SEARCH FINESCALE.COM

Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Where does "creation" start?

2933 views
15 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Tochigi, Japan
Where does "creation" start?
Posted by J-Hulk on Tuesday, June 3, 2003 12:20 AM
Hi, folks.
I posted the below in another forum as a response to the topic about the recent release of Tamiya's pre-built series of models. After writing it, I thought it might make an interesting topic on its own. I apologize if this constitutes a "double post!"

It went something like this:

"I don't think there's any real danger of someone plunking one of those suckers (one of Tamiya's pre-built kits) down on a contest table as is and walking away with a trophy. As nice as they may be, it'd still take many an hour to bring them up to contest-winning level.

Here's a philosophical question: at what point do we consider ourselves having "created" a model? We buy kits and aftermarket parts, assemble them, and paint them. Definitely an art, and talent is most definitely required. Absolutely no question there.

But somebody (or team of somebodies) actually created, from scratch, that kit and all those aftermarket parts for us to assemble and paint.

So, unless we totally scratchbuild, do we truly "create" our "own" models? Seems to me to be a matter of degrees only:
Acceptable: Tamiya creates kit. We assemble and paint kit to our liking. No one complains.
Unacceptable: Tamiya creates kit. Tamiya assembles and paints kit. We buy kit and do with it as we please, which may include detailing, weathering, etc. Fellow modelers look down their noses at us. "You didn't make that."

There are only 2 steps added by the model company in the "unacceptable" scenario. Granted, for the modeler, those are very important steps, but from what point can we say we truly "made" a model?

Just for the record, I'm personally not interested at all in buying built-ups. But I wouldn't begrudge anyone from buying one, or selling one.
Nor am I a scratchbuilder! Just a normal, happy kit-builder.

I do worry about the kids, though...with all the die-cast and pre-built kits out there, why should they bother building? Sure, we love it, but for a beginner..."

I'd love to hear some opinions on this topic!
That is, where does "creation" start for us, as modelers?
Can I honestly build Tamiya's T-55 and say, "I made this?"
Or is just semantics?
Surely, I can say, "I built this!"

Whaddaya'll think?
~Brian
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: United Kingdom / Belgium
Posted by djmodels1999 on Tuesday, June 3, 2003 2:24 AM
This is an interesting question. I think you can realisticaly say that if you put together Tamiya's T-55, then you can say' I made this'. Even with the best kits, it still takes a decent modeler to put it together well, paint it properly and do all what we do to the model to make it look realistic, weathered, dirty, used or even abused...

I do a lot of scratch, and I'm quite happy, proud even, to say that I created a master or a model. But some of the masters I build do not end up as nice as I thought they would, because of the tools, techniques and materials used by my customers down the line...

When I build a model from a kit, some people can tell it's mine. There's my mark on the model, whether it's the subject, the way I detail, the way I paint or weather, I'm not sure, but it makes my models stand out for some discerning eyes. There's a lot of ourselves in what we build, whether it's just a out of the box project or a full scratchbuilt one. I may not purchase a pre-painted kit, because I think I master enough techniques and have enough experience to do my own paint/decalling job, but I can not blame other for taking the shortcut. But I do not think any 'out of the box', pre-painted model could look as good as any model I would build, because of all the stuff, time and efforts I put into my models. I would think judges and my scale modeling friends would see the difference and I'm happy with that belief.
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Panama City, Florida, Hurricane Alley
Posted by berny13 on Tuesday, June 3, 2003 9:20 AM
It sure makes a person stop and think. In my opinion to "Build" a model is to take an un-assembled model and assemble it. What you add to the assembly of the model "makes it yours".

Example. Four modelers build a F-15E Strike Eagle. Three build SOB using weapons supplied with the kit. They are assembling a model. The fourth person built the same kit, but he did not use the supplied weapons. He uses weapons from another kit. That person "Made" a model. Placed side by side, which model will stand out more? Don't get me wrong. I am not trying to bad mouth the person that builds straight out of the box. It is the little difference a person puts into a model that sets it apart from all other models. As djmodels1999 said in the previous post, you can always tell his from the others.

Berny

 Phormer Phantom Phixer

On the bench

TF-102A Delta Dagger, 32nd FIS, 54-1370, 1/48 scale. Monogram Pro Modeler with C&H conversion.  

Revell F-4E Phantom II 33rd TFW, 58th TFS, 69-260, 1/32 scale. 

Tamiya F-4D Phantom II, 13th TFS, 66-8711, 1/32 scale.  F-4 Phantom Group Build. 

 

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, June 3, 2003 3:04 PM
Well, this thread should offer some unique and interesting viewpoints.

