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Models - What good are they ?

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  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Models - What good are they ?
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 5:17 PM

This is a question I have heard .

      Do you hear this from time to time? Think about it .Really, what good are they ? Hmmm,well they are or can be nice decorations ( especially Sailing Ships ). Armor , Well,I think it's a matter of taste .I have never seen an M-48-A-1 on a Mantel-piece !

     Cars ? Well I have seen some in little niches filling spaces otherwise too small for flower vases or photos . It's a spot of color in a plain area . 

    Planes ? well most folks like them .Now they can be mounted on stands or not .Then of course where you want to put them . On stands they take up room an they are awkward .Now off stands they can be hung from walls or ceilings . Same thing, as room permits .

      Figures , whole nuther ball game here .If they are displayed seperately like Hummel Figurines they can just about be anywhere . Now with figures it's easier to display them in theme groups . 

 Again I ask , Models , What good are they ? What do you get out of building them? Do you get frustrated ? Many do .Do you find it relaxing ? Okay next question .When you are done with whatever it is you've built painted , weathered etc , how long do you keep it? So ,for whatever, reason, What Good are they ? 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 5:25 PM

One time a date decided to stay for breakfast when she saw the tank collection. She really liked it.

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 5:41 PM


Now ain't that a woman with a good taste for a change! Congratulations!

Sadly, scale models aren't the most effective way to attract women... But they are a great learning tool. If you put your heart into building one, making a model can potentially teach you many things, starting with history, technic, physics, chemistry (paints, glues!). Models can also teach you how to plan a construction and how to finish something you have started. Models can also help you work on yourself, make yourself a better person - with more patience and stronger character. Once I have also met a man who told me making models helped him to live through his father dying from cancer and then helped him to get over the loss.

That's what I think scale models are good for. And after spending so much time with one or another it kinda becomes a friend and I treat it as such.

Thanks for reading and have a nice day


All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

  • Member since
    August, 2013
Posted by Jay Jay on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 5:56 PM
If you want the ultimate answer to this question, ask Toshi one of the regulars on here who uses his modeling to overcome a traumatic brain injury and also to bond with his young Grandson






 I'm finally retired. Now time I got, money I don't.

  • Member since
    September, 2004
  • From: Denver
Posted by tankboy51 on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 5:58 PM

I keep my models for years.  Most are on shelves or my bookcases.  I have an AFV Club M18 Hellcat  tank destroyer on a mantel over our fireplace right now.  I do occasionally move things around.  We also have a lot of model Star Trek ships around along with art work.  My wife and I very different in some ways.  When we put a Xmas tree up, it's has a lot of Star Trek or Star Wars on it.  Nothing says merry Christmas like a Borg Cube, or a Death Star!  My wife collects Horse figures along with Dragons, Uniorns, Peguses, and fantasy stuff.  

  • Member since
    September, 2011
Posted by fightnjoe on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 6:01 PM

Honestly for me it has always been a world that I could escape to.  Even now when things seem to be spiraling out of control they seem to help me escape the issues.  In times of great sadness they are something that help to keep my mind and hands busy.




Thank You For Your Sacrifices,

Never To Be Forgotten

Where you can find me:

Workbench on FaceBook  Google Plus  YouTube

  • Member since
    December, 2018
Posted by Tosh on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 7:40 PM

As a child building the mighty Corsair from the TV show “Baa Baa Black Sheep” it was exciting time in my youth.

Now my builds benefit dexterity and fine motor skills to overcome my TBI. One amazing benefit is FSM Forum Members whom are my family and building kits with my grandson Ezra.

Your Friend, Toshi

Reside in Streetsboro, Ohio

At work with my grandson Ezra, A-10-A “Operation Iraqi Freedom“ Warthog.

Built in honor of those that served!


  • Member since
    February, 2014
  • From: Michigan
Posted by silentbob33 on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 7:46 PM

When I was a kid, it was a great way to get some bonding time with my dad.  We'd both be at our own benches in the basement building away, and he'd always be right there to help or offer advice.  

