I like to keep an eye on Facebook model railway groups to get an idea what the "average" modeller is thinking about. My guess is that specialist forums tend to attract people who are more committed to the hobby and likely to have acquired model making skills.
Facebook on the other hand is the modern first port of call for many people. There are loads of groups acting as virtual clubs and if you are on there, why wouldn't you join?
Anyway, I'm fascinated by the number of people for whom assembling a plastic kit if a major step. I grew up sticking various airplanes together with varying degree of failure. I didn't care, I just enjoyed making things. They didn't need to work so simply putting two bits together without glue oozing out was good.
Now people approach a wagon kit and don't know what glue to use. Worse, they are trying to make something that has to work. Even worse, they don't usually buy magazines where they will find lovely, well written and photographed step-by-step articles on doing this sort of thing. That's not a fault of magazines, just that the internet has produced a generation who think they shouldn't have to pay for any information.
Anyway, what they need is to build a plastic plastic Spitfire. Something that doesn't matter. But kids of today, will they listen? Will they heck.