So, just as a general question: where do you draw your inspiration for your builds from? Since I brought it up, I’ll go first.
When I first got back into modeling, and truck modeling in particular, back in 2000 or so, I was a member of the Yahoo! Model Truck Discussion Group. Anyone here remember that? At that time I drew inspiration from the other modeler on the Group, and Tim Ahlborn specifically. Hey, I’m not afraid to admit it, I was seriously impressed with his builds! Another inspiration for my truck builds was Hank’s Truck Pictures (R.I.P., ), which was a Black Hole of Time, but there were a lot of great photos of trucks on there that would keep a builder busy for about a century! I also drew some inspiration from TV shows (Movin’ On) & movies (Smoky & the Bandit & White Line Fever). There were also a couple of ProBoards Forums that I belonged to were I got some ideas.
More recently, I have branched out into cars, aircraft, & ships. Inspiration for these can come from a wide variety of sources like songs (G.T.O. by Ronny & the Daytonas), books, TV shows (Dukes of Hazzard), and of course fellow modelers on the Forum. It was a friend & fellow modeler that got me interested in muscle car builds.
My problem is that my inspiration comes from all sorts of sources, which is a good problem to have I guess. For example, I am correctly reading Spearhead by Adam Makos, so now I want to build a T26/M26 Pershing tank & a M4 Sherman tank. When I read To Wake a Giant by Jeff Shaara, I wanted to build the USS Arizona: and I’m sure when I read The Eagle’s Claw , I’ll want to build a carrier. I’ve even started building/collecting some of the cars from Cars . I think I have enough “inspiration” to last me until the next century.
Ok, I shared. Who’s next? Where do you draw your inspiration?
When I started off down the road to way too many models my main inspiration was Jane’s Armour and Artillery and Jane’s Military Logistics (I wanna build them all …).
If those books had been equipped with solid handles I could have used them to build some serious biceps …
Pictures says more then words, it is said…
For me it usually started off when I read about something that then somehow triggered my imagination. Then I would look for a suitable model.
However in recent years my budget has shrunk and the process has been reverted. I find a cheap model that I like and then see/research what I can do with it. That takes me into subjects I previously did not have much interest in, most recently the Cold War and subsequent conflicts in Europe.
For me, I started by building what model kit there were. My Dad had built some did an aircraft carrier, a B-36 Peacemaker, a P08 Luger (which cycled on pulling the trigger), a Peterbuilt tractor, and a Revell CHIP Harley, and a Renwall M42. I built kits like Airfix Sturmgeschutz. Bf 109G, Fokker Dr.1, Aurora Fw 190, Revell Sopwith Camel, and Airfix RE.8. I had no idea what an RE.8 was.
Then I started to find books in the children’s section of the library, like George Bradford’s “50 Famous Tanks”. The Vietnam War was starting so more books on military stuff showed up. When I was allowed into the grown-ups section, there were books on the IJN (Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy) and William Green’s series on the Warplanes of WW2.
For TV, it was watching movies like “Sahara” and “The “Dambusters”. Even TV series like “Batman” and “The Green Hornet” were good for the occasional car model (I built Aurora’s Black Beauty” and “007 Aston Martin DB5”. I wasn’t into cars much until I was older. I bought a real-life 1983 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce and started reading Autocourse to follow the team (the Alfa F1 team employed Andrea de “Crasheris” at the time).
When I first started some fifty years ago my inspiration was my grandfather we worked on a old guilds balsa wood kit every weekend until we finally finished it. I don’t remember how long it took then it hung from my ceiling while I transitioned into plastic kits. In 1984 I joined a infantry regiment and I drew inspiration from studying modern armour that I may have to be able to recognize if the Cold War went hot. I also took an interest in WW2 vehicles specifically the African and European theatres. In 1996 I entered law enforcement and began modeling police cars. I have basically built pretty much every type of vehicle available from cars, ships, fixed wing aircraft, helicopters, armour, figures, fantasy and movie monsters, alongside space craft. I have worked across all scales although mainly 1/35. Today I’m draw inspiration from my 20 year old son that’s introducing me to the world of war hammer, my 5 year old daughter that loves zombies and my wife who loves movie themed monsters and such. Luckily for me she has actively supported and encouraged my continued enjoyment of this hobby for the last 24 years!
Mine is pretty much everything and anything. Even in this age of t’interweb of stuff,I still draw a lot from books and magazines-I’m too long inthe tooth for it to be fully digital🤓,
Shep Paine’s Diorama’s volume is falling apart now but still serves as the default option for ideas when I trying to decide. Often serves as the kick-start, but sometime I just shamelessly copy theidea with a few tweaks.
Books, period photographs, imagination and lately, audio books online. I’ve been listening to various ww1/ww2 audio books while I build and fine myself thinking about new dioramas as I hear the descriptions of events taking place in the books.
