Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #8: Living in the Model World

This week's Sprue Cutters Union question is:  How has living in the small scale world influenced your day-to-day view or understanding of the 1:1 world?

There are days I wonder if I am even a modeler at all. I don't finish many kits and, quite honestly, my answer to the above question is not much. Sure, FS 17100 will always mean something to me, but when someone mentions eggplant I will start to wonder what is for dinner. Yes, occasionally, I look out the window at the wing of a jetliner and notice that the panel lines do look shaded and there is weathering there, but my outlook on the world is more influenced by my legal and pilot training. My legal training taught me to question everything and I think my view of the world from the skies has been more influential than anything I've learned from scale modeling. It relates back to a statement I made a few weeks ago that I think I'm more a frustrated pilot and wannabe museum creator and curator than a modeler. I like looking at airplanes, but I like looking at airplanes fly. I'm the guy who wants to see it moving, not taking photos of every little detail.  I'm more interested in the history and machinery than the details.  I yearn for the freedom of flight.

This was brought into focus by a conversion the other day with Kentucky Law Pirate David Knights.  Earlier this week, the Heritage Flight Foundation lined up a bunch of Grumman Cats on their ramp in Everett. I sent David a photo of the planes that I downloaded from Facebook and he said "he would have loved to have been there."  I mentioned that because of the bad weather there was no flying, which was a bummer.

He said, "flying didn't matter to him."

That sounds like the answer of a modeler.  My statement sounds like the answer of a pilot. I build models because I can't own and fly a Hellcat, Spitfire, or Hurricane. They are a little static reminders of the dream. Yes, I like working with my hands and it gives me something to do with my minimal spare time, but if I had the funding I'd give up on 1/72 and go work in 1/1 scale. It seems to me David is actually more interested in 1/72 than 1/1. I guess he is the real modeler...

Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributor's posts within your own response. So here are a few posts from some of the other members:

David is always on the lookout for modeling help.
Mike works in a little Dylan.
Scale Model Workbench says modeling gives him a greater appreciation of humanity.
Yet another plastic modeller is obsessed.


Lt. Smash said...

Great post, Jim.

Martin Keenan said...

I've dealt with the exact opposite -- my Brother, who has little to no interest in things unless they're moving around and making noise.

We visited Duxford some years ago on a trip to the UK. He had very little interest in the static collections (spectacular though they were), but had a great time watching some of the resident aircraft practicing for an airshow the next day. That made the day for him.

I can see the merits of both, but given the choice, I prefer aircraft to be active if it's practical for them to be so.