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From the opposite end of the workbench

…the twisted ramblings of a ship modeler.


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Where is it written that we as modelers, are restricted to one type of model? I realized, as I was sitting here working on a Tamiya 1/48 Fw-190D-9, that I was HAVING FUN. The kit is nice, everything fits, and I’ve built enough airplanes in my past to do it in my sleep…’Instructions? We don’t need no stinking instructions’. Hell, I was having so much fun that I actually went and got another Focke-Wulf model (a Ta-152H-1) and started working on two at the same time!!

Modeling, whatever area you choose, is a great hobby. It’s relaxing, entertaining, and is relatively safe compared to say, nude skydiving, or running with the bulls. Still, I find myself gritting my teeth and struggling through yet another bad ship kit, never realizing that I have the RIGHT to put it down and build something (anything) that’s fun, easy to build, or dare I say, both. Some of the purists will call it cheating…”You’re working on an airplane?? And you call yourself a ship modeler???” Yes…it’s an airplane, or a tank, or a race car…hell, it could be Heidi Klumm, it doesn’t matter, you’re still working on a model.

As long as you’re not developing the bad habits that go along with some of these specific types of modeling, it’s okay once in awhile to build something different, if for no other reason, to prove that you’re not a ship modeling snob…or, to prove to your friends that’s there’s a reason why you build ships and they don’t…because everything else is too easy. Isn’t it nice to ruin your pals’ day by putting an airplane on the model table, your first in a year or two, and beat up on the competition?? Although you’re not the competitive type, it still feels good to know that ‘you got the touch’, doesn’t it?

I built these two aircraft over a period of two weeks…and in that time, did some online research to see what new developments had passed me by in the field of aircraft modeling. Lo and Behold, I learned something new…Future Floor Wax…

Now, it’s probably not news to most of you, hell, it’s not news to me either, but it’s the first time I tried it. Better to experiment on a plastic airplane kit than on a resin ship, right? I’ve thrown out the Testor’s Dull-Cote, now it’s Future Floor Wax mixed with Tamiya X-21 Flat base…for a quart of clear flat that doesn’t stink up the house, give the wife an allergy attack, or orange peel on my model…not to mention the cost…$2.49 for the Flat Base, and $2.79 for a quart of Future…

So my little venture back into aircraft models did accomplish something…a new technique learned and applied…one more thing to add to the repertoire of modeling skills I’ve compiled over the years…I build nice ships…hell, I build great ships…but ya’ know what? My aircraft aren’t that shabby either. Diversify, learn, enjoy…BUILD.

Jeff Herne