Author Topic: Martin Mariner 2010  (Read 7557 times)

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Fingers

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Re: Martin Mariner 2010
« Reply #15 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".

cliff strachan

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Re: Martin Mariner 2010
« Reply #16 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.

Cliff

Ken Pugh

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Re: Martin Mariner 2010
« Reply #17 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

cliff strachan

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Re: Martin Mariner 2010
« Reply #18 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?

Cliff

Fingers

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Re: Martin Mariner 2010
« Reply #19 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.


Ken Pugh

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Re: Martin Mariner 2010
« Reply #20 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.

cliff strachan

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Re: Martin Mariner 2010
« Reply #21 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?

Cliff.

Ken Pugh

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Re: Martin Mariner 2010
« Reply #22 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

cliff strachan

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Re: Martin Mariner 2010
« Reply #23 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.

Cliff.