "line drawings", made to depict the shown ship. One of the best in this sense to me,
was the discussion about the RN Nuclear NIGS ship, which in the end led to a drawing, which still yet is the only one of this design.

 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Personally I can't stand the "Shipbucket" drawing style, it looks tremendously childish to me, but to each his own etc.
 

dan_inbox

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I regard Tzoli's drawings, though colourful, as a kind of "line drawings", made to depict the shown ship. One of the best in this sense to me,
was the discussion about the RN Nuclear NIGS ship, which in the end led to a drawing, which still yet is the only one of this design.
While there is clearly zero attempt at deception from Tzoli, for my taste his drawings could be better identified as speculative.
 

Jemiba

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That's correct, but I'm pretty sure, that many, if not most line drawings in public sources would have to be labelled as "speculative"
then, too. Just take drawings of Soviet ships or aircraft in books like Weyer or Jane's. I can hardly imagine, that the publishers
were granted access to original drawings !
That's why I would like to have drawings made by forum members labelled either as speculative, or with Scott's much more precise
system. "Speculative" can mean "based on description only", or "based on just one blurry photo", or "based on a number of shots of
a manufacturer's model". So, at least here, we would have a kind of indicator for accuracy, that can be expected.
 

Hood

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I actually think the NIGS thread was one of the most concerted efforts we ever had to reconstruct a naval ship... but we were working from two fragments (the magazine layout) and educated guesses about the radar system and hints that the magazine drawings were based on a modified County hull. A couple of us had a crack at it, we all made different interpretations and I made a cock-up (mistaking one deck level for another). But we don't know if anyone in the DNC even bothered to think about a complete ship, let alone drew up real plans.
So this was closer to archeology - like reconstructing a Roman urn from a couple of fragments.

We could go round and round with this argument. Is a period advertisement or magazine artist's impression any more or less valid than a painting or 3D model made today? As Schneiderman says, even 'genuine' company drawings and 3-views can be misleading or incorrect - many times I have come across this too, I'm sure everyone has who does drawings and 3D art. But I find redrawing a 3-view can often be educational, you get a feel for the design and often spot things you wouldn't otherwise notice just viewing them as a picture.

But as WoT and WoW shows, research and 3D renders can easily be warped to fit preconceptions (in this case to fill out a game tier system) and although a lot of good research into armoured projects has come out of WoW, its largely been a firefighting reaction against teenage fanboy fantasies peddled as truth. To some degree research into German aviation has been much the same, trying to extinguish the Luft 46 fantasies which will never die easily.

In my mind there are three kinds of 'speculation':
a) a drawing made to illustrate a design based on known intelligence or even company supplied materials - e.g. illustrations in Flight and Janes and similar work - you could include advertisements but here the artist has a freer hand for impact.
b) a reconstruction or speculative attempt to draw something fleshed out from bare bones, either visual or textual sources - e.g. a 3D artwork of a Supermarine Type 316 in 1943 Bomber Command colours, the NIGS cruiser
c) a fictional speculation based on something real to explore a potential what-if avenue or for fun - e.g. WoW FV215 Super Conqueror or Skygazer's photoshopped works

With my critical historian's hat on I would say that its a minefield, both A and B have different intrinsic value and its the interpretation that matters. That's why I think clear labelling of images is better than nothing. C should be avoided as anything but entertainment.
I would warn against the recent tendency on this forum to assume that primary sources are the only truth. All sources are biased, all sources lie and tell the truth, its just the ratio of the difference between them that changes.

Personally I can't stand the "Shipbucket" drawing style, it looks tremendously childish to me, but to each his own etc.
Shipbucket is limited by its style. Its intended as an easily accessible way for people to draw ships who haven't the skills with vector graphics and provides a uniform style. Its proved very popular - so much so that magazines have often used them without proper attribution and they have appeared in books, even in the Warship journal, although they are not really suited to printing. A lot of research goes into the drawings (accurate paint colours, as accurate parts as can be done at that scale). But it is accessible, in essence its like a fan of architecture who wants to build a scale model of the Notre Dame out of Lego.
 
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Antonio

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Artistic styles appreciation are a question of aesthetical preferences. Obviously some artists enjoy better skills than others.
But, personaly I welcome any serious efforts to bring unbuilt projects closer to life.
Shipbucket is, above all, a source for unbuilt warship projects.
 

hesham

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My dear Paul,

if we separate these graphics, we will unnecessarily create a lot of topics and be there to mess it up in tracking a specific subject,that's my point.
 
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Jemiba

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...That's why I think clear labelling of images is better than nothing. C should be avoided as anything but entertainment.
I would warn against the recent tendency on this forum to assume that primary sources are the only truth. All sources are biased, all sources lie and tell the truth, its just the ratio of the difference between them that changes.
I fully agree, not only to those points, but those express exactly what I feel !
My favourite example still is this one, an original manufacturers drawing, which obviously found its way in several
publications. Who spots the error ?
There still are a lot of cases, where original drawings still weren't found, or maybe got lost, and only artist's impressions
or model photos are available. So, in order to get a clearer idea of them, there's only the reconstruction.
Hood mentioned the "Roman urn from a couple of fragments", I like the comparison to reconstructing a dinosaur from
a handful of bones. And juding newer publications about the latter, many points seem to have been wrong in the past,
as even the Tyrannosaurus is today often shown with a plumage like a chicken ! In the same way, we may have to accept,
that drawings of certain aircraft types (and not only projects!) were faulty. Anyone remember the discussion about the
Junkers Ju 88H ? As long, as there are no known official drawings, everything is speculative, and should be open to
discussion here, and as the lively discussion in the Chengdu J-20 thread showed, some things can be clarified here in this
forum.
 

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