Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #12: I like What I like

 I'm not incredibly picky when it comes to modeling. I enjoy the act of building a kit or a diorama nearly as much as I like the subject that I'm creating. Just look at my gallery, its quite diverse. But if you ask around and you'll find some modelers who'd rather not be buggered by aircraft, and others who can't stand building tanks. Join a forum and you'll see every subject broken down by category, era, scale, etc etc. Quite often, modelers will not stray from their interests, sticking to World War II German armor in 1/72 scale. Which is fine because I don't judge. But to me, a model is a model is a model and therefore, for the most part, equally as enjoyable. I am, after all, attempting to make a bit of plastic look as life-like as possible, whether it be an armored fighting vehicle, a ship, or a figure. The techniques vary slightly but the end result is always the same. I enjoy a good challenge, so changing it up presents a better test of those techniques.

I grew up an aircraft modeler, and still am at heart. The lore of flying has been in my life since I was a young boy and I'm proud to say I see it in my son as well. The only models I ever owned in grade school, though they were assembled by my father, were all aircraft - and I can probably still name every single one. When I matured into the hobby and started building for myself, my first four models were aircraft. I didn't discover armor until my friend Mark recommended it to me.
After building my first armor kit, a T-69, I fell in love again and went on to build a T-34, Panther, and Abrams, all in 1/35.

One day, for Christmas, my sister bought me an RSO with PaK 40 mounted on the back deck. I remember looking at it and thinking, What is this? Its not a tank. Its not an aircraft. Its boring. It sat in my stash for a while until I ran out of aircraft to build. I put it together and started applying some painting and weathering techniques that I had been picking up from forums and magazines and such, and wouldn't you know, it looked pretty good. My mindset changed from then on. My interest became less about the subject itself and more about what I could do with the subject. Having turned a model that initially left me quite uninspired into what was then my best piece made me expand my horizons and opened me up to other possibilities. I went on to build other subjects, like ships, cars, dioramas, even Aurora's old Godzilla kit. And I saw that I could enjoy each build the same way, despite it not being an aircraft or a tank.

I've never had a problem with scale, but being a husband and father I have to work with what is the most economical. Building aircraft in 1/48 had always been my first choice, but limitations in storage has shown me the benefits of 1/72. Also, it saves a bit of time and money, especially in regards to paint usage. So in that sense, my "likes" are a bit more refined and I'll probably start purchasing more 1/72 scale aircraft down the road. But its a choice based mostly on necessity, not that I don't like larger scale kits.

To sum it up, I could say that what I like is whatever is on my workbench at the moment (although that A-6 is starting to get on my nerves...) I'm an equal opportunity scale modeler. If a kit is bidding for my attention, it will get it. This hobby is far to expansive for me to put limitations on it. As long as I enjoy the activity that is scale modeling, than I will enjoy the model I'm working on. Its that simple.

Thanks for reading!


Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributors' posts within your own response. If you liked this post, then perhaps you'll enjoy what some other modelers have to say about this topic!


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  1. Great writing, Jon and I can agree completely

  2. I enjoyed that, i agree 100% with the being economical and i did agree with the size for space etc but since i got a new glass cabinet it is build as big as you

  3. Thanks guys, glad you like it. Shayne, you're lucky to have a new cabinet. I've got an old hutch that was built into the home when it was made in the late '80s and is seriously out of style. It holds all my creations but needs an update. I'm thinking of tearing it out and putting something up in its stead.

  4. Nice post Jon. I envy your freedom of kit choice, and at the same time, though I have a passion for military history, it's not an area I have ever wanted to model in. Wargaming is in my blood I guess.

    1. I'm open to anything Frank. I hadn't paid much attention to Wargaming prior to starting this page and running into chaps like yourself. On the whole, it isn't much different except you're far more interactive. I don't anticipate me actually playing the game, but I DO anticipate making a purchase or two from your genre. Dust Tactics and the like really pique my interest. There is a lot of Fantasy style figures and creatures that I might like to try one day as well.