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Armorama's 1st Anniversary

It's about a quarter after midnight here on the west coast of North America. When I go to bed in a short while it will be a year and a day that this site has been open to the public. It would be hard to explain how odd it feels at times to know I brought this site into being. I certainly feel like the father of a living virtual "thing". I set it loose on the world and look at all the friends it has made! It makes me very proud to know I raised it so well. Kidding aside this site has exceeded my wildest dreams of success.

In the summer of 2001 my friend and business partner, Louis Spry, came to me and presented an idea for making online communities. The idea was that we make a template using a content management engine like PHPNuke or PostNuke. Then we could create numerous communities and populate them with resource info and news to attract a user base. I created several test sites and eventually had one ready for a Solar Power community called BigReactor.net.

About this time I also wanted to create a hobby site for me to play around with and use as a learning experience for PHP programming and database building. I have had many interests over my life. But one hobby that had always captured my imagination was model building. I knew instantly after looking around the Internet that a dynamic database driven site would be leaps and bounds ahead of most of the other sites on the net. So I went to work in November of 2001 on a hobby site for military scale modelers. I was going to call it something like TankMaker.com, or Military Scale Modeling Review, but eventually gravitated to a short and more catchy (I thought) name, Armorama.com.

During that time I posted on several sites asking for input and ideas on creating a new site. I got back many replies. Almost all were positive. One that sticks out suggested that since the best modeling site on the web was already around (HMForum), that I make a specialty site that focused on a vehicle or time period. Of course in hind-sight we know that HMForums sadly closed it's doors several months later.

I won't go through the whole birth of the site, but I do want to once again point out that many of the early users of Armorama are still with us today. And it's because of their loyal support that others decided to stay and chat a while. So I tip my hat to those folks (who know who they are) and hope they are always around to keep me sane. Lol.

Anniversary Contest Winners!
I would like to congratulate the following folks for winning the "Guess How Many Files" game I started in the News area. The final tally as of earlier today on my hard drive was; 1.34GB and 24,585 files. And the winners are:

1st Place: leader
2nd Place: slodder
3rd Place: clovis899 (go Clovis!! - it's where I live now)

Thanks everyone for playing. Our winners are receiving some fine merchandise from the new ArmoramaWares store.

10 Million Page Views!
This will be an auspicious event certain to happen on December 17 or 18. I will be watching the countdown as best I can. You can hit the About Us link to see the total number. When it reaches 10 million I will meet everyone in the Chat Room at MSN for a beer and a toast!

Where are we going?
Where do you want to go? This site is big. Too big for one person to manage alone. Perhaps if this were my full time job I could keep everything updated and keep building on more. But alas the last 6 months has shown me JUST how big this site is. ::grin::

So...We already have a good number of people who are helping out with News stories, photo editing, and forum moderation. We can always use more though so if you're interested in helping make this the best site it can be, please let me know how you think you can help. Ideas on new sections, contests, and group builds are always welcome too, just keep in mind you may be asked to run them. ::wink::

I want to keep building on our foundation. Our knowledge-base of articles is what will keep old and new members coming back. The forums are already great but I want to fully implement the groups system I started to make them even better. Our alternate language sites are also a great way to meet new modelers from other parts of the world. I want to get additional unique articles for those sites as well.

And finally if time permits I have acquired the domain name KitBase.com. I want to build a truly unique kit reference and knowledge base for model kits of all types (but starting with military kits). This database would be both a storehouse of vehicle and kit specific information, but also a way to tie other info on the Internet together to really allow one stop reference gathering. I will be posting more on this new Sister Site to Armorama in the near future.

Well it's bedtime for bonzo. Goodnight and here's to a great 2nd year.


About the Author

About Jim Starkweather (staff_Jim)

I started building models in 1971 when I was 6. My first model was a 1/32 P-40 Warhawk. Revell I believe. From there I moved onto the standard cars, Apollo spacecraft, and other kid orientated kits. I don't know what got me started on Armor. I must have seen a Monogram tank kit one day and said "Mom...


congrats with the 10.000.0000 hits Jim x 10.000.000 :-) :-)
DEC 17, 2002 - 09:26 PM
Jim, Be Proud! You've earned it. JOCK P.S.; I'll toast you in Guinness and tears.
DEC 17, 2002 - 10:56 PM
Congratulations Armorama! And to think I was actually thinking of making a site of my own. I'm sure glad this came around.
DEC 18, 2002 - 01:31 AM
Congrats to ya Jim......
DEC 18, 2002 - 06:55 AM
congrats, jim
DEC 18, 2002 - 10:39 AM
Dear Jim, I believe that hobbies, like many other callings, "find" you. Getting into dioramas found me when I was walking in a mall and happened upon one of the first Verlinden books. It was music and lights. But the quality was so good it intimidated me, and still does. But, he also included a few tips, which was the first time I saw anything like tips in print. Then came the Shep Paine helpful books and even model railroading books (and some classes) got me more comfortable. I am still a rank beginner, having worked on and off on the same diorama for 10 years. I have targeted May to finish because our local IPMS is hosting a Regional and that's as good a reason to finish up as anything. But, your website has helped more than you would know, because a good hobby, no matter how bad you are at it, soothes the soul, after the obligations (and pleasure) of work and family. You are a doctor of good things. Your site is the best. If I can help (remember my lack of talent), tell me. If you need some money to offset a bit of your enormous generosity, tell me where to send it. Thank you Jim. Thank you Armorama. Please feel the good effects of what you are doing when you feel the site is starting to control you. Congratulations. Sealhead (Kansas Sunflower)
NOV 28, 2003 - 02:05 AM
Sealhead, Thanks very much for your kind words. Sorry it was briefly followed up by some trollish hi-jinks (since removed). I do like to hear that that site is doing what I had hoped it would, that being build a real online community of hobbyists. It's a team effort though. If you haven't visted the Supporters Roster page please do. And we are about a million away from 20 million page views! Cheers, Jim
NOV 28, 2003 - 06:12 AM
An example of poor behavior that could be dealt with by another moderator who happens to stumble upon it first. BTW I like the Thanksgiving logo.
NOV 28, 2003 - 08:56 AM
Great site, Nice people that help, wow what a differance. Thanks Armorama.
NOV 28, 2003 - 04:17 PM
Congrats Jim and Moderators Great place to surf and learn
NOV 28, 2003 - 05:33 PM