Nowadays, building serves many purposes for me.  As others have said, it's an escape from the everyday hassles we all deal with.  Something I can do to relax for a little bit and get a break from everything else.  It also scratches my itch to learn, whether it's the history behind whatever it is I'm building or new techniques to try out.  Lastly, building is kind of therapeutic for me.  It's been something to help keep my mind sharp while undergoing chemotherapy treatments to keep my autoimmune disorder in remission, and is a nice calming activity to help me work through some of my PTSD issues.

As for how long do I keep them?  I haven't thrown any models away.  I have lost some since I was a kid, but most of them are still here even if they are in several pieces.  You never know when a part might come in handy for a different project...

On my bench: Revell 1/48 P-51B Mustang

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 8:37 PM

Ever since I was 7 years old I've loved building models.  Well, the whole experience: researching the history, subject etc.  Finding the kit you like the best, the markings etc.  Going through the kit and instructions 3 or 4 times planning the build and ordering any supplies needed.  Then the fun of putting it all together to my satisfaction.   I had to part with about 10 years of models a few years back.  Life in the garage was tough on them anyhow.  I kept my favorites and display them with my current builds.  Fun and always more to learn.



  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • From: Boise ID area
Posted by modelcrazy on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 10:18 PM

Models have meant different things to me through different stages in my life. When I was a wee lad,  they were a way to spend time with my dad and listen to his stories about sailing ships and his time in the military. When I was a little older they were something for me to play with or put a firecracker in. In my teenage years they were something fun to do when I was at home and not going to school or chasing girls. Later in the military they were something to do while on an isolated duty station or in on base housing, build and give to my fellow Coasties. When I got out, I used them to relax in the evening, watch (or listen) to the tv with my dog next to me, or learn new techniques and compete with others to test if I were getting better. When I became too sick to work, they were something to keep me busy and pass the time. Now they are an outlet for my artist's skills, which they taught me.

They have been a good friend throughout my life. Sadly, I have not given them the honor they deserved and have not kept as many as I should have .

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 11:01 PM

When I was a young soldier, my model tank and AFV collection was a great diversion during barracks inspections by field grade officers. They would catch one glimpse of them upon entering our room, ask a few questions that I easily answered, give a very rapid cursory glance to the rest of our inspection layout (three man rooms), and move to the next room in our barracks.

I later used many of those builds for vehicle ID classes that I taught down the road in my service career.


F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton



  • Member since
    September, 2011
  • From: Milaca, Minnesota
Posted by falconmod on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 8:48 AM


I keep my models for years.  Most are on shelves or my bookcases.  I have an AFV Club M18 Hellcat  tank destroyer on a mantel over our fireplace right now.  I do occasionally move things around.  We also have a lot of model Star Trek ships around along with art work.  My wife and I very different in some ways.  When we put a Xmas tree up, it's has a lot of Star Trek or Star Wars on it.  Nothing says merry Christmas like a Borg Cube, or a Death Star!  My wife collects Horse figures along with Dragons, Uniorns, Peguses, and fantasy stuff.  


Sounds just like our Christmas tree!!  love our shuttle craft with Mr. spocks recording.


On the Bench: 1/72 Ki-67, 1/72 A5M4 Claude

1/72 EF-111

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 10:41 AM

What good are they? The completed kits are just display pieces collecting dust, perhaps some memory of a previous actual vehicle. In my display case, I have an AMT VW Rabbit I built to look like my very first car, a 1984 Wolfsburg edition Rabbit. Not quite the same model year, but close enough.

I also have one of my first Tamiya tank kits, the motorized M4A3E8 Sherman. Decals are flaking off and I think the commander's machine gun has gone missing in the last 30+ years. Built when the other Shermans were the Monogram M4 and M4A1 Calliope and the odd Revell M4A1 composite, I was impressed with the quality of the kit. Compared to the newest Tamiya M4A3E8, it is but a toy.

What good are my unbuilt kits? They represent time off spent doing one of my favorite hobbies that I've loved since I was 5 or 6 years old.

