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Friday
Aug062010

Why do we build models? Why don’t we build models?

Two very good questions, I wonder if I can come up with good answers.

I’ve always believed that we are driven to create with our hands and to create in general.  Using our fingers and hand eye coordination must stimulate the pleasure center in our brains.  Certainly we are visually stimulated.  Like Roy in “Close Encounters”, building a model of Devils Tower so he can better hold an idea that haunts him. We create scenes, mostly imaginary or sometime as an attempt to recreate a scene that had an effect on us in life.  But there’s more to it then that, more levels.  Heck you can create a scene by opening a box of ready to go, assembled, pre-painted Chinese plastic or a bubble pack of perfect miniature trees assembled by some remote village in Central America.  Those items get made to milk the money from the impatient.  That’s a harsh statement.  Surely there are hobbyists out there who are driven to create but just don’t seem to have the time.  Of course they miss the point.  A hobby is a focused waste of time.  It’s time we need to step away from the everyday grind of survival.  We hope that opening a box is a first step along the path of creation and some day they will open a box where there is more to challenge them.  Challenge, there’s a good word.  Does this mean that we should all get a lath and start machining gears and drive wheels?  I think at some level we all wish we could.  We all find a place of comfort on the food chain and most of us push our selves as high as we can.  Why else would we spend 20, 40 or 60 years in a hobby?  In the last several years, I’ve noticed a lot of hobbyists making the leap to becoming manufacturers, us included.  Creativity, pushing individuals to see if they can make it better, if they can compete.  Certainly the unstable economy has had a hand in this as people try to expand their earning base, sometimes failing financially but succeeding creatively.  That’s another story for another time. Back to the basic thrust of this rant, Why build models?

The simple answer is “Challenge”.  We are driven to challenge ourselves.  My brother recently showed me what he’s working on.  One of our distributors is attending an N scale convention and wanted to know if we had some built samples she could use.  Well no, not being in N scale, we didn’t have much, but Dave saw a challenge and now he had the motivation (need) to try something so he jumped in and started building in N scale.  The results were pretty outstanding.  Not just the beautiful rendition of an amazingly small warehouse with miniscule wood steps, but the obvious rush of pride and satisfaction he felt from conquering the challenge.  He was beamingly proud when he unwrapped it to show me, and rightly so.  He did what he wasn’t sure could be done.  When I’m designing a new kit (right now I’m finishing up some “critters” for our new disk), I sometimes have to make a part that I just can’t imagine building.  I ask myself all the time, who would be crazy enough to build this?  Truth is, lots of people, just to see if they can.  So that’s really what our hobby is about.  Finding, facing and conquering a challenge.

Some folks need mountains.

It really doesn’t matter if the challenge is how you weather that wharf scene or how you open the bubble pack, some day you will be driven, you’ll be ready for a model made from card stock.

Why don’t we build models?  A much tougher and sadder question.  I’ll get to that later.

 

Friday
Jul302010

What a great deal, we must be crazy.

It was brought to my attention that our small company house kit is a super bargin. Some one who bought it thought that he needed to buy each veriation separately.  No you get all the color variations for the crazy low price.  Really, in O scale its under $10 for all the color versions.  HO is $6 bucks.  We are out of our minds.

Monday
Jul262010

A reminder

Just a reminder, that at the end of the month, I will be looking at who made purchases this month (July) and calculating future credits and or bonuses. Everyone will be notified individually of how many credits they have earned and how to redeem them.

Thom

Wednesday
Jul212010

New Cannery Pix

I finally had a chance to dig these out of where they have been hiding on my hard drive.  They are also included when you download the kit.

These pictures show the Cannery in HO on our traveling HOn30 display layout.