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Model Building - or Why do we do it ?

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  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Model Building - or Why do we do it ?
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Saturday, December 10, 2016 9:15 AM

Hello ;

     I thought about this and came to the conclusion that the answer is quite puzzling  to those who don't . Modeling and such has to be based in how one sees the world around them and what interests them .

   Now the interest part . Okay , suppose you are fascinated with clocks . What better way to answer your curiosity than building one ? The same can be said of any hobby . Of course there are those that will say ," Why do you NEED a hobby " ?

    My answer to them would be " If that's the way you feel , why do you need to eat ?" Building a miniature of anything satisfies the craving some have to create , within their budget , that which draws their interest in the real world .

     For instance , you want to know about a MK-1-A-1 Abrams Tank .You can read all about one , and get a lot of information . Can you hold one ? No ! Can you drive one ? No ! But you can own one in miniature !

   You can buy a box of finely engineered plastic and create the Abrams of your choice . This applies to ships , planes and vehicles too . Why Bother ? Well , good question . Do you like music ? It doesn't matter what type , Do you like it ? Then you will surround yourself with this liking and be relaxed in your day .

    Modeling takes most of us to a different level mentally . A level that maybe we could not achieve in real life . What ? That's right . Many of us never got to do what we really wanted to do to earn a living .

 It's rare that someone is happy , truly , with their employment . Now building a model of their favorite subject , from figures to spaceships fulfills that desire to do that which we couldn't achieve in gainful service .

  You , say , could never fly . But you can build that favorite plane  your way , and then mentally see yourself in the cockpit . When I build ships I relive in memory , all those days at sea , both as the crewman on a destroyer in the pacific (Post Korea ) and the many bridges of tankers that were under my command .

     The next thing to consider is the answer to this , " Is it actually fun ? " How do you describe fun ? Is it getting in deep debt to plan and execute a ski trip every year costing maybe thousands ? Or calmly sitting in a comfortable corner of your home surrounded by your tools , a model in front of you , Family close , and the dog or cat close by , safe in your home and except for the parafinalia of your shop and the model cost . Spending quality time in the home you worked so hard for .

      I see a toothpick and much more . What do you see ? I see a spar , a gun barrel , a support post for a roof . A lightpole and much more . Do you see just that toothpick ? If so I truly feel saddened for you

    One of the things that separates modelers from everyone else is Imagination ! None of that and you have a sad life indeed . I proudly tell folks , " You bet I build models "and Then I tell them why . The places I go and things I build take me to locations far from me and that's the way I like it .

 I don't HAVE to model . I enjoy reading immensely . But when done with a book or magazine it's all memory . My hands itch for the feel of a carving tool or X-Acto knife . That's about it I guess . Then , when done I have a three dimensionally reduced version of both life then and the object of my memory , that to me , allows me to travel in time and relive that moment when I locked that happening in the mind .

 I wonder , if someone could see into my mind what they would find . Rows upon dusty rows of file cabinets of memories , Grey and dimmly lit . Or , would they find a brightly lit library of experiences , both good and bad , punctuated by the mental files of building that Model ! That's what I would hope . Thanks for taking the time to read this . It was brought about by a ten year old asking that very same question " Why do you build Models ? "        Model On - - - - Tanker - Builder


  • Member since
    April 2013
Posted by KnightTemplar5150 on Sunday, December 11, 2016 4:38 PM

Hi, TB.

My mother recently gave me an album of photos, including shots taken on my second birthday. Right next to the cake is a stack of gifts which included a few Comet balsa planes and a number of bagged plastic car kits from Airfix. I remember helping to build the plastics, kit I'm sure my father built the balsa planes for me.

Dad and my uncles were all very serious scale modellers and my grandfather loved building RC planes. It was something I just grew up with, but this was in those years where a dollar would score me a kit and a tube of glue from the PX whereever my family happened to be stationed.

Between building the kits and reading about the subjects I was building, I learned a great deal about the importance of working with my hands, being patient, and learning to read and follow directions. It was a hobby that enriched my life and bought my parents a few hours of sanity and silence each week, so it was encouraged.

I've never really stopped. It's just become a part of who I am. My wife still allows for it because it buys her a little silence and sanity.

  • Member since
    June 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Sunday, January 1, 2017 10:46 AM


 You know that's kind of funny .My wives , May they rest in peace , often said that they enjoyed my model building .Why ? They got some peace and quiet ! Now I believe that ! T.B.

  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: Washington State
Posted by leemitcheltree on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 4:38 PM

You know...when I'm sitting in traffic I often look at things like big rigs towing car carriers, looking at all the different components...the flats, the angles, the hydraulic ram clevis points, the hydraulic ram fluid lines and their runs....even things like garbage trucks....things are built from shapes....and those shapes are easily replicated by all sorts of things.  And whewn it comes down to it, they're not that hard to create, if you take your time, measure carefully, and take care in the assembly.

I once worked for a joint that made broadacre seeders and aerators....things farmers towed behind tractors.  I'm always kicking myself for not making a scale model of them...I HAD all the blueprints and schematics.  It would have been easy.

Cheers, LeeTree
Remember, Safety Fast!!!

  • Member since
    January 2014
Posted by Silver on Sunday, June 18, 2017 11:17 AM

My question is "Why Not "


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