How Do I Know What Is OK To Build? Oh The Madness!

(Editor’s note: The link this article refers to is not active anymore. But I think the discussion can be deduced from the context. 😉 ~jb )

Oh dear. Oh my. I’m distressed. Quite, quite, quite exacerbated. Lugubriously so.

You see, I was looking forward to Airfix’s new 1/72 Phantom kit. I really was. I’d hoped to build it, perhaps derive some enjoyment from it. Maybe even manage a smile, sometime, during the process.

But now that’s all been ripped from my hands.

You see, Airfix screwed the pooch.

And now I can’t build it.

This happens every time I look forward to a kit. I get excited about it. I look forward to it. And then BAM! 

Hobbyboss’s A-4 has fixed wing slats. Tamiya’s F-14 lacks movable control surfaces. Airfix’s Phantom has deep panel lines. Special Hobby has…. well, their catalog.

Kit’s that have not been met with approval by those in the know.

Rejected, as they say.

And obviously, one simply doesn’t build a rejected kit. What if details aren’t precise? What if markings aren’t the correct color? What if something is wrong? What if the FS color call outs are wrong? What if someone draws RED LINES on an image of a preliminary CAD file?

I mean, building a kit that isn’t approved is dangerous. It’s virtual anarchy. Do you understand that? Anarchy

I don’t have to tell you good folks what’s been happening in our beloved hobby. Accuracy murdered, panel lines burned, clear parts looted, people stampeded, and cattle raped. The time has come to act, and act fast. 

I propose a Modeling Commission be set up. 

It would ideally be composed of several volunteers who are experts in all aspects of modeling. Of course, it won’t be difficult to find such an august body of builders given the pedigree of most denizens of our beloved hobby. And especially those who inhabit the electronic end of the spectrum. Their knowledge of every single aspect of modeling history, paint chemistry makeup, hobby sales and marketing, industrial production, historical information, and aerodynamic theory, will make such a group ultimately trustworthy to focus on one purpose. A purpose desperately needed by the unwashed masses of our hobby.

That purpose?

To tell us what we can and can’t build, of course.

Now, I know, the buttercups among you are wetting yourself. Shouting “not my commission!” Talking of silly notions such as “I can choose whatever I want”, and “it’s just a hobby”, and “I do this for fun”.

Well- let me be very direct. To speak in language that will be plain enough that even the most buffoonish commoner can relate to..


You’ve ruined the hobby. 

Enjoyment? Relaxation? FUN?

My gosh… you may as well stop bathing, wear dirty t-shirts, and shuffle around looking for a bathroom.

Wait… bad analogy.

I digress.

The Modeling Commission would bring order to the galaxy, sweeping away the old…. well, system of just will-nilly production and choice and the whole notion of “fun hobby”. Manufacturers would submit their designs for approval, and if not approved, the modelers of the world would be warned.

Of course, I suppose an enforcement arm would be needed to make sure people weren’t buying unapproved models. Volunteers would be needed, certainly from among the faithful, such as those in line at the nacho stand at the Nats. And other places, of course. (Approved places, mind you.)

But time has come to act. To preserve decency and accuracy and precision. Scale issues and manufacturing realities be damned!

A society that allows itself to succumb to just any kit is crumbling, nay shy of falling apart.

Stand now. Stand firm. 

Because thirty years from now, when you’re sitting by your fireside, with your grandson on your knee, and he asks, “What did you do when there were scale models”, you won’t have to cough and say, “Well, your granddaddy shoveled Special Hobby in Louisiana.” No sir, you can look him straight in the eye and say “Son, your granddaddy rode with the great Model Commission and unscrewed the pooch!”


5 responses to “How Do I Know What Is OK To Build? Oh The Madness!”

  1. yup, that about sums up the current state of modeling for many of the ‘experts’ out there. Scale fidelity is a bit of a joke when talking about items as small as 1/72 scale IMHO. Folks just need to build a bit instead of cry.


  2. Mark Büchler Avatar

    I’ve had many modeling conversations with my grandfather (now deceased), who started building in 1939 with little more than a block of wood as a starting point. He had nothing but gratitude for the companies that eventually produced all-plastic kits. Accuracy was secondary to the joy of building, and not having to whittle balsa.


  3. Lol! It’s about time somebody sorted out what I should be building!

    As an aside – I’m really looking forward to seeing you tackle the NT Airfix F-4 Jon.


  4. “I Un-screwed The Pooch!” There’s a nacho stained T-shirt just waiting to happen. Well, now that I think about it, that one is probably just going to hang in the closet next to the “I heart Raised Panel Lines” hoodie.

    Rick L., creator of near fatal flaws.


  5. Yes, the enforcement arm can be equated to the Gestapo, or commissars… final word! Stationed at every hobby shop, craft store, and… secret locations…
    Just as you open that unauthorized kit, the appear like Monty Python’s Spanish inquisitors!


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