Modelling ethics

The most important tools we have are our eyes, ears and mind. With those tools we should be able to make informed decisions about what our hobby is all about. We need to ignore those who want to cancel history. As well as those who want to judge event’s in history by today’s standards. We can’t. History is history.

But what annoys me is how selective the cancel culture is. Only those issues that suit certain agendas get the attention of the cancel mob. Ie if slavery is so abhorrent then why isn’t there equal outrage to white slavery as there is to coloured slavery? Why no outrage against “modern” slavery in the 1930-40’s in both Europe and Asia? It could also include a certain large Asian country today. And if we let the cancel culture influence what is and isn’t relevant history then what will become of AFV modelling? When will the cancel culture cancel our hobby because it may offend some?



We had a period of cancel culture in Sweden when I was young in the 70’ies.
Some organisation and assorted parents managed to convince toy shops that they should not
sell “war toys”. OK, fine, maybe kids shouldn’t play with tools of war.
It wasn’t all war toys though … playing cowboys vs injuns was still OK, for some strange reason …
The ban targeted “war toys” from say 1910 and forwards so anything before WW I was basically OK,
if there had been a model of the early machine guns used to mow down African warriors in the late 19th century it would have been acceptable as long as it wasn’t also used in 1914 …

All the Corgi Toys tanks and green trucks disappeared together with all the little toy soldiers (unless they were 19th century so the Battle of Waterloo could still be played out on the living room floor).
What about the little airplanes? The ones used to burn Vietnamese villages with napalm?
No problemo señor! Warbirds were not considered “war toys” since serious modelers were building model aircraft. Kids could still build them and run around the living room swooping down and strafing the imaginary Viet Cong hiding in the jungle (sorry, living room rug).

Cancel culture at its finest and most logical time …
Did Sweden happen to invent the Cancel Culture already back in the 70’ies?? Whatever …


Can’t model a tank, specifically not a nazi-German tank
What’s next?
Can’t make a movie (and make a profit) showing the bad guys in action?
Can’t write books (and make a profit) about what the bad guys did?
What’s next? Should it be removed from history books as well?
Should we restrict the knowledge about the evil parts of history to students
who have passed psychological tests and are deemed mentally capable of
handling such large doses of evil without suffering from PTSD?
What’s next? When we have forgotten all about it we will probably be doomed to repeat it.

Time for some Sabaton again.
A lifetime of War. It’s about the 30 year long madness in Europe in the first half of the 16th century.

  1. About the ending of the 30 years war, when Swedish troops led Köningsmark tried to take Prague (we took half though)
    Sabaton - 1 6 4 8 EN (Lyrics English & Deutsch) - YouTube
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I enter this conversation with trepidation……. but some of my brief thoughts, I too have at times wondered if I should model AFV’s, particularly as I am from an “ally” country, and I only model “axis” AFV’s.

For my modelling, I only will depict peaceful scenes, rather than action. My choice, and I don’t judge others who do differently.

I feel 99% of human beings who fought in war or conflicts in my opinion were likely decent human beings prior to, and were doing what they thought right. There’s a good chance that those same 99% of people suffered detrimental lifelong effects for their sacrifices.

We can’t cancel what happened to those people, and we can’t pretend there suffering didn’t happen, and it would be disrespectful to consider “cancelling” those events.

My modelling can’t change the past. But it can honour the sacrifices many made, that 99% will never truly be able to understand (myself included). Even if my modelling only provokes my own thoughts on how lucky I am, then that is a positive enough outcome to justify the hobby for me in itself.

I also suspect all of the answers to the morale dilemma posed on this thread are going to be quite one sided considering the members of this forum are clearly fans of scale modelling :rofl: and in particular AFV’s :rofl:

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Students of history would likely agree there’s absolutely nothing new in this world, especially in the spectrum of human nature. Cancel culture’s no exception, just another form of mob mentality. Too many examples down the centuries to name, but perhaps a relatively recent one shows the logical path it can lead down - under Stalin where real or imagined critics of the regime (it didn’t matter which) were rendered “non-persons” with apparent or manufactured public acclaim. The next step was being “liquidated”, and the final step was to be literally airbrushed out of all photographs and erased from other records. So far the current mobs are (predominantly) content to press little plastic buttons… :tumbler_glass:


This is a moral ethics delimma I’ve questioned in myself for years, I’ve even touched on it in another post somewhere along the line. I think Anthony say’s it best for all of us though . . .

