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Hey guys I am kinda a loner so not many people know I'm a modeler and seem quite surprised when they find out where I work they brought on some new workers andand over the course of about a month I was trying to get to know them , well the subject got brought up of hobbies and started talking there hobbies ( working on cars , rally car racing, hunting etc ) and it rolled around to me I told I built plastic model kit ... They looked surprised one of them spoke up and said you don't look like the kind of guy who does that, well I asked what a modeler is supposed to look like, most of them said a 80 year old man some said hurmitt ,odd or eccentric personality and a perfectonist I'm only 2 out of 4 a hurmitt I usually only go to work and an perfectonist . what your guys thoughts and opinions on where these stereotypes are coming from .

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HaHa... Everyone of my co-workers knows I build and collect models. Most of my overseas purchases are sent to my work as they often require signatures. When I first tell someone I build plastic models the standard response is...I did that when I was 12 years old followed by the and then I lite them on fire, blew them up with bottle rockets or firecrackers, or shot them with my BB gun. Then they see the pictures of my completed works and they realize I enjoy my builds. They always want to see what I am getting when a package arrives. I usually hear the I don't have patience for that reason as why they got out but I explain, that all hobbies involve patience and that is just how you put it into perspective. I have one co-worker that is currently building since he met me. I haven't been able to coax him to attend a meeting yet, but I keep trying.

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Guest PetrolGator

Stereotypes?

 

Fat, old, balding, and generally socially inept. Include cheesy t-shirts, out of control facial hair, and smell.

 

Do we all know "that guy?" Yeah, but we also know a plethora of other folks who casually putz with plastic.

 

I think everyone's been exposed to that silly stereotype. Personally, I just snicker.

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Well, lets see, description of my best modeling friends-

86 year old retired engineer from the Pasadena Jet Propulsion Lab. Brilliant but definitely a detail freak. Loves cars and anything that flies.

60 something Argentine. Started life as a aircraft mechanic in Argentina. Moved to the USofA and became a BMW Mechanic. Also a bit of a detail freak, but loves cars and aircraft.

Early 60s recently retired trucking traffic manager. Builds hot rod(real deal) and racing. (Son works for Red Bull) Loves hot rods and drag cars. Not some much of a detail freak.

Middle aged machinist. Works on real live race cars. Loves collecting models and kind of an eclectic builder. Makes resin parts in his spare time. A bit of a detail freak but with an eye to creative artistry.

And a bunch of others. Yea, I suppose we could qualify as old but then that probably comes from that is what I am. Perfectionist, maybe but I prefer to think of us a detail oriented with an artistic streak. Hermit? Not a one in the group. Very social, all of us

 

I think most people have visions of us hunched over a desk in a dimly lit basement, futzing with some little part for hours on end. Most of the people I know are really creative artists. Instead of have a classic art studio, we tend to have smaller spaces, but the creativity still flows. Perhaps a bit like an engineer with an original idea.

 

I think all of us know that stinky nerd overweight guy that is slightly unhinged. If someone goes to a model show, that is the person that stands out. Not the 99% of "normal" people who are also their. A bit like the one green apple in a box of red apples.

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Besides being an aircraft and science fiction nut, building since I was seven years old, I do this as a business. I've probably seen or known the entire gamut, with some of the best having passed.

Jay Dial for one, Jene Procknow for another. I learned a lot from both of them. Both were professional modelbuilders...Jay was self-employed as the result of being restricted to a wheelchair, Jene built wind tunnel

models for General Dynamics and Lockheed.

 

There are plenty of others still alive. One is an armor nut that's also a teacher and definitely doesn't match the stereotype. Another loves aircraft, works at Lockheed, has plenty of facial hair but not the stereotype.

Various readers of my columns and articles that I've gotten to know, IPMS members who've helped me a lot. Do any of them match the stereotype image? I've never met them or seen photos of them, so I can't say,

but I doubt it. I'd say the stereotype that so many visualize is a fairly rare bird.

