It is said that Masons can always recognise other Masons in a general crowd by secret signs; they have a particular handshake, they say key phrases, and they blink in code. I suspect that it is just based on the fact that they are wearing aprons, leading goats, and shouting ” I am a Mason, buy me a drink! ” at the top of their lungs. Well, goat herding and stone cutting is thirsty work…
Scale modellers are the same. Not the goats and aprons, mind – the ” Buy me a drink “.
Actually scale modellers can be recognised in the wider world by several characteristic actions. Here is a list:
a. They haunt dime stores, bazaars, and $ 2.00 crap shops. They look at all the junk on the shelves to see if it looks like anything else in a tiny size. A grown man comparing toy wheelbarrows is noticeable…
b. They buy bags of popsicle sticks, cocktail toothpicks, and novelty swizzle sticks. And never make ice lollies, hors d’oeuvres, or mixed drinks with them.
c. They measure things. You can never tell when they will pull out a tape measure and make a detailed diagram of a letter box. Or a Pontiac. Or your bathroom. They make dogs nervous.
d. They describe things in paint pot colours. You might say grey but they say Humbrol 27.
e. They like the smell of glue, thinner, turpentine, paint, and acetone. Not all in the same pot, but.
f. They know the difference between a Mk VIII and a Mark IX.
g. They know where to get the same kit cheaper.
h. They know not to touch.
i. They would rather look at a picture of a model airplane than a picture of a live model girl. Mind you, you will have their undivided attention if you produce a picture of a model of a model girl.
j. They do not blench and fall unconscious when you show them the price of a model airplane engine.
k. They are unimpressed by drones.
l. They finger saw blades, drill bits, and sandpaper in Bunnings. Everyone else just grabs whatever is on the shelves and heads for the sausage cart out the front but modellers need to feel whether it is right for them. It is a religious experience.
m. They stand beside the model train layout and wait for the train to come around at least a half-dozen times.
n. They look at the plans in the magazines. They might not actually BUY the flaming magazine, but they do unfold the free plan to criticize it…
o. They have dried glue on them. It might by cyanoacrylate, C-23, or PVA wood glue, but somewhere there is a bit of gunk still adhering. They could be scrubbed clean for surgery or laser-shaved for space travel, but there would still be glue somewhere on them.
f. The same applies to their clothing. None of them own a piece of clothing that has not got glue, paint, or oil on it, or a tear in the fabric somewhere. But they all have a set of pristine paintbrushes somewhere. Note: their favourite brush came free with a watercolour set in 1959 and looks like a dead otter. For that matter, it might BE a dead otter…
You can also identify a dedicated modeller by looking at their spouses and partners. The glazed, desperate look these poor people exhibit is absolutely diagnostic.