. . . I can’t explain to anyone why I think any particular subject is intrigueing enough to build a model it’s just what I do. If I had an unlimited bank balance you can bet I would have a collection of muscle cars and war birds with a few AFV’s too. Frankly it’s because of my intrest in this hobby that I’m at least informed if not educated of the atrocities man commits against man and nature. That’s an entirely different subject though and to explore those complexities opens the door to each of our personal spiritual convictions, so you just have to keep everything in the proper perspective and enjoy your hobby. This is one of those artistic pursuits that has a competitive nature to it, we compete with our last attempt and against someone that we admire and envy for their skill and mastery of their talent for replicating a miniature. There’s some awesome talent here and although I can’t fathom the modeling industry’s fascination with the Tiger I or Panzer IV, however I do admire the modeling technique a builder used to accomplish the result.

Cajun :crocodile:


I’m prepared to comment here because unlike say Facebook, I won’t be attacked or “cancelled” because my views don’t conform to a narrow mindset. I model nearly only German vehicles, because I find them technically the most interesting. I have a few full size motorcycles as well, so I’m a petrolhead and no doubt damned by the “woke” brigade already. I’d love to have a full size Tiger tank to play with, but models are cheaper, more convenient and easier to store! I think the biggest question we should ask ourselves isn’t about the subjects we model, but whether, since we are using plastic, our kits should continue to be made given that they use oil, a fossil fuel and diminishing resource. Do we all dispose of our used sprues in a “green” way. I put mine in the recycling.


I have always been fascinated by all things mechanical.
My interest in modeling was fostered by this - the primary driving force in modeling a subject was that it interested me as a mechanical object - be it function or even just it’s outward appearance. The object itself- be it an aircraft , AFV , race car then led me to “ why is it shaped like this “ or “ how did they build it “ , etc.
Eventually it became - “ What were the people like who used it “ and “ why did they feel the need to create it “.
This last bit is important- the historical significance.
Through modeling I have developed a lifelong interest in all history - the Pacific war in particular . I think that many modelers of military subjects are also historians of varying degrees and therefore possess a better understanding than some people of the factors that led to calamitous events like world wars . Understanding these things makes one a better steward of the human condition.


If we are perpetuating memories then that’s a good thing. Never forget!


Unfortunately, war is and always has been a massive driver of human innovation. What fascinates me about the 20th century is how rapidly technology advanced. At the start of the century no one knew how to fly and by 1945 the first jet planes were flying. That to me is wild!

In 1914 no tank had driven into battle, by 1945 the main battle tank concept was underway with technological marvels.

What drives me to modelling are:

  1. let’s be honest it’s just fun!
  2. you get a nice display piece at the end
  3. perhaps most importantly! While I’m building I almost feel at one with the men (regardless of side) who fought in these beasts. I can’t help but think when I am building a T-54 how cramped it was! Or when I am building a tiger how terrifying it would have been to be one of the first people to encounter one cresting a slope.

I don’t think their is an ethical or moral dilemma in this hobby. Sure these machines were used for chaos and destruction, but I think most modellers view them as fascinating technological marvels for their time and aren’t trying to glorify the conflict.

As for the war itself, I agree that it was brutal, but their were also stories of unbelievable human sacrifice to ensure the survival and well being of complete strangers


I think this is actually a really reasonable question, probably all of us as modellers have asked it at some point.