According to Miriam Webster:

Build - to form by ordering and uniting materials by gradual means into a composite whole
- to develop according to a systematic plan, by a definite process, or on a particular base

Create - to produce through imaginative skill

According to these definitions my take on it is this. Every single model that has ever been put together is 'built'. We are uniting the materials the manufacturers sold us into a complete model by following their instructions (usually)Tongue [:P]. But, I believe that as soon as we deviate from the specific instructions that came with the model, that is when we start to 'create'. When we come up with our own paint scheme, incorporate a model into a larger diorama, add scratchbuilt details, etc. we are producing a model that is uniquely ours through our own imaginative skill. We are seeing a certain version of the finished product in our head and doing our best to bring that out into a physical representation. Building something out of nothing, as it were. As djmodels1999 mentioned, people can tell that a model is his, simply by the way he 'created' it.

So, I would have to say that every single modeler builds models, but not all modelers create models.

I hope that made at least a little bit of sense. Tongue [:P] Anyway, lets keep the thought process rolling. This should prove to be a very enlightening topic.

Ray
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Panama City, Florida, Hurricane Alley
Posted by berny13 on Tuesday, June 3, 2003 4:34 PM
Ray

Well said. Each kit is pre made or created by the manufacturer. Webster also defines "Assemble- To fit together pre made parts." So we can not create something that is already created. You assemble or build the kit. Even if you use after market items, these items were already created. so all you are doing is adding them to your model. Once you make something that is not in the kit on your own, such as scratchbuild a plow on front of a tank, then you have created something.

To create a model one would have to build from scratch. If he/she uses after market parts that would be open for debate.

Berny

 Phormer Phantom Phixer

On the bench

TF-102A Delta Dagger, 32nd FIS, 54-1370, 1/48 scale. Monogram Pro Modeler with C&H conversion.  

Revell F-4E Phantom II 33rd TFW, 58th TFS, 69-260, 1/32 scale. 

Tamiya F-4D Phantom II, 13th TFS, 66-8711, 1/32 scale.  F-4 Phantom Group Build. 

 

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Tochigi, Japan
Posted by J-Hulk on Tuesday, June 3, 2003 7:13 PM
Lots of good ideas, folks! Let's keep it going!

Could it be in the painting that creativity truly starts?
~Brian
  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: NE Georgia
Posted by Keyworth on Tuesday, June 3, 2003 9:34 PM
Creativity comes with the presentation of the kit that the modeller intends for the viewing public to witness (whew, what a mouthful!!! :) We all assemble kits and add our own distinctive touches, such as resin or brass parts, or scratchbuilt items, but the first thing that most of us really notice will be the paint job. An example: I was at a recent hobby show and saw a table full of 1/48 scale WWII fighters, divided by Allied/Axis/Neutral. The sponsors had arranged them by type e.g. P-51's, FW-190's, Zeros. What intrigued me initially was the variety in color schemes present-the basic OD/grey of a factory fresh Thunderbolt, next to a two-tone blue over aluminum 56th FG t-Bolt. Next to that was a FW-190 in a white winter pattern with a two-tone green over grey scheme. The paint job lures you in closer to see what else the builder has added to his scale creation. True, placement in a diorama will offer another attraction factor, but for me, it's the paint that calls me over to a display. Another example. A table full of USS Enterprise variants, all well-built, but all pretty much stock schemes, except one- the one decked out as a NASCAR racer, complete with sponsor decals on a huge scale :) Eye of the beholder, I guess. - Ed :)
"There's no problem that can't be solved with a suitable application of high explosives"
  • Member since
    January 2003
Posted by shermanfreak on Tuesday, June 3, 2003 9:37 PM
Ok ..... here comes my two cents worth.
Tamiya, Italeri, DML, Hasegawa, etc. all produce fairly well engineered models of the various vehicles / aircraft that we have all come to desire. Put them together straight out of the box and you have a well engineered lump of plastic that looks like a toy. Splash a little paint on it, and you have a painted toy. The creation comes when you open that box, start dry-fitting the parts, clean up wach and every piece that came in the box. Fill in the numerous extractor pin holes and other flaws and gaps. Sometimes replace parts with something more accurate. Carefully paint, detail and weather your model. And when your done and set it on your shelf and it doesn't look anything like that original "toy", then indeed you have created something. You have created a replica of the real vehicle. Placed in the right background setting you would think you are looking at the real vehicle. I look around my shelves at the various models in the room, and know that these were indeed created by me. No two are the same, they may be similar, but are not alike.
Happy Modelling and God Bless Robert
  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: NE Georgia
Posted by Keyworth on Tuesday, June 3, 2003 9:39 PM
Well said, Robert!
"There's no problem that can't be solved with a suitable application of high explosives"
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Tochigi, Japan
Posted by J-Hulk on Tuesday, June 3, 2003 10:37 PM
Yes, very well said!
Hey, I just had another idea:
Tamiya, Hasegawa, Monogram, Revell, etc. may have created the original pieces for us to assemble and re-"create" our own impressions of reality, but even before the model companies made those kits, the real vehicles were created by design teams, and the realities we endeavor to re-"create" were originally created by the crews who used the vehicles.
So...then...well..uh.........

