For various reasons this morning I was reconsidering the value of my hobby. In an earlier post called The Way of the Hobby I described the Zen-like psychological benefits of all this time I spend on military miniatures, and in Eccentricity and Self-Acceptance: The Life and Ship Models of Norman Ough I considered what the life of an extreme model-maker might look like. I asked myself if I take it too far or spend too much time.
Well, let’s see. What do I like about it all? I get to work with my hands using paints and tools to make things that look really good, integrating history, design, writing and photography into the final product… Hmmm, sounds pretty darn satisfying — to me. I guess “taking it too far” would be letting it detract from the really important things in life, primarily my close relationships. I think it’s healthy to pause sometimes and reflect on that balance. In at least one wonderful case, with my 8-year-old son, the hobby has given us a strong bond since we do it together. Of course, everything else aside, in this era of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been grateful to have something like this hobby to focus on when I need to.
The kit featured here, Airfix’s excellent new-tool Stuka in desert camouflage, was most enjoyable to build. I got the Eduard masking for the canopy and definitely appreciated how well that worked. The diorama, a temporary scene setup like virtually all the ones I do, employs a grainy particle board, dirt from the garden, and various and sundry accessories I have lying about. The one inconsistency, if one could call it that, is that the pilots are sitting in the plane with the canopy closed while the ground crew go about their work. My thought was that I wanted to be able to get “in-flight” photos, too — but then I was unable to achieve a smooth-spinning prop. Oh, well. The pilot figures look good in there!