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Your reason for building models?

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  • Member since
    May 2012
Your reason for building models?
Posted by DocWatson on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 1:24 AM

Ok, so this may raise some debate but I have to ask.

Why do you build models?

For myself, I just enjoy the building most of all. A finished model looses a deal of interest as I see it.
I have finished models and even won a best in comp trophy once!! (There was only about 15 models in the comp though!)
I keep seeing a lot of 'How to build models faster' and 'Time cutting techniques' posts on various sites I am on and find these to be odd.
Is there anyone else out there that just likes building?
Please dont take this as criticism but if you just want the finished model why not buy one, there are plenty of die-cast and such available.

  • Member since
    November 2004
  • From: UK
Posted by PatrickW on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 1:59 AM

I build models for the pleasure of the creativity, and acheivement of doing so. I also like to build kits of cars/bikes/ trucks that I would like to have 1:1, so change paint/looks/decals etc that I would choose on the real thing.

  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 11:58 AM

When I discovered modelling forums in the early part of this century, it was my first exposure to large numbers of other model builders. One thing that I found intriguing is that we build for a wide variety of reasons. Everyone has their own reasons and their own style. This seemed to add an interesting facet of the hobby that I hadn't considered before. Years later, I still find this interesting.

I build subjects that interest me as a car enthusiast, and strive for realism. Curiously, many builders will say the same thing, yet when I look at their work I find many things done (intentionally) that detract from realism, such as paint that is too shiny, or a feature added to an otherwise excellent build at the expense of scale fidelity, etc. Perhaps if someone who is a master at realism were to study my builds, they would shake their heads and wonder why I would do 'that' if realism is the goal. These things can be so subjective, words like 'realism' having a different meaning to different people.

However, as much as I enjoy this degree of diversity, I still find myself confused at what some people do with their builds. Things such as a highly detailed and skillfully constructed model saddled with an aftermarket pre-wired distributor, bringing down the overall quality factor. These things are fine for an average build, but for a high detail effort, they don't measure up to the standard of work exhibited in the rest of the model. Yet plug wires is one of the first skills we learn in our attempts to make mass produced kits into masterpieces, and a skilled builder can easily out do the best pre-wired distributor on the market. The same holds true for many other aftermarket bits, such as fire extinguishers or ignition boxes. Some parts are easily scratchbuilt better than you can buy them, and are fine for an average build, but they still show up on otherwise top notch builds, and often detract from the final presentation.

I'm not singling out pre-wired distributors, just using them as an example. There are many other examples of similar apparent short-comings. The confusing thing to me is that, the builder's skills are clearly up to doing a superior wiring job, so I assume the intent is to save time. It just seems to me a shame that such a time saving measure is effected at the expense of overall appearance, especially when one considers that once a model is built, its primary service is as an ornament... something to look at. It doesn't do anything else. Appearance is everything once it's on the shelf.

Time saving during the build process does seem very important to many builders. Fast drying paints and glues are very popular. My own builds take up to a year for a basic build, and three years for higher end builds, despite spending quite a bit of time at the bench. As such, I get the desire to save a bit of time during the build. My biggest time saving measure is to glue the hood shut or just paint the chassis black and pour my time and effort into the body and/or interior, which is fine for some builds but often the engine and/or chassis is the interesting bit of a particular subject, so they get attention. For many, building curbside is pointless, so clearly we all have varying ideas on why we build, or what we get out of building.

Saving time is one thing, but pride keeps me from using aftermarket items when I could manage to scratch the item. Spending a few evenings perfecting a scratchbuilt steering wheel, instead of ordering one online and having it at my door in a few days, is deeply satisfying to me. Especially if I manage to do it better then the one that I could buy. Perhaps that is the reason I glue the hood shut rather than resort to time saving measures such as pre-wired distributors (as an example).

Please understand that I am not down pre-wired distributors or anything aftermarket. Indeed, I'm glad it's there, and that many builders use that resource. I am not    knocking anyone or their building style, just trying to make my point. I realise that any lack of understanding is my own. Personally, I am glad we all approach this model building thing differently. It makes this online community a fascinating and interesting thing.

Apologies for the rambling reply. I think I lost my way half way through it.

"It would be unusual, if the unusual didn't occur."

- Steamboat Gariepy


  • Member since
    August 2015
Posted by htown2 on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 8:07 PM
Modern TV is crap!
  • Member since
    May 2018
  • From: Ohio (USA)
Posted by DRUMS01 on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 8:09 PM

I find building model kits rather a good form of therapy. It is my place and a time set aside just for me. I enjoy the research, the kits, the assembly process, scratch-building, updating or improving a model. Many of my kits also alow me to step into something that I really like in real life but may never be able to acquire. Another enjoyable part of my building is the sharing of ideas and techniques with other modelers. Years aso, I was crazy serious in the competition part of the hobby. I was ultimately successful in many regional IPMS sponsored events up to the nationals. Then the competition soon started to seem more like work and politics. For those of us who still have that desire to compete, have at it, and I will appreciate your work; it's just not for me anymore.

