Saturday, 31 August 2013

Can't touch this

I recently stumbled across the Sprue Cutters' Union while reading Jim Bates' blog. The attraction of joining this loose association of bloggers is that someone else kindly does the hard work – coming up with the subject each week. Not only does it provide much needed motivation to write regularly, it's also fascinating to see how other modellers interpret the concept.

This week's theme asked us what models would likely never reach our workbench. My immediate reaction was "any kit by Marivox or Mach 2" but after consideration I decided that wasn't strictly true. OK, so you'd actually have to pay me to build another Marivox kit, which was the only reason I finished a commission build of their Saab 105 several years ago – to this day it remains the worst model I've ever had to build. And I have to admit I own several Mach 2 kits in my stash, there purely because my interest in the subject matter overrides (just) the poor quality of the kits.

Marivox 1/72 Saab 105

So, my final answer on this question is: the new 1/32 Tamiya F-4U Corsair. By all accounts it's the pinnacle of plastic modelling engineering and accuracy, and there are some stunning builds of it (check out Spencer Pollard's build in the current issue of Tamiya Magazine, or this example on Hyperscale). So why will it never grace my workbench? Firstly, I have absolutely zero interest in the subject matter. I know some guys who are total Corsair nuts and can happily build nothing else, but it's one of those aircraft that utterly fails to inspire me (and we all have our own personal examples of this). It's nothing to do with its ugliness – I'm usually a big fan of ugly planes and find they make great modelling subjects – but perhaps more to do with the limited colour schemes. I mean, they're all blue aren't they? Conceivably I could be persuaded to do a FAA aircraft except for the second reason: it's the wrong scale. I build mainly in 1/72 with the occasional foray into 1/48, but (like building a Marivox kit) I'd have to be paid to build in the big scale. I realise that the Tamiya Corsair is a totally different animal than the Revell Eurofighter that I built recently, but it's still much too big to comfortably fit on the workbench and there's just SO much detail. I'm afraid I have a much too low threshold to boredom to be a 'one-kit-a-year' modeller. Oh, hold on a minute...

A few other members of the union on this subject:-

Friday, 30 August 2013

Summer Blues

As we approach the beginning of September it's alarming to me that my last blog post was at the end of March; five months later I'm still in the same state of modelling lethargy. Over the last few months I've barely touched plastic, which I can attribute to various factors. Firstly, it just feels downright wrong to head downstairs to the bench in the basement while my wife's on the deck in the hot sunshine... Secondly, I'm feeling burnt out after a few years of intensive article writing, working to deadlines and cataloguing every stage – I enjoy it, but it can begin to feel more like work than recreation. Thirdly, several (though fortunately not all) of the forums that I used to visit on a daily basis for inspiration seem to have been taken over by snide, cynical, short-fused posters. And now the English Premier League is on TV again, how am I supposed to get any building done at weekends?

The last completion, back in February, was an Airfix 1/72 Curtiss Helldiver. Any rational person wanting a SB2C model would have started with the beautifully engineered, reasonably priced, readily available, highly accurate Academy kit. In my defense I was asked by the editor of Airfix Model World to build the old 1968 kit (albeit in a new box with lovely decals). To be honest, I probably derived more enjoyment/satisfaction from updating this old beast than I would have from building the state-of-the-art Academy kit, although the latter would undoubtedly have been way more accurate and a nicer model. The full build article has just been published in the September issue of AMW.