2021 in review: Model making

Another one of my pandemic hobbies is model making. In 2021, I completed 14 models, all of which you can see on my Flickr. I also post most of them to Reddit to seek encouragements.

I mostly do airplanes and cars. I like their aerodynamic shapes, and I like painting them in bright brilliant colors.

I have a portable battery operated airbrush. It’s apparently not comparable to a real airbrush, but I got better at using it over time. I got better at layering multiple paints to attain a gross metallic finish that has depth. I got better at figuring out the right consistency of paint for the effect I’m going for. I got better at cutting some corners where I can. I still love the moment when the first paint lands on plastic; It really feels as if the color came out from within the plastic.

The other thing I love is that, with some models, you get to understand the interior and the inner working of the machine you are putting together. When you are looking at it from outside, you don’t think about what’s inside, but really, most of the real work of designing and engineering an actual machine goes to its internals. There are some kits that model those internal parts, and some even explain what functions they perform. As you assemble the model, you get to retrace those with your hands. I love making those models and thinking about the engineering efforts that went into those. I often seek more information about those machines on Wikipedia and YouTube to geek out even further.

In 2022, I feel a vague desire to explore something different. Maybe pursue a realistic look? Perhaps different kinds of models like tanks or ships? I don’t know yet. I wonder if there’s some local clubs that I could join. Model making appears to be a really minor hobby, so I’m not optimistic there.

I also really need to learn to throw away finished models, as I’m running out of space to display them. I try to tell myself it’s the process of making one that matters, and not the finished products. But they each represent so many hours of effort and they do look beautiful…

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