Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Is this an ART?

45 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: The flat lands of the Southeast
Posted by styrene on Friday, October 10, 2003 10:27 AM
Just thought I'd pass this on: Webster's New World Dictionary, 3rd College Edition (1988), defines art as:
1. Human ability to make things; creativity of man as distinguished from the world of nature
2. skill; craftmanship
And I especially like Number 6:
6. Any branch of creative work, especially painting, drawing, or work in any other graphic or plastic medium
Is model building an art form? You bet it is, and regardless of whether or not it evokes some sort of emotional response--at least sort of. I build simply to satisfy a creative urge to replicate something that I enjoy looking at. I guess some may consider it strange, but I don't build a Mustang, Marder or Missouri because of its historical significance, necessarily, but because I like the lines, the angles and the overall design, as well as the authority and power conveyed within those lines. I can't draw or paint on a canvas (About the only things I do draw are gnats, flies and mosquitoes.); I can't sculpt clay or marble, but I can take the media of metal, resin, and styrene and with a little work make something that evokes the emotions of contentment and satisfaction. Once again, Webster is correct.
Gip Winecoff

1882: "God is dead"--F. Nietzsche

1900: "Nietzsche is dead"--God

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, October 10, 2003 8:52 AM
Art is in the eye of the beholder. -so I've been told. If you look at something and it inspires you or creates some form of emotion, good or bad it is technically considered art. To the untrained eye our stuff may look like toys but for a select few it is truly considered to be an art form.

Place a well built 1/48 scale F-4 in front of a Vietnam Vet and tell me that it dosen't create an emotion.

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, October 9, 2003 10:36 AM
Hey look, if an image of Jesus in a jar of urine[:0] or the perversities of MaplethorpeDisapprove [V] can be called art by the "cultural elite" then perhaps I would rather they not call my work art. I don't want the praise of someone who admires that garbage. But when the "experts" start giving true art the recognition it deserves, I have no doubt that they would include our kind of work in the definition of fine art. After all, doesn't art imitate life? Don't our models imitate their prototypes?Approve [^]
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, October 9, 2003 9:17 AM
Is model building an art? What is truth? What is beauty?
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, October 9, 2003 7:05 AM
In my forty years as an artist I have seen some very poor art, that has been given much praise.
Some of this so called poor art makes me sick, and I know for a fact that the artist or so called artist is only trying to get his or her name out into the media.
For many of the so called artist and the work the produce it's only a game of look at me; that 15 min of fame.
If you want to call model building a hobby or art its your money and your time.
For me it's an extension of my forty years of being an artist. It's now a very big part of my life. I have what I wanted to do for so many years,it's learning and understanding all aspects of model building.
I can honesty say that many times that forty years as an artist help me to solve a huge model building problem.
It's all in ones attitudes of ones own work, art or hobby.

Dales Model Art

  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Bicester, England
Posted by KJ200 on Thursday, October 9, 2003 3:45 AM
When is a sheep chopped in half art?

When its the work of Damian Hurst.

Yet when your local butcher does it, he's just being a butcher.

Go figure.

Models in themselves are not art, they are a resonse to a creative desire. It is that creative desire, and the refusal to accept formal boundaries that leeds to art, whatever it's form


Currently on the bench: AZ Models 1/72 Mig 17PF

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, October 9, 2003 1:13 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by berny13

If someone slaps a few scraps of metal together and puts it in an art gallery, people call it art. So actually it is in the eye of the builder or viewer. If you create something out of small plastic parts, into a scale replica of the real thing, then IMO you have created art.

There are too many people that look down on our hobby as building child like toys. A model shop just opened in our area. It would be the only model shop within 120 miles. The day it opened I went in to look around. The only thing there was RC aircraft, boats and RC components. I asked if they had any plastic models. He told me they were a serious model shop dedicated to the true model builder and if I wanted something plastic to go to a toy store. He added that they don't carry toys or useless non modeling equipment.

Oh I've had that happen to me more than once! Kinda put me off RC. Snobs, thats what they are..

I had this discussion with my girlfriend a while back. She's from a very artistic background. Her mother and sister are both artists and do reasonably well selling their paintings. She thought it defininatly was art. Especially at the level that most of us are, when using more than just the paint numbers in the box. The craft ends where the kit ends. The art starts when the first wash goes on. Or when the turned aluminium barrel gets attached to the turret.. One day get two identical kits and resist the urge to do any weathering, detailing or scratchbuilding whatsover on one, and go nuts on the other. I bet you the former is the craft version and the latter the art version.

