Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Why do we build model?

I have been thinking about this for quite some time and every time I think about this, even more follow up questions came up and I always become lost in thought and could never get an answer.  I don't really want to blog about this subject but a little small inconvenience happend with one of the winner of the Mecha Contest 2012 and the way he ''acted'' tempted me to make this blog post.

There's so many things I want to talk about regarding this issue; '' Why do we build models?? '' but let's talk about the d-bag who did that little inconvenience. I won't say who ( I could but I won' ) but he's one of the various winners of the mecha 2012. Long story short, just becase Ogami won 1st place in two category, he claimed that we weren't fair in our judging and blah blah blah and quit the forum, and said he will not accept any prizes.

The question of '' Why we build models ? '' have always been in my head and this guy actions just tempted me. Why do we even build models? Is it to win competation? Is modeling not one's hobby ? Is modelling something we do to pass our time? It modelling not a form of art, to be crafted, to be valued, to be appreciated by the amount of sweat,time and energy put into it ? What it is then ?

This ''hiccup '' with the winner is not the only reason I decided to blog about this. 5 years ago, when I first arrived to London from Burma, I got into modelling as soon as my sister gave me some allowance to buy models. I grew up with lego, by the time I came to London, I was 17 yet I was still making lego models, and for me, putting up things, watching something I'm building take form and come alive has been always a fascinating thing. Back then, even just snapping together a very very badly done 1/35 tank is enough for me, I would be happy. Obviously, I got into FB that same year and I had a chance to meet great modelling friends. We always chat about modeling, weathering and tanks and it was amazing, no elitism, no nothing .

2009, I got into gunpla and boy oh boy, I saw a great difference from the scale modelling world. People make so much of a great deal over something they buy with their own hard earned money to satisfy their creative side. '' Im better then you cos I can paint better '' .. '' no, im better then you cos I can do kick-ass mods '' ..... '' I do such great Scratch building that people regard me as a SB god '' .... What is this ?? What are all those ?? Is that even necessary ?

2010, December, I finished my first modded kit ( the Nataku ), I spent 9 months working on that single kit; yet, foolishly, I f**ked up the painting step and the finishing wasn't that great. OH MY GOD, some people really tore my ass off with the comments they give. Don't say that I cannot take feedback, I like feed back, thats how my current WIPs are much much more tidier then they used to be. Its just the sense of elitism that pisses me off.

I don't want to sound too contradicting so I will admit it, there are some really sucky works out there, I often do see them alot. And IF I do see them, if i don't have anything good at all to say, I don't say anything at all. If I think there's a feed back or two that I can give, I just post a comment like '' Good job finishing this but here is something or two that you can improve one; - seam lines .... blah blah so on so forth ''... I won't go there and say like your work is SHIT cos that would be insulting. I know and give respect to that fact that the as long as the modeler is happy with their own work, that's the end of it, period. Like I said, if we do not build models to satisfy our creative self, then what are we building for?

And recently, (but not too recently, say; these past months ), I have been reading up too much about weathering and finishing so that I can improve my finishing skills. The reason behind of me wanting so badly to improve my finishing skills is that quite a number of guys have said shit regarding my finishing ( no, not my friends ) and I was like '' F**k it, I'm gonna improve myself so that I can show them blah blah''. But then I realized I was wrong. I thought back to the time I started building AFVs, back then, Im just happy seeing my models sitting on my shelves, cabinet (even though back then, there will filled with brush strokes). Just because some idiots that I don't care about nor won't even have any impact in my life said shit about me, I shouldn't change my mindset over building. I have always thought building models is just for my own pleasure, but lately, it has become like a competition, this lingering thought in my head '' I must get better then those people '. So I have been asking myself '' Why do I build models ? Why do I sink all those money into those plastic if it is not for myself ?? '' but I know, I have known ever since I started, that I build models as a hobby, to enjoy myself, to pass free time in a good way and to make friends and comrades.

What about you guys, dear readers ?
What do you think ? Why do we even build models ?
Is it for our own satisfaction? or is it for other people to appreciate you?
Is it to win contest? Is it to gain Fame?
OR is it something else entirely ??

Foot note -
After talking to a comrade ( tember) about this blog post, I forgot to make a disclaimer; I didn't post this up just cos of some lame-ass things like some idiot ripping on my work or something. I just wanted to post some of my feelings and things I have been witnessing regarding the hobby and how people are so arrogant about it and why I see people spending more time arguing about who is better than actually spending time modeling or having fun.


  1. You have to build for you man. But by putting works on a forum or blog. We have to be prepared for lame ass things like this. I would love to know if the person who said this is one of the two winners I picked so I don't waste he shipping costs. (your choice there). Your work has got consistently cleaner and I love watching yor builds. Heck you have helped me a ton in cleaning up my work. Model on brother!