There’s definitely ethics in modelling. None of us, I think, would be too excited to take on a brand new Suyata full-detail kit of a gas chamber, but even things like nuclear bombers bring some of us to a pause. At the end of the day, all fighting vehicles that we make models of were built solely to kill people, so is any of this ethical? We do it anyways, and we derive enjoyment and satisfaction from it. I think, for that reason, we can separate what we do from actually espousing warfare. I think killing another human is truly wrong, but that’s not going to stop me from loading up my little Leopard tank with shells. Indeed, if only the nations of the world would settle differences with model competitions instead of pointless wars, maybe we’d all be a bit better off.

Just my two cents.


Or maybe do it gladiator style?
The politicians who strive for war get put in the arena with baseball bats and the civilians can enjoy the spectacle …


Be thankful you were spared the truth for so many years. I was in religious school at 9 yrs old when the entire student body was brought into the auditorium for a movie. It was a very graphic documentary of the Holocaust.

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Patton suggested that in the movie… only each in a tank.

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It’s a hobby. Do what makes you happy.
The knowledge of the things we choose not to depict is still knowledge.
Those who ignore the the past are doomed to repeat it.


Old Bajoran proverb: He who studies evil is studied by evil

:wink: :innocent:

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One post flagged and deleted.
Let’s try and keep this reasonably civilized

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@Robin_Nilsson, Well stated. Sweden of WW2 is an excellent example of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” and how strange of bedfellows politics create. No wonder Sweden puts so much effort into trying to be as militarily self-sufficient as possible.

The US saved the world from dictators and then went on to support other dictators.

I’ve never unequivocally found who said and about whom, “He may be a son-of-a-bitch, but he is our son-of-a-bitch.” Roosevelt? Lincoln? Some Secretary of State? Even in WW2 we had that dilemma: Chiang Kai-shek. He created animus between Gen. Stillwell and Gen. Chennault; Stillwell hated Chiang for his corruption, Chennault accepted him because ‘that’s the way China works.’ Chiang and Allied support of him, good or bad? Fun fact - Chiang and Mao spent as much time fighting each other as they did the Japanese, and yet when Chiang was captured by Chinese warlords, Mao rescued him. Why? Both thought they could beat the other after the Japanese were gone and both knew they needed to other to beat the Japanese. But for the sake of the original post of this thread, if I build an American Volunteer Group P-40, will some one try to cancel me as a supporter of dictators, communists, imperialism, political corruption, covert operations, mercenaries…which crime have I committed? In reality, none of the preceding. I am guilty of loving the AVG for what it stood for in sanitized legend and myth.

Years ago our departed friend Russel, a.k.a. Siderius, gave me the shirt Tank Busters. It featured a Ju 87G and Henschel Hs 129, and a T-34. A Castro-hating Cuban friend saw it and commented that I was glorifying a dictator. I asked back if she meant the psychopathic anti-Semite despot who slaughtered tens of millions of people and maintained power through secret police, or the Germans? (Try saying that as an extemporaneous quip.) She looked like a flashbulb went off in her face.

Waffen-SS and Fallschirmjäger camouflage tunics are cool, challenging to paint, and rewarding to do well; I build German subjects because they are interesting in design, history, engineering, technical success/failure, and sport cool colors, not to glorify or support Nationalsozialismus. For the same reasons I build Japanese and French subjects, North Vietnamese MiGs, Russian T-34s and Kv-1s, Ilmavoimat aeroplanes, RAF Mosquitos, Swedish Drakens and Viggens. In turn, those inspire me to build one of their protagonists.

@BGT , build what you want. Don’t worry about the clowns. Heck, even Doctors Without Borders have been accused of “white supremacy!” There is one member of Kitmaker I saw a year or so ago who wrote they will no longer make models of ‘nazis because there are too many real ones around.’ If hyper-oversensitive fools criticize you, challenge them, defend yourself, and if they denounce you, remember that there are still libel laws that, surprisingly, have been upheld lately.

Now back to my model of Jacques Cousteau’s Calypso.


You reminded me… I lost my recipe for hasperat.

The images of the Calypsos hull filmed from beneath by a diver got me interested in ships and wanting to build a radio controlled ship model.

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