Solid Model

Member Projects => Cliff's Projects => Topic started by: cliff strachan on November 03, 2010, 10:30:30 AM

Title: Martin Mariner 2010
Post by: cliff strachan on November 03, 2010, 10:30:30 AM
I've finally finished my Martin Mariner. Mariner 55P3, the bigger of the two with a scale of 1/126 or 1" = 10.5', is the primary model displayed in that it was an attempt to mould a plastic canopy together with "seats for the ghost crew" and plastic bubble turrets. I also attempted to replicate the retractable wingtip floats. The other aircraft Mariner 56P6 is in a scale of 1/167 or approx 1" = 14'. The smaller of the two was actually a complete remake of one that I had built about 60 years ago.
[ (

The first image is intended to show the older style squadron markings. The following is a shot of the aircraft (models) in formation:( (

Now on approach and landing in a bay near Gimli:
( (
Finally at dock(

Title: Re: Martin Mariner 2010
Post by: lastvautour on November 03, 2010, 10:50:01 AM
Excellent Mariners Cliff. It is interesting to build two model but in different scale. It does give depth to the image and makes formation flying realistic. Excellent work.

Title: Re: Martin Mariner 2010
Post by: dave_t on November 03, 2010, 11:13:26 AM
I really like the scene of the docked Mariner. What set of plans did you use for these models?
Title: Re: Martin Mariner 2010
Post by: cliff strachan on November 03, 2010, 12:02:28 PM
Hi Dave,
The plans for the later Mariner were xeroxed and enlarged from a very old copy of Jane's. The earlier one, I think, was probably enlarged using a pantograph from the simple black and white "identification" 3views as provided in a wartime aircraft ident book.
Title: Re: Martin Mariner 2010
Post by: Balsabasher on November 03, 2010, 12:07:14 PM
Very realistic Cliff,the sky background looks really good as well.
Title: Re: Martin Mariner 2010
Post by: Mark Braunlich on November 09, 2010, 07:42:00 AM
Very nice Cliff.  I had the Revell plastic model built by my grandfather when I was a 7-year-old kid and it was a favorite model.  Much later, a friend of my parents who had been a radio operator on PBM's during WW2 was given a stack of black and white 8"x10" photos of Great Lakes 2T1s by his post man.  I wanted, a trade was made and my beloved Mariner was gone.  Still have the photos!

Title: Re: Martin Mariner 2010
Post by: cliff strachan on November 09, 2010, 11:28:28 AM
A really interesting note, Mark. I don't pretend to know much about pastics but I'm surprised to learn that there was a plastic kit version available.
Title: Re: Martin Mariner 2010
Post by: Lars_Opland on July 16, 2013, 06:10:31 PM
Hi Cliff,

The Mariner has been done in plastic 5 times now, that I know of. They are: Revell, box scale; Execuform vac, 1:72; Rareplane vac, 1:72; Mach2, 1:72; Minicraft, 1:72.

Of these, Execuform & Mach2 are the worst, Minicraft is a gem but is molded as a PBM-5A amphibian, & the Rareplane vac is still in some ways the best of the lot; it's the only one that can be built as either a PBM-3 or -5 as molded & is quite detailed & accurate. The old Revell kit is still quite good for it's age.

Title: Re: Martin Mariner 2010
Post by: cliff strachan on July 17, 2013, 12:38:36 PM
Thanks Lars for your very informative remarks. But I suppose that it goes without saying that, being from the "old school" I'm pretty much ignorant of the various commercial kits available to today's modeller and the almost complete selection of perfect aircraft available to that consummer. In fact that idea seems to be the basis for my continual disillusionment with model building in general. Or in other words: What place does Solid Scale have today? Apart from those other bad things that I did years ago (and now wish I could remember them clearer) the advent of plastic models was the impetus to get me to quit modelling altogether. I'm hoping to somehow stirr our members to answer my question. To which I'm willing to admit that I need help.