  2. Agreed Brother Russ! Yeah Dr. Hummingbirdface we build for ourselves. We do what makes us happy and share in that happiness with people who appreciate the same aesthetics as us. For me it is about fun, friendship, and making something that I'm proud of. I get negative feedback too, (I used to get shit tons more) but since I just don't really react to it the folks giving it realize I'm not paying attention to what they say and they go away. I value the opinions of a select few people, and those are the only people I really ask for criticism from. Everyone else can praise me or get out! hahaha. I'm just talking bout my own experience though brother, I suppose peoples' motivations for doing things differ from person to person. You will find people who are super competitive in any aspect of life I believe, and you will find people who are laid back too. Some folks want to control everything they see (and feel the need to post pushy opinionated criticism), and some folks can sit back and appreciate the good parts of something they see while just ignoring the parts they don't like. I understand your frustration brother, but were I you I would let it roll off. FInd a select few people whom you trust and value the opinions of, and rely on their input maybe. That way you know they will give you feedback in a way that is both helpful and honest, while being given in the interest of building you up.

    I agree that some folks do just like to negative and troll ya, but when you don't react generally they don't get their grumpy troll food. haha. You have the right of it I think by giving honest polite criticism when people ask for it, and just giving appreciation of what you like when they don't. It's all about you Garydawg! Do what makes you happy. Apparently writing oxford english dicitonary length replies is what makes me happy. hahaha <3

  3. Interesting post, personally, I model simply because I love it (for my own satisfaction really..) - and I like the sense of improvement and progress you get from building up the skills you need to get a good result. The politics is just like any workplace or community - its a constant, 99.9% bollocks, and should be ignored. If people are going to be dicks about things, they are dicks and should be treated as such (simply ignored.. a tried and tested method that always works..:))
    I like competition, but to be competitive should really be reserved for the top level. I can't comment on this as such as for the moment, I just love to be a part of competitions in general at my current skill level :)

  4. I honestly just love making stuff. Even if it just means the basics required to finish a model properly. its a good use of my free time and I like showing my friends too. It feels good receiving recognition from like minded people for something you love doing. I don't like the fact that you brought up said person from the contest as pretty much everyone knows who that is. Its your blog and a good blog at that but, the person you are describing chose to leave secretively and with some dignity so I feel discussing his actions on somewhere other than the forum, in such detail, is something that shouldnt be associated with the forum ML.

    Not sure how I feel about competition because about 95% of the modelers people consider pro, are really just regular seasoned modelers who can do the same stuff everyone else with as much time invested can do too. Competition should be open to everyone in my book for various reasons but you are right gary, this whole class sytem is fucking bullshit. I'd love to receive honest feedback from time to time but no one with a similar skill level ever gives it to me. It's always some jackass who can't even do the simple stuff I do with some dumb subjective criticism on color choices or people who are too afraid to just be honest with me because of the ridiculous system of forum rank.

  5. well said! In my opinion, whether you are building for yourself or a competition, you must always challenge yourself to do better. This hobby, like most other hobbies, sports or games, requires skill and practice - and thus there will be those who become experts either through natural ability, years of experience, or both. But that should not hinder you from enjoying the hobby at the level you are at. Similar to playing basketball, you look up to skilled players like Kobe and Lebron, but still enjoy playing with friends even if you are not as good as an NBA player. If you want to be competitive however, know that the competitive scene WILL point out your weaknesses...and it is up to you how you use their criticism. As for gunpla, I try to improve my patience with each build, and I try to do better than my last model - but at the same time I keep in mind that the model will end up on my shelf and not on someone else's - and if it makes me smile and recall how much effort I put into it, then the build was a success, regardless of how the community accepted it.

  6. Honestly, i think GUnpla modeling is fun, i do agree on the facts that modelling is a form of art where you are given the freedom to make whatever you want and it does require efforts and time in-order to make something good. I also ruined most of my gunplas over the trial and error stages, but I learned from those failure, I do received harsh remarks as well. Well the world is vast my friend and people had their own way of voicing their thoughts or opinions. By the end of the day, it boils down to our own judgement whether we want to get swept away by those remarks or choose to ignore it. Just pick out the positive inputs and leave aside the negative ones.

    Sometimes, it is good to pamper our-self when we receive applause or appreciation from other people, and it takes a big heart to accept harsh remarks. We build model kit because we like it, we love it, we are crazy about it and we want to continue improving our-self since it has pique our interest. As for competition, I believe it is a battleground where we have to show our best and apply whatever skills we have learned, just like final examination when we are still studying. While winning and fame are forms of acknowledgement, it is in human nature to win and seek fame, this is because everyone was born a WINNER. What important is the essence and the will to continue to improve.

    well this is my honest opinion, I hope i didnt not offend you in any ways if i do, I apoogize. Peace!