I suppose my original inspiration to build a particular model would have been the box art. I’m still a sucker for good box art
Usually some military or technical history that I’ve read or am reading. Some times, the aesthetics of the subject just appeal to me and make me want to model it. Rarely, I’ll take on a commission and have to model something because I’ve committed to doing it.
However, the majority of times, it’s an interest in subject created by something that I’ve read or watched in a vid or movie that makes me want to model it.
For myself inspiration can come from many sources. For instance, I’ve found that social media (reddit, instagram, etc) are good sources for reference photos. I myself follow the CF Combat Camera wherever it posts, as well as groups such as LAV_Borne, both of which give me good inspiration for doing modern Canadian vehicles. I should also note that instagram has a very large and active community of photographers from Japan who like to planespot the F-4EJ’s and so on. Definitely a great source of inspiration!
Also a great way to see other people’s builds!
Otherwise, I often derive ideas from listening to music. Kino (a Soviet rock band) always gets me jonesing to do some armour (and how I can get “hmm, I should do another Leopard” from Хочу перемен is still a mystery.) For cars, working with my friends at Great Hobbies is always a source of inspiration because we have a very die-hard JDM culture going on, so there are always ideas of new kits to make floating around.
But of course, the absolute greatest source of inspiration? "It looks cool."
Funny,I just finished the Tamiya Pershing after reading Spearhead also,really a great book.
Also get motivated by movies,other folks builds,sometimes its just a matter of looking at the stash and picking one.
I’ve been a geek for WWII since I was a kid, airplanes in particular. My first kit was a 1/72 Hasegawa IJA Fuel Truck that my dad brought home one night. So early days were an eclectic mix of warbirds and classic cars.
When I got back into things a few years ago, my interest in military history had only deepened and I’d done some time in the reserves, so now my focus is primarily Canadian subjects, mostly armour but the odd plane here and there.
When I’m looking for ideas for a new build, I’ll just roll the dice on a random Canadian operation somewhere and start hunting for a vehicle.
Hmmmm, multiple part answer I would say. Some of my inspiration comes from a book or historical film/TV show. I have a LONG list of those subjects. Some of my inspiration comes from what I see in daily life, living near Luke AFB, I see F-35s and F-16s on a near daily basis, so I have been inspired to build some of those. Some inspiration comes from my time in the Army, wanting to build items of equipment that I served on or around. And some inspiration is a bit of nostalgia, wanting to build again old kits that I built as a young boy, or of subjects that I saw at air shows and other military base open houses as a youngster, and those items are no longer around. And lastly, like Tony said, sometimes it’s just an item in my stash that suddenly calls out to me to be built.
My sources of inspiration have varied greatly over time but basically it was curiosity what the item looked like in three dimensions.
Early model car interests were inspired by the son of a couple my parents were friends with. Later, books, magazines & wargames inspired interests in warships. As a teen, history & wargames inspired my interest in AFV’s almost exclusively.
As an adult inspiration varied quite a bit many times it was just getting the project ready for a club meeting or a model contest.
Recently, inspiration has been nostalgia driven to finish old Shelf Queen projects or doing long prosponed build projects. Also being on the forum interacting with others is key in stoking motivation. I’d say at this point, the forum is 85 % of my inspiration.
I’m positive without the forum’s Antique Antiquity build campaign, this old Italeri Pz IV would never had been built despite me wanting to build it for 33+ years.
I specialize these days in race car models as i’ve followed road course and oval racing since my teens in magazines, books, tv, and of course now the internet. You Tube is a great resource literally for any type of modeling and or technique.
It looks like people draw inspiration from all over the place, which is kind of what I figured. There have been some great builds on this site, and they are inspiring as well. Great looking Panzer, by the way.
Joel, I like racing cars, too; and I really want to build an Indy car. I kind of get inspired to to that around this time of year. Hmm, wonder why?
Mostly for me it comes from the various campaigns on the various pages. If I see one that interests me I join up. Occasionally I build something just because I have an interest in that subject. But mostly…campaigns.
Well I did a ton of modeling as a kid/teen. I would say mostly in autos and planes. Did some ships and afv. Had my own squad of g.i.'s with specially painted helmets. “WE” never lost a battle. I stopped in my twenties with just a few builds. Fast forward to my 50’s and got back into the hobby. I’ll be 71 in November and my eyes and hands are not as good as they were. Now I get all my inspiration from you guys!!! Its fun looking at all your builds! Thank you all. Gil
Love building panzer IV’s & Tigers from online gaming of Air Warrior and Aces High.
It’s really comforting to know that I’m not the only one in my 70s here.
You have some nice looking vehicles there!!! I don’t build autos anymore but still love watching them race. Got a great little side story for you. I’m from Boston originally and have worked for Home Depot since 1993. I have worn the H.D. mascot uniform a few times. DeWalt use to have a “tool” contest and award prizes to the winners. I got to present the prizes at a NASCAR event at the New Hampshire Speedway dead center on stage at the finish line! Only sad part was it rained that day and the race got canceled but I got to walk through all the pits and see all the cars. We even had a backup car at our store in Somerville, MA.