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From the opposite end of the workbench

…the twisted ramblings of a ship modeler.

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The Internet’s Scourge of Modeling…Rec.Models.Scale


I’ve just returned from a horrifying journey…a journey to a place where EVERYONE is the CEO of Revell-Monogram, everyone has a full understanding of the Chinese Communist culture and the Trumpeter juggernaut, and everyone sits behind their computer wearing Rocky Balboa USA boxing shorts and kicks the dog just because they’re the meanest, toughest, smartest SOB in the Cyberworld.

Sound like a bad horror movie? It’s not…its called R.M.S., or the Rec.Models.Scale newsgroup.

I started posting to RMS to help promote the website, since I noticed that ship modelers were few and far between. I also noticed a lot of newbie ship modelers asking basic questions and getting assaulted, insulted, and abused. How DARE YOU BE SO IGNORANT!!! FOR SHAME, NOW GO WRITE “I will not be an ignorant newbie” 10,000 times!!!

In my previous editorials I’ve written about mutants, and poked fun at the different types of modelers that are out there. Well, there’s one group of mutants I’ve forgotten…the RMS-ers.

Now, before I continue on this crusade to expose these over-inflated morons, let me make note that there are SOME nice people that actually post there…if you’re one of them, then you are a far more tolerant person than I, and I applaud you for being able to withstand the stupidity and sheer ignorance that pervade this forum.

RMS is basically an un-moderated forum composed of a group of the Internet’s scum of modeling. Folks ask a question, get slammed, verbally assaulted, and leave…never to return. Others post anti-war protests, porn sites, and ‘send me your money for kits’ scams… you’re free to attack anyone you please, and there’s no language filters. Nothing is sacred, not even Mother.

So why are you writing about RMS, oh Twisted One? Were you wronged by the evildoers? Nah, not really, it was nothing that on any other day would have raised my blood pressure 10-15 points…and it actually wasn’t a posting on the RMS board itself. It was an email from a CLASS A mutant who felt it necessary to insult my intelligence, my family, and anything else he could think of from the sanctity and safety of his trailer park in East-BumF*** Kansas.

I must admit that a lecture on the impact of fiscal federalism on a free world economy written by a buck-tooth half-breed in crayon is actually entertaining…now, if you’re a buck-tooth half-breed living in a trailer park in East-BumF*** Kansas, and I’ve offended thee, well, sorry… but there’s Ig-nur-rant Ones in your midst.

So anyway, instead of simply pointing out a simple mistake, I was lectured on precisely how ignorant I am… and it got me to thinking… Why, with everything else in the world that bothers me, should I care?

The world is on the brink of war, in Iraq, Korea, and the Philippines. Some members of the world community, and members of our population, including our knee-jerk limousine liberal celebrities, in my opinion ignorant themselves, think that the US is responsible for Sept. 11 and 3000 civilians dying, and that we shouldn’t take our frustrations out on terrorists and 3rd world dictators who gasses his own civilians… I won’t be going to any Martin Sheen movies or asking BJ Hunnicutt for his autograph anytime soon… and it kinda bummed me that Helen Hunt and even Agent Sculley (Gillian Anderson) are actively protesting the war…I guess they’re coming off my list of ‘female celebs I’d like to see wrapped in an American flag naked’ list…   uhhh…nevermind.

Anyway…as much as it bothers me, that’s not really relevant here…what’s relevant is that in the modeling world, I AM IGNORANT and uneducated. Ah geez, looks like I won’t be finding a cure for getting PE to stick better to resin anytime soon, since Cambridge is revoking my PhD in scale modeling. Oh well...

The internet is a wonderful place to get instant information about anything…because chances are there’s someone out there who’s far more warped than you are, and has already posted the information you want or need for all the world to see. But at the same time, it’s very easy to get caught up in the web of nonsense that this free medium offers us.

So where do these people fit into the complex structure of the social modeling class? At the very bottom…these are mega-mutants, they don’t build, they are like leaches, grabbing on and not letting go, sucking the very lifeblood from your modeling soul…they want to attack you, because they have a perverse sense of pleasure from pointing out that your Bf-109 is the incorrect shade of dunklegrau.

How do escape? After long, exhaustive research, I’ve found a multi-step process that actually works…

Step #1: Go to RMS, and jot down the email addresses of the ‘nice people’ you’ve interacted with. Sned them an email just to let them know you’re not dead.

Step#2: After you have both of the email addresses of the nice people, post a thread on the board telling the mutant scourge just what you think of them. Since there’s no moderation or filtering, be creative, after all this is your grand exit. Just remember that playing a mutant (even on TV) makes you not better than them, it just shows you’re too thin skinned to stand the heat of the kitchen…

Step#3: Unsubscribe.

Step#4: Build a model and shut up…which is EXACLTY what I’m going to do.

As my blood pressure is finally beginning to get back to normal levels, I’ve gone back and read what I’ve written here…and even I am fascinated at the rant…I guess that’s the sign of a decent writer, when you go back and read something you’ve written, and it makes sense, at least from your own twisted perspective.

On the side…there’s a lot of crap going on in the world… and whether or not you agree with getting rid of Saddam or Osama is irrelevant, because there’s a time and place for those discussions, and this isn’t the place… I believe that modeling is therapy, it’s supposed to be relaxing, entertaining, and fun…it’s supposed to be a hobby. Unfortunately, it’s become political, big-business, and for many, an obsession. And that’s too bad, because there’s no doubt in my mind that it has scared many good modelers and hobbyists away.

Anyway, Kagero is calling…

Jeff Herne