ModelAirplaneMaker, Validation, and Where To Get It

In the below-linked blog post, Chris Wallace suggests a change of perspective regarding buzz-killing modeling competitiveness, the kind that thrives via social media and close-up photos, decried by Spencer Pollard and others.

Chris nods to Spencer’s and my past complaints on corrosive, all-encompassing modeling competitiveness, and then offers the counterpoint that modelers still need validation. And he’s right: validation, and nay, even affirmation, are necessary, even when we are modeling for our own—and not others’—satisfaction.

Which got me thinking about how we modelers ought to interact with one another, and how our models ought to be interacted with.

My favorite and most beloved modelers are those that let their enthusiasm and love of modeling prevail over their exaltation of modeling virtue. Skill and virtue—ability to turn out great models—will almost assuredly tumble out of that enthusiasm and affection, which are infectious and inspirational. Joyless, hairshirted perfectionism for ones’ own modeling and for others ain’t much fun, and is likely to cause more and better modeling to happen only for a self-selected and likely small contingent who, for whatever reason, are responsive to pedantry, hostile assertions of dominance, and ‘manhood measuring’.

In terms of a call to action—how we modelers ought to interact with each other—Chris points clearly to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure by way of the Model Geeks Podcast: be excellent to each other. There are lots of ways to be excellent to each and make more modeling happen, and most all of them involve kindness and generosity—to validate and affirm our modeling brothers and sisters.

We also tend to think of other modelers as our principal sources of validation for our modeling, but in my experience, we tend not to give enough credit to validation from non-modelers. Some of my most rewarding modeling moments have come from the responses of family, friends, and co-workers to my modeling. I have worked around defense and aerospace for most of my professional life, and models in my workspace have been noticed, remarked upon, and even used as props. People who work around aircraft, ships, and tanks are particularly appreciative of accurate weathering, finishing, and markings. In my model railroading, my most rewarding moments have been when rail industry professionals and frequent rail passengers recognize real life trains and landmarks in my modeling.

Go read Chris for yourself on the ModelAirplaneMaker blog…

As they usually do, this moment of clarity happened immediately after getting knocked back into reality. Not in a figurative sense either; I was hit …


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