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From the opposite end of the workbench

…the twisted ramblings of a ship modeler.


In Defense of the Realm…

I’ve written several editorials, poking fun at other modelers, myself, and the family. But the editorial that received the loudest response was ‘All modelers are weird, except ship modelers’. I received numerous emails from my modeling brethren, including armor, aircraft, sci-fi, and even a few car modelers. Everyone agreed that it was funny, and that, although I was poking fun, much of it was, sadly, true.

Then one day it happened…I got my first hate mail about the article.

I’ll copy it here for y’all to peruse…Now, once I pasted this email in, my word processor wanted to automatically correct all the spelling errors, and I had to fight tooth and nail to get my machine to agree to print it just as it came to me…

Dear Mr. Modelwarship,

I just read  your article about all modellers are wierd and I must say that you have offended dam near every one. I personnally think you are an ignorant idiot and an ass****. What gives you the right to pass judgement on other modellers? I’ve never seen your name in Fine Scale magazine, and I’ve never heard your name announced at the Nationals.

I think your models stink, and you should learn who to write (I think he meant ‘how’). I’d challenge you a model building contest any day in any categroy and still kick your ass.  If you spend more time building models and less time writing useless crap that offends people then maybe you might  get an honorable mention at a local contest. Maybe you should stick with the novise category instead of tryng to run with the big dogs.


*********  ***********

Master Modeller

PS: I’ve also heard you wrote a book. I bet it sucks too just like your models. 


At first, I was ticked off…a sort of knee-jerk reaction. Then I read it a few times, and realized this was hate mail from a self-proclaimed ‘Master Modeler’. I’ve got a real pet peeve about folks who call themselves ‘Master Modelers’, since it’s kinda like calling yourself ‘Sir’ or ‘Lord’ or ‘Baron’. Where did this term originate, and why have folks like this mutant chosen to bestow upon themselves this title? 

If there were a set of criteria for a ‘Master’ modeler, I could understand if it’s someone who’s taken Best of Show at a Nationals, or someone who’s work is beyond comprehension…(we all know a couple of those guys). But, ironically, those aren’t the types of guys that go around calling themselves ‘Master Modelers’. I could understand if some organization like IPMS or FineScale or some modeling authority bestowed the title on someone…

So anyway, I thought about a long, elaborate reply to our ‘Master Modeler’, who shall go unnamed, in an attempt to set him straight. I read the email again…and then it hit me. The letter contained 146 words, and 9 were spelled incorrectly, including his own title of ‘Master Modeler’. I started to realize that there was nothing that I could say that could alter the mutant embedded idiocy this person possessed. Eventually, after my blood pressure came back down to normal, it actually became funny. So funny, in fact, that I’m writing about it here. I was starting to worry about running out of things to write about, but thankfully, Master Modeler has carried me through another month.

It amazes me that modelers can be so ignorant. After all, we cross a multitude of generations, religions, cultures, interests and beliefs. For the most part, in this large internet community, we all get along fairly well, and we are tolerant of others. What amazed me, was that although I poked fun at all aspects of modeling, and the folks that make up the community, I managed to piss off someone who apparently feels he speaks for the modeling community, and has bestowed upon himself the title of ‘Master Modeler’. Could it be that I have found the Master of all Mutants?

Humor is a unique trait that we, as humans, possess. To my knowledge, we are the only species on this planet that practices humor. We actually go out and find things that make us laugh. Other animals can find things that bring them pleasure, such as food, a mate, or a warm place to sleep, but we humans are the only ones that actively pursue the effects of an emotion.  

I’ve written some funny stuff in my day, and modelers aren’t the first folks I’ve offended. I’ve written some serious stuff, written about the effects of fiscal federalism on 3rd world economies (yes…and it bored me to death), I’ve written about history, modeling, music, dogs, cars, and lots of other things. I enjoy writing humor because it’s pure emotion… ranting is often fun, because you inevitably reach a point where you don’t make any sense, even to yourself, and therein lies the humor. If folks are so narrow-minded to be unable to laugh about our faults and idiosyncrasies as humans, I think we should reconsider renewing our membership to the gene pool. 

It was probably MM’s (Master Modeler) goal to take the noble path and slay the dragon of bad humor, and to defend the realm from the evil twisted ship modeler.

Well, sorry ‘Master Modeler’…ain’t gonna happen booger, at least not until you can learn to spell, or at least operate a spell checker.

And, ya’ know what else? They won’t let me compete in the Novice category anymore. And my name has appeared in FSM at least once. Oh, I lectured at the Nationals once too…and when you finally get a chance to leave your trailer park in East Bum-**** Kansas, and head East to the big city of New York, stop by the NJ Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum, and ask to speak to the Director, okay? Just be sure to remember that you need a shirt and shoes to get in…

I stopped caring what people thought about me a long time ago…and I learned early on that most folks are decent, honest people that can appreciate even a semi-good joke.

I hold modelers in higher regard, since we share a common bond, our hobby. But, just like the hockey player that likes to fight, the race car driver that likes to bang fenders, the ball pitcher who likes to pitch inside, there’s one in every crowd that’s over the top…even in room full of mutant modelers like ourselves.

Now, I’ve gone back and proofed this article, and it started me thinking…my poor Master Modeler is probably going to have a hard time understanding some of this, so I thought I’d be a good sport and help him out with some definitions of some of the big words…for the rest of you, go build a model!  

Peruse – to browse or look over. Is strongly suggest you peruse a 5th grade grammar and spelling book.

Self-Proclaimed – Giving yourself title or importance, usually without any basis of validity.

the effects of fiscal federalism on 3rd world economies – This is what happens when a big company moves into your town and levels your trailer park to make a parking lot, then hires you as the janitor.

I think we should reconsider renewing our membership to the gene pool. – This means you shouldn’t date your own sister.

There’s a fine line between insulting someone and pokng fun at human nature. It’s far more noble to laugh at yourself than it is to defend your faults.


Jeff Herne