After the burn-out of competing, I took a short break and moved into rebuilding and detailing die-cast using modeling techniques. The deep desire to build scale models for fun returned, and that is where I like to keep it. I do not build to impress anyone, I simply build for personal enjoyment. With that said, I... just like anyone, do like the occasional positive feedback after showing a completed build. Once the internet arrived and our forums came into existance, it provided a whole new venue to make modeling relationships, share ideas, buy products, and show our works. 

Happy modeling everyone, regardless of the reason why you model.......


  • Member since
    August 2015
  • From: Hamptonville, NC
Posted by TarheelRick on Thursday, July 25, 2019 7:28 AM

I am a hardcore gearhead and have been for more than 60 years. I have never been in a financial situation which allowed me to build a super hot rod/street machine, although I have owned a couple of fun to drive Day 2's.  Modeling allows me to envision what it would be like to be Bill Gates with an automotive fetish.  If I want a Ferrari, Ford GT, or Porsche a quick perusal of the internet and I can have a scale plastic one on my doorstep in a few days.  Or how about a '69 Hemi Roadrunner convertible, piece of cake for $50 or less, whereas a real one is in the six-figure plus category.  Whatever my gearhead mind can concieve is attainable in styrene.  And I do not need a multi-acre warehouse to display them.

I build models because I can't afford the real thing!

  • Member since
    February 2004
  • From: nottingham,england
Posted by arcturus on Thursday, July 25, 2019 4:00 PM
I just like collecting scale models of cars. Theres a lot in 1?25 your can't get in larger scales. Some of it is nostalgia. I like building cars I saw as a kid, and I sometimes build kits that I built as a kid, in the same colour scheme....just better end result.
Because unlike some Robin hoods,I can speak with an english accent...
  • Member since
    April 2019
Posted by Uncle Billiam on Thursday, July 25, 2019 9:35 PM
Stress relief

See my work here

  • Member since
    April 2019
  • From: Montreal, Canada
Posted by Rockgarden on Friday, July 26, 2019 12:14 AM

i build for many reasons, I think all of which have already been mentioned.  It's partly to create models of vehicles I'd like to own, or in some cases that are otherwise meaningful to me (such as a race car driven by someone I am or was a fan of, or a tv or movie car from a show I liked).  It's partly for the pleasure of spending the time working with the tools and materials, improving skills to create something that hopefully approaches a life like miniature of the vehicle modelled.  In all honesty though, for me it's largely for nostalgia.  I've been mostly revisiting models I built in the past, either with new builds of the same kit, or using my childhood builds to practice techniques on, thereby improving skills for when I decide I want to tackle a new build entirely.  I have many more planned building projects at this point than completed builds, but I'm definitely enjoying the time I spend with this and seeing results from trying things I've never before done, and in some cases had never before thought of doing.

i liked this question, by the way.  It's been nice reading everyone's answers.

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Nashua, New Hampshire
Posted by mrmike on Friday, July 26, 2019 3:45 PM

It keeps me out of the bars and keeps the wife happy since she knows where I am...

"That's Spenser with an 'S' like the poet."

Robert Urich Spenser For Hire 1985

Classic Plastic Model Club

  • Member since
    September 2015
  • From: Nevada
Posted by American185 on Friday, July 26, 2019 6:41 PM

I build them for stress relief and also becasue the cars of the 70's and 80's were just a lot nicer than what is out there now. Although I do have a bias towards land yachts and the oddball car, like the Ford LTD, or Oldsmobile 88, and especially station wagons. Wish someone would do a Country Squire model of the 70's or the Mercury Colony Park. The finished product reminds me of happier times in life in general. The world was different in the 70's and 80's. It is an era that I like to think about, and building kits of that era is one way for me to hang on to it. I have enjoyed cars most of my life so this is one way I express that fact. And the compliments I get from friends and guests that see my collection make it all worth while. I miss the days of the annuals coming out, was always exciting for me. But conisdering what is left of the automotive industry, how many Mustangs and Camaros does anyone really need ?? I have but two Mustangs, the rest are all Cadillacs, big Chryslers, or the big Fords. Sad that this hobby seems to follow the auto industry and kits choices are dwindling. Haven't bought one of anything current in at least 15 years. The oldies are what always gets me. A Cutlass or a Comet will get my attention before a Mustang or Camaro !!!

'There is a special feel in an Oldsmobile, more than the luxury ride its the feeling of pride that you get inside !!!Wink'

  • Member since
    May 2015
Posted by Goofy62 on Saturday, July 27, 2019 10:03 AM

I build mostly because I love the design aspects of old American cars.

I won't say that I'm an "automotive enthusiast" because that suggests that I love all things related to cars in general.

I'm very far from it.

I have absolutely no interest in racing of any kind, unless it's stop light to stop light on the main drag or a quarter mile stretch on the edge of town.

