I thought that my Tamiya tape seatbelts are the epitome of modeling skills, not! I have seen model aircraft in 1/48 scale with numbers on their instrument panel dials and no, they don’t use some fancy Eduard stuff…it’s painted on! No seam lines can be seen…it’s all smooth whilst mine have gaps and cracks all around! Even if I fill and sand the seams, there is now a small ridge of putty! And talk about putty, I really don’t use the stuff…children’s modeling clay would do! I must also confess that sometimes I get my fingerprints on the models courtesy of stray drops of cement or that there is cement on my fingers. The problem has been significantly reduced for the past few years as I have discovered that sandpapers are useful to the hobby.
Browsing through the internet or the shop windows of Miniature Hobbies and Hobby HQ, I wonder how do they get the lines between camouflage colors so smooth. Somebody told me that they are created through airbrushes. Ah yes…that most basic equipment of any modeler. Well being the worst modeler I stick to my paintbrushes. If I paint camo’d tanks or planes, I’d end up with highly contrasting edges between the colors, totally toy-like and not a model, according to certain zealots. That is unless I’m painting planes which DO have hard-edge camo. Whatever it is, on closer inspection, it looks like they have been painted using mops! Then there is the concept of weathering. Me? Nah, I don’t need to do that, my painting skills have already made the models look weathered!
Most modelers have a dedicated studio to indulge in their hobby. I built my models on the all-purpose dining table. I use the end which seldom used by my family (unless there’s somebody coming for dinner). That part of the table is marked with glue deposits, stray paints, small holes caused by the drill and damaged surfaces from spilled superglue. Good thing I have discovered that window-cleaning liquid and Easy Off Bang are useful to remove the paints!
I am also ham-fisted…I really can’t work with delicate plastic and metal parts, it all got broken or distorted. My PE railings of the inclined ladders on my 1/350 HMS King George V look like it has abused by overweight skateboarding dudes! And sometimes I have to leave off the small parts completely pretending that they are lost through battle damage.
Finally, many modlers arm themselves with a whole array of tools, tools enough to build a real tank/aircraft/car/ships. For me, I just have a scissors, hobby knife, nailclipper and paintbrushes to build my ‘masterpiece’. Oh, talk about masterpieces, My models only look good from six feet away!