Title: Re: Martin Mariner 2010
Post by: Peter on July 18, 2013, 05:47:09 PM
Hi Cliff it may be better to discuss the future is solid modeling in it's own thread. But I will quickly put my two cents in here (which isn't worth much seeing they got rid of the penny) I think the problem with solid models in the modern world is two fold.

First in the modern world we live in offers a lot of competition especially for the younger instant gratification generation. This problem isn't specific to solid models but just the reality of it. I just experienced this when I explained to my sons, that we're going camping in an area with no cell phone reception for three days. The look of horror!

The second is I think very few model builders or wood carvers even know solid models ever existed. Also there is an intimidation factor. I would probably never of laid a knife to wood if it wasn't for Lou walking me through it. Many wood carvers I have spoken to feel they don't have enough knowledge about airplanes or ships to do a
decent job. Plastic modelers are set up with the wrong tools and don't know how to begin.

Maybe we should develop a solid model awareness campaign. I have a few ideas maybe we should start a specific thread for it.

Title: Re: Martin Mariner 2010
Post by: cliff strachan on July 19, 2013, 01:13:51 PM
Hi Peter. Thanks very much for your thoughts. Personally I think that your last opinion was the greatest. Your idea concerning developing a solid model awareness campaign has, to my mind, a lot of merit. It brings to mind a similar concept from another organization that I belong to: "If not us, Who?"

But Solid Scale has a number of problems. As you've mentioned is firstly, the problem involved in the "instant gratification generation." Also there exists the problem of "time required to properly construct a replica of an aircraft." Then, I believe the whole concept of Why Solid Models at all.

But if you Google: "DOXAERIE" or do a search for <> you will agree that Solid Models have been around in very superior form for a long time.

Personally, being aware of just how much time is involved and the great number of very talented builders there have been in past years I have thought that there must surely be a place in the Art World for some modelers.

We must work on this. Somehow.

Title: Re: Martin Mariner 2010
Post by: Balsabasher on July 22, 2013, 03:24:23 AM
I think the longevity of built up solid models goes very much in their favour as opposed to say plastic models which by the very nature of the material goes brittle with age and glue joints fail,I can speak from experience on this as many of my old plastic models have suffered in this way,last week I shipped a beautiful old Airfix plastic model of the Bristol Freighter model in the post to a collector,the model was some 50 years old and despite adequate packing by the time it reached its destination it had disintigrated ! the thing had literally come apart at the seams,on the other hand solids and ID models travel well by comparision with non of these problems.
I am just this minute looking at an old galleon model I built in wood some 50 years ago and despite fading and a bit of missing rigging it will restore up nicely,the thing to remember when completing a solid is to drill a breather hole underneath somewhere to release moisture in the wood,wood by its nature always contains moisture and the worst case scenerio is for it to become trapped and damage your finish.
Sorry I have just realised that I have strayed from the original purpose of this thread but it seemed a point to mention,about 'Why build solids anyway' as being in our favour,yes we always need to work on promoting our hobby for the future generations and make people see what can be achieved from a lump of wood given the right skills and nimble hands,that task is never going to be an easy one with no set solutions but for one I will never give up in its promotion.
Lous wonderful poster he did of our completed models created so much interest on the various groups it was shown,if it gets one person interested then thats a real winner.
Whether it be turning wood on a lathe,making old farm cart wheels etc keeping these skills alive is so important,otherwise they will just fade into oblivion,for the moment the best thing to do is keep building and showing the stages of the work here where the whole world will see it ! that in itself is the finest tool out,scattered we may be but united we stand ! right Barry now step down from your solid model orange box,just keep showing that passion for what we do best and enjoy the wonderful skilled company here.
Barry aka Balsabasher.
Title: Re: Martin Mariner 2010
Post by: cliff strachan on July 23, 2013, 10:49:37 AM
Hi Peter and Barry. And thank you for the very challenging thoughts concerning the future of solid models. As I have interpreted your ideas it seems to me that Solid Models have primarily the following deficiencies or strengths:
                    First to strong points:
                    Relative to plastic models wooden models are  definitly more durable - at least in the sense that they will withstand the normal ageing process.
                    Again relative to plastic alternatives solid models inherently contain the potential to model any aircraft that has been built in the past regardless of how popular that aircraft may have been. The concept of a consumer demand is not a factor. This lends to purposefulness in an historical context that is sometimes absent with respect to Plastics. And, of course, there are probably many other factors.
                    There exists an ability to impart a certain degree of personal ability, energy and imagination into your choosen model -
an element of art that is absent in a store-bought "kit". A learning process in itself that militates against conformity and "instant gratification."

