Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #13: Help Yourself Out to Some of My Disaster

This week's Sprue Cutters Union question is:  How do you prepare for your next build?

This best way for me to discuss how I prepare for a build is to give an example, but I gotta be honest here - I'm crazy.  Nothing I write below can be justified as the thoughts or actions of a sane person.  But nonetheless, here is a look into my mind:

Last Saturday at the Cincinnati Scale Modelers Contest, I purchased the new Airfix Harrier GR.1.  I've long wanted to model XV741 as it appeared in Canada for cold weather testing at Cold Lake in the winter of 1969.  Thanks to a Harrier fanatic friend I have a nice photo of this aircraft in July of 1970 with a Canadian flag on the intake.  Awesome.  Was the flag on both sides?  Dunno.  I would really like it to be so, but I can't confirm it either way.  There is also some video of this aircraft showing it was painted with red wingtips and outriggers during its time in Canada.  (Fast forward to about 6:50.)  But the bad news is I don't see the flag in the video. Indeed, most of the photos are from the wrong side, and yes, it is possible that the flag wasn't on both sides of the airplane, but in order to start the model I need to know.  (Oh, did I mention that in the photo, the Harrier does not appear to have the red wingtips and outriggers.)  So here I am wanting to build a model of a Harrier with red wingtips and outriggers and a Canadian flag on each side of the airplane, but I can't confirm the airplane was actually painted that way.  I know it is my model and I should just build it how I want; but the former history major in me wants it to be correct.  (Oddly, my artist friend Smith would be aghast that I would even consider doing so.  In his opinion, a modeler should be concerned only about creating an impression, not an exact replica.)  So, I guess I will go build something less interesting that is better documented.  And people wonder why I never finish anything...


Martin Keenan said...

I think that you've run up against the intersection of three issues:

1) How accurate do you want to be in modelling this aircraft?

2) How much information do you need to be this accurate?

And most importantly...

3) Does the information for 1) and 2) even exist?

I've run across this with other modelling situations. If all you have is the one photograph, then all you can do is match what you know is correct, and interpolate/guess the rest. It's when you have multiple (but still not complete) sources of information, possibly some conflicting, that issues arise.

I understand the history major point of view, but this assumes that the proper documentation exists to determine the situation one way or the other. One nice thing -- if there isn't enough documentation to show absolutely what you need to do, then there's also no way anyone can prove that you're wrong!

David M. Knights said...

The proof that what you modeled is incorrect shows up immediately after you finish your build. Happens ever time.

Dave Fleming said...

What dknights said! So hurry up and build it so we can find out!!