Ah, forget it! I have no idea what I'm trying to say now, and my brain's starting to hurt!

Happy modeling!
~Brian
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Sunny Florida
Posted by renarts on Wednesday, June 4, 2003 1:06 AM
Ahhhh, pygmalion.
I think Robert hit it. I'll add that creation starts the second you envision what the piece will look like done. It's one thing to autonomously assemble parts and as he said you have the predetermined result of someone elses creation. But that shaving of sprue, filling the gap or clean up of lines begins the creation process. Even to add a detail or p/e kit is a facet of creation because you stray from the original path. You enhance it to fit your creative process.

It used to be accepted thought that what set us apart from the animals was that we used tools and they didn't. That has changed considerably in professional circles. A horse will use a protruding branch to scratch himself, or may even pick up a stick to use it as an extension to reach a spot he cannot reach. Finches or chimps may use a twig to fish out ants or insects for a meal. But man truly has the creative spirit. He is concerend with tool enhancement as well as aesthetic qualities and will either adapt, create or utilize tools to achieve that aesthetic. A bend in the twig to better reach the insects so to speak or licking the twig to make it stickey. Its that enhancement that makes us creative as well as the ability to envision the finished product and to work towards that vision.

So when we look at that kit on the store shelf and envision the finished project and more so imagine how it will look with figures and in a diorama, the creative process starts there.

Mike
Mike "Imagination is the dye that colors our lives" Marcus Aurellius A good friend will come and bail you out of jail...but, a true friend will be sitting next to you saying, "Damn...that was fun!"
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: United Kingdom
Posted by U-96 on Wednesday, June 4, 2003 6:38 AM
We should perhaps also consider the difference between "art" and "craft".

Much of modelling as described above is craft, with aftermarket bits or straight out the box. I would say everything I have built so far falls into this category, but I consider it fun and good practice for all those great diorama ideas going around my head that I never have the time nor competence to build well.

There are superb modellers out there producing exhibition/museum quality stuff but in my mind these reference pieces are often "craft" - albeit at the very pinnacle of expertise. It's a level of (professional) competence - the ability to consistently (re-)produce an article to a high standard.

"Art" at is most base form is something crafted to elicit an emotion.

One can build a competent PzIV, weather it, add a few dings, bullet scratches, bits of undergrowth - it's still a cold model, just like an architect might lay out their plan with 3D card.

I think (and this is purely an opinion Wink [;)]) that the "art" (and by extension the "creation" part) starts coming in when you think about the context of the subject. Once one decides to give a model "a story" then things start to happen. This is probably best expressed in dioramas with figures (not necessarily human) - though it would be a great achievement to achieve it in a single, unbased model without them.

Still, it doesn't happen automatically. The emotional engagement has to be there. A tank with some figures planted around isn't the same as a mired tank with some recovery engineers hooking up the tow cables while the crew look on in amusement, or a despondent Vietnam Huey loading casualties, or a frenetic F1 pit stop.

I have seen many fine models from FSM and from folks here that have made me go [:0] "I want to be able to do that", but the ones that really stick in my mind are those that I thought dynamic, funny, poignant, or just evocative. Those folks are the artists, and the ones where I thought "I will never be able to do that" Wink [;)] And in all cases they were models and dioramas with emotional engagement. We don't all have to build Shep Paine scale scenes to achieve this, we just need to put a bit of ourselves into a model, in such a way that allows others to see it. 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
    January 2003
  • From: Warwick, RI
Posted by paulnchamp on Wednesday, June 4, 2003 11:14 PM
Whether it's building or creating, straight from the box or with aftermarket extras, sitting on a shelf or in a custom diorama, the manufacturer has given us a starting point. Where we take it from there has truly endless possibilities - let's not forget that it's all about FUN, enjoyment and satisfaction. And let's not overanalyze it!
Paul "A man's GOT to know his limitations."
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Tochigi, Japan
Posted by J-Hulk on Thursday, June 5, 2003 2:06 AM
Paulnchamp is absolutely right!
No matter where you start or where you end up, if you're enjoying yourself, then it's all good!
But hey, analyzing it is fun, too!

It's been very interesting to hear what everybody thinks about this subject.
~Brian
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: United Kingdom
Posted by U-96 on Thursday, June 5, 2003 3:19 AM
I have to agree - I'm normally happy if I get the wings on straight Big Smile [:D]
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
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, June 5, 2003 6:20 AM
personalisation will make the kit "yours" just a little conversion, addition, effect etc will allow you to say you "created it". but don't worry, the painting is also a major step, your modelling skill can be shown just by painting the model well
JOIN OUR COMMUNITY!

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

SEARCH FORUMS
FREE NEWSLETTER
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.