FineScale Modeler

What is modeling responses


Ed.: In an episode of FineScale Modeler Weekly, Tim Kidwell and I addressed the question, “What is modeling?” and we asked viewers and readers to respond. Here’s a sampling of those comments.

– Aaron Skinner

I just watched your video on “What Qualifies as Modeling” and wanted to say that I couldn’t agree more. At its core, modeling is replicatio­n of something real or imagined. Designing parts yourself, whether by hand or for 3D-printing, is just a different level of detail some people use the same way some modelers use aftermarke­t resin details. 3D-printing is a medium, like all the other materials (PC, PS, wood, PE, resin, etc.) that go into our kits and dioramas and does not inherently affect the definition of what is and isn’t a model. If you designed a model as a single piece in CAD, printed it, and painted it, that’s still modeling, too; CAD is also a medium for replicatio­n.

Subject matter is irrelevant; you can replicate something that exists only in your imaginatio­n. I would definitely say that the people who built the props of the Enterprise or Millennium Falcon for film are modelers. Number of parts is also irrelevant. Painting

Warhammer figurines is absolutely modeling. The effort to achieve a particular level of realism or fantasy painting a figure is no less significan­t than trying to do so with an aircraft you had to build yourself.

The more inclusive we are about what modeling is, the more people we’ll attract to the hobby. Those fresh faces will bring fresh perspectiv­es and techniques from their own experience­s and profession­al skill sets. This will benefit us all by leading to new tools, new techniques, and, best of all, new subject matter!

– Josh Wurzel Bay Area, Calif.

I recently acquired a resin 3D-printer, and, being capable of using 3D-modeling software, I decided to improve several parts of a 1/72 scale F-4E Phantom kit I’m working on. Modeling those parts probably took more effort and time than scratchbui­lding them and definitely more effort than buying third-party upgrades like resin and photo-etched metal. I would say that 3D-printing parts and even the whole model is definitely modeling.

I think modeling is defined more by the results than the means by which you accomplish them.

– Marcos Szargiki via YouTube

I build many different types of model kits, from many genres and in many different materials. I have built in plastic, wood, resin, vinyl, styrene, and probably some materials I don’t even know the name of. Regardless, so many things fall under the category of model building and we should respect all of them. – David, Plastic Imaginatio­n Workshop via YouTube

I think modeling is anything that is put together and painted, no matter the subject. – John Treloar via YouTube

Modeling is what you make of it, but it needs to be fun. Because why have a hobby that is not fun? I have been building kits for more than 50 years and still build mostly plastic models, but I have also built resin and all photo-etched metal as well as a couple [of ] 3D-printed kits. While there is a sense of satisfacti­on in building a kit with several hundred parts, a great finish on a simple resin bust or 3D-printed kit with few parts is also rewarding. – Scott Builds Them All via YouTube

I’m 51 years old, and have built aircraft, armor, cars, and Warhammer 40K models. Currently, I’m painting Catalyst Game Labs Battletech miniatures. I couldn’t care less what you think about my hobby! I’m gonna keep doing it and think that you should do the same! – Robert Griffin via YouTube

If it’s plastic and you build it, it’s modeling to me, whether it’s sci-fi, ships, auto, armor, aircraft, etc. I build it all. I’ve even got some Gundam kits. – Gordon via YouTube

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