Sunday, March 15, 2015

SCU Topic: The Aftermarket, and the Death of Hard Work

Has the Aftermarket Taken All the Hard Work Out of Modeling?

Today's modern kit builder wants for nothing. The market is saturated with just about every necessity and luxury one can imagine. In the old days, when Testor's tube glue was still an item on our shopping list, a modeler dealt with most problems in one way: scratch building.
No detail in the cockpit?  No plumbing in the wheel wells? No interior in the turret? No other way to fix it than with some sheet styrene, super glue, and ingenuity. All with no references other than what could be found at the local library.
These days, if one encountered the same obstacles, all they have to do is conjure up an internet browser which will take them to their favorite online retailer and purchase the exact bits and pieces they need to enhance their kit. No muss. No fuss. This goes for everything from resin ejection seats to pre-cut painting masks.
I am sure we've all seen the rants on forums decrying AM users as just "assemblers" and not true modelers to which the response is generally that scratch builders are old fashioned tight wads. 
So, what side of that coin are you? With the rise of aftermarket possibilities, do you see a disappointment or an opportunity?

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  1. I think as often in life a way somewhere in the middle is the most healthiest way for the hobby-scene.
    Its defintly great having access to fine detailed extra stuff for your model of choice. Especially if the hobby-time is limited and you cant scratch built every detail the original kit only shows in a quite descent way.
    I for example have to admit that I would need a lot of time to get a descent gear for a 1:32 airplane.
    On the other hand not everything what is buyable right from a store is that great usable as the manufactor would like to stress out.
    For example everybody who tried to build a authentic homogen socket-base will quite fast experience that random bought stuff just glued on a base looked exactly that way.
    With a fair hand of scratchbuilt you get much more impressive bases in the same amount of time.
    So leaving its own comfort-zone and try out some easy scratchbuilt can be the same positive experience like when you buy some detail-resin sets to have more energy to focus on another aspect of the model like a complex camouflage/socket/diorama

    1. I totally agree. While the AM parts provide more detail, painting them can be a completely different (and stressful experience). Thanks for commenting.

  2. Here is the link to my article for this subject.
    Good subject, by the way, since i was just thinking about this very topic a few days ago.

  3. As a admitted aftermarket junkie, I use it all the time. But not all kits have everything you could want. So then I scratch build. Take the MV-22 Osprey from Italeri. Other than canopy masks and resin wheels, there's not much else out there. Recently Xtradecal put out two different decal sheets. But there's no resin update sets or interiors. No photoetch either. So I scratch built everything else and had fun doing it.

    So when needed, I'll use aftermarket stuff or I'll scratch build as necessary.

  4. Mine is here.

  5. here's my first entry via my youtube channel:

  6. My 2c :

  7. Here are my views...