 

Most of us would consider anyone who builds models pretty normal. It's those who don't build or have a creative streak that think we're weird.

 

If we really want to confuse people...and maybe get a little more respect in the process...try telling people that we're artists. In truth, that's what we are. Tony Weddel...a superb aviation artist...spent years pounding

that fact into my head. He tells me that the only difference between he and I is that he uses paint and canvas and I use kits...but I'm just a much an artist as he is.

 

Richard

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Even within our ranks there are sterotypes...Rivet counter, Judging hoverer, guy with loud Hawaiian shirt, the self important judge, I could go on

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I a builder and a carpenter so detail is big with me. The first this people always ask me is,"How do I hold and put together all those small parts" kinda gets old. The second thing they ask after I tell them how much time and money I put into them is,"How much money do you get when you win something"? The look on their faces is priceless when I tell them Nothing. Bottom line is I don't care one bit what anybody thinks about my hobby. It's mine to enjoy and always will be. So #&@! them! :smiley7:

 

Chris G. :Smile_sceptic:

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Of all that has been said here on the subject I have to go back to Richard Marmo's comment. We are artists! We are creating three dimensional art. Some of us are trying to create accurate representations of real things. Others are creating representations of things that exist only in their minds. Those who do not understand art will not understand us. Heck, we don't even understand each other but we do understand what we do.

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Chris, when you do it as a business, you're always hearing two comments. The first...as you know...is "I don't have the patience for that". The second is "How much did they pay you for that?", followed by a confused expression on their face when I say "Not enough!" Then if you tell them how much you charged, their third comment is "That's too much."

 

Peter, as one artist to another, you are a breath of fresh air. And you're right...not only do those who lack an appreciation for art not understand us, worse are those who can't separate scale models from toys! There are even master modelers who don't understand themselves. For example, Toy Farmer...one of the magazines I write for...is always running articles of 1/16 scale scratchbuilt farm equipment. Built from 100% brass, complete with machined, functional nuts and bolts and fully operational parts, these models are masterpieces of the highest order. Any one of them would take best of show at an IPMS/USA convention and then some. But how do these guys refer to the finished models? Believe this one or not, they constantly describe them as toys! They honestly don't realize how good they are.

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It sounds like there is a lota of these sterotypes and there not all not true !

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It's those who aren't modelbuilders who stereotype us.

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Guest PetrolGator

See, I'm just told I'm an aloof, pretentious know it all.

 

I uh, usually blush.

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Blush away, Chris. I've been told the same thing...and also called weird, crazy, smart aleck, smarta**, egotistical, snob, ignorant, strange, peculiar, warped and on and on. Since I combine freelance writing and modelbuilding

into a business, there's always the ultimate question/insult: When are you gonna get a real job? What really cuts to the quick is when a preacher who's known you for ten years asks the same question!

 

All you can do is consider the source and build another model (or write another article). Gee, I guess I'm blushing too!

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Publicly showing you are a model builder is "unprofessional" according to a once-boss. I was the #2 administrator in my elementary school district as the Assistant to the Superintendent for Business Affairs. A couple of years after he retired, he confided that he thought little of the value of my hobby. I had a giant wallpaper mural of the space shuttle in orbit above the earth on one entire wall of my office. In a showcase I had a display of models and kits depicting the history of the U.S. space program, from Vanguard to shuttle. I even wanted to build an International Space Station component by component as the shuttles delivered them to orbit and the astronauts assembled it. I had a window wall on my office that allowed students walking by to see the display and mural.

 

After I retired and removed the models and kits, my successor tore off the mural and replaced it with one of a golf course panorama (HIS hobby).

 

Ed

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How about this for a stereotype:

ScaleModelerstanlines.jpg

Of course, it's pretty much true... ha!

 

R/

Robert

Edited by rbeach84

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