Probably this may be a good place to stop for now.

Title: Re: Martin Mariner 2010
Post by: cliff strachan on July 24, 2013, 09:57:33 AM
Further to what has gone before. The principal deficiencies to solid models, as I see them are:
          - Time: to make a model that may in general respects be a real attention getter or in other words be 
             competitive as to a plastic equivalent - which is not impossible - requires a great deal of personal dedication.
           - The requirement for time and dedication detracts from other activities whereby a unit of time could be more productively spent. An example is a need for exercise. A need to read. The need to be community involved.
At the moment I'm unable to adequately come up with any other significant deficiencies and am standing by for input from our vast membership. (Otherwise I may proceed.)
Title: Re: Martin Mariner 2010
Post by: cliff strachan on July 25, 2013, 11:50:47 AM
Further to further:
It seems to me that the chief deficiencies of solid models vs the very detailed plastic models is in terms of the "time" taken to achieve similar results. One way, but when greater minds tackle this problem it will likely remain only one way, is for a group of solid scale builders, after a theme has been agreed on, to each build a model of an aircraft representative of the period proposed or accepted. For example, say the theme is early transatlantic flights. Then one member may propose to model Lindberg's aircraft - taking as much time as he deems necessary - only hoping that the result will be of highest caliber.

To  encourage a greater participating membership we could hold an annual open competition. A member or members might volunteer a said sum as a reward or prise. The only obligation to any nonmember is that he or she join SMM. This may lead ultimately to a very small fee to belonging to such an esteemed group. Over time such a monetary commitment may ultimately put a value on Solid Scale models lending to their prestige and acceptance in the Art World.

Finally, it should be necessary to relate the efforts of some of our most dedicated members' work to at least one of the most universally accepted problems of the age. Just what this may be should prove of interest to all current and prospective members. Possibly one of the reasons that people are not flocking to smm is because  we have become irrelevant. After all try as we might it is not 1928.

Title: Re: Martin Mariner 2010
Post by: Fingers on July 28, 2013, 10:00:54 AM
Just a thought here, as I haven't been able to contribute much lately -- although I still try to keep tabs on the beautiful work being done by those whose works are showcased on this site:

Instead of thinking in terms of "the chief deficiencies of solid models vs the very detailed plastic models" most people are familiar with today, perhaps we should try preaching a more positive type of gospel: extolling the virtues of good workmanship throughout the entire model-building process. In other words, we should acknowledge that while plastic modelling is a fine thing in its own right, the craftsmanship demanded of the modeller is necessarily limited to work asssociated with assembling and decorating the parts that someone else has built for him, whereas solid modelling demands the modeler to be more of an artisan. Most modelers like the challenge the hobby presents you. Well then, if you want a REAL challenge, young fellow, try your hand at building a solid model from scratch. With nothing but a plan or a three-view drawing to guide you. Now, that's something you can REALLY be proud of...

I don't think we've become "irrelevant," as someone suggested, as much as we've become "niched" by modern technology. The thing we do isn't in any way "deficient". If anything, it's just come to be regarded as "too hard" for generations of hobbyists who've grown up not knowing anything different. But the mere fact that it isn't simple shouldn't be a detriment to it. After all, you only have to attend a wordwoorker's craft show -- and there are plenty of them around every year -- to see that creating a beautiful object out of nothing but the rawest of raw materials, some tools and your bare hands will garner public approbation and admiration.

