When someone asks me “what are your hobbies, what do you like to do?” I generally tell them the usual ‘grown up’ things like hunting or fishing or I ride my mountainbike or I’m into Indycar racing but seldom do I mention scalemodeling, and I’ve got to know you pretty good, I’m talkin’ years here, before I share my true intrests. When you tell the average person “I build models” their eyes glaze over and they get this quizzical look on their face like they don’t comprehend this puzzleing statement you just blurted out. Immediately their mind envisions some nerd that sits around playing with toy soldiers and putting firecrackers in German airplanes and watching them blow up, ripping the fuselage apart like a plugged up shotgun barrel. You can see it in their demeanor, you have just transitioned into a dork.
I’m a closet modeler. Have been most of my life.
The average pennant waving beer stained sports junkie doesn’t even have a clue the far rangeing parameters of our knowledge base. I have learned so much from my participation in this hobby. World history is not least of the subject matter this pastime encompasses. Geographic composition of far away lands, foreign cultures, geopolitical occurances, the sacrifices of warriors and of the victims of war and the families of both. Engineering, both mechanical and structural, electrical as well as telecommunications is a fundamental part of building a tank or airplane. Understanding explosives and blast effect and radius determines the convincing effect of a burned out building or automobile. Pyrotechnics and metalurgy dictate how one would paint those depictions accurately. A comprehensive understanding of soil composition, rock formation and erosion restricts the modeler when building a certain scene. Our vocabulary is enriched exponintially through research and the application of what we’ve learned or discovered. And if you get far enough into a conversation about this hobby with a curious someone you can overwhelm them right off the bat just by the diversity of the materials we’ve had to learn how to work with. Injection molding, slide molds, resin, casting, vaccu-formed, photo-etching, anealing, scribeing, drybrushing, styrene, cyanoacrylate, acryllics, enamels, washes, filters, pre-shadeing, facial tones, earth tones and knowing how to fix all that when we screw it up. And the global extremity of our resources, I have seats for a helicopter coming from the Czech Republic, another item expected from Finland, miniature maps of Southeast Asia coming from Spain and a kit that arrived from mid-west Continental US that somehow got deviated from it’s destination twenty miles away and spent the last three days touring more of southeastern United States than I’ve seen. We’re an intresting lot we are. Buncha nerds.