Category Archives: musings

Should you hoard?

This is the age old question about scale modelling: do you really want to buy that new kit coming out even though you already have ten (ha!) others in your closet and five being built?

And the answer is: god knows.

There are genuinely good arguments about buying stuff. One, and most important is that the model might go out of production.

This is an acute problem with limited run resin kits. I did not buy Inside the Armour’s Churchill interior set, and now there’s no chance of getting one. I passed up on the Stalker figure I really liked and took me two years to get one from someone who had it in his stash. I passed up on the Extratech Extrapack 1/72 models (with PE and resin goodies crammed in), and now they are impossible to acquire. I do have two of the initial Tiger I editions by DML (not the Tiger I is initial but the edition) which are frankly legendary, and quite difficult to get. So in that case it was a good call to hoard -and a series of bad ones not to.

However. If you buy models left and right you will run into obsolescence. For sure you will have a bunch of old models in your hands that are surpassed by newer, better editions, and then you will grind your teeth for wasting your money on them. See my example: I do have a liking of interiors, so I collected tanks and aftermarket interior sets over the time. I just finished the Tamiya T-55AM with CMK/Eduard/Miniarm extras (and Trumpeter individual tracks). I’ve spent a lot of time and money on that kit to bring it up to a standard that is still lower than the new MiniArt T-55A kits out there. Same with my King Tiger still to be built: it’s a relatively old DML kit with a resin interior and Lionroar PE set -yet I would be better off with one of the newer King Tiger sets with dedicated interiors (Takom‘s for example). I’ve planned to build all German WWII tanks with interiors, but now that I’m building the Panzer IV, I don’t feel like doing an almost identical tank, the Panzer III with interior – the tank and the resin set will go on Ebay soon. I’ll have the StuGIII and that will be it.

This is a delicate balancing act, and frankly there’s no good answer to this. The question you should ask is: am I really going to build this kit even if there’s a newer version later? Do I have a realistic chance to build it in my lifetime? Will you even be interested in this model in five year’s time?

Personally I have too many kits already: the ones I brought over from the US eight years ago (mostly 1/35 armor and 1/48 airplanes). A lot of it I don’t really care about any more; they will probably go on Ebay real soon – a real investment for sure. (Some I gave to kids of my best friend.) Some I do still feel I will build: the Tristar Flakpanzer I, the Panzer Kpfw. 38(t) Ausf. E/F, the Trumpeter Panzer IV bridgelaying variant, the 1/144 Dora railway gun… and a couple of others. I do have an eye on the Trumpeter Trench digger, and the Mondelcollect T-64, T-72 with full interior; these are kits I absolutely want to buy. But the ones I “just” fancy – other Modelcollect trucks, REVOSYS’ Panzer VI (VK36.01 H) with interior… well, these will probably never be purchased even if I have the money. The sad fact is I don’t want to leave behind a room full of boxes. (And I’m not an old man, so I don’t have excuse for such a grim talk.) I try to curb my impulse buys -which is an especially hypocritical statement now, that I managed to buy a Forgeworld Chaos Warhound Titan for 1/3rd the price on Ebay.

I would be interested in your comments.

A quick update (and no photos)

Well, promotion came with it a new job and new responsibilities. Adulting presently is slowing down my main focus of interest- model building. Since I have not posted for a long while, here’s a quick update.

Soon to be coming: W-Model’s 1S91, Meng’s FT-17, the finishing touches on the T-55AM, OKB’s AMX-40, Revell’s Cromwell, and a couple of WH40K figures (Abaddon himself in three different versions prominently featured among them). Most of these models are on the verge of completion; should be able to finish at least two of them this week. MiniArt’s T-60 and Zvezda’s Panzer IV ausf. H are in a more nascent state.

On reading fronts: I’ve read the two volumes of D-Day Through German Eyes and can wholeheartedly recommend for anyone who is interested in what actual combat looks like (quite horrifying, in fact), and how the Germans thought about the war. I have to say it was an eye opening read; the books are well worth the couple of bucks.

Long time, no see

Well, this has been a busy summer. I got married in June, found and moved to a new apartment, did three job interviews and got one job.

Now I actually have a semi-dedicated space for model building, and also have my own shelf my patient wife (…) offered for me.

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All in all, improvement all over. Just to give a short preview of what is to come to these pages: OKB’s AMX-40, MiniArt’s T-60 with interior, a Modelcollect E75 with interior, a Chaos-cursed Rhino troop carrier, and of course the work on the T-55 and PnzIV is ongoing.

Stay tuned, in other words.

Musings about model building

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Illustration

My fiancee is still cannot really come to terms with my hobby. It’s not that she thinks it’s childish, or she objects me spending money on it; it’s just she does not understand the why.

Why do I spend time building replicas of things that were created to kill people? (To be honest, I have no idea of this myself. War, and machines of war, and history do fascinate me but I’m not an idiot; I do know how horrible war really is. Well, I don’t actually know -fortunately- but I’m not stupid. People serving and dying in a T-34 or a Tiger would be quite appalled by our fascination with these machines I think.) She faithfully comes with me to all tank and RAF museums I can find, but she really does loath these machines, and I think her attitude is the healthier one. I suspect the fact that you can buy faithfully recreated dead terrorists in 1/35 means that at least some people’s attitude is a bit more jingoistic than mine.

The second question is much more interesting. She thinks I’m wasting my creativity on building things that do not actually serve a purpose, instead of creating something new. (She is an awesome human being.) She would understand if I drew or paint tanks (well, or made jewellery, do carpentry, photography, whatever), but building them up from ready-made parts is a different thing. I take her point in this, too, and I have no answer. There is a certain degree of creativity in this hobby, but it’s limited. (Perhaps this is why I have some aversion to ready-made weathering products.)

I enjoy what I do, I use it as an excuse to write which I like (I’m publishing reviews, after all), but I do recognise the fact that once the models are done, they don’t exactly serve any purpose, and I’m ready to move on to the next one. She did make me think. I will take up other creative things to do (I’ve started a blog focusing on macro photography), but the fact remains: I love this hobby, it makes me help to relax, it does threaten to swallow up my life if I’m not careful, but I have no answers to her.

If you have any thoughts on the matter, on why you do this hobby, on why you are interested in weapons of war, let me know. I’d be very much interested reading them; perhaps it would help me find my own answers as well.