And THAT is the point at which we can and should tell the admirers, "Yes, this demands a high degree of craftsmanship and the learning of essential skills which most people have forgotten about, if they ever knew they existed to begin with. But it ISN'T magic. It can be learned. There are plenty of people who can teach you. And we guarantee you that the sense of fulfillment you'll get from it FAR exceeds anything you'll ever get from assembling models from a kit. And whereas your choices for kit model subjects are limited strictly to those offered by the kit-making manufacturers, your subjects for solid scratch-built models are, quite literally, endless...

Maybe it does seem hardto people who've grown up in a world of smart phones and automobiles that can park themselves. But therein lies the beauty of it. Remember the lines Tom Hanks uttered to Geena Davis in "A League of Their Own"? I think they could serve to describe the very essence of this hobby:

"It's supposed to be hard...If it was easy, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great".
Title: Re: Martin Mariner 2010
Post by: cliff strachan on July 29, 2013, 09:16:00 AM
Thank you Fingers for your comments. To my mind they were indeed worthy of much further consideration. I particularly liked your reference to the "high degree of craftsmanship" involved in the hobby in general - and certainly with respect to the plastic alternative. But I still  can not help but sense that there is still a deeper role for Solid Scale in today's shallow society and hope that other members, or yet to be members, also come forward with their contributions.

Title: Re: Martin Mariner 2010
Post by: Ken Pugh on July 29, 2013, 01:25:19 PM
It is kind of funny, though.  I'm sure modelers in the 40s and 50s hated to see kids drifting off to the instant gratification of plastic kits when they became available.  Wood modeling probably declined in response.  Today we see the same thing happening as kids are no longer building cheap plastic kits and playing video games instead, leading to the decline of the plastic model society.

The plastic model industry has done a magnificent job of convincing people that plastic is the only way to go.  They talked people into buying their product, convincing them there was no other way to build to their level of realism.  Modelers have spent large sums of money on these models that fail to live up to accuracy standards and consume loads of time to correct these errors.  They spend even more money on the aftermarket parts to accurize the flawed and expensive plastic models.  Rats in a maze.

I was convinced scratch building was too hard, then a good friend in Panama over the internet convinced me otherwise.  You look over in Japan and see solid modelers proudly marching along furthering their craft.  Youngsters over there fell in love with plastic and now with shiny, flashy gadgets and those gentlemen continue along making solid models with full cockpits and details galore.

I chuckle daily at the modelers saying that what we do can't be done.  The money asked for those kits is hilarious, though the prices are not out of line for what is purchased.  It brings a smile to my face when I show a young kid my models and tell them to feel free to pick it up and touch it.  They only have to be careful not to drop it because it might hurt their foot!

Ken Pugh
Title: Re: Martin Mariner 2010
Post by: cliff strachan on July 29, 2013, 01:52:42 PM
Thank you, Ken for your comments. They were also enlightening. But in view of some of the very concerning problems that face society today eg. climate catastrophe, can, in your view, Solid Scale lend itself to a solution?

Title: Re: Martin Mariner 2010
Post by: Fingers on July 29, 2013, 08:48:49 PM
I don't see why not. Plastic is becoming increasingly expensive, as petroleum prices continue to go through the roof. Certainly, that's one good selling point for the solid model alternative. As several members here show repeatedly, solid models can be built from all kinds of materials, including the humblest and most abundant varieties of wood...

I think sometimes we're victims of our own desire for perfection, too. Some of the models the folks here routinely turn out are just impeccably built and magnificently detailed, and that level of craftsmanship can be pretty intimidating to someone who's never tried scratch-building. I know it put me off for years. I used to think only the most masterly of master craftsmen could ever create something so intricate and precise. It took me years before I could summon up the motivation to try my hand at it. I'll be the first to admit that I'm no master even today, but I did come to the realization along the way that in this craft you start with nothing but raw materials, so the degree of accuracy/detail you put into a model is entirely up to you. You can be as general or as precise as you want, and it's all good, provided your work is neat, clean and true to the spirit of the subject. I like that. There are times when I want a more of a challenge, and times when I'm happy with making a model that's essentially a "form study". Solids offer that kind of flexibility.