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 11:14 AM

For me it’s simply relaxation and learning tools. I enjoy entering them in competitions to see how well I did and it’s fantastic when sometimes you are recognized by your peers for doing a good job.

I keep my builds for many years and eventually sell them off for someone else to enjoy. Besides the $ supplements the hobby. The last old build I had for over 30 years was sold on eBay.




Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 11:36 AM

They're cheaper than gambling and drinking..... Dead 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen


  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • From: Northeast WA State
Posted by armornut on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 1:02 PM

     Sadly I don't build as much as I could, certian " addictions" seemed to have taken center stage at this point in my life. My job is my passion, I love working on airplanes, being in that enviroment makes me feel like I have accomplished something with my life. My schedule on the other hand is not conducive to much of a social life. I work 12hr night shifts 4 days a week crossing over the weekend when my model club meets, or when contests are taking place. I'm hoping that by October my shift will change and I can join some friends for an annual show in Moscow Idaho.

       All that being said, models and modelling is still for me an escape from the mundane pressures of life. I like to make jet noises and make my armor roll across my table. My wife is amazed at my skill and would rather have me disappear into my mind for a couple hours than be out getting in trouble. I have to agree with her.

     Each one of my built and unbuilt kits have a story attached. This one from a friend, that one bought on a trip, memories. One day I will again slow my roll with my addiction, be back on a "normal" work shift, and re connect with my friends. 

    My apologies folks for the long and TMI post.

we're modelers it's what we do

  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • From: Boise ID area
Posted by modelcrazy on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 6:12 PM

join some friends for an annual show in Moscow Idaho.

Perhaps I can go there and meet you.

  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • From: Northeast WA State
Posted by armornut on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 6:40 PM

   Modelcrazy I would be honored to meet you. It is a small show, but the comeradery is what makes it great. We go to the same restaurant every year and have fun with the service staff.

    Moscow is the home of the Idaho Vandels so it's a college town. Let me know if your gonna make it.

      As it gets closer I can PM the particulars, or you can find them on the IPMS USA web page. I WILL be boss just doen't know it yet. Lol

we're modelers it's what we do

  • Member since
    November, 2012
Posted by Blaine on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 9:09 PM
 Models what good are they, that is a good question. I suppose for each person it may be different. The models that I have collected and want to get are memorabilia. I suppose they have very little value other than to the person that has built them. My first car was a 56 Ford Victoria, and I have the kit, next was a 64 Chevelle SS, then a 69 z28.
Aircraft, P2V Neptune, hated that airplane at the time and was stuck in it for a very short period of time. Next was the S2, and then the P3 Orion, each of those planes bring back many different memories, some of people I flew with, Russian Subs that we pi…. Off.
So why am I now working on a A1 Skyraider, well I actually got to fly one once, tremendous old bird that would carry it’s own weight in ordnance, however my flight was with no ordnance and was a blast.
Actually my wife’s sister husband really gave me the bug, he is an excellent model builder, problem is we do not get along.
I am also determined to eventually build some WWII aircraft in remembrance of what those fighter and bomber pilots did for us.
To me it is therapeutic and is keeping me busy, I have procrastinated and starting these models for a very long time and now determined to work on them.   

Life is not about getting out of the storm, but learning to dance in the rain.

Don't tip to through life only to end up at deaths door. 

VS 82, VP40, VP31 

  • Member since
    June, 2018
  • From: Ohio (USA)
Posted by DRUMS01 on Thursday, March 21, 2019 12:48 AM

I believe that all of your replies are great! While thier values change just a little to me as I age, they still remind me of youth. The are always a prime source of mental and physical therapy when building them. I also find that they help me grow in a safe hobby  (new kits, new techniques, forever learning). I would also add that it gives me another means of communication and comradrie (forums, local hobby shops, local IMPS chapter, model shows, etc.). As far as building subjects, some are from previous experience (past ownership of the real thing, past military experience, admiration of the real item, and so on..). If it is something I like but will never be able to own the real thing. In memory of friends who flew them, drove them, sailed them, etc. 

