The World Of Plastic Models

    I have been making models for so many years now that I can handle a modeling knife much like I would a pencil. It seems like second nature to me in fact. I started more years back than I care to remember actually. Over those years the collection has seen many purges (some stuff just looked to rough and raw eventually). As you get better the stuff you have built gets better. The older creations get uglier as your skill increases. I must  have hit a peak though. I am happy to keep what I make now.
   The secret to making a good kit is knowing that it is 80% patience 19% sweat and 1% skill. Of course buying a decent kit also helps. A model that begins as garbage will likely end up remaining garbage. I have seen plenty of people that claim to be unable to do something, go on and do a great job with the right coaching. In one extreme case my good friend Paul, after being told he merely needed to keep trying till he got  it right, has gone on to be a genuine genius with his hands. He truly is skilled in every sense of the word. Look through a million people and you might find one Paul. I am not so arrogant to say I created Paul, I merely encouraged him.


   My preferred field of models is military. Most significantly tanks. I have never had the interest in car models. Planes are fine for goofing off but I donít dedicate much to them. They just seem to easy. Perhaps my most impressive kits are my 4 large 1/350th scale Tamiya Battleships. I have 4 of the large 1/25th scale Tamiya  tanks as well. The only downside with them is they take up a great deal of shelf space. I have almost every tank that ever clanked over a WW2 battlefield to some extent in 1/72nd or 1/35th scale. Alas the collection is half made and half still in the box (easy to buy, hard to get to, which sounds familiar with my other hobbies).


   I am a very discerning collector. Often I have been in a hobby shop and witnessed a young person buying a model based solely on the price tag. I have always endeavoured to illustrate the merits of spending enough to make it worth it. Some companies are merely interested in the bottom line, making a buck. Alright if the person merely wants to dump glue on it and stick it in a drawer later.
   I have yet to find any reason to buy kits from any other than Tamiya (Japan), Italeri (Italy), Dragon (Korea I think), and Hasegawa (Japan). Tamiya also makes the best non military subjects out there that I know. There are many after market sources as well to add additional complexity to a model. Verlinden is the king of super detailing in my opinion. I have seen few that can compare, although I have been effectively removed from a decent modeling market now fully 10 years.


    There are a number of well known North American companies that reeeeally suck in my opinion. Revell is in my opinion not worth the cardboard used to box the models. I like Monogram, but they make aircraft kits that are at best practice models. The miniatures wargaming market have Citadel brand, which perhaps makes the most expensive and the most lousy plastic kits I have ever experienced in my life. A friend requested I put a futuristic armoured vehicle kit together for him. I was interested in the miniatures line of wargaming at the time as well. Even though he was paying me to do it I considered it an experience I will never do again. Citadel models are the Plan Nine From Outer Space of models in my opinion. So crummy they are laughable.


    I am rather proud of my collection of model making reference. I was a big fan of Military Modeler Magazine up to the point where they merged with Scale Modeler and expected me to stomach the same tired airplane kits endlessly in place of my tank kit articles (in all fairness though Military modeler gets a bit stale easy enough too, you only need so many articles on the Sherman tank).
    In a strange twist, some of my most reliable info on vehicles comes through my wargaming hobby, and not the model making hobby. My ASL game (Advanced Squad Leader) manual is a veritable treasure trove of data. Currently I rely on my connection with the Military Book club of Doubleday to provide for the type of titles I require (they are a good service). Good model literature is a limited a market normally. I find that Fine Scale Modeler is the best all round multi genre quality model making advice source on the market. I have several of their special issue publications. In the end though, modelers have to look in many places to find good advice.
    I am not sure how long it will take or how practical it will be. I am hoping to generate an ever expanding gallery of imagery from the world of models for inclusion on this page as a sub category eventually. My image resources are quite vast, so I wont have to look elsewhere for them though. I am hoping to generate up scans of all my past model box art work (yes I save the box art, some is very good). I am also hoping to do the same with the instruction sheets (which I also never get rid of).
    I am hoping to make a list of the best kits I have ever had the pleasure of doodling with as well soon. A gallery of all the best I have ever had the pleasure of encountering.