I did a little of that myself as a kid.

I have no interest in foreign cars, although that's pretty much all I drive today.

I didn't grow up with them, never saw them when I was young, therefore they bore me.

I have little interest in customs and hot rods for pretty much the same reason.

My interest in cars is pretty much a basic nostalgia trip for me, and growing up in a small mid-western town, none of this stuff existed in "real life".

A hot rod in my world consisted of a '67 Chevelle with an Edelbrock high rise, a Holley double pumper, a set of headers, glass pack mufflers and a set of Cragar SS mags and wide rubber.

That's it.

So I suppose you could say that my interest is a trip down memory lane.

American cars from the 50s and '60s, mostly stock with the occasional after market goodies.

That's what I build.




  • Member since
    May 2019
Posted by plydude55 on Saturday, July 27, 2019 10:20 AM

I just like modeling, I even took up model railroading, for the building models involved, even built doll houses, any thing involving models.

  • Member since
    December 2007
  • From: Portland Oregon: Tree Country. Most beautiful area on the West coast.
Posted by Treehugger Dave on Saturday, July 27, 2019 11:08 PM

Unlike Goofy 62 I was raised during the 50's and 60's era in SoCal even though I was born in the Northwest.

The entire SoCal culture lived and breathed the automobile in any form. It was an incredible time to grow up and alomg with everyone else I built street rods, hot rods and customs as daily drivers and so did all my buddies. We all helped each other when we weren't riding our motorcycles.

Building models was the normal place to start growing up, as did all my friends. We built at each others houses and competed against each other at contests. Didn't matter who one, we were having fun together.

Turns out I was an artist "Naturally", and found I loved creating shapes and painting and colors, and it all came easily, but it was fun pushing myself and getting better and winning awards and getting my builds in magazines starting  nearly 60 years ago.

It's been a fun ride so far and I'm still enjoying the hobby after 70 years of building.







  • Member since
    August 2007
  • From: Kamloops,Canada
Posted by mclovin on Sunday, July 28, 2019 2:40 PM

I build just for the fun of it and the enjoyment of building it the way i want,not just buying a diecast and putting it on the shelf.

"to love it ,is to live it"


  • Member since
    September 2008
Posted by rebel70 on Sunday, July 28, 2019 8:38 PM

I build for the relaxation of it and to build what I wish I could, I build mostly mid 70's GM pickups And Mopar Muscle Cars of my childhood, I dont build continusly because i get burnt out and then it turns stressful, but I Build To Push My creativity and Some go on the shel and the rest go in a box and put away to be forgot about but as i get older i can remember each build as each one has a time in my life in it,My Pink Challenger was When My Mother was going through breast cancer ,so model building has relaxed Me and Got Me through some stressull times

  • Member since
    May 2008
Posted by showstang on Friday, August 2, 2019 8:42 PM

This is a very thought provoking question.  I've been building ever since my single Mom sat down at the kitchen table and watched me build (with her guidance) a 1960 Falcon that she brought home for me.  I can still remember it to this day - I painted it green.  I've had an interest in cars ever since them, and that was over 60 years ago.  I built a lot of models as I grew older.  I can remember my Grandpa built me a 4 level shelving unit to display all of them, and even then that wasn't big enough.  I searched high and low as a kid to find model contests, and if I did find one, I'd be there.  As I got older, I got into the real thing - street machines and drag racing, street or track, didn't matter.  Growing up in the muscle car era was a wonderful thing.  Girls and life got in the way, and the modelibg took a back seat - until  I had my son.  That was our father - son bonding time.  We were very competitive, especially with each other and he showed in a lot of model contests again with me.  He was very good at constructing old realistic rusty trucks, and he'd clean up in his age group.  We tried one year to see how many awards we could each get, as part of our wanting to be competitve with each other.  He won with 11; I had 10.  That was fun.  After he married, I got back into the real cars, and got away from the hobby once again.  After I sold the last one, I picked up on some of my stash that I had accumulated over the years, and have once again started enjoying building.  I'm currently into restoring older glue bombs that I won on ebay that I remembered from back in my youth.  Currently have a '62 Nova, '62 Valiant. a '61 Falcon and just started a '74 Corvette.  I like the older stuff from the 50's and 60's.  They will never be contest players because of their simplicity, but they will look a lot nicer than what I was able to do years ago.  I'm mostly into box stock, so I don't get loaded down on a lot of detail.  But I do like to build Day 2 versions of what the cars wouldv'e been back in my day.  Now I build for just fun.  I still display them in my family room, and it's just for my personal satisfaction, relaxation and reminiscing about years gone by.  

  • Member since
    September 2008
  • From: Lead City South Australia
Posted by freakshow on Friday, August 2, 2019 10:23 PM

I build for fun and enjoyment. Accuracy doesnt matter its all about creating something and doing something constructive with my spare time. 


Lead City Customs

Lead City Performance


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