And that could be a good selling point for prospective modelers, too.

Title: Re: Martin Mariner 2010
Post by: Ken Pugh on July 30, 2013, 07:21:58 AM
My post in this thread was intended to show the humor in the irony that plastic model building probably led to the reduction in solid model building and that the plastic model hobby is itself in decline as people move over into other pursuits.  No political ideas were implied and I am sorry if my wording caused any to be inferred.  I apologize to everyone.
Title: Re: Martin Mariner 2010
Post by: cliff strachan on July 30, 2013, 03:20:10 PM
No need to apologize, Ken, 'though I admit that I did miss your irony. But even there isn't it possible that there still exists a form of "moving away" from plastic models due mainly to the inherent perfection that defines the medium plus the impetus of WW2 being foreign to modern youth?

And as to Fingers interpretation, while interesting and as usual thought provoking, I was trying to associate Solids as a form that might be a contributor in an era of scarcity in general - more or less something as a required occupation, a "cottage industry." An activity that had a minimal effect on the environment while at the same time embodied "time" and an artistic element. Obviously, such an approach requires a great deal of futher thought - which is where you guys come in. But where are our magazines in the stores which seem to have plenty of room for every other conceivable subject?

Title: Re: Martin Mariner 2010
Post by: Ken Pugh on July 30, 2013, 06:19:17 PM
I don't really see a perfection of the medium when I see so many adherents constantly complaining of the flaws of existing kits.  They call for more complex kits and the market provides them, all at a higher price.  They want more and more, they don't build what they have stockpiled, and they are rarely truly satisfied.  I was never as satisfied with assembling a plastic kit as carving my own from scratch.

It is indeed scary that today there are full grown adults who don't know anything about WWII.  I heard recently of a businessman in his 30s who did not know what Normandy was with regard to the US (he was in California and I am sure he has no idea whatsoever of the contributions of Canada and England along with the US in Normandy).

People today are exhaustingly busy.  They have activities daily, whether it is karate, dance, baseball (and all the other associated seasonal balls and pucks), and the list goes on.  Kids do not see their parents building models, reading books, discussing news of the day, helping their neighbors, etc.  The TV has convinced people they must be constant consumers, and the TV tells them what new thing they must provide their children or they are child abusers.

My oldest granddaughter was interested in building models and we built one together.  She lives far away so I can't foster that desire.  Plus, she is now 13 so her hormones will be leading her through life for the next few years.  I only hope she will come back to grandpa some day to try to build something.

As far as solids go, I think it has left the awareness of modern adults, though that can easily change.  For youngsters, people are so terrified their little babies may cut their fingers with an evil knife they would never let their kids anywhere near the hobby.  I suggested to someone a couple of years ago that he carve his own prop and he looked at me like I suggested we build a Saturn 5 rocket and go to the moon.  He was shocked when I told him 9 year old boys use to carve props at home with a pocket knife and no computer.

Whenever we see something that can benefit people, all we can do is preserve it and share it.  We can't make people wake up.  Whether it is solid models, political awareness, preserving history, sharing the gospel, educating about good diet and exercise, chess, whatever it is that a person feels strongly about, all we can do is preserve and present until those who know it all wake up and realize they need to investigate something else.  When that opportunity presents itself, he who is prepared and well-rehearsed can pounce.

Ken Pugh
Title: Re: Martin Mariner 2010
Post by: cliff strachan on July 31, 2013, 10:06:39 AM
Extremely interesting and thought provoking, Ken. I feel like saying, "Amen." But at the same time I don't think we have the luxury to sit on our hands and wait. It is indeed a small satisfaction to be able to say:"See I told you so."  I believe that its time to take the initiative and take the alternative to the "consummer." We must surely have enough articles, photographs, plans and comments from members to publish a limited magazine - possibly at some cost to current members if necessary.