There are times when some of my fellow modellers make me mad…..

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Please excuse the title, I was not too sure how to express how certain members of the modelling fraternity make me feel. There is a lot off laziness in the hobby and one of the things that boils my piss more than those that post on forums and social media about what colour they should paint their panzer grey Tiger is those people who post other peoples work on Facebook pages without crediting the modeller who has spent hours day weeks even months on it or even worse they post pictures of others work passing it off as their own. Now I will probably never have my work treated in this abominable way however come on people credit where credit is due, if I had worked my butt off creating an inspiring diorama and somebody else passed it off as work they had done I would be less than impressed. What makes me laugh is when you see work by a well known modeller, a piece of work that has been seen around the show circuit on the internet and in magazines and somebody is passing it off as their own it’s a bit like me going to the Louvre in Paris and saying that there Mona Lisa, I painted that, or the Venus de Milo, I sculpted that.

Another thing while I’m at it is plagiarism, not only are people passing others work off as their own they are blatantly copying other peoples work and saying that the original idea was theirs. Now I am sure the great modellers among us would be flattered if work they have done inspires others to have a go at emulating that work, blatantly copying is just plain wrong. I know it is tough coming up with an original idea for say a diorama, and it is something I have struggled with over the years copying is not the answer, being inspired by someone’s work or by a picture in a book now that is what should be happening not directly mimicking the work of somebody else. The advent of the internet over the last 20 years has not really helped with this at all, please don’t get me wrong the internet has added an extra dimension to the hobby as far as I am concerned, for example you can obtain anything you need for the hobby 24 hours a day 7 days a week and from all 4 corners of the world, it has given me the platform to share my thought frustrations and annoyances about the hobby with those who choose to read my rantings.

Plagiarism is not just blighting those whose work is at the very top of the hobby, it also effects those who have the talent to sculpt and try and make a living selling those wonderful figures and busts to us the modeller,  bad copies of these works crop up on a certain auction site on a worrying scale, it is piracy and those in power to restrict the sale of these pirated items do not seem to act quick enough and it puts these small cottage industry businesses at jeopardy. When I write the blog posts I try to use pictures of my own work or photos I have taken at military vehicle shows, air shows or at museums. I think I have only used a picture I found on google once, and that was of Geoffrey Wellums Spitfire, it isn’t hard to be original, if you cannot sculpt, leave it to those that have the talent to do so, and the pirating and illegal distribution of other peoples work is not unique to figures and busts, it can be found in other areas too, such as books and magazines.

A few years back I was looking for a book that had been out for a couple of months and the only copy I could find was going for a kings ransom on the auction site I mentioned earlier, so every Friday an internet search would take place and on one of these searches I found one going free, yep free and to my utter shock it was a PDF copy, now the guys that write these special interest books are not multi millionaires with a sports car in the drive, theses are guys like me and you just trying to share with the modelling world how they achieve the level of work that they do. Next time you are after a book a bust or a set of figures and you see them really cheap on the internet take a minute and think about the person who has sweat blood and tears and put their heart and soul into the original work and treat them with the respect they deserve. The same can be said about the modellers whose work gets posted on certain Facebook pages and does not get the credit, I always credit the modeller when I see this, and I am sure sooner or later I will get removed from these groups however I don’t really care, these people deserve the credit their talent and dedication deserves.

The Average Modeller.

 

Stepping out of……THE COMFORT ZONE!!

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I was out in the garden yesterday afternoon cutting up some old bed frames using the angle grinder and as is the norm whilst doing a mundane job my mind wanders and it got me thinking about how often I feel the need to step away from what is safe and normal and try or use something different. I uses power tools on and off in my day job so using a drill or an electric screwdriver is a common occurrence however a power saw or angle grinder for instance now that is out of the comfort zone. To be honest with you I am a play it safe kind of modeller, my models are usually Tamiya, painted in a one colour scheme lightly weathered placed on a simple wooden base with no scenics and definitely no figures. It ‘s a bit like when I started this blog, it was a real head above the parapet moment from me which was bought on by another such event, a build review for modelling website Armorama.

I don’t know about everyone else but I love browsing the internet looking at all the fantastic work of my fellow modellers, the fantastic figures the great aircraft and armour models plus my favourite area of modelling, dioramas and the amazing diorama works that I spend hours drooling over, at the moment I am enjoying the work of Roger Hurkmans whose work I admire greatly with his use of vehicles and figures that just compliment each other and looking at these amazing works really does inspire me to do something a bit different from what I do normally.

Speaking of this whilst at Telford last year for Scale Model World my long suffering partner in crime Kerry and I decided that it would be a great idea for us to purchase 2 of the same subjects and build/paint them separately just to see how we would approach and paint them as we model differently, simply just to do something a bit different from the norm and challenge each other, a kind of great British paint off. We decided that we would purchase 2 Nosferatu busts from the stand of Andy Cope, who’s work I have to say is fantastic and inspiring even though it is not my genre at all. So we have these 2 busts waiting for paint and although this is very much Kerry’s area of expertise it most definitely is not mine. To paint this ‘thing’ I will most certainly need to step outside my cosy comfort zone and try something completely different to the norm and it is something that troubles me, yes I could paint it and leave it hidden however Kerry will most probably paint hers to her usual high standard and display hers around the show circuit and it would be a huge shame if once we have finished them we did not share the finished articles with the modelling world at the same time. Now as I have said previously I am a creature of habit who likes nothing more than to live quite happily in my very cosy comfort zone and only venture out of it when I have to and then scurry back as quickly as I can and that cosy comfort place maybe under threat by a certain wind of change.

So as we approach 6 months since we purchased said busts discussions have arisen of late about the fact that we should actually get our fingers out and start them and I have started to feel a bit of apprehension regarding this and although to take my modelling forward I need to step out of these shackles that hold me back and embrace this new challenge and see it as that, a new challenge and not something to be worried or scared about. With this in mind and feeling the need for some kind of pre-emptive strike so while we were at last weekends Milton Keynes Model Show which I have to say was great in it’s new venue plus it is always a show we enjoy and have not missed since we first visited in 2013, I digress of course, while walking round last Sunday looking for something to spend the hard earned cash on, I decided to not spend it on a new kit, yes I could of picked up another tank or vehicle, the new Tamiya Spitfire or the recent Airfix Hawker Hunter which of course would be a step away from the norm and out of my comfort zone completely however as much as I would love to build an aircraft I feel I’m not quite ready for a leap out of the comfort zone, a small step I can probably deal with, a leap no. Anyway, I decided on a caricature of Sir Winston Churchill by Cartoon Miniatures to help me dip my toe in the water of something different and help me out of my comfort zone and help me into the art of figure painting.

So here I am a week later and although I have yet to make a start on little Winston a start has been made on the little cobbled base he stands on and I thought that a start there would start pushing my head bit by bit above that parapet I seem to worry about a bit more that I should. I’m not saying that I have never ventured out of the modelling comfort zone, I painted a couple of android busts from the MDC range that were available a few years back however they were very one colour and I chose a simple approach to painting these and they didn’t really stretch my modelling or painting skills at all although on the plus side they were the first resin kits I ever worked on, you see every cloud has a silver lining. I have tried other things to drag me away from my comfort zone however theses have been unsuccessful and had me scuttling back with my tail between my legs licking my wounds and diving head first into that safest of places, the comfort zone. So now that the die has been cast I have no choice than to take myself forward and leap two footed into a world unknown and I might find that being out of my comfort zone may not be the unwelcoming wilderness I think it is but the door to a bigger challenging and a more fulfilling phase of modelling for me.

The Average Modeller