They say that arts art when the piece has a meaning. The above stated sculpture of a rotting apple by Yoko Ono might not be considered as art by some, neither may a collection of tack-welded junk yard scrap. But the artist wanted to express a feeling or convey a message. If I wander through my old textbooks from highschool, I see little cartoons of something that happenend just at that moment. Its only really funny to me, but its an example of art because it conveys a message, no matter how small and insignificant. Now we modellers are balancing on a fine line. Or not, actually. The line between art and craft is a very hazy one. When we build a kit and don't take it any further than the instructions, then we're craftsmen. When we take it beyond the instructions, adding depth, enriching it with history, reenacting a historic (actual or hypothetical) scene, then we're no different than someone painting a still life of a bowl of fruit. But don't forget, there are also differences between painters and artists. That one beats the heck out of me, because someone who paints a picture doesn't necesarily have to be an artist and an artist doesn't necesarily have to paint pretty pictures.. At the end of the day this lies in the eye of the beholder. As we behold our own and eachothers creations with great admiration and awe then let us regard eachothers as artists and let anyone else who tells us otherwise take a running jump!

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 8, 2003 5:45 PM
Hey maddafinga,
That is some nice drawing.I hope you keep the passion for models and drawing alive. I would like to see some of your models.
My drawing is just what I do in class with my Visual art students. I have taken all the passion for drawing and painting and put it in my models.
A few weeks back I was working on my restored Aurora Phantom model. The face was not working. So the artist in me added some color pencils to get the look I wanted. If not for the artist in me I would have been stuck. I might have tossed the model in the trash or just quit.
Keep your art alive!!!!
Dales Model Art
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Pominville, NY
Posted by BlackWolf3945 on Friday, August 15, 2003 3:44 AM
I haven't read too many of the replies here, so if this is redundant, my apologies.

This hobby is whatever you want it to be. We're all in it for our own reasons, many of us for similar reasons and some for radically different reasons.

Some choose to make it an obsession, some a passion and some just wanna build models for the sake of building models. I fall under the category of making it a passion. I'm an artist by nature and that translates to my model building.

I used to be amongst the ranks of what many know as rivet counters, the obsessive types. No more. I simply enjoy creating a visually striking piece of 3 dimensional art; if it's exactly accurate to the scale inch or not... I could care less. I still am finicky, but I've mellowed considerably.

Model building in it's most basic form is just a hobby, a pastime... nothing else. In it's most advanced form, it is, indeed, art.

Fade to Black...
  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Posted by maddafinga on Thursday, August 14, 2003 11:01 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by claymore68

Look at the Iwo Jima memorial, It is a bronze sculpture (art) of a photograph (art) of the real event. A photo of the mem. is art, a small ceramic sculpture of the original is art, so, therefore, a model must be art as it is a sculpture. Sure the method of fabrication is different but the end result is the same, a peice of art commerating a real incident.

A couple of years ago, I drew a pic of the Iwo Jima memorial, and I pretty strongly consider it to be art.

I spend just about as much time on a model as I do on a drawing, and I consider them both to be art. I just happen to be better at drawing right now (though my modeling is improving, it's still not real great/).

The pic didn't come out great on the webpage, but I've never done that before, so you'll have to forgive me. The actual pic, and even the scan of it on my puter are much more detailed.

In case anyone wants to see some more of my artwork, here's the link:

I'll put some model artwork on there eventually, soon as I get some good enough to share. Model building absolutely is an art.

Madda Trifles make perfection, but perfection is no trifle. -- Leonardo Da Vinci Tact is for those who lack the wit for sarcasm.--maddafinga
  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Huntington, WV
Posted by Kugai on Sunday, August 10, 2003 6:31 PM
You got a point, merlin.

I'm off now to burn that soapbox I keep tripping over.Tongue [:P]

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, August 10, 2003 6:09 PM
I just build for the personal satisfaction it gives .

I really couldn't care less what people call it.Smile [:)]
  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Huntington, WV
Posted by Kugai on Sunday, August 10, 2003 5:40 PM
allan & co.

I'm not trying to be argumentative or antagonize anyone or prove anything, I'm honestly asking for input with the following.

I mentioned that in most, not all, cases I see models as a craft not an art. I agree, even 2 kits with the same color schemes, decals, and attention to detail built by the same person are going to have differences. Every completed model is unique, but does that factor make it "art?"

