After years of constant research and consistent diet of pizza and beer, I feel that I’m now an expert in the world of modeling. Ok, I have to admit, lately it’s been far more pizza than beer, but that’s beside the point.
What I mean is that I’ve had a great deal of time to study the types of modelers out there and have finally taken the time to put pen to paper and put down some clear definitions for you. See where you fall in this list.
The newbie. This is the guy who shows up at shows and meetings and is still genuinely excited about the hobby. They are excited to ask questions of the more seasoned (and sometimes grizzled) veterans of the club and show circuits. They hang on their every word and sometimes even take notes so they can improve their builds.
The compliment seeker. This is the guy who will seek out an expert in order for them to validate their kits. They aren’t seeking true feedback they are only looking for a pat on the back. In fact if they do not garner the proper reaction they spend the rest of their time at the gathering bashing the “expert know it all prick” that shot them down.
The expert. This is something of a dual category. On one hand you have guys that know a lot about a particular subject and will share it if asked. On the other hand you have a guy that you can’t shut up about all the things that are wrong with a kit that someone brought in, whether they have been asked about it or not.
The joy sucker. We’ve talked about this in the past. This is the guy that basically tries to make everyone in the hobby as miserable as they are. For example, they will see someone with a freshly purchased kit in their hand and rather than helping to build excitement for the kit, they start listing off all the tiny and not so tiny flaws that need to be corrected in order to get the kit right. In reality 90% of these changes will never be noticed by anyone.
The stalker. This is a truly interesting bunch. These are the guys that linger around their models for the entire meeting or show to make sure that they can answer any questions about the model that someone could possibly have. I saw one of these guys out at a show in Oshkosh and was extremely amused by it. He had a 32 nd scale jet of some type. When anyone would get near it he would pounce and ask if they had any questions about it. Now it was a decent enough model, but frankly it wasn’t earth shattering. It’s one thing to be proud of a model, it’s another to be obsessive and spending 5-6 hours fifteen feet from your model seems to be leaning that way.
The magazine builder. This is another group that I really love. This group travels with copies of magazine articles that they have written about a particular aircraft and put them on the contest table next to the model. Now this is in the competition area not in the display area (where I would fully expect it and probably really enjoy it). There are a couple things about this that bother me. On one hand the model looks way better in the photos than in person. Second, get over yourself! There is a time and place for everything and a hobby show isn’t the time or place for this.
The master builder. This is the coolest of the groups in my eyes. These are the guys that will bend over backwards to help you out and answer questions. They have a great grasp on skills and appreciate builders that are trying to improve their skills. They know that they are good and don’t have to flaunt it to everyone.
The super master builder. This is a very interesting group. They are probably the best of the best and will never let you forget it, enough said.
The super builder. These are the guys that build and build and build. Basically they can cruise through a kit in a weekend and have it look decent. There are occasional contest winners, but for the most part the kits produced are decent. These are the guys that other guys speculate about how good they would be if they took their time and really worked on a model. However the guys don’t realize that it is about the joy of the build to these guys and not necessarily the winning of awards.
The super detail guy. These are the guys who go into extreme detail about their kits when asked. From the paint brushes that they used to the test pilot that flew it, each and every detail is painstakingly shared.
The regular modeler. Completes 1-3 kits per year and is just happy to do that. They build when they can and generally put out decent kits, but their lack of practice hinders them from really showing off their skills. They have a huge shelf of doom and a bigger shelf of good intentions.
The irregular modeler. This group completes about 1 kit a month with generally good quality or above. They don’t say much about anything unless they are asked. They view their skills as adequate even though they may be somewhat above this level. In some ways modeling has become a practice in procedure rather than challenge.
The non-completer. This category should really fall into two classes. The first class are the guys that just can’t stay interested enough in a kit to bring it to completion. The second group are the guys that can’t complete a kit because they simply have to do so much to it. They have a hard time ever building out of the box and won’t even look at a kit that they don’t have to hack to bits.
The contest junkie. This group only builds for contests. Whether it’s about competition or about prizes, this group is always ready to throw down if there is a prize of some kind involved.
So where do you see yourself? I can see myself in several of the areas which will give me a lot to work on in the coming year. So for now, Happy New Year and why was it you weren’t building? Shut up and build!