This week’s Fangirl Feature is from Inch High Guy
Hobby showcase! Share with us: Your favourite images
What games/systems are you most interested in/do you collect?
I build almost exclusively in 1/72 scale. “Inch High Guy” is a reference to that, in 1/72 scale a 6 foot tall man is an inch high. I like that choosing a common scale allows for comparison of the various subjects, and this size allows for building as many as you like or building the larger subjects. That comes in handy if you can’t decide which camouflage or markings you like best. My collection is mainly aircraft, but I also build armor and ships.
Any specific armies?
I had an early focus on Japanese aircraft. I am also working on modeling aircraft flown by Luftwaffe Experten, but will build whatever captures my imagination at the moment. I get easily drawn into researching rabbit holes, most of my subjects are inspired by interesting back stories. Then I try to get as much information as possible and model the details and markings of that particular vehicle at a specific time and place. Even if it’s a “what if” subject I try to keep things as historically accurate as possible. How would the subject appear if it were real, how would it be used, what is the appropriate amount of weathering, what camouflage and marking paradigms are appropriate for the time / place / army involved? You’re trying to sell your idea to the viewer, you want them to think, “Yeah, that’s exactly what it should look like!”
What aspect of the hobby are you most interested in?
I probably enjoy painting the most, it’s magic when the paint effects come together and the model transforms from toy-like to realistic. The technical side of construction is fun too, almost all my builds have been modified or rebuilt and detailed to varying extents. I find it difficult to build anything completely out of the box. Research is an integral part of the hobby, it is impossible for me to walk past a bookstore without stopping. My reference library is rather large but it all ties together.
Photography is also important, especially as most of the time we only see each other’s work online. A good photo tricks the eye for a moment, making you wonder if the subject is real or a model. It’s fun when you can pull that off.
What compelled you first start or restart the hobby?
I’ve considered myself a modeler as long as I can remember. I took breaks from actually building much while at college and in the Navy but I have always followed the hobby. Even if you can’t actually build at the time you can enjoy the work of others.
Do you have any future plans for your hobby?
I plan to do more scratchbuilding. I have built a seaplane tender and a nuclear attack submarine from scratch in 1/72 scale. Both are about 5 feet (1.5 meters) long. I like the way they turned out but they take a lot of time and are difficult to take to shows. I like conversions and modifying kits as well. In between the big projects it’s nice to build something simple and see it completed. I’m currently catching up on some kits but I’m planning on building a couple of light cruisers, and maybe an aircraft carrier or two someday.
What sort of materials do you use to create your hobby? How long does it take you to complete a project?
My projects usually take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, but one went sixteen months in the case of the ship. I often build models in batches, doing several with similar construction or color pallets at the same time. That speeds up construction considerably. I work in several mediums, resin, photoetch, vacuform, plastic stock, and make many of my own details. Much of the time is spent researching a component and setting up tools and materials to build it, so once you’re ready to go the actual construction time for each piece is minimal and it’s easy and efficient to produce several at the same time.
What inspires you to keep going? Do you admire any other hobbyists?
I’m always trying to improve anything I do – not just modeling. If someone has achieved an interesting effect I ask how they did it and then try it myself. Most modelers are very happy to help each other out. Each discipline has specialized techniques – armor modelers tend to be great at weathering and washes, figure modelers excel at detail painting and blending color, aircraft modelers are generally good with an airbrush and with decals, ship modelers are masters of photoetch. Everybody has something they are good at, something you can learn to improve your own work and yourself. Learn from everyone you can, take the best techniques and incorporate them into your own work.
What do you find most frustrating about the hobby?
Probably the most frustrating are the days when the paint won’t behave. Cats in the display case is up there too.
Do you have any tips for any aspiring hobbyists – beyond the usual ‘practice daily’?
Try something new with each build – ESPECIALLY if it takes you out of your comfort zone. Try to make each model better than the last. Compete with the person you were yesterday, not anyone else. I like this quote from Miyamoto Musashi, “Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men.”
What is your fondest hobby memory?
I have been very fortunate. I’ve had my models appear in magazines, built for museums, and had some good luck at contests. Probably the best thing is when you can build something special for someone, and they get to see their particular aircraft or ship (or whatever) in model form. You have to get that one exactly right, so it’s great when you can pull it off. I’ve gotten to do that a couple of times and it’s always a thrill.
We’re all somewhat introverted to varying degrees, so it’s fun to go to shows or forums and meet others with similar interests. Lots of fond memories, I’ve met many good people through the hobby.
Anything else you would like to tell our readers?
I’d like to thank Jenn for giving me the opportunity to introduce myself here. There is some fine work and inspiration, I’m always looking forward to learning some techniques!
Many thanks to Inch High Guy for taking the time to answer these questions for the Fangirl Feature this week.
You can find Inch High Guy on his Blog
And if you’d like to be featured on the blog then please, don’t hesitate to get in contact.