I compared building kits to carpentry. If 2 people use the same plans for a DIY shelf for a home entertainment system ( I'm talking about something where you have to measure and cut the boards yourself, not the prefab WalMart types ), the two completed projects will also have differences. Does that make those two sets of shelves "art?"

I can't speak for anyone else, but despite the amount of work I put into my kits, I've never seen myself as putting any more artistry in the process than I would in the carpentry project I used in the above example. I may give the kits certain personal touches and such, but I'm assembling and painting something that essentially comes as a prefabricated project. Maybe if I included the model in a diorama it would be art, but I just can't bring myself to call my Defiant or Enterprise E sitting on the shelf "art." Does that mean I'm not proud of them? Of course not! I'm proud of them as any craftsman would be of a "job well done." I just don't see myself as using the same types of talents as Picasso or Gieger.

If I scratchbuilt something, maybe I'd have a different attitude about the results.

There are always exceptions, of course. It may have been straight from the box, but I could see someone calling that red F-22 with "YIPPEE" across the wings ( FSM's gallery a few years back ) as artBig Smile [:D]!

I couldn't even find my way back to "normal" with the Hubble!

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, August 10, 2003 10:35 AM
As an artist I have always wanted to learn new and better ways of doing my ART.In my mind Art is life! I also think that we must teach others what and how we do things in our ART. I would talk with the top brass of the store and let him know that this sales person didn't want to help you in the way you asked for. Show them what and how you do your model ART. It's your money, your time and your ART. Enjoy my friend!
  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by cnstrwkr on Sunday, August 10, 2003 9:57 AM
We can build it box stock or agonize over a multitude of detail. We may use references books, pictures, etc, but the interpretation of what we see and how we do it is most certainly art.
I was recently in an art supply store to buy some brushes. I asked where the red sable were. One of the personnel asked me what I needed it for and I was told very curtly that the "hobby" brushes were in another section and that I didnt want to waste my money on "artists" brushes. I tried to explain what I was going to do and was again told that these brushes for serious "artists". I left that store and wont purchase there again.
Tommy difficult things take time...the impossible, a little longer!
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, August 10, 2003 7:37 AM
Saying this is just a hobby to young minds will teach them just that "A HOBBY". Teaching them that this is an ART opens the door of how can they build better models. Before any students of mine starts a model we look at it and say "HOW CAN WE MAKE THIS A WORK OF ART". True art my friends is ONE OF A KIND.Each of my students is true to the fact this is her or his ART.
Josh spent over 100 hours on the Headless Horseman. When I showed a friend he ask where are all the seams? If I had told josh it's just a hobby he would have built the model with that mind set. His mind set was that of ART. Now we have a model will stand the test of time as true ART from a 16 year old. You can find pics of this model on my website. Look under student models.
  • Member since
    June 2003
Posted by M1abramsRules on Saturday, August 9, 2003 11:51 PM
one thing's for sure, its a great hobby!!!! (I like it anyway, don't know about anyone else on here.Tongue [:P])
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, August 9, 2003 11:38 PM
I agree with allen. When a person becomes passionate about what he / she creates, the work is transformed from a time-passing craft or hobby into the realm of art. It is the drive of the spirit that expresses itself in the work. There is no mistaking those that have passion for this media.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, August 9, 2003 11:14 PM
Maybe the question should be.
Is it an art or is it a hobby?

Why can't it be both?

I agree with allen.
If you are proud of your work and you have worked hard to make a kit look good then you my friend are an artist weather you like it or not.

Remember art is how you view it.
Not how others view it for you.
  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: Cavite, Philippines
Posted by allan on Saturday, August 9, 2003 11:47 AM
Kugai & U-96,

With all due respect, I disagree. Perhaps there is indeed a thin line between art and craftsmanship, but I wholeheartedly believe that modelling is art. The differnce lies in the fact that scale modelling involves passion. Passion for the subject matter or for recreating life in miniature itself.

I submit that no two models, even OOB, will be exactly the same. The instructions are followed, but there will always be differences. As the others have said, it is in the expression of oneself that the distinctiveness arises.Smile [:)]

No bucks, no Buck Rogers

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by nimshi on Saturday, August 9, 2003 8:57 AM
We are all artists. We just use many canvas'.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, August 8, 2003 10:04 AM
Is it art? I don't know; I come from an artistic background, i.e., professional theatre, television, motion pictures, etc. I look at my modeling much like I looked at my work in those professions. I consider myself to be practicing a craft, working toward hopefully one day becoming a Master Craftsman in my craft. As for the art part, that's not really for me to say - I'll leave that to those who will view my work. All I know is that modeling makes me happy, and gives me a great sense of satisfaction creating something with my own hands.