How long do I keep them? For me it depends on the model. If I am please with the results and it holds some personal value to me, I keep them a very long time. It is also fun to look back on kits I built every 10 years or so to see if I notice any modeling (skills) improvement. If I have regrets about the build or the kit did not live up to my expectation in quality (or if a new release of the same subject is much better), I will either give it away, sell it, donate it, or use it for parts (after the newer one is built of course). 

There are times when I see an event such as racing (NHRA, NASCAR, Rally, Endurance, F1, Indy, etc.) and it instills such a strong memory that I want to build a kit to remember it. Another instance was when I was assigned in the Operations section of a Cavalry squadron. I got to take our assigned USAF Forward Air Controller (FAC) out and watch him call in different birds like an A-10, F-16, and such. That was a thrill I will never forget. Thanks to modeling I have scale replicas of those and other craft to remind me.

All of your reasons are good, I'm just adding my 10 cents worth...


I am a Veteran; to all other Veterans thank you for your service. Retired now and living well


- 1/350 USS Alabama - Staged

- 90mm Greek Hoplite Resin Figure - Done

- 120mm SS Panzer Officer - Done




  • Member since
    November, 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Thursday, March 21, 2019 6:17 AM

Being a model builder from a very early age (probably pre-birth.... I can't remember!) I have always built models, even while serving and always took one away on active service deployments and the squaddies who served under me always tell the tale of me trying to put a maybach engine together while the firebase was under mortar attack and everyone was under cover from flying bits of metal.

On losing a part on to the floor of the squadron HQ thanks to a very near miss which caused everything in the HQ to bounce I stormed to the front entrance and gave a very loud and bad language tirade at parade ground level towords the f****** goat s****** ****** ***** ***** sons of flea bitten ****** ******* ******* camels that upset my concentration and relaxing time with ***** ****** ******* ****** mortars!

This had the entire firebase laughing, making those whose first time it was there feel better at seeing their CO standing out in the open ranting at the enemy!

I used to come home with a half built kit with some very shaky paintwork and sand in unusual paces. My model making served it's purposes and also now provides a platform for me to control my PTSD and de-stress myself helping my body to cope with the devastating heart damage which nearly put me in a jaffa orange box and on a bonfire!

Some make it through to be complete builds and into my cabinet. Some don't for whatever reason - usually me!

I do class my skills as average and being a southpaw too sometimes get me going (left hand sprue cutters, knives etc... LOL) and with both armour and aircraft kits today being more complex beasts than they used to be that makes me start to look at the box and its contents, go, "Oh Hell!" then pick up the plans and go "Hmmmm! OOOOh! this could be a really nice build! let's see what I can mess up!!!"

It's all about destraction from issues and keeping myself entertained. What makes it into the cabinet entertains the guests and what doesn't goes into the recycling.

My father (91 and grumpy) always says, "With his skill set it's either model making or prison!"

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, March 21, 2019 8:41 AM

Like the old saying about it being the journey rather than the road to somewhere, to me the pleasure is not in the resulting model, it is the act of building.  Since I have run out of display room, I am looking for places to donate my completed models.


Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    January, 2003
  • From: West of the rock and east of the hard place!
Posted by murph on Thursday, March 21, 2019 9:38 PM

When I was still working as a police officer, model building was a great stress reliever and decompression tool.  Now that I'm retired, it helps while the day away along with many other pursuits i have.  Do I get frustrated?  Nope because it's a stress reliever.  I still have the two kits (Revell 'Lone Wolf' series 32nd scale Spitfire and P-47) my then fiancee (now wife) bought me for Christmas over 30 years ago.  Those two kits got me back into the hobby after a 15 year hiatus.

