IPMS LogoInternational Plastic Modelers' Society / USA

IPMS LogoInternational Plastic Modelers' Society / USA



Kicking The Bee's Nest - Dissent In The Hobby

By Tom "The BeeMaster" Stead, #39989

This month I?m kickin? the nest big time.  I?d like to talk about dissent in our hobby.  Since I?m sure to offend everybody about something, I?ll apologize in advance.

Modelling should never be monolithic.  By that I mean that our hobby is more than big enough to accommodate everyone with every taste.  To me, this is self-evident, however I have noticed a tendency to keep within a small group.  Just as an example, manufacturers are so busy supplying high tech and high price kits that the poor schlub at the lower end of the hobby (I mean beginners and ?fun? modellers) seem to be left out of the equation.

To bring up another sore point, contests vs. displays.  In correspondence with Glenn DeVries (yes, I?ll pay my fine) he suggests that while he believes contests are self-serving and self destructive (I disagree, by the way), why not have both?  In this, I do agree with him.  Displays of all kinds can only do well by showing off our hobby.  Has anyone thought of small displays for schools, libraries, and VFW halls?  As I stated in my first ?nest, contests do serve the modelling community by showcasing skills and encouraging development of the same.  I believe that simple displays would do the same for the younger or less skilled modeller.  Have we forgotten the pride we felt when we were young and showing off that simple MONOGRAM or AURORA kit to our buddies?  Why not give the new modeller a chance to feel that pride.

Another form of dissent is the obsessive attitude.  By that I mean the building of only one type of model.  In this I plead guilty as well, with my concentration on Luftwaffe aircraft.  However, recent experience with a biplane kit has shown me the pleasures of rigging and moderate detailing.  I?ll definitely be increasing my collection of stringbags (in 1/48th scale no less!).  Likewise my recent purchase of some USN aircraft will prove an interesting and colorful diversion.  I think breaking out of our ruts is a good thing.

Civilized disagreement, and by that I mean no name-calling or personal attacks, should always be respected.  I would hope that we have not forgotten that our country was founded on differences and we have gone to war, not once but many times to preserve that freedom.  Isn?t that one of the reasons we build?

Please remember that professional is an attitude and not a college degree or how many articles you get printed or contests you win (or lose).  All of us can benefit by thinking like this.

I hope that I?ve given everyone something to think about.  Don?t always assume that dissent or disagreement is bad.

October 2003