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Brooklyn
Posted by wibhi2 on Friday, August 8, 2003 9:39 AM
Is model building an art?
What is art? Does it involve sculpting? Painting? Printing techniques? Use of non-traditional/traditional materials?

I believe that the "hobby" incorporates all the above. Problem is that people consider it a "hobby" and therefore not an art form.

As a 3d artist I run into question and snobbiness from other artists. With typical comments like - aww, the compuetr does it for you. You don't get to be apart of the work since it's not hands on, blah, blah, blah.

Which of course can not be further from the truth. Sometimes I feel that people feel intimidated by what they have no experience at or defy's thier preconcieved notions.

A closed mind is a good thing to waste.
3d modelling is an option a true mental excercise in frusrtation
  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by animal on Friday, August 8, 2003 8:46 AM
I think that it is an art. I for one have my work on display at the US Army Museum of Transportaion. We build replicas of histroy. If this isn't art I don't know what is.
Animal wants trucks!!!
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: UK
Posted by gregers on Friday, August 8, 2003 8:39 AM
If as has been said before art is an expression of ones inner self then yes i belive that modelmaking is an art
lets face it , how many of us have put our heart and soul into a personal or favorite subject? and the end result has left you with a deep satisfaction or the person that you have done a kit of a fighting vehicle or aircraft that they once fought in been delighted with? i once did a fairey firefly for a korean vet, it was one of the a/c in his photos and he was nearly in tears when he saw it (it was an unexpected birthday present for him) if a simple model can evoke that sort of response then it surely must be art.
when asked at school to name a work of art most kids in my class named the MONA LISA thats ok if you like pictures of an ugly woman who looks like a guy that has no eyebrows! ok it is art but i would prefer to have a look around a bad model display than look at that particular picture. wasn't it yoko ono that displayed a rotting apple?that is most certainly not art in my humble opinion but only because there was no real effort put into it, if it was carefully crafted out of clay then painstakingly painted by hand then ok but it was just an apple going bad but the so called art fraternaty are supposed to have loved it, WHY?. anyway i degress i suppose that art is what you want it to be and if someone can't see what you see in your chosen art form then they are missing out and i feel sorry for them for being so blind to the perceptions of others....sorry for pontificating . this is only my very humble opinion . cheers...Greg
Why torture yourself when life will do it for you?
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: United Kingdom
Posted by U-96 on Friday, August 8, 2003 3:12 AM
Kugai, you have posted my exact thoughts from when this subject last appeared. I agree that much is craft rather than art. Those artistic models are the ones which elicit an emotional response, and none do that better than the diorama gods Smile [:)]
On the bench: 1/35 Dragon Sturmpanzer Late Recent: Academy 1/48 Bf-109D (Nov 06) Academy 1/72 A-37 (Oct 06) Revell 1/72 Merkava III (Aug 06) Italeri 1/35 T-26 (Aug 06)
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Where the coyote howl, NH
Posted by djrost_2000 on Thursday, August 7, 2003 11:30 PM
Some paintings are simple landscapes, or portraits, and they are called art. If self-expression is one of the qualifying factors for true art, then there are many model and diorama builders and figure painters that meet that criteria. If you have to put your mind, emotions, and soul into your' artistic endeavor for it to be called art, then there are certainly many model and diorama builders, and figure painters who are artists.

  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: NE Georgia
Posted by Keyworth on Thursday, August 7, 2003 10:27 PM
Modelling allows you to be an artist, historian and poet all at the same time. The art is in the finished product, the history is in the research that went into the model, and the poetry in the work one does while building.
"There's no problem that can't be solved with a suitable application of high explosives"
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, August 7, 2003 10:19 PM
Modeling is neither an art or hobby.
It is an illness.
its expensive at times too.
I just hope no one starts a twelve step program for modelers.

But seriously It for me started as a hobby that turned in to art.
I am an artist and my medium of choice is plastic kits.
Anyone who says that it is not an art is close minded and of all thing should not be an "art teacher".
Perhaps these people have not been exposed to the hobby the same way we have.
I have pitty on those that do not have the joy that we modelers when we build.

I say build on and lance the nay sayers.

I love the smell of paint thinner in the morning....It smells like.......well.................................."paint thinner".

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.