IPMS LogoInternational Plastic Modelers' Society / USA

IPMS LogoInternational Plastic Modelers' Society / USA



Kicking The Bee's Nest - Older Modelers

By Tom "The BeeMaster" Stead, #39989

This month I?d like to discuss the older modeler. You know, us. Let?s take a good look at what we bring to the hobby.

First of all, we bring a new outlook to our craft. Those viewpoints of a search for excellence, no matter how obscure the subject. Our love of the hobby compels us to achieve new, ever-higher standards.

We also bring our patience, a not unimportant virtue. This reflects in our improved outlook on life. No longer do we rush to complete our joys. Rather, we relish those peaceful moments at bench or table. We think nothing of taking two months or more to complete a project, as opposed to the two-day maximum of our youth.

Our willingness to share our knowledge is also important. I am continually amazed at the capacity of our members to share secrets and tips. Even those of us who compete in contests don?t think twice about giving advice or conducting workshops. Take a look at our commitment to outside projects. Science Museums, the Smithsonian, and our work for floating Battleship and Aircraft Carrier Museums around the country are all great examples.

Sorry to say, there is a downside to all this. Our eyesight ain?t what it used to be. More and more I find myself using a headband magnifier when assembling small parts. I imagine that eventually I?ll be forced to work in larger scales. Already I find myself being drawn into a vortex of 1/48th scale Luftwaffe and WW I biplanes. Likewise the hands get a bit shaky. I worry more and more about cyanoacrylate disasters and screwed up canopy lines than ever before. And don?t get me started about how kit parts are shrinking as they get more accurate and complicated!

On the plus side, our sense of smell is pretty much shot, so the aromas of solvents, thinners, paints and resin dust don?t bother us much anymore. I guess that?s why we have so many stogie suckers at the meetings. Maybe we should get a Hollywood wind machine to clear the hall.

Best of all, our hearing loss lets us ?ignore? the snide remarks from relatives and spouses so we can concentrate better on our kits.

January 2004