Newbies and Wannabees are, believe it or not, the future of our hobby.
Every single one of us was a newbie or a wannabee, or both, at some point
in our lives. Most of us didn’t realize it until we went to our first
model contest, and we were stunned, dumbfounded, awestruck, and outright
intimidated by the models on the tables. You can always tell a newbie or
wannabee, because they’re like country folks in the big city for the first
time…deer in the headlights look, eyes wide, staring, taking photos of
everything…this is a whole new world to them, it is alien. But you were
there once too…back then, you were painting with the little Testor’s or
Pactra enamels, using the plastic bristled brushes and working on your
Revell Missouri or Hawk Spitfire (admit it, all of you). There was no such
thing as resin, photoetch, CA, zip kicker, or aftermarket parts or
conversion kits…it was whatever was on the shelf in the local drugstore
for under $2.00.
As much of a modeling idiot-snob as I am, I always try to encourage and
help newbies or wannabees as much as I can, with no bad humor or ill will
about the types of models they build. After all, these modelers are
fragile, and easily influenced. Folks can only progress so far by reading
and looking at photos. It falls on our shoulders to help modelers to learn
the techniques that we’ve learned or discovered or dreamed up. I recently
taught one of my modeling students how to dry-brush. He now dry-brushes
everything, including his cat…he’s so enthralled with the concept of
dry-brushing, something I’ve done for years, and now just take for granted
that everyone else does, too.
Modeling is a solitary hobby, we do it alone, locked in closets and
basements and converted spaces in our homes, and we rarely venture out,
the monthly model club meeting, and the occasional model show, to show off
the results of our work. But during that time in between, we do the best
we can with what tools and knowledge we have.
?I wish I could build like him? Why? He?s overweight, losing his hair,
unemployed, his wife left him for the mailman, kids are in reform school,
and he?s spent every last cent on his models?that?s a helluva price to pay
for that stupid little trophy, isn?t it? No, we can?t let the newbies and
wannabees be disillusioned, because it really doesn?t matter in the end.
Your models should be built as well as you want them to be. If you don?t
like rigging, then don?t rig. If you want to drybrush and weather and
photoetch, then go for it, knock yourself out. If your model wins the
Nationals, good for you, that plaque will sit nicely on your desk. But if
your model wins your approval, that?s all that really matters?
As I sit here writing, under the influence of cough and cold medication
(the perfect time to write about this garbage in my opinion) I’ve come to
the realization that we’re all weird, every one of us…equally…NASCAR guys
no doubt laugh at us, who in turn are laughed at by armor modelers…and the
Sc-Fi guys are laughing at all of us, because they care the least about
what people think…and I guess I really don’t care what people think (or
do) for that matter… “Well good, cuz I need you to help me out…ya’ see, I
need to get the accurate colors for the Rousch-Viagra-Pfizer-Rubbermaid-Trojan-Sharpie
P-51 Mustang… ugh…
Now before you all decide to storm the castle and lynch me, let me confess
that I build everything…I am what I like to call a MUTT MODELER. I build
aircraft, armor, ships, figures, cars, and even sci-fi. I build whatever
suits my mood at particular moment. So, if you’re an armor modeler (or
whatever) and you’re offended because you’ve been classified by the above
article, remember that there’s a little bit of me in EVERY SINGLE line
I’ve written. Ok, there’s A LOT of me in these lines. If we can’t poke fun
at ourselves, then we shouldn’t be dipping our toes into the gene pool.
Humor is, after all, universal.
For all you folks with dirty minds wondering about freezing the balls off
a brass monkey, here’s your lesson for today… In the olden days of ships
with cannon, the cannonballs were stacked on a square metal base, with
indentations for the bottom row of cannon balls. The balls would then be
stacked in a pyramid on top of the frame. The frame was made of brass, and
when it got very cold, the brass would contract to the point that the
cannonballs would roll off…the frame was called a ‘Monkey’ by
sailors…thus, freezing the balls off a brass monkey.
Now go build a
The Modeling Miscreant
Copyright © IPMS/USA - March 2004