- “Did you make that correction to that tail on the
PBY? You know that Monogram
got it wrong, didn’t you?”
“On that particular model of Hellcat they changed the cowl flap
arrangement; you can tell by its serial number that it needed to be
changed. Now had you used
the Bizzaro hobbies kit rather than the one YOU used, it would be right.”
“Hey, the color on that aircraft is wrong, it should have been
exactly two shades (not one shade) lighter.”
“The kit decals were wrong on that kit; it should have been a
1 instead of an L.”
- Oh yeah, I really want to continue building models
after hearing these things. I
guess I see why people say “it’s only a hobby” and then roll their eyes
and walk away. It’s also
why modelers get a bad rap, it’s because we deserve it for comments
like those above.
- Now should we be concerned about accuracy?
Sure we should. Should
we be concerned enough that we go out of our way to destroy the hobby
for someone that just likes to build?
- The problem we seem to have is that we try to force
our own ideas and standards on others.
In other words, we try to suck the joy out of their modeling,
much as we have sucked the joy out of our own modeling.
We’ve brought it down to being a mechanical exercise that involves
a great deal of precision and skill, but very little joy.
We schedule our time to model and we approach subjects based
on the amount of references that we have, we study and pore over documents
like we are going to discover the secret to the universe.
We don’t want to make a mistake because the other joy suckers
will be there waiting for us, lurking, pointing and laughing.
- In our club we have a few joy suckers, but we also
have some guys who won’t be stopped.
They are pretty good modelers in their own right.
They produce copious amounts of models of various shapes and
sizes. Some of their models
are great, some are average, but every month they show up with a big
smile on their face and four or five kits in tow to the meetings.
- They place their kits proudly and all gather round
them. They then proceed
to tell the story of the build.
“Gather round boys and girls and we’ll tell you how you actually
finish a kit” their story begins.
They then go into great detail about how they assembled and completed
this kit that had only been on the shelf of doom for a bit over two
months. “My word man, it’s
only a baby! You can’t build
a kit that is that young! You
must let it age and the decals yellow before you can break sprue.”
you think quietly to yourself feeling shame all the while remembering
your failed attempt at building the kit.
- See these guys are filled with the joy that we
all like to suck. They have
realized that this hobby is supposed to be fun and they actually approach
it that way. It’s amazing;
they have smiles on their faces (although that could be from the large
amounts of MEK and the enamel paints that they use) and kits on the
- That smile is like kryptonite to the joy suckers.
They simply move on to their own kind and sneer from the other
side of the room. The problem
is that their nit pickiness simply bounces off these guys.
The bottom line is that they really don’t care about the flaps,
cowls or anything else. They
simply enjoy building models, good, bad, accurate or not accurate; they
are all the same to them.
- There is a word for these guys.
They are called modelers.
Scary thought isn’t it?
- So, how do you tell if you are a joy sucker?
In the vein of Johnny Carson, you might be a joy sucker if…
have nothing nice to say about any models but your own.
your first thought is about what’s wrong with a model rather than how
cool a model is and that someone actually finished an MPM or ProTech
you ponder if that Hellcat has the right shade of zinc chromate green
in its cockpit (or you snapped immediately when your read the above
line to correct me an tell me that it is interior green, not zinc chromate).
See how easy this is. Deep
cleansing breath now.
you go to a modeling meeting with the guys and you can’t work up a smile
or a laugh.
you spend your time thinking to yourself how much better your model
is than the one sitting next to it.
- Don’t be afraid, there is hope for you.
Here are a couple suggestions for those of you who might be joy
suckers or even joy suckers in training.
something nice to say. There
is always something nice to say about a model.
It might be the color of the tires or the cool paint scheme,
but there is always something nice to say about them.
something out of the box. The
term I’ve heard for these are “slammers”.
Slam them together and paint them.
Nothing fancy, just something fun.
It’s ok, you don’t actually have to show them to anyone.
that this is all supposed to be fun and it really is a hobby.
Keep it in perspective.
let it go. What I mean by
this is that you may be the smartest guy in the room about a certain
topic, be it color or details or even a certain aircraft, but you probably
are the only guy in the room that actually cares that much about that
particular topic. If people
are interested, they will ask you.
- Now, shut and build something.
Really, I mean it this time!