a. The radio-control modeller who made the 1:12 scale B-36 bomber with working features, flew it over the North Pole, and dropped a hydrogen bomb ( also 1/12 scale ) on Minsk. The building of the model was the work of a lifetime of precision and the flight was an epic of endurance. The fact that the scale weapon still made a smoking crater ten miles across was awkward. Some things do not scale down well.
b. The doll house miniaturist who managed to make a scale model of London in the time of the Great Plague. Visitors to the exhibition were amazed to see the detail and many talked about it on their deathbeds. The following week.
There is a common theme with these – monomaniacal achievement and death. If we are to avoid the consequences we need to back off the controls a couple of notches and just do what we can, with what we have, where we are. It is Teddy Roosevelt’s best scale modelling advice.
To this end I pulled down some plastic airplane models that have accumulated on the shelf for the last few years and decided to play with them. They are basic toy-like kits with oversize screws and parts – almost burlesques of the aircraft they depict – but as they were super-cheap and readily available, they form a pretty good basis for some imaginative spray painting. As they are so crude to begin with, there is little point in lashing out further money in aftermarket parts or decal sets – I just decided to tidy them up and use generic schemes.
The results will never be front-of-house star models…but they can certainly be background players in dioramas or photo shoots. And any time spent on the spray gun improves skills for more detailed jobs.