Well, that’s a good question!  What is it?  What is it about?  Who can deal with this particular engagement?  I’ll try using simple words to explain what model building is.

Model building is a hobby.  Good.  I said it.  A hobby you said?  And what is a hobby?

“Hobby is any activity in a certain field of interest someone has which is non-profitable and is performed often on someone’s spare time.  From the moment the hobby turns into a source for profit, it becomes an occupation.  A hobby can range from collecting things, to do a sport or some creative activity etc. The person doing a hobby is usually an amateur (hobbyist), as opposed to the professional.

The word probably originates from the English word “hobyn” which in the 13th century meant little horse or pony.  In 1557 the word “hobbyhorse” was recorded for the first time in history, meaning a wooden toy which was nothing more than a piece of wood with a tail on one end and a horse’s head on the other, designed to mimic a horse at various activities.  Until 1816 it was shortened to “hobby” and took the meaning of a pleasant activity on our spare time”

And since it’s something we spend on our spare time, obviously it must be something that entertains us and makes us having a good time, to break away for everyday routine and make us happy.

And that’s exactly what it is.  A creative hobby, dealing with which we create objects and beings (humans and animals) in scale.

Here we go again… “in scale”?  What is that? You are confusing us again dude!

All right then.  I’ll explain it to you in other words.  When we say that we build something in scale, we mean that we build/construct a copy of the real subject in smaller dimensions.

If you think about it, this is not something strange to you, not at all.  From when we were very young, all of our toys were copies under scale of the real subjects, i.e. cars, airplanes, soldiers, dolls, carts for dolls and the list goes on and on…

This is happening from the moment humans appeared on the face of this planet, (that was a good one, don’t you think?  We turned the site into …Discovery Channel! Lots of knowledge dude…).

But only when we were young kids, but also later in life a lot of hobbies could be called some sort of modeling, although a little bit far etched.  One example is the bonsai trees.  We are trying to grow a real tree but …under scale.  We spend hours and hours taking care of it, keeping it healthy and forming its shape in order for it to become unique.

Another fine example are aquariums.  And I don’t mean the ole glass bowl with a goldfish inside…  Look what is happening with this one!  There are many different types, with plants or no plants, African habitats, Amazonian etc Aquariums that you think you are diving into a lake in Tanganyika Central Africa or in a mysterious spot in the mysterious Amazon River! A strenuous effort with daily involvement and all that just to have a small piece of our planet in our living room, a very small one.  Nature under scale in other words.

Back to our subject, let’s take a look to the most frequent questions in relation with scale modeling.

What does it take for someone to become a modeler?

Very simple thinks that you will find them in you…  Patience, persistence and fantasy, everybody has these qualities, others to a greater and others to a lesser degree.  These 3 skills are the most needed.

At what age can someone start with this hobby?

There isn’t really any rule on the matter.  Let’s say that a good age is when a young kid is 8-9 years old.  At this age the kid has already done a lot of handcrafts at school and is more or less familiarized with working using with precision the succors and his hands.

Is it possible for a small child to build a model that we all see and admire in the various model exhibitions?

Every child goes through certain stages; first they start to crawl, then come their first steps using the furniture as help etc, etc

The same goes for modeling as well.  Every kit on the market have a number on their box indicating its difficulty level and/or the suitable age for it to be build.  There are also the so called “snap kits” witch are for kids that build their first ever model.  These kit don’t require any glue or paints. They come already painted and the only thing the kid needs to do is to remove the parts from the sprues and snap them together following the instructions.  Once he or she has a little experience, then it can move to the next stage, using glue and paints.

What are the subjects the kits cover?  Is it a one way street to build only tanks and bombers?

In modeling someone is able to build a lot and different things from a grand scale of themes.  A lot of themes are drawn from war and the military in general, tanks, airplanes etc because unfortunately human history is full of wars, from which technology thrived in order to build better war machines…

But this is only one side of modeling.  There are countless other themes or subjects, like civilian cars, trucks, airplanes, spaceships, science fiction, figures and there are also dioramas.


Here we go once again…  Another new wordWhat is a diorama?

If we want to give the definition, we can say that a diorama is a three dimensional depiction of a scene, (irrelevant of its size, theme and/or building material) – undoubtedly one of the most impressive categories in modeling.  We are talking about the representation of a whole scene.  That scene may be a snapshot of everyday life, a movie or something totally out of our fantasy that inspired us


Am I going to need any tools?

Any good craftsman needs his tools.  You can click here for some basic tools needed and where to purchase them from.

You mentioned something about paints? Am I going to be a modeler or a painter?

I can see that humor is ever present…

Your creations will need color, unless you are a fan of b/w TV…

Clicking here you can read a quick guide in the various types of paints that can be used in modeling.

Modeling is not just a hobby to pass our spare time pleasantly.  It’s a never ending journey in another world, a fantastic world, your world.  There are no limits or restrictions in what you can build.

So welcome to your new world!  Enjoy your trip!

Antonis Galenianos
Translated by George Roumbos

[1] Πηγή: https://el.wikipedia.org/wiki/%CE%A7%CF%8C%CE%BC%CF%80%CE%B9


  1. I’ve never used succours when constructing models, even when I was 8 – 9 years old. 😉

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