Archive for August, 2010

Modeling Axioms

August 5, 2010

I did not write this but it applies to most of us.

The Laws of Modeling 101 (8 years later)


The information herein has been gathered by practical application of trial and error (and lots of it.)

1.) Every modeler’s desk comes with a black hole beneath it, that swallows parts. Only on rare occasions does it see fit to spew one back at you.
a.) Only the highly scratchbuilt parts or ones that have no replacements will fall into this black hole
b.) The probability of dropping a part is inversely proportional to the size of the part.
c.) The closer the match of a part and the floor, the greater the probability of dropping the part.
d.) A dropped part will bounce to the most inaccessible area of the room. (this also allows you to mark the boundaries of your black hole. (Note:A dropped X-acto knife will visit your foot before obeying d.
e.) As soon as you quit looking for the missing part you will probably step on it.
2.) The time it takes to build a kit is in direct proportion to the amount of reference material used and often impedes further builds.
a.) The more unbuilt kits you have on the shelves the fewer kits you actually build.
b.) Unbuilt kits expand to fill available space.
c.) Reference materials expand beyond available space.
d.) The more second source reference materials(published by non-modelers) adds confusion, not clarification.
The solution here is to choose a ‘school of thought’ from informed sources.

3.) No matter what the size of your modeling desk is, 99.9% of all your modeling will be done in the 5 square inches of the center front edge.

4.) Dollar for dollar and pound sterling for pound sterling the absolute best value is a figure of a seated pilot. Simply put ‘it fills the hole’ where some modelers would rather replace aircraft cockpit details (because their too ‘Fiddly’ or wind up in the ‘Black Hole’) with a pilot figure.
5.) No matter what your method of sealing your paint bottles it will go bad two days before your intended project.
6.) The amount you pay for a new paint brush is directly proportionate to the probability that you will inadvertently dip it in your coffee or a blob of super glue or both.
7.) What ever you purchase for your hobby will go on sale a week later.
8.) All manufacturers hold their releases until they are absolutely sure that you just spent six months scratch-building your version.
a.) There is ‘NO’ such thing as a perfect kit.
b.) Half built vacuform kits impress people with your skill.
c.) A completed Vacuform just looks like another model.
9.) There is no substitute for a well oiled Dremel motor tool.
10.) Humbrol paint will always be the best paint in the sorriest container.
11.) X-acto scars on your fingers are a given. Learn to live with them.
12.) Sooner or later you should buy an airbrush. The simpler the better.
13.) Half of the washes you apply will be done on the areas of your paint scheme that are not dry yet. But you’ll do it anyway just to be sure.
14.) Lacquer thinner odors can be smelled by your family members from the basement through a solid core door.
15.) If you find something you like, buy a lifetime supply. Because they’ll quit making it just to spite you.
16.) The kit instructions, may be very interesting, but are 95 % of the time irrelevant.
17.) Tossing a finished, expensive model kit against the furthest wall in your basement at 90mph is the most sincerest form of self-criticism. But doesn’t live up to the acclaimed rush that is supposed to follow.
18.) You will NEVER get all those models built!
19.) The probability of finding an error in a built model increases exponentially after you’ve entered it in a contest.
a.) The more important the contest the greater the error.

And now a pop quiz what is the ‘Theorem of Progression’ ?
The ‘progression develops’ thusly.
1.) As soon as you scratchbuild a model, a manufacturer will release a vacuform kit of it.
2.) As soon as you finish the vacuform kit, an injected molded version (this includes slush plastic, resin or metal) of the prototype will be released.
3.) As soon as you convert the injected molded kit of the prototype to the version you want, your version will be released by another manufacturer who will, include the refined versions of the decals, resin or photo etch that you had suggested to them on their website. But they will not mention you or provide you with gratis examples for your trouble.
4.) You can’t win.(Because manufactures will inevitably simplify their processes.)
5.) You can’t break even. Unless you value your own work.
6.) But, you can publish an article that will give you a chance to review their kit and point out its flaws.

Next Pop quiz what is ‘The Law of Finite Differences’?
Specifically the ‘Law of Finite Differences’ in modeling says that ‘In most people’s minds, the line between being different and being weird is thin and easily crossed. Also note that no one of your family or friends will ever take you seriously until you make money at this. Then its no longer a hobby. Now you have two jobs and no way to relieve the added stress. (The corollary is ‘don’t take yourself too seriously about your hobby. Enjoy it.)

Next Pop Quiz: What is ‘The Thick Thumb Theorem’
The ‘Thick Thumb Theorem’ states that ‘the difficulty in reaching a seam union, (so to sand smooth said seam) is directly proportionate to the mismatch of the parts by both the manufacturer’s desire for simplicity and the resultant attempt of the modeler to do it right.’ Hence the reason we all tend to feel like a Rhino glueing petals on a rose at times.

Next Pop Quiz: What is the unofficial Rules for Parliamentary Procedures and Monthly Club Meetings’ for any Modeling Club?
1.) If it doesn’t matter, it does not matter!!! (The Corollary: However it will take up most of the meeting to discuss. This applies specifically to grudges against other modelers, clubs or contest Committees
a.) All modeling clubs are part of the one community, if you want to bicker with another club about something that happened five years ago, shouldn’t you be doing somewhere else?
b.) All modeling clubs are part of the wider community, take the hobby to the community where you can and it will grow;
2.) All models are made equal. It’s the effort and the enjoyment that counts not the detail;
3.) Whatever you want to say, its okay, we all want to hear it;
a.) The number of prizes you have collected does not make you an expert;
b.) Sharing is important; everyone wants to learn what everyone knows;
c.) Its okay to be wrong; mistakes help you learn;
d.) A smart-aleck criticism can be devastating; if you can’t be constructive, what are you doing here? On the other hand being blunt is not being derogatory.
e.)A model is a model is a model. It is not a replica aircraft.
f.) If I can’t see your details, how can I admire them?
g.) Being the ‘Club President’ five years running does not make you a better modeler. I just means that either the club respects you or they all have lives other than modeling.
h.) Contrary to popular belief, beer does not make for better meetings, only drunken ones;
j.) A motion to adjourn to the nearest coffee shop and or restaurant is always in order. There, disagreement may be dealt with directly in the adjoining parking lot. Quite possibly under the watchful eye of the local constabulary Now for the Final Test of the Laws of Modeling 101. For those of you who joined us late I suggest some cramming with flash cards. The answer must include elements of the entire course. To be specific even elements of the previous contributions from the class may be used in your answer. These will be limited to one sentence only and must be complete thoughts. Here it is: according to the material dealt with in this course. What makes a satisfying scale model?

‘What make a satisfying model is the attitude of the Modeler.’