Many that I have built over the years have been given away to neighbourhood kids who like airplanes and to veterans and family members of those vets who flew a certain aircraft or aiframe.  Some of them have found their way to 'File 13' on order to make room for new displays but incidents like that are few and far between.  I have two resin shelving units in my model biulding room.  The bottom shelves are a mere couple of inches off the floor.  I've had puppies go to town on a few models while they were teething.  Didn't bother me because it saved teeth marks on chairs, baseboards, cabinets, tables, etc.  I've got about 80 on display with another 60+ in the stash.  Some of the stash may get sold off.  Who knows.

Retired and living the dream!

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Thursday, March 28, 2019 8:05 PM

I've been building models since I was 3 years old.  It was a consistent thing through my childhood.  Those models that survived my childhood are still with me, stored in pieces (brought about by being models in a boy's room, with the inevitable chaos that can occur there) in a couple of large boxes.  I've never fixed any of them; in fact, I've added to those boxes in recent years after suffering a shelving disaster that destroyed many of my adult builds.

With that statement, I'll say that I've often wondered this same question - what good are they?  At some point, that wonderful B-36 I built may end up in a trash heap.  Argh.  But, while I am still here, I get enjoyment out of building these models, and then looking at them at where I have them displayed.  I also get enjoyment out of the preparations to build a particular kit - researching the unit to which it belonged, the pilots who flew it, for instance.

And probably most importantly, when I go to my workbench, my wife always knows where I am.  Not on a golf course playing badly, not in a bar, etc.

  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Friday, March 29, 2019 2:30 PM

My 2 cents. I started building models at the ripe old age of 6 thanks to 2 fantastic uncles who were WWII vets. One was a submariner and the other was in the Merchant Marines. My parents thought that it was a waste of time and money so they weren't a part of my hobby. My uncles always brought something with them every time they came to our house, a model, some glue, paint or something they thought I could use. As I got older and earned some money, I kept up the hobby. I think I built almost every ship model made at the time. When married, everything stayed at my parents house till I got our first house. I told my mother I'd come and take it all as soon as I could. That day came and I went to pick it all up and found that she had thrown everything into boxes and given them away to kids in the neighborhood. No words to describe feelings. 

My first wife was great with me building so I started all over again. She even tried her hand at it every once in a while. After she passed, I finished her builds. My present wife is great with the hobby too. She picked out a ship that she wanted on the mantle and it's still there (my avatar). I just finished another sailing ship for her that's on a half wall in the living room.

What good are the models? Well, for one thing, they have provided loads of enjoyment,  relaxation and peace & quite time. As I grew older, they help keep my mind (what's left of it) active and keep my shakey hands from being useless. They help me meet other like minded guys at shows. Some of my models are in a WWII museum and will help some to remember and others to learn what the greatest generation went through for us. Some have been built for vets and now reside in their homes. I guess it all boils down to the main fact that I love building models and I'll continue doing so till I go to the great workbench in the sky.Toast 

Jim  Captain  

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench:  Revell 1/96 USS Kearsarge - 70% 

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

  • Member since
    May, 2019
Posted by Code Talker on Friday, May 17, 2019 4:03 PM
Well, models keep me off the streets.
  • Member since
    September, 2011
  • From: Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA
Posted by Tom Hering on Sunday, June 02, 2019 5:53 PM

Making models is a great way to challenge yourself. When it stops being a challenge, it ceases to be interesting. (Your finished models remind you of your successes. They also show others what you're capable of.)

"A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success" - Elbert Hubbard

"Perfect is the enemy of good" - attributed to Voltaire

  • Member since
    November, 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Tuesday, June 04, 2019 4:28 AM

I reckon that model building offers something different to everybody. As a therapy, learning experience, to remember a family member who served, or anything of interest cars, trucks, space, TV etc.

It teaches us patience, assembly skills, how to follow instructions and also a bit of self-discipline too. There are so many hidden skills that you pick up and learn without realising it.

The mystical art of masking leads to the ability to use a scalpel at close quarters without removing fingers or slashing open a hand when it slips.

your choice of music might change depending on subject. Mine does.

Does your hobby impact or have a bearing on your work life?

I think we should as a community try and get more young people involved and away from electronic devices, or at least try and integrate the two together for them. Maybe a club in the local school etc!



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