Deep Thoughts

Don’t let the “heard” mentality mess with your fun

One of the aspects of the scale model “culture” that I’ve always found interesting is the willingness that normally independent people have towards accepting what they read on a forum or magazine as “modeling fact”.

Here’s an example, sanitized to protect the innocent…. 🙂

The conversation goes something like this:

Modeler 1: “I heard that model kit is no good, so I decided not to build it.”

Modeler 2: “Oh, did you read that in a kit review in a magazine?”

Modeler 1: “No, some guy posted it on CyberFineHyper Forum.”

Modeler 2: “Did he build the kit?”

Modeler 1: “No, but he said he knew a guy who had seen the kit.”

Yeah, I know, it sounds ridiculous. But it happens all the time. I’ve had that conversation. A fellow said a certain kit was awful. So I asked “what problems did you have when you built it?” To which he replied “Oh, I’ve not built it. I haven’t built a kit in 5 years.

Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Even if it’s based in something with far less factual basis than a Bigfoot sighting.

I’ll admit, I fell victim to this early on when I returned to the hobby in 2006. I “heard” kits with raised panel lines were just awful. I “heard” the Aztek airbrushes just couldn’t work. I “heard” it just wasn’t worth building a kit unless it was super accurate. And for a short while, I fell for this mess.

Then I woke up and realized that it’s just a hobby of mostly grumpy middle-aged and older men.

And I observed people building kits with raised panel lines, and using Aztek airbrushes, and building kits out of the box. Their work was good. And they had fun doing it.

So I changed my approach to modeling. I decided to have fun with it. To build how I wanted. And it transformed the hobby for me.

Now, I view the word “heard” as a red flag. Not to say that every “heard” is bad. Sometimes if you know the source, you realize it may have some validity. (“I heard from some guy” has far less weight than “I heard Brett Green said in a review…”)

Of course, you may hate building kits with raised panel lines, using Aztek airbrushes (full confession: I switched to Badger), and can’t imagine building a kit out of the box. Which is fine. I just urge you do do it because that’s what you want to do. Not based on what you “heard”.

You’ll be much happier in your hobby. Explore it, discover it, enjoy it.

At least that’s what I heard.


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